Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Some great links from last week's EDUCAUSE Australia, thanks to the good people from The Networker. More tomorrow. In this first item: many have thought this, but few have come right out and said it. The standards building process sometimes resembles a secret society, with its own (canonical) vocabularity, meetings in exotic places, and a special handshake. Good for Jon Mason to take on this perception directly and talk about what would be needed to lay it to rest. First, the positives: despite the wreckage (and yes, there is wreckage) and the hype (yes, there is hype), the need for e-learning exists. And just so, because of the benefits they offer, the need for standards continues to exist. Standards aren't intended to control people urges Mason, they are intended to help people cooperate and interact. But though there is a well defined process for the establishment of standards (insert the usual diagrams here), there is also a need for a community of practice to inform and guide the standards building practice. Mason writes, "Like anything else, the activities associated with standardisation of e-learning technologies would be better informed from wider stakeholder buy-in – but this remains a key challenge. In other words, transforming this activity from a commonly perceived 'secret standards business' toward open academic debate and engagement would deliver benefit to all concerned." PDF format.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 22, 2023 1:37 p.m.

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