A key part of our pedagogic method at the Norwegian Film School is the «statement of intent» (in Norwegian: hensiktserklæring). Every time the students are given a film assignment they have to write one of these, both individually and as a team, and at the end of the exercise, when the final result is screened, their success or failure is measured solely against this statement of intent.

I seems only fair that I write one of these for myself as I enter into a learning process of my own.

On the surface, the statment of intent is simple. There are only two questions to be answered in it:

  1. What do I want to learn / achieve / develop through this process?
  2. What (specific) steps will I take to ensure that I learn / achieve / develop the way I’ve planned?

So. What is my statement of intent (SOI) for #edcmooc?

To figure that out, I must go to the «assignment». Every good SOI refers to the assignment and takes into account the constraints and possibilities inherent in the assignment.

In this case, the assignment, as it appears now before the course starts, is:

E-learning and Digital Cultures is aimed at teachers, learning technologists, and people with a general interest in education who want to deepen their understanding of what it means to teach and learn in the digital age. The course is about how digital cultures intersect with learning cultures online, and how our ideas about online education are shaped through “narratives”, or big stories, about the relationship between people and technology.

In a follow-up email, this is further elaborated:

First we will look at ‘utopias and dystopias’ and second, we will focus on ‘being human’ in a digital age. Throughout, we will be discussing how these broad themes relate to the ways in which we think about online education. Please note that the focus of the course will not be on practical guidance for creating e-learning courses or materials, but is rather an opportunity to consider how wider cultural ideas impact upon the way we think about technology and education.

That last sentence could be a bit of an issue, given my declared ambition (previous blog post) is to learn from this course some of the things I need in order to create an online course of my own (funding agency willing)… But, issues are made to be solved, are they not?

So, back to the statement of intent. This will be a draft, as I am sure it will develop through the first few weeks of the course.

What do I hope to achieve?

It is my intent that, after completing this course, I have an increased understanding of how online interactions can differ from face-to-face interactions. Using my previous experience with MOOCs (like #etmooc, #moocmooc, #oole13, #smartlæring) as a springboard, I want to gain a deeper insight into how to use digital media and communications tools to their full advantage. I also want to be able to introduce others, especially those who are less comfortable with digital tools, to these advantages.

How will I work to achieve this?

Aye, there’s the rub. Learning machines do not exist (thank goodness!) and learning requires work. And so: I will need to comit to participating in the various scheduled chats, hangouts, whatever else there are of sychronous event (with two caveats: participation in the local curling league comes first, and I will not use Facebook for this course). I will blog. Repeat: I will blog! And comment on other peoples blogs.

And I will make and hand in the final «digital artifact».

Ok. There it is. My comitment to myself; and when this is all over I will measure my success against my statement of intent (surely modified by then).

4 Responses

  • I really like this idea, Fredrik! I’ve started *ahem* several MOOCs previously and failed to get anywhere with them, and I think perhaps this was due to not clarifying to myself either my objectives or my possible/realistic level of involvement.

    Rather than throwing myself right into #EDCmooc, I’ve already publicly stated (= tweeted) that I’m not sure how involved I can get but that I hope at least to lurk – and the very nature of that caveat has already liberated me to poke around on the course site and feel cautiously excited : ) I’m going to follow up by nicking your SOI idea, and hopefully this time may be more in control of my learning trajectory … !

    • Fredrik Graver

      Steal away!

      I’ve had several “false starts” in MOOCs lately myself, and so I thought writing an SOI would be a way of reminding (forcing) myself to take it seriously…

  • The statement of intent is a great idea Fredrik! Previous instances of EDCMOOC have been full of lots of information in different spaces, and it has been challenging for some people to find a focus. Setting up some personal goals at the start is an excellent way to direct your activities towards those most valuable to you, and a super way to evaluate your experiences at the end of the course.

    You should think of the EDCMOOC, not as a practical guide for using digital tools, but rather as an opportunity to explore the ideas and concepts that guide are thinking in this area. That will of course feed into how we go about practicing e-learning. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!


    • Fredrik Graver

      Thanks, Jeremy. Like most things, it’s not an original idea but one we’ve worked with for a long time here at The Norwegian Film School (and I think we stole it from the Danes).

      I see that this course will be more an exploration than a practical guide. In many ways that is what appeals to me, but I find it easier to justify the time when I set myself a practical goal.


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