OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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November 7, 2012

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Who is accountable at Coursera?
Mike Caulfield, Weblog, November 7, 2012.

Mike Caulfield finds a pretty blatant error in a Coursera course and asks a reasonable quetion: who is accountable? "And yes, this is partially an argument for why all xMOOC credit should be wrapped in a layer of authentic institutional assessment, if only to protect the value of your degree. But it’s also a straight up question — who at Coursera is accountable? And to whom?" By contrast, when I make an error in a Connectivist MOOC (and I have no doubt there have been many) there is no presumption of perfection, and it becomes part of the work of the student to identify the error and properly correct it. Oh, and there's no such thing as 'giving away the answer on the test' in a cMOOC.

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BYOT Mobile Device Chart
Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner, November 7, 2012.

Good draft of a chart intended to describe various options people might select for 'Bring Your Own Technology' (BYOT) or Device (BYOD) initiatives, varying from netbooks to tablets to smartphones to eBook readers. Mostly, the former devices are just fine, the phones are a bit small, and the eBook readers and games consoles are inappropriate. There's also a link to a stretched out version of the table. Love the 5-Hornet rating system.

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Communities in Classrooms at UBATIC+
Nancy White, Full Circle Associates, November 7, 2012.

Nancy White's contribution to the online conference UBATIC+, now under way in Argentina. I've also posted a contribution to the conference. You need to sign in to get to the conference discussion forum, but there's an open discussion on Twitter.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Twitter, Discussion Lists]

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Canadian Copyright Reform In Force: Expanded User Rights Now the Law
Michael Geist, Weblog, November 7, 2012.

Yesterday I pointed to a Michael Geist commentary documenting the swing of Canadian copyright law toward a mostly consumer-friendly legal regime. In this post, Geist lists the provisions that come into effect today:

  • addition of education, parody, and satire as fair dealing purposes
  • safe harbour for non-commercial user generated content provision
  • consumer exceptions including time shifting, format shifting, and backup copies
  • cap of $5000 for all non-commercial infringement (applies to educational institutions too)
  • exception for publicly available materials on the Internet for education

Some provisions, such as the notice-and-notice provision (rather than the US-style notice-and-takedown), are yet to come into force. Also, the digital locks provision remains on the books, despite widespread opposition. But all in all, it's still better to be here than there.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Copyrights, Canada]

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Triumph of the Nerds: Nate Silver Wins in 50 States
Chris Taylor, Mashable, November 7, 2012.

One of the more interesting side-stories to yesterday's U.S. presidential election (congratulations to Barack Obama, by the way) was watching Nate Silver's projections narrow in and ultimately predict perfectly the eventual outcome. Silver does not do any polling himself, but he analyzes the polls, corrects for built-in bias, and uses the data to create an overall projection. Though some wags are saying (with good reason) that "the numbers have a liberal bias" what we actually have here is a triumph of the meta-analysis over mere numbers - it's the relation and interplay between the different polls that creates the projection, not simply the raw data produced by counting people. And indeed, it shows how a naive reliance on the numbers produces a misleading reasult (such as the numerous pundits saying the race was "too close to call" while all along Silver predicted a fairly comfortable Electoral College victory for Obama).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning]

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All about MOOCs
Rosanna Tamburri, University Affairs, November 7, 2012.

As the title of this article suggests, it's an overview of massive open online courses (MOOCs). It has good coverage of the Canadian contribution to MOOCs (which is unusual for publications of any sort). Nonetheless, I had to add a comment to make it clear that George and I worked together over a number of years to develop the model (the article implies that I disappeared after MOOC number one, and wasn't really involved in coming up with the idea; it also doesn't mention Rita Kop at all (I guess it's because the focus is on people who work at CAUT-member universities, which is understandable, but skews the coverage)).

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International MOOCs Past and Present
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, November 7, 2012.

I have made two additions to the MOOC online course list over at www.mooc.ca. The first, and most significant, is a list of international MOOCs offered by various institutions around the world. These are almost all outside the Coursera-Udacity-MITx nexus, and for the most part experimental and innovative. Be sure to send me any additions to this list, and I'll post them on this page. The second is a link to The MOOC Guide, which is a list of the first ten or so MOOCs to be created, all of which were developed before Stanford and the rest arrived on the scene.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Google]

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Using Open-Source Tools to Design and Develop the Online Component of a Blended-Learning, Instructor-Led Course
Ioan G. Ionas, Matthew A. Easter, William H. Miller and Gayla M. Neumeyer, International Journal of Designs for Learning, November 7, 2012.

This paper may not be new ground for longtime readers of OLDaily, but it offers a really good overview of traditional online course design and development, moving from the design and development process though learning experience selection, course delivery format, scenario development, portability and metadata standards, content authoring tools and learning management systems. Here's a direct link to the PDF (15 pages).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Experience, Metadata]

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