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Online learning, teaching theories, and the science of education
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Three Kinds of MOOCs « Lisa's (Online) Teaching Blog

Three Kinds of MOOCs « Lisa's (Online) Teaching Blog | Online learning and technology | Scoop.it
Keith Brennan's insight:

Nice intro to MOOC types from Lisa (http://lisahistory.net/) detailing three types of MOOC.

 

Network based, which is the Etmooc type, which is socially constructive, focused on networks, conversation, and socially constructed knowledge. Learning outcomes are difficult to measure, and skilS and content are less important.

 

Taks based, emphasizing skills acquisition. Community and peer work are important here too. So, once again constructivist, but also constructionist. It's socail knowledge, but it has a learning by making aspect, and, I guess, also an instructionist aspect - a degree of teacher centrality.

 

Content-based MOOCs, the ones from MIT and Harvard with big enrollments, and press exposure, are based around content, and content access. Community is, according to Lisa difficult (I haven't tried one yet). That said, there's no specific reason (apart, perhaps from having to fund resources) why it should be so.

 

 

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MOOCs and other ed-tech bubbles

MOOCs and other ed-tech bubbles | Online learning and technology | Scoop.it
Why most of what currently excites the ed-tech world is hot air: MOOCs, Learning Analytics and Open Education Resources, amongst other fads. I already know what my new year’s resolution will be. As...
Keith Brennan's insight:

Interesting article on the limitations of MOOC learning, the oedagogy, and on the high dropout rates in some MOOCs.

 

It's arguing that MOOCs are a bubble of sorts, where the educational value of the technology and practice, as applied in the biggest examples (the article doesn't really delve too deeply into individual programs) is being inflated, artifically, and is bound to pop.

 

Some good points. MOOCs need good pedagogy. Without it, student dripiut rates skyrocket and (in my opinion)  Many MOOCS don;t seem to have it, andonly a small percenbtage of students can maximise the opportunity offered.

 

Some MOOCs are not new, innovative, or revolutionary, but are, in fact, nothing more than lectures being made available on the internet. This is not new, revolutionary, or particularly useful.

 

MOOC's alo don't have a revenue model that will pay for them yet. Lots of investor money has pured in, but no one has a working model to pay the bills on a going forward basis. Laurillard picks up this point too, and it's difficult to see how, outsideof a crowdsourced (ala wikipedia)/crowdfunded (ala Kickstart) model, the current courses will be economically viable going forward

 

The article also argues that peer mentoring, whiole good as part of a broader mix, doesn't cut it when compared to tutor ti,me, and that MOOCs will not turnb out to b less expensive when the necessity for meaningful tutor support

 is factored in.

 

.I agree to a degree with that last point (and the other points, where they applky, but they mnay not apply universally). Some stuidents, probably the majority, need, or significantly benefit from tutor time. There will be communities of experts, experienced learners, or learners with a highly developed autonomous learning skills, or qwith sufficient driive and necessity to overcome major pedagogical obstacles, but that will not be characteristic.

 

Online students typically persist in courses longer, deploy more effort, and perceive a courtse as having more value if tutor time is available. This tutor time doesn't have to be facetime. It can be asynchronous - and more valuable in some senses because of that. It can hhappen in the midst, or as a part of a peer review and feedback cycle. It can happen over skype, via email, on a wiki or blog.

 

But it does need to happen, and it's difficult to see hopw to reconcile the open and free aspect with the fact that good pedagogy has a finacial cost.

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Are today's students narcissistic – or just at ease with themselves?

Are today's students narcissistic – or just at ease with themselves? | Online learning and technology | Scoop.it
Bim Adewunmi: More students are rating themselves as above average. It may be less about positive thinking and more about their background
Keith Brennan's insight:

The Guardian, linking from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20756247) on an American study of student's sense of themselves.

 

More students are rating themsalves as abopve average in writing ability, mathematics, self confidence, drive to succeed than did 40 years ago, and that such self confoidence is key to acadmeic success. Which the reports argues it isn't.

 

The Guardian and BBC article both say the original report ascribes this to narcissism, an excessive and destructive self love. And obviously it's a reproving term. But the Guardian article goes on to ask if this is self confodence, or ease. These are interesting questions, but I'm struck by another thought.

 

Learner's with a very high sense of self efficacy (a sense from past experience, a sense from the structure and support from the course that aims are achiuevable), and a large degree of confidence, can present unique difficulties and challenges to educators, especially if that confidence and efficacy is misplaced.

 

Confodence here can be though of as your sense of your own capacities, and self efficacy can be though of as how external factors - supports, good instruction, reasonable schedules, achievable coursework, reasonable IT to work with - make you feel the task at hand ius achievable.

 

Taking R E CLark, and her use of Bandura's ideas on motivtion,. confidence and efficacy (Clark, R. E. (1999). Yin and yang cognitive motivational processes operating in multimedia learning environments), a student with high confidece is likely to deploy less mental effort in learning, is likey to persist for a shorter period of time, and is likely to blame the educational structure, or instructor, or external causes for shortfalls in their learning.

 

Put simply, if a learner feels that material is easy, or unchallenging, or well within their reach, they are far less likely to work hard at coursework, and persist if things are difficult, and more likely to blame the course, the instructor, or perceived flaws in the experience for their own misconceptions. If their sense that material is well within their grasp is incorrect, then actual problems go undealt with, and learning slips away. Key to maintaining persistence, and maximum effort is maintaining that small window where the student has a general sense of confidence (I'm competent) and self-efficacy (my past experiences, my sense of this course, and how it enables me makes me feel this is achievable), but simultaneosul;y feels the material they are engaging with is boih challenging (but not too challenging), and achievable (but not too achievable).

