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What Do Google, Microsoft Stand To Gain From Launching Free MOOCs In AI, Richa Bhatia, Analytics India, Apr 11, 2018
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Here's what the article says: "According to Susan Dumais, distinguished scientist and assistant director of Microsoft Research AI, the most important reason for launching free, publicly available AI training courses is to lend a broader push throughout the technology industry to fill a gap in workers with skills in artificial intelligence. 'AI is increasingly important in how our products and services are designed and delivered and that is true for our customers as well. ... [Direct Link]


Design of a Personalized Massive Open Online Course Platform, Junfu Xi, Yehua Chen, Gang Wang, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, Apr 09, 2018
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You might think (as I did) that this has to do with personalized access to MOOCs, but the article is in fact about building an analytics engine into a MOOC platform. It's still an interesting article. "Through the analysis of learning behaviours on the MOOC platform, the model digs deep into the pattern of learning behaviours, and lays the basis for personalized intervention in the learning process." [Direct Link]


Announcement: Spectrum goes Open Source!, Max Stoiber, Spectrum, Apr 05, 2018
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I love rabbit-holes. Here's one. This post announces that Spectrum has gone open source. "Spectrum makes it easy to grow safe, successful online communities that are built to last." There's definitely a need for this, so I logged in, created my account, and started exploring. I created a community for MOOCs and joined a one-member community for e-learning. That member, Justin Mutchell, linked to a GitHub repository for something called the Adapt framework, which is supports ... [Direct Link]


The For-Profit Education Old Guard Has More to Worry About Than Government Regulation, Henry Kronk, eLearningInside News, Mar 23, 2018
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The point of this article is to argue that the greatest threat to for-profit education is the for-profit industry itself. This became clear when regulations were drafted to weed out bad actors. "At this point, there are ample data that suggest the for-profit education sector in the U.S. doesn’t just have a few bad apples; it’s primarily comprised of them." Recently, we've seen two major incursions from the for-profit sector into the educational technology space: for-... [Direct Link]


16 Years of Web Hosting Changes with WordPress and Other Web Platforms: The Lessons Continue, Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, Mar 19, 2018
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Because I host my own website (as well as a half a dozen MOOCs and some other stuff) I'm always attentive to discussion of issues around web hosting. I've had good service providers and bad. This article recounts the lessons Wes Fryer has learned over almost two decades of hosting web sites. Mostly his advice makes sense to me (and one day I wish to start following it). [Direct Link]


Will these four technology trends change education in India?, Shweta Sharan, LiveMint, Mar 11, 2018
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The four technologies under discussion are virtual reality, learning communities (including MOOCs), AI tutors and big data. The four are obviously interrelated. “Today, the MOOC ecosystem has come a long way. We have active discussion groups, community meetups by the course, local hackathons, and hackathon tours by the course staff.” [Direct Link]


Reflecting on the Original Big Idea for MOOCs, James DeVaney, Inside Higher Ed, Mar 07, 2018
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The announcements yesterday from Michigan and Rice have actually been in the works for a long time. The three-year "Credits for MOOCs" program "allows students from the participating schools to enroll in specific free online courses from the other member schools and receive transfer credits for passing them." In this post James DeVaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation at the University of Michigan, describes the thinking behind the program. "MOOCs and ... [Direct Link]


What are the expectations of disabled learners when participating in a MOOC?, Paul Feldman, JISC, Mar 06, 2018
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I think this is a good question to ask but I'm really not sure it was asked properly in this report. We read, for example, that " disabled learners appear to be more interested in these subject areas: Society, History and Arts and Nature and Environment." Does that have anything to do with their self-identification as disabled learners? Or is it just a reflection of a small number of survey participants (which is not disclosed)? Do we really know that "disabled learners are ... [Direct Link]


ACE and Credly Building Transcript for Digital Credentials, Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology, Campus Technology, Feb 28, 2018

According to this short article, "a new initiative from the American Council on Education (ACE) and Credly has built on its digital credential program plans by announcing the intention to create a digital 'working transcript.'" This seems to be related to a $1.5 million Lumina Foundation gran to fund "creation of a process for recording the outcomes of training programs as discrete competencies." The model of non-traditional credentials has been a cornerstone for ... [Direct Link]


MOOCs are not dead, but evolving, Diane Peters, University Affairs, Feb 23, 2018
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“The numbers suggest MOOCs are, in fact, here to stay,” said Arshad Ahmad, vice-provost, teaching and learning, at McMaster University. As Diane Peters notes, " There are more MOOCs than ever, and some courses are indeed massive, with enrolments in the hundreds of thousands." No, they did not replace universities in ten years, but nobody seriously expected that. And MOOCs bring other things to the table. “It’s a collaboration, it’s a partnership. It&... [Direct Link]


