My answer to this question is “Yes”, but with provisos. Students need to get to know the tutor as a presence on the course that guides learning by designing engaging and relevant activity, helps students develop subject knowledge by discussing their work and shows real interest as them as learners.
It’s two weeks today since I joined #humanMOOC. I have enjoyed it perhaps as a course and definitely as conversations on twitter – hence the hashtag. It’s been great to deepen my acquaintance with people I knew already, to meet new people and to chew the fat on the subject of how we learn online, how we think we can help students learn online and the connection between the two. It’s been enjoyable and useful to think about the place of instructor video in establishing teacher presence with Laura Gibbs and Andy Nobes.
Any exploration of learning inevitably moves to meta-levels. Considering learning with technology particularly involves a reflexive element due to recurring novelty. This is exciting and can become distracting.
I never really committed time to the stream mode to the course, instead I found myself stepping through the hashtag into the garden and the course fading out of view except as a clearing in social media for conversations. Those conversations and connections draw me back to the course, to ask what it is that has brought us together and what we’re trying to learn.