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Part 4 Grouping Draft 3

Page history last edited by x28de 15 years ago

I have had a go at redoing the list of statements related to blogging and moodling. I'm hoping this is not going to cross any work that Roy might be doing.  I haven't numbered this list as there are now so many numbers to choose from that I'm not sure which number is most relevant - but this list is taken directly from Draft 2. If you want me to add some numbers I can come back and do that - just say! I also thought it might give more of a sense of whether it will work or not, without the numbers for now.

  • I used the previous numbering because I need some conceptual connection to the previous discussion stage. Sorry if this may seem conservative (it does not mean that I want any previous state back!) or accountant-like petty-mindedness  .
  • As for the content: Great work!  
  • Great work - remarks by John 21/03/09


I have tried to respond to all your comments Matthias. I'm sure I will have still misunderstood in places or made errors. Please change and correct as you feel necessary.

  • Thanks for the thoughtful and very successful efforts of transforming my scrubby thoughts into readable statements! If you still think you have misunderstood something this probably because we have not yet hammered out the central hypotheses that we want to conclude from the outcome of the responses. Once we know which abstract assertions we want verify using the concrete questions, it will be easier.


    Particularly in the case of the linearity of forums (which was not my statement but I agree very much with it) and the associated topic of digressions and diversity, it might be better to first elaborate the hypothesis (in prose that does not need to be terse and enduser-safe) and only thereafter turn to the actual questions.

  • You might have found me staying in a "silent reflective" mode, whereas I am actually reviewing all the statements.  I am extremely impressed by all of your attention to details analysis and so would only add my 2c worth where I hope I could contribute.  I greatly appreciate Jenny, Matthias and Roy for all the hardwork.  Now the questionnaire is emerging and near to completion, would we be able to finalise by early April 09?  For me 'reflective' and John do go together, but 'silent and John definitely do not go together ;-) You have been so busy on the Lit review John, and I'm sorry that I haven't started to help with that yet. (JM220309)

  • I surely would like to go with you Jenny together, but I was tempted by Roy and Ulop (Ken) in their posts and threads on our Ning, with Ulop specifically asking me to response, so I have to think!  So I'm sorry, my overly ambitious move to explore on the metaphors on learning have turned me on.... 


    I admire George and Stephen for their courage, enthusiasm and perseverance in this area of Theory of Knowledge and Learning throughout the past 5 years.  And I really would like to collaborate with any one interested (our humble 4) in developing this wonderful Connectivism further.  Am I or are we too ambitious? LOL   But, I could see some light shed as Stephen Downes and Tony Bates have allowed me to post their blog posts on our Ning.  It is really exciting to see their critiques at this moment, and of course, with Jenny, Matthias, Roy and I entering into this educational "arena" (healthy debates and collaborative research).   Hmmmm... who said learning and research is not exciting?  Jenny, we are motivating each other so much..... John 22/03/2009 21:55


  • As discussed, may be we should pilot the final draft (even by ourselves) to see whether it works or not?  

  • Are we going to distribute using the email only?  Who will be collecting the email address?  Or should we distribute the load amongst us?  I am happy to look up some of the emails and will probably have some time next week.(JM220309) I WILL LOOK UP NUMBERS 23-53 INCLUSIVE ON MATTHIAS' 'DROPPERS' SPREADSHEET. Is that OK with everyone?

    • Ok, but we will also need to decide how we will select the Moodlers. No rush, though, for this step.

  • Many thanks Jenny, I will leave it with you, Matthias or Roy to consider the email for the time being.  But would surely help if you need me to.   May be I should focus on the literature review in this week instead. Is it OK? John 22/03/09 21:40

  • I would catch up with the literature review next week and report back more preliminary findings of previous research in the research reference. John 21/03/09 21:12 Thanks John


I haven't had time yet to add your learning styles statements John and will come back to it. I have tried to follow your advice on avoiding leading questions etc.


You can see that there are 69 statements. A lot! But maybe we do need them all. What do you think?

