eLearning and Technology

Because of the ADA, Universities May Withdraw Free Online Course Content

By WALTER OLSON, CATO Institute

On September 13, the University of California at Berkeley announced that it may have to take down online lecture and course content that it has offered free to the public: content that we have made available to the public. That Berkeley is not just imagining these legal dangers is illustrated by this clip from Tamar Lewin of the New York Times from February of last year: “Harvard and M.I.T. Are Sued Over Lack of Closed Captions.” I’ve been warning about this, to no apparent avail, for a long time. I noted the tag-team alliance of the U.S. Department of Justice, disabled-rights groups, and fee-seeking private lawyers in gearing up web-accessibility doctrine.

http://www.cato.org/blog/because-ada-universities-may-withdraw-free-online-course-content

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MicroMasters on a Global Scale

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Fourteen universities around the world are today launching modular master’s degree programs in which students can complete up to half of the course work online, earn a credential and then decide whether they want to apply to pursue the full degree. The launch of the 19 programs, known as MicroMasters, follows a pilot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT has since early this year tested the model in its supply chain management program. Learners start the program by taking massive open online courses hosted on edX, the MOOC platform MIT helped found. After completing five MOOCs, learners who pay a fee can either call it quits and walk away with a certificate — or apply and, if accepted to MIT, eventually earn a master’s of engineering in logistics.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/20/mooc-based-masters-degree-initiative-expands-globally

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Experts says education headed for dramatic shift by 2020

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Fast Company describes the five ways that the industry of education is likely to change by the year 2020, with communication, technology and industry driving the rapid shifts over the next four years. According to some experts, remote learning, credentialing, student feedback, and the ability to adapt will be the biggest changes that students will expect, and that leaders will be forced to accommodate. Technological innovations and shifts in population will make the United States less of a global player unless the country moves to the front of educational achievement.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/experts-says-education-headed-for-dramatic-shift-by-2020/426626/

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C.R.E.A.M. (Class Rules Everything Around Me)

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 22:55


Kitteh, Metafilter, Sept 27, 2016

As I prepared my slides for today's short talk (we're doing a round of autobiographies in our group - a good idea) I thought a lot about where I stand vis-à -vis the rest of society. Not as 'respectable'. Not as "entitled to... education, social standing, pay and political power." I had to take each one of these, to wrest them from people of more deserving background. I had a lot of setbacks, a lot of battles. And you can never  actually escape your origins, because to escape you must accept the values and assumptions of the ruling class, the core of which is that people from your class don't belong in the boardroom or with polite company. I would never do that. As this author writes, rising with your class is the only thing that makes sense. 

[Link] [Comment]

A Timeline

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 19:55
[Slides][Audio]

This is a very brisk autobiography from my early childhood through to today.

Internal Presentation, Ottawa (Keynote) Sept 27, 2016 [Comment]

Still Playing "No Man’s Sky"

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 19:55


Tom Bray, Ongoing, Sept 27, 2016

I spend more time over the weekend playing No Man's Sky, doing so apparently in defiance of  the hate being expressed by so many critics and gamers. But  look at the panels (like the one pictured; can you believe this?) - they come from one demographic, one point of view, and expect one set of things from a game. They want a storyline, an opponent, an outcome. Maybe there will be one one day but that's not what No Man's Sky is promising. What I like is that you can do things like  walk completely around the planet. It takes weeks. As Tim Bray says, "this game is a huge plat­ form with lots of room to drop in new con­ tent and game-play and sur­ pris­ es." Yes, in many ways it's not a finished product. I'm actually OK with that. Because I hate the games that are defined by an storyline, an opponent, and an outcome. My world (of gaming, and of learning) is much bigger than that.

[Link] [Comment]

Why we are weaning our students from electronic noise

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 16:55


Ryan Balot, Clifford Orwin, Globe, Mail, Sept 27, 2016

I wonder whether this is true: "thinking thrives on silence or on dialogue with other human voices, when electronic noise has faded." This is being used as justification for banning electronic devices from the classroom. But I have questions. When I'm doing mental work, I always have some background noise - music, CBC, Ed Radio, a baseball game, whatever. My head is full of distracting noises; silence makes my mind wander. I remember the classroom lecture before computers - every agonizing scrape of a chair, squeak of a door, cough, whisper. It was all I could do to keep from daydreaming and falling asleep. By contrast, some of my best thinking places are noisy environments - pubs, markets, busy streets. So I think it's a fallacy that thinking thrives on silence, and certainly don't support banning electronic devices based on an unproven, and probably false, hypothesis.

