by Stephen Downes
Jul 15, 2015
What Is Detected?
Inside Higher Ed,
Plagiarism detection software is only partially useful, according to this report, and professors may be better off just using Google to detect infractions. In addition to false positives (revealing the ironic situation where professors who never read the papers are nonetheless giving grades on them) the system fails to detect as many as a third of the instances discovered by Google. “We say that we’re using this software in order to teach students about academic dishonesty, but we’re using software we know doesn’t work,” Schorn said. “In effect, we’re trying to teach them about academic dishonesty by lying to them.” From Academica, here are the links to the 2007 Study and the 2015 Study.
Houston, I think We have a (Disengagement) Problem
You need engagement in education only when you're trying to get people to do things they don't want to do. Our insistence on this has bred the creativity out of them. Kelly Christopherson writes, "most people end up not using most of their capabilities, stuck in a situation where their talent is not being used to its full capacity, they are unhappy with what they are doing but fear making a change to do something else." Perhaps instead of engaging students, he suggests, we should be empowering them. Good post, with loads of references to articles on engagement.
BeLearning: Environments for Expanding Knowledge
Juan José Calderón Amador,
e-learning, conocimiento en red,
This is really interesting and embodies a lot of the sort of approach I favour: "BeLearning used new technologies through a blend training combining meeting, working and researching involving virtual spaces, digital tools and online platforms in a rich mix of interactions with traditional media: presentations, workshops, classes." There's a 44 page PDF manual available describing the process and how to apply it, and a website supporting the initiative. The methodology is based on three 'layers' which support the mixing and remixing of individual experiences from divergent perspectives in order to develop an emergent form of knowledge that impacts an organization or community (see the illustration on page 24).
How Textbooks Can Teach Different Versions Of History
One of the things I like about the use of internet resources in education is that we are no longer constrained to a single view of the world as we were in the textbook age (this presumes, of course, that schools use the internet to teach, and not just digitized versions of their old sources in a closed environment). This has an impact in every field, but is probably most significantly in fields where controversies exist, such as history. The subject of this article is the U.S. Civil War, but it could be anything, really.
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