Miscellaneous

Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 13:00
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Matt Bower, Gregor Kennedy, Barney Dalgarno, Mark J. W. Lee, Aug 08, 2014

Nice. 190 page PDF. I'll just quote from the email at length: "The Handbook includes a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that offers pedagogical, technological and logistical recommendations for teachers attempting to design and implement blended synchronous learning lessons (see Chapter 14). It also includes a Rich-Media Synchronous Technology Capabilities Framework to support the selection of technologies for different types of learning activities (see Chapter 4), as well as a review of relevant literature, a summary of the Blended Synchronous Learning Scoping Study results, detailed reports of each of the seven case studies, and a cross-case analysis.

"For those who are interested, the BlendSync Final Report and External Evaluation Report are also from the OLT website at the following URLs: here and here.  A list of academic papers and links to recordings of presentations that have arisen out of the project is posted  here . The project team would also like to take this opportunity to invite all those with an interest in area to join the Blended Synchronous Learning Collaborator Network to abreast of events and updates in the future. Instructions on how to do this can be found at http://blendsync.org/network."

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Learnification

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 15:00


Philip Kerr, ELTjam, Aug 07, 2014

Good paper that I wish were longer. The last few paragraphs are especially abbreviated. Philip Kerr first addresses the rise of the terms 'learner' and 'learning' in education, these reflecting an increased focus on the role of the learner and an emphasis on process. But correspondingly, there has been a focus on outcomes, especially in commercial learning, and the rise in technology in learning. These suggest that satisfactory outcomes can be achieved merely my the application of the correct learning theory. This, Kerr suggests, is incorrect.

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Racy frosh event video angers Ottawa student federation

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 14:00


Umnattributed, CBC News, Aug 04, 2014

Every once in a while, you get a photo of a person enjoying a university social activity (such as binge drinking) with the caption "you can't do this in online learning." The implication of course is that the physical and social presence of an in-person class creates an experience that can't be duplicated off-campus. So while this non-sanctioned Frosh Week video - created by an organization with no institutional affiliation - is rightly drawing criticism from city post-secondary institutions, it nonetheless makes the point that you don't need to be at university in order to attend and enjoy traditional university social events.

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Further thoughts and discussion about rhizomatic learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 11:00


Jenny Mackness, Jenny Connected, Aug 04, 2014

Audio and video recording of a presentation given by Jenny Mackness and Frances Bell at the ALTMOOCSIG conference last month.In  preparation for the talk, "a series of blog posts prior to the conference. Here is the post with information and links about this.    And here is a link to the complete Prezi that we prepared for the presentation." While the content is interesting in itself, other speakers at conferences should take this as an object lesson in how to provide good resources for your session.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Some readings on networked learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 11:00


David T. Jones, The Weblog of (a) David Jones, Aug 04, 2014

A couple interesting items (and one dud) on networked learning are highlighted in this post:

  • the first focuses on new media literacy for faculty and described it as a "threshold concept", which means, essentially, take it slowly and be sympathetic to their plight. Jones suggests that the  networked and global leaning course might also be viewed that way. I liked the five aspects of threshold concepts, as they reminded me of the idea of incommensurability in Kuhn's paradigm shifts.
  • the second looked at cases "where values of social media conflicted with those of higher ed (especially QA)." I like this (absolutely accurate) bit: "Participative processes can be experienced as tyrannical when participation is demanded by course designs, tutors and ultimately by participants in an unreflective and normative way."
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Learning technology through generations – Paper Summary

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 11:00


Anne Strethewey, Even Elmo's Got a Mobile, Aug 04, 2014

Overview of the development of e-learning through three 'generations' summarizing Terry Anderson and Jon Dron’ s  2012 EURODL article, ‘ Learning technology through three generations of technology enhanced distance education pedagogy. My own take on the same idea is in my  e-Learning Generations article, presented  originally in Clare, New Brunswick. The two approaches are very different, though: they focus on the classical pedagogical models (behaviourists, constructivist, connectovist) while I map th chaneg in emphasis revealed through technology: the first three generations of e-learning (and the web generally) represent a focus on documents, while the second three represent a focus on data. Via David T. Jones.

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Reclaim & Rethink

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 23:00


Tim Klapdor, Tim Klapdor, Aug 03, 2014

Tim Klapdor explores the concept of self, paticu;arly with respect to identity and learning. It's a complex issue. At first blush we think we have one self, but then everyone can think of an instance when we were (if you will) "not ourselves". Klapdor explores "Jung... the anima/animus (male/female). This underlying unconscious mind helped balance and maintain the persona..." Except that's too simple as well. There's the mental self, the bodily self, the public self, the historical self - I could go on; the list is almost endless. Philosophy is full of thought experiments designed to test the concept (if I take my brain and put it in your body, is the resulting person me or you?).

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Wrong Answer: In an era of high-stakes testing, a struggling school made a shocking choice

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 12:00


Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, Aug 03, 2014

It makes me wonder how many of the 'success stories' in the literatire are based on cheating, just as this one from a school in Atlanta did, complete with published papers and a 'Dispelling the Myth' award. "There have been accounts of widespread cheating in dozens of cities, including Philadelphia, Toledo, El Paso, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston, and St. Louis."