  • I think we can significantly reduce the questions as soon as we settle on a few central hypotheses that this research should provide emprirical evidence for. Then the questions can be streamlined to the most salient ones of the multiple related variants (perhaps including some deliberate redundancy as triangulation), and then move the rest to the accompanying interviews for the background material, or to a subsequent study.
    • It occurred to me that we could just "fake" the final findings report containing our desired outcomes right now. This would help clarify our own thinking. 
    • See FakeFindings.
  • We need to support the model with enough empirical evidence - and that needs to be based on a reliable sample of the population and an adequate response to the survey.  I support the inclusion of all statements at this stage.  This will also ensure that we have tested our statements against all topics under the concept map. In case if we have a poor response, we could still conduct research using other means such as incident analysis, blog research and analysis, assignment and project analysis and course reports. John 21/03/2009

I think it would also be good to have a comment box at the end of each section. For example: Have you any further comments you would like to make about your technical expertise in relation to using blogs and forums, your familiarity with the technology used on the course, the ease of posting to blogs and forums and the speed of accessiblity. This might just overcomplicate things - but if we got plenty of comments, we might not have to interview.


I have copied and pasted this from a Word document - so the comments which explain what I have done appear all together at the bottom. Hope this isn't too much of a pain for you.


Do you think we should identify the credit and non-credit participants?  This could be done by the inclusion of

Were you a credit participant?

          ____Yes ____ No


(JM 220309) - Sorry I forgot this John. Yes - I think it is an important question and should be included. I have added it now. 


On the CCK08 course

1.       Did you post to a blog?

___Yes ___No

2.       Did you post to the Moodle forums?

___Yes ___No

3.       Which method of communication did you prefer during the CCKO8 course?


___Moodle discussion forums

___No preference between blogging and Moodle discussion forums


4.      Please specify the 'other' item you entered above. __________

5.      Were you a credit participant?

          ____Yes ____ No 


(MM2009-04-01) I marked (strike through) the items that have not made in to Final draft - Questionnaire to see if I miss one:


Yes, I have some problems with the replacements for L001-L002. They have become very pale. Do we really need to avoid to "put words into the mouth" of the respondents because we try to avoid "leading" questions?


What if they just don't resonate any more with the pale, sober statemnts? See for example the pace. Now we say F7a "The pace of discussion was fast in the forums" instead of L001a "I enjoyed the fast pace of the Moodle forums". To show what I mean I will exaggerate: If you ask a kid why it buys citron icecream on a hot summer day, and we offer the statement "It contains citric acid" instead of "It tastes so wonderfully fresh" this is so correct that it would skew the outcome because the icecream buyer would not resonate with it any more.

Similarly, some conceptual connections from L001/2 got lost now, e. g. between fast pace and reflection, between fast pace and responses, between own pace and course engagement, and between slowness and emotion ("I like..."). 

If we are aware of this effect and think we owe it to the avoidance of nonscientific leading questions, then I won*t object. I just wanted to make sure that we are aware of it.




T1 Ease of posting / Technical expertise / Familiarity with the technology / Speed of accessibility  

T001a            I chose to blog because I was already familiar with blogging [J2]

T001b            I chose to post to the Moodle forums because I was already familiar with posting to discussion forums

T002            Posting to the Moodle forums required less effort than posting to a blog

T003            Blogging requires more effort than I wanted to make for the course

T004           The Moodle forum discussions were more easily accessible than the blog discussions

T005       It was quicker to access recently discussed aspects and ideas of the course in the Moodle forums than in the blogs


T2 Number of possible connections

T006a      [J3]I was able to make more meaningful connections in the blogs [J4]than in the Moodle forums

T006b       I was able to connect with a greater number of people in the Moodle forums than in the blogs

T007       I had a greater number of readers in the Moodle forums than I would have had on a blog

T009       I was more likely to receive responses to my posts in the Moodle forums than in a blog

T010       I was more likely to receive feedback on my opinions in the Moodle forums than in a blog


[T yet unassigned] 

T011        I can find out more about the author of a post in a blog than in a Moodle forum



P1 Sense of community /  Inclusive/exclusive relationships / Proximity/closeness

P001        It was easier to form connections with other course participants in the Moodle forums than in the blogs [J5]

P002a       I felt more sense of community in the Moodle forums than in the blogs

P002b       I felt more sense of community in the blogs than in the Moodle forums[J6]

J6 - If we phrase this as 'On my preferred medium, I felt more sense of ..... the we wouldn't know which medium they were referring to in their answer. I don't think I understand what chnge you are suggesting here Matthias (JM 220309)

  • See question 3 above. I hope surveymonkey preserves this correlation.

