A new open experiment: msloc430.net

We’re officially live at msloc430.net.

See this blog’s MSLOC 430 category for previous updates on work-in-progress and some history of the course I teach at the Master’s Program in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University. My current experiment is the second iteration of trying to create an open section of the campus-based course.

Classes began on campus the first week of January,  I put a few final touches on msloc430.net and now we’re off and running. As usual, I have only a vague idea of where this will lead. But I really like the idea of evolving the open section of MSLOC 430 via a course domain hosted via Reclaim Hosting.

Ok. I actually have more of an idea of how things will evolve for the students enrolled in the on-campus course. I have less of an idea of how other open participation may evolve – how practitioners or learners outside of the formal course may choose to contribute.

Here are some highlights of where the design sits, today.

The course has two main work streams.

The first is an exploration of how enterprise social networking technology (ESNs) and social media impact work and learning within organizations.The “open” product of this exploration will be student blog posts, Twitter activity and social bookmarking via Diigo. Blog posts and Diigo bookmarks will be syndicated to msloc430.net. A Twitter widget on the site will provide a look at the most recent activity via the #msloc430 hashtag.

The second work stream is to purposefully create some new, innovative model of working or learning that uses the capabilities of an ESN platform. The innovations will emerge from students examining case study situations that they bring to the course. The open product of this work stream will be an innovation brief published on msloc430.net at the very end of the on-campus course (mid-March).

I expect to see a slow but steady growth of student blog activity over the next several weeks. In part because we created formal activities with set deadlines.

I left it much more open for potential participants outside of the on-campus student group. A simple suggestion to join in the conversations through blogging, Twitter, etc. And perhaps help us review innovations at the end of the class session.

This is where I am really intrigued to see what emerges, organically. How MSLOC 430 evolves to be a connected course – and how it “connects” with learners outside of the on-campus student group.

Where will the energy take us?