[Link] [Comment]

Ria #26: Nick Foreman On Archival Research

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 04:52


, Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, Sept 26, 2016 On this episode, Nick Foreman shares about archival research and the logistics of archival work. [Link] [Comment]

Lights out for shomi symptomatic of streaming video’s larger profitability problem

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 04:52


Terry Dawes, CanTech Letter, Sept 26, 2016

Shomi  foundered on the same shoal that afflicted Netflix - the demands for unsustainable revenues from content producers. There's no incentive for providers to offer Shomi a good rate when they'll ultimately roll out their own service and try to grab all the profits. Meanwhile, Netflix has responded by gutting its offering and producing many of its own shows. The market for streaming video accounts is limited, though, and people won't pay for all of them. Meanwhile, it's a bit ironic for me to be reading "the last jigsaw piece for streaming video to gain widespread acceptance will be live sports" while watching my Blue Jays game on MLB.tv (as I have for several years now). The content providers will never see their pot of gold. The same thing that happened to print media and music is happening to video and is happening to education. 'Live' is just a format now; you don't have to be there, and it doesn't have to be expensive.

[Link] [Comment]

Credential Transparency Initiative Intros New Credentialing Tool, Nonprofit Org

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-09-27 02:10

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

The Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI) today debuted its Credential Registry, a tool for documenting and comparing certifications, degrees, certificates, licenses, badges and other micro-credentials. The project includes the formation a new nonprofit organization, Credential Engine, tasked with taking the effort mainstream. Led by a partnership among George Washington University’s Institute of Public Policy, Workcred (an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute), and Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Center for Workforce Development, the Credential Transparency Initiative aims to “develop common terms for describing key features of credentials; create a voluntary, web-based registry for sharing the resulting information; and test practical apps (software applications) for employers, students, educators and other credential stakeholders,” according to the CTI website.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/09/19/credential-transparency-initiative-intros-new-credentialing-tool-nonprofit-org.aspx

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Outsourcing IT in Higher Ed: A Necessary Evil?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-09-27 02:04

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

News that the University of California San Francisco plans to outsource many of its technology functions to an India-based service provider appears to have sparked a blaze of concern that soon the entire UC system could adopt the same contract. While offshoring opponents predict that the plan could set off a domino effect of other colleges and universities following suit, institutional leaders appear to view the UCSF move as an individual decision made for strategic reasons — no different, really, from choosing any kind of service delivery. According to reporting by Computerworld, healthcare-focused UCSF is laying off some 17 percent of the institution’s 565-employee IT staff starting next February — after those same workers have presumably trained Indian replacements employed by HCL Technologies. Of the 96 positions being eliminated, just over half of the people facing layoffs are permanent employees.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/09/19/outsourcing-it-in-higher-ed.aspx

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Why It’s Time for Education Technology to Become an Academic Discipline

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-09-27 02:02

by David Raths, Campus Technology

As Georgetown University prepares to launch a master’s degree program in Learning and Design, a new academic discipline built around the study of education technology, learning analytics and instructional design is starting to take shape. Leaders in the field are “bringing about a set of practices that require a knowledge base, that require an ability to share information and that start to form a set of practices that we can all share — but also resist, test, push back against and challenge each other on,” according to Eddie Maloney, executive director of the university’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. Maloney, who is also professor of the practice of narrative literature and theory in Georgetown’s Department of English, has observed a trajectory in the discipline of education technology over the last four years. “We saw 2012 as an inflection point regarding the role technology plays in higher education,” he said, referring to what The New York Times dubbed “The Year of the MOOC.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/09/19/why-its-time-for-education-technology-to-become-an-academic-discipline.aspx

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Doctoral dissertation successfully defended

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 01:52


Hans Põldoja, hanspoldoja.net, Sept 26, 2016

Worth a look (212 page PDF). "The underlying concept of the study is the open education ecosystem....Firstly, to clarify the design challenges related to the open education ecosystem, this study summarizes a set of design challenges presented in design case studies. Secondly, it identifies and recommends a set of design patterns that address these design challenges. Finally, the study proposes the structure and components that are needed for the open education ecosystem." The dissertation is based on five publications and - what he doesn't tell us here - was the result of 13 years worth of work. Via Teemu Leinonen, who recommended it to me.

[Link] [Comment]

Watch Disco Demolition Night Turn Into a Disaster in Real Time With This Amazing Footage

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-09-27 01:52


Matthew Dessem, Browbeat, Sept 26, 2016

Back in the 1970s, when disco became popular, it was all you could listen to (except maybe for the occasional classical music station). That could never happen today. If you don't like what's on the radio, you go to the internet. “ This garbage of demolishing a record has turned into a fiasco!” Piersall goes on to make the case that Steve Dahl is a symptom of national decline, telling Bill Gleason, “ We have become followers. So many people, insecure, don’ t know what to do with themselves and how to have a good time— they follow someone who’ s a jerk!” There's also an entire baseball game on this video, so enjoy.

