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April 1, 2013
There are other seductions at work here. Faculty are expected to adopt textbooks so it happens quite naturally that faculty are also expected to adopt learning services where that is an option. Just as with self-grading tests in an LMS, adaptive assignment of learning materials promises to lessen one's work load. That's a slippery and dangerous slope because administrators under pressure to reduce the cost of the collegiate experience might well see this as an opportunity to replace expensive tenure track faculty with adjuncts, TAs or even secretaries and clerks. [Comment]
What Europe needs is an organized structure to offer OER, or a really open and freely accessible set of MOOCS. Even if it competes with the US - and wins for not satisfying greedy people.
The collapse of social structures will other wise dictate a huge loss of attendance, less education, etc.
Just cut the hype (trim the fat) and redirect existing resources to do this, the sooner the better.
P. Fernandes [Comment] [Permalink] [Previous][Next]
Sometimes, though, Adaptive Learning can be a more efficient way of learning for the learner. More efficient being less time spent per "unit" (whatever that is) of learning.
I'm working with Phil Kellman and Christine Massey, two Cognitive Psychologists who have developed adaptive learning methodologies to serve up the right interactive content based on their (and others) research in cognitive theory.
For the domains they are training in (I'm working with them on some math applications), students learn quickly, and then don't need the material again. I'm under the impression that they are well respected in their field, and that the technology they have created is unique and effective (which is why I'm working with them). And, what they are doing couldn't be done by books or print.
Their company website is http://insightlt.com/ but you can also google them to see their research.
I'm curious if this could be a possible adaptive learning application that you could support. [Comment] [Permalink] [Previous][Next]
Dear Stephen, greetings from Spain.
I am part of the team behind Conecta13 and we would like to thank you your attention to the manifesto we wrote a few days ago. The intention of the manifesto is to promote the debate about MOOCs and we are satisfied to read your opinion, even if you dislike it. We wanted to write a manifesto which could be read and discussed by many different types of readers (educators, academics, principals, stakeholders, etc.) and disagreement is part of openness, even one of its main value.
Furthermore, like it or not, MOOCs are not one single "reality": we strongly believe that diversity is one of the marks of MOOCs and that there is no "standard" MOOC. Our manifesto tried to embrace that diversity openly, not neglecting that there are MOOCs which tend more clearly towards a connectivist approach but there are other MOOCs which are content- or task-based, and which also demand our attention.
On the other hand, we are really sorry your selection of fragments of the manifesto seems to us absolutely partial.
First, you accuse us of falsely invoking the learner as the centre of the experience, without any further explanation: quite opposite, we reinforce our belief in learner-centred educational design, but that also means considering - in the real world - that there may be learners who do not feel confident to enter a pure cMOOC, or even who dislike its chaotic look even if they like some social aspects of MOOCs. Diversity is a human feature too and we, as educators, enjoy that diversity and try to pay attention to it.
About MOOCs and institutions, the complete quotations are these:
- "MOOCs must be an element within the digital strategy of an institution. MOOCs by themselves do not constitute a strategy."
- "Institutions may consider MOOCs basically as a branding instrument, although this reductionist approach which simplifies MOOC potential will only resist for a limited period of time. After that, MOOCs will only be relevant within a global institutional strategy linked to the commons and open knowledge."
Institutions are running into a crazy competition about who has a MOOC in their list of courses, who has more MOOCs and who has the more crowded MOOCs. In some occasions, these institutions do so without considering the meaning of "open" and all its powerful (and "healthy") implications: they do not have a strategy to open their institutions. Even more, in the European context, where many state-run universities, for instance, are spending public money in this type of competition, we consider revising the need and the sense of MOOCs is part of our democratic, critical responsibility. For that reason we state that "open is not free". Public money is being invested in there and we must consider if the "branding operation" some public institutions may be doing with MOOCs is justified or not.
Anyway, we are strongly engaged with open knowledge and a connectivist comprehension of learning. The manifesto includes points such as:
- "MOOCs may follow a "learning route", that is, a sequence of contents, tasks and tests. But they may also be a landscape to visit orderly or disorderly, randomly or purposely, alone or with other people, with or without guidance, for merely reading or watching or with action in mind."
- "MOOCs open the debate but the debate takes place wherever participants decide, not where the designers may have established. Anyway, the more conversation, the better."
- ""Dynamization is the process of transforming a static data structure into a dynamic one." (Wikipedia) That is the key to make MOOCs a social learning experience. Content curation is the way to provide access to relevant information to a large number of participants in a chaotic learning setting."
It is difficult for us to see you don't agree (even partially) with some of these statements, which you have not highlighted in your selection.
To sum up, and hoping you will forgive this rather long comment, we are glad you considered making a reference to the manifesto as part of the long debate about MOOCs. Our main intention is not to let the debate for the big educational corporations but to keep it open to general discussion. Agreement and disagreement are parts of that discussion, and we enjoy it. Thank you for your words and all your thinking! [Comment] [Permalink] [Previous][Next]
There is a web version. They prompt you for the download, but you don't have to use the client to use the service. Also, in their pricing - they show a "freeium" version but it is limited in the number of mentions before you have to start paying. I posted this on my FB Page and some folks suggested some other alternatives to Google Alerts that you might want to also check out.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152658928310408&set=a.10150148714310408.395031.212577490407&type=1 [Comment] [Permalink] [Previous][Next]
Spot on, Stephen.
You put your finger on the difference between learning 'within' a shared objective - i.e being sucked into an 'objective' depersonalised task, owned entirely by someone or something else, on the one hand, and learning myself - i.e. for my own self and context, which inevitably has a social dimension (all learning is social?), but it is one that I have some (modest) choice in determining - i.e. cooperative learning. [Comment] [Permalink] [Previous][Next]
Progressive? Goddard College's president ponders MOOCs:
"While we support open-source information, we know that no one learns in isolation. We believe in the integrity of community-based, individualized learning that allows for a lifetime of growth and ingenuity."
[Comment] [Permalink] [Previous][Next]
Stephen, thanks for the post. I became a high school educator in my late 40's. My eleven years have been spent using an approach that is roughly 50/30/20 percent behaviorist/cognitivist/constructivist.
Practically speaking, I recognized that fewer than 10% of my students had any intrinsic interest in exploring chemistry or physics, no matter how I attempted to make connections between these disciplines and my students' lives. I invited them to take an active part in their own education. The overwhelming majority of them were too unaccustomed to this "novel" idea; administration, students, and parents were equally resistant. I encountered a culture that taught learned helplessness, by unspoken precept. Students felt that high school was "done to them". Although they felt ignored and disrespected by this social norm, most were too burdened with other social phenomenon (interactions with peers and parents, for example) to consider the possible value in a new learning paradigm. After enduring four years of force fed facts and administrative manipulation, youth were content to be "rewarded" with a diploma [Comment] [Permalink] [Previous][Next]
I believe no body deserves to be treated like that specially those students.Indeed books are very important for its a tool to help the students speaks their mind and develop their skills.We all know that textbooks is undeniably expensive.But now amazon company has rental reaches hardcopies. Get an installment loan to pay for your textbooks.
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