OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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August 2, 2013

National Curriculum & Textbook Board, Bangladesh
August 2, 2013

Jim Kelly reports: "Bangladesh’s National Curriculum & Textbook Board, recently released its Textbooks for the Academic Year 2013. The elementary and secondary school mathematics textbook series (level 1 to level 10) are both in Bangla and English language versions and are Free to download." Because that's how you do it when education is your priority.

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REPLY to The MOOC Racket: Widespread online-only higher ed will be disastrous for students—and most professors
Rory McGreal, Athabasca L, ing, August 2, 2013

Rory McGreal shhreds Jonathon Ree's criticism of MOOCs. His first comment:

"JR> MOOCs possess the magical power to turn some of the smartest people in academia into followers of a faith-based cult because they want to become its idols.

RMc>Rather than the MOOC supporters, thecsmartest people would be those defending their cult-based faith in a creationist view of universities, who are opposed to any consideration of educational evolution whether in the form of MOOCs or any other change from what they perceive to be the god-given approach to teaching and a possible threat to their privileged position." And the point by point refutation continues..."

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Is Online Learning Cheaper?
Terry Anderson, Virtual Canuck, August 2, 2013

My answer would be, "It depends on what you're doing and who is doing it." Terry Anderson references Tom Carey and David Trick (2013), How Online Learning Affects Productivity, Cost and Quality in Higher Education: An Environmental Scan and Review of the Literature. He writes, "The study concludes with wide ranging recommendations. These take aim at the high costs of independent universities each making their own competitive decisions, and no economy of scale beyond the institutions domain."

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Student characteristics predict university graduation odds
Jonathan Kantrowitz, Education Research Report, August 2, 2013

Sometimes the state of research in education depresses me. Other times it makes me angry. What, for example, are we to make of this? "Tim Gramling, LP.D., conducted research on characteristics of more than 2,500 students from the full population of one large, for-profit university and found that higher GPA, fulltime enrollment status, black race (over whites)... weighed most heavily in accurately predicting higher graduation odds." So - what? If we want to increase GPA, we should recruit more black students? That's absurd, just as would be the equally offensive proposition that skin colour lowers GPA. 'Black' (or 'white', or 'Hispanic', or the ubiquitous 'Asian') should not be used as research categories. We are supposed to be scientists, not phrenologists.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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