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The Biggest Distance-Learning Experiment In History: Week One
Anya Kamenetz, KQED, 2020/03/27


For many of use here in Canada, it's actually the end of week 2; for Europeans it's closer to week 4, and I've lost track of how many weeks it has been in China. Still, it has been a frantic experiment in online learning, testing the technology in the worst of possible circumstances, using ti not only for teaching but for meetings, communities, conferences, and more. How well is it going? My take is: pretty well, though as this story points out, the crisis has exposed the inequalities in the system - the lack of income security, uneven bandwidth and access to technology, supportive versus dysfunctional home environments, and more. It could have been a huge disaster. But it hasn't been.

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

5 Things We’ve Learned Navigating Student Support in a Crisis
Alby Salsa, Blackboard Blog, 2020/03/27

These are things I think any online educator should have known before the crisis, but hey, it's a crisis, and at least people are learning. Here are the lessons (in parentheses are my comments):

  1. Students are at-risk of dropping (turns out it doesn't just happen in MOOCs)
  2. Students always need inbound support, but especially during times of crisis (by 'inbound' they mean from student to institution
  3. Keep your students informed with proactive outreach (which is why the email newsletter has always been my most important online learning tool)
  4. Use student engagement data to ease advisor caseload management (or, get more advisors. whatever works)
  5. Ask students for feedback (also, listen to the answers, and act on them).

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Mind Mapping in Learning Models: A Tool to Improve Student Metacognitive Skills
Dyah Astriani, Herawati Susilo, Hadi Suwono, Betty Lukiati, Aris Rudi Purnomo, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 2020/03/27


One of the things the constructivists got right was their description of the utility of things like schemas and maps to make content domains more accessible to learners. This study (14 page PDF) underlines the usefulness of mind maps in this regard. It should be subject to the usual caveats about study size - let's not generalize from 33 students - but it's useful to see the application of mind maps in an Indonesian context. That said, the authors argue that "the mind mapping applied in the syntax of learning models can improve the metacognitive skills of students as science teacher candidates."

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

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Copyright 2020 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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