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Preparing for the digital university: a review of the history and current state of distance, blended, and online learning

Preparing for the digital university: a review of the history and current state of distance, blended, and online learning | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
This book-length publication will receive widespread attention, coming as it does with a media campaign complete with Gates Foundation backing and a Chronicle article. It's essentially a meta-study (sometimes known as a tertiary study) of the 'literature' in the field if distance education and (to a lesser extent) online learning. There are six chapters, each of which is a separate study, but most of which follow the same methodology of literature search and analysis. The first four studies focus on the history of distance learning, blended learning, online learning, and assessment. The last two look at future research in MOOCs and technology infrastructure.

Having said all that, this is a really bad study. What it succeeds in doing, mostly, is to offer a very narrow look at a small spectrum of academic literature far removed from actual practice. A very narrow range of sources was considered, limited to a few academic journals, and within this search selection was based on titles, keywords and abstract. Most of the leading thinkers in the field are eliminated from the history of the field (though Curt Bonk does well). And the major conclusion you'll find in these research studies is that (a) research is valuable, and (b) more research is needed (see, eg. "To foster quality interactions between students, an analysis of the role of instructional design and instructional interventions planning is essential." p. 40 and throughout ad nauseum). The most influential thinker in the field, according to one part of the study, is L. Pappano (see the chart, p. 181). Who is this, you ask? The author of the New York Times article in 2012, 'The Year of the MOOC'. Influential and important contributors like David Wiley, Rory McGreal, Jim Groom, Gilbert Paquette, Tony Bates (and many many more)? Almost nowhere to be found.

There are two ways to conduct a study of the literature in a field. One way is to use search algorithms and criteria to find a subset of the literature, and read only that. The other way is to spend the time it takes to become broadly familiar with all of the literature in the field, and select the most important of that. This study uses the former method, and the absence of a background in the field is glaring and obvious. For a contrast, one might want to consult Tony Bate's recent work of equal size and far greater value.
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George Siemens, University of Texas Arlington

George Siemens, University of Texas Arlington | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
“It’s kind of like the question ‘who completes a library?’ We don’t have that mindset toward a library; we take the book we want to read and bring it back. MOOCs are more like that”

Via Peter Mellow
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Preparing for Higher Education 2030 featuring George Siemens

The scope of change accumulating around higher education is significant. Questions exist around the future of work in a robot economy, the role of faculty in a distributed and networked future, and the broad role of universities in a society of easy access to global information and open online courses.

During this COIL Fischer Speaker Series Event, George Siemens, Executive Director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab at The University of Texas at Arlington, explores the prominent change pressures building for higher education and presents a vision of the role that universities will play in society in the next 20 years.


Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, November 28, 2014 11:44 AM

Always worth the time to listen and think about what George Siemens brings to the conversation...

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Dr. George Siemens: “The Meaning of Connectivism for Learning Design”

Conversatorio con facultad y estudiantes graduados. Celebrado el 14 de octubre de 2010 en la Universidad del Sagrado Corazón.

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George Siemens: The Role of Learning Analytics in Improving Teaching and Learning

Interest in big data, data mining, and analytics is strong and growing in business and government. Recent reports by McKinsey, HBR, and Deloitte indicate that big data and analytics are just beginning beginning to make their impact in many sectors. The tools and methods of analytics are developing rapidly and are increasingly easier to use. In education, the adoption of analytics has been slow, and when initiated, often focused on improving organizational processes or identifying at-risk-learners. Analytics hold significant value in improving the spectrum of the teaching and learning process, not only for targeting a particular variable. This presentation will review the context that's driving popularity of analytics, provide cases and examples of use in education, and argue for the use of proactive models that emphasizes improving the learning experience, instead of only reacting to warning signs.

 

 

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The attack on higher ed — and why we should welcome it - by George Siemens

The attack on higher ed — and why we should welcome it  - by George Siemens | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
George Siemens taught the first MOOC back in 2008. He shares his take on why they're still valid -- and what might happen next in higher ed.
In the past few years, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become a lens used by educators, entrepreneurs, education reformers and venture capitalists to view the higher education system. They are now a proxy for our hopes and fears for education; how we speak of MOOCs increasingly says more about our personal philosophy than it does about open online courses.
Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, February 1, 2014 12:47 PM

MOOC's are still linear. We need structural change that is not being explored to any great extent.