P003       I did not feel connected to the Moodle forum participants

P004a       I felt closer to other course participants in the Moodle forums than in the blogs


P2 Strength of relationships (??)[J9]


P004b       Relationships[J7] (JM 220309) - I see relationships as being something different to connections. So if I was a 'moodler' then I would answer 'no' to this if the word 'relationships was asked, but 'yes' if the word 'connections was used. Which word should we use? between the Moodle forum participants were stronger than between bloggers

  • If the difference relationship vs. connection is not, as I suspected in my comment on this J7 below, more common vs. more abstract, then I have to give up on the nuances of your language. Where did the term relationships come from?

P004c       Relationships between bloggers were deeper than between Moodle forum participants[J8]

P005a     Connections between the bloggers were longer lasting than between Moodle forum participants

P005b       It was harder to form relationships[J10] - (JM 220309) - this might need to be 'connections' if you agree with my thinking as above. that lasted beyond the end of the course in the Moodle forums than it was in the blogs



P3 Tone of communication / Establishing presence/voice[J11][J12][J13][J14][J15]

P006        The blogging community was more friendly than the Moodle forum community

P007       There was more mutual respect between bloggers than in the Moodle forums 

P008a       Posting to the Moodle forums generated greater feelings of anxiety than posting to a blog

P008b      I felt less anxious when blogging than when posting to the Moodle forums[J16] (JM 220309) I suggest deleting this statement. Agreed and done.

P009       Bloggers were less likely to be criticised than Moodle forum participants [J17]

P010        I could not make my ‘voice’ heard in the Moodle forums

P011       I was able to establish a presence in the Moodle forums

P012       There was less posturing and pontificating in blogs [J18]

P013a        Blogging allowed me to have a ‘voice’ on the CCK08 course

P013b       Blogging ensured that my ‘voice’ was heard on the CCK08 course



P4 Sparring/ Challenge[J19][J20]

P014a        The Moodle forum discussions were more challenging than discussions in the blogs

P014b       There was more ‘sparring’ between participants in the Moodle forums

P014c        I enjoyed the challenging discussion that took place in the Moodle forums

P015        There was more lively debate in the Moodle forums than in the blogs

P016       Posting to the Moodle forums generated greater feelings of excitement than posting to a blog [J21]


P5 Emotions/ Feelings

P018a-c:   see below near Jenny's comments J43-J45


[P yet unassigned]

P017   It is important to know something about the author of apost[J22] 

agreed, drop 




C1 Location of ideas[J23][J24]

C001a        I preferred the Moodle forums to blogging because all the ideas being discussed were located in one place

C001b        It's not important for me to have all the relevant aspects and ideas located in one place[J25]

[C002 linear dropped, OK for me]

C003       It was easier to track back and locate information in the Moodle forums


C2 Diversity of discussion/ideas / Convergence/divergence

C004a        It was easier to discuss numerous related topics simultaneously in the Moodle forums than in the blogs [J26]

C004b       I enjoyed the forums because discussion moved on quickly to more aspects, while I was still thinking about previous aspects[J27]

(JM 220309) I have realised that the difficulty I am having here is because I don't understand exactly what you are thinking Matthias. I understand that Moodlers might enjoy the fact that discussion moves on quickly and discussion threads change quickly. I'm not sure that they would enjoy it because they are still thinking baout previous aspects. I think bloggers maybe don't enjoy the topic changing quickly whilst they are still thinking about previous aspects. They may prefer to follow one idea through before starting to think about a new one. Do we need 2 statements here:


I enjoyed the forums because discussion moves on quickly to new aspects (would ideas be a better word than aspects)

In blogs it is easier to keep focussed on one topic of discussion before moving on to the next


I suspect this is not what you intended Matthias. Please change as you think necessary.

