Miscellaneous

How the Jobs to be Done Theory Applies to Online Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 12/02/2016 - 16:00


Tanya Roscorla, ConVerge, Dec 02, 2016

This article states, "According to the jobs-to-be-done theory, customers hire products or services to do a specific job for them, and those providers can adapt their offerings by understanding the job they've been hired to do." OK, fair enough. So what is the job students expect MOOCs to do? It depends on the student. "Students straight out of high school want the coming-of-age experience that goes with attending a campus in person," and online learning doesn't really help with this. Adult learners, by contrast, want "a more flexible way to earn a degree that may help them get a better job." This may all seem pretty obvious, but universities still get it wrong. That said, keep your eye on the 'job to be done'. It's a moving target, a strange attractor.

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Ria #35: Julie Risien On Broader Impacts

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 12/02/2016 - 13:00


, Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, Dec 02, 2016 On this episode, Julie Risien discusses the concept of "broader impacts" and how it can be useful for researchers applying for grant funding. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Trends in education: Facts, Fads and Fiction

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 11/29/2016 - 10:00
[Slides][Audio]

This talk looks at a number of current trends in online learning and sorts then according to their likelihood of success. In general, those that depend on significant human intervention - such as, for example, creating competency definitions - are expected to be failures. The distinction between learning as a path and learning as an environment is discussed. In the video, Wilfred Rubins speaks first; my talk begins at 1:01:00

 

After the talk, we held an afternoon workshop in the BeODL offices.

Digital trends challenging learning and training in the workplace, Brussels, Belgium (Keynote) Nov 26, 2016 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

Pedagogy of the Empowered

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 10:00


Harry C. Boyte, Edcation Week | Bridging Differences, Nov 27, 2016

As gthe blurb says, "Agency is not the same as activism. Civic agency is the capacity to work across differences on common problems and creation of common things including communities, and, broadly, democracy as a way of life... As Josiah Ober, the classical scholar, has shown, for the Greeks democracy did not mean voting. It meant the "collective strength and ability" to act in the public world. Developing civic agency is central to democracy schools. It is 'pedagogy of the empowered.'" This is what Yale provides students, and online learning doesn't. Yet. Image: The Naked Truth | Trumpland.

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I Am Now More Open-Minded About Football

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 10:00


Chris Kennedy, Culture of Yes, Nov 27, 2016

I don't like the physical damage football and hockey create. And I think college sports has taken on absurd proportions (at the very least, they should properly pay their athletes). But I am in favour of sports, and especially in favour of the role of sports in the education of young people. It's far more than the "structure that football can give young people" talked about in this article. More than just empowerment, more than just participation. Sport teaches people to endure, it teaches people how to lose, and it teaches them the effort it takes to succeed. And it does this through a combination of personal experience and role models. P.S. Go RedBlacks!

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Young people aren’t skeptical of ‘fake news’

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 10:00


Brooke Donald-Stanford, Futurity, Nov 27, 2016

I've seen this story in various forms over the last few days. It's a natural follow-up to the meme that fake news swayed the U.S. election. There's just one problem with this line of thinking. Young people aren't the ones actually falling for fake news. If they were, they would have been the ones voting for Trump (and for Brexit, etc. etc.). According to exit polls, older white men voted for Trump. These are people far more likely to have gained their views watching or reading traditional media rather than online media. The same traditional media that gave Trump  an estimated $2 billion in free publicity. So, yeah - Facebook is far from perfect. But they are  not the ones to blame for fake news.  These people are.

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EduOpen: a new MOOC Provider Funded by the Italian Government

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 10:00


Dhawal Shah, Class Central, Nov 27, 2016

In the year after MOOCs were declared by experts to be a failure, the number of new MOOC providers continues to increase. "EduOpen is a network of Italian Universities, but it is also open to EU universities. At the moment it involves seventeen universities, which include a mixture of larger and smaller institutions from both northern and southern Italy. The full list of members can be found on  en.eduopen.org." It's worth noting that the development partner is LMS of India. And Blackboard.

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'Post-Truth' Is Just A Rip-Off Of 'Truthiness'

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 10:00


Stephen Colbert, YouTube, Nov 27, 2016

It has to be said. And who better to say it than Stephen Colbert.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Smart Reply: Automated response suggestion for email

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 07:00


Kannan, Kaufman, Karach, et al., The Morning Paper, Nov 27, 2016

You need to think of this paper as the first tentative explorations of a complex topic. Could your email answer itself for you? In a sense, a spam filter is the first attempt at such, where the response is 'no response, delete and block'. But what about actually sending a response, for example, a response to a meeting invitation? In theory, it sounds simple - identify the time of the meeting, check your availability for tomorrow, then respond appropriately and book. But how to respond? You want to match the tone of the invitation. Otherwise it looks like a machine responded. And if the request was to attend a meeting "tomorrow", w hat day is that exactly?

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Does Time Exist? Why Our Gut Feelings Are No Match For Physics

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 11/27/2016 - 07:00


James Gleick, Big Think, Nov 27, 2016

I likw Big Think, but I wish the articles were more substantial, not just advertisements for books. So this post on the nature of time fails to satisfy. Fortunately there is ample literature on the reality of time. If you have a lot, then you'd want to work on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and Hawking's Brief History. But if you have less, and still want to be mystified, your best bet is J.E. McTaggart's The Unreality of Time. Time may be a necessary condition for the possibility of perception, as Kant would say, but it is at the same time a subjective experience.

