Academic precarity and other-blaming
I think I am going to commission a saint painting (Byzantine style, of course) of Paul Prinsloo (I just need to find a clever Saint Epithet for him). Here is another though process sparked by something he shared recently on his Facebook. Paul shared this blog post without comment (I swear, sometimes I feel like this is an online class he's conducting and we're all participating in a massive
MOOC Cheater! I caught you!
Mon, Aug 31 2015 04:30 | 2cents, assessment, cheating, edx, eLearning, MOOC, onlineLearning, opinion, research, xMOOC
This past week the web was abuzz with new research to come out of Harvard and MIT on cheating identification in MOOCs, specifically xMOOCs hosted on the edX platform, but I suspect that any platform that collects appropriate analytics could see this used. The title of the paper is Detecting and Preventing "Multiple-Account" Cheating in Massive Open Online Courses and it's an interesting read.
Learning in a safe environment, and other educational assumptions (Part I)
Sat, Mar 14 2015 10:21 | #rhizo14, 2cents, CC, cMOOC, education, INSDSG, MOOC, opinion, research, sensemaking, vygotsky, wayfinding, xMOOC
It's been a few days since I started writing about the various reactions I had (and started noting in the margins ;) ) to a recent article from fellow MOOCers and MOOC researchers Frances and Jenny. I cut my previous post a bit shorter than I intended because it was getting long, and I didn't want it to go on and on. So this is a follow-up blog post to that original post with some reactions,
A few years worth of MOOC coverage...what does it tell us?
Wed, Jan 15 2014 05:00 | #altcred, cMOOC, collaboration, coursera, facepalm, MOOC, opinion, p2p, research, udacity, xMOOC
Back at the end of 2011 I started collecting research on MOOCs, pieces from Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle, "news items" from other popular media outlets (like wired.com and forbes) as well as blog posts from certain notable people who commented a lot on the subject of MOOCs. The idea was to spend a year (2011 to end of 2012) and see not only what the research says, but also what the sentiment
More uninformed opinions on MOOCs - and my take on them
Fri, Aug 30 2013 07:00 | 2cents, assessment, cMOOC, MOOC, opinion, pedagogy, retention, vygotsky, xMOOC
The other day, through some source I came across this "4 downsides of MOOCs" from LearnDash. I should have known better than to read a vendor's blog, but then again sometimes they surprise me. Anyway, the blog post seemed like link-bait because the downsides of MOOCs do not really seem that thought out. They are more reactionary than a deep pondering if the medium. So, here are my 2c on the issues
Tech use in the classroom
Before the new year came in, one of my linguistics professors sent me (and other classmates) an email looking for some feedback. The question was: How would you react as a teacher if your students texted, surfed the internet, or did other stuff on their computers during your class?Given that my classmates all come from diverse backgrounds (some in Higher Education, some in K-12, others
McCranky Friday ;-)
Welcome back to school!!!! I think today I may be channeling the Annoyed Librarian ;-)In any case, here is a response to a blog post on InsideHigherEd.com about Netflix and library collections. Now I have to say that I enjoy reading Josh's posts despite the fact that most of them induce a facepalm gesture. I guess the first thing that gets me about these blog posts is that no one bothers to read them
Blackboard buys WIMBA & Elluminate, the crowd goes wild!
Well, last night Blackboard went on the Borg trail again - resistance is futile, you will be acquired!This time around it's WIMBA and Elluminate that are up on the acquisition block. Some people have rejoiced at news of the acquistion while others have dissenting opinions (same link as the rejoice, just scroll down). From a business point of view I think that Blackboard did the right thing,
Learning and Theory (part 3)
Welcome back to the last part (for now) of the discussion on learning and theory inspired by a video blog that I saw recently (more on that in part 1).In the aforementioned video blog, the blogger (Steve Kaufman of "The Linguist on Language") said that Language learning depends on learner, not research. I suppose that when it comes down to it he is correct. Language learning (or any learning for
Obsolete Learning Technologies - NOT!
