OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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June 22, 2011

U. of Illinois at Springfield Offers New ‘Massive Open Online Course’
Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 22, 2011.

Coverage in the Chronicle of Higher Education of the U. of Illinois at Springfield eduMOOC mentioned here a few days ago. "Nearly 500 people from two dozen countries have registered so far, with 1,000 expected to sign up by the time the course begins next Monday."

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Google]

Curtis gets Curtised
psychonomy, YouTube, June 22, 2011.

Given my recent coverage of Adam Curtis's All Watchned Over by Machines of Loving Grace, it seems appropriate that I run this response crafted in the same style to hammer home the point that, in Curtis's films, style prevails over substance. Via Brian Lamb.

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Randall Munroe, XKCD, June 22, 2011.

Yesterday I ran a post talking about different types of language learning. This XKCD cartoon draws out the implications. There is no single entity called 'language' that every person understands. There are different domains of language with different emphases for different degrees of expertise in different disciplines, from Stephen Colbert's warm-up exercises (skip to 6:50) to understanding eggcorns to shapes for sounds to the jargon and variant grammar used in the schoolyard, the classroom, or an academic paper about language learning. And yes, using a web cartoon to make a point about education is part of acceptable discourse in this newsletter (don't try it in the Journal of Learning though).

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Schools, Online Learning, Academia, Newsletters]

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How To Make Measurement Fun!
Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog, June 22, 2011.

I want to draw a clear link here between gaming and grading. Beth Kanter isn't talking about grading; she asked for ideas on how to make measurement fun and got suggestions back like "humanize the numbers", "report the impact" and "make the report tactile" by allowing people to manipulate the data. My point is, grading should be like that as well. Instead of offering a single, final, sterile grade like "C", draw from a variety of metrics and report achievement as though you were a member of the spreadsheet appreciation society. In other words, gamify it. Draw on a variety of metrics, allow students to measure their scores against their personal bests, against each other, or against the machine, and back them up the way sports does, with statistics, measurements and analysis.

[Link] [Comment] [Tweet] [Tags: Gaming]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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