- The Conference Manifesto – NYTimes.com – Making the pre-conference season rounds in my neighborhood. – (conference rhetoric rhetorical_velocity )
- On Research and Academic Diversity – Well, not really. It's a defense of that mooc meta study released this week, and roundly critiqued by Stephen Downes. Tip: the exchange is more enlightening than the study itself. Maybe that's the meta. – (mooc cmooc research metastudy )
- Printing a wall-sized world map – Because you never know when it will come in handy. – (dh )
Time to get back to the classroom, and that means breaking in some new software, including an updated blogging app, Blogo. It was out orignally in 2009, if my old license key is accurate, but went dark for a while. It’s been released as v 2. It seems roughly the same as I recall it back in 2009: single window, with what seems to be a better image editor. It’s far more pleasent to work in than, say MarsEdit. I was going to say it’s more limited than MarsEdit in handling images, but it’s not: It just handles them differently. Embedding images from Flickr, for instance, is done by clicking on the image and selecting Send to Blogo from the service menu. The embedded image can be tweaked in Blogo, and it’s done.
Reduced face time in three courses
I’m trying out reduced face time in three courses: Tech Writing. A&E, and E-Rhetoric. The last also has an online-only grad section – a design I’m also trying out. All the content I typically generate – aka lectures and my notes – will be online. Activities will be similar to what I’ve used in the past: no tests but lots of notes and making. Deadlines for work are firm to promote timeliness. The idea is to reduce face to face classtime to one session per week and to focus that session tightly on a seminar discussion, or class tutorial, or individual tutorial, depending on what we need that week. Sort of what I remember from attending UCL, crossed with activity and sharing techniques from cMOOCs. As at UCL, face sessions are voluntary: Attendance isn’t required. Rather than a final exam, however, weekly work will verify whether the student might be better off attending the weekly session. Students can use the other class session time to meet and work together.
This design might not sound novel, but it is to me, and I have some apprehensions about it that I hope to work out this semester.
What else? No discussion board. Instead, discussions or exchanges will be attached to wiki pages: Keep the exchanges close to the content. Some collaborative work probably in Google Docs. No video lectures from me: I find them too slow and dispersed for the purpose. Lectures are what students are not coming to hear, right? All reading, for the most part. Some step by step tutorials using Clarify 2. Perhaps some screencasts if absolutely necessary.
All of this places a lot of responsibility on the student for technical skills, so I expect to use a bootcamp approach in the first set of requred meetings (bootcamp borrowed from ds106). Those online only will have to google their way into the technology. Eg “Go to Google and use its tutorials to set up a Google Docs account. Whe you have a Google Document created, email me the link .…” And “Google the term rss. Find out what it is and how it’s useful to you. Sign up for an RSS account online or using an RSS reader on your own computer. From there on, add the RSS feeds to wiki pages for this course that you want to monitor or are working on.” And “Register with Twitter. Use #ENGL2152 to request help or feedback from others ….” I probably need a checklist.
It all adds up to dynamic syndicated learning:
[PDF] Discussion board: A learning objectK Harman, A Koohang – … Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 2005 – editlib.org… The discussion board thus may be used as a “context board.” For example, the concept of usingthe discussion board as a “context board” fits well within Downes’ (2003b) recommendation forusing syndicated learning content: … Using syndicated learning content. …
Or will it be federated?
Existing online learning experiences lack the social dimension that characterizes learning in the real world. This social dimension extends beyond the traditional classroom into the university’s common areas where learners build knowledge and understanding through serendipitous and collaborative exchanges both within and across traditional subject area boundaries. A next generation virtual learning environment (VLE) can address the limitations of current online systems by providing a richer social context for online learning. We describe the end-user properties of … VLE that fosters dynamic group learning experiences and the development of communities of practice. This proposed VLE provides the capacity to merge the institutional infrastructure for academic computing, enterprise-level networks, Squeak/Croquet-based content authoring, and the educational principles of constructivist pedagogy.
Or another model?And I will need a statement of openness, revised from this, which I’ve use regularly.