 

Thinking in terms of confidence and self-efficacy, and how that affects motivation strikes me as much more useful, practical, and far less cumboresomely judgemental than thinking in termns of narcissism. Judgements of narcissim seem to have little to do with teaching, problem solving, and the work of learning.

 

If our learners are more confident, and if that confidence is misplaced, then how do we renegotiate the challenge level, novelty level, and challenge that confidence in a way that maximises learner effort, persistence, and efficiency? And how do we avoid the increasing pitfall of over-confident learners blaming educational contexts and opting out of learning opportunities.

 

This challenge level is individual, and changes with each individual over time. So, we already are in a position, as educators, where we have to tailor, adapt and alter challenge level to match oiur students. Not too low. Not too high.

 

Stressing the goal, or terminal point can be useful. For students whoi comsider drive and ambition to be key, maximise that as a carrot, lay out learning paths and work schemes that have achievable ambitious goals. Break them into smaller easier steps if the student is having difficulty, but focus on the long term goal, and describe the learning goals in terms of drive, ambition, and the possible positive outcomes.

 

Engaging with students meaningfully, in terms of developing self critical learners. So, developing feedback and assessment skills in learners. Feedback sessions should involve students (and students peers) assessing their own work, and working out learning paths in that context. Getting students to think about what they did well, what they need to improve on, and how the work they have done facilitates their end goals, or needs adjustment.

 

Peer review here can work well. Using a collaborative blog, modelling feedback yourself promptly, carefully and respectfully, and setting a small percentage of the grade for quality and quantity of feedback can help create a community of critical commenters. There's evidence that good demonstarion feedback can help establish meaningful reflection and peer criticism.

 

Stress the opportunities and utility offered by compleyting coursework well, and stress the difficulties and loss of opportunities, or personal cost ( in temrs of career, opportunities, skills) in not engaging.

 

Good quality feedback helps students ascribe value to their course, and increases persistence and effort.

 

 

 

 

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Managing Learning Technology: How To Build MOOC's that Fail

Managing Learning Technology: How To Build MOOC's that Fail | Online learning and technology | Scoop.it
Keith Brennan's insight:

How to build MOOC's that fail, an insider's view of what doesn't work, and perhaps a little of what does.

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Higher education: our MP3 is the mooc

Higher education: our MP3 is the mooc | Online learning and technology | Scoop.it
Academics have watched the internet change the music industry, books and news. And yet, now it's happening in higher education, we are about to screw it up, says Clay Shirky
Keith Brennan's insight:

Clay Shirky's Guardian post on MOOC's, the wave of the future. No mention of the massive dropout rate. Or lack of business model. Or huge design, support and pedagogy issues. Or possibke issues with solely peer teaching. Or lack of resources within MOOCs. Or their conventional contruction.

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Disney Research » Touché: Touch and Gesture Sensing for the Real World.

Disney Research » Touché: Touch and Gesture Sensing for the Real World. | Online learning and technology | Scoop.it
Keith Brennan's insight:

Thanks to Steve Wheeler / @timbuckteeth for the link, advances in gesture technology.

 

Two really cool ideas.

 

Idea one. The ability to recognise different types of touch - differentiating between single and mulitple finger, whole palm, two finger or full grip, elbows touching, palms togethjer, fingers touching a whole spectrum of touches.

 

Idea two. Using everyday objects to touch. Breakfast bowls, tables, water, doorknobs, the human body. Anything, it appers, that might conduct, and you can put a wire on. So, you can use the human body to register different types of touch, and then map those types of touch to commands.

 

The NMC Horizon report on tech trends in teaching (http://www.nmc.org/publications/horizon-report-2012-higher-ed-edition) talked about gesture technology as one of their predicted major trends in teaching tech, but I don;t think they envisaged this.

 

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Gagne's 9 Events of Instructional Design

simple introduction using Making Tea as example, Sussex University coursework (Pgcert in Elearning design)
Keith Brennan's insight:

This is a really cool take on Gagne's nine events of Instruction. Clever, creative, memorable and functional.

 

This, is good teaching.

 

 

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LEGO Taking Robotics to Next Level with Mindstorms EV3

LEGO Taking Robotics to Next Level with Mindstorms EV3 | Online learning and technology | Scoop.it
LAS VEGAS — Robot dreams are built one-piece-at-a-time. That is if you're one of the many fans of LEGO's Mindstorms Robot Building Kits. Launched in 1998, the kid-friendly, DIY ...
Keith Brennan's insight:

Seymour Papert would be proud. He consultd on Mindstorms, and lots of the ideas are his. Minstorms now runs on Linux, and you can use your smartphone and gestures as the remote, but the idea is the same.

 

Allow children to build things, focus on the thing, not the tool. Ultimately, let kids build something with maths while not explicitl;y realising they are building with maths,, and, when they have achieved a good level of competence unconsciously, focus on the actual maths explicitly.

 

The Mindstorms robots have programmeable cores, and a simple, but powerful object oreinted language.

 

Every kid intuitively undertands lego. And robots. Put them together and you get something interesting. Put them together and make the code playable

with, and you get something that is even more interesting.

 

 

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MOOCS: 12 Reasons for universities not to panic

MOOCS: 12 Reasons for universities not to panic | Online learning and technology | Scoop.it
Don’t believe the hype? There has been an extraordinary level of hype in higher education (and beyond) about Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs. Vice-Chancellors and their senior management...
Keith Brennan's insight:

Nice little practical twelve point debunking of MOOC hysteria. I love MOOCs, the idea, and the possible applications, access and opportunities.

 

But I hate thre hype.

 

Here's a clearly written, obvious and quite calm twelve point answer to the publicity bubble.

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