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IRRODL - Vol 14, No 2 (2013)

IRRODL - Vol 14, No 2 (2013) | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (www.irrodl.org) is a refereed e-journal that aims to advance research, theory and best practice in open and distance education research.

 

IRRODL special issue - Open Educational Resources: Opening Access to Knowledge." Contents are mostly from authors working in three of the world’s leading open universities, namely the OU UK, Athabasca University, and the Dutch Open University

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Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley | Video on TED.com

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

 

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence

 

 

Miloš Bajčetić's insight:

“The real role of leadership in education … is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility.”

 

Great Talk!

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Tatiana Kuzmina's curator insight, September 7, 2013 2:58 PM

Worth watching..

Laurent Picard's curator insight, January 22, 2014 12:22 PM

Une vidéo trés intéressante (et amusante) où Ken Robinson parle du système éducatif américain. Mais ses propos s'appliquent aussi au notre...

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Siemens-Downes debate - The Linearity of Stephen Downes. Or a tale of two Stephens

Siemens-Downes debate - The Linearity of Stephen Downes. Or a tale of two Stephens | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

by George Siemens

 

With academic pickup artistry and my motivations foregrounded, I’ll turn to Stephen’s assertions.

"It has in recent years been engaged in a sustained attack on the very idea of the MOOC and alternative forms of learning not dependent on the traditional model of the professor, the classroom, and the academic degree. It is resisting, for good reason, incursions from the commercial sector into its space, but as a consequence, clinging to antiquated models and approaches to research."

This get at the heart of views that Stephen and I have discussed on numerous occasions. I believe in the value of the professoriate. In this instance, he is Illich to my Friere. As I interpret Stephen’s work, he would like to see all learning opportunities and control shift to the individual and sees limited value in the higher education system that is as much about preserving faculty positions as it is about preserving the academy. Stephen and I both resist commercialization of education but vary in how we want to see the university of the future. Stephen wants a university model without universities. This comes, I believe, from his unfortunate experiences in doing his phd where his supervisory panel played a hard heavy hand in determining what is and isn’t research that they valued. I’m sure his experience isn’t unique.

Faculty can be stunning idiots when it comes to preserving and perpetuating their egos. The pursuit of knowledge and advocacy for equity often takes a seat to ego and the goal building a faculty “mini me” who is expected to pick up a research stream done by a panel or department and toe the line. In contrast to Stephen’s views, I love universities. I want a future of more, not less, universities. Universities are not perfect, but they are the best model that we currently have to enable individuals to improve their position in life and a power structure that exists to counter and comment on the corporate and government power structures. Can these goals be realized by networks of individuals (i.e. the second superpower)? If the world was populated with primarily Stephens, then it might be possible. For many people, however, education is not a goal in itself, but rather a means to employment. Systems are needed to preserve and perpetuate the highest ideals of society. If left to chance, then the views of the most aggressive will become the norm. While society slept, many of the wealthiest were busy creating a tax system that preserved their resources and created inequity. In the past, unions existed to serve as an organizing structure to advocate for the rights of individual works. Stephen would argue that we could today do this organizing and democracy preserving work through networks. I agree that networks are important, but argue that institutions are a type of network that has been configured to better meet these needs. Some structure is needed. Perhaps not as much as we see today in universities, but a minimum level or organization is required in order to provide learning opportunities to society’s disenfranchised. Simply giving people access is not enough. Social, scaffolded, and structured support is needed.

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4 Key Emerging Trends in LMS | The Upside Learning Blog

4 Key Emerging Trends in LMS | The Upside Learning Blog | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
More than 2 years back, I had carried out a SWOT analysis of the LMS to get some understanding on the LMS scenario. Today, after the rapid evolution of the LMS – hastened by several factors, right from the inclusion of social learning tools, to an ever increasing need for usability – many things have changed, and still continue to change, in the LMS. The question then is, how will the LMS of the future look like? While there is no knowing for sure what will happen over the next 3 – 5 years, there are some key trends that may find a prominent place in the evolution of the LMS in the coming time.
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The Four Negative Sides of Technology

The Four Negative Sides of Technology | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
There can be a negative side resulting from inappropriate or overuse of technology, and that negative side can have serious and long-term consequences.

