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To do list

Page history last edited by x28de 14 years, 8 months ago

The simplest way to organize a to do list is to use PBwiki's bulleted lists.  Create your list, and when you finish each item, you can either cross out the item by using the "strikethrough" button in the editor's toolbar, or use something like "DONE" to designate a completed task.


Remember, you can create your own customized version of any PBwiki template simply by tagging that page with the keyword "template".  From then on, any user of your wiki will be able to use your page template.


Examples of both styles are provided below


Ramit's To Dos

  • Prepare latest PBwiki newsletter
  • Post to PBwiki blog


Chris' To Dos

  • DONE-Add new 2.0 templates
  • Review editorial calendar with PR firm




(020309) Jenny's suggested To Dos

(merged with John's 2009-03-14 schedule suggestions by Matthias) Thanks for all this Matthias and John (JM 150309


1. Review questionnaire - mid - end March


  • 1.1 Work on Part 4 of the Questionnaire to agree categories for quesitons and to build up some key statements
  • 1.2 Refine Parts 1-3 of questionnaire (if still desired?) (JM 150309) I think it unlikely that we will now need Parts 1-3? Agreed, but we will need to make sure that what we had in this section has not got lost in the process.  I will try a merge document, to see how it looks - might take me a day or two (pink, after all).
  • (legal & ethical later?)
  • 1.4 Clearly define and agree required sample - with list of categories and names
  • 1.5 Clearly define and agree research question/s

2. Finalise questionnaire - early April

Once we have finalised our questionnaire, we could decide on how we would conduct it.

  • 2.1 Check statement in questionnaire against John's ethical and legal considerations document and amend if necessary

2. (cont'd) As discussed, Survey Monkey could be the easiest way. Posting on the CCK08 Forum and our Ning Community MAY also be the easiest way. (JM 150309) I don't think we will get many responses from either the CCK08 Forum or the Ning Forum. For a good respons rate I think we will need to use email, but of course I could be wrong :-)  Posting by email may take some more time, as we need to check out the emails of CCK08 participants (around 50 - 80).

  • 2.2 Begin to gather email addresses (how should we do this - divide up between us?)

3. Launch survey- mid April

4. Conduct interview end of April - mid May  I have not looked at any discussions on interviews, so I will have to catch up on this.  What do we hope to get out of the interviews, and what is the methodology?      

5. Analyse findings early June - early July (JM 150309) I will definitely be taking a holiday sometime between June to Oct (between 2 and 3 weeks). Do any of you ever take a break ??? I have a semester break of 2 weeks in July but normally I work throughout the year non-stop.  The only time that I will take a break is when I am ill or when I have to look after my other family members! (JM 240309 later) John - I can recommend breaks - lots of them - good for the family - god for you!!

6. Write up paper mid July - late August 

Would we be able to have the paper and presentation ready by late August?

  • 6.1 Continue to add to references/Bibliography Again, I'm catching up with everyone else - is the idea to confine this to blog/moodlers, or do you want a wider reference section, including a substantial amount of theory?.  For me, I think that's not going to work - we need to include some theory, and include references to more of it, but keep it as part of the framework, not at the centre of the stage.  This is not a theoretical study, no?
  • 6.2 Slowly critique articles, relevant reading and add to Literature review
  • 6.3 Should we have a 'Discussion' page or folder - where we thrash around ideas until we sort them into something more coherent - a bit like our discussions about cognitive styles.?

7. Review of paper - early September

8. Post on Community for review - mid-late September (JM150309) As Matthias has said I think as soon as the questionnaire has gone out we should open up this wiki and share it with the community. I agree - the secrecy is unfortunate. Do we need to wait until after the interviews or not? I agree.  This wiki should be opened up once we have finished the survey (if possible, we can have it open even before the interview, so as to encourage more people to join in the survey interview).  I think this aligns well with our promotion of openness in Research Communities.  This will also showcase how our research team has functioned throughout the research.  

