Miscellaneous

Clinical Teaching of Interprofessional Child Development Assessment Skills in a Large Group Setting

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 15:00


Teresa Carter, Eileen Hanna, Marilyn Swinton, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, [Sept] 01, 2014

So what to make of this? As summarizzed, "The research found no discernible difference in student learning between the facilitated and non-facilitated workshops; however, students in the non-facilitated workshop indicated that they would have preferred a more guided discussion." Links: Report  | Appendix.

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It’s Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 15:00


Eric Enge, SearchEngineLand, [Sept] 01, 2014

You  may have read about the benefits of adding authorship information to your web pages using Google+ functionality, but Google's attempt to incorporate these into search results has been discontinued. "John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools announced in a Google+ post that Google will stop showing authorship results in Google Search, and will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup." So what went wrong? What always goes wrong with metadata? People weren't making up their pages. Even publishers were disinclined to use author metadata.

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Common sense for some and new and inspiring for others

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 18:00


Barb Brown, Weblog, Aug 29, 2014

Barb Brown responds to a post  I wrote back in 2013. I complained: "Course instructors discuss their approaches to backward instructional design and describe the digital tools used to support collaboration.... Well, this too could have been written in the 1990s, I guess...." She replies, "The topic may not be as timely or important to some audiences, especially those who are expert in teaching online... however, the topic of post secondary instructors collaborating on the design of online courses is relevant to a broad audience." Well maybe - but is content "relevant to a broad audience" really what belongs in an academic journal? More and more, what we are seeing is journal authors writing to an audience consisting of each other - and not keeping up with developments in the field. They applaud each other for having 'discovered' things that have been in practice for years, and even naming them after each other (hence, e.g., "Hai-Jew’ s (2010) fourfold approach" for updating an online curriculum (ie., legal, new tech, new pedagogy, changes in the field - oh, oh, oh, I never would have guessed it would be those four!)).

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Returning to optimism

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:00


Bryan Alexander, Aug 29, 2014

This is a common failing in education writing: "I’ ve been spending too much time with macroeconomics, getting bogged down in the grim news about America’ s employment and income data....   But following these inquiries in depth, I lost sight of human capacity and agency." Here's the solution: "say more about what could happen if we make the right decisions." And more to the point: the moment you think education is more about money than it is about people, you're sunk.

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Employers Aren’t Just Whining – the “Skills Gap” Is Real

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:00
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James Bessen, Harvard Business Review Blogs, Aug 29, 2014

"The idea of a 'skills gap' as identified in this and other surveys has been widely criticized," writes James Bessen, citing criticism from Peter Cappelli, Paul Krugman and the New York Times. "A worldwide scheme by thousands of business managers to manipulate public opinion seems far-fetched.," he says (naively). But the evidence for a skills gap can be found in wages. " We see it in the high pay that software developers in Silicon Valley receive for their specialized skills. And we see it throughout the workforce. Research shows that since the 1980s, the wages of the top 10% of workers has risen sharply relative to the median wage."

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Readers absorb less on Kindles than on paper, study finds

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:00
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Alison Flood, The Guardian, Aug 29, 2014

So the premise here is that context has an impact on memory, and that eBooks read on the Kindle lack the appropriate context for remembering. "In this study, we found that paper readers did report higher on measures having to do with empathy and transportation and immersion, and narrative coherence, than iPad readers," said Mangen. But, you know, it's one study, with one set of readers. I've been reading online for the last 30 years. I expect my sense of context may well be different.

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Crowd-Sourced Peer Review: Substitute or supplement for the current outdated system?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:00


Peter Suber, London School of Economics, Aug 29, 2014

Many authors, writes Peter Suber, prefer to have their work reviewed in private. But this may be about to change. He writes, "The problem with classical peer review today is that there is so much research being produced that there are not enough experts with enough time to peer-review it all. So there are huge publication lags because of delays in finding qualified, willing referees."

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How to measure the success of learning in rhizo14?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:00


Heli Nurmi, Heli Connecting Ideas, Aug 28, 2014

Heli Nurmi offers an insightful look at what constitutes success in dave Cormier's Rhizo-MOOC: "It may be an illusion of enthusiasm that I’ ve 'learned' these things but it feels like I have a better grasp on how to know them or reconstruct a more viable approach. I’ ve gained a tool of understanding that clarifies things that I didn’ t have before. Success = People having a serious conversation or, very often, people having fun together. That’ s enough."

