This article desxcribes the existing (and expensive) provision of textbooks in distanc e education and recommends a model based on open educational resources (OER) as a replacement. I like the diagrams of the contrasting models. "Recently, many commercial textbook publishers have applied another strategy by bundling a textbook with online academic services for distance learning," write the authors, " this bundling strategy makes the textbooks much more expensive than ever."
The outcome of this discussion is of course directly relevant to the future of education. Here's the contention: "American adults who took our surveys for pay consistently indicated that they expect harmful business practices to increase profit." The authors argue in response that actual data suggests the opposite. "In the sample of firms we used, KLD scores were positively correlated with firms’ incomes. Better behaved firms tended to be better rewarded." There are all sorts of ways this can be questioned. Do we trust Kinder, Lydenberg, and Domini (KLD) Research & Analytics ratings, for example. But more to the point: why would be believe the graph is a straight line? Companies at both ends of the scale - the very profitable, and the barely surviving - resort to unethical means. Those in the middle - companies that could make more, but choose not to, and don't need to, can behave ethically.
You'll hear this quite a bit especially in corporrate learning, where it is common currency. At one of my recent project locations it's simply referred to as assessment 'levels'. The Kirkpatrick scale describes different levels of assessment, from Level 1 (reaction, for example, student surveys at the end of a class), Level 2 (learning), Level 3 (behaviour, "are employees doing things differently at work"), and Level 4 (results). A fifth level, Return on Investment (ROI), is typically added to the scale. Anyhow, this is a good short introduction you can hand out to people new to the discussion.
So here's something else being ruined. According to this article, "The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has given Grovo a registered trademark on 'microlearning.'" Actually, according to a comment, Grovo is merely trying to register the trademark, and hasn't yet been successful. 'Microlearning' is a term that has, of course, been in wide use for a number of years by a large number of practitioners. The people in the commercial learning sector are trying to be diplomatic. "Mosher said Grovo’s trademark opens up an interesting conversation about the difference between a discipline and a product. The industry needs to decide whether microlearning is a product, a modality or a methodology, he said, and he hopes Grovo’s definition will accelerate the discussion." Yeah. The way a hand grenade accelerates the discussion.
The point of this post is to encourage people to onload the Cyberlearning Report (covered here last October) and to describe its use in a class at Pepperdine University. "Because technology use is so common in K16 classrooms," writes Judi Fusco, "I like to think with my students about how learning theories can help them use technology in deep ways to support learning. I don’t want technology just to be a substitute for pencil and paper." Fusco also takes pains to assert that "a teacher is irreplaceable and knows so much about how to help each student." I wish it were that clear and simple.
I'm always watching Jim Groom & Co's Domain of One's Own project, and in particular how they approach content aggregation (a long-time interest of my own). Historically they have been using FeedPress (in WordPress) but in this post Groom describes a new approach using the WordPress API. It's still a work in progress and Groom is careful to note that the approach has been built on partnerships and an iterative approach. It differs from my own approach in its dependence on WordPress. But we share, I think, the difficulty in that it is difficult to propagate the model. The world still needs a good stand-alone aggrregator that will feed (in a smart way) into applications like WordPress and others. RSS is becoming depreciated (sadly) and APIs are being used more frequently, making this task all the harder.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.