news (external)

A Growing (But Controversial) Idea in Open-Access Textbooks: Let Students Help Write Them

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-02-09 16:10

Ellen Wexler, EdSurge, Feb 09, 2017

I've promoted the idea of having students author learning resources since forever, but not surprisingly the idea hasn't caught on. It won't catch on after this article either but each voice in support is a tiny step forward. The article describes physics teacher Delman Larsen's project called LibreText in which his students write the wiki-like textbook. Jessica Coppola, another professor doing the same thing, has a very practical reason for doing so. “ I commonly have students who are homeless, students who have to choose between feeding their child and buying a textbook,” she says. “ I had to find a way to get them a free resource.”

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Refining a self-assessment of informatics competency scale using Mokken scaling analysis.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Thu, 2017-02-09 16:10
Related Articles

Refining a self-assessment of informatics competency scale using Mokken scaling analysis.

J Interprof Care. 2015;29(6):579-86

Authors: Yoon S, Shaffer JA, Bakken S

Healthcare environments are increasingly implementing health information technology (HIT) and those from various professions must be competent to use HIT in meaningful ways. In addition, HIT has been shown to enable interprofessional approaches to health care. The purpose of this article is to describe the refinement of the Self-Assessment of Nursing Informatics Competencies Scale (SANICS) using analytic techniques based upon item response theory (IRT) and discuss its relevance to interprofessional education and practice. In a sample of 604 nursing students, the 93-item version of SANICS was examined using non-parametric IRT. The iterative modeling procedure included 31 steps comprising: (1) assessing scalability, (2) assessing monotonicity, (3) assessing invariant item ordering, and (4) expert input. SANICS was reduced to an 18-item hierarchical scale with excellent reliability. Fundamental skills for team functioning and shared decision making among team members (e.g. "using monitoring systems appropriately," "describing general systems to support clinical care") had the highest level of difficulty, and "demonstrating basic technology skills" had the lowest difficulty level. Most items reflect informatics competencies relevant to all health professionals. Further, the approaches can be applied to construct a new hierarchical scale or refine an existing scale related to informatics attitudes or competencies for various health professions.

PMID: 26652630 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

An Open EdTech Letter to Secretary DeVos

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-02-09 01:12

By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Congratulations on your Senate confirmation as Secretary of Education. Over the weeks and months to come, you will have the opportunity to learn about some of the innovative programs to leverage technology to advance higher education, such as the EQUIP program, that the department has championed. My hope is that these programs are evaluated and understood in the way that we in higher education view them – as essentially non-partisan and non-political. One essential role that the department can play in driving post secondary innovation is that of a convener. The Department of Education, particularly in collaboration with the White House, enjoys an almost unique ability to pull together diverse groups of people….

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The Shattered Mirror, Part Two: The Underwhelming Recommendation for Open Licensing at the CBC

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-02-09 01:09

Michael Geist, Feb 08, 2017

Michael Geist has authored a two-part review of The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age (108 page PDF), released by the Public Policy Forum in January (part one, part two). The report itself is a mixed bag, on the one had seeking to strengthen revenue for news media (partially by extending copyright), and on the other hand seeking to address local needs (partially by helping CBC reduce reliance on advertising). Geist's first article attacks (quite rightly) the recommendations on copyright. And in his second posts he applauds opening CBC content under Creative Commons but wonders why the authors would recommend the "no-derivatives" clause, which would prevent people from making anything new with CBC content.

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The Path to Prosperity

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-02-09 01:09

Advisory Council on Economic Growth, Feb 08, 2017

The Canadian Government's Advisory Council on Economic Growth has released a set of five papers under the heading of 'The Path to Prosperity'. Here they are:

The second (FutureSkills Lab) and Fifth (Workforce Participation) have the greatest impact on education and training. The latter is the 'skills gap' argument for 2017, with a focus on reskilling and workforce integration. The former would "solicit, select, and co-finance innovative pilot programs in skills and competency development. I can think of a few things I'd propose for such a program.