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Known and education: a love story

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:00
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Ben Werdmuller, Benwerd, Aug 28, 2014

Interesting. Compelling. Important. Known and Reclaim your Domain get together. Here's Ben Werdmuller: "I think Known is very clearly both a PLE and an eportfolio:

  • Known profiles allow you to post to a space that represents you, using a variety of media, from any device
  • Known's syndication feature lets you post to your own profile, while syndicating to external sites and applications - like your campus's Learning Management System.

Educators agree. The Reclaim Your Domain project is a particular evolution of eportfolio thinking. where members of a campus's community own the domains that represent them (just like indieweb!)." And here's Jim Groom, on  pushing the Known syndication hub beyond RSS. He writes, "I’ ve already referred to Known as an open, distributed Tumblr, and that’ s pretty apt. The minimalism and focus on  publishing content quickly and easily makes it very compelling."

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At OTF Teaching, Learning & Technology Conference – Hopscotch, Sphero, Social Reading

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Doug Peterson, doug - off the record, Aug 28, 2014

What Doug Peterson describes here is very similar to my own workflow, readingflow, whateverflow. It's a restatement of the "aggregate-remix-repurpose-feed forward" methodology, identifying specific tools that can be used to accomplish it. Does it work? I offer my own career as evidence. Moreover, some of the tools he points to - Hopscotch, Sphero, and  Packrati.us - are new to me. I won't use the iPad-only apps, of course, but some others look interesting.

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Hackers Target Video Games for Fun, Profit and Better Scores

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, Aug 28, 2014

I lost interest in commercial online multiplayer games when I discovered people cheating (a game crash was followed by a massive attack on my empire that somehow pinpointed every weakness; the other player admitted seeing my troop disposition). It's the same experience I had in Reno - playing poker in the poker room was fun until the hustler came in and started betting the maximum on every hand. At this point - where people are exploiting the system for profit - the games are no longer fun. And, of course, "the industry has done little to share cyber threat information" - probably because they make more money from the people gaming the results than the people just in it for fun (it's the same relationship Google has with advertisers and spammers).

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Learning Vs. Performance -- The Dichotomy

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00


Sahana Chattopadhyay, ID, Other Reflections, Aug 28, 2014

This article gets at the difference between learning and performance, identifying aspects distinguishing a focus on one as opposed to the other:

  • Growth mindset - Carol Dweck, in her research, differentiated between Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset.
  • Limiting beliefs – Related to fixed mindset, limiting beliefs constrain us in many ways.
  • Fear of failures – This could directly stem from the organizational culture and environment.

In a follow-up article, Sahana Chattopadhyay makes it clear that training is only one aspect of performance. "Organizational challenges today are multi-pronged and taking a single approach doesn’ t work. It is entirely possible that while training may be a requirement, other concerns also need to be simultaneously addressed."

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Self-Regulation: The Other 21st Century Skills

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education, Aug 28, 2014

The whole character-building thing has been in vogue recently, what with people writing about "grit" and other aspects of successful learners (and people). There is some point to this - you will not become successful at anything (whether work, hobbies or even lifestyle) without putting the effort, which takes motivation and perseverence. But there's also an aspect of this movement whereby these are externally defined. Take this: "Self-regulated learning is the conscious planning, monitoring, evaluation, and ultimately control of one’ s learning in order to maximize it." It depicts the self as naturally something (someone?) you have to battle in order to succeed. Well - I have never thought that way about my own work. Yes, I work very hard, struggle with means and motivation, and even measure progress sometimes (but not nearly as often as you might thing). But it's not a battle - for me, it's a process of immersing myself completely into my own life. My 'other 21st century skills' are these skills. It's worth noting the difference.

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The LRS is not going to kill the LMS. The AP is going to kill the LMS (as we know it).

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Shelly Blake-Plock, Fieldmarks Blog, Aug 28, 2014

Interesting perspective. There is a debate as to whether "learning record stores (LRSs) and learning management systems (LMSs) are in competition," writes Shelly Blake-Plock, but the real issue is whether "Activity providers (APs) — especially those working off a standard such as xAPI — will be the human-to-machine interface of the next generation of e-learning." In my world, the AP is known as the PLA - "personal learning assistant" - which serves as the device that displays and launches learning activities and resources for the LPSS (Learning and Performance Support System) user.

