What is online learning? Seeking definition
online learning and distance education resources,
Tony Bates is in the process of running a national survey about online and distance education (which launched today) and in the process resorted to some arbitrary definitions of key terms, which he shares here. It really raises some concerns for me. First of all, it's all about courses, nothing else. Despite the headline we don't learn what 'online learning' really is. And the institutional perspective is deep (not surprising since only institutions (specifically, their provosts or VPs education) are surveyed). This shows in the very odd definition of MOOC, given as "No fee (except possibly for an end of course certificate); the courses are open to anyone: there is no requirement for prior academic qualifications in order to take the course; the courses are not for credit." The third point is especially irrelevant to the definition of a MOOC.
New Mexico Gov. Martinez vetoes higher education funding. All of it.
So what happens when public funding for higher education is eliminated? Nothing good, I would expect. That's what's happening in New Mexico. "New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed higher education funding. All of it — and the legislature cannot override her veto." It's such a contrast with, say, Germany, which has eliminated tuition fees for everyone and is seeing the benefits from that. How does that compare with New Mexico? Via Education Dive. Meanwhile, Purdue University is in a deal to acquire privately-held Kaplan University and convert it to a new nonprofit institution. Phil Hill interviews Trace Urdan. Here's more on the Kaplan purchase (and more from Urdan, who reported in his newsletter last week that his position as an education analyst at Credit Suisse was recently terminated due to low activity in the field).
Should We Stop with the Commenting Already?
The Scholarly Kitchen,
I get the feeling that publishers really dislike crowd-sourced and post-publication peer review. Angela Cochran writes that "one thing became clear: crowdsourced peer review = post publication peer review = online commenting." She then tags these forms of peer review with all the baggage of internet commenting: anonymity, trolls, irrelevance, and more. Part of it is a little bit justified: "Crowdsourced means open to all. Peer review means restricted to peers. We already have a problem with the concept." Fair enough. But the list of reviewers can be limited by any number of means (if I started a journal, the reviewers would be those people who have previously published in the journal (beginning with me)). And beyond that, no, review is not the same as commenting.
Stop killing your social stories with bad headlines and images
Columbia Journalism Review,
Writing on the internet today requires a clarity and precision beyond anything required in the print world, because you do not have an exclusive hold over your reader while they're reading. This is essentially the message in this post from Columbia Journalism Review, and while there's a fine line between good headline writing and clickbait, I think Ryan Craggs hits the mark here. People want to know the significant of a story, they want to know who is involved, and they want to see justice (or at least feel outrage over injustice).
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes
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