news (external)

Recommended Reading: CBE platforms represent a truly niche market

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-03-22 01:37

Phil Hill, e-Literate, Mar 21, 2017

It's pretty hard to make that case when you're steeped in enterprise learning, but I think it's true: "CBE is indeed a niche market growing much more slowly that many had hoped or predicted." There are reasons for that. Alex Usher touches on the core issue: "we are having trouble figuring out skills and competencies outside narrow professional frameworks?" Even proponents are taking it slow. Here's Brightspace's John Baker: "we look at it as one component of the learning experience,” Baker said. “ What we’ re hoping is you’ ll see more and more courses, programs, universities and colleges making a complete transition to that model of learning. But we recognize that that transformation takes time.” See also: Deconstructing CBE. Image: CompetencyWorks.

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Facilitating Collaboration in Online Groups

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-03-22 01:09

by Geralyn E Stephens and Kathryn L. Roberts, JEO

Demonstrating the ability to collaborate effectively is essential for students moving into 21st century workplaces. Employers are expecting new hires to already possess group-work skills and will seek evidence of their ability to cooperate, collaborate, and complete projects with colleagues, including remotely or at a distance. Instructional activities and assignments that provide students with a variety of ways to engage each other have a direct and immediate effect on their academic performance. This paper shares the Facilitating Collaboration in Online Groups (FCOG) instructional planning strategy. The strategy is designed for faculty use and familiarizes students with the process and technology necessary to collaborate effectively in online classroom groups. The strategy utilizes proven teaching techniques to maximize student-student and student-content relationships.

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Common Challenges for Instructors in Large Online Courses: Strategies to Mitigate Student and Instructor Frustration

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-03-22 01:05

by Beth A. Trammell and Chera LaForge, Journal of Educators Online

Teaching in the online classroom is becoming commonplace for instructors as universities seek to grow enrollments and tap into unexplored markets. Many instructors, however, are often unprepared for the nuances of distance education and apprehensive about making the transition to online learning. This article aims to discuss common challenges for instructors of high-enrollment online courses (70+ students). Course design and instructional effectiveness are some of the most significant challenges facing instructors tasked with managing large online courses and those challenges align with the areas students commonly consider as necessary for successful online delivery. Using examples from large online classes and the existing research on best practices in online education, ways to minimize those challenges will be discussed.

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This heroic non-profit is providing free university education to refugees

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-03-22 01:02
By Jack Boulton Roe, Techly How best to offer education to displaced people? An important question and one that Kiron, a German non-profit, has attempted to answer with their two-year, refugee-targeted, online education programme. The proliferation of the internet has given rise to online learning platforms all over the world – take a look at MOOC-list for an idea of just what, and how much of it, is out there. What sets Kiron apart is their focus on refugees. A loss of education may not be the first thing that occurs in the case of a misplaced person, but when considering that 25 per cent of Syrians between 18-24 years old were in education before the war started, it becomes clear that this is vital work.

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Color Pattern - Wed, 2017-03-22 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News


Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Tue, 2017-03-21 23:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherten gestaltbaren Tabellen (mit Länderbezug) aus dem Bereich "Pflegestatistik" des Statistischen Bundesamtes wurden um das Jahr 2015 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Eliminativism and the Neuroscience of Consciousness

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-03-21 22:37

Richard Brown, Mar 21, 2017

The idea of 'eliminativism' is that our common-sense psychological concepts such as 'beliefs', 'desires', etc., don't actually exist. This has important implications for education, since pretty much all of educational theory depends on these concepts. I am an eliminativst philosophically; I don't think you actually find thoughts, beliefs or desires (or signs, symbols, models or representations) in the brain. That doesn't mean we can't use the words, it's just that we need to be very careful about invoking them in explasnations. It's like using the language of 'windows' and 'folders' to talk about a computer. "Clicking on the folder will bring up a menu showing where your saved files are, etc. But it would be a mistake to think that this gave you any idea about how the computer was working. It is not storing little file folders away."

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Virtual Reality: The next big storytelling medium?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-03-21 22:37

Stephanie Chan, Cisco | The Network, Mar 21, 2017

Would I pay money to see a movie in virtual reality (VR)? Oh my yes I would. According to this, "Upload VR reports that virtual reality is creating fans out of certain big-names like directors Guillermo Del Toro and Justin Lin. Lin, the director of The Fast and the Furious, also directed a Google 360-degree spotlight story called HELP." 

