news (external)

Online education is dead; long live Mentored Simulated Experiences

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-07-04 15:42


Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, Jul 04, 2014

I'm not sure what is new about this proposal, except perhaps the name (which really just combines two things we already know quite well). Here's Roger Schank: "Universities have adopted online education wholesale. They are producing garbage. No, actually they are producing what they have always produced." So this, he says, is dead. Instead: "What is education? Its an experience, mentored by an expert, in which the student tries to accomplish something, fails, and then after some discussion with peers and mentors, tries again." It took less than a month for the term to be co-opted into something quite different, covertly reintroducing instructivism: " I think our ebook work is close to what he’ s describing, since we focus on worked examples (as a kind of 'mentoring') and low cognitive-load practice (with lots of feedback)."

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Personal Learning Networks, CoPs Connectivism: Creatively Explained

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-07-04 15:42
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Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education, Jul 04, 2014

OK, with some or another of these analogies I would probably have issues because the metaphor is not exact. But it doesn't really matter because what I really like is the way the author finds different ways to creatively express the essential nature of communities of practice. And a number of them capture a little-discussed but important aspect of MOOCs and communites of practice: self-organization.

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MOOC completion rates DO matter

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-07-04 15:42
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Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, Jul 04, 2014

Martin Weller offers an argument to suggest that MOOC completion rates do matter. He argues that while MOOCs may be like a newspaper, they're "like designing a newspaper where you had to read a certain section by a certain time." And, he asks: "Most MOOCs are about 6-7 weeks long, so 90% of your registered learners are never even looking at 50% of your content. That must raise the question of why are you including it in the first place?" The answer is very simple: Choice. On the internet today you have all the newspapers in the world. Most people only read a small fraction of them on a regular basis, but they feel free to dip into the content of others from time to time.

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EU's right to be forgotten: Guardian articles have been hidden by Google

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-07-04 03:42


James Ball, The Guardian, Jul 03, 2014

I'm sympathetic with both sides here. As "the result of a European court ruling that individuals had the right to remove material about themselves from search engine results," the Guardian newspaper reports that various stories about people it covers have been removed from search engine results. One such is the removal of results related to "Dougie McDonald, who was found to have lied about his reasons for granting a penalty in a Celtic v Dundee United match." Now on the one hand we should expect to have some privacy from Google's prying eyes. On the other hand, a newspaper - or, for that matter, a blogger - ought to have the right to post news about the person. Either way, it's up to a court - not Google - to make the decision, not as a blanket decision, but on a case by case basis.

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Online Faculty Perceptions on Effective Faculty Mentoring: A Qualitative Study

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-07-04 02:08

by Teresa Williams, Melissa Layne, Phil Ice; OJDLA

When higher education leaders give little thought or offer little mentoring to their faculty members, there is risk of driving faculty members from teaching online and of them having a poor experience in online teaching. Without mentoring support, faculty members may feel disconnected and unsupported. The purpose of the study was to examine the mentoring processes reported by faculty members teaching at online institutions of higher education in order to understand the processes of mentoring that these educators purport to be most beneficial to them in their faculty roles. Data from exploratory, opened-ended, and anonymous survey items completed by 26 faculty members generated a vivid picture of the needs of mentoring faculty members. Results of the survey indicated that faculty members need and want mentoring. The participants reported that they value communication as a critical component on a number of levels.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer172/Williams_Layne_Ice172.html

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What Online Students Want Compared to What Institutions Expect

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-07-04 02:06

by Jeffrey L. Bailie, OJDLA

The purpose of this study was to examine whether a set of instructional practices commonly prescribed to online faculty in the higher education setting were consistent with the expectations of a group of experienced online student participants. Online faculty performance conventions were collected from 20 institutions of higher learning located in the United States. The collective practices yielded three primary domains related to administrative faculty performance expectations in online instruction: Communication, Presence/Engagement, and Timeliness/Responsiveness. Undergraduate participants representing a cross section of colleges and universities in the United States were surveyed to determine their expectations for online faculty as compared to scaled items derived from the lists of participating institutions. The results of this investigation offer practitioners insight into how administrative instructional guidelines relate to the user demands of an informed group of undergraduate online students.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer172/bailie172.html

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Strategies for Increasing Faculty Participation & Retention in Online & Blended Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-07-04 02:02

by Kristen Betts and Amy Heaston, OJDLA

The need for online and blended programs within higher education continues to grow as the student population in the United States becomes increasingly non-traditional. As administrators strategically offer and expand online and blended programs, faculty recruitment and retention will be key. This case study highlights how a public comprehensive university utilized the results of a 2012 institutional study to design faculty development initiatives, an online course development process, and an online course review process to support faculty participation and retention in online and blended programs. Recommendations based on this case study include replicable strategies on how to increase faculty participation and retention in online and blended programs using collaboration, support, and ongoing assessment. This case study is a compendium to the 2012 Armstrong institutional study highlighted in the article “Factors Influencing Faculty Participation & Retention In Online & Blended Education.”

