OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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February 12, 2014

Proceedings of the European Stakeholder Summit 2014
Ulrike Cress, Carlos Delgado Kloos, Open Education Europa, February 12, 2014

This is a book-length collection of essays on MOOCs and MOOC pedagogy. You'll find my name as a co-author in Challenges for conceptualising EU MOOC for vulnerable learner groups (though my contribution to the paper was minimal). There's a lot of work in the volume as a whole on student success, self-regulation and persistence in MOOCs, as well as cultural aspects and the use of video. I haven't had the chance to read all the papers, but I've seen enough that I'm comfortable recommending this volume as a whole.

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Juergen Rudolph Interview
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, February 12, 2014

This is a lightly edited transcript of an interview I had with Juergen Rudolph a few weeks ago. A few important points: first, "(A MOOC) is not a group of people trying to reach some destination together. It’s a place where individuals pursuing their own interest and objectives can interact in a way that mutually supports each other." Also: "the concept of MOOCs is open online learning in a networks kind of infrastructure. This is not simply a teaching mechanism. This is a social perceptual mechanism. A MOOC is a perceptual device for recognising whether a person is capable and competent in that subject area."

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An interview with Canadian MOOC pioneer George Siemens
Rosanna Tamburri, University Affairs, February 12, 2014


So now that george Siemens is leaving the country, everyone wants to interview him! Just kidding, of course. But it is interesting to see the attention he's getting (not that it isn't deserved), especially when you consider where else the press has focused its attention in the last couple of years. As Siemens says, "Regarding Thrun and Udacity, I think the gloating is absolutely justified because this was an individual that was able to get front page coverage in the New York Times and USA Today for saying really absurd things."

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Learning and Performance Support Systems
National Research Council Canada, February 12, 2014


I have mentioned in previous posts that I've recently become Program Leader for something called Learning and Performance Support Systems. Well our new program now has an official presence. It's just an information page for now, but as you can imagine, it takes quite a lot behind the scenes to have the program recognized and promoted by the institution. En français aussi.

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Books making us stupid – too soon?
Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog, February 11, 2014

Dave Cormier, reviewing the progress of the "Is books making us stupid" week of his Rhizomatic MOOC, suggests that he is "frustrated with myself for not getting my point across" and "the book thing has not gone as planned." I am sympathetic; I know the feelinbg of a MOOC getting away from me. But I think he should embrace that. To me, that's the sign of success in a MOOC. And is it so bad that all his participants think he wants to get rid of books? It's just strong enough a point that people will want to react, but not one that can be quickly dismissed. Me? I loved books when I was growing up, and still have a house full of them, but my work - my reading and my writing - are done almost exclusively online.

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Harvard U. Will Offer Exclusive MOOCs to Alumni
Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog, February 11, 2014

Quick quiz: what part of "exclusive MOOCs for alumni" is inherently self-contradictory? Here's their plan: "Prospective donors—alumni, other benefactors, even corporate and foundation executives—who take advantage of MOOCs will likely develop a greater appreciation for the institution and its faculty and, therefore, a greater willingness to provide philanthropic support." Because of course Harvard is the neediest charity of all.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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