Opening up education
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Opening up education
Trends and developments in all aspects of open education: OER, MOOC, Open University
Curated by Robert Schuwer
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School of Information announces first online Master of Information and Data Science degree

School of Information announces first online Master of Information and Data Science degree | Opening up education | Scoop.it
The School of Information's new online degree program addresses the nation's "dramatically growing need for well-trained big-data professionals."

Via drsmetty, Frederik Truyen
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drsmetty's curator insight, July 18, 2013 3:28 AM

The world needs data scientists...

Tyler Griffin's curator insight, July 19, 2013 10:48 AM

Finding information effectively and efficiently is becoming more complex. So is the training that a librarian-type role requires.

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Making Sense of Euro MOOCs | Inside Higher Ed

Making Sense of Euro MOOCs  | Inside Higher Ed | Opening up education | Scoop.it

Via timokos
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timokos's curator insight, July 18, 2013 3:02 AM

Nice summary on the European MOOCs in Global Context Workshop held at 19 & 20th of June at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

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MOOCs as a Worldwide Neocolonial Force: A Reflection on MIT’s Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC) Conference | James E Willis - Reflections on Teaching and Learning, blog

I had the privilege to attend MIT’s Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC) 2013 conference from June 16 – 19th. […] One topic, above all others, continues to resonate with me. […]  One of the attendees suggested that the MOOC (massive open online course) is a form of neocolonialism to the developing world. This means western educators presuppose a priority on what should be taught, what should be learned, and what forms “the” context of a given subject; MOOCs are the 21st century vehicle for spreading that presupposition to the world. It means that the first-world professors, instructional designers, and platform providers control not only the content learned by people worldwide, but more importantly, the ideologies spread through that learning.


Via Peter B. Sloep
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Peter B. Sloep's curator insight, July 17, 2013 10:23 AM

The question James Willis then asks himself is whether MOOCs indeed are a form of digitized neocolonialism. In earlier posts and blogs I have also considered this possibility, using the term cultural imperialism. Whatever the term, Willis quite accurately describes what the danger is in the above summary. In his description I suggest to take 'what should be taught etc.' broadly, that is, as not just encompassing the selection of courses but also choice of topics within courses and pedagogy.  The danger described then becomes obvious. All content is value laden, although some, such as religion, presumably more than other, such as programming languages. So with the content come all kinds of Western values. Second, pedagogy matters too. A pedagogy that heavily relies on Socratic discourse, which assumes you will challenge your professor, does not sit well with societies that put much value on authority. Luckily, this second objection is a less serious one in the current MOOCs as these heavily rely on a transfer or broadcasting model of teaching. However, the objection of the value-ladenness of content remains. 

 

Willis however is not convinced there is a danger. His counter-argument is that he is not convinced that this kind of criticism 'does real justice to historical notions of neocolonialism'. But that strikes me as quite beside the point. Perhaps he is right that the name used to label the criticism is unfortunate or plain wrong, but that does in no way violate the matter of the argument labeled. I for one still believe there is a serious danger of imposing Western cultural values and for that reason alone would dread the day that Sebastian Thrun's predication that in 50 years time only 10 universities survive comes true (that he apparently has retracted his prediction does not detract from the fact that he had no moral objections to its becoming true, on the contrary). See for details a series of blog posts of mine. 

(http://tiny.cc/6ced0w)

 

However, let's assume for the sake of argument that Willis addresses material issues rather than semantic ones only. One argument is that MOOCs do not hold financial power over students outside the US. I beg to differ. Actually, MOOCs even do in the US. If authorities decide to divert funding from education, students either have the choice to pay even more fees and tuitions or 'take a MOOC'. If that doesn't affect you financially  what does? Willis conclusion is that 'the question [of the ill effects of MOOCs] is one of global versus local context' and admits that 'value systems of an influential first-world country can have tangible effect on the localized contexts of people worldwide'. Exactly! (@pbsloep)

timokos's curator insight, July 18, 2013 3:07 AM

Global versus Local: an important question!

 

"While MOOCs may not be neocolonialist strictly speaking, they certainly have the ability to irrevocably alter localized contexts. So, the question becomes: do MOOCs redefine what a global and local context mean?"

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Content that talks back: what does the MOOC explosion mean for content management?

Robert Schuwer's insight:

An analysis by David Kernohan (JISC) of what it means under the terms of Coursera to provide learning materials not offered under a Creative Commons license. One of the conclusions (being a warning for university boards who are considering offering MOOC's):

 

"For all the benefits that openly licensed and third-party materials offer, my suspicion is that the perceived value of learner analytics to the major MOOC platforms will mean a continued emphasis on bespoke, university-created content to maximize data collection. Such content is expensive to create and maintain, and sustained investment in content should be a cause for concern for institutional managers – especially as there is as yet little evidence that MOOCs attract learners to apply to the institutions in question."

