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Association for Learning Technology
November 7, 2011
There has been talk recently of badges and online credentials in higher education, but the name that may emerge as the winner in the long run is OCR - Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations. This is a British organization that has been working with schools to develop and distribute online materials in support of its widely used testing service. "Every year," as Sophie White writes, "more than three million students gain OCR qualifications." The service is divided into several components: Interchange, a secure portal for all exam related information; scoris assessor, an online paper marking system; Active Results, a scores analytics system; free A-level textbooks for schools involved in the program; and some pilot programs in e-testing. As usual, there's no 'secret sauce' that makes this all work; the keep is in the deployment of a set of related and appropriate technologies to a willing target market.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Great Britain, Portals, Assessment, Tests and Testing]
Though numbers have declined dramatically from last summer's peak of enthusiasm for Stanford's massive Artificial Intelligence course, membership is still large enough to crash servers and there is still a great deal of enthusiasm for the work. Seb Schmoller looks at what can be learned from the course so far in this article. What's interesting is how personal the courses seem to be, even though the scale by definition precludes any great measure of personal interaction. "If the AI course is anything to go by, what Stanford University has solved, with its short quirky and quiz-laden videos, is a way to give learners the feeling that they are receiving personal tuition, with plenty of scope alongside this for peer interaction." It's like a blend of the best from Khan Academy with our MOOCs. Schmoller writes, "the underlying model feels right; what is more, it feels replicable for different academic levels and for different disciplines." But can other institutions get the numbers to make the courses work?
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Interaction, Video, Membership, Tuition and Student Fees, Academia]
February 28, 2011
The UK's Association for Learning Technology has released its strategy document for 2011-2014, committing itself to "be an authoritative voice on the place that learning technologists and learning technology" and "support member organisations to achieve their missions more efficiently and cost effectively," among other things. There's a solid dose of reality as well: "however, there is likely to be a major contraction of activity funded directly from government and its agencies, including a contraction of support for learning technology activities, as bodies lose existence and funds and have their remits more tightly defined. This retrenchment is not unique to the UK. We should expect other countries and partners therein to be undergoing similar changes, albeit to varying degrees."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Great Britain]
From Seb Schmoller, by email: "From January 2011 ALT's journal has the new name "Research in Learning Technology, the journal of the Association for Learning Technology"; but other much more important changes are afoot. Following last year's reprocurement process, and with the support of ALT's Research Committee and of the journal's Editorial Board, I am happy to report that from January 2012 our journal will be fully Open Access, produced in partnership with the Swedish publisher Co-Action Publishing." Couldn't happen to a nicer journal.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Books, Academic Journals]
February 20, 2010
Good article from the new Alt News Online describing how to host an online event. This doesn't deal with the technical aspects (like setting up Elluminate or mounting a live feed) but rather the steps a presenter should take to create an effective synchronous experience. It's a bit lightweight, but would serve well as an introductory article. Via Seb Schmoller.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Audio Chat and Conferencing, Experience, Online Learning, Newsletters]
February 20, 2010
"Education is increasingly described and assessed through interaction rather than through documents." So write the authors in this article from the current issue of ALT News Online. And so I agree, but for reasons that become evident, I don't thing Wave is the vehicle to address that. "using Wave is rather a painful experience (with its own parody website easiertounderstandthanwave.com), which is perhaps only to be expected from a product at the preview stage. Not accessible or compliant with disability legislation, subdividing screen real estate into many small panes, and often very slow to respond..."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Accessibility, Interaction, Google, Experience, Newsletters]
July 25, 2009
EduApps is a set of tools installed on a USB drive that allows students to have assistive technologies available to them on any computer. "EduApps extends the AccessApps philosophy of free portable software in your pocket to include bundles of applications specifically designed for teachers 'TeachApps' and learners 'LearnApps'. Currently we host over 90 open source and freeware software applications which can be entirely used from a USB stick on a Windows computer." Here is the full list of apps.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Microsoft, Open Source]