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by Stephen Downes
March 24, 2014

The Rise of MOOCs: Past Successes, Future Challenges
Stephen Downes, March 24, 2014, ICT advisory board meeting, Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, Tunis, Tunisia

(Photos: Demetrios Sampson)

In this presentation I outline the major influences leading to the development of MOOCs, including learning objects and open educational resources. I then describe the basis for the creation of our original connectivist MOOCs, describe the learning theory behind them, and review attribues of a number of cMOOCs over the years. Finally I develop the concept of the personal learning environment as it is being implemented in our LPSS program.

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Memorandum of Understanding on Open Educational Resources
Various authors, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, March 23, 2014

By email from Paul Stacey: "The Premiers of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan (the three most western provinces) have released a Memorandum of Understanding on Open Education Resources, which will see the three provinces work together to make higher education more affordable by developing Open Education Resources within their advanced education sectors." As he say there's not much to it (the third page of the PDF is completely blank) but it of course serves as the sprringboard for further activities and initiatives.

I like the definition of Open Educational Resource: "'Open Education Resources' means 'teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work.'" Note: no-cost access. Limited restrictions (eg. NC) allowed.

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A foundational badge system design
Carla Casilli, Persona, March 23, 2014

One of the isssues with a badge system is granularity. On the one hand companies and institutions want large-objective top-down locked badges. On the other hand, individuals and small groups want more fine-grained flexible badges that can be created and awarded on the fly. This proposal addresses that by creating a three-tier interlocked badge system compliant with Mozilla's badge architecture. "This approach is a vote for interculturism—or the intermingling and appreciation of cultures—in badge systems. Its strength arises from the continuous periodic review of all of the badges, in particular the team / product badges as well as the individual / community badges."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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