Miscellaneous

Here are 9 email newsletters about data… I think you’ll like at least 4 of them

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 5 hours 15 min ago

Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog, Sept 19, 2017

This list is focused mostly on data journalism, but it also overlaps into open data, and this is of significant interest here because one of the applications of open data is (or will be eventually) to feed directly into personal learning resources such as simulations, discussion rooms, and personal learning. Among the other resources, I would point in particular to the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN), which as the author reports "has been working in the field of open data for some time, and their newsletter taps into a global network of partners and projects to provide updates on events, initiatives, reports and tools."

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

We've failed: Pirate black open access is trumping green and gold and we must change our approach

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 5 hours 41 min ago

Toby Green, Learned Publishing, Sept 19, 2017

This is another article on Sci-Hub (beyond the one cited here) asserting essentially that illegal open access is succeeding because legal open access is failing. The author points to a recent OpenAire report (77 page PDF) identifying six roadblocks to open access what all need to be addressed: these include author and publisher incentives, transparency, pluralism, and infrastructure. The key reform needed, he argues, is unbundling. "If everyone could read all scholarly content for free, is there sufficient value in additional services to generate the revenues needed to fund both a read-only service and for those other elements of the scholarly communication process that, once unbundled, survive exposure to market forces?" The argument is that there is, if there is a larger readership, and this larger readership can come into existence only if there is access at no cost.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Subscription Learning as Performance Support Coaching

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 6 hours 11 min ago

Will Thalheimer, Subscription Learning, Sept 19, 2017

Will Thalheimer describes an interesting performance support application called Trek. "Using employee's smartphones’ sensors (camera, audio and video recorder, and GPS)... employees captured evidence of their critical actions at each step in their learning path. This evidence was submitted through TREK to each person's designated manager-coach. As each step was completed, managers were notified and were prompted to review their direct reports' submissions. Managers provided brief feedback--either written or in a recorded audio nugget--and this feedback was presented to the learners." The managers, meanwhile, are proivided with libraries of support materials and curricula to support their coaching. Thye employment of human managers in this role is probably just a stepping-stone to generate acceptance; the same task could be performed in the future by an analytics engine and/or AI.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

World Wide Web Consortium abandons consensus, standardizes DRM with 58.4% support, EFF resigns

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 6 hours 38 min ago

Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, Sept 19, 2017

Should digital rights management (DRM) be a world wide web standard? It's a tough question and so it's not surprising that the WWW Consortium (W3C) split almost down the middle on it. Now I've done work in DRM; I even have a patent in the area. But I have also argued consistently that DRM should be enforced in the resource, not the network. This decision violates that principle, and if implemented, would have the effect of converting the web from a public resource to a private network. Combine this with upload filters and there is end-to-end lockdown. This is what publishers want, and it's why they won't compromise. Their position should have been rejected. Their private interest does not outweigh public good.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Canada needs a national overhaul of university IP policies

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - 6 hours 57 min ago

Bart De Baere, Elicia Maine , University Affairs, Sept 19, 2017

According to the authors, young scientists and innovators have difficulty obtaining funding. This could be addressed by revising institutional intellectual [property (IP) rules to that they have full ownership of anything they create, even if they're working at a university (or government research lab?), which would attract investors and given them incentive to commercialize their innovations. In such a scenario, university technology transfer offices (TTO) could act like venture capitalists, providing the marketing and business development researchers often lack, in exchange for a stake in the innovation.An example of this is the University of Waterloo’s IP rights policy. Sitting where I sit, I see both sides of the argument. It would be nice to see government investments flow toward innovators, rather than to major corporations, as is currently the case. On the other hand, why should government investments end up in the hands of private enterprise at all? 

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Open Recognition and Its Enemies

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 15:08

Serge Ravet, Learning Futures, Sept 19, 2017

This five-part series has one of the worst opening paragraphs ever, and is quite loosely written throughout. Ultimately it addresses the issue of formal recognition of open badges. It's a frustrating read (stick to the point Serge!) but the author makes some good arguments worthy of consideration. Here are the parts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five. Serge Ravet (who should consider putting his name on his blog somewhere) points to the tension in the idea of open badges conferring formal recognition on informal learning. The idea of formal recognition should be contrasted with informal recognition. Only the latter captures the intent of informal learning. Formal recognition, by contrast, leads to such things as quality standards for badges, which ultimately would limit the cadre of badge issuers to a small set of recognized institutions. But instead of formally accrediting badge issuers, Ravet argues that issuers should be endorsed informally. The core question here is: what does it mean to formally recognize informal learning, and can this be done without undermining inform al learning, or casting it (and evaluating it) by the standards of formal learning?