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timokos's curator insight, July 16, 2013 5:40 AM

Licensing of content and collaction of studentdata are the most important elements in the strategies of the commercial MOOC platform like Coursera & Udacity to find revenue streams and sustainable business models.

verstelle's curator insight, July 20, 2013 9:03 AM

Interesting article although conclusions about Coursera Terms and Conditions are not completely correct. Coursera T&C allow institution to provide their MOOC content under creative commons licensing, in fact is is up to the institution if it wants to make it their standard policy.

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AcademicPub - Custom Course Materials

AcademicPub - Custom Course Materials | Opening up education | Scoop.it
AcademicPub lets professors, institutions, and bookstores create custom course packs with real time copyright clearance.

Via Rose Leighton, verstelle
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Rose Leighton's curator insight, July 13, 2013 2:28 PM

I like the fact that lecturers can use AcademicPub to compose their own textbook, with bits from the giant content library (take a look at all the big players!), the web and themselves. Copyright clearing is clever too.  Not sure how the digital output is? PDF-only?

verstelle's curator insight, July 14, 2013 5:08 AM

Seems like a very handy solution to handle copyrights clearance.

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MOOCs and Economic Reality - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education

MOOCs and Economic Reality - The Conversation - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Opening up education | Scoop.it
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MOOC Production Values: Costs, Approaches and Examples - moocnewsandreviews.com

MOOC Production Values: Costs, Approaches and Examples - moocnewsandreviews.com | Opening up education | Scoop.it
For all the interest in online education, there is precious little guidance for teachers on MOOC production.
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MOOCs - Enough of the sensationalism, will they really affect Higher Education? | Matt Cornock

MOOCs - Enough of the sensationalism, will they really affect Higher Education? | Matt Cornock | Opening up education | Scoop.it
New Post: Enough of the sensationalism, will MOOCs really change HE? http://t.co/hcyiT4bsbQ - finally braved writing a MOOC post
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College for all | McKinsey & Company

College for all | McKinsey & Company | Opening up education | Scoop.it
Open online courses are changing higher education. Traditional colleges face dangers—and opportunities. A McKinsey & Company article.
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The attack of the MOOCs

The attack of the MOOCs | Opening up education | Scoop.it
DOTCOM mania was slow in coming to higher education, but now it has the venerable industry firmly in its grip. Since the launch early last year of Udacity and...
Robert Schuwer's insight:

Yet another article on business models behind MOOC's. Some remarkable quotes:

 

"Rob Lytle (...) says firms like Pearson (...) that run educational businesses such as textbook-publishing may thrive by offering free MOOCs as a way to get people to buy their related paid content". Will they connect this with universities for the content or will they do this as a new player in the field next to universities? If the latter: how about quality and trust?

 

"But Anant Agarwal, the boss of EdX, reckons the MOOC providers will be more like online airline-booking services, expanding the market by improving the customer experience.". An odd comparison: the actual experience is in the flight itself and not in the booking process and this flight is not changed at all. What has changed is the variety of in-flight services with the rise of the low-fare companies, but I would not call that an improvement of the customer experience.

 

"Doug Becker (...) reckons that many established universities will soon offer credits towards their degrees for those who complete MOOCs. He thinks this will drive a dramatic reduction in the price of a traditional higher education, that will reduce the total revenues of existing providers by far more than the revenue gained by the start-ups. Still, if MOOCs reduce the cost of higher education by one-third, as he predicts, yet only earn for themselves 1% of that benefit, that would “still be a very nice business,” he says." Maybe in the US, but also true in other parts of the world???

 

 

 

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Citing disappointing student outcomes, San Jose State pauses work with Udacity | Inside Higher Ed

Citing disappointing student outcomes, San Jose State pauses work with Udacity | Inside Higher Ed | Opening up education | Scoop.it
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Curious about the follow-up!

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timokos's curator insight, July 18, 2013 6:01 AM

Interesting outcomes of the experiments of San Jose State University with MOOCs!

 

Udacity students underperform compared to regular SJSU students (fugures are 51% passing rate compared to 74% passing rate, although both populations are hardly comparable), while edX students outperform regular SJSU students (no passing data available jet).

 

Besides the differences in platform, an important distinction is the way both are used: Udacity's MOOC, SJSU+, is a replacement of regular (remedial) courses, while edX's MOOC is a supplement used to try 'Flipping the classroom'. 

 

Can't wait to see the report on the edX experiment!

Arie den Boon's comment, September 6, 2013 5:06 AM
Failings make us learn quicker, and we still have a lot to learn. So lets not get disappointed.
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MOOCs: The Courage to Say No | INSERVER BLOG

MOOCs: The Courage to Say No | INSERVER BLOG | Opening up education | Scoop.it
Silicon Valley has enthusiastically promoted MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), but some universities have decided MOOCs are not effective or
Robert Schuwer's insight:

Several universities expanding their online offerings, but critical on using MOOC's (solely) for this.

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timokos's curator insight, July 18, 2013 6:19 AM

Healthy and balanced online strategies by experienced players in the online and life-long-learning markets.

