A Quick Lesson in Web-Scale Education: Email Notifications

Second full day of my participation in Dr. Chuck’s Internet History, Security, and Technology. Note to self: the M in MOOC really does stand for massive, as in super freaking huge enrollment.

As with most online courses, the first activity is a short discussion board post about yourself and your interests, experiences or expectations for learning the course material. As usual, I posted my response and set my account to receive updates via email for additional posts to that thread. Emails spilled into my inbox all night, all morning and all day long. My most recent inbox purge found 225 unread emails. There were many more before that count and many more to come, I’m sure. I quickly unsubscribed.

Discussion boards usually have a daily digest option. I can’t find a digest setting so I just unsubscribed. I’m not sure I would want to read that fifty screen digest anyway.

I will need to come back to this problem of discussion updates. I suspect there is a setting somewhere that I have missed.

For now, I feel very much like a student in a lecture hall with 10,000 other students. This time, instead of everyone quietly listening, everyone is talking and saying something interesting and everyone one of them is speaking directly to me.

I am sure there is a better way to navigate the conversation. There needs to be.

Stay tuned.

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