 

Negative #1: Technology Changes the Way Children ThinkNegative #2: Technology Changes the Way Children FeelNegative #3: Technology Can Put Privacy and Safety at RiskNegative #4: More Use of Technology with Less Physical Activity Leads to Obesity
Via Juergen Wagner
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Should Schools Still Teach Cursive?

Should Schools Still Teach Cursive? | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Research suggests a strong connection between handwriting and brain development — not only in the development of fine motor skills, but also in how children learn. In one study conducted by psychologist and cognitive scientist Karin Harman James at Indiana University, children who printed letters instead of just seeing and saying them showed “adult” brain activity; in another, led by educational psychologist Virginia Berninger at the University of Washington, second, fourth and sixth grade students wrote better sentences, wrote more and faster when using a pen and paper as opposed to a keyboard.
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More Progressive Ways to Measure Deeper Levels of Learning

More Progressive Ways to Measure Deeper Levels of Learning | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
How do we measure learning beyond knowledge of content? Finding that winning combination of criteria can prove to be a complicated and sometimes difficult process. Schools that are pushing boundaries are learning that it takes time, a lot of conversation, and a willingness to let students participate in that evaluation.

 

“Most schools and most of our learning stops at knowing and we need to move that and broaden it to the doing and the reflecting,” said Bob Lenz, co-founder & chief executive officer of Envision Schools while participating in a Deeper Learning MOOC panel. The charter network’s teachers follow three steps for assessment: know, do, reflect. Skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration require practice, Lenz said. Students have to do them constantly and be observed throughout the process for a true assessment.

 

“The real power comes in the reflective process, both individually and with peers,” Lenz said. “Any of the deeper learning outcomes, the reflection is really where the power is and it puts the onus back on the student, instead of the teacher standing in judgment.” Most projects at Envision schools culminate in an exhibition of work at which students reflect on how they could have done things differently or improved on their work. All four years of high school at Envision are a cycle of performance frameworks feeding into a portfolio and culminating in a defense of four years of learning at which students show what they have learned by demonstrating their knowledge and skill, as well as the ability to learn how to learn.


Via Dr Peter Carey
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Marianne's curator insight, May 3, 8:03 PM

Students don’t want to know how they could have done better after they’ve already turned in the project.

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Hit the Gym after Studying to Boost Recall

Hit the Gym after Studying to Boost Recall | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Regular exercise boosts brain health, and a fit brain is generally able to learn, think and remember better. But a few recent studies offer an additional exercise-related tip: time your workouts for just after a study session, and you might better retain the information you just learned. In a variety of experiments, people who biked, did leg presses or even simply squeezed a handgrip shortly after or before learning did better on tests of recall in the hours, days or weeks that followed.

Experts think the crucial component is physical arousal. Exercise excites the body in much the same way an emotional experience does—and emotional memories are well known to be the most long lasting. The researchers caution, however, that at most exercise can have a supportive effect—the important thing is to study well first.
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Are We Evaluating the Right Things in Schools? | EdCircuit

Are We Evaluating the Right Things in Schools? | EdCircuit | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Interview with Dr. Stephen Fink is the executive director of the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL), and affiliate associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the University of Washington College of Education.

 

"I think state licensure has been a poor proxy for performance – both at the teacher and administrative level. My approach may be seen as somewhat radical but I would propose doing away with state licensure altogether except maybe for criminal background checks just to ensure due diligence. Rather than exercising licensing control, I suggest that States invest in robust data dashboards that over time measure teacher and administrator performance on a range of agreed-upon metrics with links to their preparation program of choice.

Frankly it doesn’t matter to me who prepares teachers and administrators as long as they can ensure those educators leave the program with specific competencies that matter most for improving student learning and that can be measured. While the transition to this kind of system would be muddy for a period of time, eventually the availability of transparent performance data would allow market forces to reward high-performing preparation programs while weeding out the poor performers. In essence our school districts will need to become much smarter consumers. This seems like a much better role for states to assume than the traditional role of licensure."

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Connect Collaborate Create

Connect Collaborate Create | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Connect Collaborate Create visual note by Nicki Hambleton made on iPad using Adobe Ideas “Alone we can do so little but together we can do so much” Helen Keller  All I have ever wanted as a teacher is for students to be happy and relaxed in my...

