Jesters Advise the Courts: Survey

This being the final meeting, we decided to pull some relevant quotes from the Jester Survey. Kristian, being by far the more relaxed of the two of us, let the conversation flow. This resulted in a two hour conversation which ran the gamut from a to z. Janet, on the other hand, flashed one of these slides every once in a while. The following quotes are from the survey, and are accompanied by links to the place in the log where they were presented.

Juli Burke of AtheMOO
For one thing, I think making and administering a MOO should count as a book in the tenure and promotion area of the academy. Special projects such as performances should count as an article or in the field of theatre, as a production. Guiding them to see the value is a difficult question. I guess if we could get any of the adminstrators to go online and see it, that would be a nice start :-) (Survey 5) (log pointer)

Michael Day of ManyMOOs
Well, I engaged a college dean today in a long conversation explaining what a MOO is and why I think MOOs can enhance our scholarship and teachine. We need to talk, but there is another way. A fes years ago we used to have an event called the ADMIN-MOO on Media MOO, and all of us would invite our administrators to come see what we are doing on the MOO. I think that one step would be to revive that forum, and that another would be to share especially productive MOO transcripts with our administrators (Survey 7) (log pointer) .

Jan Rune Holmevik of LinguaMOO
I have never had any problem being recognized for the work I've done on MOOs. In fact, I got my current job largely because I had this unique experience. Also, whenever we have presented Lingua at conferences like MLA, CCCC, C&W and others, we have always received a lot of recognition. My advice is to publish, do research and conference papers on MOO related issues talk about it in professional terms and do it well and you will get the recognition you deserve (Survey 6) (log pointer) .

Evelyn McClave of DaMOO
Your idea of publishing regarding the MOO is a great one. Administrators value publications. By publishing you not only draw attention to the great work you have done, you also focus attention on the university (Survey 19) (log pointer) .

Sharon Cogdill of mediamoo, connections,da moo (sort of), du, and here and there....
Well, I'm ok here, but I don't have a lot of confidence that if I decided to move other deans would be as willing to recognize exploration and fiddling around as part of the necessary R&D. This is totally bogus, I know, but I keep bringing it up. We have a community, a c&w or c&e (english) or c&h (humanities) community, and we should give each other rewards - plaques, honors, titles, stuff like that. Nobody here can really evaluate me on the MOOing I do. they wouldn't know high electronic literacy if it whizzed past them in their own email accounts. But you all: you know exactly how well I'm doing. And we all know who the leaders are and what they can lead at. And truly if we 'out' each other in print, among administrators who never do this kind of work, what kind of 'outing' is that? (footnote to Charles Stivale for the outing metaphor.) (Survey 14) (log pointer)

Claudine Keenan of Media, DaMOO, VOU, Bliss, occasionally DU
The strongest argument I can ever make to administrators inevitably ends with broad smiles on their faces as I explain that they can have all this communication between institutions, not only regardless of platform and software, but virtually cost-free (Survey 17) (log pointer) .

Janice R. Walker of most MOOs
Course preparation time, teaching time, meeting with students, assisting other teachers and students, learning to use these spaces--all of these things take time. We need to document the time we spend online, and it needs to count as pedagogy, as service, as research, as conference attendance....(Survey 18) (log pointer)

Lonnie Turbee of MundoHispano, schMOOze University, MOOfrancais
We need quantities of quality research to be done on educational MOOs. In my field, very little has been done, as most researchers in online applications for language learning are still focusing on email and web applications. I am always willing to work with researchers who show an interest in MundoHispano. Until language learning MOOs are recognized as serious academic environments, I don't see much support coming from universities. The question of economic viability also has to be addressed. They are labor-intensive places. Are they worth it? Is there a way that money can be made on one of these things? Syracuse Language Systems took a hard look at this last question and decided that, no, at least in a text-based form they are not commercially viable. This doesn't mean that they're not, but the point must be taken that it's going to take a lot of creative thinking and perhaps a different way of looking at MOO before we can expect to be paid for our efforts (Survey 11) (log pointer) .

Susan Dauer of MediaMOO and DaedalusMOO
MOO programming is time consuming. Those who do it have to give up time and energy, esp those who ar doing projects for others, thus taking time away from other projects of their own (Survey 9) (log pointer) .

Martian Adam Smyth of MidgardMOO
The potential for added capabilities that would come from allowing so many more people to program things that they otherwise couldn't is immeasurable. But if MOOs can't afford to exist, they can't afford to evolve. Many MOOs are fortunate enough to find a host that will allow them network space for free. But even the most benign of parasites in time becomes too much of a strain. As MOOs continue to evolve they will need help to pass through the period of 'too-much-cost-not-enough-revenue' that will inevitably come before they reach the level of usefullness required to be profitable (Survey 2) (log pointer) .

Eric Mercer of Diversity University
At this time, the vast majority of documentation available is anecdotal. However, there is a high percentage of such anecdotes written by teachers and educational researchers. The accumulation of this body of knowledge is important and necessary for properly designing the research studies that must follow. I believe we have reached a good understanding of what the appropriate educational techniques and evaluation methods for MOO-based teaching and learning are. It's time now to move beyond this level and provide the hard data comparing on-line learning to traditional forms (Survey 10) (log pointer) .

Dr. Joseph Walther, Northwestern University of MediaMOO and LambdaMOO
If it is to be maintained independently, try hitching it to a position in one's teaching center or university computer center/instructional technology department, where they are accostumed to having paid staff to support maintenance of on-line systems (Survey 13) (log pointer) .

Bruce Rafnel
Unless administrators/managers use a MOO daily, just as they use a telephone, they will never have a real appreciation for what MOOs and other CMC applications have to offer. So, I can only see three main strategies for getting higher-level support:
  1. The users of the MOO demand access and support, because the MOO is a valuable CMC tool for their collaborative work.
  2. Cite research evidence that shows where MOOs are best applied. This is time-consuming because results will need to be corroborated before they will accepted.

    Research in distance education where other CMC tools are used (mail, e-mail, list-servers, web, gopher, Lotus Notes, UseNet), can be almost directly applied to MOOs.

  3. Get the administrators/managers to use the MOO. This will be easier if 1 or 2 above succeed.
Let us get out of this rut of "How can we be taken seriously?" Answer: demand to be taken seriously. I am not talking about the content on MOOs, which I think can contain a range of serious to fun stuff. (see his note for more) (Survey 25) (log pointer)

Table of Contents

Janet Cross

Kristian Fuglevik