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Timebomb: How The University Cartel is Failing Britain’s Students

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 13:38

Richard Tice, Tariq Al-Humaidhi, UK2020, Sept 19, 2017

The premise of this report (157 page PDF) is that British students are getting a poor return for their tuition fees, this largely because the entrenched interests of a university cartel limiting the potential benefits of a competitive system. The authors have no issues with the higher fees, but feel students should get more stuff for their money: "The more lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and seminars they receive, in general the happier they are with the value for money of their course." In response, the authors recommend the promotion of two-year degrees, more summer teaching, and a more flexible credit transfer system. This seems to be an extreme reform for what is in fact a fairly mild discontent; across 160 universities no satisfaction rating is less than 71 percent, and only the bottom 8 are below 80 percent. (p.31) That sounds like pretty good grades to me. The problem isn't the education. It's the fees. Via Jim Ellis. P.S. readers will notice that this report contains a great deal of white space - thre's an extra-wide left margin, and numerous pages are blank. I think that UK2020 could get a lot more value for money by removing the white space and offering the same report at half the length.

[Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Science, open access… and Sci-Hub

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 13:21

Enrique Dans, Medium, Sept 19, 2017

As I write, Sci-Hub remains active and accessible, despite an American court awarding damages against it. I'm still of the opinion that there is no particular reason why American law should prevail in international disputes. Sci-Hub is based in Russia, and if the action should be filed and heard there. It's probably too late to stop Sci-Hub in any case. Even if the site is shut down like Napster was, the closed-access articles are out there, and the Sci-Hub database will continue to exist in one form or another. "This is the beginning of the end for subscription scholarly publishing," said biodata scientist Daniel Himmelstein (here's their research) . "I think it is at this point inevitable that the subscription model is going to fail and more open models will be necessitated." 

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Member States to Commission: We don’t trust your claims that censorship filters are in line with EU law

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 13:02

Communia, Sept 19, 2017

Communia is a IP policy organization based in Europe. It advocates for limits to copyright and fairer terms for users. For example, Communia recommends that "any false or misleading attempt to misappropriate Public Domain material must be declared unlawful." In the current instance it is expressing concern about what it calls "censorship filters", aka "upload filters". These require that content hosting sites prevent the actual uploading of copyright material before it ever appears on the open web. It reports that the EU Council is expressing support for this idea. And it reports that member states don't trust such laws to respect existing laws protecting individual privacy and security. I am in agreement with Communia on this one. More from CopyBuzz. Via Open Policy Network.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Open Educational Resource 2017 Textbook List

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 14:53

Zachariah Claybaugh, Chelsea Stone, Sacred Heart University, Sept 18, 2017

This is, as the title suggests, a huge list of OER textbooks - 12 or so per page in this (42 page PDF), so maybe 500 texts, organized into subject groupings. What I wish (not to take away in any way from the effort this represents): the author names were written fully, rather than in the Lastname,I format; shot descriptions of each text to aid searching; database with harvest format so the list could be maintained (and used) on an ongoing basis. 

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

New presentation

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 14:39
, () Sept 15, 2017 [Comment]
Categories: Miscellaneous

A Design Guide for Open Online Courses

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 14:19

Dave Pratt, Seb Schmoller, David Jennings, Will Buckman, Matt Bush, David
Squire
, Nick West, David Jennings, Calderdale College, Sept 18, 2017

This is a really detailed (89 page PDF) exploration of the topic. "This guide, with a foreword by Maren Deepwell and Joe Wilson, is a comprehensive summary of how we went about creating Citizen Maths, an open online maths course and service. The guide shares our design principles and the techniques we used to put them into practice. Our aim is to provide – with the appropriate ‘translation’ – a resource that will be useful to to other teams who are developing online education initiatives." The guide follows through the implementation of a set of design principles, including an analysis of need, context, learning model ("Our aim is to give thousands of learners the feeling that they are in a one-to-one tutorial"), coherence and consistency, and sustainability. There's even discussion of the course logo, colour scheme, fonts, 'talking heads', 'talking hands', and 'talking applications'.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Brain as Prediction Machine

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 14:59

Julie Dirksen, Usable Learning, Sept 17, 2017

I ran across this concept last summer and let it slip by, but I don't want to overlook it. The idea is that the brain functions not as an intelligence or thinking instrument, but as a prediction machine. This article collects a number of resources that revolve around that idea.  This is important because the function of predicing can be very different, and the requirements much lower, than for intelligence or cognition. That said, I think Julie Dirksen minsinterprets the idea in her post, and in particular, every word in the sentence "our brains use embodied simulation to construct meaning" is wrong in its own distinct way (I should write an article on just this sentence one day). You don't need any of that cognitive overhead to make predictions. In all fairness though, she's summarizing a TED talk from Anil Seth, which is the source of some of the error. That sat, the post is worth a look, and the concept definitely worth a think.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

