news (external)

Why MOOCs Can Add More Value To A Student’s Profile Than You Think

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-01-05 01:06

by Forbes

Many students want to know how to utilize MOOCs to improve their profile and this brings us to the question of how value is being defined. Are you looking for a breadth of knowledge, a deeper understanding of a particular subject, or perhaps your focus is career advancement? If you have barriers in your way to traditional courses (through accessibility, financial hurdles, lack of public schools in your country, or the need to recreate yourself) I think people will look at your certificates in a different light. One of my fellow MOOC instructors has shared with me stories of students who have left their countries behind and used online courses as a way to quickly provide proof of competency, as well as create a new network of potential colleagues.

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MIT Intros MOOC Program in Development Economics with Blended Path to Master’s

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

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

It starts by attending and passing five massive, open, online courses (MOOCs) presented through MIT’s edX platform, MITx. Those online classes may be audited for free, like any other MITx course. Or for students interested in pursuing the master’s degree, they may pay course fees and pass proctored exams to be eligible to apply for admittance into the DEDP program. Each online course fee is between $100 and $1000, varying depending on the student’s ability to pay. Those who pay for course access receive additional support from MIT teaching assistants and other features unavailable to people auditing the course. Students who have already passed any of the MIT MOOC classes that make up the online portion of the program don’t have to repeat them; they simply have to pay the course fee and pass the exam.

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Using technology to personalize learning

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-01-05 00:20

Maggie Hos-McGrane, Tech Transformation, Jan 04, 2017

Two part article (part one, part two) on personalization (there may be more parts in the future) based on a review of  Personalized Learning: A Guide for Engaging Students with Technology by  Peggy Grant and Dale Basye. This first part summarizes a 2010 initiative called  Project RED (Revolutionizing EDucation) "which looked at the ways that technology can improve student achievement." The second part is "a list about the benefits of using technology for learning." I'm hoping future installments look more deeply at both the book and the subject.

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The Real Name Fallacy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-01-05 00:20

J.Nathan Matias, The Coral Project, Jan 04, 2017

Good article that challenges the idea that anonymity is the cause of poor behaviour on social networks (and that things would improve if we required people to use their real names). " the balance of experimental evidence over the past thirty years suggests that this is not the case. Not only would removing anonymity fail to consistently improve online community behavior – forcing  real names in online communities could also  increase  discrimination and worsen harassment." So if it doesn't actually help, why do so many pundits call for an end to anonymity? "This  provided the justification for more advanced advertising-based business models to develop, which collect more of people’ s personal information in the name of  reducing online harm." Via Ben Werdmuller.

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Star launches free e-learning for all

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-01-05 00:20

Press Release, Star Pubs, Bars, Jan 04, 2017

Star is a pub and bar company in Britain. You  lease pubs from them then eke out a living. It's in their interest to promote successful pub lessees, and so they've released  this e-learning training package of curses. Why is this important? It shows that online learning can be sustainable even when students aren't paying for it. Via  Eat Out.

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5 Reports Every Enrollment Manager Should Read

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-01-05 00:20

Daniel Fusch, Sarah Seigle, Academic Impressions, Jan 04, 2017

I found this list useful as these reports offer a bit of a snapshot of the industry. They are:

  • Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates - Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) - 160 page PDF
  • Jon Boeckenstedt - Interactive Dashboard - web page, with the dashboard about half way down, in the blue box
  • 2016 US Chief Admissions Officer Career Profile - American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers  (AACRAO) - 62 page PDF
  • Further Correlations Between Financial Aid, Retention - EAB (part of the  Advisory Board Company) - study of 40,000 students at 3 universities - press release only, couldn't find the study on the EAB website
  • The International Student Experience - World Education Services (WES) Research -  54 page PDF (signup required)
[Link] [Comment]

Finding ‘Personalized Learning’ and Other Edtech Buzzwords on the Gartner Hype Cycle