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The Security Impact of HTTPS Interception

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-02-09 01:09

Zakir Durumeric,, Feb 08, 2017

The state of web security is, um, awful. Specifically, with respect to HTTPS, here's what this pointed study reports: "we find more than an order of magnitude more interception than previously estimated, ranging from 4– 11%." This was determined by studying different browsers, e-commerce sites, and content distribution networks. But worse, software installed by corporations to increase security may be making the network more vulnerable. "62% of traffic that traverses a network middlebox has reduced security and 58% of middlebox connections have severe vulnerabilities. We investigated popular antivirus and corporate proxies, finding that nearly all reduce connection security and that many introduce vulnerabilities." Via O'Reilly.

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Announcing the new CC Search, now in Beta

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-02-09 01:09

Creative Commons, Feb 08, 2017

Creative Commons has launched a new search service. "The new CC Search harnesses the power of open repositories, allowing users to search across a variety of open content through a single interface. The prototype of this tool focuses on photos as its first media and uses open APIs in order to index the available works.... we selected the Rijksmuseum, Flickr, 500px, the New York Public Library as our initial sources." The beta, I think, needs to be refined - none of my 36K Creative-Commons licensed photos on Flickr appear to be findable.

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Higher ed business leaders say this is critical for 2017: Outsourcing Debate

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-02-09 01:05


For many in academia, the idea of outsourcing coincides with a very real fear of predatory financial models and relinquishing control of their institution to companies who may not truly honor their history, their roots, their work, and their mission. Yet in the changing terrain of higher education—terrain marked by changing student demographics, dynamic technology, and increasing regulation—the question CBOs really need to be asking is: Is our mission to do everything ourselves, or is our mission our mission? The insourcing vs. outsourcing debate is a lively one in the academy. Reports and articles urging higher ed to build institutional capacity for analytics and to stop ceding their independence to outside entities in the name of innovation couple with a scathing undercurrent of commentary describing vendors as parasitic harbingers of debt akin to seedy payday loan companies.

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Everything Depends on the Data

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-02-09 01:03

by Todd Bryant, EDUCAUSE Review

Trends in education promise to improve how institutions support students by providing the student, instructor, or institution the ability to make more informed decisions using student-created data. Unfortunately, as our reliance on data increases, our ability — especially students’ ability — to access the data seems to diminish. Whereas learning analytics gives a small number of users access to a single large data set, personalized learning requires that a large number of users — students — have access to their own relatively small portion of data within various systems. While no solutions come without a cost, enormous potential benefits to institutions, educators, and students arise if we adopt systems that provide access to data produced by students.

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How personalization will drive higher edtech in 2017

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-02-09 01:01


Harnessing the power of personalization features inside your campus mobile services will resonate with incoming and current students. The consumer experience has changed drastically in just the last 10 years. Long gone are the days when customer service interactions happened face-to-face, as consumers increasingly prefer the convenience and automation of mobile experiences. This rise in on-demand services has created a new consumer who expects personalization: a timely experience catered to their unique preferences and interests. Most of us appreciate how mobile has helped to facilitate this new instant gratification because we can remember a challenging customer experience. Students today never knew a world where paychecks were deposited at a specific bank location during specific hours, TV shows and movies aired at certain times or radio stations decided what you would hear.

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CLOs, Move From Conduit to Curator

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-08 22:09

Greg Pryor, Chief Learning Officer, Feb 08, 2017

A CLO is a 'Chief Learning Officer' and the point of this article is to suggest that CLOs shift their role from being a 'conduit' of knowledge and information to being a 'curator'. This is a three step process:

  • Personalize employee learning experiences - "deliver content in a way that’ s personalized and similar to the content employees view on their personal devices; think Netflix and Facebook."
  • Enable the (l)earning curve - encourage learners "who are always ready to learn and evolve to meet new challenges"
  • Crowdsource employee knowledge - "have learning technology in place that can capture and store employee knowledge on the business"

Of course none of these is nearly as simple as the quick one-paragraph form suggests. And I thin k the process involves far more than mere curation.


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The DeVos Agenda

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-02-08 13:15

By Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

After winning confirmation with the vice president’s tie-breaking vote, new education secretary is expected to shift away from Obama policies on for-profit higher education, regulation and dealing with sexual assault on campus. Barmak Nassirian, the director of federal relations and policy analysis with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, said Secretary DeVos’s credibility and effectiveness will be a direct function of her conduct on that job. Nassirian, a frequent critic of for-profit colleges, said it appears the Trump administration will be more sympathetic to that sector and the student loan servicing sector. The Obama administration introduced a number of regulations to step up accountability of for-profits that receive revenue from federal financial aid. DeVos could undertake a re-evaluation of the gainful employment regulations, including the quality of the data and metrics used.