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer172/betts_heaston172.html

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Research Ethics

xkcd.com - Fri, 2014-07-04 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Demoting Social Silos to Syndication Endpoints

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41


David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Jul 03, 2014

David Wiley discovers Known and the result is magical. "Known is a publication platform that uses the “ POSSE” publication model, where POSSE stands for “ Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere” . .. The POSSE model is just beautiful. It represents everything empowering about the Reclaim and Retain work. In fact, the more I wrapped my head around it, the more excited I got." See  more about Known. This is the model - promoted here through everything from  indiweb to  Diaspora to syndication itself - that we've been taking about here for years. It's the basis for the personal learning environment. It's the basis for mesh networking. Welcome to the future, David. Maybe you want to read  this (and this) and we can talk about breaking down the silos and building indie learning. Via Jim Groom.

[Link] [Comment]

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41
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Nathan Yau, Flowing Data, Jul 03, 2014

Interesting presentation, sadly using U.S. data only, of every major job category, the size of the population employed in it, and the average salary. What I find noteworthy is that the slider only needs to move between $20K to $180K. It raises the question: who needs more than $180K to live? And why would incomes be higher than that? The vast majority of us earn something within that range. The people who earn more are deriving an unfair advantage from the work the rest of us produce and are distorting marketplace pricing for goods and services (everything from food to health care) the rest of us need to live.

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The Future is Open

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41
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Various authors, Creative Commons, Jul 03, 2014

Creative Commons has released their annual report as a picture book. I'm not sure what to think of that. Sure, there's text, but the presentation is mostly visual. The main highlight is the release of version 4.0 of the licenses - we are told they are "global licenses" that don't need to be adapted to each jurisdiction. "The new licenses include provisions related to database rights, personality rights, data mining, and other issues beyond the scope of the original CC licenses." But better is the recognition that "CC licenses are a patch, not a fix, for the problems of the copyright system." This is reflected in a  policy statement that urges that content be considered "open by default". Controls on reuse should be the exception, not the rule, and in my view, should require special justification. So much of any creation is borrowed from others there needs to be substantial justification for locking it in its entirety. I guess I don't mind the picture-book format, but posting credits on every page for each image, even the navigation icons, is distracting. Just build a credits page.

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How Should I Offer This Course? The Course Delivery Decision Model (CDDM)

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41


Thomas M. Brinthaupt, Maria A. Clayton, Barbara J. Draude, Paula T. Calahan, MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), Jul 03, 2014

This is not a bad paper though I wish the authors had been more imaginative in their typology of delivery models - the old "in-class, hybrid or online" classification could admit of much more nuance, ranging from pedagogical style (active learning, constructionism, lecture) through to media employed (videos, texts, simulations). There's a bit of that in the only substantive diagram of the model, which begins with sets of options for content, activities and feedback. But these seem placed squarely within an instructivist frame, and do not help guide delivery decisions in any substantive manner. I think the discussion is interesting, even though the model suffers from the flaws of models generally: people who understand the model don't need it, while people who need the model don't understand it.

[Link] [Comment]

Condition al Release of Course Materials: Assessing Best Practice Recommendations

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-03 15:41


Lawanna S. Fisher, Justin G. Gardner, Thomas M. Brinthaupt, Deana M. Raffo, MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), Jul 03, 2014

This is a pretty interesting paper up to the end of page four. It discusses the phenomenon of 'conditional release of material' - that is, showing students course content only after they have reached a certain threshold, such as passing a quiz. The author surveys types of and conditions for conditional release. You can stop reading at the point where you read the statement "Two of the authors surveyed undergraduate students in their courses over two semesters." The data that follows is essentially useless, even discounting the response rate of 38% from the surveys (I don't know why authors feel compelled to write these papers and why journals like JOLT feel compelled to publish them).

[Link] [Comment]

Archaeopteryx: Federn zum Wärmen und zum Fliegen

ScienceTicker.Info - Thu, 2014-07-03 12:13
Das Federkleid diente dem Archaeopteryx vermutlich zur Wärmeisolation. Beim schnellen Laufen könnten seine Armschwingen auch zum Halten der Balance gedient haben, so wie dies heute beim Strauß zu beobachten ist. Das schreiben Münchner Forscher im Magazin „Nature“. Die Wissenschaftler unter der Leitung von Oliver Rauhut, Paläontologe an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, analysierten das besonders gut erhaltene, […]
Categories: Science News

4 ways to make college more accessible for special needs students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-03 02:09

