OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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July 25, 2012

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Four Barriers That MOOCs Must Overcome To Build a Sustainable Model
Phil Hill, e-Literate, July 25, 2012.

The barriers, Phil Hill tells us, are as follows:

  • Developing revenue models to make the concept self-sustaining;
  • Delivering valuable signifiers of completion such as credentials, badges or acceptance into accredited programs;
  • Providing an experience and perceived value that enables higher course completion rates (most today have less than 10% of registered students actually completing the course); and
  • Authenticating students in a manner to satisfy accrediting institutions or hiring companies that the student identify is actually known.

What I read from this is that in order to be successful, MOOCs need to be like traditional learning. But what if they don't? What if it's traditional learning that needs to change:

  • to get past needing commercial model? (inexpensive education could be publicly funded!),
  • to get past certificates or degrees (data-mining a person's record tells us everything we need to know),
  • to get past completion anxiety (go in, get what you need, get out; programs are for computers, courses are for horses)
  • and to get past fingerprinting and identification cards (ID is properly a government's responsibility, not a university's).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Experience, Online Learning]

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How to issue open badges in 5 steps using WordPress + WPBadger
Doug Belshaw, Weblog, July 25, 2012.

OK, I think a 'how to issue badges' post is a good idea. Unformtinately, this one is like: "Install badge-making software. Run software." (p.s. Usually I just run the origianal post without editing, but I am increasingly clearing post title of tag, since tags don't belong in titles).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Universities on the Defensive: What is it we do
Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, July 25, 2012.

Good questions: "Are Universities under attack?  De-funding is a form of attack.  Why do we have universities, then? What do Universities exist for?  Why did we collectively decide not to fund education?  Maybe decision makers don’t understand what we do.  And the question at hand: do MOOCs replace what we do?"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Can you use “free culture” works in an LMS?
Brian Lamb, Abject, July 25, 2012.

So Creative Commons has decided to claim that if you sell a resource, it is a 'free resource', but that if you require that it not be sold, it is not a 'free resource'. This is - as I have argued at length over the years - just backwards. When you block access to a resource unless people give you money, it's not free, not in any sense of the word. This division of Creative Commons licenses into (so-called) 'free resources' and 'not free resources' has me up in arms, so much so that I may remove all Creative Commons licensing from my works and go with something else. I like what Brian Lamb is pointing to here, in part: "No DRM or TPM [DRM - Digital Rights Management, TPM - Technological Protection Measures] – You must not restrict access to the work using technical measures." I want a thing that says You must not restrict access to this resource at all. This works for me. See - I don't care whether people make money using my stuff. I care a lot if they start blocking access to copies of it. If I can have 'no protection measures' or some such thing, I can remove the NC clause. But where is this in Creative Commons? Ah - nowhere.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Digital Rights Management (DRM)]

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Data Changes Everything: Delivering on the Promise of Learning Analytics in Higher Education
Ellen Wagner and Phil Ice, EDUCAUSE Review, July 25, 2012.

Good overview article about the arrival of learning analytics, concluding with a section on "what we know" about analytics, including:

  • Analytics are here today, and they are here to stay - Analytics are already being used in a variety of ways in the higher education enterprise.
  • Common data definitions will be required if we intend to compare "apples to apples" in assessing points of student loss and momentum.
  • There's no such thing as "sort of" transparent. Once one can see the results of the analyses being run against any number of institutional data sources, including student achievement data, it will be increasingly difficult to ignore what the numbers are saying.

I will mention in passing that people should stop with the Moneyball comparisons. What happened in baseball was a focus in attention away from power hitting and toward getting on base, rather than a suddent discovery of data and statistics.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: EDUCAUSE]

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News Corp Announces Business Plans To Disrupt Education: “Amplify” Mobile Technology and Assessment
Gregory Ferenstein, Tech Crunch, July 25, 2012.

I don't expect much to come of this, but supporters of public education should take heed. "News Corp, Home of Fox News and one of the world’s most powerful media entities, has announced its long-awaited plans to disrupt education. Former New York City education chancellor and CEO of Amplify, News Corp’s new k-12 education division, will attack education reform through technology, with three specific strategies: assessment via mobile tools, curriculum design, and the online distribution of resources via AT&T-powered tablets." See also Tony Hirst on this.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Assessment]

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CBlissMath, YouTube, July 23, 2012.

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Short graphic video, "The evolution of the social network in the CMC11 MOOC is depicted as a dynamic graph using Gephi software (www.gephi.org). Each person is depicted as a node and interaction between the node is represented by a link. This data set only includes Tweets containing the #cmc11 hashtag, blog posts and Facebook wall posts made from Aug - Dec 2011."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Books, Video, Web Logs, Networks]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.