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Welcome to Online Learning Daily, your best source for news and commentary about learning technology, new media, and related topics. We publish six to eight or so short posts every weekday linking to the best, most interesting and most important pieces of content in the field. Read more about what we cover. We also list papers and articles by Stephen Downes and his presentations from around the world.

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SLOAN: Social Learning Optimization Analysis of Networks | The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning
David J ohn Lemay, Tenzin Doleck, Christopher G. Brinton, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 2022/11/01


This paper (30 page PDF) gets the prize for being one of the most complex papers to appear in IRRODL in recent memory, though (I think) reading closely makes it a little less complex than it first appears. The authors are assessing the efficiency of interaction networks with relation to knowledge-seeking and knowledge-demonstrating behaviour, and mapping this against subject-related talk and procedural talk. What do we find? "Courses with smaller enrollment numbers appear to struggle more with generating enough discussion and connecting knowledge seekers with knowledge disseminators (and) subject-related-talk-dominated discussion forums and procedural-talk-dominated discussion forums are significantly different in overall network efficiency and seeking tendency, but not in disseminating tendency."

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A Critical Evaluation of The Integration of a Universal Design for Learning Approach into a Module Using An ePortfolio: A Student Perspective.
Lucia Cloonan, 2022/11/01


This article (27 page PDF) investigates "the integration of a UDL approach into a brand management module using an ePortfolio, from a student perspective." It looks specifically at "multiple means of engagement and multiple means of action and expression." Not surprisingly, "92% of students had never heard of UDL before and only 2% agreed that they had some knowledge of ePortfolio" but the majority said "they would like a choice in the way they would be assessed." Different modes (text, audio, video, photos) were selected to complete each of four 'portfolio tasks'. I'm not sure this is exactly the way e-portfolios are supposed to be used - they're not simply an assignment drop-box, as appears to be the case here. But still, it's useful to enable students to use a number of different modalities in their submissions.

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These 3 trends are shaping the future of ed tech
Natalie Schwartz, Higher Ed Dive, 2022/11/01

I would say any of these three is exactly a trend, but here they are for your consideration (quoted):

The first two are in the wrong modality to be a trend; a trend reports what is, not possibilities. The third just doesn't seem to be true; colleges are looking at microcredentials, but the vast bulk of their effort is still directed toward traditional degree programs. So this article, to my mind, reflects what the author (or sponsor) wants to happen, and not what is happening.

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Design Principles for K-12 Online Learning: National Validation Study
Susan Crichton, Elizabeth Childs, Canadian eLearning Network, 2022/11/01


This is from February but I only became aware of it from the October Canadian eLearning Network  (CANeLearn) News, which links it to the US National Standards for Quality Online Learning. It should be understood that this document (35 page PDF) doesn't describe how to design online learning, it states the conditions required in order to effectively design online learning, and is therefore framed as a set of 'educators require...' statements. The eight statements are very specific, perhaps too specific (in my view), but the purpose of the current document is to validate them through a survey of Canadian educators (we can see how they evolved from a set of similar principles evaluated by British Columbia teachers). I see a couple of problems with the methodology. First, merely confirming agreement with a list of statements does not sufficiently validate these statements. Second, asking only educators limits the range and perspectives of possible input.

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The Future of Defense Learning and Development
Sae Schatz, Defense Dossier, 2022/11/01

You'll have to scroll down through this newsletter (28 page PDF) to see the article, which begins on page 20. "Although the antecedents began nearly two decades ago," writes Sae Schatz, "DoD has reached a tipping point in terms of organizational support for reform and the external pressures necessitating it." Six key trends are identified:

  1. Increased use of online learning
  2. Integration of new technologies  ("systematic organizational change and thoughtful implementation by experts skilled in learning science")
  3. An emphasis on outcomes—especially competencies
  4. Creative ways to estimate capability ("thanks to advancements in sensor technologies, AI, and interoperability")
  5. Acceptance of credentials and microcredentials
  6. Progress toward the "Learning Ecosystem" approach ("for an individuals' lifelong learning to be personalized across their everchanging contexts, goals, areas of study, and personal characteristics")

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Copyright 2022 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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