Most of the writing we all do for this course will end up on the wiki. Notes, notes on notes, my comments, more notes, group notes and projects. As the course progresses, you’ll find that we can begin to link up these nodes, developing them into topics, and further developing topics over the semester and across semesters. The wiki becomes more valuable (to us, to the next group, and to whomever looks in) the more we develop topics over time.Writing the wiki is an integral part of this course and your learning for this course. As your notes progress, you will begin, I hope, to cross link to the notes and observations of others. University students and professors are now in the business of making their course work in progress available to those interested; it’s another new rhetorical practice of digital space.
I would rather have students work in their own spaces, to set up and use their own PLEs, and then aggrgate their work by linking materials they are submitting for evaluation to a wikiname page. But that’s for later.
And, one final device for this design: A weekly update, in the form of a blog post or wiki page, as appropriate. Downes et al used these in a couple of cMOOCs I participted in, and they worked to highlight substantive work and directions for students. Much as a face to face lecture signals what the instructor sees as important, so the weekly highlights helps students define a focus.
because I’ve used this post to evaluate it. It has a few idiosyncrasies – and so it should! – in how it imports from the web to the draft, but those became useful quickly. It may be my machine, but Blogo doesn’t seem to be spell-checking. Minor, really. I’m looking forward to using it this semester.
- Networked Study | bavatuesdays – Groom, Downes, Feldstien debate OER, discovered by way of Mike Caulfield here: http://hapgood.us/2014/08/07/blue-hampshires-death-spiral/ saving in many places. – (edupunk cmooc lms diy connectivism. )
- Bogost – The Rhetoric of Video Games – Central reading for an erhet project of procedural rhetoric – (dh procedural_rhetoric e-rhet rhetoric )
- Faculty Governance in the New University | AAUP – – (none)
- MOOC Discussion Forums: barrier to engagement? – Long live distributed discussions. But consider that learning can be silent, too. "but that centralized discussion forums do not scale. For MOOCs to be more effective, we need to see different approaches to student engagement." – (cmooc mooc xmooc de discussions )
- Peer review, open access, and transparency. The way it should be…!? – It keeps you honest. – (open_source oer )
- A Domain of One’s Own | University of Mary Washington – U Mary Washington gets it right: "freshmen with their own domain names and Web space. Students will have the freedom to create subdomains, install any LAMP-compatible software, setup databases and email addresses, and carve out their own space on the web that they own and control" – (ple fyc )
- What’s next for educational software? – – (cmooc mooc )
- In Connectivism, No One Can Hear You Scream: a Guide to Understanding the MOOC Novice | Open Education | HYBRID PEDAGOGY – looking for a way to address overload and the timid learner in a cmooc. – (cmooc pedagogy )
- A pedagogy of abundance or a pedagogy to support human beings? Participant support on massive open online courses | Kop | The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning – – (cmoo pedagogy )
- The challenges to connectivist learning on open online networks: Learning experiences during a massive open online course | Kop | The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning – – (cmooc pedagogy )
- Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching – – (cmooc pedagogy )
- Creating the Connectivist Course ~ Stephen’s Web – – (cmooc digitalliteracy )
- Connectivism and Connective Knowledge ~ Stephen’s Web – – (cmooc )
- Surviving the Day of the MOOC – Weller's slidedeck on orienting edu energies towards MOOCs. – (cmooc xmooc oer )
- n+1: Can Venture Capital Deliver on the Promise of the Public University? – Short answer: no. Longer answer, "My students will thus come to understand that the for-profit logic of their online educational empowerment depends on the fact that while they are consuming information, they are also producing information that Coursera can correlate with other data to predict what prices students with particular profiles will eventually be willing to pay." – (cmooc satire )
- Straining the Quality of MOOCs: Student Retention and Intention – Case self study, well, anecdote, that nicely counters Stanford's/Coursera's quality contrivances. Like this: " I write to make a point: blaming the students is occurring at the highest and lowest levels of this system, and it is not helping us to learn how to build and use MOOCs. The founders of a major MOOC platform, Koller et al., say that students who don’t finish a course didn’t intend to do so. " – (xmooc )
- [toread] The Quality of Massive Open Online Courses by Stephen Downes | MOOC Quality Project – – (cmooc )