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by Stephen Downes
Oct 14, 2016

Exploring more frameworks to understand OER/OEP
David T. Jones, The Weblog of (a) David Jones, 2016/10/14

I think this falls into the category of overthinking things, but I still want to pass on this discussion of OER 'frameworks', for example one describing "different stages of OEP using a combination of OER usage and learning architecture." Yes, it's another set of taxonomies-and-stages. And as always they seem to raise more questions than they solve. "Whats an institution?" What about collaborative development? "What about moving beyond the institution?" Why is 'open practice' a continuum? Is the 'value chain' the right place to locate OERs?

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Scraping Google Scholar to write your PhD literature chapter
Jon Dron, The Landing, 2016/10/14


What's interesting about the diagram in this post is that you could figure out who the major writers are in the field without knowing anything about the writers or the field. Take a look. Rawls, Sen and Ostrom occupy central locations. "Basically, it automatically (well - a little effort and a bit of Google Scholar/Gephi competence needed) maps out connected research areas and authors, mined from Google Scholar, including their relative significance and centrality, shaped to fit your research interests." When we can do this for everybody, what would we need tests and exams for any more?

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You are almost definitely not living in reality because your brain doesn’t want you to
Buster Benson, Quartz, 2016/10/14


Good article listing sources of cognitive bias (always an interest of mine). Numerous links. "In order to avoid drowning in information overload, our brains need to skim and filter insane amounts of information...

  1. Information overload sucks, so we aggressively filter.
  2. Lack of meaning is confusing, so we fill in the gaps.
  3. We need to act fast lest we lose our chance, so we jump to conclusions.
  4. This isn’t getting easier, so we try to remember the important bits.

By keeping these four problems and their four consequences in mind (we) will ensure that we notice our own biases more often." The item called to my recollection a CBC interview I listened to this morning with Julia Shaw, author of The Memory Illusion: Why you might not be who you think you are.At least, I think I listened to it.

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Learning in the Digital Age
Michael Grant, Conference Board of Canada, 2016/10/14


This report from the Conference Board of Canada "explores the potential of e-learning in the Canadian setting." Most Conference Board reports are expensive (like this excellent Learning and Development Outlook from last year) but this one is free. Most readers of this newsletter will find the report very superficial, dated and quaint. It's not clear there was actually a literature review, as claimed - many of the (sparse) resources in the bibliography link to error pages on the Conference Board website (the references have other errors, including a '2003' article on MOOCs). The main points of discussion - whether e-learning should be employed, the quality of faculty-created courses, the nature of the LMS - would have been appropriate in 2004. Aside from a short discussion of MOOCs, there is nothing about modern e-learning: social networks, simulations and virtual reality, gamification, workplace support (indeed, workplace learning is all but ignored). The report contains three recommendations: reduce economic barriers, tackle institutional constraints, and adopt excellent practices. Well sure; we'll get right on that, once we get past this Y2K bug thing.

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Copyright 2016 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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