Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
December 18, 2002

Rice University's Connexions Does this sound familiar: "an experimental, open-source/open content project... that gives a learner... free access to educational materials that can be readily manipulated to suite her individual learning style.... The free software tools also foster the development, manipulation, and continuous refinement of educational material by diverse communities of authors and teachers." Sure, of course. It's a learning object repository. By Ashley Craddock, Creative Commons, December, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Student-Centered, Technology-Rich Learning Environments (SCenTRLE): Operationalizing Constructivist Approaches to Teaching and Learning The strength of this paper is in the surveys of different approaches to student centered learning; the tables in the first half comparing approaches to designing instruction, social and cognitive constructivism, and instructional approaches are useful. But the theory proposed is what would in philosophy be called a homunculus theory: amid a maze of learning strategies, assessments and other educational apparatus is a little box, discussed in one paragraph, titled, "construct learning." Which, of course, is what the system as a whole is supposed to do. By Atsusi Hirumi, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, October, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Journal Writing as an Adult Learning Tool Somewhere there is room for an academic article comparing the the use of journals in learning with today's online equivalent, the blog. Of course, reading this survey of the use of journaling in learning, it becomes evident that the two, though related, are different. For one thing, privacy isn't an issue with a blog: it is published for all to see. But also, it seems to me, blogs are more outward looking, seeing the writer as situated in and reacting to a wider environment. Journals are more personal, more self-directed. A journal about online learning wouldn't make a lot of sense, but a blog? Perfect. By Sandra Kerka, ERIC, October 24, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Impact of Work-Based Learning on Students One of the reasons I have long touted online learning is that it allows students who work greater access to learning. This study surveys a body of research looking at the relation between web based training and working students and concludes that such approaches "have positive effects of students' educational, attitudinal, and employment outcomes." By Michael E. Wonacott, ERIC, December 12, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

BioMed Central Advocacy Kit BioMedCentral has released a comprehensive advocacy kit to be used by librarians and researchers for the promotion of open access journals. The kit contains slide shows, newsletter messages, leaflets, flyers and logos. By Various Authors, BioMedCentral, December, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Surviving Information Overload This useful article ends far too soon, coming to a conclusion just as you think it's about to get to the meat of the issue. Then again, the topic of online information management could be the subject of a full course. What's in this article is good, and a good start. It will help you moderate the inbound flow of information. But what to do with it after, how to use it: on this the article is silent. By Genie Tyburski, ABA Law Practice Management, October, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes