OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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April 4, 2013

Feature Article
Learning and the Massive Open Online Course
Stephen Downes, April 4, 2013.

Notes from ELI Online Spring Focus Session,
April 3-4, 2013

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Online Courses or Long Form Journalism? Communicating How the World Works…
Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, April 4, 2013

This is an interesting thought: "wouldn't it be wonderful if somebody put together a Coursera course on Bitcoin, covering whole range: crypto, ops, economics, politics?" The idea, as Tony Hirst correctly summarizes, is that an online course, or even a MOOC, could be offered instead of a long-from news article on a topic of economic or political importance. "And are there opportunities for media and academe to join forces producing – in quick time – long form structured pieces on the likes of, I dunno, Bitcoin, maybe, that could cover a whole range of related topics, such as in the Bitcoin case: crypto, ops, economics, politics?" Maybe. Maybe indeed.

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

Rate Rule, MOOCs drool
Mike Caulfield, April 4, 2013

Mike Caulfield picks up on the new terminology I've been hearing over the last few days: "The 'wrapped MOOC' has gained attention over the past year as a way to integrate MOOCs into traditional education. ... in practice most educators are not 'wrapping' the cohort experience, but are instead using the MOOC as robust OER." yes, from what I've been hearing, people are using the term 'MOOC' interchangeably with 'online course materialks'. But that's a very long way from the original conceptionm where a MOOC is the actual instance of conducting a class openly online. So what explains  this shift? (The same thing happened to 'learning objects' - they were originally pieces of object-oriented programming, but became packages of published course contents).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Traditional and Online Courses, Books, Experience, Learning Objects]

US Mooc platforms’ openness questioned
Chris Parr, Times Higher Education, April 4, 2013

The Times Higher Education supplement is now asking the questions we've all been asking. Patrick McAndrew, professor of open education at The Open University, praised the work of platforms such as Peer to Peer University and the OpenCourseWare Consortium for 'really being careful to do everything in a way that truly meets criteria of open'. 'However, a lot of the organisations involved more recently, like [US Mooc providers] Coursera and edX, have not paid so much attention. Often you can’t actually see into the [course] materials until you make a commitment,' he said. 'They are creating a sort of closed community in the open.'"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: OpenCourseWare]

MOOCs to cultivate networked textbooks part 1
Dave Cormier, Dave’s Educational Blog, April 4, 2013

Cave Cormier has observed, as have many of us, that the newer xMOOCs are mostly just online interactive textbooks. Which raises the question, what are the other kinds of MOOCs, if thought of from the perspective of textbooks. Well, something like open textbooks. But the whole domain of open textbooks - it has a long history - is fraught with difficulty. Could MOOCs address the problems of continuity and creation? "The key is to utilize the scale of education to your advantage. There are thousands and thousands of people teaching first year accounting. Some of them are passionate about it… some are not… but most/all of them are using textbooks."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Networks]

Towards Robot Scientists for autonomous scientific discovery
Andrew Sparkes, H Plus Magazine, April 4, 2013

Interesting article about how scientists like me caan be replaced - well, not me, exactly, because I don't follow enough of a method that my work could be automated, but the process of hypothesis formation and testing in general. "This will make scientific information more reproducible and reusable, and promote the integration of computers in scientific reasoning. We believe the greater automation of both the physical and intellectual aspects of scientific investigations to be essential to the future of science. Greater automation improves the accuracy and reliability of experiments, increases the pace of discovery and, in common with conventional laboratory automation, removes tedious and repetitive tasks from the human scientist." I'm not sure how much of this is parody.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Patents, Tests and Testing]

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers
Joyce Seitzinger, Cat's Pyjamas, April 4, 2013

If you use Moodle you may already be aware of this resource. But if not it's worth a look to see what people are doing with the open source learning management system (LMS). Joyce Seitzinger writes, "I set out to create this poster size guide for teachers, allowing them to compare the functionality and pedagogical advantages of some standard Moodle tools, adding a column to indicate how tricky the tool is to set up."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Source, Online Learning]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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