   Agreed - we need to receiver the responses to the survey before we open this up, otherwise respondents will, inevitably, investigate the research process, start interpreting our discussions, and then respond according to their interpretation of what they think we mean, or even worse, what they think we should mean!

   I think we can make a virtue of this, by promising the respondents that the sooner they send in their responses, the sooner we will lift the curtain on the process - that might be an incentive to get a better response rate.


If some other participants are interested in joining this Research Team at that stage and would like to take part in the analysis of findings, writing of papers, and reviews etc., what should we do?  Also, will these people be invited as writers or readers only to this wiki?  By John 


Hmmmm.  My sympathies are with opening it up, and trying a Massive Open Online Research process ( a MOOR to go with the MOOC).  But I am really against writing by committee.  I think we are now about at the limit of a 'writing collective' - four.  More than that and I think we become a committee.  Besides, the participants will be writing about research about a questionnaire that they have answered themselves - we are too, I know, but if we are only four, I think its manageable, and I assume [????] that we cannot be respondents and researchers at the same time, no?. 


I think it would be an interesting but disasterous experiment, because it would show us only too clearly where one of the limits of 'connectivism' is, i.e. in recursion-overload.


My preference for the timing: no rush, but I would like to end the unfortunate secrecy situation as soon as possible, i. e., after 3./ 4.  when respondents can no longer be influenced, write about the hypotheses. (precisely my point, too)


As the next step for item 1., I would suggest to establish a provisional numbering scheme for the question topics within the identified categories (e. g., A1 - Z9), and then try to match the questions  to these qroups, (see Part4Grouping), ideally pairwise, or abandon or rephrase the question if it does not uniquely match.


Example: Question 72 (fast pace on Moodle)

  • either match to X3 Technology\Speed,
  • or match to Y4 Learning\Pace
    • and pair with 52 (my own pace)
    • or pair with 54 (slowness)
  • or match to Z5 Personal\Sparring.

Then we would know how to interprete the responses.


Just an idea about a concrete procedure.


2009-03-23 Major remaining ToDo's


1. First, there seems to be the need to clarify our respective expectations. A major point of hidden disagreement might be the weighting of work before and after the questionnaire campaign. I must confess that I am now completely unsure about

  • whether this is going to be an explorative research where we learn new insights from unforeseen combinations of responses, and from the narratives of the interviews that are being prepared by the multiple choice questions,
  • or are we trying to establish scientific evidence for a small set of hypotheses to be verified or not?

This latter focus could, of course, be supplemented by subsequent interviews and additional, unforeseen insight (which seems to be the emerging strategy with the big-picture/ longitudinal approach). But I think the "center of gravity" must be decided: More work before, or more work after the survey. 

  • PS: this does not mean that we must postpone the emailing after Easter, since we could pretty quickly settle on a few hypotheses to follow, give the remaing ones a quick final try and then abandon them.

Since we ever again spoke about hypotheses, I assumed the latter strategy was envisaged although the dicussion about the questions was not yet streamlined about optimizing the chances for an expected outcome. Now I am rather confused that the thinking about hypotheses seems to have suddenly stopped. I suggest we put (new) hypotheses in place, but we dont shut down the possibilities of unexpected insights (in the spirit of connectivism).  I am all in favour of hypotheses, to sharpen our thinking and our methodology, even if its just provisionally.  It also helps us to structure the (provisional) analysis in our thinking and in the questionnaire.  


 (JM 240309 later) Matthias - I'm sorry. I think it's me that has got confused rather than you. Which approach do you think would work best? The 'insights' approach or the 'hypotheses' approach?

