Creativity & Multicultural Communication


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Confused, Lost, and Discouraged!!!!!

By educatingtap () on , November 4, 2012.

This course has gotten the best of me. I feel completely confused, lost, and discouraged. I keep telling myself it will be fine, but it is not. I read the weekly readings and view the videos, but it ends there. I haven't a clue as what to communicate about or how. I feel like I am learning, but there is no place to show it. And when I do blog, it doesn't feel sufficient. I feel like I am alone in cyberspace and I don't like it. -Tracy

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Comments

Re: Confused
Sorry to read that you feel adrift in a course that is supposed to be
what you make of it. I had a great time in this class last fall, which
is why I have kept up with the comments on Facebook and the postings
here. The beauty of a MOOC is that it is self-directed. You pick up a
piece of information that fascinates you and you'll find it's only the
beginning of a spool that will unwind in directions you never knew were
possible. The real treasure that this class offers is the journey of
learning. It's not about an end, it may not even be about what
information you gain, but it is about opening yourself to the potential
that you have for learning on your own and with others for the rest of
your life. So, start commenting on what your fellow learners are posting. They are on journeys, too, and making intersections with their growth will help you with yours. They'll also help you realize just how much it is you've learned already and maybe point you in directions to help further your education.
By johngriffin0928 (John Griffin) on November 5, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused
Sometimes I feel the same way. I felt like at the start of term that there was quite a bit of activity, but now that there isn't, I feel like there is no one to interact with. Because of that it is hard to make blog posts. Sometimes I go off and explore something and I don't really think about turning around and making a post about, I'm trying to get into a better habit of that though. It's tough because this class is about communication, but it doesn't seem like much is going on. I don't know if it's because this class has been established and all the new exploring has been done, so now it feels like we are following a dirt path and we are supposed to try and find new roads and paths off of it. I sometimes get frustrated because a lot of these articles and links were from a previous semester or the link is no longer available. If this class is about continuous learning, then I wish everything was constantly being updated and added to. I read everything from that week and sometimes am stumped as to where to go next. I know the class is about exploring and finding things that interest you and all about self learning, but when you have been trained and molded into a being that needs constant structure and guidance, as much as we'd like to, we can't go cold turkey. What I mean to say is, we need discussion prompts, or activities that make us be creative and is something that we can easily share on our blog. Even being told to draw a picture from a prompt would be helpful. We need help to unlearn and relearn how to be free learners. I think and learn a great deal, but it doesn't seem to be in line with each weeks topic. I think if more people participated and we had things to discuss or there was more guidance and activities, I'd excel and get a better understanding of how to use this course. It also doesn't help that I don't have a webcam like everyone else. I have no need for one and am not obsessed like everyone else with the latest technology. I do not own any form of reading device (kindl/nook), I do not have a smart phone, and I do not have a tablet of any sort. I don't need these devices to be happy in life and I can't really afford them either. Sorry this post is so long, but those are my thoughts on this class. I have often worried about getting full credit for this class and Carol tells me not to worry, but how an I not? My grades are incredibly important to me, especially when it comes to gpa and what that means in the "real" world. Plus even though I'm trying to participate as much as I can and get something from this class, I feel as if I'm not accomplishing what is expected of me.
By wolfinthenight () on November 5, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused
There have been a number of suggested topics from " ??? what questions would you ask" to working on designing a new form of college learning.  It is difficult when one is used to being told what to do, to find a direction that speaks to your interest, or even a new interest.  There is a myriad of material in each weekly session that can act as a springboard for your investigation and discovery Each day is a new day ... ready and waiting for you to find some inspiration on your own ... yet there are catalysts planted along the way.

Google + Hangouts ... 3 so far ... have been a great place to talk f2f about your thoughts.  So far, they have been populated by me and one other credit seeking student and a long time CMC11 follower.  There are many options beyond smart phones (I do not have one either), webcams, tablets and such.  If you look at videos on You Tube you will find a number of online communication devices you can try.  I used such a device on one of the pages about the facilitators here.  I suspect you may have a camera for family photos ... make some images that represent a form of communication from you to others ...use your imagination.  Go back and think about what interested you as a youngster growing up ... outside of school.  Where di you play and what did you do?  How could you recreate that here?

So many possibilities .. the information in the course is there as a springboard for you.  In addition, you might look into the Creative Problem Solving process and see how that might impact or change your pathways in this MOOC.

