Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community


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The Problem of Learning Analytics and AI, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Dec 01, 2020

Matt Crosslin writes, "different choices could be made to not create and collect data if the people in control wanted it that way. It is not inevitable that data has to be generated and collected." This is a good point. None of the current capacity to track and record data happened by accident. He continues, "I think that the basic fundamental lens or mindset or whatever you want to call it for publishing research or presenting at conferences about anything from Learning ... [Direct Link]

QM and the Politics of the “Unbiased” Bias, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Sept 25, 2020

There's some good discussion in this post about how the choice of a course assessment framework reveals biases about the sorts of approaches to education are preferred. It is presented in the context of a tweet (and thread) from Stephanie Moore: "When Quality Matters trumps learning sciences as the evaluation framework for course design, then Houston, we have a problem." As Matt Crosslin says, "it is harder for some approaches like heutagogy, ungrading, and connectivism to ... [Direct Link]

The Learning Styles™ Industry Versus Learning Preferences, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Jun 07, 2019

Matt Crosslin sets out the sceptics' argument: "Learning Style skeptics do not contend that 'there are no learning styles.' We believe that there is no proof of the pre-dominant Learning Styles™ Industry claim that people learn better mostly or only in their preferred learning style. This is a huge difference." And from there the rest of his argument is reasonable. However. There is a Learning Styles Skeptics™ Industry and its predominate refrain is that &... [Direct Link]

Ed-Tech Retro-Futurism and Learning Engineering, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, May 28, 2019

There's probably no hope of dissuading people from using the term 'learning engineering' - and if people really want to use the term for something new, that's fine. But as Matt Crosslin writes, "there seems to be a very prominent strain of learning engineer that are trying to make the case for 'learning engineering' replacing 'instructional design' / 'learning experience design' / etc or becoming the next evolution of those existing fields." ... [Direct Link]

Are MOOCs Fatally Flawed Concepts That Need Saving by Bots?, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Aug 27, 2018

Matt Crosslin takes Derek Newton's recent article “Not Even Teacher-Bots Will Save Massive Open Online Courses” behind the woodshed and gives it a good thrashing. This take-down is placed in the context of the wider issue of a certain MOOC-narrative having been (mistakenly) created in the popular press. "You can’t evaluate research about a topic – whether MOOCs or bots or post-humanism or any topic – through a lens that fundamentally misunderstands ... [Direct Link]

Can You Automate OER Evaluation With The RISE Framework?, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Aug 14, 2018

"The basic idea of the RISE Framework," writes Matt Crosslin, "is that analytics will create a graph that plots page clicks in OER resources on the x-axis, and grades on assessments on the y-axis." This allows for an association between resources and grades, and hence, a way of spotting resources that need to be fixed. Or so we're told. "But comparing overall scores on assessments to certain click-stream activity in OER (sometimes an entire book) comes across like ... [Direct Link]

From massive access to cooperation: lessons learned and proven results of a hybrid xMOOC/cMOOC pedagogical approach to MOOCs, Ángel Fidalgo-Blanco, María Luisa Sein-Echaluce, Francisco José García-Peñalvo, International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, Aug 17, 2016

"What MOOC factors exert greater influence on dropout rate: participant profile or the underlying model?" ask the authors of this paper on different approaches to MOOCs. They propose a hybrid of xMOOC and cMOOC that "incorporates cooperation to create knowledge sharing among participants and combines characteristics of xMOOCs and cMOOCs." This reminds me of Matt Crosslin's work toward the same objective. The authors present case studies based on of two MOOCs implemented on the ... [Direct Link]

Personalized Learning Versus Dungeons and Dragons, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Jul 13, 2016

This is a good analogy for the distinction I've been drawing between personal and personalized learning, though Matt Crosslin uses it mostly to criticize personalized learning in favour of an unnamed alternative. "Many prominent personalized learning programs/tools are a modern educational version of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series from the 1908s," he writes, "But let’s face it – the true 'Choose Your Own Adventure' scenarios in the 1980s were really ... [Direct Link]

Learning -agogy Overload, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Oct 22, 2015

I sort of rolled my eyes when I first heard the term 'androgogy' (this would be back in the early 90s) not so much because I couldn't see how teaching adults might be different from teaching children but because I couldn't see why the term 'pedagogy' couldn't just be expanded to include all forms of teaching. This was I was just beginning to realize that the favourite actuvity of education theorists is to draw distinctions and create taxonomies. I never did find ... [Direct Link]

Is It Really Possible to Re-do Ed Tech From Scratch?, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Aug 11, 2015

As Matt Crosslin summarizes, "Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris asked an interesting question at Hybrid Pedagogy a couple of days ago: 'Imagine that no educational technologies had yet been invented — no chalkboards, no clickers, no textbooks, no Learning Management Systems, no Coursera MOOCs. If we could start from scratch, what would we build?'" He then asks, "would it even be possible to surgically remove educational technology from the larger world around them?" Probably ... [Direct Link]

What If The Problem Isn’t With MOOCs But Something Else?, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Jun 01, 2015

