May 31, 2012
By Alison Jean Cole On May 31, 2012 · Leave a Comment
Alison Jean Cole,
P2PU, May 31, 2012.
Interesting look at the code that runs P2PU, a project called Lernanta. "Lernanta is the Django based software platform that is used by Peer 2 Peer University to facilitate peer learning on the web!" It shows (to me at least) a significant difference between their thinking and my own. "Users are probably the most important entity on P2PU. Without users no peer learning will be possible and everyone working on P2PU will probably get very lonely and depressed." Well - yeah - but by contrast, on gRSShopper, the users are assumed to be outside the system for the most part, inhabiting their own spaces, and not mine. As well, I don't have a badge infrastrcuture (and probably never will - though if I did it would again be distributed).
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, RSS]
Scaling Up: Achieving a Breakthrough in Adult Learning With Technology
Clive Shepherd, Dick Moore, Seb Schmoller and Adrian Perry,
Ufi Charitable Trust, May 31, 2012.
Seb Schmoller sends me a couple links from an old newsletter of his on learning styles. I had linked to one of them - Coffield, et.al. on Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning : A systematic and critical review - in 2008, but the link has since gone dead. So last week I uploaded a copy of the report to my own website. The other is to a shorter and more accessible review, Should we be using learning styles?: What research has to say to practice. The upshot of the reports is that learning styles inventories are not to be trusted. That's still pretty much the state of play today.
That does not mean an end to differentiated learning - indeed, another link Schmoller sent in the same email sends me to a coruscating work on the potential to achieve breakthroughs in adult learning with technology. It's worth a look. You'll encounter many of the topics discussed in this newsletter. For example, new technologies support "increasingly immersive, engaging and personalised learning experiences, counteracting the rather poor reputation of much current e-learning content," and funding priorities should, among other things, "harness computers to support individualised and differentiated learning" through "projects for the design, development and delivery of a large-scale, open, online course to develop the knowledge and skills of learning professionals" and "projects that support the development of peer assessment systems that enable learners to provide structured feedback and support to other students."
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Accessibility, Learning Styles, Traditional and Online Courses, Personalization, Project Based Learning, Research, Adult Learning, Experience, Assessment, Online Learning, Newsletters]
Structure and Overlaps of Communities in Networks
Jaewon Yang and Jure Leskovec,
arXiv.org, May 31, 2012.
Absolutely fascinating paper that studies community (or cluster) formation in networks. Unlike much of the literature in the field, this study begins with a set of 'ground-truth communities' - these are "networks where nodes explicitly state their community memberships." This would be things like groups in Facebook or Orkut, for example, "focused on specific topics, interests, hobbies, affiliations, and geographical regions." This is where we would expect to find the most dense cluster of connections. But in fact, the most dense cluster of connections occurs between ground-truth communities. This leads the authors to postulate that "in a sense we are discovering pluralistic homophily where the similarity of one node to another is the number of shared affiliations, not just their similarity along a single dimension." This they describe using a Community-Affiliation Graph Model (AGM). (Cite as: arXiv:1205.6228v1 [cs.SI]) Via Computational Legal Studies.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Membership, Similarity, Google, Networks]
Medical groups recommend sweeping reforms to resident training in Canada
University Affairs, May 31, 2012.
Changes to Canada's medical training system are being proposed by a study called “The Future of Medical Education in Canada: a Collective Vision for Postgraduate Medical Education” (PDF) conducted by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). Among other things, the report "calls for a shift to a competency-based curriculum, which would require residents to obtain a certain skill-level regardless of how long or how little time it takes." Additionally, "the report also calls for postgraduate programs to give residents supportive learning and work environments and to address such issues as resident fatigue, sleep deprivation and the so-called 'hidden curriculum'." It also calls on measures to have interns work in diverse and underserved populations. "We really need to educate our future physicians in the places where they will end up practicing and have experiences in those environments."
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Experience, Canada, Online Learning]
How will our bricks-and-mortar universities survive?
University Affairs, May 31, 2012.
Alan Slavin argues that the best way for universities to survive is to eschew technology. "The only way for our conventional universities to survive is to use our face-to-face advantage to provide a superior education... conventional universities must capitalize on the strengths of personal interaction if they are to survive. These advantages must be cultivated and advertised carefully; business as usual is not an option." Of course, one of the strengths of technology is that it can increase the opportunities for course participants to interact (of course, you need to do more than play videos and quiz students in order to promote this interaction).
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Video, Marketing]
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