  • Perhaps we need to do it the other way around: What would you hope to get out of this C2 block? Then we might see if our views differ. (I did not suggest "move" which sounds binary (one topic at a time), and not "still thinking about" which also implies that the "CPU" is still occupied with the old topic. My idea was more that the previous topics are still lively present in one's mind, i. e., in the short term "RAM".)


C005       Discussion in the Moodle forums was more related to the course topic than in the blogs[J28]

C006a       The links included in blog posts made it difficult to keep focussed on the course topic being discussed

C006b        I preferred the forums because I didn’t want to be distracted by lots of links [J29]

C007a        It was important to me to be able to explore the background of the author of an online post [J30]

C007b       Sometimes a post resonated with me when I learned more about the background of the author[J31][J32] Consider dropping the word "Sometimes" as this is vague - how many times is sometimes?.  What is the relationship between the background of the author and the post itself?  Do you mean? "I resonate with a post when I learn more about the background of the author' or "I would more likely resonate with a post posted by author to whom I know of"


[C3 Speed of conversation dropped]


 [C yet unassigned]

C008a        The blogs enabled the formation of increasingly strong conceptual connections[J33] 

C008b        The Moodle forums enabled the formation of increasingly strong conceptual [J34] connections

C008c       The blogs enabled the formation of increasingly strong conceptual connections, more than the Moodle forums






L001a        I enjoyed the fast pace of the Moodle forums

L001b        The Moodle forum discussions were so fast that they prohibited reflection

L001c        Posting to the Moodle forums enabled faster response and communication than blogging

L002a        Blogging allowed participants to engage with the course at their own pace

L002b        The blogs allowed participants to work at their own pace more than the Moodle forums[J35] 

L002c        I like the ‘slowness’ of blogging


L1 Autonomy/control / Self-expression / Freedom of choice / Ownership

L003a        The Moodle forums were more teacher-centric than the blogs

L003b        The Moodle forums were more teacher-controlled than the blogs

L004        There were fewer opportunities for self-expression in the Moodle forums than in the blogs [J36]

L005a        Blogging allowed for greater personal control over learning than the Moodle forums [J37]

L005b        Blogging allowed for more personal space than the Moodle forums[J38]

L005c        Blogging allowed for greater autonomy than the Moodle forums

L005d        There was a greater sense of freedom in the blogs than in the Moodle forums[J39]



L2 Reflection/Action / Theorist/Pragmatist[J40][J41]

L006              The Moodle forum discussions were less reflective than the blog discussions

L007              There was less time for reflection in the Moodle forum discussions than in the blog discussions

[L008 John's Learning style questions scheduled here]


I have reservation about the statements below for 2 reasons:

1. As I think I have mentioned elsewhere, learning styles is an extremely complex area, with a huge amount of research already done on it. I'm not sure that we could do it justice within this research. In addition, I'm not sure that the statements below are linked closely enough to blogging and moodling. They were designed for learning in general. The statements we already have come directly from statements made in the CCK08 blogs or forums and can therefore be linked back to the course. If any of the statements below can be linked directly to the course and in particular to blogging and moodling - then I think we could include them.

2. John - you have said you have copied the statements from the Complete Guide to Coaching at Work. Could using them in this research be regarded as plagiarism? I'm don't know. I'm not an experienced researcher, but I do know that it is something to watch for.


I'd like to hear your comments John, Matthias and Roy. Are my concerens about both these points unfounded?


Jenny, I agree that learning style is an extremely complex area.  I think the identification of bloggers/moodlers as activists, reflectors, theorists and pragmatists as fundamental and could add to the conceptual mapping of learning and modelling of connectivism. 

The copying of statements from book is important to ensure that they are reflective of styles of learning as characterised by those under the 4 categories.  I don't think it is plagiarism as they might also be derived from the research study from LSI (Learning Style Inventory) - I have to check this out. I have also done the LSI but I'm not sure if it is copyrighted. I have done the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator training, and realised that MBTI is copyrighted.  Also, normally 10% or a chapter of a book (whatever less) is allowed under copyright law.  Besides, we are using this in questionnaire and not for publication, and so should not be considered as plagiarism. 

