Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
January 15, 2003

Assessing Learning Management Systems Last Friday I ran this link, but did not include author and publisher information. This link corrects that bit of carelessness. Here are the proper credits, with apologies to those involved: By John Hall, Chief Learning Officer, January, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Unintended Consequences: Four Years under the DMCA The Electronic Frontier Foundation summarizes its objection to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in one handy article. Three major consequences are identified: the DMCA chills free expression and scientific research, it jeopardizes fair use, and it impedes competition and innovation. Following this list is a series of cases and examples supporting each of the three contentions (many of which have been covered in OLDaily). By Unknown, Electronic Frontier Foundation, January, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Five Tips for Type in Online Learning This is mostly good advice. I disagree only with the first dictum: use only two type styles. I typically use three: one for headlines, one for body text, and one for site navigation. But the rest of the article meets with my agreement, especially the bit about using a sufficiently large type size. And please don't use colour for anything but links: it is really frustrating to click on text you think should be taking you somewhere, but which doesn't. By Saul Carliner, Learning Circuits, January, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Auditory Advantage When people think about adding audio to e-learning, they usually think of adding a professor's voice-over, the spoken word paralleling the printed text. I can't think of anything more agonizing, personally. This article takes a wider view, looking at the use of music in e-learning. Toward the end of the article the author lists several advantages, and - bandwidth considerations aside - it's hard to disagree. By Lenn Millbower, Learning Circuits, January, 2001 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Rights and Wrongs of the Doctrine of First Sale The "first sale" doctrine expresses the idea that, if you buy something, it's yours to do what you want with it. In other words, the vendors rights end once the item has been sold. This is what allows you to sell your used books and what allows libraries to loan copies for free. This article argues that the first sale doctrine ought to be extended to digital works. I agree: indeed, I see the elimination of first sale for electronic works to be a significant reduction in the rights we have as consumers. It grants copyright owners new rights they never had, at the expense of destroying rights consumers have always had. By Aline Soules, Electronic Book Web, December 12, 200 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Joining the Dots: Advances in Online Biomedical Literature Management Good quick survey of some of the major approaches and technologies involved in online scientific literature management and distribution. I like this item because it provides a good index to the sort of material I select for this newsletter. I see online literature management as closely connected to online learning, even if that connection isn't really made explicit in either field. By Alf Eaton, HubLog, January 14, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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