Language and culture of participants in a MOOC differ, And we do not know if we do understand each other correctly. Context and history of MOOC’ers differ and vary widely. We write messages and texts and we blog with a Model Reader in mind, and big question is if our Model Reader and the real reader do have much in common.
We write or produce texts and presuppose a model of competence of the reader. The competences of the reader are mostly outside the text. But in the text we could try to build this competence of the reader. That is what teachers do, and we know it is very difficult to build competences of a reader in texts.
In a MOOC differences are great. More differences in a MOOC than in a classroom? In the Change MOOC teachers are guests. They try to know their audience, but that is really very difficult given the short time they are part of the MOOC.
In F2F situations humans are able to signal misunderstanding better (but not very good) than in a virtual environment. Because facial expressions and other signals are missing in the MOOC environment, and these signals do vary in different cultures.
Question: is (mis-) understanding a problem in a MOOC?
(more about Model Reader in The role of the reader, explorations in the semiotics of texts, Umberto Eco)
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