MOOC Unconference mooted internally at UNSW

Just sent out to our educational developers mailing list:

Dear all,

As there was some obvious interest from my MOOC presentation last week I am wondering if there is further interest in holding an unconference (“Birds of a feather” style) on all things MOOC and distance education related?


I was thinking this could occur sometime before Christmas on a weekend and last a day (but of course time, date and duration is ultimately up to any group that forms to decide). There we could brainstorm the concept of open online courses (massive or otherwise) and share experiences of existing Distance Ed and Open Ed efforts that have taken place at UNSW.


Potentially we could have a similar format to MOOCMOOC and learn about MOOCs and associated social tools/activities (by looking at examples people have seen or taken part in) and perhaps come up with a list of potential candidates for MOOC development here (See: ). 7 hours means we could potentially cover almost as much ground as MOOCMOOC covered albeit in a different style.


I know some on the list have experience of unconferences as they have been held before informally at UNSW (as they would be of course). Their input would be most welcome.


For those who don’t know “An unconference is a participant-driven meeting. The term “unconference” has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as high fees, sponsored presentations, and top-down organization.” – Wikipedia


Obviously we would need to keep this relatively informal and would only need a reasonable sized flat teaching space and presentation equipment to make the event happen. Perhaps someone would like to offer a space?


“Typically at an unconference, the agenda is created by the attendees at the beginning of the meeting. Anyone who wants to initiate a discussion on a topic can claim a time and a space. Unconferences typically feature open discussions rather than having a single speaker at the front of the room giving a talk, although any format is permitted. This form of conference is particularly useful when the attendees generally have a high level of expertise or knowledge in the field the conference convenes to discuss.”



I hope this happens. It may just be the shot in the arm UNSW needs to move forward on MOOC development…


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