Greig Campbell's curator insight, October 2, 2014 4:18 AM

Added to my scoop.it page as an example.

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George Siemens: Changing Schools, Changing Knowledge

While more and more knowledge is available to us, the amount of time for us to pay attention to it remains the same. What kind of knowledge will be needed in the future, and how are we going to be acquiring it?


Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, October 21, 2013 4:54 PM

How true is this?

María Dolores Díaz Noguera's curator insight, November 5, 2013 5:31 AM

Very nice sharing. Thanks

BeaBesango's curator insight, February 19, 2014 3:16 PM

Una entrevista muy interesante.

Really worth to watch it!

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Study provides foundation for the future of digital higher education

Study provides foundation for the future of digital higher education | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
A new, comprehensive metastudy of the role technology plays in higher education urges universities of tomorrow to capitalize on technologies that effectively support student learning, to embrace blended learning environments, and to customize degree programs to serve the needs of students in a digital ...

Via Peter Mellow
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George Siemens: ‘Students need to take ownership of their learning’

George Siemens: ‘Students need to take ownership of their learning’ | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
In regard to MOOCs, what do you think are the most important factors that need to be addressed to improve user experience and boost MOOCs to the next level?

There are a few things, but one is the interaction component – users need to have better opportunities to learn from each other. A lot of what’s wrong with MOOCs stems from how they emulate traditional classrooms, and so that means we are very heavily emphasising the knowledge of the teacher and the students’ activity in relation to that teacher’s knowledge.

To adopt better peer-based models where students are teaching one another; where you have models that allow you to serve as peer-evaluators and peer-mentors, and so on, I think that’s a key element.

Another aspect is to start using better use of data. Typically the current use of data is just for publishing, so the use is still very much a post-course evaluation when it comes to data rather than real-time.

Another crucial factor is the recognition that learners have different levels when they engage in MOOCs – this is for digital learning in general. There’s the need to start using adaptive and personalised learning approaches so that the existing knowledge of a learner determines or influences what we teach.
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Impacts of MOOCs on Higher Education | Higher Ed Beta @insidehighered

Impacts of MOOCs on Higher Education | Higher Ed Beta @insidehighered | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

An international group of higher education institutions—including UT Arlington, Stanford University, Hong Kong University and Davidson College—convened by learning researcher and theorist George Siemens gathered last week to explore the impacts of MOOCs on higher education (full list of participating institutions below).

 

The takeaway? Higher education is going digital, responding to the architecture of knowledge in a digital age, and MOOCs, while heavily criticized, have proven a much-needed catalyst for the development of progressive programs that respond to the changing world.


Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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How MOOCs evolve the role of teachers - George Siemens

What does it mean to learn in the digital age? MOOCS, Massive Open Online Courses, are revolutionizing the role of teachers. Since students have the opportunity to find most information on the internet, teachers have to adapt their role from being the central node, the source of information, to being a creator of context for learning - providing students with critical skills to use the new opportunities in the right way. ...
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Strategies for moving from online to networked learning: background ...

Strategies for moving from online to networked learning: background ... | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
George Siemens proposes connectivism as a learning theory for a digital age and lists several core principles, among them:

 

- Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources. A learner can exponentially improve their own learning by plugging into an existing network.

 

- Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate learning. Connection making provides far greater returns on effort than simply seeking to understand a single concept.

 

- Learning and knowledge rest in diversity of opinions.

 

- Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning.

 

- Learning is a knowledge creation process…not only knowledge consumption. Learning tools and design methodologies should seek to capitalize on this trait of learning


Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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The value proposition for blended learning - Dr George Siemens (Video)

Dr George Siemens discusses the value of blended learning. Recorded at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, August 2013. http://www.u...

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Robert Rodenbaugh's curator insight, February 8, 2014 1:07 PM

The title and Dr. Siemens say it all, but successfully teaching how to cut hair via blended learning? A point that even hands on activities can be taught.