“An archival record of learning directed, organized and created by the students… there was no other curriculum outside of the sketch syllabus posted in my last post, much of which was layed aside as community interests moved us to more natural ground.”

This really resonated with me, and an idea I’ve been playing around with in the context of drafting distance education materials – a blogged uncourse (cf. unconference).

http://digitalworlds.wordpress.com started out with a sketched hierarchical mindmap of topics to be covered that informed the order of posts but did not fix it.

By using blog categories appropriately, and the RSS feeds provided ‘for free’ by the wordpress platform for each category (and each tag), the uncourse is self disaggregating into separate topic based strands (an emergent, or reverse, curriculum topic list?).

An informal learner can follow the main blog on a daily basis, or just subscribe to a particular category strand.

The separate feeds can also be used to reassemble the mixed/evolving topic main blog strand in a topic based way, using a “web desktop” presentation surface such as Netvibes or Pageflakes (e.g. (http://ouseful.open.ac.uk/blogarchive/013966.html )

By referring back to earlier posts from later posts, the WordPress Trackback mechanism also automatically annotates earlier posts with forward links to posts that refer to them.

This link structure may or may not map onto the category/tag structure, and provides yet another way of navigating through the content.

By harvesting the internal uncourse blog trackback links, it is possible to create a visual ‘link graph’ that depicts the emerged (reverse curriculum agian?) structure as described by posts that refer to each other (e.g. http://ouseful.open.ac.uk/blogarchive/014848.html )