Return of the MOOCs, Mene Ukueberuwa, City Journal, Feb 02, 2018
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This article offers a bit of a history of MOOCs but is mostly (starting about a third of the way in ) an article about the Modern States "freshman year for free" project (no explanation why they couldn't use the long-established gender-neutral term 'frosh', as in 'frosh year for free', or even 'first year for free'). It's marketing. “'We want to be an on-ramp into the traditional system,' he (founder Steven Klinsky) tells me (author Mene ... [Direct Link]


Don’t Let Bad Journalism Get in the Way of a Good Online Education, Henry Kronk, eLearningInside News, Feb 01, 2018
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I am often critical of traditional media in these pages (a tough sell in the age of fake news on social media) but my scepticism of what I read and view in supposedly trustworthy sources is well founded. This article makes a case. It cites as an example a Vox article from a few days ago that states that " virtual students statistically perform much worse than traditional students" based on a single study from 2015 looking at statistics from only 17 states. Now I'm no fan of ... [Direct Link]


EdX Quietly Developing ‘MicroBachelors’ Program, Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge, Jan 31, 2018
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According to this article, EdX "is quietly developing a 'MicroBachelors' degree that is designed to break the undergraduate credential into Lego-like components." The work is funded by a $700,000 Lumina Foundation grant. “Education in five to ten years will become modular, will become omnichannel, and will become lifelong,” said EdX CEO Anant Agarwal. This targets higher education institutions at their weakest point: certification. The ... [Direct Link]


MOOC Trends in 2017: Content Paywalls, Dhawal Shah, Class Central, Jan 19, 2018
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Class Central has been running a series of articles on MOOCs in review in 2017. It reads to me like a description of "how MOOCs stopped being MOOCs in 2017". The articles cover content paywalls, MOOC monetization, and corporate learning. But the series also attests to the continued strength of MOOCs in general. "To date, over 800 universities around the world have launched at least one MOOC. The total number of MOOCs that have been announced stands at 9,400, up from 6,850 ... [Direct Link]


MOOCS as Accelerators of Social Mobility? A Systematic Review, Karmijn van de Oudeweetering, Orhan Agirdag1, Educational Technology & Society, Jan 08, 2018
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This study shows that "The literature substantiated that there are fewer barriers to MOOCs than to higher education. Still, the remaining barriers seem to specifically hamper access for underprivileged populations." Which is no surprise, really, and goes to show that open access solves only part of the problem of inequity. But do look at the numbers. For example, we see measurements of as much of 20% of the participants being unemployed, or (in other studies) as many as 12 percent ... [Direct Link]


The Downes Prize 2017, Stephen Downes, Dec 29, 2017

Every year at this time I award the Downes Prize to the most-read post of those I've posted some time in the previous 365 days. This year that means any one of 1246 total posts from hundreds of authors around the world. The award is intended to be an objective measure, not based on popularity contests, campaigns, or any other such thing, but reflective of actual interest in the item on the part of OLDaily readers.. Without further ado,   This year's Downes Prize is awarded to:...


From Good Intentions to Real Shortcomings: An Edtech Reckoning, Mimi Ito, EdSurge, Dec 28, 2017
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"In 2017," writes Mimi Ito, "reality took a massive swipe at the wobbly optimism of technology progressives." How so? Well, despite things like MOOCs and YouTube we still see digital inequality and gender discrimination. Schools continue to be unequal, open access doesn't seem to promote equity, etc. But instead of the four lessons Ito draws (unite around shared purpose, focus on minorities) I think we need to look at the wider picture. Open and progressive education ... [Direct Link]


Moocs can still bring higher education to those who really need it, Diana Laurillard, Eileen Kennedy, Times Higher Education, Dec 16, 2017
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For something that's supposed to be dead, MOOCs are still very much alive. And according to this articlee, they have more potential for the future. "Moocs are still multiplying and branching out into new forms of accredited learning experiences," write the authors. Millions of people "are capable of studying online but live too far from affordable campus education. For them, online learning might be their only chance to study. Given that the digital world now enables remote ... [Direct Link]


Open Education and OER - A guide and call to action for policy makers, Maren Deepwell, Martin Weller, Lorna Campbell, Joe Wilson, Association for Learning Technology, Dec 12, 2017
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This short paper (8 page PDF) is a "call to action for policy makers to mandate that publicly funded educational resources are released under open licence to ensure that they reside in the public." Interestingly the document cautions that "the 'open' in MOOCs is very different from the 'open' in OER," though this is the opposite of our intent back in 2008 when we first created them. The writers also assert (correctly) that "It is anomalous that while ... [Direct Link]


Is Alison The Answer To The World's Education Needs?, Peter High, Forbes, Dec 12, 2017
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Forbes is reporting Alison's oft-debunked claim to have created the world's first MOOCs. It's hard to read this article as anything other than an advertorial (again, I caution people against trusting the traditional media where commercial interests are concerned). I have written to Allison in the past about this but there appears to be no legislation or constraint requiring that they represent themselves honestly. As for the question in the headline, the answer is "no" - ... [Direct Link]

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