Every year (or at least at the end of a decade) people feel compelled to pronounce certain things obsolete - let's toss them by the way side and move on proclaim the pundits! This year is no different. Recently Inside Higher Ed had their own obsolete learning technologies list - which I obviously completely disagree with.Here's the bird's eye view:Scantron SheetsOverhead Projectors/TransparenciesClassroom
From e-learning to We-learning
OK, this one goes back a while (back to September as a matter of fact!)It's been sitting in my RSS starred items folder for a while waiting for me to do something with it. For the longest period of time I did not know what to do with it. The reason for this is that what the author writes seems so bleeping obvious (with the exception of the made up term "we-learning").I remember back in the day, when
I guess that by this point you've guessed that I am a language geek (among other types of geek). A week or so ago I was reading this opinion piece, titled Only English Spoken, on Inside Higher Ed.The author goes through a synopsis of historical liberal arts education, and the role that foreign languages played in it. The general view of the opinion piece (which you should read, by the way) is that
Intro to Instructional Design - what should it be? (part 2)
OK, so in the last post I covered the model to be used in an introduction to instructional design class. Now the model should not be the focus of the course. The model should be an overarching theme that can be used to tie other elements together, and to be used in producing a final project in the course.In an intro class I could expect the following:Introduction to some learning theories: Theories
Intro to Instructional Design - what should it be? (part 1)
In the past couple of months I've had some interesting discussions with colleagues and classmates about the introduction to instructional design class that we've taken in our instructional design program. It's interesting that people generally tend to fall into one of two camps: the anti-Dick & Carey camp, and the for-Dick & Carey camp.Before I go on, let me just say that our program uses the Dick
Anyone can do instructional design!
In these past couple of weeks I've seen a number of articles where people talk about Instructional Design as something a laySME (layman subject matter expert) can (or can't) do.First I saw Gina's post about whether someone should be doing ID even though they can. Gina makes some pretty interesting points about whether people should do instructional design even though they think they can. This lead
5 Reasons Microsoft will buy Blackboard
I saw this article on Inside Higher Ed recently. It's an interesting concept, but I don't really buy into it. Blackboard it toxic at the moment. Many people who use it absolutely despise it. Microsoft already has image problems, having one more image problem is not something that they need to fix their brand.If Microsoft were to buy Blackboard, they would probably buy them and end-of-life all current
The point of college, and other diatribes
This past week I saw an article on the BBC and a blog post on the Brazen Careerist network that go well together - like w(h)ine and cheese. Yes, the bad pun was intended.The BBC article centers around a woman in New York who is a jobless graduate and is suing her college because she's failed to get a job after graduation. As the BBC reports:She is seeking to recover $70,000 (£42,000) she spent on
Don't discount the old school tech just yet...
I came across this article (or blog post?) from a fellow Greek a while back.The topic is "Why Tablet PCs are better". Of course the natural questions is: better than what?When it comes to instructional technology I think that a lot of people go for what's new and shiny and forget that there is existing (or old school as I like to call it) technology that does the job right, and work without electricity!
The end of the University as we know it
I know, I know, this is a few weeks late - but better late than never :-)In any case, I was reading this Op-Ed piece on the New York Times. The thesis of this op-ed piece is that:Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields
The future of e-learning is social...
I don't rant often...or rather I hope I don't rant often, however I think this will be a a ranting post. I was reading Jane's e-learning blog, specifically a post on how the future of e-learning is social.ALL learning is social, at least all the learning had in a school, with an instructor and other students in the room. Recently I keep hearing about Web 2.0 and social learning and it amazes me to
No PowerPoint? Simply use Prezi?
For a few weeks now I've been using a piece of Web 2.0 software called Prezi.I read this blog post named Throw Away your PowerPoints, Simply Use Prezi, and I knew that I had to try it.To be honest, I really didn't read the blog entry carefully because now that I have used Prezi for a few weeks I know what this means. Ignatia (blog author) says:Prezi enables anyone to quickly build a multimedia rich
Colleges obsolete by 2020? Really?
Anytime a bozo takes the stage and proclaims something radical it seems to stir up the educational community. In similar vain an article circulated the interwebs a few weeks ago about David Wiley who is getting a ton of publicity over his comments that College will be obsolete by 2020. I suppose in David's case bad press is good press....In any case his idea that colleges will be obsolete by 2020
Denied! You can't follow me on twitter!
