Thew topic of alternative credentials has come up from time to time, and while the focus is often ob things like badges, in social media a set of what are called here 'trust indicators' offers insight into some other measures. This article describes five such indicators: trust logos (eg., of clients, partners, etc); industry accreditations; industry awards; testimonials; and impressive data (eg., subscriber numbers). These are all pretty superficial, but importantly, they are all accepted as signs of trustworthiness to more or less a degree. That said, they're often transactional - the people bestowing the trust indicator want to be known as someone who bestows trust; the expectation, for example, if you get an award is that you'll post the award (and link) on your home page. For this reason I don't trust any of these indicators.
One of the reasons I really hate paywalls is that it allows academics to do things behind closed doors that they would be able to get away with out in the open. Here we have a case in point. Popping into my RSS feed today was a paper titled "The craftivists: Pushing for affective, materially informed pedagogy" - you can view the paywall here, but of course you can't read it. The authors write as though they were inventing the word and the discipline: "the idea of making as a form of activism or, as we refer to it in this paper, craftivism, underpins our ambition to transform pedagogical environments into spaces of possibility through sensory and affective making practices." But the pedagogy is well-understood by many people actually doing the work, and even the term 'craftivism' is in wide use online: there's a book by Sarah Corbett that you can find on the Craftivist Collective home page. Rob Hopkins in 2017 wrote a profile. Betsy Greer wrote about craftivism in 2014. Craftivism also has its critics - see this post from Julia Feliz. There's tons more. Now maybe the paywalled article credits all this prior work. But you don't get that impression from the abstract.
Paul Grice's major contribution to philosophy (in my view) is his exploration of conversational implicatures, that is, "things that a hearer can work out from the way something was said rather than what was said." There are many examples of unspoken rules of conversation based on this idea, for example, when someone asks "how are you?", they are not asking how you are, but merely expressing a greeting (I like to answer that question with "hi!", both acknowledging that it wasn't a question, but giving them a puzzle just in case it was). This post focuses on Grice's maxims for conversational politeness - quantity, quality, relevance, and manner. They're the sorts of things a robot would get wrong (purportedly) and that a human would intuitively understand.
The gist of this report (60 page PDF) is that people's jobs are often far removed from the discipline they studied in university, and that there are some underlying skills - tactical communication, strategic communication, interpersonal oversight, and operational oversight - can be found across a wide range of disciplines. This explains why "only 27% of college graduates work in a field related to their major," according to a 2015 study (51 page PDF). The results are based on a study of first, second and third jobs held by graduates from different college majors as contained in "a database of over 100 million professional profiles." There are still ways this study could be flawed, of course, but this is a lot more convincing than a thought-experiment purporting to show that there are no underlying skills distinct from content knowledge in different disciplines.
I think that these results would need to be validated empirically, but the results of this preliminary enquiry into how depression impacts the online learning experience are interesting. "The women in my study spoke about their appreciation for clear and simple design. Because of the cognitive impacts of depression and lack of energy, it is important that courses are designed with essential elements clearly identified with minimal redirection or navigation. Care should be taken to emphasize clarity and readability." So that seems right to me, and it would be interesting were it to be found that cognitive overload isn't the result of processing bottlenecks, as traditionally suggested, but the result of low energy and lack of focus.
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Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.