Search

This page: http://www.downes.ca/search/page%20pdf


Colony: Technical White Paper, Aron Fischer, Jack du Rose, Alex Rea, Colony, Feb 19, 2018
Icon

Just open-sourced: Colony. This is a link to the Colony white paper (55 page PDF), also just released. "The Colony Protocol allows developers to integrate decentralised and self regulating division of labour, decision making, and financial management into their applications... The Colony Network consists of a collection of contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. At the core of the network will be a ColonyNetwork contract. This contract is primarily responsible for managing the reputation ... [Direct Link]


Observing and Deterring Social Cheating on College Exams, Richard J. Fendler, Michael C. Yates, Jonathan M. Godbey, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Feb 07, 2018
Icon

This article (11 page PDF) contains a pretty good literature review and summary discussion on cheating. It "introduces a unique multiple choice exam design to observe and measure the degree to which students copy answers from their peers." What's fun is that it provides "a measurement of actual cheating frequency among students, as opposed to relying on reported cheating in anonymous surveys." The studied measured whether less cheating would occur if students were ... [Direct Link]


Student learning with permissive and restrictive cell phone policies: A classroom experiment, Alexander L. Lancaster, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Feb 07, 2018
Icon

It's hard to know what conclusions you can draw from a study of 31 students in a Midwestern university class, but this study (13 page PDF) tries. According to the authors, banning cellphones did not improve the students' results in the course. More interestingly, banning cellsphones was associated with higher evaluation scores for the instructor. Here's the rest of January's ijSOTL filled with studies of similar scope. [Direct Link]


The Promise of Performance Assessments: Innovations in High School Learning and Higher Education Admissions, Roneeta Guha, Tony Wagner, Linda Darling-Hammond, Terri Taylor, Diane Curtis, Learning Policy Institute, Jan 18, 2018
Icon

"Like doctoral candidates with university dissertations," write the authors, in performance assessments "students often defend their projects and papers before panels of judges, who rigorously evaluate them against high standards; students typically revise their work until they meet the standards." The suggestion in this report (42 page PDF) is that performance assessments can (and should) replace more traditional (and test-based) assessments of high school graduates. On ... [Direct Link]


American Views: Trust, Media and Democracy, Gallup, Knight Foundation, Jan 17, 2018
Icon

According to the Knight Foundation and Nieman Report summaries, "Americans say greater access to news sources is actually making it harder to stay informed." The analogy in education would be that greater access to educational resources makes it harder to become educated. But does it hold? According to the report (71 page PDF), "Not only is more information readily available, but so is more misinformation, and many consumers may not be able to easily discern the difference ... [Direct Link]


25 education trends for 2018, Meris Stansbury, eSchool News, Jan 01, 2018
Icon

This is a booklet (20 page PDF) with a set of predictions from various EdTech writers. The participants include a mix of school officials and (mostly) e-learning technology provider representatives. Immersive experiences and hyperconvergence highlight the trends. As well, "as competency-based learning bursts the boundaries of the online and virtual learning spaces and moves directly into the classroom where it is becoming the foundation of, as opposed to a supplement to, broader learning.&... [Direct Link]


Promoting Research to the Masses: Assessing the Impact of a Poster Walk, Denise R. Adkins, Julie S. Lyon, International
Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
,
Dec 13, 2017
Icon

This paper (13 page PDF) describes a project where students created posters describing their research and displayed them in an open format on campus. The 'research' studies people who attended the poster session; there was a pre-test and post-test to evaluate 'learning' along with a survey where the participants were asked to rate their enjoyment. I find the concept intriguing. Wouldn't it be interesting is professors and graduate students did open ... [Direct Link]


The Learning Alliance Inventory: Instrument Development and Initial Validation, Daniel T. Rogers, International Journal for
the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
,
Dec 13, 2017
Icon

As usual I don't think much of the actual research (the data set consist of psychology students at a midwestern university, and the result evaluated is effect on GPA). But the concept of the 'working alliance' is intriguing. "In his 1979 paper, Bordin argued that a working alliance occurs when one person makes an effort to change and another person serves as a facilitator of that change." The purpose of the current paper (18 page PDF) is to "was to develop a ... [Direct Link]


Ethically Aligned Design, Version 2, The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, Dec 12, 2017
Icon

The term 'Autonomous and Intelligent Systems' (A/IS) stands for what we would commonly call AI and this is an extensive effort to describes the ethics of A/IS system design.   This document (266 page PDF) will take some time to read. Take the time. I applaud the good intentions of the IEEE here but just as you wouldn't want a philosopher to design a bridge, a document that reads to me a bit like "Ethics by Engineers" feels wrong. For example, consider one ... [Direct Link]


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
Icon

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]


Internet Pioneers and Leaders Tell the FCC: You Don’t Understand How the Internet Works, Frederick J. Baker, et.al., Pioneers of Net Neutrality, Dec 12, 2017
Icon

