This is my response to a two week old discussion in PLENK " Is it the topic or the period in the course?"
The topic was, I think, meant to be about how the "flow" of the course depended on the topic being discussed as opposed to the nature of the course delivery. The topic rapidly moved onto how people interact with the course and some of the reasons why many people do not appear to interact with it all. Minh Mccloy suggested that "lurkers" (the people who watch but don't contribute) may in fact be "Gleaners" (thanks Minh) who are actually waiting until they enough to feel confident about contributing. The conversation also suggested external time-commitments being a major factor governing how much people are able to devote to the MOOC.
Anyway, here is my response:
Sorry for the late response, but I think the lateness may be a relevant (if not designed) part of the discussion. I constantly seem to playing catch-up with PLENK. I'm about 2 weeks behind and am finally catching up now that I've discovered how to get the best use out of Netvibes as an aggregator (never heard of the term before the course started).
I feel I'm one of the silent members of the PLENK course precisely because of this lagging behind. I'm reluctant to post to discussions that seemed to have ended two weeks previously and as I feel that people would probably stop their subscriptions to discussions they feel are over, just to stop their in-trays clogging up. What I would like to know is, how many gleaners like myself actually get heard when they post to non-current discussions?
As such, I have been feeling that I may need to re-enrol next year (assuming it runs again) just to have the opportunity to participate in a MOOC as a contributor rather than a lurker or gleaner.
I really hope that something like PLENK continues next year. I'm not going to finish this course on time this time around and want the opportunity to develop my PLE/PLN as a regular contributor and not just as a lurker/gleaner/spectator.