Via Yashy Tohsaku
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Memory Machines: Education Technology Without the Memex

Memory Machines: Education Technology Without the Memex | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Among the things that (education) technology is supposed to revolutionize: memory.

Memory in computers is not wholly analogous to memory in humans, of course, despite using that same word to describe what we are increasingly coming to think of as a process of information storage and retrieval.

Human memory is partial, filtered, contextual, malleable; computer memory is fixed (we hope – until the machinery fails, at least). You store written text about and photos from your vacation on your hard drive, and these will never change; as long as that drive functions and the file format persists, the story of your vacation will remain accessible. Human memory is different. The story – the memory – will change over time. It can be embellished; it can be forgotten. We forget by design.

Now (purportedly) the machine can remember for you.

As educational practices have long involved memorization (along with its kin, recitation), changes to memory – that is, off-loading this functionality to machines – could, some argue, change how and what we learn, how and what we must recall in the process.

And so the assertion goes, machine-based memory will prove superior: it is indexable, searchable. It can included things read and unread, things learned and things forgotten. As such, it is highly “personalized.”
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University Rankings & Instructional Quality in Online Higher Ed

University Rankings & Instructional Quality in Online Higher Ed | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
The growth of online higher education may prove to help reconfigure how institutions are evaluated — drawing more attention to instructional quality; here’s why:

~ By virtue of its relative unfamiliarity, online education generates a greater focus on instructional design. To move from the well-established and familiar classroom format to the online space requires the institution and faculty to rethink the process of creating and supporting learning. (Instructional designers are occasionally told by the faculty with whom they work that the process of creating an online course was the first time in their careers that they had had extended conversations with someone about instructional strategies.)

~ The quality of the student’s experience in online education is primarily determined by the quality of instruction; other aspects of the university experience, such as student affairs, parking availability, are less central.

~ Non-elite institutions are often the fastest growing and most ambitious institutions in online education. To a greater extent than elite institutions, these upstarts (e.g. SNHU, WGU) compete on the basis of instructional value.

~ Online education offers new opportunities to measure student learning that, once reported, provides the basis for identifying quality in teaching and learning.
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Engage Students with Game-Based Learning (GBL)

Some tips on using gaming principles to make learning interesting:

1.Storytelling
A story is process that leads the learners to the final result/achievement. Design games that have an engrossing storyline. Learners generally place themselves in the story and this keeps them engrossed till the end.

2.Multiple Paths
Build multiple paths to success into your course. Consider mini quests, these assist learners to explore different paths and solutions.

3.Level of Difficulty
Consider building self-paced learning by scaffolding each student's progress through the early levels of the course. Provide positive feedbacks for accomplishing simple and small tasks that gradually turn more challenging with each level.

4.Guide the learner to achieve goals
It’s very important that the learner is aware of what needs to be done and what is the purpose of doing something. Hand hold the learner at every level, else the learner will be put off and will not return. Use different strategies (text, pictures, character, and sound) to explain the goal and the reward in return.

5.Challenging to carry on
Think about it, if the game is not challenging, will you prefer playing it? Every game needs to be challenging for the learner to be engaged and to carry on with it.

6.Focus on the learning outcomes
Be fully aware of what the learning outcome of the game needs to be. If the audience of your game is learners who expect to understand Newton’s Law, make sure that they are able to identify different laws by the end of the game. GBL is successful if you can meet the gamer’s expectations by the end of the game.

7.Real World scenarios
Create real world scenarios that learners can relate to easily. These kinds of games motivate learners as they can relate easily to them and find its relevance too. This type of hands-on should ideally be a complete approach from start to finish.

The entire purpose of GBL is to build an amazing learning experience by focusing on the actual outcomes and skills rather than grades.
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Newsroom MOOCs Network Event: Making a Quality MOOC

Newsroom MOOCs Network Event: Making a Quality MOOC | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
These resources are the presentations from the MOOCs Netowkr Event: Making a Quality MOOC and are useful for anyone interesting in MOOCs

 

Resources

Presentations

* MOOCs in the Quality Code: Dr Ian Giles, University of Southampton and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

* Literature Roundup: Dr Sarah Hayes, Aston University

 

Project updates

* Alison Le Cornu, HEA

* Heather Price, Jisc

 

Interactive case study discussion

* Engaged Learning in MOOCs: Dr Julie Wintrup, University of Southampton

*Redesigning a MOOC: Dr Michael Rodgers, University of Strathclyde


Via Harvey Mellar
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Instructional Design Basics for Online Learning - Full Tilt Ahead: Education Technology and Online Learning

Instructional Design Basics for Online Learning - Full Tilt Ahead: Education Technology and Online Learning | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Instructional Design & Online Learning | Full Tilt Ahead

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Personalised Learning - An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief - 2015

In this NMC Strategic Brief, we will place these new developments in context, and attempt to make clear  that  personalisation  begins  and  ends  with  the  relationship  between  teacher  and  student, between mentor and mentee, between the learner and what is to be learned.  While the range of options  available  to  teachers,  schools,  parents and  students  has expanded  enormously,  the  end result is, as it always has been, to give every child the support and the tools to be successful.


Via Ebba Ossiannilsson
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Every Teacher’s Guide to Assessment

Every Teacher’s Guide to Assessment | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
It’s not a stretch to say that assessment is a hot button issue in education; however, you’d be hard pressed to find an educator who doesn’t see the value in measuring student progress. Assessments themselves have been vilified, when, in fact, it’s why assessments are given and how the data is used that is really the issue. The Glossary of Education Reform gives this great overview of what high-stakes testing is and how it impacts students, teachers, and schools. Basically, high-stakes testing has consequences for the test-takers and givers—sometimes in the form of a high school diploma, grade advancement, and even teachers’ salaries. But not all assessment is high-stakes, and when done thoughtfully, the right assessment can provide extremely useful information for all stakeholders—students, teachers, parents, schools, and policy-makers

Let’s take a look at what assessment is, why it’s important, and how it can be delivered in the classroom in a useful manner. Then we’ll dive into some resources available for each type of assessment—diagnostic, formative, and summative.

Via John Evans
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How Do Tech Tools Affect the Way Students Write?

How Do Tech Tools Affect the Way Students Write? | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Many teachers reported that students are more willing to offer feedback and advice to peers through a shared document. And they approach the writing process more fluidly. “I have seen students more willing to go back and revise or improve their work in order to provide more clarity when using digital tools than when they are writing it on paper,” a teacher said.

At the same time, the ubiquitous presence of technology and the dominant ways students use it have had some negative impacts on writing. Teachers report that students blend formal and informal writing, often having trouble choosing a deliberate writing “voice” or “register” based on audience. And as the digital tools push for truncated communication, teachers report that in some cases students struggle to write longer, more complex pieces. But writing formally is still important to teachers; 92 percent of those surveyed replied that “formal writing” is an essential skill for students to learn; while 91 percent said “writing effectively” is essential.

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6 Quick Brain-Based Teaching Strategies

6 Quick Brain-Based Teaching Strategies | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
So many teachers want the quick strategies they can use the very next day. Unfortunately, many of those are just more of the same. Sometimes what makes a strategy work (or not work) is HOW the teacher “sets up” the activity. Other times it works because of the timing or the environmental factors.

In short, it not about just the strategy. But for a moment, let’s say, you’ve already taken one of my amazing multi-day brain-based courses. The following might be good for a quick reminder:

1. The saying “too much, too fast,” means we won’t integrate and recall the information if you teach is quickly. Instead, chunk down the learning into small chunks; allow processing and settling time with partners or as reflective journal time.

2. Because every brain is different—genes + experience, plus the interplay between the two, recall the importance of honoring uniqueness, respecting differences. That means use huge variety to maximize learning. Use visual, with illustrations, and podcasts and DVDs. Then use movement with drama, hands on and energizers. Also use plenty of call-response with partner dialogs.

3. Most subjects can be learned under moderate stress; think of it as “healthy concern.” To ramp that up, use constant accountability. After every learning chunk, have kids create a quiz question, stand up, quiz their neighbor or create a short quiz of 10 questions. Use teams, peer pressure and deadlines to add concern. Remember the material better with an emotion embedded with it. After the quiz, celebrate the progress.

4. Thinking about thinking builds learning skills as active processing time. Add the process of journaling, discussion and learning logs valuable for better learning. Give students starter sentences such as “What I was curious (or stressed over) about today was”… Or, “What I learned today was… and, the way I learned it best was when I.” Until patterns emerge, learning is often random and messy, following no clear path over time, the patterns become more obvious. Pattern making is more complex in second languages like math and music.