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Is this the “dark horse” of online education?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Meris Stansbury, eCampus News, Aug 28, 2014

From the article: "Weise and Christensen note in their new mini-book, Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution (61 page PDF) that unlike other trends like MOOCs that have received 'tremendous fanfare,' online competency-based education stands out as the innovation to most likely disrupt higher education." They write (p.18) "Competency-based programs have no time-based unit. Learning is fixed, and time is variable; pacing is flexible." That makes them perfect for online learning. This trend, they write, will force a rethinking of the value proposition of universities. "The value system of academic scholarship is so skewed that research findings are hidden from public view." (p.24) I think they're mostly right, but we need to advance the model past the point where learning can be defined by competencies, or develop much better and more efficient means of identifying competencies and decigning systems to teach and evaluate for them. See also this  EDUCAUSE report on competency-based education.

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Revolutionary Brampton university proposal ruled ineligible by MTCU

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00


Ken Steele, Academica Group Inc., Aug 28, 2014

It didn't fly this time, but I find it interesting that it was even proposed. "Students would learn in an active, inquiry-based environment from teaching-focused faculty on flexible staffing contracts, utilizing ePortfolios, eTextbooks, experiential learning, and work placements." OK, I'm not sure I like the sound of "flexible staffing contracts" - that to me makes it sound like academic labour on the cheap - but the rest of it sounds innovative and even useful. Something like it will probably be approved some time in the future, and if it flies (as it probably will) I would expect the model to proliferate. (It's nice to see Ken Steele look beyond the usual diet of press release coverage that has dominated Academica recently).

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The Diploma is the Message: Doug Rushkoff Invents a Master’s Program That Matters

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
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Jed Oelbaum, Good, Aug 28, 2014

So what distinguishes Rushkoff's masters's program from the thousands of others created by university professors (hint: it's not that "it matters"). “ Instead of training people to become marketers or to write the next useless phone app, we’ re going to support people who want to see through the media, and use it to wage attacks on the status quo,” Rushkoff says. “ This is media studies for Occupiers.” But more significantly, “ I want to teach a diverse range of students without putting them into lifelong debt,” says Rushkoff. Of course there's still that whole travel and tuition hurdle to surmount.

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Recent Research Review -- Reviewed (and Lamented)

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:00


Will Thalheimer, Will at Work Learning, Aug 25, 2014

I will admit that  this article is an excellent read and that if you are in the field and haven't read it, you should correct this oversight immediately. If you really really don't have time this overview from  Will Thalheimer will do nicely. I think that if you are supportive of mainstream research in training and development you'll have no issue with most of the contents and will appreciate the liberal selection of references to bolster the assertions made. Personally, I think that learning is less about transfer than it is about growth and development, so some of the foundational work doesn't appeal to me (I remember, for example, studying Holyoak in detail on schemas and induction when his work first came out, and disagreeing profoundly with it). But not agreeing with the work is no excuse for not knowing it.

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Top 10 reasons to trust Microsoft in the cloud

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:00


Tim Bush, Microsoft UK Schools News Blog, Aug 25, 2014

OK, I'll be pretty blunt about this: don't trust Microsoft in the cloud. I speak from personal experience: I paid Microsoft for online products (specifically, videos) and thanks to some back-end account problem, I cannot play those videos. My efforts over the last few weeks to fix this have been fruitless. Their  online assistance helps for a bit, but then loses interest and stops responding. This isn't small change; we're talking a few hundred dollars worth of videos that have suddenly become unplayable. Videos that I actually downloaded and are on my computer and should be playable offline - unplayable. If this happened with my email or my Office applications, I'd be sunk. So ignore the promotional articles like the one linked here. If you can lose hundreds of dollars worth of property and have no recourse then you are dealing with an immature technology. Period.

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Why Students Should Own Their Educational Data

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:00
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Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, Aug 25, 2014

This is one of the core ideas of our LPSS project, and it's nice that a Harvard professor agrees with it: "What we need to know about you is your contextualized profile of your performance and what kind of support you’ ll need to be able to model your learner profile across contexts. If I had to push for one thing that I think is super important, that is that the user should own their data."

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