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Peers, more than teachers, motivate us to learn

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-03-21 22:37

Andy Henion-Michigan State, Futurity, Mar 21, 2017

Interesting summary of a publication (I can  read it here but it might be blocked where you are) suggesting, as the title says, that peers motivate us more than teachers. It's just one study (of "four sections of an online, introductory-level educational psychology course at a large, public Midwestern university," because there are no other kinds of people on earth) so don't read too much into it. "These findings suggest that what instructors were good at was getting across cold facts, while the peers seemed to be tapping into an identification process,” says Cary Roseth. It would be interesting to see whether the same results would hold in Europe, India and China. It's the age of the internet - can't publications demand that projects like this be global in nature?

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The Blockchain Revolution and Higher Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-03-21 16:37

Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott, EDUCAUSE Review, Mar 21, 2017

This is an overview article of the potential of the blockchain in higher education. We've covered the  blockchain in OLDaily before. In a nutshell: a transaction (contract, credential, whatever) is encrypted in a block, and the block is added to a chain of encryptions. So the transaction is public and verifiable, but secret and secure. It's tempting to imagine a network of competencies, badges and blockchains, as  Doug Belshaw did last year, but the Tapscitt version is a lot more conservative: "a student receives a custom learning experience from a dozen institutions, while the blockchain serves to track the student’ s path and progress."

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What the college digital experience will look like 5 years from now

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2017-03-21 01:06


The desire for a more digital campus has also come hand-in-hand with the rise of the non-traditional student, a population of which is generally characterized by part-time attendance, student swirl, working either full or part time, and taking classes either partly or entirely online. [Read: “Is it time to rethink the term nontraditional student?”] Online learning platforms change the lecture and classroom experience to allow students to connect with the university through a familiar medium–their mobile device. Predictive analytics, machine learning, chatbots and augmented reality have the ability to bring us into a completely new era of digital learning. In order for higher ed institutions to truly embrace these possibilities, advancements must encompass both student learning and student administrative functionalities.

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Digital disruption lowers the cost of expensive masters degrees

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2017-03-21 01:02

by Tim Dodd, Financial Review

A round of price-cutting has broken out in the market for high-priced masters degrees with four Australian universities offering students a pathway to complete part of the degree online at a steep discount. In a sign of digital disruption hitting higher education, the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide and Curtin University are offering students the chance to do a quarter of a full masters degrees at low cost through US-based massive open online course (MOOC) provider edX which gives them a new credential called a MicroMasters. Students can then complete the degree at the regular cost, giving them at least a 20 per cent discount overall.

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Coding, Robotics and the Jobs of the Future

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2017-03-21 01:02

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, tech Edvocate

IT jobs will grow by 22% through 2020 and jobs in STEM are said to see similar growth. Educators are expected to equip their students with skills that will translate into careers and yet they have no idea what these skills should be. So, what are the jobs of the future and how can be best prepare students for them? Programming jobs are growing 50 percent faster than the market overall. With such a rapidly growing market, it is important to note that not all coding jobs fall within the technology sector. Health care, manufacturing, and finance are in need of coders as is the tech industry. Coding is the backbone of many technologies, and in the future, it will be an important tool for entrepreneurs and innovators. Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_27470') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_27470') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_27470') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_27470'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php');,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if ( === 'facebook_share_button_27470') { button.onmouseover = function(){'#fff'; = '#295582'; = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ = '#3b5998'; = '#d8dfea'; = '#fff'; } } }

A Change Sprint – workshopping new ideas in a hurry

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-03-20 19:37

Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog, Mar 20, 2017

There are two interesting things in this post. The first is the description of the 'change sprint' that is the focus of the post as a whole. It's a method for getting input from other people when you can't just open up ideas to the whole internet. The second is the outcome from one of the change sprints, the 'learning ecosystem participant model', which ranges between open and directed action, and working along vs. working with others. P.S. he also notes that "calls to Twitter for participation weren’ t quite doing the same thing they used to." I wonder whether people are following Twitter very much these days (other than those focused on politics).

