Everything in Moderation

Carl Straumsheim, Ignatia Webs, Jan 25, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

So, I've seen this before: "conversation, in his words, 'very quickly disintegrated into a snakepit of personal venom, religious bigotry and thinly disguised calls for violence.' But some students have accused him of abusive and tyrannical behaviour in his attempts to restore civility." Where? Well, in pretty much every unmoderated discussion list in the world. We also had this sort of issue threaten to arise in the Moodle discussion board we used in the bvery first MOOC. Our solution back in 2008 was to use distributed aggregated discussions, because moderation in massive courses is not really an option. This solution will be reinvented by someone at, say, Dike or Stanford, renamed (DOOC, maybe), and will become the next big thing in MOOCs. As for Inside Higher Ed, instead of looking to see where this has been encountered before (wehich is, like I say, everywhere), I guess it's easier to imply that the subject matter (and unreasonable fanatics) are the cause of this.

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