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-01-05 00:20

Michael B. Horn, EdSurge, Jan 04, 2017

This is an odd list. It's useful to debunk the buzzwords, but this item seems to endorse some questionable ones. Let's go through the list:

  • personalized learning - is nearing Gartner’ s peak of inflated expectations - yes, that seems right. But not simply among the "chattering classes" (whatever that means; I think it's a dog whistle saying "hey, I'm a Tory, listen to me")
  • competency-based Learning - is placed on the slope of enlightenment, which definitely feels wrong. No, I wouldn't conflate it with personalized learning (a straw man, if I ever saw one), but with the whole competency infrastructure still in development, I'd say it's still approaching inflated expectations
  • blended learning - moving toward the slope of enlightenment. Sure, but what an odd selection. Personalized and competency-based refer to pedagogy or learning design, while blended refers to choice of technologies.
  • project-pased learning - slope of enlightenment. I did a lot of project-based learning when I was a high school student in the 1970s. So if it's not yet on the slope of enlightenment, it's in trouble.

No, this article doesn't make things clearer at all.

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Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Wed, 2017-01-04 23:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherten gestaltbaren Tabellen aus dem Bereich "Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit" des Bundesministeriums für Arbeit und Soziales wurden um die Angaben des Jahres 2015 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

The Learner Engagement Spectrum

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-01-04 21:20

Juliette Denny, e-Learning Industry, Jan 04, 2017

Educators love nothing better than a good taxonomy. It's like dangling catnip in front of them. So courtesy of  is the learner engagement spectrum. "The Learning Management System can act as an indicator of engagement throughout the organization. If you have the right tools which let employees communicate and share their knowledge, you have several ways to make good use of their engagement spectrum." Note that this article looks like paid placement for  Growth Engineering (and if so, should be declared as such, ahem). They want you to sign up to view this 23 page workbook. Don't. It's just a pitch to take you to the Academy LMS, which touts game-based learning. Hey, I like a good LMS as much as the next person, but unmarked paid placement like this discredits the entire industry (and especially the publications that run it). Read more.

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The Evolution of Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom in Nursing Informatics.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Wed, 2017-01-04 12:20
Related Articles

The Evolution of Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom in Nursing Informatics.

ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2016 Jan-Mar;39(1):E1-18

Authors: Ronquillo C, Currie LM, Rodney P

The data-information-knowledge-wisdom (DIKW) model has been widely adopted in nursing informatics. In this article, we examine the evolution of DIKW in nursing informatics while incorporating critiques from other disciplines. This includes examination of assumptions of linearity and hierarchy and an exploration of the implicit philosophical grounding of the model. Two guiding questions are considered: (1) Does DIKW serve clinical information systems, nurses, or both? and (2) What level of theory does DIKW occupy? The DIKW model has been valuable in advancing the independent field of nursing informatics. We offer that if the model is to continue to move forward, its role and functions must be explicitly addressed.

PMID: 26836997 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

From the Editor.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Wed, 2017-01-04 12:20
Related Articles

From the Editor.

ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2016 Jan-Mar;39(1):1-2

Authors: Chinn PL

PMID: 26836989 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

Coursera Reveals Most Popular Online Courses of 2016

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-01-04 01:10

by Business Wire

Programming, data science, machine learning, English, and learning fundamentals are among most sought after skills. Coursera, the global leader in online education, today announced the Most Popular Courses and Most Popular Specializations of 2016 based on enrollments from its 23 million registered learners. The annual lists reveal a distinct interest in building specific professional and personal skills – from coding to communications – to land some of today’s hottest jobs. “We see a strong preference for skills in the cutting edge technology professions like data science and computer programming. But we also see a desire for personal betterment reflected in the choice of topics such as modern psychology and learning fundamentals”

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The 5 Biggest Higher Education Tech Trends in 2016

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-01-04 01:04

by Megan Bogardez Cortez, EdTech

Here’s the lowdown on what was interesting and innovative at universities this year. 1. Understanding the Power of Data; 2. Protecting Colleges from Growing Cybersecurity Threats; 3. Seeing the Valuable Potential for Virtual Reality; 4. Creating Robust Networks for Even More Devices; 5. Increasing Utilization of Cloud Services.

