Week 5 - Learning Objectives - Open Education and MOOCing

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Rebecca

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Jul 24, 2011, 12:43:04 PM7/24/11
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This week I've decided to focus on the "open education" topic and
specifically to research and reflect more about MOOCs. It has being
apparent to me that I need to do some more reading about what research
has already been done about MOOCs, so that I have a better
understanding of where my contributions to the field might fit.

To begin my exploration of MOOCs, I thought I'd share why I MOOC. More
specifically, what draws me to the MOOC in general and what keeps me
motivated to post and share my reflections. I've posted my reflections
on my blog at: http://rjh.goingeast.ca/2011/07/24/week-5-learning-objectives-why-i-mooc-edumooc/

The post was inspired by the narratives that were shared in "The MOOC
Model for a Digital Practice" report by McAuley, Steward, Siemens, and
Cormier available at:
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdavecormier.com%2Fedblog%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FMOOC_Final.pdf&rct=j&q=mooc%20model%20for%20digital%20practice&ei=3zksToaSLInY0QH8v7DkDg&usg=AFQjCNH9dATnqqYQFguBvQGeEInJZ2Qv6Q&sig2=4fiD2eiR_jnAZgW9HjyZuA&cad=rja

I recommend the report as it gives a good sense of what MOOCs are
about (or were about).

What are your objectives for this week?

Cheers,
Rebecca

Apostolos K.

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Jul 25, 2011, 3:19:43 PM7/25/11
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My Goal for this week is to get a more complete picture of Open
Education.

This year I've been quite interested in designing a course on Open
Education (for graduate students) and I have a lot of ideas in mind;
including OER, OLI, OCW, Digital Storytelling, MOOCs and PLEs (were
those enough acronyms or what? :-) ). I'm interested in seeing what
people think the salient points for all of the above are, getting some
good sources, some best practices, and (perhaps?) crowd-source a
syllabus for such an Open Course (Open Course, Open Syllabus, eh?) or
at least get enough ideas that writing the syllabus will be as easy as
eating pie ;-)



On Jul 24, 12:43 pm, Rebecca <rjho...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This week I've decided to focus on the "open education" topic and
> specifically to research and reflect more about MOOCs. It has being
> apparent to me that I need to do some more reading about what research
> has already been done about MOOCs, so that I have a better
> understanding of where my contributions to the field might fit.
>
> To begin my exploration of MOOCs, I thought I'd share why I MOOC. More
> specifically, what draws me to the MOOC in general and what keeps me
> motivated to post and share my reflections. I've posted my reflections
> on my blog at:http://rjh.goingeast.ca/2011/07/24/week-5-learning-objectives-why-i-m...
>
> The post was inspired by the narratives that were shared in "The MOOC
> Model for a Digital Practice" report by McAuley, Steward, Siemens, and
> Cormier available at:http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBYQFjAA&url=http%...

Scott HJ

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Jul 26, 2011, 2:30:30 AM7/26/11
to eduMOOC
My goal this week is to collect my thoughts around what I'm doing
here. Why am I attracted to the MOOC format as a structure for
learning? The presence of so many talented and diversly informed
people clearly enhances the experience but there are factors that draw
us here beyond the social--a "property" of the MOOC environment that
begs discovery.

Why am I here? So far in all the time I've spent MOOCing the same
answer never repeats. Specifically, this week I'd like to understand
my reaction to a recently attempted course I dropped out of. The
material was fine and the old-school correspondence format that in the
past had never bothered me before just seemed empty. Oddly, I had the
impression that though I cared about the course, it didn't care about
me. Never feel that way in a MOOC. More like it won't leave me in
peace long enough to complete a thought.

..and read the report.

