This five-part series has one of the worst opening paragraphs ever, and is quite loosely written throughout. Ultimately it addresses the issue of formal recognition of open badges. It's a frustrating read (stick to the point Serge!) but the author makes some good arguments worthy of consideration. Here are the parts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five. Serge Ravet (who should consider putting his name on his blog somewhere) points to the tension in the idea of open badges conferring formal recognition on informal learning. The idea of formal recognition should be contrasted with informal recognition. Only the latter captures the intent of informal learning. Formal recognition, by contrast, leads to such things as quality standards for badges, which ultimately would limit the cadre of badge issuers to a small set of recognized institutions. But instead of formally accrediting badge issuers, Ravet argues that issuers should be endorsed informally. The core question here is: what does it mean to formally recognize informal learning, and can this be done without undermining inform al learning, or casting it (and evaluating it) by the standards of formal learning?
The premise of this report (157 page PDF) is that British students are getting a poor return for their tuition fees, this largely because the entrenched interests of a university cartel limiting the potential benefits of a competitive system. The authors have no issues with the higher fees, but feel students should get more stuff for their money: "The more lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and seminars they receive, in general the happier they are with the value for money of their course." In response, the authors recommend the promotion of two-year degrees, more summer teaching, and a more flexible credit transfer system. This seems to be an extreme reform for what is in fact a fairly mild discontent; across 160 universities no satisfaction rating is less than 71 percent, and only the bottom 8 are below 80 percent. (p.31) That sounds like pretty good grades to me. The problem isn't the education. It's the fees. Via Jim Ellis. P.S. readers will notice that this report contains a great deal of white space - thre's an extra-wide left margin, and numerous pages are blank. I think that UK2020 could get a lot more value for money by removing the white space and offering the same report at half the length.
As I write, Sci-Hub remains active and accessible, despite an American court awarding damages against it. I'm still of the opinion that there is no particular reason why American law should prevail in international disputes. Sci-Hub is based in Russia, and if the action should be filed and heard there. It's probably too late to stop Sci-Hub in any case. Even if the site is shut down like Napster was, the closed-access articles are out there, and the Sci-Hub database will continue to exist in one form or another. "This is the beginning of the end for subscription scholarly publishing," said biodata scientist Daniel Himmelstein (here's their research) . "I think it is at this point inevitable that the subscription model is going to fail and more open models will be necessitated."
Communia is a IP policy organization based in Europe. It advocates for limits to copyright and fairer terms for users. For example, Communia recommends that "any false or misleading attempt to misappropriate Public Domain material must be declared unlawful." In the current instance it is expressing concern about what it calls "censorship filters", aka "upload filters". These require that content hosting sites prevent the actual uploading of copyright material before it ever appears on the open web. It reports that the EU Council is expressing support for this idea. And it reports that member states don't trust such laws to respect existing laws protecting individual privacy and security. I am in agreement with Communia on this one. More from CopyBuzz. Via Open Policy Network.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.