If you wish, I could re-write the statements, but I am afraid that we may have to review them to ensure they reflect the spirit for those categories.  Also, we are not claiming that those styles are generalisable, rather it could provide a pattern to be based upon for bloggers/Moodlers when doing a course or joining a network/community.  Since all statements are composed of "I" statements, they really represent personal preference and such results could only be representative of the sample's views, and not necessary reflective of the population's views.

If we don't include them into this survey, I am afraid that we couldn't conclude merely on other tools such as blog post analysis (as this is biased towards bloggers, with no Moodlers involved).  Another option is to cut down the number of questions on learning styles.  If we all agree, we may have to drop it from the survey.  That's fine for me. John 22/03/2009


Perhaps we can reduce this block to one question like this:

"Which of the following labels would you see most appropriate for yourself: Activist, Reflector, Theorist, Pragmatist? (If you want to know more about these labels, they are from the Honey & Mumford LSQ Learning style inventory, see for example The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work by Perry Zeus & Suzanne Skiffington 2003.)"


[Activists statements (Bloggers mainly) (primary)]

174  I like to become involved in experiencing situations

175  I like new opportunities in learning

176  I like to maintain high profiles

177  I learn best when there is an element of risk in learning

178  I learn best when I could 'bounce off' and become energised by others (I would suggest that this is common in Blogger and Moodler)


Reflectors statements [(Bloggers (primary) and Rare Moodlers (secondary)]

179  I like to think things through

180  I like to listen, watch and gather data before committing myself to a decision or conclusion (mostly Blogger, could also be Moodler, if it is about discussion in a forum)

181  I tend to be cautious and conservative in the face of new knowledge and experience (mostly Blogger, could be first time Moodler))

182  I learn best when given time to think or mull things over (mostly Blogger, could be Moodler in discussion forum) 

183  I learn best when I am given access to all available information to guide my decisions

184  I learn best when I am not pressured by deadlines or hasty decision-making processes


Theorists statements [(Bloggers (primary) and occasional Moodlers (secondary)]

185  I like to assimilate and synthesise new information

186  I like to fit new information into theories and explanation of how the world works

186  I learn best when I can use models and systems that make sense to me

187  I learn best when I can understand links and connections between facts and ideas

188  I learn best when I can explore links and connections between facts and ideas

189  I learn best when the subject matter is objective

190  I learn best when the subject matter is based on rational principles


Pragmatists statements [(Mainly Moodlers (primary) and some Bloggers (secondary) (educators, instruction designers, education practitioners))]

191  I am interested in ideas to see if they work

192  I think abstract ideas have little meaning for me

193  I like to solve practical problems

194  I want to put new knowledge to use (Bloggers and Moodlers)

195  I learn best when I can link ideas to real life situations (Bloggers, Moodlers and Lurkers)

196  I learn best when I can try out strategies (Bloggers)

197  I learn best when I can try out ideas

198  I learn best when I can deal with practical situations


Previously dropped items reclaimed by Roy[J42]

·        P018a The Moodle forum posts elicited stronger emotions than the blog posts[J43]

·        P018b Writing for my blog gave me more pleasure than writing in the Moodle discussion forums= old 58 dropped like 32 = old 9 above.[J44]

·        P018c Writing my forum posts gave me more pleasure than writing in blogs= old 58 dropped like 32 = old 9 above.[J45]

LinkThe above  three items are now linked under the resurrected heading P5 above

·        I could avoid the ‘loud forum voices’= old 46 dropped by Jenny[J46]

·        There is greater opportunity for self-assessment= old 102 dropped by Jenny

·        I am excited when people bring lots of obviously related aspects to the table= old 21 dropped by Jenny[J47] agreed, drop

·        I don't want to be urged to follow the author through his linear assembly of[J48] digressions.(= old 132 dropped by Jenny)will this statement be understood

·        Blogs are more distributed, among different people and different opinions, and don’t tend to force consensus. [J49]Based on old 93 They are more distributed dropped by Jenny.