[Link] [Comment]

Google Scholar is a serious alternative to Web of Science

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-03-20 19:37

Anne-Wil Harzing, LSE Impact Blog, Mar 20, 2017

I agree with this assessment. "Commercial databases such as ISI and Scopus have  systematic  errors as they do not include many journals in the social sciences and humanities, nor have good coverage of conferences proceedings, books or book chapters." They are, in a word, biased toward traditional scientific publications (which is also where they make their money). It makes a difference to me.  According to Scopus my  h-index id 5.  According to Google Scholar my h-index is 26. That's a pretty large variance in the estimation of my academic impact. Via gsiemens.

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Lessons from Chicago: How to Hook Up Every Teen with a Tech Job

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-03-20 19:37

Jen Curtis, EdSurge, Mar 20, 2017

A long time ago  I offered my own  version of 'School 2.0' in which placement in the community was a core concept (that's it, pictured in the image). The current article describes an instantiation of that sort of vision. "The entire senior class was placed in full-time  tech internships throughout the city, acquiring job skills and building their professional networks instead of slogging through the traditional spring semester." Now the implementation was not without its issues: the staff had to scramble to find 74 placements, the high school students were sometimes unprofessional, and close supervision was required. “ We’ d rather students learn those lesson now rather than after investing 50K when the stakes are much higher.” Related:  Every space is a learning space.

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Coursera Removes Biometric Identity Verification Using Keystroke Matching

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-03-20 16:37

Dhawal Shah, Class Central, Mar 20, 2017

This is a bit of a puzzle. Over time, Coursera has focused on authenticating users and (thereby) offering 'validated' certificates. But the news now is that it is shutting this down. Class Central speculates that "It seems Coursera no longer feels the need to identify a learner every time they submit an assignment," thus ending the "constant nagging". But maybe it's because there's no point. Perhaps the authentication process doesn't actually work. That could explain why "the terms 'Signature Track' and 'Verified Certificate' are no longer used, and have been replaced by 'Certificate." But I don't know. Maybe it's Class Central making something out of nothing. A statement from Coursera on this would help, maybe.

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Teach schoolchildren how to spot fake news, says OECD

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-03-20 16:37

A boy using a computer A boy using a computer. The OECD plans to test the ‘global competencies’ of 15-year-olds around , The Guardian, Mar 20, 2017

I know we would all love to do this, but I don't think you can simply 'teach children to spot fake news'. That's a bit like trying to 'teach children to spot mathematical errors'. Yes, it's a great skill, but you need to acquire a mathematical education to do it; you can't specialize on spotting the errors. In the case of fake news, mastery of critical literacy is required (not just '21st century literacy', but a deeper understanding of how knowledge is created and verified in general). The Guardian article doesn't talk about any of this, but does outline "the OECD’ s plans to test young people’ s attitudes to global issues and different cultures, their analytical and critical skills, and abilities to interact with others." There's no link in the article, but here is an outline (44 page PDF) of the OECD's plan.

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Teacher wins $1M global prize for work in northern Quebec

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-03-20 01:36

Benjamin Shingler, CBC, Mar 19, 2017

Salluit  is an an Inuit  community of abut 1450 people in northern Quebec accessible only by boat (in summer) or by air. Maggie MacDonnell has been teaching in the community for six years, facing and witnessing first hand the everyday struggles faced by the community, including 6 suicides in 2015. "I didn't know until I came to Salluit that that was a Canadian reality," she said. But it is, and it's easy to ignore in the affluent south. But it's a little bit harder to ignore now after the award of the $1 million US 2017 Global Teaching Prize by the Dubai-based Varkey Foundation. And that's a good thing. See also BBC, which lists the other finalists.

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YaCy: The P2P Search Engine

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-03-20 01:36, Mar 19, 2017

The YaCy search engine actually exists and actually works, and I can even find myself on it. But "unlike centralized search engines like google, bing, and duckduckgo, YaCy is decentralized, and run entirely by a network of users, giving you lots more options, and a greater chance of privacy." I like things like this, which is why I'm linking to it. But I'm under no illusion. YaCy started in 2012 and it's not the sort of thing that becomes widely popular. Even now, only "more than 600 peer operators contribute each month [and] about 130,000 search queries are performed with this network each day." Here it is. Read about it here.

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