Try to have fun and not worry about grades ... it is that point system that is holding you back ... as the Nike ad says "just do it" ... review the videos on the first page ... e mail one of the presenters with a question you have on their presentation ... be imaginative!
By carol yeager (Carol Yeager) on November 6, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused
PS You could also investigate other MOOCs and let us know what you may have discovered ... weekly themes are just that ... themes ... and your very exposure to the material shoudl help you fine ways to break out of the "need to be told what to do" mold.  Life is not a set of instructions on how to go through every day ... it is a series of observations, adjustments, successes, mistakes, happiness, sadness ... and on and on and on ... what is a life grade?
By carol yeager (Carol Yeager) on November 6, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused
PS You could also investigate other MOOCs and let us know what you may have discovered ... weekly themes are just that ... themes ... and your very exposure to the material could help you fine ways to break out of the "need to be told what to do" mold.  Life is not a set of instructions on how to go through every day ... it is a series of observations, adjustments, successes, mistakes, happiness, sadness, conversations, arguments, play ... and on and on and on ... what is a life grade?
By carol yeager (Carol Yeager) on November 6, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused
Thank you for all the responses. They were helpful and encouraging. I am feeling better about the course. I think one thing I have been struggling with is the fear of posting wrong. I haven't had a clue what to post about, so I just haven't. I love using the internet for research and I just have to start doing it.

Wolfinthenight - I hear you loud and clear. Sometimes I feel like I'm in this cyber class alone and haven't a clue who to talk to or how. It's like being in a room filled with people but no lights to see each other and know what we are each doing. I have my PC and an iPhone, but no camera and microphone I can use for the hangouts. Carol just seems to want us interacting somehow though. She seems to be understand and not putting expectations on us that would be impossible to meet. Thanks much for responding. It made me feel not so alone and lost.

John - It's inspiring to know a fellow student enjoyed the course enough to hang around and learn more with us. Thanks.
By educatingtap () on November 6, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused: Deciding for yourself
Hi  I am a teacher at Empire State College and occasionally drop into this MOOC because learning new things is one of the ways I have fun.   I have a couple of thoughts and suggestions.  Carol Yeager and Betty Lawrence are among the kindest people I know so don't be afraid to ask them questions.  Second, I know that they just want you to learn new things and have fun and along the way learn how to guide yourself.  On the other hand, I don't like MOOC's much either...sometimes they just seem like too much.  I have two ways of approaching them just as I have two ways of walking through the forest.  Sometimes I take a "penny walk".  I flip a coin whenever I come to a dividing place...heads is straight ahead on the path I have been going, tails is another flip...second flip, heads I go on the right hand path, tails on the left and so on branch after branch.  If you decide to MOOC like a penny walk, you can try something, follow it until there seems to be a branching, think about what you have learned on the last part of the trail and how it fits with what you have learned before and then do the mental coin flipping thing or you could even use a real coin.  The penny walk model is for learning for fun...I think this MOOC fits that model well.  You take charge of your learning and add new things as you go.

The second way to MOOC is to start out with your questions and do a kind of preliminary map for yourself...saying I am going to take this MOOC because I want to learn more about X...then you create a map and follow it...much like you would if you were hiking toward a known destination.

The scary part of both approaches is that you are in charge.  If you are getting credit for this course, you probably are worried about pleasing Carol and getting an "A"...throw that fear away.  I am reasonably sure that all Carol cares about is that you learn to trust yourself and learn to guide your own learning...and secondly that you participate as you have here by honestly reflecting on your journey.  Best of luck.  Joyce McKnight, Associate Professor Empire State College.
By Joyce McKnight () on November 9, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused
I feel reaaly confused with this course. At my age and in my line of work,I have never had to use all of this communication. It would be nice if there was some sort of introductery course that had you gradually get into this. This seems to me that there is a lot coming at you all at once.
By nascar60 () on December 1, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused
Why niot go back to the three videos supplied at the start ... the ones by Dave Cormier on how to navigate through a MOOC.  They are very helpful.  Also, it is quite normal to be confused and feel overwhelmed for the first few weeks ... almost everyone does.  Once you find your bearings and flow with what interests you, it does become more interesting and the learning becomes subtle and, hopefully, fun.  Perhaps the analogy of learning how to ride a bike for the first time without training wheels?
By carol yeager (Carol Yeager) on December 2, 2012. [Reply]

Re: Confused
Ronald, your blog is not registering properly.  I can see your posts and none are appearing in the harvest.  Please re-enter your Wordpress blog RSS url ... make sure you review how to find it.  Then tag each entry with #cmc11 so it is aggregated.  Thanks.
By carol yeager (Carol Yeager) on December 8, 2012. [Reply]

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