I got 64 responses to my survey, which is a response rate of 0.3 percent, which doesn't seem very high to me, but I've read refereed academic publications based on less robust statistics. This article summarizes the overall results and discusses some of the suggestions for improvements.
This article is basically a marketing message in the Blackboard-ownes e-learn Magazine, but I think we should take note. Katie Gallagher writes, "Academic effectiveness serves as central focus for institutions of higher education across the globe." I see this as an effort to define (and perhaps own) the term 'academic effectiveness'. What does it mean? The concept is explaiend in several different ways in this article, ranging from a list of practices (content delivery, assessment, continuous improvement,...) to product design criteria ("universal, accessible digital content that improves instruction") to more practices ("Creating inclusive learning experiences", "Plagiarism prevention and cultivating appropriate attributions,"...). The content was created in early January but only arrived in my email today.
If things are important, you talk about them, you share the talks, and you celebrate the wide access that becomes possible. That, I think, is the lesson from this short article. "Graham Reynolds... is a professor emeritus at Cape Breton University who says he’s still got enough life left in him to teach a course called 'Viola Desmond’s Canada.'" A black businesswoman in Nova Scotia, Viola Desmond refused to vacate a whites-only section of a threatre in 1946 and the case that resulted kicked off the modern civil rights movement in Canada. “For me, this is a legacy course,” Reynolds said. “This is something that will be available as long as there’s a YouTube site that’s willing to hold the file.” As it should be.
I am not sure why there is a push to have gun clubs opened on campuses across Canada, and I'm not sure why University Affairs requested and published this puff-piece supporting the idea, but in my own opinion there's no good reason for universities (and especially public universities) to be promoting gun clubs. We read that "any significant contention around starting a gun club on campus isn't because of opposing moral or social views; hurdles come up because most student associations and university offices have strict protocols and rules around the administration of all clubs." But this is most certainly not true. Guns are not an appropriate educational technology. And let me be the first (and by no means the last) to say we don't need this, we don't want this, and we think it should stop. And I think University Affairs has some explaining to do. Image: Theresa Tayler.
While there is merit to this post I think the way it conflates different senses of 'adaptation' undermine its core message. We really have three very different senses of adaptation at work here: first, Darwin's concept of species adaptation in evolution; second, variability of individual responses to changing circumstances; and third, rule-based selection of responses based on varying trigger events. That's why the reference to the Darwin Awards and the Natureismetal subreddit is so inappropriate in this context. And even within these definitions there is a misunderstanding of adaptation; while we read that "organizations and workers recognize - we must be fast and nimble to survive" I can think of many occasion in which slowing down, acting wisely, adopting a defensive posture and waiting it out are much better survival mechanisms.
This could be any newspaper anywhere really. It could be snow, heat, torrential rain, whatever. "While most students in Edgecombe County were missing school during the recent January snow days, students at G.W. Bulluck Elementary School had the option to continue." You've seen the headline before, and eventually, you'll stop seeing the headline as it becomes common practice. Then, as it becomes common practice, administrators will be much less hesitant to declare snow days. At a certain point, shorter work weeks (made possible due to automation and a long-overdue sharing of productivity gains with workers) will converge with e-learning days. The future takes time to arrive, but one day, we'll wake up and discover that, like camera-phones, suddently it's here. Image: GW Bulluck Elementary
According to this article, EdX "is quietly developing a 'MicroBachelors' degree that is designed to break the undergraduate credential into Lego-like components." The work is funded by a $700,000 Lumina Foundation grant. “Education in five to ten years will become modular, will become omnichannel, and will become lifelong,” said EdX CEO Anant Agarwal. This targets higher education institutions at their weakest point: certification. The article also notes in passing Arizon State University's 'open-scale courseware,' "the university’s attempt to rebrand a concept that was once known as MOOCs, or massive open online courses."
Educause has a bunch of 'top 10 lists for 2018' and it's a bit hard to keep track. But I think this is the over-arching one. In any event, it's the most recent. The top 'strategic technology' for 2018 is "Uses of APIs," which would accord with my own thinking. The remainder of the list is taken up with old standards like active learning, mobile devices, and learning analytics. The 2018 'most influential trend' is "complexity of security threats." There's a separate list of Top IT trends for 2018 (which is actually three separate lists). One of these is the ELI key issues for 2018 which is headed by 'academic transformation'. Image: Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2018.
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Copyright 2018 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.