OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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December 12, 2011

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Research: What Is the Learning Effect of a Course Map on Advanced Learners?
Chris Stape and Michael Gardner, Learning Solutions Magazine, December 12, 2011.

Well, I think the study poses an interesting question to consider: whether there is an impact from the course map on learning outcomes. They authors conclude there's none. "Based upon the results of this study, for the advanced learner there is no significant difference in achievement whether you show the course navigation continually or not, and no significant difference in the amount of time to complete the course." But this would depend, it seems to me, a great deal on how much the course map aligned with the field being studied - if it's just a list of topics, it wouldn't mean much, but if it's a web of dependencies, then maybe it would. Additionally, since cognitivism is wrong - the brain is not like a computer - the theoretical basis for this study needs to be questioned as well. But, it an interesting question.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Navigation, Traditional and Online Courses, Usability]

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YouTube for Schools keeps YouTube educational
george Wong, ubergizmo, December 12, 2011.

Fighting the flood of music and fail videos that flood school networks, yet still wanting to make videos accessible to students, YouTube has launched something called 'YouTube for Schools'. "YouTube for Schools is a network setting that school administrators can turn on to grant access only to the educational content from YouTube EDU. This means videos from over 600 of YouTube’s education partners like the Smithsonian, TED, Steve Spangler Science and Numberphile." The problem, from my perspective, is that the definition of "educational" has now become "content partner" rather than anything related to helping you learn. If you pay money to Google, you get your stuff in schools - otherwise, you're on the outside with the cat videos and birthday party footage. See also coverage in BBC News, Mashable, Mind/Shift, Angela Maiers.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Accessibility, YouTube, Video, Portals, Google, Networks, Online Learning]

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Nade Conference 2011; Stephen Downes: We don't need no educator
Stephen Downes, NADE / Vimeo, December 12, 2011.

Video from my recent keynote in Olso on the role of the educator is now online, Part One, Part Two.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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SIF Association and IMS Global Learning Consortium
Various Authors, IMS - SIF, December 12, 2011.

There's nothing since June on the IMS news website, and the SIF press room is currently throwing an ASP error, but according to the email from Rob Abel, the IMS Global Learning Consortium and the SIF Association are announcing a partnership to support the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top Assessment Program and the two consortia working to develop state of the art online assessment capabilities for students across the country. "IMS and SIF will be gathering member and non-member interested parties to support this community activity by addressing the political, technical, operational and usage issues surrounding the development of these delivery systems." I've uploaded the statement of work to my website so there's at least some information online about this.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: IMS Project, Assessment]

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The Exigency of Extrapolation
Tim Kastelle, Innovation Leadership Network, December 12, 2011.

Good post about some of the difficulties inherent in predicting the future. Tim Kastelle focuses in particular on the use of data to predict student numbers in proposed courses. As Greg Satell says, "The problem starts when smart people in nice suits and lab jackets proclaim that 'the data says...' In truth, the data never says anything. We interpret it in one way or another and there are lots of ways to interpret it incorrectly... The future is hard to predict not just because of our cognitive biases or inexplicable natural events, but because we have the power to make our own future."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Isaac Asimov - The Foundation Trilogy
Isaac Asimov, BBC, December 11, 2011.

Via Metafilter, the full eight-part BBC presentation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. For an old science fiction affectionado like myself, a gold mine. I'm almost finished Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar - I've listened to maybe 500 episodes of this 50s-era radio series over the last eight months and have maybe a half dozen to go. So I'll be listening to Foundation before I move on to my next radio series (for the record - I've also listened to Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, the Green Hornet, and occasional singles from other series. I have a lot more listening to do - Gangbusters, Boston Blackie, Sherlock Holmes, and more, decades worth!

[Link] [Comment][Tags: BBC]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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