We felt there was a need to have a place where MOO administrators could come to discuss common concerns. While this was by no means the first of its kind, we hope to evolve some regularly scheduled wiz/admin meetings, focused on the concerns we have just begun to discuss. Many of us have worked in relative isolation, and the sense we got from the meetings was it's time to work together to share the work and play of MOO. To get started, we drew up a very simple survey meant to get things on the road -- no more, no less. The survey is comprised of four general areas. This will briefly describe the questions and responses. Commentary is on the corresponding MOO Session.
The responses we have so far have helped us to see where we need to revise questions, clarifying some, expanding others. They have helped us to locate those areas where there is much disagreement as well as the areas where there is overwhelming agreement.
- Are We Serious?
We wanted to get a feel for what people are currently doing on their MOOs, how they feel about them. How much they have been involved.
Go to MOO1
- What are the benefits from the MOO? For us, for our respective institutions?
Here we were hoping to elicit a bit more than the usual statements we hear about MOO. Often, we concentrate on the usefulness of MOOs for our students and teaching. Sometimes we point to the professional benefits for ourselves, as when we meet colleagues online. We were hoping to get to some discussion about overall benefits we could point to in terms of the jobs it has brought us, the resources which have been shared across institutional and national boundaries; since MOOs do have to reside on someone's server, we felt that even acknowledgment of the actual server space as a shared resource was important, for example, setting up a MOO for a school in return for research space or thesis/dissertation projects.
Go to MOO2
- MOO 3 What is our involvement, in terms of play/work done, and literal time spent?
Here we hoped to get an idea of how much time and energy people put into their MOOs, rather than socializing, or building community. We really wanted to get an idea of literal time spent on MOO, corresponding to what types of activities:recreation, research, teaching, office hours, class time (for students), administrative (service) duties, collaborative projects.
Go to MOO3
- MOO 4 Advising the Court: What Can We Do?
Finally, we hoped, and were greatly rewarded, that folks would have some concrete notions of what to do next. They did from the beginning, and as the meetings unfolded, concrete plans to implement a variety efforts has evolved. The unfortunate overlap of the term "administrator" was not well thought out on our part. Some people did not understand the question as it was intended. This caused some confusion even during the MOO sessions. A list of slides made from observations culled from the survey can be found if you...
Go to MOO4
- What have you done on MOOs? was meant to roughly correspond to the first Jester Meeting "Are Jesters Serious?"
This question did help us to situate the respondents in a MOO context. We had responses from the most casual of users to paid (and unpaid) MOO programmers. Given the small pool of responses, we still saw the variety we had hoped for. We found people who resided mainly one one MOO, and others who played and worked on a wide variety of MOOs, multi-mooing happily. Some folks had experience only with "educational" MOOs, while others socialized and programmed on "social" MOOs. Some respondents had just recently started MOOing, and others reported having set up, designed, and developed their own MOOs. Some reported using the MOO primarily for chatting, either socially or with a class. Others reported using, and delineated in detail, the many different MOO applications they have used or developed.
Go to MOO1
- What are the benefits from the MOO?
People listed benefits from MOOs ranging from personal experiences to professional advantages.
Go to MOO2, see also Stainless' note which sums up many of the benefits indicated by the participants.
- What is your involvement?
This ranged from folks who *only* MOO during class hours to folks who practically live onMOO. In between were administrators who put in a regular work day paid and unpaid) to others who worked overtime (ditto). Many teachers reported spending a few extra hours a week to many hours a day, planning classes, holding office hours, tutoring, attending conferences or other cafe events, and yes, socializing. The few respondents we knew were students reported spending equal or often greater hours on MOO as the above. Others from outside education reported similar hours spent on similar tasks. The object here was not to measure precisely, but to gain a general idea of how much time is being spent doing what type of tasks.
Go to MOO3
- How do you want administrators to value the work/play you do on MOOs?
Like all the MOO meetings, the survey responses helped us to locate a fairly strong consensus for the next steps we should take in order to approach school administrators.
Go to MOO4
The responses on the survey indicated that some of us already enjoy strong support from our administrators. We decided that we needed a place for school site administrators to join the conversation. In addition, we hope to implement an all day open house for administrators, as suggested by Michael Day. We hope they will take the time to respond to some of the comments provided here, in the MOO discussions, and on the survey forms.