5. Remember the value in non-learning or “settling” time, to consolidate the content. Take breaks, recess, lunch, relax time, walks, for passive processing. Even a quick energizer that’s fun and playful can be a good break.

6. Our brain can memorize, but our best learning is the trial & error learning; it’s a key to complex learning–there’s value in games done well, so use games, computers, competition, building, initiatives, etc. Games like hopscotch, relays, or just let kids quiz each other. Brains rarely get it right the first time—learning complexity is built over time Using checklists, peer teaching, computers, asking Qs, are all examples of using trial and error.
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The Benefit Of Making The Curricular More Like The Extracurricular - TeachThought

The Benefit Of Making The Curricular More Like The Extracurricular - TeachThought | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Few would argue with the importance of educating the whole child. Even in today’s age of standardized testing and emphasis on academic standards, perhaps even because of this recent emphasis, educators are increasingly aware of the need to nurture students’ complete development.

 

As I work with schools and talk with educators, I see a common way of supporting the whole child that I’d like to push back against. Too often, schools seem to rely on extra-curricular activities and afterschool programs to meet students’ needs for physical health, extra academic challenge and engagement, and more meaningful connections with adults. Now, don’t get me wrong—extra-curricular activities and special afterschool programs and events can be wonderful. My own children, both in middle school, participate in clubs, sports, and musical groups that are powerful and important in their lives and which clearly help nurture their development as whole people.

 

Perhaps it’s my bias as a classroom teacher that has me pushing back a bit, for I firmly believe that while extra-curricular activities can be one way of educating our children in more complete ways, they had better not be the main way in which we do so. This is important for two reasons. The first is that many children are unable to participate in outside activities. They may have to work or support their families. They may not have the resources or parental support needed to stay after school. If extra-curriculars are our main vehicle, the students who would most benefit from a whole child approach will be least likely to get it. Second, I worry about a subtle message that may be sent when the most engaging, supportive, and interesting work happens outside of the regular curriculum. Some students might come to believe that academic work is something to slog through—to endure. The fun learning happens in the band room, on the baseball field, on the ropes course, or in the afterschool art class.


Via John Evans
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Graphic Design Essentials to Build Good Lookin’ eLearning

Graphic Design Essentials to Build Good Lookin’ eLearning | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

While a great eLearning design can act as a tonic and engage the learner at an optimum level, a bad eLearning design can lull the learners to sleep. 

That's right, how your learners perceive the instructional content is more often than not dependent on the design element. Learners ignore cluttered and boring design. They gravitate, instead, to one that’s aesthetically pleasing.


If you are new to design, or looking to brush up on eLearning design best-practices, this post is for you!

 

 


Via EDTC@UTB, Sue Alexander
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Edgar Mata's curator insight, May 1, 2:45 PM

"While a great eLearning design can act as a tonic and engage the learner at an optimum level, a bad eLearning design can lull the learners to sleep. "

Sue Alexander's curator insight, May 2, 2:28 PM

Great advice for any visual information we present in any setting.

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What *We* Talk About When *We* Talk About MOOCs

What *We* Talk About When *We* Talk About MOOCs | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Today, most MOOC articles start with a variation of the theme MOOC hype has died down but…, and yesterday’s Chronicle article is no different, both chastising the hype while perpetuating it (through claims about why students registered and how the instrument is in essence a grand experiment of teaching at scale).  The piece quotes Siemens:

   " It’s almost like we went through this sort of shameful period where we forgot that we were researchers and we forgot that we were scientists and instead we were just making decisions and proclamations that weren’t at all scientific."

I struggle with the use of *we* in this sentence.  Now, I could reach out to George to ask who he was referring to here (we as in education practitioners, we as in a much larger sense of education including administrators and so forth, we much smaller as in himself and those he has worked with on issues such as the MOOC Research Initiative), but once this article was published, George’s intent with his quote is just one interpretation.  There is a dominant interpretation based on the writing of the article, and when we look at the paragraph preceding George’s quote, how we are intended to read this quote is much clearer.