    • (MM240309 later) If we share some resonation for some hypotheses, this would of course be more rewarding. If not, I am fine with the other approach, although I think I cannot contribute the same with the hermeneutics and interpretation
  • Have we agreed on the approach of focusing on the comparison between bloggers/moodlers?  If yes, can we re-visit the hypotheses and finalise the questionnaire.  This way, we are still focusing on the original design with the conceptual mapping.  If no, what will be the hypotheses setup?  Roy: your input is important please, apart from Jenny and Matthias.  
  • As you can see from the comments above, I suggest we combine both, but stick as far as possible to a single questionnaire style and format: strongly agree .... strongly disagree on a five (?) point scale - I am happy to go with 5 or 7, but either way, I tend to think that we should leave the intermediate points on the scale as just numbers - it makes it less cluttered, and avoids issues like "what exactly do you mean by 'neutral' ?" I think we want the respondents to give a ranking, or weighting to their response, and not to have to interpret the five (or seven) concepts on the scale, which might apply to some items, and not to others. 
  • I think it is easier to do the research in stages, if you agree - i.e. go with the original design with the survey, continue with the exploration - connections and interaction as Roy and I have been active in the development of the Theory on Connectivism, with Ulop's active involvement.  Matthias and Jenny, this may allow Roy (and me) to conduct the exploratory research where new insights are gained.  I would like to see the involvement of others in this development.  Stephen Downes, Tony Bates debates could also form an important part of such new insights, especially on the New Nature of Knowledge, and the emergence theory...
  • I am not sure  what tasks you would like me take up - on top of the literature review, review of questions and this planning and (leadership involvement) etc., so please feel free to assign me the tasks that you feel I could contribute more.   John 23/03/2009 (JM 240309 later)John - I am thinking, that once we have the questionnaire sorted out - then I would like to start reading all your references and making notes on the most salient points for this research. The kind of points that we could include in the paper.

2. If hypotheses are still not out of sight, we should at least try to assign the responses to the hypotheses, and then it would not be wrong to look at which ones of the current questions would do their respective job best, and perhaps reduce the number of questions a little, because this would, IMHO, increase the chances of greater return rate drastically.  (JM 240309 later) I would need your help here Matthias. I think your understanding is a lot better than mine.

    • (MM240309 later) Count on me for simple yes/ no decision help that does not involve language nuances.
  • See my point 1.  Jenny, I will go with your initial hypothesis (even without the learning styles, if that is a better way to go) John 23/03/2009

3. Even if no more additional effort should be invested in the contents of the current question items, there is still the decision open which Jenny raised in her J6 on P002a/b in Part 4 Grouping Draft 3, "Does it need to be stated both ways" for Moodlers and bloggers, and which is IMHO aggravated by the "leading question" issue (is it legitimate to taylor a statement to optimize strong agreement, and which sort of opposite statement is legitimate, does it have to be a pale negation that does not appeal to the opposite respondent? A consistent pattern of phrasing the moodler/ blogger/ neutral questions would not only make it easier for ourselves to finalize & polish the questions, but would also reduce the cognitive overhead for the respondents and would thus, again, increase the chances of a higher return rate.  (JM 240309 later) I'm not sure if I have understood you correctly here. Are you saying that we should have one statement which both moodlers and bloggers can answer - or are you saying that we should separate out questions for moodlers and bloggers as suggested by John and as Roy did on his questionnaire? I liked the way Roy structured his questionnaire. It seemed to me that there was less likelihood of the statements being misunderstood and the answers could be easily interpreted - but I'm not sure how much it allowed for people who are not sure whether they are moodlers or bloggers. For this group - one statement - which could be answered from either a moodler or blogger perspective would be preferable.

  • I suppose not to stipulate this as it could lead to a bias towards either bloggers and Moodlers in the survey.  Though we might have characterised those bloggers and Moodlers using some of the characteristics or traits, we need to look at the pattern (and pattern is changing/emergent), so leave it to the respondent to decide on the preference.  We could check that out in email or skype or other forms or interviews.  As to the categories of Bloggers/Moodlers, there might be people who change their choice throughout the course, due to various reasons, including emergence (Complexity and Chaos Theory)  and we might need to add 2 or 3 questions asking them on such preference at the start, middle and end of course with brief reasons.  So we could review the trends as well.  John 23/03/2009
  • (MM240309 later) A central crossroads seems to be how to deal with the undecided respondents that would not even agree to a vague preference like "rather moodler than blogger". I think we should just send them to the bottom of the questionnaire and ask if they want a skype interview. For yes/ no, hypotheses, these people would not count anyway, and for later insights, an interview would offer more flexibility for these complicated cases.