I was reading this blog post on Donald Clark's blog on the subject of twitter followers. Luckily the incidents that he describes are not happening to me with as much frequency - because my tweets are private. I follow about 50 people, and 40 people follow me. The people I follow I want to follow, and the people that follow me are people that I think are interesting and I would like to interact with.Of
Knowledge Overload - a response
I was reading an article called Knowledge Overload over at Inside Higher Ed about a month ago. It was quite an interesting article. I've personally experienced information overload in the last few years by discovering new blogs and information sources and it was interesting to see an academic perspective.I won't really go into the whole article, you should head over and read it if academia and academic
What's the point of College
In the past number of months I've been reading the Brazen Careerist, and I've seen a number of blog posts that can essentially be boiled down to this: "I could have learned what I learned in college on my own!" Now I've also seen a blog post on the UMassOnline Blog about the debate over three year colleges, and I see more connections.There are a few things that people should understand about college,
Are Instructional Designers still relevent?
I was recently reading through the post titled IDs - It's time for some seriously tough love when I came across the following closing statement:When you look at the job titles, you see things like content analyst, technical writer, screen writer, video producer, project manager, budget manager, evaluator, test-writer, statistician, graphic artist, web designer, content author, scripter, coder, analyst.
The changing face of the trainer
I was recently reading Jay Cross's article on the Chief Learning Officer on Getting Rid of the Training Department, followed by his post on New Roles for former trainers.The following quote summarizes the whole thing quite nicely:When my colleagues and I advocate cutting back on workshops and classes, we don’t suggest firing the instructors. Rather, we recommend redeploying them as connectors, wiki
The community manager - every online program should have one
I came across this article recently on Community Managers.For the past year or so, ever since I created a Ning community for the Instructional Design program, and helped/consulted on the creation of a Community for the Applied Linguistics online program, I've been advocating for a community manager for all online programs.What I've noticed is that there is a void in-between semesters, especially for
13 reasons why Higher Ed is a mess
I came across this article on the Chronicle of Higher Ed recently. It was an interesting read. I can't really speak to the financial information they give because I am not involved in that area of university management. I did however have a couple of comments on other topics...Millions of workers have lost their jobs in recent months. But tenured professors are hard to fire. And some powerful faculty
NY to Collect Sales Tax on Distance Education Courses...
...well it depends on what you mean by "Education"I was reading the UMassOnlineBlog the other day and I saw this article by a guest blogger. I thought to myself seriously? They are going to tax education? It drew me in, until I read that it wasn't really about Distance Education...The relevant piece of information here is this:The department asserts that an e-course offered by SkillSoft Corporation,
What is "good writing"
I came across this article the other day on the issue of Good Writing.While I do believe that most people skim read, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Should we really be teaching people to write for skim readers?In my opinion, good writing in contextual. Good writing for the web, is not necessarily good writing for a business journal, which is not necessarily good writing for a research report
Convicing others to blog - or not
I recently came across a blog post on engaged learning dot net called convincing others to blog.I read it and I found it quite interesting. As someone how's got four blogs already, I know that there is value to speaking about things you like and topics where you may be a subject matter expert. The time commitment to blog is not very taxing. If you know what you are talking about you can write a blog
How much do you remember from LANG 101/102?
Mon, Jan 12 2009 07:31 | foreignLanguage, language, languageLearning, opinion, recommendation, undergraduate
I was reading Revising and Defending the Foreign Language Major on InsideHigherEd the the other day when I had a small flashback to recent conversations that I've had with former classmates about their language learning experiences and the language retention that they have.In high school, I was required to take two years of a foreign language in order to graduate. I elected to take 4 years (coming
Modest Program Recommendations
OK, so it's the end of the semester, I've completed two whole classes in applied linguistics and I have spoken to many people about the program - classmates and faculty alike. I've gotten to find out what my classmates' plans are post graduation and so on. Some of my classmates are going into teaching (or remaining in teaching) while others like me are considering a PhD route.Now, the program is structured
If it's free, why pay for it?
Back to instructional & educational technology during the winter break.Over the past few months a number of things have happened:1. We've seen IT departments bitten by the budget shortfall bug, and IT departments are looking at how they can be lean and mean.2. We've seen colleges contemplating stopping services like email that students can get for free and often have prior to entering college.3. Boston