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Open Education and OER - A guide and call to action for policy makers, Maren Deepwell, Martin Weller, Lorna Campbell, Joe Wilson, Association for Learning Technology, Dec 12, 2017

This short paper (8 page PDF) is a "call to action for policy makers to mandate that publicly funded educational resources are released under open licence to ensure that they reside in the public." Interestingly the document cautions that "the 'open' in MOOCs is very different from the 'open' in OER," though this is the opposite of our intent back in 2008 when we first created them. The writers also assert (correctly) that "It is anomalous that while ... [Direct Link]

Is Alison The Answer To The World's Education Needs?, Peter High, Forbes, Dec 12, 2017

Forbes is reporting Alison's oft-debunked claim to have created the world's first MOOCs. It's hard to read this article as anything other than an advertorial (again, I caution people against trusting the traditional media where commercial interests are concerned). I have written to Allison in the past about this but there appears to be no legislation or constraint requiring that they represent themselves honestly. As for the question in the headline, the answer is "no" - ... [Direct Link]

Special Report on the Role of Open Educational Resources in Supporting the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education Challenges and Opportunities, Rory McGreal, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Nov 30, 2017

Rory McGreal hghlights the role of OERs and MOOCs in supporting the sustainable development goal and outlines Canada's contribution to the field. "Canadian OER supporters must continue to increase awareness of OER among learners, teachers, administrators, and most importantly, among provincial education officials who are in a position to support open policies," he writes. [Direct Link]

TokyoTechXʼs MOOC Development Toolkit, Nopphon Keerativoranan, Online Education Development Office, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nov 25, 2017

This is a set of three tools in Python and Excel to support content development in EdX MOOCs. One is a content modification tool, which basically automates cobtent import and export to make it easier to work with entire courses. The second uses a similar functionality to create a course content and outline tool. And the third automates bath uploading of YouTube files, including descriptions and metadata. You can find the tools in their GitHb repository. [Direct Link]

Dr. Chuck on Inclusive Programming, Online Instructor Involvement and Coursera’s Paywall, Tina Nazerian, EdSurge, Oct 28, 2017

By "inclusive programming" the article means "teaching programming to everybody". By "online instructor involvement" it means face-to-face meetings with students in courses (made more difficult in MOOCs). By "Coursera's paywall" it means Charles Severance's strategy to redirect students to his home page if they complain about the paywall. It ends with what is actually a neat idea: "to connect with students is through “Teach Out” ... [Direct Link]

Rethinking MOOCs, The Chronicle, The Editorial Board, Oct 25, 2017

This appears in Duke University's independent student newspaper and supports what I wrote in my article today: "The most valuable products that elite institutions like Duke sell for over $70,000 a year are not high-quality courses but rather the prestige of the Duke brand as well as access to networks of other talented students, professors and elite employers." Exactly. But here is where we disagree: "It is impossible to democratize access to these goods because their value ... [Direct Link]

: Reviving the MOOC, Oct 25, 2017
[article] This article was created as a response to Dhawal Shah in EdSurge on A Proposal to Put the 'M' Back in MOOC. I actually typed the article into the comment form on the article, but it only allows posts from people who are logged into Facebook, which I refuse to do. It talks about the model we had in mind when we created the first MOOC, how it was broken by the xMOOC, how the xMOOC misunderstands the value proposition of a university, and how I would design business model of the ...
Enclosure: MOOC_semester-1508860201.jpg

Udacity Official Declares MOOCs ‘Dead’ (Though the Company Still Offers Them), Jeffrey R. Young , EdSurge, Oct 14, 2017

Udacity's latest word on MOOCs, reported first by Economic Times in India: “Our mission is to bring relevant education which advances people in careers and socio-economic activities, and MOOCs aren't the way.” I don't think that's an accurate statement of Udacity's mission. I think that what drives the company is investor demands for profits. Really, I don't know why for-profit companies bother with a mission statement that says anything else, because we ... [Direct Link]

Why Is Live Interactive Video Streaming So Rare Among MOOCs and LMSs?, Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside News, Oct 14, 2017

I can answer that question from my own experience. It's really hard to put hundreds of people, let alone thousands, into a live interactive streaming conference. This article doesn't seem to recognize that difficulty. "It’s possible—in a course with scheduled lectures—for students to tune in, listen to a lecture in real time, ask questions, and participate in discussion from a remote location." Well yes, it's possible, but not in video. We've ... [Direct Link]

10 Current and Emerging Trends in Adult Learning, Tom Vander Ark, Education Next, Sept 22, 2017

We are given two sets of ten: first, ten trends in adult learning, which are dated and not worth the effort to read. And more interestingly, ten future trends. It cites the 2017 New Horizon higher education report, but doesn't repeat the predictions. Especially interesting is the prediction of the rise of national service universities citing a presentation from ASU president Michael Crow from last May. "Putting knowledge at the core, Crow described five realms of ... [Direct Link]

The Massively Open On Air Courses (MOOAC): Contextualizing MOOCs in Africa, Rebecca Yvonne Bayeck, e/merge Africa, CC BY, Sept 06, 2017