[J1]I have left the subheadings for the moment for our reference. I think they would need to come out of the questionnaire

[J2]Lots of the statements are too long. Ideally all the statement should be short. The longer they are, the more likely they will be misunderstood

[J3]T2, 121 dropped. ‘more efficient’ could be interpreted in many ways


Repeated statements dropped 

[J4]59, 0ld 75 changed because 2 statements in one

[J5]Do we want to say form relationships – or form connections?

[J6]Does it need to be stated both ways

I think the opposition that we are hypothesizing is sense of communiy (M) vs. stronger/ deeper lasting connections (B). If we just offered these two as comparisons (M more than B) this restricted opposition would be an illegitimate supposition (leading question). But if we just ask for agreement to neutrally phrased statements, like on my preferred medium, I felt more sense of such-and-such, this would IMHO legitimate.

[J7]Do we mean connections?

For the conclusions, we do mean connections. But I don't know if we need to let the respondents verify our abstract ideas. If we will be able to interprete the results and argue that the respondents think of connections even if they speak with us about relationships, then we should use the more common word.

[J8]I have added this one in response to Matthias’ comments

[J9]Do we need both these

[J10]Do we mean connections?

[J11]Dropped P007 and 31, because of repetition

[J12]56 dropped – repetition. Also 91

[J13]45 dropped because of repetition

[J14]Do we need both 28 and 29 (now P008a/b) ?

[J15]Dropped P008 because of repetition

[J16]If you didn’t blog you can’t answer this

[J17]I think criticised is clearer than disparaging

[J18]P012 dropped in response to Matthias’ comment

[J19]Sparring statement re-inserted

[J20]83 dropped because of repetition

[J21]Posting seems like a significant word, so P016 dropped

[J22]I don’t think this fits here

[J23]73 dropped because of repetition

[J24]C002 dropped with 58, 86 – because both forums and blogs could be regarded as both linear and dispersed. I can’t think of a way to phrase this to get over the problem

5.            [J25]Does this phrasing work better than ‘I find it more convenient in forums that all the relevant aspects and ideas are collected in one place = old 17’

I  think C001a/b are completely ok, I never had any content-related issues with them, just merged them from Roy's list!

[J26]Does simultaneous say what you mean Matthias? C004a/b are much better now. See also my remarks above about the linear & diversity things.

[J27]This is still not right!

How much of the abstract idea do we need to put in the empirical evidence questions, and how much can be left to the interpretative speculative analysis? Perhaps enjoyed quickness is sufficient and we could still argue that the temporal closeness is key? 

[J28]I’m not sure that this one is right

[J29]75 dropped because of repetition

[J30]Is this better

[J31]Is this any better?  Yes, both C007a/b much better.

[J32]77 dropped because of repetition

[J33]Is this right now Matthias?

It's OK for me and much better. It was not a suggestion of mine, although it mights sound like that because it is still very abstract. See also J7 and J27 above for the problem of being abstract. 

[J34]I have added 53 and 54. Not sure if they are necessary or not

[J35]49 rewritten to allow both moodlers and bloggers to respond

[J36]42 dropped because of repetition

[J37]L005 chosen in preference to 48 so that both moodlers and bloggers can respond

[J38]Reworded to allow both moodlers and bloggers to answer

[J39]64 split and reworded to allow moodlers and bloggers to respond

[J40]I haven’t had time yet to look at John’s 151 – 188 statements

[J41]39 removed because of repetition

[J42]I have deleted all the statements which we thought were ambiguous

[J43]emotion is a strong element of learning and I think we should keep this one OK see P5

[J44]Probably not necessary

[J45]Probably not necessary

[J46]A value judgement therefore do not include?

[J47]Not necessary? OK

[J48]Delete? OK

[J49]Too many ideas in one statement. If we used this we would need to split it


Comments (1)

Jenny Mackness said

at 8:20 pm on Mar 22, 2009

Hi Roy - Have you had any thoughts about this? Or is it all too different what from you had in mind? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. It would be great if you could check over these statements and let us know what you think. In particular - have you any thoughts about rephrasing them so that they read well? Jenny

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