    Then, we could design a moodler block and a bloggers block and tell the two camps to skip one of the blocks.

    Then, we could avoid such complicated questions as "xxx in forums more than in blogs" and tailor the 1st person type ("I" type) questions so that they optimally suit the anticipated mood of the respondent.

  • I wonder if the design that I was attempting to operationalise in my draft questionnaire might solve some of these issues.  The design is something like this:

    • 1) Have some sections where both groups can respond (and based on their responses later on, we can sort them as bloggers or moodlers, and analyse their responses to this section accordingly).

    • 2) Have some sections where we distinguish on the basis of criteria like: "If you spent most of your time doing x or y, then ..."  and we might usefully have a third category: "if you used both x and y simultaneously, then ..."

    • 3) Make sure that some of the statements appear only in x or y, but also make sure that some of the statements appear in both x and y: that way we dont pre-empt their responses by putting 'words into their mouths', and we force them to do some thinking.  For example, the statement "I found it more useful to explore tentative thoughts-in-progress here" could appear in the blogger and moodler sections, as we need to empirically investigate whether this is true for bloggers or moodlers or even for both!  We cant just assume that this only applies to one or the other, or to the one that works for us, personally. 


I will try another 'whole draft' to see if this is feasible.


MM 2009-03-25 Fine. Please keep the numbers or identifiers!


4. Even if we plan for a long evaluation period with lots of later effort in interpretation, I am not sure if there are nevertheless limitations of how far apart the question phrasing and the subsequent interpretation are allowed to be. So I would prefer to first think about the possible interpretation and then about the optimal phrasing (in plain English). Otherwise, there might be the danger that the questionnaire is over and we find out that we can't interpretate the results, e. g., when a statement turns out to be ambiguous, or needs too much stretching from ordinary language to abstract interpretation (which I suspect with the notion of "connection" which is very theory-laden and abstract in CCK08). (JM 240309 later) I agree, I think this is a danger. When it comes to writing the paper, we need to be able to justify our questionnaire.


5. Technical decisions (such as which moodlers to select) would be dependent on the previous decisions.  (JM 240309 later) Yes - agreed


6. I think we should try once more to contact Antonio Fini whose survey is pending -- or has failed, due to lacking return rate? We should find out.

  • Do you want me to check with Antonio?  What would you suggest?  John 23/03/2009 (JM 240309 later) John - yes  that would be great - but Antonio's experience wouldn't necessarily affect ours. 
  • I have just sent out an email to Antonio, cc you three, requesting the survey questionnaire and results.  I hope he will respond to my email. John 25/03/2009


I completely forgot to thank Jenny for the lot of "mindless" work. Probably I forgot this because I was not yet ready for this stage. And I feel a little uncomfortable that you did this "mindless" work.  (JM 240309 later) Mindless is very comfortable sometimes! What shall I do then when the language polishing stage is reached where I can no longer contribute?

  • Me too!  Jenny, I owed you a lot as I am the one who started off this, and I hope that I have given all support needed (our mutual support).  John 23/03/2009 (JM 240309) John - I thought long and hard about taking you up on your suggestion of doing this research, so I came into it with my 'eyes wide open' and I have not been disappointed. I should be thanking you.


(JM 240309) Well - I am definitely very confused now. Here is my muddled thinking!


1. Timing - I don't really mind when the questionnaire goes out - but since most of the people who will be receiving the questionnaire work in some capacity in an academic institution, it's fairly easy to predict when they might be too busy to bother with a questionnaire and when they might have more time. Our original thinking was the middle of April, which is just after Easter. Perhaps this is still the best time?  Best guess - send it out before Easter, but give them two weeks after Easter to complete if they need to. But I will go with your experience.


My suggested timing initially was to allow enough time for people to consider in the questionnaire - especially during the Easter period whether people may be having a break - (semester break for me as a teacher).  This will allow people to have more time to respond (2 weeks after Easter).  Is it OK?  John 24/03/09   We need to ensure that our survey email does not arrive when their email box is likely to be overflowing or so that it arrives at the top of the email list.


2. Hypotheses - now here I am completely lost. Perhaps we should open a new page with the title hypotheses and write down what we think our hypotheses are. Are hypotheses and insights necessarily mutually exclusive? I think I've lost the plot again here!

  • Tayloring some questions for hypothesis testing does not exclude additional or later open questions, but planning for all interpretations to happen later, does IMHO exclude the chance to get answers that hold out against scrutiny of critics. 


Are we going to adopt the original hypothesis set up (as by Jenny)?  Roy and Matthias: please advise what other hypotheses you would like to include.   I think the survey could be distinct from the additional insights (i.e. further research study) as I have mentioned in my previous comments.  Would this help in clearing up the clouds in the sky? Roy: what would you suggest for the research? John 24/03/09

I'll respond to the hypothesis issue, and make some suggestions soon.  


3. Style of questions. I think I've probably lost the plot here as well. My view is that the questions should be phrased in such a way that either a moodler or blogger can answer it - from agreeing to disagreeing. I don't think that statements necessarily have to be paired, so long as we can be absolutely clear that we know what both the moodler and the blogger respondents think.


What we need to watch out for is whether the question gives us all the information we need. So for example, (C001a) 'I preferred the Moodle forums to blogging because all the ideas being discussed were located in one place'. If a moodler responds 'strongly agree' then we have a clear understanding of the moodler's thinking. But as a blogger how do I answer this. I know I don't prefer the Moodle forums to blogging, but I might still agree that it's easier to locate all  the ideas in one place in forums. I think there are a number of statements that could 'trip us up' in this way. I am happy to go through all the statements carefully considering each one in turn, but before doing that Agreed.  I think the way to get round this (see above) is to ask people something like: 

     If and when you spent most of your time and effort in x (or y), was this because: 

          "I prefer the way forums connect all the ideas being discussed, and make them accessible in one place?

.... it might still need edting, but it does avoid the loaded question issue of the statement above, (C001a) which seems to assume that "we all know that forums are better at connecting a range of ideas", whereas a RSS/inter-blog community of inquiry might actually do this far better for some people (including some members of this research team, no?) than a discussion forum.  A nearly identical question can then be asked to the bloggers. 


- are we agreed that we have all the statements we need now (or are we going to add some/delete some?)  Sure, I think we are at the pruning stage, including some of the statements I put up in my draft.

  • I think we could delete some.

Jenny, I could understand your concern.  If that's the case, then we could include those who prefer to Blog under the Bloggers set of statements and those prefer to Moodle discussion under Moodler  set of statements.  However, if people are agreeing on some of the statements under say Moodler set, (who are bloggers like you), it means that the Bloggers would like those statements, but that are reflective of the Moodler (i.e. these statements/hypothesis may need to be revised NOW).  So, only the bloggers need to fill out the blogging part if they blog only, and Moodlers need to fill out the Moodler part if they discuss only, whereas those who blog AND discuss in MOODLE are requested to fill in both.  

Another way to design is to leave the statements there with a blogger/ Moodler choice such as:


XXXXXXXXX            _____         _____                            1                     2                3              4               5

This will reduce the number of questions to say about 100 - 120.