Scott

On Jul 24, 10:43 am, Rebecca <rjho...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This week I've decided to focus on the "open education" topic and
> specifically to research and reflect more about MOOCs. It has being
> apparent to me that I need to do some more reading about what research
> has already been done about MOOCs, so that I have a better
> understanding of where my contributions to the field might fit.
>
> To begin my exploration of MOOCs, I thought I'd share why I MOOC. More
> specifically, what draws me to the MOOC in general and what keeps me
> motivated to post and share my reflections. I've posted my reflections
> on my blog at:http://rjh.goingeast.ca/2011/07/24/week-5-learning-objectives-why-i-m...
>
> The post was inspired by the narratives that were shared in "The MOOC
> Model for a Digital Practice" report by McAuley, Steward, Siemens, and
> Cormier available at:http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBYQFjAA&url=http%...

buf...@verizon.net

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Jul 26, 2011, 9:46:21 AM7/26/11
to edu...@googlegroups.com
 You must include the work of Richard Stallman. Rebel Code by Glyn Moody is a nice read.
 
 
On 07/25/11, Apostolos K.<a.koutr...@gmail.com> wrote:
My Goal for this week is to get a more complete picture of Open
Education.

This year I've been quite interested in designing a course on Open
Education (for graduate students) and I have a lot of ideas in mind;
including OER, OLI, OCW, Digital Storytelling, MOOCs and PLEs (were
those enough acronyms or what? :-) ). I'm interested in seeing what
people think the salient points for all of the above are, getting some
good sources, some best practices, and (perhaps?) crowd-source a
syllabus for such an Open Course (Open Course, Open Syllabus, eh?) or
at least get enough ideas that writing the syllabus will be as easy as
eating pie ;-)



John Graves

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Jul 27, 2011, 12:42:05 AM7/27/11
to edu...@googlegroups.com
Aiming to develop "a course on Open Education (for graduate students)" may, unfortunately, be oxymoronic. Open Education has the potential to follow a different paradigm that might not involve such well-defined things as a "course" or set of students ("graduate" of what?).

Start with this Idea:
Lots of learners, available all the time, everywhere.

How are the learning needs met?
Current “closed” system:
Time for each lesson is set at certain time of day, in a certain learning sequence, for a certain set of students.
Student needs are addressed by a single teacher for each subject.
Pre-requisites are set via filters – only those who have passed certain courses can have access to the higher level courses. Success = not failing.
The system gives assessment relative to a peer group which is out of student control. Students may suffer from systematic bias if their birthday falls in the wrong month (see Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell).
The student must refer back to the system to determine status (obtain transcripts). 
 
Alternative “open” arrangement:
A lesson can be used by anyone at any time in any sequence.
Student needs are addressed by a collaboration of teachers and fellow students. [crowd sourcing]
Pre-requisites are managed via remediation – those who lack pre-requisite knowledge are directed to resources which fill in the knowledge gaps.  Success = mastery.
The student has understanding and control of their own learning process and portfolio. They can compare themselves to peers they select (Facebook). They can present their work to demonstrate qualifications, rather than an institution’s evaluation of their work.
 
Conventional educational experiences have given us a set of assumptions about learning which are not necessarily true.  On-line learning offers a collection of step changes which, taken together, may lead to the development of a different "open" system featuring:
 
1. All the time instruction. While it has always been true that a dedicated student could study at all hours, the time for one-on-one or many-to-one student-teacher interaction was limited and synchronous. On-line systems allow for more (or even exclusively) asynchronous interactions. Look at Khan Academy's millions of views-to-one teacher ratio or Wikipedia's audience of 400 million users per month versus 150,000 active contributors (thousands-to-one ratio).
 
2. As a corollary to 1, no set start and end times for a course. The conventional teaching approach assumed front-loaded lessons would provide sufficient knowledge for subsequent applications/work. Now knowledge changes so fast it can become obsolete before it can be applied. Consequently, learning may need to become much more continuous and just-in-time, requiring a different skill set than the traditional memorize/regurgitate/qualify approach conventionally required of students. Teachers need to be prepared to collaborate and build on one another's work (as at Wikipedia), rather than try to reinvent the wheel for their course for their students over and over again. 
 
