Many MOOC and distance-learners experience ups and downs in participation.
Certainly my participation for weeks 1 and 2 of ocTEL has been missing in action so far.
I suspect that staying engaged is a challenge for many people when trying to fit in activity that is extra-curricula both from time and concentration energy viewpoint.
It has been a nice experience that such issues have been explicitly encourage and discussed by the week two ocTEL e-mail by David Jennings:
Please don’t worry, though, if you’re running slightly out of schedule. Take the course at your own time. If you have to skip an activity, skip it, and don’t feel bad about it (the materials and discussion will remain available, so come back later if you like). In fact, skipping activities is almost certainly better than chasing to catch them up now, because the risk is that you fall further behind and then feel disengaged from where everyone else is.
Certainly there have been many demands on my time… mainly training to run the Edinburgh Marathon which is in four weeks time (any sponsorship for the Whittington Babies charity welcome)…. so after skipping week one onto week two…
Plus – whenever I try to do some work someone always seems to want attention: