By Stephen Downes
January 28, 2005

Cheap Eats at the Semantic Web Café
I love the use of nature photographs in this article to run a parellel threat interspersed with the discussion, which is an aggregation and summary of the critiques of folksonomies. The author's main intent is to defend the careful creation of metadata, and the sloppy and sometimes spammed metadata used in folksonomies is clearly not that. But from where I sit, folksonomies - as implemented by Technorati Tags - conflate two things: first, the idea of user-created classification, and second, aggregation of those classifications by what amounts to a 'push' technology. My take is that it is the latter, not the former, that is the problem here. Anyhow, don't miss this article. By Shelley Powers, Burningbird, January 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

YABP (Yet Another Blogging Presentation)
Good presentation by Scott Leslie on blogs in learning. He outlines, with examples, several types of blogs in learning. He emphasizes a "focus on 'blogging' as process and not 'blog' as noun." And while remarking on their potential, he cautions that there are still few good examples of the use of blogs in learning. By Scott leslie, Ed Tech Post, January 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Conceptual ramework for e-Portfolios
Scott Wilson points to this diagram of e-portfolios and comments that it "clearly places ePortfolio outside the organization." George Siemens writes, "I'm excited by what is coming out of eportfolio projects (Elgg in particular) - they seem to be aware of how learning has changed (definitely more aware than most academic institutions)." Which is as it should be. By David Tosh, January 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Relative Effectiveness of Computer-based and Human Feedback for Enhancing Student Learning
The Spring, 2005, issue of the Journal of Educators Online is now available. I cite one article, this one looking at the effectiveness of computer-based feedback on test results. The not so surprising conclusion: feedback doesn't work if the students don't read it. More generally, the feedback has to be useful to the students, and what students want is feedback that tells them whether they got the answer right. Of course, studies measuring the effectiveness of automated feedback have had wildly varied results. This is what we would expect when the type of feedback, the type of learning, student motivations and context play a significant role in the outcome. PDF. By B. Jean Mandernach, Journal of Educators Online, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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