3. As a corollary to 2, no set group of students. If a time is not set for a course, then the parameters of who is "in" the course are also blurred.  Look at this eduMOOC. We have about 300 folks who put their contact details in a spreadsheet, some 2600 who expressed interested through registration and an potentially much larger number who will "participate" later on and learn from/about what happened here. 
 
4. Everywhere instruction. Previously, access to a teacher required physical access to a school or money enough to pay the teacher to visit the home or workplace. Now that access can be delivered on-line at far lower cost (with regard to the physical delivery of bodies to buildings).
 
5. As a corollary to 4, new economics. Compare the music industry. At one time, you could only hear music live. Then you could hear it recorded, but you had to purchase the physical recording. Now all you need is the proper equipment and a free or low price contract for unlimited, on demand access: http://www.spotify.com/int/ 
 
6. Something for everyone. The lessons available on-line are, like the music available, very diverse.  The long tail of instructional content.  Look at http://www.ehow.com/ or http://www.instructables.com/ or http://www.guitartricks.com/ or http://rouxbe.com/ (cooking) ...

Rebecca

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Jul 27, 2011, 11:40:13 PM7/27/11
to eduMOOC
Hi John
You mention the new economy wrt open learning. I think that s going to
be one of the biggest sustainability challenges with open learning
models. When it is new and cool pe pole will research it and volunteer
to make things happen but when it isn't new will that still happen? W
ho is going to pay for coordination and events? As much as people may
want for connections to occur organically, open courses provide a
structure that brings people together. Someone needs to be behind that
bringing together and it can't be done for nothing forever. Those that
organize will eventually need some form of economic insentive to
continue - the bills still need to be paid.
Cheers
Rebecca

Apostolos K.

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Jul 28, 2011, 1:07:22 PM7/28/11
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Thanks for the insight!

As oxymoronic as it may be, one still needs to use existing structures
to change the system, otherwise change might be impossible given that
most education students don't know of the world (or movement?) of Open
Education. Thus, a course on Open Ed is necessitated.

Anil

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Jul 28, 2011, 11:55:29 PM7/28/11
to eduMOOC
Hi Apostolos,

Great initiative! See a wikieducator experiment at
http://wikieducator.org/Qualification_Framework

Warm regards

Anil
http://www.apletters.blogspot.com
http://www.wikieducator.org/User:Anil_Prasad

Scott HJ

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Jul 29, 2011, 1:52:49 AM7/29/11
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Rather than struggling to find an application for open education and
then
spending hours listing all the places where it fails at every measure,
I'm
interested in openness as a quality that informs an educational
environment.
How we define an "open" approach or attitude that has purpose, some
sort of
goal setting and an expectation of presence through participation and
visible contribution? I feel I'm falling short of understanding
openness
when I measure it only by where it can't be used.

Rebecca, understand your concern over the sustainability of MOOCs
when
sponsoring them has real costs. I paid tuition and received credit for
CCK11
through the U of Manitoba and felt perfectly comfortable to be
surrounded by
fellow learners who were there at no cost. I honestly don't believe
the
quality was diminished by having so many non-tuition students with no
declared "purpose" for being there. In fact, the level of presence may
have
been enhanced by having traditional power structures broken down.

My MOOC-for-credit experience may not translate into points on a
resume
(though it does count towards a certificate in emerging technologies).
That
said, the learning in a unique atmosphere was certainly worth paying
for in
effort and money.

Scott
> > available, very diverse.  The long tail of instructional content.  Look athttp://www.ehow.com/orhttp://www.instructables.com/orhttp://www.guita...) ...- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

John Graves

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Jul 29, 2011, 3:32:37 AM7/29/11
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Indeed. I'm being both speculative and provocative suggesting that courses might go away. But horses went away (at least as a major means of transport) when a mechanized alternative came along, so why not courses? I just wouldn't want to miss the on-line learning train ...