I would answer 'yes" to this: "You can say MOOCs are failing because they lack sufficient 'student motivation,' but what if it was actually the case that society has been failing for decades and MOOCs are just exposing this?" Why do you have to motivate students at all? Because you are forcing them to do something they don't want to do. And that to me his the historic problem. "What if relying on too much extrinsic motivation is a failure? What if we are failing ... [Direct Link]

The Mirage of Measurable Success, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Jan 22, 2015

Interesting article that despite the title is more concerned with the evaluation of dalmooc, which I think was intended to be an instance of a dual-MOOC (ie., both cMOOC and xMOOC). The inevitable result was that some people thought it was more cMOOC than they expected, while others thought it was more xMOOC than they expected. But in assessing the MOOC, Matt Crosslin notes, "The most important questions that were asked had to deal with 'why even offer dalmooc if you don’t know ... [Direct Link]

The Underlying Barrier to Education Reform, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Jan 07, 2015

I just want to keep the conversation rolling here with this post from Matt Crosslin on Dave Cormier's recent posts about motivation and educational reform (I have a half-written contribution but it took a back seat to my year in pictures post). "We’re still critiquing education based on the problem of education in 1870 that Cormier explains in his post linked above," says Crosslin, "but not based on where the world is today. We say that our schools are not modern, but then we say ... [Direct Link]

Where Does the LMS Go From Here?, Carl Straumsheim, Ignatia Webs, Sept 23, 2014

According to this item, EDUCAUSE has laiunched a new Gates-funded initiative, to examine why institutions cling to old learning technology (aka the LMS) and what to do about it. The report notes "the importance of personalization, which ranked highly among students. More than two-thirds of students, or 69 percent, said they would be interested in a feature that support them in reaching their personal educational goals." Related: Matt Crosslin, The LMS is a Wild-West Conglomeration in a Box. [Direct Link]

Why Design a xMOOC / cMOOC Hybrid? LTCA Theory, Matt Crosslin, ProPublica, May 08, 2014

Matt Crosslin follows up an earlier post with an explanation of why he thinks it would be a good idea to build a cMOOC/xMOOC hybrid. He writes, "the idea of MOOC layers is really looking at a four pronged approach to the idea of teaching and learning as communicative actions using LTCA theory." This theory, he writes, is  being created by Scott Warren at North Texas, based Jurgen Habermas, and breaks learning down in to four majopr activities, some of which are subsumed by xMOOCs and ... [Direct Link]

The End of the (MOOC) World is Nigh, Matt Crosslin, ProPublica, Mar 01, 2013

I expect more of this sort of article in the months to come. There is an intuitive appeal to the argument. "Anyone remember Second Life?" asks Matt Crosslin. I certainly do - and I remember the pushback when I said (in 2007) that Second Life had no future. "When a tool or concept gets labeled disruptive before it actually disrupts anything," says Crosslin, "it more often than not dies out." OK. But to hearken back to my Second Life talk, here's what survives: software that ... [Direct Link]

The Battle For Openness In The LMS Market, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Nov 07, 2011

In the world of the LMS, there are different kinds of openness, as this post makes clear. There's the openness in the sense that the source code is open source software, openness in the sense that content may be freely imported and exported, and openness in the sense that the system may be accessed from outside the system. So which sort of 'open' is Pearson's new open LMS? There have been some tantalizing mock-ups or screen shots, but the questions remain unanswered. Matt ... [Direct Link]

Cultivate your Personal Learning Network, Ted Curran, TedCurran.Net, Jun 03, 2011

Good description of how to build a personal learning network that is, as Matt Crosslin suggests, "a great guide for beginners." Ted Curran gets the sense of a l;earning network, I think. "Instead of a bunch of teachers selecting challenging information for you, the Internet gives you access to a world of bloggers, tweeters, speakers, photographers, videographers, and colleagues who will teach you anything you want for nothing more than the price of your time and attention. All they ask of you ... [Direct Link]

Confessions of a Massive Open Online Course Flunkie, Matt Crosslin, EduGeek Journal, Dec 10, 2010

Two perspectives on MOOCs. On the one hand, Matt Crosslin finds them difficult to understand. "I just don't have time to figure out how to use one. Yes, I will spend forever trying to figure out how to customize a WordPress app, but I won't take the time to figure out how to participate in a MOOC." And this is a problem. "If you have to take a mini-course on how to take your course, you are probably having to focus too much on the structure and not the learning." Which is actually... [Direct Link]

First Reactions to Blackboard Buying Wimba and Elluminate , Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, Jul 08, 2010

Reactions to the Blackboard acquisition of Wimba and Elluminate. Joshua Kim says this is very smart for Blackboard, but customers should be worried about lock-in. Steve Kolowich surveys Twitter reaction. Barry Dahl says "Blackborg rides again." George Siemens comments (accurately) that the messaging from Blackboard on this is meaningless. Nothing like starting a new product line with a misrepresentation. He nonetheless has a well played compliment to give the company. Matt Crosslin says "the ... [Direct Link]

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2021 5:47 p.m.