Education in Africa faces numerous challenges: infrastructure, affordances, teacher shortages and distance. MOOCs can be deployed to address these issues. But few African students actually attend MOOCs. Access to the internet is still very limited (about 9 percent) in Africa. So this presentation looks like an adaptation of MOOCs - open On Air Courses, delivering instruction over the radio. The presentation itself is about 20 minutes, with the remaining 35 minutes devoted to discussion. See ... [Direct Link]

Digital Learning Research Network, National Institute for Digital Learning, Aug 17, 2017

Helge Scherlund links today to the Digital Learning Research Network, part of Ireland's National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL). The Network "fosters a network of leaders and strong communities of practice at the forefront of research on new models of teaching and learning." Projects include Mahara analytics, MOOCs in open education, Lego innovation, and more. Keep up to date by following the NIDL blog (the most recent post is from two days ago, an encouraging ... [Direct Link]

MOOC Adaptation and Translation to Improve Equity in Participation, Freda Wolfenden, Simon Cross, Fiona Henry, Journal of Learning for Development, Aug 01, 2017

This study shows why it's important to test hypotheses with different models and different user groups. It describes a MOOC in India offered first in English and then in Hindi, attracting more than 40,000 students in all, and achieving completion rates over 50%. "Our findings challenge previous research (Milligan & Littlejohn, 2014), which found little transfer of learning to on-the job practices for health professionals participating in MOOCs," write the authors. "... [Direct Link]

What if MOOCs Revolutionize Education After All?, Jeffrey R. Young , Barbara Oakley, EdSurge, Jul 26, 2017

Some pragmatic thinking with a pinch of a push for content knowledge. The premise is that MOOCs are actually going to challenge the classroom model, and ultimately, universities and the teaching professors. "Once they begin becoming broadly available for college credit, it's going to start changing the scenario of higher education." Best line in the post: "The thing is, moving a university is a little bit like moving a cemetery. You can't expect any help from the ... [Direct Link]

Are MOOCs, Bootcamps and Other Alternative Education Options Effective?, Kara Voght, U.S. News & World Report, Jul 22, 2017

According to this article, "A new study questions the quality of these programs, as well as the evidence that demonstrates their efficacy." When an article questions whether any form of online learning is "effective", the first question to ask is, "what do they mean by effective?" This is what I wondered on reading this article. I was disappointed, on multiple accounts. First, American Council on Education study cited in the article in no way resembles ... [Direct Link]

The Complex Universe of Alternative Postsecondary Credentials and Pathways, Jessie Brown, Martin Kurzweil, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Jul 22, 2017

This is a survey document (56 page PDF) tracking research and commentary on the rise of alternative credentials (such as microcredentials, badges and certificates) and alternative learning pathways (such as word-based learning, MOOCs and short courses. The report has very little to say about effectiveness (see the executive summary) though it does make comments in passing as it cites other articles (eg. by the Chronicle). It looks into the historical antedecents and is a detailed examination ... [Direct Link]

Making friends in MOOCs: It is No Fluke!, Curt Bonk, TravelinEdMan, Jul 14, 2017

Curt Bonk summarizes some of the work from a journal article on the subject (unfortunately he doesn't offer a link or even a title for the article) about whether people make friends in MOOCs. He seems to focus on whether instructors make friends, which seems to me to be totally beside the point - I would be looking for MOOC participants to make friends with each other. Anyhow, here is the line of thinking: "Giving away one's writing is one way to generate new ... [Direct Link]

10 apps to use for the 2017-2018 term, Meris Stansbury, eCampus News, Jul 14, 2017

One of the things I do when I read a 'top 10 tech tools' article like this is to ponder which of the tools the list was designed to promote. In this case I'm guessing it's EdCast, self-styled as "the Netflix of Knowledge". We read, "EdCast’s app allows users to discover their most relevant learning opportunities, including those from co-workers, internal experts, formal and informal courses, external experts, MOOCs, and the internet." So, like Google ... [Direct Link]

The Mechanical Universe, David Goodstein, James F. Blinn, CalTech, CC BY, Jul 12, 2017

O'Reilly summarizes this as follows: " a critically acclaimed series of 52 30-minute videos covering the basic topics of an introductory university physics course. So, like a MOOC or Khan Academy, but from 1985." So, yes, except now it's on the internet so everyone can view it for free. And there are no subscription fees (unline some MOOCs). The animations are lovely and there are snippets old old films and whatever. So 1985, but so good. [Direct Link]

OpenStax Launches Learning Platform, Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Jul 11, 2017

Rice University's OpenStax, which once upon a time was known as a free textbook site called Connexions, has launched Tutor Beta, an online learning platform that will make three courses -- biology, physics and sociology -- available this fall. I'm thinking that the textbook project felt it was missing out on the MOOC phenomenon (MOOCS: still not dead). "Tutor Beta breaks OpenStax’s textbooks into smaller chunks, testing students with short answer and multiple-choice ... [Direct Link]

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