Miscellaneous

Self-Regulated Learning as a Critical Attribute for Successful Teaching and Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 17:46

Darren H. Iwamoto, Jace Hargis, Richard Bordner, Pomaika'inani Chandler, International Journal for the Scholarship of
Teaching and Learning
, Oct 17, 2017

My worst year in university was my first and I studied like the students described in this article studied, by reading the text and my notes. In the summer before my third year I learned to approach it more methodically, taking these apart and reconstructing the knowledge from scratch (classic constructivism, I know). This is the sort of self-regulation described in this paper (12 page PDF). For example, "Self-regulated learning refers to learning that occurs largely from the influence of student’s self-generated thoughts, feelings, strategies, and behaviors, which are oriented toward the attainment of goals (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1998, p. viii)." This plus skill in clear journalistic writing developed at the student newspapers was the key to success and straight As by the time I graduated. The research in this paper lies mostly in documenting the inability of the students described to do this, but several promising lines of inquiry are suggested in the conclusion: would 'grit' promote self-regulation? Would presence? Is self-regulation influenced by cultural factors? Would an artificial tutor help? Image: Dörrenbächer and Perels.

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Learning styles terminology: What is the researcher talking about?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 17:18

Warren W. Lake, William E. Boyd, Wendy Boyd, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Oct 17, 2017

Despite the learning style sceptics, academic papers devoted to learning styles continue to appear. This paper (8 page PDF) serves the useful function of calling for people writing about learning styles to be clear about terminology and of describing and clarifying some learning approaches to learning styles in terms of their meaning, reproduction and orientation, "making inconsistencies appear to be less of an issue." They also seek clarity on whether the author thinks the dimension in question is fixed or changeable. All of this goes to show, I think, that thinking of 'learning styles' as a simple four-dimensional taxonomy used for differentiating instruction is narrow and unhelpful. We can look at factors related to intrinsic interest, the relation of ideas and evidence, the structure of critical reasoning processes, intention, and more. Additionally, "the author should, if possible, refer to an overarching term such as learning patterns or learning dimensions as suggested in this paper, and most importantly specify the model used if based on existing models, as well as the tradition to which the research has been most based." That should apply to critics as well as researchers.

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Steve Wozniak just created his own online university

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 17:04

Mallory Locklear, Engadget, Oct 17, 2017

I'm thinking that this is exactly the opposite of what the world needs: "our goal is to identify and develop the most elite talent through our Online and Academy platforms and place them into the fastest growing, top technology companies around the world." This is the goal of Woz U, which will run this 'elite talent' through "an aggressive 12-16 month fully-immersive program" of "entrepreneur programs (and) how to finance and capital raise for start-ups." This seems to me to be more like brainwashing than education. This sham initiative is run through Exeter Education and is "considered" part of Southern Careers Institute (SCI).

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Raising Robot Literacy: Universal Robots Expands Unique Online Academy, Offering Free Interactive Modules in Robotics Programming

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 16:55

Press Release, Business Wire, Oct 17, 2017

OK, this is just a press release for a free course in robot programming, though of course its claims that you can "become a robot programmer in only 87 minutes" is obviously ridiculous. Don't follow this link; it will only encourage them. It reminds me once again that advertising is the original fake news. But it sent my mind off in a different direction: robot literacy training. After all, eventually we will madd produce robots, and they will learn using artificial intelligence, but artificial intelligence needs to be trained. Right now all that is pretty specialized but eventually there will be a new field of employment: robot training. There will be robot training academies, a discipline of instructional design for robot training, and all the rest. And I'm wondering how much overlap there will be with human training, and how much each field will learn from the other.

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Why Is Live Interactive Video Streaming So Rare Among MOOCs and LMSs?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 16:46

Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside News, Oct 17, 2017

I can answer that question from my own experience. It's really hard to put hundreds of people, let alone thousands, into a live interactive streaming conference. This article doesn't seem to recognize that difficulty. "It’s possible—in a course with scheduled lectures—for students to tune in, listen to a lecture in real time, ask questions, and participate in discussion from a remote location." Well yes, it's possible, but not in video. We've had interactive sessions in things like Big Blue Button or Google Hangouts, but you have to limit the number of participants. This means that the rest are relegated to tyoing comments in the chat. That's what Arc - touted in this article - also does. But even that can get out of hand if you have thousands of participants. 

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#openedMOOC Week 2: Copyright, the Public Domain, and the Commons

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 18:00

Jenny Mackness, Jenny Connected, Oct 16, 2017

This is week 2 of George Siemens and David Wiley's Open Education course and this week asks the question, "How did we get here?" Jenny Mackness offers a lucid discussion of the past and its issues as well as linking to some relevant posts by others. Richard Coyne captures the sharing dilemma: The darkest side of this sharing narrative is that consumers and the short-term contracted labour force are fed the idea that they are participating in a new democratised economic order. The sharing economy is just part of a sales pitch, and a way of dressing up inequities and dodgy business practices."