By Andria Casey, eCampus News

There may be a shortage of apps targeting post-secondary special education, but you can still take steps to facilitate a smooth transition for your students.  In recent years, the awareness of special needs in education has grown steadily. Yet, most of the focus is placed on K-12 resources. As special needs students move on to higher education, the amount of support and resources seems to dwindle. Nearly 350 special needs apps can be found when searching in the iTunes store. The large majority of these apps feature fun cartoons and basic concepts – perfect for the K-12 audience, but not the higher education audience. I was impressed with the recent eCampus News article on assistive technology apps, which listed several apps that held value beyond the doors of high school.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/education-special-needs-623/

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The 3 biggest parts of digital citizenship

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-03 02:04

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Digital citizenship has quickly become a cornerstone of a 21st-century education. Today’s students are part of a global school. Many take courses online with classmates from all over the country, and often, the world. A growing and essential aspect of this global education is digital citizenship–a growing concept that aims to educate students about the impact of their online and digital actions. “Digital citizenship is not a bunch of do’s and don’ts–it’s an incredible opportunity to bring to education new perspectives,” said educational futurist Jason Ohler. Today’s educational leaders must acknowledge digital citizenship’s necessary place in schools, classrooms, and homes.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/23/digital-citizenship-focus-632/

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6 keys to a good online course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-03 02:02

By Meris Stansbury, eSchool News

Here’s a hint: It’s not really about the technology! Online learning is about changing the delivery of instruction, but if it’s one thing everyone agrees on, it’s that good teaching, just like in the traditional classroom, makes or breaks the course. But what are the other characteristics of a good online course? Surprisingly, recent studies on MOOCs from Duke University, as well as many current articles on the topic of ‘what makes a good online course’ from both educators and students, all agree that the actual technology platform, or the recording technology used, has very little to do with an online course’s success. Instead, common factors like ‘good teaching,’ and ‘good organization,’ often used as keys to a good traditional course, are still the characteristics of a good online course. However, these keys are adapted for an online environment.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/good-online-course-591/

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Facebook psychology experiment raises ire

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-07-02 15:39


Staff, Globe, Mail, Jul 02, 2014

There has been quite a bit of  negative reaction to the revelation that Facebook has been experimenting on its users (this, of course, won't stop Facebook from experimenting like this, but it will stop them from publishing the results). Here's what you need to know, according to GigaOm, about the experiments. Here's Facebook's defense. Still, some people (including Audrey Watters) wand to de-Facebook. They'll be on Twitter (do you really think Twitter is any more ethical than Facebook?). But there's no escape. Even if you're gone, you'll be part of Facebook's  secret dossier of individuals. "There are no protections against shadow profiling. Just like with so-called "people search" websites, we have no legal mandates with which we can identify and remove our information from their systems."

But if you think all this begins with Facebook, or even with the internet, then I think that you're being terribly naive. How do you think credit scores are calculated - by magic?  Companies like Equifax have been maintaining 'shadow profiles' for decades. "According to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the three largest players in the credit reporting market — Equifax, Experian Information Solutions Inc. and TransUnion LLC — each maintain files on at least 200 million Americans culled from about 10,000 information providers." (Via) The insurance industry, as well, relies on such profiles when assigning risk and calculating rates. Marketing agencies collect dossiers to help them target mailing campaigns. Political parties keep track of voters. The list goes on and on. And they all experiment with different messaging to produce different results. So let's not all be shocked by this.

And the  social experimentation continues unabated. There's a long history. There are  well-established procedures and  ethics regulations which are routinely ignored by industry. Indeed, they're popular entertainment. They're passed off as art. Or reality series. Grocery stores and  retail outlets constantly experiment with traffic flows and consumer behaviour. All the  big data and  learning analytics studies - what do you think they are doing? Governments and companies  frequently experiment on soldiers, welfare recipients - indeed, any person from a disadvantaged group is fair game. So, again, let's not be shocked by all this.

[Link] [Comment]

Building Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for Academia and Industry, Onlea promotes economic diversity in Alberta

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-07-02 15:39


Jim Armstrong, TEC Edmonton, Jul 02, 2014

My longtime colleague Jennifer Chesney has joined up with two others at the University of Alberta to launch "a not-for-profit spin-off from the University of Alberta producing flexible, mobile-friendly, interactive learning courses, educational experiences, and assessment solutions that can be distributed across the wide variety of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms" (there's no shortage of adjectives with this group - perhaps they could leave some for the rest of us!). They were responsible for the popular Dino 101 online course.

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Buntbarsche akzeptieren nur Fleißige

ScienceTicker.Info - Wed, 2014-07-02 14:37
Buntbarsche müssen dominanten Brutpaaren bei der Aufzucht von Jungen oder der Revierverteidigung helfen, um im Schutz einer Gruppe leben zu dürfen. Wie schweizer Forscher beobachteten, droht Verweigerern eine Strafe bis zum Rauswurf aus der Gruppe.
Categories: Science News

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