John Graves

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Jul 29, 2011, 3:42:18 AM7/29/11
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I would point you to stackoverflow.com as a model for sustainable, crowd-sourced open learning / knowledge exchange. The customers are ... wow, $6 million dollars of investment means much more than that in revenue ... I had not actually looked into this before. Do you know of any schools which have grown to have 19 million students within 3 years?
 

What’s the story behind Stack Exchange?

In 2008, Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky created a site called Stack Overflow and brought together millions of computer programmers from around the world to help each other with detailed technical questions. That site was a phenomenal success, so, after securing a $6 million investment from Union Square Ventures, they created the Stack Exchange Network and started launching new sites in August of 2010. There are now 57 separate sites and over 19 million unique visitors (as of January, 2011) —and growing!

John Graves

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Jul 29, 2011, 5:47:32 AM7/29/11
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Here is a link to a video of a 2009 talk by Glyn Moody at an open source software conference.

John Graves

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Jul 29, 2011, 5:55:57 AM7/29/11
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On further investigation, this analogy is really offensive. I did NOT mean to imply that the s**t is piling up: 

From Horse Power to Horsepower

"Enticed by high speeds, point-to-point travel and the flexibility to roam across the
urban landscape, the public adopted the new innovation in droves. Contemporary
observers calculated that cars were cheaper to own and operate than horse-drawn
vehicles, both for the individual and for society. In 1900, 4,192 cars were sold in the US;
by 1912 that number had risen to 356,000. In 1912, traffic counts in New York showed
more cars than horses for the first time. The equine was not replaced all at once, but
function by function. Freight haulage was the last bastion of horse-drawn transportation;
the motorized truck finally supplanted the horse cart in the 1920s."

John Graves

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Jul 29, 2011, 6:08:41 AM7/29/11
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Although student loan debt is apparently piling up out of control! Yikes!  Perhaps the "cheaper to own and operate" lesson from the horse-to-car transition carries a lesson for the classroom-to-on-line-learning transition after all ...

... and just as we now have 10x the number of cars per capita as we had horses per capita, perhaps in a world of on-line learning we'll have 10x as much learning as in the classroom learning era.

John Graves

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Jul 29, 2011, 6:21:49 AM7/29/11
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Here's a quicker one. Glyn Moody and panel on YouTube, Jan 7, 2011: Roundtable - Open Democracy: redefining democracy? chaired by Glyn Moody, Technology Writer

Scott HJ

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Jul 29, 2011, 8:05:30 PM7/29/11
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Thanks John, the video is quite good at explaining openness as a
social value and equalizer. My first thought about the introduction of
open courses within traditional institutions was how would grad
students who had committed themselves to huge student loan loans feel
about "sharing" classroom space with non-tuition paying "open"
students? Would they feel cheated or devalued? Played for fools by the
system for paying where others ride for free? Shows how far the notion
of education being a commodity has drilled into my consciousness. Or
maybe the notion of education as a value has moved from a public value
to private advantage as in society needs doctors and somehow it's been
decided that doctors need BMW's and country club memberships and it is
the duty of society to provide these perks by restricting access to
medical education through high tuition and this whole mechanism has
just happened and now we can't but understand the purpose of learning
as a means to a higher income first, last and always?

Found a quote in "A Pattern Language" 1977 Christopher Alexander under
the heading Network of Learning:
“...another network, not physical like transportation, but conceptual,
and equal in importance, is the network of learning: the thousands of
interconnected situations that occur all over the city, and which in
fact comprise the city’s “curriculum”: the way of life it teaches its
young.”

This suggests to me that openness is a natural consequence of human
activity. It doesn't have to be free, most activities carry an
expectation of reward. But at the same time most activities need to be
practiced in the open in some form or they would disappear... Better
stop here. Thanks for the link.

Scott

On Jul 29, 4:21 am, John Graves <john.graves.at....@gmail.com> wrote:
> Here's a quicker one. Glyn Moody and panel on YouTube, Jan 7, 2011: Roundtable
> - Open Democracy: redefining democracy? chaired by Glyn Moody, Technology
> Writer <http://youtu.be/3bdCPnt2Yeo>
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