OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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

May 24, 2013

How “Admissions” Works Differently At For-Profit Colleges: Sorting and Signaling
Tressie McMillan Cottom., tressiemc, May 24, 2013

Some really good writing in this longish post about university admissions that ends with this: "Rather than a market response to unmet consumer demand, my data tell a story of class insecurity that is transformed into a credentialing process through marketing that sorts, and admissions processes that signal to students that a for-profit credential can provide the security they intuit they need. The success of colleges like Profit U not only responds to the individual pain points of students grappling with increasing competition for fewer good jobs, but organizationally they have responded to weaknesses — pain points — in the social structure." This is really important. It's not just about jobs and it never has been. It's also about being able to 'join the club' - only to realize, that once you've finally gotten in, there are many more inner circles you'll never get to see. (Browse the rest of the site, too, for interesting stuff, including this astonishing dispute with the Chronicle from last year). Via Matt Reed.

[Link] [Comment]

Harvard Faculty Request Faculty Oversight of HarvardX (Their Usage of edX)
Phil Hill, e-Literate, May 24, 2013

According to the letter signed by 58 faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, "It is our responsibility to ensure that HarvardX is consistent with our commitment to our students on campus, and with our academic mission." They then ask that a committee of tenure and tenure track faculty draft "a set of ethical and educational principles" that will govern their involvement. The Harvard faculty letter, writes Phil Hill, takes the approach of "viewing MOOCs as experiments in 'teaching methods that can be validated, refuted, or refined through the collective efforts of a scholarly community'." And, pointedly, not adjuncts and support staff, students, providers, funders, or anyone else.

[Link] [Comment]

More on MOOCs and Being Awesome Instead
David Wiley, iterating toward openness, May 24, 2013

David Wiley clarifies, and his points are worth lingering on.

  • "Some readers may have gotten the impression that I was saying it was ok to 'Be Awesome Instead' of being open. That was absolutely not the point I was making. Being open – truly open – is absolutely critical..." Quite so.
  • And I am really really of the same mind as Wiley when he writes this: "For a number of years I have felt that the overwhelming majority of educational researchers are focused on the 'high quality' problem, to the virtual exclusion of the 'universal' and 'free' problem from the discourse." From my perspective, talk of 'quality' has become a useful red herring for those really wanting resources to be not open and not free. That's not to say I oppose quality (and neither does Wiley). But if it must be perfect before it is free, then it will never be free.
  • "The only way to accomplish the amount of personalization necessary to achieve high quality at scale is to enable decentralized personalization to be performed locally by peers, teachers, parents, and others." Once again, I'm completely agreed. This is what I was trying to urge at OECD (not that they listened).

My only quibble is with his insistence on "free 4Rs permissions" - which includes allowing commercialization of free resources. Given what he has just said about opoen access, and about there being "no rights and royalties regime under which this personalization could possibly happen" I just can't see requiring allowing commercial use. Somewhere someone is going to have to say, "if you throw up a paywall, it's not open access, and you've broken the agreement."

Do you doubt me? If I blocked access to this website and started charging a subscription fee for OLDaily, would you consider it consisten with my long-time committment to free and open access? No? Then why would it be consistent with free and open access if someone else did it to my stuff?

[Link] [Comment]

Doug Belshaw, literaci.es, May 24, 2013

Doug Belshaw has started a new blog on a new blog service / magazine called Svbtle. Here's his announcement post. "Svbtle is a new kind of writing and publishing network that takes the best things from traditional publishing and combines them with the best parts of the web." There's an application for membership, but it's not clear yet why someone would apply. Meanwhile, it has been interesting watching Doug Belshaw's transition from staid academic to hipster dude since his employment at Mozilla. (I say that just in jest, but it's still interesting to watch.)

[Link] [Comment]

Data Dealer
May 24, 2013


So I spent way too much time playing this game this afternoon, which automatically makes it worth passing along. "'Data Dealer' is an online/serious/educational game about collecting and selling personal data - full of irony and humour. It's an interactive exploration of the personal data ecosystem in the digital age and targeted at both young people and adults." Have fun!

[Link] [Comment]

Implementing open access funders' policies
JISC, May 24, 2013


This is a set of eight presentations (slides only) from yesterday's conference on open access policies Goodenough College, London. Presentations inlcude talks from funders such as Wellcome Trust and RCUK, as well as discussion of the green and gold routes to open access archiving. Interestingly, open access includes not the ability to read a document online, but also search for and re-use (including download) the content and unrestricted use of manual and automated text and data mining tools (according to thisRCUK presentation). Some good statistics, also, from Alma Swan of SPARC Europe. See also controversy regarding RCUK's policies.

[Link] [Comment]

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.