My story of disruptive disruption in online distance learning
I'd like to share a story exmplifying the change on the learner's side we've been going through in the last ten years. I've been teaching a (university) online course (distance learning with international public) for 10 years now and in the beginning introducing interaction and collaboration was a real disruptive element and much appreciated by the learners.They had to present themselves and ask questions, present their context, much like in this MOOC, they were involved in peer evaluation, group work etc... They really liked this in the first years since it showed them the power of intial interaction online and most of all it broke their isolation. It was one of the first courses using an LMS and the first one asking for as much interaction (SUCCESS). Year after year, however, more and more courses they had to take opened forums. That alone was enough for them to get more and more saturated, parallel to general technology fatigue that we're wittnessing around us. So the disruptive element disappeared and stories exchanged slowly changed to more critical aspects of technology in the education sector (they are future teachers in foreign language), for exemple the wrong management of smartboards in many schools etc... It was really fascinating to witness this change and at the same time difficult to NOT be able to capitalize as much any more on the Internet's possibilities in the course (CHALLENGE).
Never underestimate the power of disruption to disrupt itself ! ;-)
Know your learner's IT interaction history and competence, their attitudes, always make connections to current sociological trends and build them into your course, even make them into the subject of the course !