by Stephen Downes
Feb 02, 2017
This is a view of knowledge and learning that I think is wrong (and would argue has been disproven in application) but which is nonetheless believed - either implicitly or explicitly - by many. The idea is that all knowledge can be understood conceptually a nd semantically, and that it all fits a giant puzzle explaining the universe, which can be understood using "time-tested a priori knowledge."
'Transversal skills' is the term adopted by UNESCO to refer to things like 21st century skills, critical thinking, persitence, and related skills. This article observes that they are being more widely valued world-wide. But the question remains: how are they being evaluated? It is in this context that UNESCO Bangkok published Assessment of Transversal Competencies: Policy and Practice in the Asia-Pacific Region (62 page PDF) "in the aim of understanding more about these questions and how some countries are trying to answer them."
Coursera is continuing its migration from being a MOOC provider offering free online learning to a subscription-based learning provider charging fees for access to learning materials. The model, as this article points out, has already been established by Netflix (for videos) and Microsoft (for its LinkedIn owned Lynda course platform). According to this article the big problem with the model is the size of the courses ("meaningful education cannot be delivered at massive scale") but of course the real problem for students is the course fee.
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