news (external)

In person online: the human touch

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-10-20 02:10

BY JUDITH BOWMAN, Oxford University Press Blog

We can create the human touch by establishing an online presence – a sense of really being there and being together for the course. To be perceived as real in the online classroom we need to project ourselves socially and emotionally, and find ways to let our individual personality shine through whatever communications media we’re using. We can look to our own face-to-face teaching style for ways to humanize an online course. What do we do in a face-to-face classroom to make ourselves more approachable? We talk with students as they arrive for class, spice up lectures with touches of humor and relevant personal stories, treat discussions as conversations, and sometimes depart from what we planned so we can follow more promising asides.

http://blog.oup.com/2014/10/music-education-online-in-person/

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A New Department Marks the Rise of a Discipline: ‘Computational Media’

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-10-20 02:05

by Rebecca Koenig, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Pixar movies, interactive video games, smartphone applications—all are forms of computational media, the marriage of computer science to the arts and humanities. Signaling a deeper investment in that fast-growing if slippery field, the University of California at Santa Cruz announced the creation on Monday of what it called the first computational-media department ever.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/a-new-department-marks-the-rise-of-a-discipline-computational-media/54883

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Blended Learning as Transformational Institutional Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-10-20 02:02

by Kim VanDerLinden, Tomorrow’s Professor

The research about the effectiveness of blended learning provides a powerful jolt for campus members. Of note, a recent Inside Higher Education (2013) survey of faculty attitudes toward technology found large amounts of skepticism among faculty members about the quality of online learning. This finding of high levels of skepticism, taken out of context, raises more questions than answers. What specifically are faculty members skeptical about – the learning outcomes, the pedagogical approaches, and student engagement in online activities? And if faculty members are the instructional designers in most instances, does that mean they are skeptical about their own work as novices or the work of their colleagues? The results become clearer when we keep in mind that most faculty members who were surveyed do not actually teach online. Moreover, the survey revealed that appreciation of the quality of online courses grows with instructors’ experiences teaching online.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1358

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Orb Hammer

xkcd.com - Mon, 2014-10-20 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

On the Question of Validity in Learning Analytics

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-10-19 17:14
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Adam Cooper, CETIS Blogs, Oct 19, 2014

So your learning analytics have produced a result. How do you know you should rely on it? As Adam Cooper writes in this post, there are two dimensions of assessment of analytics results: reliability (or, how closely focused the results are on a single value), and validity (or, how closely the results are to the correct result). Note, he writes, that mere predictive accuracy is not enough to establish validity. How does the prediction compare to a random result? How many false positives and false negatives were there? The prediction could be accurate, in other words, but lucky. But more, we need to ask whether the tool could ever be used in practise and whether the results generalize or are reproducible.

[Link] [Comment]

UNL is looking to expand distance learning programs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-10-19 02:10

By Bailey Schulz, Daily Nebraskan

The university already has an acclaimed graduate online education program, ranked sixth nationwide among online graduate business programs, and ranks 11th out of 300 in distance education programs, according to U.S. News and World Report’s most recent rankings. Administrators want to place more emphasis on online programs. “We need to expand these programs, both for the revenue they provide as well as the diversity of new students they connect to our campus,” Nebraska Chancellor Perlman said.

http://www.dailynebraskan.com/news/unl-is-looking-to-expand-distance-learning-programs/article_ae559548-528b-11e4-a149-0017a43b2370.html

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7 STEM apps designed by students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-10-19 02:05

By Michael Sharnoff, eSchool News

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) may have found an innovative solution through the creation of the Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) Video Game Innovation Fellow, a prestigious award to encourage American minorities to pursue STEM fields. On Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C., I had the privilege to meet with 20 student fellows, ages 15-25, selected for their video game and app prototypes that address social issues in their community. These future ed-tech leaders did a fantastic job of not only promoting STEM fields, but also dissuading the naysayers that the United States lacks innovation in education and technology. The fellows presented their projects to the Obama administration and will receive an innovation grant to help further develop their game or app. Here are seven of the apps that really stood out.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/10/13/stem-apps-students-429/

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In Texas higher education, massive open online courses are money well-spent

