The first report from the ALT Annual Survey, launched in December 2014, has been published. The survey was primarily for ALT members but open for anyone to respond....
Analysis of the survey responses indicates a number of areas ALT should continue to support and develop. Priorities for the membership are ‘Intelligent use of learning technology’ and ‘Research and practice’, while ‘Online/blended delivery’ and ‘Course design’ remain to be key areas of work. The survey also reveals a number of emerging areas including ‘Data and Analytics’ and ‘Open Education’ and as such our community may benefit from development opportunities ALT can provide. The survey is also a reminder that ALT has an essential role in enabling members to develop research and practice in areas which might be considered as less of a priority by the majority of respondents.
Hot off the press from the University of Glasgow is this report on two MOOCs they ran last year. A key finding is that collaboration between the two course teams, in very different disciplines (Medical and International Relations) was central to the success of the MOOCs.
The Open University is now offering courses via the OERu, and you can get digital badges for successful completion of these courses.
These Badged Open Courses "will be different from MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) because they are perpetual, enabling students to return to them at any time to refresh their knowledge, unlike MOOCs which have a set start and finish date. The first to be released will be as Beta, to gather user feedback which will help improve the experience for learners."
"LLAS (Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies), at the University of Southampton has just published a free, open access ebook: ’10 Years of the LLAS elearning symposium: case studies in good practice’. This edited collection celebrates the 10th anniversary of the elearning symposium and features contributions from practitioners across the UK and the world.
"The book includes case studies and reflective pieces which showcase good practice in the use of technology for language teaching and learning. The book is CC licensed to get the word out there it far and wide!" (Quote taken from e-mail from Kate Borthwick to the OERDISCUSS@JISCMAIL list)
New Wharton research examines the impact that massive open online courses (MOOCs) will have on business schools and MBA programs.
Gabi Witthaus's insight:
This is a very interesting half-hour video interview with two Coursera professors who teach at Wharton Business School, discussing the impact of MOOCs on business schools - and on their day-to-day teaching.
A few highlights:
On whether MOOCs are "expensive" for institutions to produce and deliver: Not at all. Elite institutions need to invest in "reputation building", and this is normally achieved by academics through their research. However, publishing a research paper in a high-impact journal costs the institution around $400,000, whereas they can run three to five MOOCs for that amount, and have far more "outreach".
On how MOOCs are impacting on daily classroom practice: some MOOC teachers are requiring their face-to-face students to watch their video-ed lectures before coming to class, and then using class time for discussion (the flipped classroom).
On the efficiency of MOOCs in comparison to classroom teaching: in the classroom you are constrained to go at the pace of all the people in the room. In a MOOC, you can "cover" the same amount of material in approximately half the time. The fast learners will move ahead much faster, and the slower ones will pause and replay the videos.
On whether MOOCs are a threat to traditional institutions: it is not MOOCs themselves that are a threat, but the technologies that enable MOOCs, such as short, succinct videos, and self-assessment quizzes – referred to here as "supertechs".
On possible future scenarios: 1) MOOCs will continue to coexist peacefully with mainstream teaching, and we will see more flipped classroom type practices. 2) MOOCs will take away some of the business from mainstream education institutions, and many academics will lose their jobs. 3) MOOCs will create massive disruption in the formal higher education sector through the "unbundling" of services usually provided by single institutions.
This paper shares some of the early findings of the OpenCred study, conducted by the Institute of Learning Innovation at the University of Leicester in collaboration with the European Commission's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies IPTS) and funded by the IPTS.
Gabi Witthaus's insight:
Great that the paper I co-authored with Mark Childs, Bernard Nkuyubwatsi, Grainne Conole, Andreia Inamorato Dos Santos and Yves Punie has now been published in e-Learning Papers!
This is a very interesting piece by Audrey Watters on the role that LinkedIn is playing in helping to formalise non-formal, open education, through providing a legitimate platform for learners to publicise their MOOC certificates.
Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators. Creative Commons and the Open Policy Network hosted the first Institute for Open Leadership meeting in San Francisco 12-16 January 2015. The Institute for Open Leadership (IOL for short) is a training program to identify and cultivate new leaders in open education, science, public policy, research, data and other fields on the values and implementation...
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in association with Wawasan Open University, Malaysia is launching the two MOOCs and one MOOC with IIT Kanpur.
Gabi Witthaus's insight:
The Commonwealth of Learning is experimenting with a groundbreaking (excuse the pun) form of MOOCs for subsistence farmers and people who work as gardeners in the central and eastern parts of the Gangetic Plain. The MOOC is delivered entirely by audio messages to participants' phones (basic cell phones, not smart phones).
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