I don't know how much damage the end of net neutrality in the United States would cause, but over the long run, it's probably significant. This is in large part because it is based on a flawed understanding of internet technology. In this email Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf, and other internet pioneers release a short letter linking to their earlier submission to the FCC (53 page PDF) in opposition to the ending of net neutrality. Beyond the obvious policy intent, this document is a ... [Direct Link]


Majority of Australians say online privacy beyond their control, University of Sydney, Dec 07, 2017
Icon

This feels like my sense of it too. "The findings, published in a report launched today (74 page PDF), show 67 percent of Australians take steps to protect their privacy online, but only 38 percent feel in control." Our hopes appear to be beyond our grasp. Forexample, "a large majority (78 percent) want to know how social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are using their personal data." This large majority will be disappointed. And while &... [Direct Link]


Free White Paper - Cracking The Mobile Learning Code: xAPI And Cmi5, Steven Westmoreland, eLearning Industry, Nov 26, 2017
Icon

I downloaded this so you don't have to. My advice? Don't. eLearning Industry will require that you sign in with your LinkedIn credentials, then require additional information if they're not satisfied with what LinkedIn provides. Then you'll get a 32 page PDF (a far cry from the book that appears in the illustration). The first 11 pages cover a well-worn path outlining mobile learning in general. The explanation of xAPI and cmi5 is minimal and consists mostly of a case study. ... [Direct Link]


Blockchain in Education, Alexander Grech, Anthony F. Camilleri, Joint Research Centre, Nov 23, 2017
Icon

This is a long (136 page PDF) and detailed report on blockchains in education. The authors work slowly and deliberately in their pursuit of accuracy and clarity, which results in a presentation that will be easily understood by most readers. There is a wealth of examples in the document describing use cases, scenarious and pilot projects, and companies involved in the space. The study is a result of a literature serach, desk reserach and interviews. The recommendations display a knowledge of ... [Direct Link]


METRICS: a pattern language of scholarship in medical education, Rachel Ellaway, David Topps, MedEdPublish, Nov 21, 2017
Icon

What is scholarship in colleges and universities? Maybe the best part of this post is the background reading you'll have to do to put it into context. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed Ernest Boyer's long paper (160 page PDF) on Scholarship Reconsidered even though it dates from 1980 describing three major phases of evolution in the U.S. university system (noting, in particular, their original focus on teaching, and the relatively recent focus on research). Boyer's much shorter (... [Direct Link]


Designing Authentic Personas for Open educational Resources Designers , John Baaki1, Jennifer Maddrell, Eric Stauffer, International Journal of Designs for Learning, Nov 09, 2017
Icon

I'm not really a fan of personas but they are widely used in software and product design so it's appropriate to see them deployed in the development of OERs. This article describes the process undertaken by Designers for Learning, "a nonprofit organization in the United States that coordinates service-learning opportunities for those who seek to gain experience in creating instruction to support important social causes." The journal article (13 page PDF) emphasizes ... [Direct Link]


Global Education for Canadians, Margaret Biggs, Roland Paris, The Centre for International Policy Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, Nov 09, 2017
Icon

I am broadly supportive of the objectives of this report (40 page PDF) though I don't find all of the argumentation convincing. The old "Canada is falling behind" argument is meaningless; we are also "falling behind" in gun ownership and in clearcutting forests, but that doesn't mean we should reverse course. The main argument is the argument in the strategic objectives section: supporting international study opportunities will support long-term economic ... [Direct Link]


Building and Sustaining National Educational Technology Agencies : Lessons, Models and Case Studies from Around the World, Michael Trucano, Gavin Dykes, World Bank, Nov 07, 2017
Icon

It took a bit of time to read this report (226 page PDF) but it's worth the effort, especially if you're in the position of designing a national education technology initiative. "This study on national ICT/education agencies seeks to provide some insights that may help answer two lead questions: 1. What do we know about the form, functions and characteristics of such organizations? 2. What are some key considerations and lessons related to their establishment, operation, and ... [Direct Link]


How To Lie To Yourself And Others With Statistics, Eric Ravenscraft, LifeHacker, Nov 07, 2017
Icon

The original is of course Darrell Huff's 1954 classic book How To Lie With Statistics (74 page PDF). The examples are all dated, of course, and the dollar amounts should be multiplied by 10 to make sense in today's world. But the advice is still spot on. The Lifehacker article is a bit of an update, with a more modern take, but it all just goes to show that news media and marketers have been manipulating the truth long before social media ever came along. What has happened in the last ... [Direct Link]


Information Disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policy making, Claire Wardle, Hossein Derakhshan, Shorenstein Center, Nov 05, 2017
Icon

In view of the epistemic crisis in the U.S. today this report on informaation disorders (109 page PDF) is a timely contribution. But I fear it does little better than identify the problem; the solutions are stale, sterile, and would be ineffective. The analysis is interesting: it proposes that media are being used not for the transmission of information, but rather the conduct of a ritual. "A ritual view of communication does not consider the act of reading a newspaper to be ... [Direct Link]

[Next 20 results]