 

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Patience, persistence, and a willingness to grow

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/25/2016 - 16:00


George Couros, Connected Principals, Nov 25, 2016

There's this common belief among innovators and thought leaders that if other people do the same thing they did, they can achieve the same results. That's true to some extent - if you read and write newsletters for fifteen years like I did, you'll attain a similar base of knowledge. But in other important ways it's not. Here's George Couros: "like every other person who starts on Twitter, I had had a network with the same amount of people that everyone else starts with; zero.   A network takes time, persistence, and effort, to develop." This is true, but another principle of networks is that if you put in the same effort Couros did ten years ago, you will not get the same result. You will get a much smaller result. Networks favour the first moverYou would have to go back in time to do the same thing Couros did. The only way around this is to find something that's just starting now, and run with it for a decade. What if it's the wrong thing? Well, tough luck. The best you can do is to cast your net really wide and work a lot harder than Couros did.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Free Arabic-language online courses thrive in popularity

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/25/2016 - 13:00


Rahilla Zafar, Financial Times, Nov 25, 2016

Some nice news about MOOCs working as intended. "The platform reports that it has more than 900,000 registered users with figures growing by 1,000 a day and reaches people in 22 countries in the Middle East and north Africa. The majority of students come from Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Morocco." I've seen  the platform called Raaq, Edraaq, Raak, and Rawaq.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Academic rankings: The university’s new clothes?

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/25/2016 - 13:00


Yves Gingras, University Affairs, Nov 25, 2016

I have said on numerous occasions that things like university rankings are a lobbying tool, not a measuring tool. Organizations take the values they want to see emulated and grade the universities according to them. This is the gist of this article from Yves Gingras, once you skip past the extended retelling of the time-worn tale of the emperor's new clothes. "We must go beyond the generalities of those who repeat ad nauseam that 'rankings are here to stay' – without ever explaining why this must be so – and open these 'black boxes' in order to question the nature and value of each and every indicator used to assess research at a given scale."

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Ria #34: David Brightman On Being A Book Editor

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 11/25/2016 - 07:00


, Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, Nov 25, 2016 In this episode, David Brightman shares about his experiences as a book editor and described what he looks for in successful book proposals. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

With its new app, RadioPublic wants to tackle podcasting’s lingering challenges

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 22:00


Shan Wang, Nieman Lab, Nov 24, 2016

It's like Ed Radio, but written by real programmers and available to whole communities. RadioPublic has three objectives: "improving show discovery, improving how (and how deeply) listeners engage with their favorite shows, and improving channels through which show creators can make money." It was  introduced Friday. It's avaiulable for iOS and Android. "We are featuring curated episode playlists across myriad topics, activities, moods, genres, artists, publishers, and networks." That's great - but I don't want to do my curating on a phone. Still. Installing. Listening. Via Ben Werdmuller.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Post-Truth And Fake News

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 19:00

Yes, by all means, do something about the fake news that is propagating through Facebook and Twitter. But let's not forget that we have been in the post-truth era for some time (indeed, one wonders whether we ever entered the truth era in the first place).

, , Nov 21, 2016 [Link]
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Categories: Miscellaneous

The role of higher education in reducing inequity: Using tuition, drop-out rates, and opportunity hoarding

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 19:00


Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, Nov 24, 2016

Good post explaining why simply providing access to an education isn't enough to address income inequality. First, let's look at the cost of education in the first place and the load it places on people. "One of saddest features of US higher education economics today: many  of the kids saddled with higher education debt don’ t even graduate!" But even if you graduate, you need more than an education. "Rich kids who drop out of high school do as well  as poor kids who complete college? Opportunity hoarding makes it difficult to really move the needle in terms of addressing economic inequity." I've called this 'the Yale advantage' in the past and it represents one of the core inequalities online learning needs to address. Otherwise, it becomes just a means of entrenching the status quo.

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Analytics Literacy is a Major Limiter of Ed Tech Growth

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 19:00


Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, Nov 24, 2016

Substantial and weighty article from Michael Feldstein dealing with the topic of the day south of the border: the failure of analytics. Or, I guess, we should call it the failure of people to understand analytics, raising "the question of whether we put too much faith in numerical analysis in general and complex  learning analytics in particular." This is an oft-made critique, of course (we see it also, for example, in criticisms of grades and test scores). But Feldstein also suggests that it represents "a fundamental limiter on the future growth of the ed tech industry." I think this is true only if you think that ed tech is fundamentally an analytics industry. Many of my colleagues think it is. But I disagree. But do take the time to read this article - it's literate, informed, and as a well-formed opinion should, goes well beyond the data.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The choreography of lectures

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 19:00


Alastair Creelman, The corridor of uncertainty, Nov 24, 2016

Even as you read this, I will be giving a lecture. If lectures are so awful, why do I do it? Because they're not so awful. I'm not trying to get you to remember what I've said - I've built a whole site that contains that data - I'm trying to get you to have some experiences what might resonate with your own knowledge and understanding. So, yes, I care about things like orchestration - talking to the audience, reading them and responding, using slides for pacing and effect (and to aid comprehension).

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Higher Ed Governance for the Real World

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 11/24/2016 - 19:00


Rachel DeLauder, SlideShare, Nov 24, 2016

I could probably fill this newsletter with nothing but SlideShare presentations. Don't worry - I won't - but via  Eraser I found this deck that's worth a look. It's a pretty accurate capture of the reality of the web site designer in a higher ed environment - different departments have different priorities and there's no one right way to do it. DeLauder recommends making roles and responsibilities crystal clear (always my favoured strategy as well). But as well, all parties have to acknowledge that in higher education consensus-based decision-making is the norm, which means everybody gets a say.

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