    "When MOOCs emerged a few years ago, many in the academic world were sent into a frenzy. Pundits made sweeping statements about the courses, saying that they were the future of education or that colleges would become obsolete, said George Siemens, an author of the report who is also credited with helping to create what we now know as a MOOC."

Here we are, an article starting with a blithe critique of MOOC hype, then placing the driver of the frenzy at the feet of academics and pundits, a link to Siemens’ relationship with the acronym, after which comes a quote where *we* are to blame.  The Chronicle substitutes complexity for rhetoric (ex: I struggle with defining George as helping create what we now know  as a MOOC),and the article frames the problem as perpetuated by academics and pundits alike, the neutral and ahistorical MOOC technology an innocent bystander just waiting to be engaged properly so it can solutionize.

There are numerous problems with the Chronicle’s dominant argument, most notably the idea that academics and pundits drove the hype machine.  What brought me to this sector of EdTech was a difficulty in negotiating how the MOOC could mean two vastly different things yet be used so comfortably as a term of reference.  This blog is a result of my 2+ years of research on the sociocultural effect of MOOC discourse, culminating in a Delphi study with 20 individuals with expertise correlated to Massive Open Online Courses.  It frustrated some in the study that our conversations were about attitudes and beliefs rather than instruments and models, but the purpose was to take the temperature not on whether MOOCs were working but what *we* (meaning popular society) were saying when we were talking about MOOCs.  The conversations around MOOCs were spirited and lively, but they were thoughtful and developed.  Where the study found dissonance was not in some people buying hype and others invoking reason, but rather some people applying terms and definitions that often stand counter to the values many hold regarding education, and how those early terms & definitions shaped later conversation.  The Delphi convened thrice in the Fall of 2013; my literature review is chock full of similarly reasoned & tempered discussion & analysis of the phenomenon.  Our backward lens has a tendency to fit our specific vantage point quite well, and when we are not willing to address that we are doing more creation of history than awareness of history.

 

https://allmoocs.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-moocs/

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How Technology Transforms Learning and Teaching Infographic

How Technology Transforms Learning and Teaching Infographic | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

How Technology Transforms Learning and Teaching Infographic shows how ed tech is revolutionizing learning and instruction!

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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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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 ...

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Another Misguided MOOC

Another Misguided MOOC | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Last week, Arizona State University and edX announced a new program to offer freshman  instruction online. Unless most MOOCs, these courses would offer graduation credits that students could use to continue at ASU or to transfer elsewhere. Although it questions the logistics, Walter Russell Mead’s blog argues that “this kind of experiment is promising, and shows how the mainstreaming of MOOCs could help lower costs.”

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What Is Being Learned From MOOCs? New Report Takes Stock – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

What Is Being Learned From MOOCs? New Report Takes Stock – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

The hype around the free online courses called MOOCs has drawn millions of students, who are all essentially part of a teaching experiment of unprecedented scale. These days, researchers are increasingly checking in on that experiment.

 

A new report, released on Thursday, seeks to answer the question “Where is research on massive open online courses headed?”

The report is the work of the MOOC Research Initiative, funded with more than $800,000 in grant support by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The group put out a call for research submissions and used much of the grant money to fund 28 of them, which were then analyzed for the report.

 

When MOOCs emerged a few years ago, many in the academic world were sent into a frenzy. Pundits made sweeping statements about the courses, saying that they were the future of education or that colleges would become obsolete, said George Siemens, an author of the report who is also credited with helping to create what we now know as a MOOC.

 

“It’s almost like we went through this sort of shameful period where we forgot that we were researchers and we forgot that we were scientists and instead we were just making decisions and proclamations that weren’t at all scientific,” said Mr. Siemens, an academic-technology expert at the University of Texas at Arlington.

 

Hype and rhetoric, not research, were the driving forces behind MOOCs, he argued. When they came onto the scene, MOOCs were not analyzed in a scientific way, and if they had been, it would have been easy to see what might actually happen and to conclude that some of the early predictions were off-base, Mr. Siemens said.

 

The goal of the MOOC Research Initiative was to take a step back and get a better understanding of MOOC research and literature. Though the public’s interest in MOOCs has dwindled, academic literature on the subject is on the rise. The researchers examined who was writing about MOOCs, what fields they represented, what type of research has been done, and the various themes in the research that has emerged, Mr. Siemens said.


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