OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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January 24, 2013

We'll take it from here: letting the users take charge of the evaluation and why that turned out well
Cosmin Munteanu, Hélène Fournier, Jean-François Lapointe, Irina Kondratova, Bruno Emond, Academica.edu, January 24, 2013

Slide presentation from a number of my colleagues at NRC describing the MINT project - Multimodal INteractive Trainer - they developed in cooperation with the Canadian Forces. The project set out to build  "a low-cost, portable, yet flexible and configurable mixed-reality, serious gaming, training simulator  based on natural interactions." The point of the presentation is to descrbe the role of the participants themselves in the evaluation of the technology as it was developed. The evaluations were thus open-ended, but the data collected was essential. Trainees "saw the benefits of the system during evaluations to the point of shifting from evaluating the system to taking advantage of it (e.g.running their own training routine)."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Interaction, Project Based Learning, Canada, Privacy Issues]

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Guerrilla Connectivism: 10 Tips for Taking Control of your Education
Kevin Stranack, January 24, 2013

I have long been  a fan of guerilla tactics to take control of your own learning and education, so I'm totally sympathetic with Kevin Stranack's post. Stranack writes, "We, as students, don’t need to wait for our instructors to do this for us, and instead, we can take control of our own education by following a few connectivist-inspired tips" and then proceeds to list a number of them. Most of the pointers offered by Stranack involve reaching out and communicating with other students, but I would go further, reconceptualizing the learning activity itself - turning a boring slide presentation, for example, from a passive experience into active learning writing activity summarizing the main points.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connectivism, Experience, Online Learning]

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Stop-Motion ; Mettez de la couleur
Odile Desaulnier, YouTube, January 24, 2013

Kevin Kelly sent me this link to "a moving but simple video on intimidation produced by a student in Québec City. How something so simple yet so powerful can spread." I think a lot of people will like this one.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Public Universities to Offer Free Online Classes for Credit
Tamar Lewin, New York Times, January 24, 2013

We continue to move incrementally toward a reconfiguration of the educational system. "Dozens of public universities plan to offer an introductory online course free and for credit to anyone worldwide, in the hope that those who pass will pay tuition to complete a degree program." So, basically, you get and pass your intro course for free, get credit, and maybe purchase the whole package from the institution. "We’re taking the MOOC idea, but now it will be part of a degree program, not a novelty," said Randy Best, the chairman of Academic Partnerships, a company that helps public universities move their courses online. See also coverage in the Chronicle and also good analysis of the trend toward 'school as a service' on e_literate by Phil Hill.

I especially agree with this: "Randy Best, founder and chairman of Academic Partnerships, said that the real megatrend is not the emergence of MOOCs, but rather the move to universal, affordable access to education. This populist view runs contrary to 2U, Coursera, Udacity and edX, all of which target elite universities, betting that their brands and faculty are important to attract large numbers of students." As Hill writes, "this is another key milestone in the rapid transformation of MOOCs into the next generation – in combination with Instructure’s launch of the Canvas Network, Udacity’s move to MOOC 2.0, and the American Council on Education’s moves to recommend credits for MOOCs."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Online Learning, Tuition and Student Fees, Academia]

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Purely Digital for Distinct Skills, Knowledge and Competencies
Professional Examination Service, January 24, 2013

In my email today was this press release (useless adjectives excised): "Professional Examination Service today introduced the credentialing industry’s first  comprehensive system to create, deliver and display digital 'badges,' the ProExam Digital Micro-Credential solution. The new service is being shown for the first time at the Association of Test Publishers’ annual Innovations in Testing Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 3-6, 2013. The ProExam Digital Micro-Credential adds psychometric soundness, exacting assessment and one-click secure verification to the emerging open badges environment, which is being driven by efforts and organizations such as the Mozilla Open Badges project and the MacArthur Foundation." What's most interesting in this to me is the recasting of 'badges' as 'micro-credentials'. This makes them seem much more adult and, hence, credible. As for all the claims to be 'first', well, I have my doubts.

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

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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