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-10-19 02:02

By Caroline Levander, Houston Chronicle

Like many of its peers in Texas and elsewhere, Rice has developed a portfolio of MOOCs – now numbering more than 40 – for hundreds of thousands of learners, and we show no signs of slowing down. The costs of this endeavor have been substantial, and the return on investment – at least in dollars – thus far has been negligible, to say the least. So one might well ask, particularly at a university that prides itself on its smarts, why? Why do this expensive and difficult thing? What’s the value proposition for having award-winning faculty creating digital education assets for the masses? And even more pointedly, aren’t you eroding your own business model by “giving away for free” what students and their families are spending hard-earned money to acquire? The answer is as simple as the question: It’s all about the assets.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Levander-In-Texas-higher-education-massive-open-5816611.php

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Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-10-18 20:12
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Paul Lewis, Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, Oct 18, 2014

The Guardian is  standing by its story that Whisper, the application that guarantees complete anonymity to users, is tracking and sharing their locations. For its part, although Whisper dismisses the Guardian story as a pack of lies, it has also altered its terms of service to  allow such tracking. And  according to American Journalism Review, "Whisper in particular is aggressively pushing its content to reporters as potential sources  for news stories." It also had a  partnership with Buzzfeed and the  cable news channel Fusion. The thing is,  you can't be an anonymous app and a news source at the same time. Some links via American Press Institute 'Need to Know'.

[Link] [Comment]

U of Chicago: 3 Challenges Creating Massive Open Online Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-10-18 02:10

by Tony Dreier, Streaming Media

Video in education has moved beyond simply capturing classes and letting students review online. Video is truly changing the way institutions are delivering education. Progressive institutions are delivering “Global Classrooms” where students—and even multiple professors—are located in classrooms around the globe. At the other extreme, institutions are delivering education to mass audiences through online video. Multiple business models are being developed, including charging for classes, providing them for free, and even offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Hear about the challenges and successes from those who are experimenting with these new business models.

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/U-of-Chicago-3-Challenges-Creating-Massive-Open-Online-Courses-99848.aspx

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Free Ebola Prevention Class Offered Online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-10-18 02:06

By Allie Bidwell, US News

More than 10,000 West Africans have taken a free online course about preventing the spread of Ebola. The free course might not make a significant impact, but it could help spread information, experts say. ALISON (Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online), a global online education company based in Ireland, has been providing a free massive open online course, known as a MOOC, to thousands of people in West Africa in an effort to educate them about preventing the spread of Ebola, a disease that has claimed the lives of nearly 3,900 people, according to an Oct. 8 update from the World Health Organization. More than 250,000 of the online education company’s 4 million students are located in West Africa – with 100,000 in Nigeria and 50,000 in Ghana, two areas that have experienced new outbreaks.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/10/09/global-education-company-offers-online-course-on-ebola-prevention

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New level of courses now offered on edX: Paid, Professional / Continuing Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-10-18 02:02

by eCampus News

Thanks to universities looking to diversify [and monetize] their online offerings, edX is starting to host for-credit, for-a-fee, and job market-targeted courses to recent graduates. One of the first institutions to embark on this new level of course on edX, Rice University will offer three professional education courses in conjunction with the online education provider. Subjects will include energy sustainability, laboratory safety and health care in the digital environment, and the courses will begin in 2015 or 2016. Unlike free massive open online courses (MOOCs), participants will pay a fee to take these courses, build their professional knowledge and skills and earn certificates and/or continuing education credits. The courses are intended for recent graduates entering the workforce and current professionals seeking to advance their careers or transition into a new field.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/edx-rice-fee-781/

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Welt-Osteoporosetag am 20.10.2014

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Sat, 2014-10-18 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Welt-Osteoporosetag am 20.10.2014
Categories: Science News

Our Digital Futuire: A Crowdsourced Agenda for Free Expression

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-17 14:09


Various authors, Open Media, Oct 17, 2014

"At its best," reads the executive summary of this report, "the Internet encourages us to share, use our creativity, and express ourselves freely. It fosters the same key experiences that help us preserve our imaginations and our capacity to learn as we grow from children into adults." Drawing from contributions from the community, the report makes three main recommendations:

  1. Respect creators
  2. Priorize free expression
  3. Embrace democratic processes

"Citizens, particularly young people, are increasingly questioning the legitimacy and effectiveness of traditional models of governance and hierarchical processes of decision-making; a new method befitting the era of participation is sorely needed."

