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April 10, 2013

Six Ways the edX Announcement Gets Automated Essay Grading Wrong
Elijah Mayfield, e-Literate, April 10, 2013

I quite enjoyed this critique of the edX announcement on automated grading, not so much for the critique (though those are always fun) but because of the way the article advanced my understanding of automated essay grading. This article is definitely worth your while if you have any interest at all in the subject (and even for many readers who don't). 'Every time I talk to a curious fan of automated scoring, I’m asked, “What are the features of good writing? What evidence ought to be used?' This question flows naturally, but the easy answers are thoughtless ones. The question is built on a bad premise." Oh, and this totally is not a list article, despite the title. Yes, there are six points, but there is a logical progression that leads you nicely to the conclusion.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

The Empire acquires the rebel alliance: Mendeley users revolt against Elsevier takeover
Matthew Ingram, paidContent, April 10, 2013

Continuing from this item covered yesterday, it appears (unsurprisingly) that Mendeley users are not happy with Elsevier's acquisition of the company. Some of the most stinging comments:

  • "Mendeley cannot fix Elsevier's reputation. Elsevier published fake journals, backed SOPA, used bundles to screw scholars/libraries. Too evil." - danah boyd
  • "The thought of trusting @Elsevier with detailed info about my reading habits is, well, repulsive. Sorry, @mrgunn, but I'm out." - David Weinberger
  • "Within a year your company will be effectively dismantled and anyone left over who actually cares about open access can start over from scratch." - commenter on Hacker News

There's more, oh so much more. Former Mendeley users have reignited the #mendelete hashtag. See also: Guardian coverage from today (mostly defending Elsevier), Jason B Colditz (mendeletee), guide to moving your Mendeley account (from January, when takeover rumours first surfaced), user protest on the rumours (so it's not like there was no warning), bypassing the Mendelay login and hoping for open source (but still checking out Zotero), Sylvain Deville (indecision, taking a wait & see attitude)

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Mergers and Takeovers, Networks, Open Source, Open Access, Academia]

Flipping the classroom
Rosanna Tamburri, University Affairs, April 10, 2013

Nice article basically summarizing Desire2Learn in University Affairs, a Canadian magazine read mostly by university professors and administrators. It covers the original founding of the company by John Baker, its struggles to grow amid the Blackboard lawsuit controversy, and its current success explanding internationally and launching new learning support tools. Disclaimer: I helped build some of those tools in NRC's three-year Synergic3 project with Desire2Learn. I collaborated with D2Land others hosting the recent CFHE12 MOOC, which is mentioned in the story. I am also quoted a few times in the article.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Blackboard Inc., Canada]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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