[Link] [Comment]

Determinants of Teachers' Attitudes Towards E-Learning in Tanzanian Higher Learning Institutions

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-09-26 19:50


Dalton H. Kisanga, The International Review of Research in Open, Distributed Learning, Sept 26, 2016

This is a good paper, crisply written (notice, for example, how the literature review is to the point, relevant to the topic, and supports the conceptual design of the study). It's a simple survey, but at least consisted of a random sample (within constraints) and we see the actual questions. Analysis looked at responses across clusters of questions, considering for example a person's attitude to e-learning, and mapped them to demographic and other factors. Positive attitudes toward e-learning are associated with exposure to e-learning (in line with the theory of the mere exposure effect) and "are also in line with the developed conceptual framework of this study adapted from the TAM theoretical model, which explains the relationship between an individual's perceived ease of use (EoU) and attitude (A) towards a stimulus." Meanwhile, "teachers' negative attitudes towards e-learning could be attributed to other external factors that can hinder e-learning adoption."

[Link] [Comment]

A Far Cry from School History: Massive Online Open Courses as a Generative Source for Historical Research

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-09-26 19:50


Silvia Gallagher, Ciaran Wallace, The International Review of Research in Open, Distributed Learning, Sept 26, 2016

Good article that takes advantage of the fact that in some MOOCs knowledge is created and not merely transmitted. "Learner participation in MOOCs is a two way process whereby learners are both consumers and producers of knowledge. In these connectivist environments, learners are not only being encouraged to interact with one another, but are also given the facility to share and create content." This paper is a detailed examination of how this can work and reports on a specific case; "The MOOC examined in this research focuses on the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923 in Ireland, and was delivered over six weeks by Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and Futurelearn." Good paper in what is a pretty uneven issue of IRRODL.

[Link] [Comment]

New LinkedIn features emphasize learning as more workers face threat of automation

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-09-26 19:50


Nat Levy, GeekWire, Sept 26, 2016

This article is more about the e-learning feature in LinkedIn than it is about the dangers of automation. Right now the  LinkedIn Learning services offers premiun subscribers a course-finding service, online learning support, and posting of newly acquired competencies on the personal profile, basically combining services offered by LinkedIn and Lynda.com. The next part of the system is obviously a job-matching feature that will recommend opportunities to users, and potential candidates to employers.

[Link] [Comment]

The how’s, why’s and what-to-do’s of cloud security in higher education.

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-09-26 02:05

BY MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

According to a number of cybersecurity experts, no platform or industry is immune from data breaches, especially as targeted “hacktivism” is on the rise, says John Wethington, cybersecurity executive at Ground Labs. But if the cloud is “only as safe as the administrative credentials of a single person,” how can colleges and universities focus on identifying all of the data they have and reducing their digital footprint? In 2015, Ken Westin, senior security analyst at Tripwire, as well as FBI experts working the case, said Penn State’s attack by Chinese cyber terrorists was part of a larger campaign targeting similar departments and groups in higher education in a search for intellectual property. Now, in 2016, during an interview with Wethington on cloud security issues in higher education, it seems this type of what he calls “hacktivism” is on the rise.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/safety-and-security/cloud-security-hacktivism/

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Why it makes sense to study online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-09-26 02:02

by the Sociable

In recent years, online learning has gone from strength to strength, with more and more students opting to take their degree courses online rather than attending physical classes. Online learning is becoming more accepted and “normal” in today’s digital world, as opposed to when it was first introduced, which saw a lot of stigma attached to online degrees, leading many to believe they were somehow not worth as much as degrees obtained from a physical college.

http://sociable.co/web/online-learning-makes-sense/

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Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Education in the Age of the MOOC

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2016-09-25 19:47


Noam Ebner, Social Science Research Network, Sept 25, 2016

Good paper (47 page PDF) on the development and delivery of a MOOC on negotiation and conflict resolution. It's focused around four major issues:

  1. Can we provide the same quality of negotiation education in a MOOC format
  2. Can the signature pedagogy of the negotiation field, the experiential learning model, be implemented in a MOOC?
  3. Can we provide students in a MOOC the same experience that has made negotiation courses successful?
  4. What implications might this have for negotiation and dispute resolution education?

I really like the section on quality (it should be required reading). "Interestingly, the standards for assessing the quality of traditional negotiation courses have been somewhat vague both in terms of outcomes within the course," writes Noam Ebner.

[Link] [Comment]

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