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Ivanka’s Syllabus

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 17:44

Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed, Oct 16, 2017

There's certainly room for criticism of the entire endeavouyr, as Audrey Watters makes clear in this post, and I prefer to steer well clear of the U.S. policy debate. Plenty of pundits (incluiding Watters) have made that their main focus. What interested me here was the list of "experts" assembled by Inside Higher Ed: consultant Bryan Alexander; Lindsey Downs, communication manager, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET); Michael Horn, chief strategy officer, Entangled Ventures; co-founder, Clayton Christensen Institute;Adam Newman, managing partner, Tyton Partners; Jonathan Poritz,office in the American Association of University Professors; and James Wiley, principal technology analyst, Eduventures Research. They each offer their own equally idiosyncratic lists of readings, which if taken together create a bit of a Frankenstein model of the field.

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CPT+10: A Bright Future for Open Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 17:05

Mark Surman, Philipp Schmidt, MIT Media Lab, Oct 16, 2017

This article is both a follow-up to the recent UNESCO Open Educational Reources Conference and the 10-year anniversary of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration. It spotlights the ten follow-up actions emanating from the conference. But also like the recent discussions of open access, it sounds a sour note on progress to date. "We have not made anything near to the progress that we’d dreamed of. Not even close." For example, "Text books are still one of the most monopolized and impenetrable parts of the publishing world, second only to scientific journal publishing." And I found this interesting: "the biggest changes in how people learn seem to have happened elsewhere, outside formal education (and somewhat outside the open education movement even)." These are the people we should be supporting - not the institutions, not the publishers, but the people who are finding a way to support and use open education despite them.

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Quantum Leaps We Can Expect in Teaching in the Digital Age - A Roadmap

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 20:56

Stephen Downes, TeachOnline.ca, Oct 15, 2017

I wrote this essay for the World Conference on Online Learning in Toronto next week. It's one of a series of articles commissioned for the conference. This essay is addressed to both the teachers of today and to the students of tomorrow. It is addressed to policy makers and pundits, to technology designers and developers, and to those who by virtue of office or inclination have the voice to speak to the future, to inform the weld of what we can do and what we want to do.

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Universal Paperclips

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 20:36

Jason Kottke, kottke.org, Oct 15, 2017

The idea of the 'meta-game' is that "you click a button to make money and use that money to buy upgrades which gives you more money per click," and so on. The reference here is to a thought experiment by Nick Bostrom reprinted in the Economist: "Imagine an artificial intelligence, he says, which decides to amass as many paperclips as possible. It devotes all its energy to acquiring paperclips.... This apparently silly scenario is intended to make the serious point that AIs need not have human-like motives or psyches." What I take away from that story is that humans need not have human-like motives. The meta-game is also the game that defines our economy, and that yields outcomes like the bitcoin bubble. When you play the meta-game, you're playing a broken scale-free system. 

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What If Socially Useful Jobs Were Taxed Less Than Other Jobs?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:57

Benjamin B. Lockwood, Charles G. Nathanson, E. Glen Weyl, Harvard Business Review, Oct 15, 2017

I read a little while ago an article describing the the 'rise of the useless class' of people who have no gainful employment in an automated world. This sort of thinking is offensive on several levels, but it's the sort of value set that underlies things like the current proposal wherein people would be induced to train for socially valuable jobs, like teaching, by the mechanism of tax incentives on employment. "Socially useful" in the current context is defined as the generation of "spillovers," for example, how "good teachers raise the eventual incomes of their students." Of course, we could simply tax high earners, like hedge fund managers, and use the money to pay more to teachers, but the whole purpose of this article (it seems to me) is to make sure we don't raise top tax rates or raise taxes on top earners. Hence the convoluted morality of an HBR article.

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On Learning and Common Sense

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:44

Will Richardson, Oct 15, 2017

One thing a lifetime working as a philosopher has taught me is that advances in thinking are truly incrental. Even the greatest thinkers - Descartes, Hume, Kant, Wittgenstein - advanced the state of the art only a few inches. So I'm not at all surprised to see so many of the 'new' ideas of today reflected in writers from the past. In the present case, as outlined by Will Richardson, it's Carl Rogers, who though "best known as a psychotherapist who championed 'client-centered therapy,' was also a vocal advocate for one of today’s most prevalent edu phrases, 'student-centered learning.'" Some of what he wrote would fit perfectly in a contemporary blog post. For example: "Learning is facilitated when the student participates responsibly in the learning process. When he chooses his own directions, helps to discover his own learning resources, formulates his own problems, decides his own course of action, lives with the consequences of these choices, then significant learning is maximized." 

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What to Expect from the Next Generation Learning Platform

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:37

Britt Peckham, Web Courseworks, Oct 15, 2017

A lot of this looks familiar to me. "Becky (Willis) explains that the next generation learning platform aggregates internal, external, informal, and formal, peer to peer content. It helps to curate it with AI and uses machine languages to personalize what the employees see." The diagram of the platform is from a slide show by Josh Bersin. The article is mostly a series of audio clips. While I love audio I really think something like this needs transcripts as well. It serves mostly as advertorial content for EdCast (which explains the audio, I guess). I'm linking mostly for the Bersin diagram.