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What Makes Openness Work?

What Makes Openness Work? | Opening up education | Scoop.it
Here are our slides from today's project presentation at the Institute of Educational Technology. There is also a Cloudworks page for the event which includes more detailed slides on TrackOER. What...
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Research Questions for HarvardX

Research Questions for HarvardX | Opening up education | Scoop.it
The foundational tasks to get HarvardX research started and some of my own research questions.

Via timokos
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timokos's curator insight, July 17, 2013 4:07 AM

Important research questions by Justin Reich, the HarvardX Research Fellow, I think everybody involved in MOOCs shoold be asking!

 

Interesting quotes that highlight Justin’s own views on the possibilities, current shortcomings and possible future of edX:

 

“The early evidence leaking out seems to be pretty clear on this point—MOOC participants are disproportionately people with college and advanced degrees—but I'm interested in doing a comprehensive review of economic diversity in HarvardX courses, and then examining the findings in light of my own theories of how expanding opportunity can exacerbate inequalities. All indications suggest that if we want xMOOCs to reduce inequalities, then we'll need to develop a set of design principles that allow us to target courses or supports to learners that we care most about serving.”

 

“My third interest is in design research, thinking about how we can expand our repertoire of practices on edX. How can we take the most interesting, innovative practices in online or residential education and bring them to life on for HarvardX courses?”For instance, in professional education (law, business, education), case studies are a vital part of teaching in many courses in programs. What tools could let people collaboratively engage in cases online? Could some of these cases be the foundation of new social games or simulations? There are a wide range of teaching strategies practiced across Harvard, and the edX LMS will need to grow to accommodate them.”

 

“Especially among the humanists I talk with from HarvardX, there is a great deal of interest in doing the kinds of things that connectivist MOOCs have been doing well for a number of years. I'm interested in thinking about how we push the possibilities of the edX platform or how we might use the marketing and student information system components of edX to support learning environments that are not primarily built on the edX LMS. A lot of my career is spent looking longingly at those educators who play on the exciting edges of things and then thinking, "OK, how do we get everyone there?"

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New MOOC gives away Warren Buffett’s sister’s money

New MOOC gives away Warren Buffett’s sister’s money | Opening up education | Scoop.it
Doris Buffett is letting the students who are taking a new massive open online course (MOOC) about philanthropy decide what to do with $100,000 of her money.
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A MOOC, published by a foundation. Accessible on http://www.learningbygivingfoundation.org/mooc/

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The Gates Effect

The Gates Effect | Opening up education | Scoop.it
A look inside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's $472-million (so far) effort to rewire higher education.
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A long article about the Gates Foundation and its plan to reform HE in the US. A lot of criticism on this plan: no need for so many graduates (in one of the comments), an engineering approach to HE without an educational viewpoint taken into account.

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Has Coursera Already Won the MOOC Game?

Has Coursera Already Won the MOOC Game? | Opening up education | Scoop.it
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timokos's curator insight, July 15, 2013 4:21 AM

Good article explaining possible scenario's for Venture Capital backed development of Coursera's MOOC platform

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Why the MOOC cannot trump the campus - University World News

Why the MOOC cannot trump the campus - University World News | Opening up education | Scoop.it
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timokos's curator insight, July 15, 2013 4:35 AM

Smart view on many roles campuses play in Higher Education and their future given the rise of MOOCs

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Experts speculate on possible business models for MOOC providers | Inside Higher Ed

Experts speculate on possible business models for MOOC providers | Inside Higher Ed | Opening up education | Scoop.it
Robert Schuwer's insight:

Business models named (actually, it is about models for earnings and not about business models) are: paying for certificates, matching between companies and students, providing deeper details of students to companies, matching students who did not complete a MOOC with traditonal online programs, offering paid services like tutoring (that could also be one of the services other universities could offer, if the content would be open in the 4R sense and would not bear a NC-clause in their license), more robust assessments (not for free), extended networking with fellow learners, paid events for learners.

 

I wonder if most of these options really would generate the amounts of money that are named in the article. The 20% fee of a starting salary for a headhunter means doing a lot more than just match using the data. Headhunters typically also have individual talks and act as a first filter before handing over candidates to the employer.  And with more and more MOOC-platforms coming up, the amount of students per MOOC will certainly reduce, making most of the options (that assume massive amounts of learners per course) only generating marginal sums of money.

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The Quick and the Ed » Making up Our Minds on MOOCs

The Quick and the Ed » Making up Our Minds on MOOCs | Opening up education | Scoop.it
@AlexUsherHESA When you're done with the bad stats jokes, see your name taken in vain here: http://t.co/uwM6vGQiCo (re MOOC fans and foes)
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Moving beyond a binary view of MOOCs | Universi...

Moving beyond a binary view of MOOCs | Universi... | Opening up education | Scoop.it
Understanding MOOCs as a battle between marketization and traditional higher education blocks us from envisioning other viable futures for higher education.
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