OERu has launched it's on Mastodon instance. In an email Wayne Mackintosh writes, " We are excited to announce the launch of mastodon.oeru.org - OERu’s own social network to support learners and the wider OERu family. For information on how to sign up on mastodon.oeru.org, please consult the OERu support site." Mastodon is an open source social network application that creates a distributed network of instances (instead of a commercialized central service like Twitter). "This raises exciting opportunities for OERu partners to host their own instances (we openly publish the technical recipes on how to do this)," says the In the OERu newsletter account. " The OERu platform is demonstrating the value of these technologies to support learning with the ability to integrate posts which contain the course code hashtag (for example #LiDA101) in the course feed on the OERu course site."
This article summarizes an analysis of Georgia Tech’s online master’s in computer science published in Education Next ("a journal focused on school reform") which suggests that the experiment was a success. According to the authors, it attracted students who would not have enrolled in the program and paid the fees - "working adults who can’t commit to full-time graduate study." But it might be a result that doesn't replicate. "Udacity was in its early stages and eager to partner with postsecondary institutions (they don’t anymore) and AT&T was seeking to fund the development of such a program. “Neither of these conditions remains true today."
This paper (22 page PDF) identifies a set of five major types of online engagement in courses based on a literature search looking at student attitudes, beliefs and actions. The types are: social, cognitive, emotional, behavioural and collaborative engagement. It then identifies indicators for each type of engagement; for example, signs of social engagement might include 'building community, creating a sense of belonging, developing relationships or establishing trust." The authors then offer several uses for the framework, including as an aide to plan teaching or course design, as a critical reflection tool, or as a reference point for rogram review or individual course analysis.
The well-documented 'no significant difference' phenomenon (NSD) is the observation that the delivery mode does not impact learning outcomes. The proposition tested in this paper (22 page PDF) is the idea that while NSD may hold in the aggregate, it varies at the individual level. It looks at literature suggesting differences in things like course decisions, aptitudes, and learning styles might result in differences in outcome. The authors model these differences for about 500 students to preduct whether they would result in differences in outcomes and find 'jumpers' - people whose grade would have changed by one letter grade or more. Good paper, detailed and well-written.
This is a nice collection of six videos on the topic. Topics covered include continuous formative assessment, memory decay, and adaptive learning. None of the videos is very long and you can complete the 'course' in half an hour easily. They're intended to introduce teachers to personalized learning.
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Copyright 2018 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.