I lead the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.

SUBSCRIBE TO OLDAILY DONATE TO DOWNES.CA

  • Association of Medical Educators of Europe (AMEE) E-Learning Symposium, Glasgow, Scotland, September 6, 2015.

  • Ghent, Belgium, March 30, 2015.

  • Chang School Talks 2015, Ryerson University, February 23, 2015.

  • Hackademia, Online, to Brazil, March 16, 2015.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

Yahoo Has a Tool that Can Catch Online Abuse Surprisingly Well

Icon

Interestingly, the term 'surprisingly well' in the headline still means 'far from perfect'. The Yahoo tool uses keywords and word phrases to catch abusive emails, but finds it difficult to go deeper. “The language of abuse is amorphous—changing frequently and often used in ways that do not connote abuse, such as when racially or sexually charged terms are appropriated by the groups they once denigrated. Given 10 tweets, a group of humans will rarely all agree on which ones should be classed as abusive, so you can imagine how difficult it would be for a computer.”

Today: 101 Total: 877 Will Knight, MIT Technology review, 2016/07/29 [Direct Link]

Open Content Initiative Call for Proposals

eCampus Ontario (which is welcoming David Porter as its new CEO) is launching an open content initiative. The call for proposals (27 page PDF) is available for download. "Funded Open Content projects are intended to incent uptake of these resources across the province, encourage buy-in from faculty members across Ontario institutions, and support the early adopters at a grass-roots level."

Today: 193 Total: 1381 eCampus Ontario, 2016/07/29 [Direct Link]

Ria #17: Dr. Jason Osborne On Data Cleaning

In this episode, Jason talks about his book Best Practices in Data Cleaning.

Today: 60 Total: 2264 , Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, [Direct Link]

The seven year olds who are learning how to code

Icon

Why shouldn't 7-year-olds learn to code? "They learn the basics by dragging and dropping simple instruction boxes into blocks of code that tell a computer what to do. And the toys they work with show them an immediate, tangible result from their commands. "

Today: 28 Total: 1296 Sunny Freeman, Toronto Star, 2016/07/25 [Direct Link]

Reactor Core founder: short-term programs, not four-year degrees, are the future of tech education

Icon

The story is in the headline rather than the content, but there's an important undercurrent. "Reactor Core, which currently has about 210 students on multiple campuses and online, offers 12-week programs in software engineering and mobile app development." So far so good. But they are one of several organizations asked to cease and desist. "The primary concern so far has been that bootcamps have not been sufficiently transparent about student outcomes."

Today: 24 Total: 972 Scott Matteson, Tech Republic, 2016/07/25 [Direct Link]

European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning

Icon

This document (64 page PDF) is more of a framework than a final statement on the topic of recognizing individual achievement, but as such it's a great start and will likely become a document of reference in the field. The structure constitutes the areas most people can agree on (for example: the four stages of validation are identification, documentation, assessment and certification) while the questions it leaves open are precisely those that need to be solved at a national or even a domain-specific level (for example: how is the credibility of the authority/awarding body assured?) The section on the centrality of the individual goes a bit further than the rest, and correctly so: "Validation aims at empowering the individual and can serve as a tool for providing second chance opportunities to disadvantaged individuals... The individual should be able to take control of the process and decide at what stage to end it."

Today: 20 Total: 2138 Cedefop, 2016/07/22 [Direct Link]

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
Sponsored this month by: Rory McGreal