There’s an interesting debate forming around this post from George Siemens (My Personal Learning Network is the most awesomest thing ever!!) and a response from Jenny Mackness (In defence of lurking).
George’s stance is that you can’t really learn in a community unless you are contributing something, Jenny’s that it’s OK to observe and not contribute. There are lot’s of other interesting points of view expressed in the comments.
To me, I feel I got more out of PLENK2010 by being an active contributor, although in the end I wasn’t sure if I’d learned that much. I think there’s a parallel to be made with large group teaching as a whole: in a lecture of 250, it’s going to be a brave soul who contributes. Perhaps the same is true of a MOOC. Maybe, PLENK2010 was just too big, and the people who “lurked” will be active participants next time. Maybe, it needs to be M for “medium-sized” rather than “massive.”