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TrustBase: an architecture to repair and strengthen certificate-based authentication

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:29

Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, Oct 15, 2017

Interesting post about an interesting paper (17 page PDF) on something called TrustBase, a proposal to repair the existing flawed mechanism for internet security. "TrustBase aims to fix these problems by moving authentication from an application responsibility to an operating system responsibility, where an administrator can define policies." I think it's an interesting idea, and there are prototype implementations for various languages. 

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New presentation

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 14:40
Sorry, this presentation doesn't exist yet. Stay tuned. , () Oct 12, 2017 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

The Century collegiate handbook

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 20:17

Garland Greever, Internet Archive, Oct 14, 2017

This is one of the many books from  'freed' by the Internet Archive under a rule "which allows for non-profit libraries and archives to reproduce, distribute, display and publicly perform a work if it meets the criteria of: a published work in the last twenty years of copyright, and after conducting a reasonable investigation, no commercial exploitation or copy at a reasonable price could be found." This particular volume dates from 1939 and is basically a guide to clear writing. Students today could do worse. The collection as a whole contains a number of gems (eating up far too much of my afternoon) including A Dictionary of American Slang (including a separate section for baseball slang), Beyond the Solar System (asks the question: are there other solar systems?), Diplomatically Speaking (the autobiography of a young American diplomat up to and through WW1) and, well, so much more. The collection as a whole is called The Sonny Bono Memorial Collection. Via DigitalKoans.

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Confessions of an Open Access Advocate

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 18:35

Becky Hillyer, Leslie Chan, OCSD Net, Oct 14, 2017

Two years after the first issue of IRRODL the Budapest Open Access Initiative coing the term (we are told) open access. You have to dig through the archives but I covered it here in OLDaily, and since then have had more than 500 posts dedicated to the topic. So how have things gone since then? In this blunt interview BOAI signatory Leslie Chan suggests that they were too focused on access, and far less focused on production, and especially with respect to whose voices are heard. I found this via Richard Poynder, who adds in his own article that "fifteen years after BOAI, legacy publishers are successfully co-opting both forms of OA outlined at the 2002 meeting... It also now seems likely that they will co-opt the reinvigorated preprint movement, and eventually colonise the entire research workflow... The crucial point here is that legacy publishers remain firmly in control of scholarly communication. Amongst other things, this means they can be expected to continue to plunder the public purse." So, yeah, a rethink (and a reset) is required.

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Cyberlearning Community Report: The State of Cyberlearning and the Future of Learning With Technology

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 17:14

Jeremy Roschelle, Wendy Martin, June Ahn, Patricia Schank, The Center for Innovative Research in Cyber Learning, Oct 13, 2017

I found myself nodding along as I read the introduction to this report (86 page PDF) describing cyberlearning research. It says, for example, "Researchers have found that the best way to investigate potential advances is to design learning experiences and study them." Additionally, "Demonstrating impacts on conventional education measures is rarely the primary intent in cyberlearning research, especially because today’s standardized tests are often ill suited to assessing what learners are achieving in these new environments." Yes, yes. The five points listed that make cyberlearning research distinctive also characterize my own research: oriented to a future horizon, focused on equity, learning across multiple contexts (and not just in classrooms), research through design, expression through making and sharing, and convergence of methods from across different disciplines. There's a lot more in this report, which though focused exclusively on the U.S. context is nonetheless well worth reading.  It describes six reserach contexts from among the 279 research grant awards, three research methods, and supporting data on roadmap and scalability. See more from the CIRCL Center here and read the blog here.

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OpenEd MOOC Archive

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 16:34

Matt Crosslin, LINK Lab, Oct 13, 2017

Georghe Siemens and David Wiley are offering an open online course on open education. This page is a compendium of all the resources in the course - the videos from the course authors, guest contributions (including my own), and additional content and articles. It's all freely accessible - you don't need to log in to anything or pay a fee. The videos have transcriptions (yay!) . There's also a separate page with learner activity, linking to participant blog posts. And of course the Twitter discussion is ongoing. There are also email updates. This is what open education looks like. 

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Categories: Miscellaneous

A Big Publisher Embraces OER

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 12:08

Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed, Oct 13, 2017

Just to be clear, by "embraces OER", what the author means is "charges $25 per student per course." Of course, the putative charge here is for the platform, not for the content contained in the platform. To get at the OERs, you need to go through the platform. This article quotes gushibg support from all the usual suspects, with only SPARC's Nicole Allen sounding a note of caution. I'm openly sceptical. While they are locked in Cengage's platform, I can't access these resources, I can't link to these resources, I can't even know what they are. In theory someone could extract them from the platform and make them available, but I would wager that they can't do this in any automated and cost-effective way.

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