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Online courses: your passport to a new career

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-02-08 01:10

by Helen Lock, the Guardian

Online study is booming and technical innovation in the field has allowed universities to offer more unusual and specialist courses than ever before. So, if you fancy delving into the mysterious world of art crime, becoming a skilled food technologist, or even becoming a space scientist, you can – without even leaving the house. Donna Yates, who teaches the University of Glasgow’s online postgraduate certificate in antiquities trafficking and art crime, which launched in 2016, has been pleased with the format so far. “Online courses attract some amazing, high-quality and diverse students – students who can’t travel all the way to Glasgow but are totally engaged with the topic,” she says.

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Algorithms and insults: Scaling up our understanding of harassment on Wikipedia

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-08 01:09

Ellery Wulczyn, Dario Taraborelli, Nithum Thain, Lucas Dixon, WikiMedia Foundation, Feb 07, 2017

I've seen this type of result before, but it's worth reiterating. "Registered users make two-thirds (67%) of attacks on English Wikipedia, contradicting a widespread assumption that anonymity is the primary contributor to the problem." The other two observations are also consistent with my own experience of Wikipedia (and speak to why I don't get myself involved in editing Wikipedia documents): "Only 18% of attacks were followed by a warning or a block of the offending user" and "While half of all attacks come from editors who make fewer than 5 edits a year, a third come from registered users with over 100 edits a year."

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Gavagai and TZQQA

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-02-08 01:09

Mark Liberman, Language Log, Feb 07, 2017

I thought this was a fun post. Quine's thesis on the indeterminacy of translation is that in the case of a radical translation - that is, a translation of a completely unfamiliar language - we don't have sufficient evidence to be certain of the meaning of any specific word - 'gavagai', say - in the other language. What's amusing here is that this theory is applied to teens' use of text messaging. What does 'TZQQA' mean, anyways? "There is nothing in linguistic meaning, then," says Quine, "beyond what is to be gleaned from overt behavior in observable circumstances."

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In era of fiscal concern, colleges look to new degree programs to boost bottom lines

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-02-08 01:05

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Georgia Tech is among hundreds of schools looking to attract more students and invite more private support through the establishment of new academic offerings. This week, the university announced plans for a fall launch of a new online master’s degree program in analytics, its second computer science-based distance learning program that will be offered for less than $10,000 developed in the last two years. Officials called the program a strategic effort to boost opportunities for working professionals and to meet the nation’s objectives in STEM advancement. “It is a national imperative for universities to offer high-quality degree programs at an affordable price and Georgia Tech has developed a model that delivers the rigor of the campus curriculum to online students worldwide,” said Gary S. May, dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair, said in a release.

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Tech is changing manufacturing. These classes could help people and businesses adapt.

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2017-02-08 01:03

by Amina Alahi, Chicago Tribune

Experts agree that automation is coming to American manufacturing, but many employers and workers still have to learn how to adapt. An upcoming online course on digital manufacturing and design aims to address questions about the future of manufacturing, and will be the first massive online open course (MOOC) from Goose Island-based UI Labs. “Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology” will offer about 40 hours of instruction in 10 installments delivered by Coursera, a leading platform for online courses. The first three will be online Jan. 30, with the rest going live later in the year. Topics include digital design and manufacturing basics, intelligent machines and cybersecurity.

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Focus Knob - Wed, 2017-02-08 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Internationalen Tag der Epilepsie am 13.02.2017

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Tue, 2017-02-07 23:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Internationalen Tag der Epilepsie am 13.02.2017
Categories: Science News

Next Generation Repositories

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-02-07 19:09

Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), Feb 07, 2017

The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) has released a report as a part of its efforts to define a vision for resource repositories. "The vision is to position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed." the current report outlines 12 user stories that help define the functions to be supported. This is a draft for public comments (which will be open until March 3). You can comment paragraph-by-paragraph right on the web page.

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