The MOOC also includes considerations about networks and social networks in particular. I so much get the network concepts, but then I am much better at that kind of thinking. I have spent a lot of time over the last several years thinking about connections and relationships in the student information systems. I once drew something that looked like the diagram below, but with fewer connections and nodes and far less organizational structure. It that depicted the various applications that made up a student information system and I called it spaghetti.
The analysis of these networks through matrices is a bit dense for me to follow, but I surmise that it is that kind analysis that got the really neat application called Linkedin Maps. It built a network diagram from my Linkedin connections and it amazing in how accurately it clustered the connections. The big blue blob is nearly all from Empire State College, my current institution; the red on the right are my long standing connections from prior learning assessment; the purple on the left are high school friends; and the rest are from when I lived in Washington DC and was at American University nearly fifteen years ago. Even the groups from AU are logically organized into admissions, financial aid and school of education. This is not spaghetti. I like little gadgets so this was kinda fun.