The power of a small group…

Posted on June 13, 2014


… naw, not even a “small group.”  A “few people” not even grouped may have all kinds of power for influencing online spaces and turning them into communities, or at least making them viable spaces.

The Udacity MOOC for “algebra review” might be an example of that.   I logged in just to see what it was about and… you can post and “discuss.”

Most of the questions posted are vague or just frustrated:  “I’m posting the right answer and it won’t accept it!”   (sometimes true, sometimes not)… “Please explain this!”

Since there is a direct link to the problem at hand, though, two of us *are* doing some explaining.   I don’t know the other person from Adam… but … I could imagine this being a huge part of whether this thing is successful.   I would only hope that people designing these scenarios would perceive that if they want to replicate the success (which may or may not happen), that they’ll need to plant some relative experts on the discussion boards.   (Just **imagine** the good that could be done if there were a system to steer students who needed a different kind of resource towards the right resource.)

’nuff o that.  It’s 10:16 and … the App of Doom is calling.   My model from the course has a “LIST” activity where, when you say “done,” it shows you your response and the right answer to all the problems you answered… and that is a complete bust.   I’m told the activity can’t start because it needs  a ListView named list in the content… and it is there, but obviously not being called correctly.   Unfortunately, there have been a few places in the course online notes that were wrong… but the course ended (the notes are still online) so I can’t inquire. Fortunately, I don’t really need that list… so I’m going to go back and work up three more activities.

Right now, I have a scenario where students can “watch” subtraction of integers on the number line (see the pic).   I also have an activity where a problem is displayed, and the student enters the problem and its answer.   Right now it’s even got the answers in the number line display.   I’d like another activity that takes the answer number away, then the rest of the numbers… and hopefully a progression through those activities…


The new activity would be the leap to “okay, then what’s 8 – -4?” —  and if you get it *wrong* you go back and draw out two more from the easier level… but you have the option to press “see the number line for this problem” instead.

Well, talk is cheap.  Time to do 🙂   I was also just visited by a kiddo who has one more shot to get from 148 to 150 on the wretched GED Math Reasoning test.   I *hope* his book has stuff like the real thing… but I’ll sniff around a little too; he’ll be back when I come back from vacation and yes, I”m bringing my Transformer tablet along (and yes, I’m also going to “#WorkWonders”  and make some more powerpoints for the fall Transitions course, even if it’s still entirely up in the air what that course will look like and who will be teaching it). Image




I was once in a thriving online community and we successfully stomped trolls.


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