I've spent a lot of time on peer review panels. Not surprisingly, the top selections have an impact, the low selections do not, but in that great area in the middle (and where all the debate occurs) "only ~1 percent of the variance in productivity could be accounted for by percentile ranking, suggesting that all of the effort currently spent in peer review has a minimal impact in stratifying meritorious applications relative to what would be expected from a random ranking." In other words, we would get the same results if we flipped a coin. I'm sure the same is the case for publication peer reviews. The full study is here.
Reading this article reminded me of the day my father and I built a baseball diamond on the front lawn of our ballpark-sized front lawn. Sure, he did the heavy work, but I was involved in the design and made sure there was a pole for the flag (which would fly over innumerable baseball games through the decades that followed). Not everybody needs to be a full-on design thinker the way I am - the world also needs people who do things like take measurements, check facts, and apply rigor. But everybody probably needs some, and people like me need a lot.And, as John Spencer says, "All we needed was a little freedom, some encouragement, and a few random supplies. And time. Tons and tons of time"
According to Tim Klapdor a technopedagogue "can oversee the design, implementation and even the implementation of interfaces, environments and the digital tools that support learning or various processes." But there's a sense in which the technopedagogue has a foot in two incommensurate camps. As David Jones says, "The techno is interested in scale. On systems and practices that work for the whole organisation or the whole of learning and teaching. The pedagogue is interested – as much as they can be within the current system – in the individual, the specific." But I don't think those traits are inherent in either discipline - I've very interested in personal technology, and mass pedagogy. See also Tim Klapdor, From Us to We and Administrivia and APIs.
I've spent a lot of time with Ludwig Wittgenstein in my head, not the least when I went searching for his hut at the end of the Sognefjord in Norway. Well, OK, I didn't exactly search for his hut, but I did once sail up the Sognefjord looking for huts generally, as depicted in this photo set. And I certainly understand the benefits of getting away from it all and living in the wilderness for a bit. So, as Dan Colman says, put Wittgenstein in Norway into your YouTube queue.
Discussion around the MIT Report on higher education reforms contines to echo around the blogosphere. It was referenced here in OLDaily three weeks ago. Inside Higher Ed calls it a love letter to blended learning and says "Online education can offer personalized pathways through course content with short lecture videos and well-timed quizzes that help students retain knowledge, the report reads, but it is most effective in a blended setting where students regularly interact with faculty members face-to-face.” But in this post Michelle Pacansky-Brock calls this "a general misunderstanding" of online learning. "The nature of online classes varies dramatically, much like face-to-face classes," she writes. "But, in both scenarios, the teacher matters and the teaching matters." But "a warm body teaching an online class is not necessarily going to result in an effective learning experience for students." You have to have more than a pulse. Via Phil Hill.
Alan Levine makes probably the most compelling argument of all in support of open content: "institutions pretty much just clearcut their web history." Unless the websites are saved by individuals (for example, the individuals who created them) these sites will simply disappear. Governments, museums, newspapers - all of these simply remove outdated content. "Why?" he asks. "Individuals have a deep stake in their work. Repositories, institutions? The stake varies with politics, staff turnover, leadership fetishes." Nothing is safe unless people can keep their own libraries of their own content online.