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Why the Security of USB Is Fundamentally Broken

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 09:00
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Andy Greenberg, Wired, Aug 03, 2014

I'm not saying this has anything to do with certain recent cases of hacking, but the flaw seems serious and pervasive. "Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell plan to present next week, demonstrating a collection of proof-of-concept malicious software that highlights how the security of USB devices has long been fundamentally broken." The malware is embedded not in the data stored on the USB, but in the firmware itself, making it invisible to screening software. And no, it's not just the bad guys who could use this. "The USB attack may in fact already be common practice for the NSA (in) a spying device known as Cottonmouth, revealed earlier this year in the leaks of Edward Snowden."

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Canadian University Social Software Guidelines and Academic Freedom: An Alarming Labour Trend

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 09:00


Taryn Lough;Toni Samek, International Review of Information Ethics, Aug 03, 2014

Most universities have adopted guidelines for the use of social media, but their reach and impact has not been benign, according to the authors. "The guidelines attempt to blur what is appropriate in what space, revealing a repressive impulse on the part of university administrations. These guidelines are read as obvious attempts to control rather than merely guide, and speak to the nature of institutional over-reach."

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Student Privacy: Harm and Context

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 09:00


Mark MacCarthy, International Review of Information Ethics, Aug 03, 2014

As the author notes, "Education is on the verge of dramatic changes in the collection, flow and use of student information." One approach, the "harm approach," seeks to advocate the use of these technologies that cause the least harm to students. By contrast, writes Mark MacCarthy, "the theory of contextual integrity counsels caution about transgressive changes that violate intuitive context-relative norms governing information flows." What that means is that the violation of ethics occurs not when harm is done, but when the extraction of information violates what people would expect of normal information flows. Thus, for example, information about personal physical properties, or the sharing of information to unrelated third parties, violate ethics because they go beyond the bound of normal information flow, even if no actual harm is caused.

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The Ethics of Big Data in Higher Education

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 09:00


Jeffrey Alan Johnson, International Review of Information Ethics, Aug 03, 2014

Interesting look at the effect of data mining in education (8 page PDF). The author makes the point that research based in data mining works quite differently from traditional research. I quote:

  1. Data mining eschews the hypothetico-deductive process, relying instead on a strictly inductive process in which the model is developed a posteriori from the data itself.
  2. Data mining relies heavily on machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches, taking advantage of vastly increased computing power to use brute-force methods to evaluate possible solutions.
  3. Data mining characterizes specific cases, generating a predicted value or classification of each case without regard to the utility of the model for understanding the underlying structure of the data.
  4. Data mining aims strictly at identifying previously unseen data relationships rather than ascribing causality to variables in those relationships.

The author surveys the ethical implications of this. On the one hand, the good news is that model-based theories which treat all students as though they were the same are replaced with an approach recognizing the individuality of each student. But on the surface, the approach risks revealing information about students they don't want revealed, and risks fostering paternalism through the recommendation process, and at a deeper level, the risk of "scientism," or " he temptation to un-critically accept claims that purport to have scientific backing."

The  current issue of the International Review of Information Ethics is a special issue on the digital future of education (it's issue number 21).

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An Applied Learning Experience Field Research and Reporting at the 2012 National Party Conventions

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 09:00


Carolyn S. Carlson;Joshua N. Azriel;Jeff DeWitt;Kerwin Swint, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, Aug 03, 2014

One example of a developmental experience is to include students in conference proceedings, including (in this case) acting as researchers and reporters, as  covered here before. "Students engaged in such experiential learning projects develop a more substantive understanding of the subject matter under study, enhanced motivation for learning, and greater feelings of academic achievement and citizenship."

This and the next two items are from the  current issue of International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, just released.

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Disentangling The Effects Of Student Attitudes and Behaviors On Academic Performance

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 09:00


Susan Janssen;Maureen O'Brien, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, Aug 03, 2014

commented the other day that a study was misleading because it didn't take into account motivation. This paper documents that effect. "Separate analyses of ability and motivation groups are conducted," write the authors. "We find that motivation and ability explain variation in both homework and exam scores." The literature explains the link: "motivation influences performance through its effect on selfregulatory behaviors and study strategies... Self-regulated students engage in increased effort by completing supplemental problems, managing time effectively, and seeking help in solving problems." 31 page PDF.

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Creating a Transformational Learning Experience: Immersing Students in an Intensive Interdisciplinary Learning Environment

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 09:00


Shelley K. White;Mindell Reiss Nitkin, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, Aug 03, 2014

As the authors note, "The literatures on transformative, student centered, active, experiential, cooperative, and self-directed learning all focus on reframing the learning process." Consequently this paper looks at "the Simmons World Challenge (in which) the program immerses students in an intensive learning experience in which students take ownership of their learning and develop an interdisciplinary approach to solving problems... problems such as immigration, poverty, and hunger." The paper describes the program methodology in detail and documents the outcomes: "life-changing, educational, interdisciplinary, exciting, challenging, exhausting, illuminating and thrilling." 32 page PDF.

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