CCK08: We are not at school

If we stay in this course as we stayed at school  we will probably find ourselves out of the course. The same word course should be forgotten.

Assignments

The course has assignments but this does not means that all the assignments have to be done. One should write when feeling to have something useful to offer or something to ask for help, not just to have an assignment done.

We have not to write for the teacher (or against the teacher …) but to give something  to others and, eventually, to receive something back.

Words

Words are very important. Knowledge cannot be always stored in words but, at any rate, words are a very powerful instrument to transmit knowledge. All powerful instruments should be used with parsimony. The minimum possible number of words that preserves a message is also the optimal number to transmit it in its entirety. More words will obfuscate it. Too many words may even annoy the reader.

The course is huge: long posts have less probability to be read.

Simplicity

Perhaps it is not bad to recall the six writing rules suggested by George Orwell.

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Moreover, this is an international course. For many of us, English is the second language and not all of us had an optimal English education. If native english speakers indulge in affectation some participants may be cut off.

The success of this course depends much on the yearning to share ideas and experiences, not on the desire to show its own smartness or, worse, its own pugnacious skills.

3 thoughts on “CCK08: We are not at school

  1. iamarf says:

    Hello Jørgen

    Yes, I tried to follow some debates on the forum but didn’t like the hottest ones.

    I believe that in a such complex world, such an information-overloaded world, it is crucial to be extremely careful and clear on what you say. In some of those debates I’m afraid there are too many words with respect to “content”. It becomes more a matter of reaction instead of reflection.

    You see, I’m very sensible to this because such a kind of information overload is a typical drawback of daily italian communications, in inter-personal relationship as well as in mainstream information. It was sad to find this even in an international arena.

    Yes, it might be a good idea to use graphical sketches to focus weak points idea.

    As far as connectivism is concerned, I see it not so much as a theory that we have to embrace or not (dichotomizations are dangerous …), but as a rather obvious description of facts emerging in physical sciences, biological sciences and social sciences. It’s something inherent to Nature, something that has to do with the inexplicable tendency to self-organization in an Universe that otherwise should flatten because of the II principle of thermodynamics.

  2. Jorgen C says:

    Hi ARF
    I guess that you are italian. We share language-problems in this course. English is not my native language either, so it’s a heavy job to follow the readings and the debate.
    I agree on your thoughts about keeping posts short. It would help make a better flow in the discussion, and easyer for non-english.
    I was caught in the ‘sceptics’ debate in the forum, but I could not manage to fully understand the discussion. I think its important with critical points of wiev. It would help my understanding a lot if we could work out a concept-map about pittfalls in embracing connectivism?

    /Jorgen

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