OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
May 14, 2014

Open Policy Network
Open Policy Network, May 14, 2014

Creating Commons is launching new Open Policy Network website. More information here. "The mission of the Open Policy Network is to foster the creation, adoption and implementation of open policies and practices that advance the public good by supporting open policy advocates, organizations and policy makers, connecting open policy opportunities with assistance, and sharing open policy information." They're not getting off to a good start on 'open' by imposing a news embargo, which is why I'm breaking it.

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Employers must start investing in skills training or risk having public policy nudge them along
David Munroe, Financial Post, May 14, 2014


I've long considered this sort of item inevitable. The more employers argue that education should focus on skills development for employment needs, the more the onus falls on them to pay for that. So long as tuitions remain high and students pay the brunt of learning costs (not just tuition, but books and resources, time away from work, living expenses and the rest). "There is a troubling correlation between rising calls for PSE institutions to produce work-ready graduates and declining employer spending on training and development," says this article. "With corporate taxes as low as they are in Canada, and the pressing need to improve Canadians’ skills, there is no excuse for employers not to invest in training. Canada’s competitiveness and well-being depends on it."

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A Boost for Active Learning
Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, May 14, 2014

According to Scott Freeman, the metastudy he and his colleagues have published,which is in essence a summary of 225 recent studies, "provides overwhelming evidence that active learning works better than lecture." That may not mean that instructors stop lecturing, he said, "but it shouldn't be about the evidence anymore." Instructivists, over to you.

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Statement about embargo periods
Kathleen Shearer, Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), May 14, 2014

For a while, supporters of open access have accepted embargo periods as a necessary evil to promote the transition from closed source to open access publications. Embargo periods delay the publication of open versions of paid articles for a period of time. Now they are seeing the cost of that compromise. "Embargo periods dilute the benefits of open access policies and we believe that, if they are adopted, they should be no more than 6 months for the life and physical sciences, 12 months for social sciences and humanities." The coalition of open access repositories that signed the document argues that embargo periods should eventually be eliminated. One wonders about the wisdom of building this compromise into open access policies in the first place.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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