 It also depends on the number (or percentage) of respondents having those statements in agreement/disagreement.  In summary, I agree that we have all the statements - but we could delete some redundant ones, can we?  John 23/03/2009


Matthias - I am not a 'mapping' person - so I don't see what you see when I look at the maps and I am certainly not able to intepret them in the way in which you do. So I'm relying on you to ensure that we have the right statements in the questionnaire on the basis of your analysis of the concept maps. This has probably also helped you to come up with hypotheses, which I am probably unaware of.

  • No, the Cmaps were not important for understanding. If some of my assumptions still don't resonate with you, I would love to know which ones of them (and don't hesitate to say that none of them resonates with you!) Maybe a source of misunderstanding was that you seemed to derive four hypotheses from a Cmap.  (JM 240309 later) Yes - maybe that's it. I think the Cmaps have been fundamental to understanding which questions we should be asking and how we should group them. I think they are going to be crucial to making a research paper credible.

I think my strength lies in a good understanding of how people are likely to receive this questionnaire and what might trip them up. This comes from years of teaching people of all ages from very different backgrounds! I am also very happy to do the data gathering work, but I'm not so good on the heavily theoretical stuff - which is one of the reasons that I didn't enjoy the Moodle forums!

  • I noticed and admire this strength, and I think you are the only one to manage the difficult task to anneal our questions against the misunderstanding of the most problematic type of people: Those who don't want to accept our findings and will blame them as unscientific.  

If you would like me to go through all the statements as I have suggested above - can you let me know? I'll wait till I hear from you all.

  • Yes, please do, and please include the hypotheses, if we don't want to drop them. (JM 240309 later) I will start to go through them carefully and come back to you all later in the week.




To make life easier for us (Jenny and Matthias, Roy), may I suggest to leave this with you, Matthias and Roy to consider on this final step before the survey.  I have already gone through the concept map and I found it perfectly mapped against all the statements. I have looked at the Cmap too, now, and find it very useful (I think visually too). For me its useful as a conceptual organiser and sorter, and I derive my sense of an integrated set of hypotheses from Cmaps, but that's maybe just what works for me. 


I am happy with the questionnaire so far.  I have checked with lots of other surveys (and some surveys have 90 or even 100 questions) done, with those I completed and others that I have been involved in.  Quantity of questions seem NOT to be a problem.  I think if we could limit it to say 120 - 150 questions maximum, that should be fine (around a maximum of 30 minutes for the completion if it is just 5 point scale (more popular), though if you want to be more precise, we could go for the 7 point Likert scale. (JM 240309 later) John 120 straight questions would be quite quick I think. But if we wanted to include comment boxes then it would take a long time. It depends on whether we want to gather qualitative data at the same time as gathering quantitative data.

Sorry again Jenny/Matthias/Roy for these heavy one for you, but as this is our first research collaboration, I think more time is necessary for sharing and discussion.  Also, I could see that individual research is totally different from such collaborative research, where a lot of patience, time and discussion is needed......


(JM 240309 later) I think discussion is essential. It is what is holding us together! 

I think collaborative efforts do not necessarily cost more time and patience, if we dare to say what we want to drop or postpone. I think I did this with the longitudinal aspects, and I won't be too sad if you do it with some of my pet hypotheses. I will definitely not pursue any of them on my own if they don't resonate with you.


Agreed.  The discussions (dare I say discussion 'forums') offer really useful, asynchonous affordances for collaboration and knowledge building.  Could we have collaborated as well in blogs? mmmmm. Any thoughts?  I just feel I must apologise for not being as active as you all have been, and for working in short bursts, rather than as impressively systematically as you have.  So, might I conclude that collaboration on complex tasks is something that discussion forums offer really strong affordances for (rather than blogs)?  Or am I pushing my luck here? 



This is a wonderful and fruitful discussion from all of us.  I am reflecting .... and would like to join in the review later.  John 25/03/2009


Comments (1)

suifaijohnmak said

at 7:51 am on Mar 25, 2009

Jenny and Matthias, I like your ideas. Will come to re-examine each comments after work today. John

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