[Link] [Comment]

Display<div class="image_display">

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-17 14:09
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Louise Brown, Toronto Star, Oct 17, 2014

It's not exactly what I had in mind when I talked about alternative assessment mechanisms recently, but you can see how this website, which rates students based on groupwork, easily fits the category. "A York University MBA grad has launched a website where college and university students can rate their classmates — up to five stars, with room for comments — on how they perform on the pillars of group work: teamwork, competence, dependability, work ethic and communication skills."

[Link] [Comment]

MOOCs: A Review of the State-of-the-Art

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-17 14:09
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Ahmed Mohamed Fahmy Yousef, Mohamed Amine Chatti, Ulrik Schroeder, Marold Wosnitza, Harald Jakobs, CSEDU 2014 - 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, Oct 17, 2014

This is quite a good overview of the current state of MOOCs with a number of good images, statistics and definitions, making it a great reference paper for future discussions. "84 peer reviewed papers were selected in this study. A template analysis was applied to analyze and categorize the MOOCs literature into 7 dimensions, namely concept, design, learning theories, case studies, business models, target groups, and assessment."

[Link] [Comment]

Launching the new Open Access Button. Push Button. Get Research. Make Progress.

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-17 14:09
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Unattributed, Open Access Button Blog, Oct 17, 2014

I'm sure every research has had the same experience: we do a search on Google or follow up a promising reference form some other paper, access the link, and are faced with nothing but a subscription wall. It's a daily occurrence for me, and to my min, these search results are nothing but spam. The Open Access Button is intended as a remedy. "We have gone from an idea to a really useful, workable bookmarklet which has helped track thousands of people running into paywalls. Our bookmarklet was great, we love it but we want to grow and make the Open Access Button better, we’ re launching the new Open Access Button on Tuesday October 21st." See also: "Researchers want to be read, acknowledged and quoted."

[Link] [Comment]

New LMS Market Data: Edutechnica provides one-year update

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-17 14:09
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Phil Hill, e-Literate, Oct 17, 2014

Phil Hill gives us a look at a rich source of information about the LMS market, Edutechnica'a one-year update. Although the study is US-focused, it does also have data for the "anglosphere" (Canada, the US, the UK and Australia) (do read the Edutechnica post for an update on the nature of institutions studied). The major news is: Blackboard still leads, Canvas has overtaken D2L, and Moodle has a significant and still growing market share.

[Link] [Comment]

Where Has All the Learning Gone?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-17 14:09
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Rob Reynolds, The Learning Lot, Oct 17, 2014

It has been a couple weeks since the EDUCAUSE conference, but this retrospective is worth reading (and I was in Brazil so I can be forgiven for being a bit slow with this item). Rob Reynolds observes, "At EDUCAUSE, it seemed evident that the problem we are trying to solve is that of making our businesses -- our institutions, companies, products -- more successful." From where I sit, I think that this is probably the result of the withdrawal of public money from education - educators and technology companies look to where the money is, and increasingly, it's not students, it's business and industry.

[Link] [Comment]

Why Germany Is So Much Better at Training Its Workers

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-17 14:09
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Tamar Jacoby, The Atlantic, Oct 17, 2014

It is tempting to want to simply import Germany's successful apprenticeship training model to the United States, says Tamar Jacoby, but such an idea should be approached with caution. For one thing, the system is expensive - from $25K -to $80K per apprentice. It also depends on significant government involvement in industry in order to create and maintain cross-industry standards. And it is focused on blue-collar training, which is seen as second-rate on this side of the ocean. But, on the other hand, the system is flexible and effective, it is popular, and it trains highly skilled workers who produce world-class machinery. But note the attitude: “ German companies want to train,” one trade association executive told us, “ because they know the schools can’ t do it. Especially in today’ s tech economy, vocational schools alone can’ t prepare the workers we need.”

[Link] [Comment]

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