OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

[Home] [Top] [Archives] [Mobile] [About] [Threads] [Options]

November 23, 2011

Engagement and Motivation in MOOCs
Stephen Downes, November 23, 2011, CQU OLT Educational Technology, Online to Queensland, via WebX

In this presentation I look at the issues of engagement and motivation in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). I outline the development of MOOCs and some of the features that make them distinct from traditional courses. Then I look at some of the literature regarding online student engagement, and apply that with respect to MOOCs. I find that many traditional measures - such as counting attendance or page views - do not account for the sort of engagement we'd like to see, and is demonstrated for example in ds106. In addition, provision of the ability to determine one's own educational path or even to satisfy one's other motivations, may be necessary, but are not sufficient, to support motivation in MOOCs. In the end I consider the example of how motivation is created in gaming environments, and wonder whether MOOCs need challenges and the possibility of failure in order to stimulate student engagement. Please note that the video is a short 5-minute promo, and is not the same as the audio or slides. Also useful is a set of annotated resources consulted prior to the talk.

[Link] [Slides] [Audio] [Video]

Share |

Racism And Meritocracy
Eric Ries, TechCrunch, November 23, 2011.

I think this article makes two good points. The first is that there is a selection bias whether or not we are conscious of it. "This is partly a cognitive problem, that people harbor unconscious bias, and partly an organizational problem, that even a collection of unbiased actors can work together to accidentally create a biased system." The second is that the elimination of bias itself fosters diversity, and that bias is eliminated through fairness. It is important, not only that the selection be fair, but that it be known to be fair. I'm not convinced of the third point, that "when people are in a situation that defies stereotypes, reminding them of the stereotype diminishes their performance." I think systems that unfair, one way or another, produce less diverse results, and it is this unfairness, not mere 'reminding them', that causes the result. This item is worth reading in conjuction with another item summarizing a Bryan Caplan post on how elite professional service firms hire their staff: select only people from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or (maybe) Stanford. As the Chronicle states, "You also can’t read this study without getting the feeling that the game is rigged."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

Share |

LRMI Specification version 0.5 released
Greg Grossmeier, Creative Commons, November 23, 2011.

files/images/logo_lrmiMain-300x74.png, size: 17367 bytes, type:  image/png From Greg Grossmeier: "The Learning Resources Metadata Initiative (LRMI) Technical Working Group just released the latest draft of their specification. This version is another step on the road to the final public release and submission to Schema.org, the multiple search engine group that is maintaining a standard metadata specification for online content. LRMI intends to extend Schema.org’s documentation to include metadata that is important to the educational community; everyone from commercial publishers and OER producers to learners of all varieties (and of course, educators). Please explore the 0.5 version of the specification and provide any feedback via the LRMI mailing list by December 9th."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Learning Communities, Open Educational Resources, Schemas, Books, Semantic Web, Web Logs, Google, Metadata, Online Learning]

Share |

Researchers Build Terminator Contact Lens
Lance Ulanoff, Mashable, November 23, 2011.

files/images/Terminator-Lens.jpg, size: 27016 bytes, type:  image/jpeg I'm not thrilled by the idea of naming a technology after a movie (a la 'Minority Report effects' - I'm never watched the movie, and I'm not going to, it's a Tom Cruise movie, hasn't anyone noticed this? So I don't know what 'Minority Report effect' means, exactly, beyond what I infer from descriptions). Anyhow. This post describes the idea of a heads-up display viewed directly in the eye (an idea thought of well before the Terminator movies). " For now, the lens displays only a single, well-focused pixel and the wireless power is only enough to give the appearance of constant illumination, but this is the first step toward, as researchers describe it, building lenses that 'may receive data from external platforms (e.g. mobile phones) and provide real-time notification of important events.'" Maybe when I get an artificial lens I can get a lens HUD implant.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Research, Wireless]

Share |

files/images/ukoer.PNG, size: 174995 bytes, type:  image/png
What I talk about when I talk about #ukoer
David Kernohan, Followers of the Apocalypse, November 23, 2011.

UKOER has been around for a while now, and it's easy to forget things that sit in the background and haven't has a big launch party in the last 6 months. The work of UKOER is divided into three phases. The first cumulates with the Evaluation & Synthesis final report, the OER InfoKit, and the UKOER10 symposium. "What we learnt was that it was possible to do OER efficiently and (comparatively) cheaply in pretty much any setting." The second phase "supported a range of projects to draw together OER from various sources in managed collections aimed at identified user groups." Again there was a final report and we saw greater progress technically, "stuff like the OpenAttribute browser-plug in, CapRET, the (US) Learning Registry and some of the widget-led approaches to resource collection. Now we have phase 3 under way, with "the new Academy-led UKPSF... [and] a range of studies and pilots, looking at ways of using OER and spreading further the ideas and practices behind it."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Great Britain, Project Based Learning]

Share |

files/images/r-GOOGLE-DESKTOP-large570-389x162.jpg, size: 16019 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
Say Goodbye To 7 More Google Products
Jeff Dunn, Edudemic, November 23, 2011.

A number of the Google products we've highlighted, and sometimes panned, in these pages are headed for history. Google Wave, Google Knol, Google Gears, and four other products are being discontinued as the company consolidates on Google+. See also Alex Chitu. All the more reason, I guess, that Google would be fighting G+ death reports. "Forbes published A Eulogy for Google Plus, while Slate declared simply: Google+ is dead." As BBC reports, "web analytics firm Chitika reported in October that excitement appeared to have waned for Google+ one month after its public launch, with traffic down 60% after spiking to 1,200% of pre-launch levels."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, BBC, Google, Knol]

Share |

files/images/jurassic_chaos.PNG, size: 296544 bytes, type:  image/png
Mathematics in Movies: Harvard Prof Curates 150+ Scenes
Dan Colman, Open Culture, November 23, 2011.

Get your copy of this quickly before studios ignore fair use and shut this site down. "Oliver Knill teaches calculus, linear algebra and differential equations at Harvard, and, several years back, he pulled together a fairly nifty collection of Mathematics Scenes in Movies. Over 150 films are represented here, everything from Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind, Jurassic Park... You can watch each scene in flash format on Knill’s site, or download them as a quicktime file."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Push versus Pull]

Share |

Ed Radio Show Notes, November 23, 2011

- Alan Levine on the internet, Where Everything Happens (including aquaponics)
- Daily iPad App: Wild Chords by Mike Schramm, via Helge Sherlund
- How economic inequality harms societies - Richard Wilkinson's July 2011 TED talk via Seb Schmoller
- Harvard Business Review, The Ambidextrous CEO, with Michael Tushman and Andrew Binn
- Jurassic Park (2/10) Movie CLIP - Chaos Theory (1993) HD

Share |

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.