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How Should American Workers Prepare for Artificial Intelligence?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-01-04 01:03

by EdSurge

EDUCATING AN AI WORKFORCE: Will robots really take our jobs? As artificial intelligence (AI) technology advances, a new White House report offers three policy strategies that can help prepare Americans for a changing and increasingly automated economy. Highlights include: Invest in and develop AI; Educate and train Americans; Aid workers in the transition.

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Artifacts - Wed, 2017-01-04 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Announcement: Donate to OLDaily

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-01-04 00:19

Yes, it has only been a year, and I'm asking again. I have maintained OLDaily and the rest of this website at my own expense since 2001. It is not subsidized by my employer or anyone else. I've always been happy to do it, but now I need your help. Click here to Donate.

This site gets a lot of traffic - 400K unique viewers and almost a million page views in 2016. 2290.70 gigabytes of traffic. On average, it has cost $125 a month for the last ten years (currently, it's $US 140, or almost $200 Canadian, per month). Thank you to everyone who helped last year. I raised just over $3000, which paid for the server and the traffic.

I am committed to keeping all my services and resources free, and will not add a subscription to any part of my website, ever. That's a promise. So if you help me provide this service, I'd be happy to recognize your contribution, as thanks, on my Donation Page.

When are Digital Media and Tools Wrong for Teaching and Learning?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-01-04 00:19

Hugh Beaulac, Emerging EdTech, Jan 03, 2017

My answer to this is: almost never. But let's hear the other side. "Digital media changes the way students think. One  study says that reading on digital platforms makes youngsters more focused on 'concrete details rather than the big picture.' ... it would seem better to use non-digital platforms for teaching subjects where abstract thinking is crucial." And "the price we pay for being constantly inundated with information is a  loss of our ability to be contemplative and to engage in the kind of deep thinking that requires you to concentrate on one thing." There is also the concern about "screen addiction". I don't take any of these arguments to be conclusive; digitally literate students may think differently, but it does not follow that they are faring more poorly.

[Link] [Comment]

2017: Quarks, Love, and Insight

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-01-04 00:19

Gardner Campbell, Gardner Writes, Jan 03, 2017

Gardner Campbell starts off the new year with a terrific post asking the question: "what are the elementary particles and fundamental constituents of learning?" It's not that there's a right answer, but rather, that it sets us in motion asking the deep questions about our discipline. And whatever I may have thought about the question, I don't think I would have come close to Gardo's answer: love and insight. I don't see these as even close to elementary, but rather complex and complicated phenomena that require textbooks (or steamy summer movies) to explain. But if you're a teacher, and you're looking for feedback, it's the 'aha' of insight that is your primitive data (and Vicki Davis has a nice post on  love of teaching today too).

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Interaction networks for learning about objects, relations and physics

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-01-04 00:19

Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, Jan 03, 2017

One of the criticisms of neural networks (and of associative inference generally) is that it cannot generalize. See, for example, Fodor and Pylyshyn 1988. Of course in the 25 years since the criticism was leveled they have faced the sternest of all critics: empirical evidence to the contrary.  This paper describes a neural net that can learn Newtonian physics. "Our results provide surprisingly strong evidence of IN’ s ability to learn accurate physical simulations and generalize their training to novel systems with different numbers and configurations of objects and relations."

[Link] [Comment]

Person to Person: That’s How My Kind of Internet Works

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-01-04 00:19

Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, Jan 03, 2017

I'm not so much a person-to-person person. I prefer mass media and talking to large groups. But that's my shortcoming, the habits of a person raised in the era of best-selling books, newspapers and television. And as comfortable as I am with the format, I can see it's weaknesses very clearly - as Alan Levine points out, there's no person at the other end of the line. And it's only when there's a person there that any of this makes any sense (maybe that's why YouTube comments are so horrible - we know nobody at YouTube will ever read them).  Photo: Timur Saglambilek.

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