5 Design Steps Of Learner Engagement For Humans

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 14:35

Zsolt Olah, eLearning Industry, Sept 17, 2017

"This article," writes Zsolt Olah, "is about why you can’t motivate humans, and the 5 design steps you should go about it." Wait - you can't motivate students? There goes about ten tons of educational theory! But this proposition is advanced by Susan Fowler in her book on the topic. The idea is that you can't motivate them because they're already motivated. "People spend significant amount of informal learning time on YouTube, social media, forums; they’re asking peers constantly for answers. They are engaged and motivated," writes Olah. Ah, but the methodology that follows reads as something similar to Gagne's nine events (reduced to five). Grab attention, challenge them, engage them, then, um, motivate them, and finally, inspire! There is a useful link to a chapter on motivation from Julie Dirksen's book on learning design with a focus on four elements: technology acceptance, user efficacy, modelling and practice, and social proof.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 14:23

Kevin Thorn, YouTube, Sept 17, 2017

You might be interested in this presentation of what I would consider a folk theory of cognition. Presented as a video by Kevin Thorn, it describes two tracks of perception and information processing - words and images. These correspond to verbal and pictorial representations, first in working memory, then in long-term memory. Why, I wonder, would we separate knowledge into two distinct types? And where are the other senses, like tactile and kinesthetic? And why would learning be depicted as nothing more than memory? Anyhow. You might also be interested in Thorn's other videos, including a 19-part (so far) series of lengthy videos (22.5 hours total) on Storyline Live. Thorn also has a blog, but with only three posts per year he leaves the readers wanting.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

3 Short Videos On Creating Custom xAPI Statements For Storyline

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 14:01

Melissa Milloway, eLearning Industry, Sept 17, 2017

This is an interesting and useful guide describing in detail how to use xAPI. It thereby serves as a good way to understand xAPI as a concept. This is the second article in a series (see the first, from last March, on getting started with xAPI and Storyline).  In this article she shpws "how to create custom xAPI statements for Storyline, that is how to send data from Storyline triggers to your LRS." You need to develop the xAPI triggers at specific points in your resource, and then you can track how people are using it, whether they finished, and whether they replayed it. See more on the same topic from her blog (and pulling a live stream of the data from her example). Here's a bit more from HT2 Labs.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

The Future of Work: Intelligent Training That Adapts to Employee Performance

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 13:49

Rallyware, Sept 17, 2017

This is basically marketing content but I'm including it today as evidence of a wider trend in learning toward workplace performance support over formal in-class training. As the headline suggests, performance support needs to be context-aware, knowing not just what the learner is doing but also what they've done (and learned) in the past. According to the site, "Today’s workers want answers fast and have little patience for training that cannot be immediately applied. Just-in-time training (JITT) is one way to meet this need by providing easy access to up-to-date microlearning content." I'd suggest that this is what people in general want, not just workers (I have certainly seen a demand for it at the executive level). Having said all that, there's still a lot of manual intervention required to make such a system work. You need to define and gathaer data on company key performance indicators (KPI). And you need to define and gather employee performance and business data.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

The ‘internet of things’ is sending us back to the Middle Ages

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 11:59

Joshua A.T. Fairfield, The Conversation, Sept 17, 2017

I don't think this author is telling us anything we don't already know, but there's a nice analogy in the retelling. Basically, there are two points being made: first, our devices (collectively known as the Internet of Things (IoT)) are reporting back to advertisers and marketers through backchannels; and second, we do not own full rights to our devices, but merely license the software that is used to run them. The analogy is feudal: "In the feudal system of medieval Europe, the king owned almost everything, and everyone else’s property rights depended on their relationship with the king." There were some differences, of course, between the feudal system and today's reality. But it's an interetsing comparison.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

OA Dashboard feasibility study: Our findings and conclusions

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 11:48

Sarah Fahmy, Jisc scholarly communications, Sept 17, 2017

The idea of an Open Access (OA) dashboard is to automate some processes related to accessing and distributing open scholarly materials. This article reports on the outcome of an OA dashboard feasibility study (41 page PDF). The results are not encouraging, as it suggests a business case cannot be made. "Although there is a gap in terms of analysing data on OA, open data sources are not mature enough to power a dashboard and may undermine the validity of its outputs."

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

​Teachers Can Now Use IBM’s Watson to Search for Free Lesson Plans

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 11:17

Stephen Noonoo, EdSurge, Sept 17, 2017

IBM has unveiled "a smart search engine that uses Watson’s ability to parse natural language and make recommendations with the aim of accurately matching what teachers are really looking for." Interestingly, "Populating the search engine is a collection of more than 1,000 OERs—from sources such as Achieve, UnboundED and statewide orgs like EngageNY—hand-selected by math experts assisting the program." The product is called Teacher Advisor With Watson 1.0. 1,000 OERs isn't very many, so I'm thinking this is more of a 'stake in the ground' for IBM, marking territory it intends to begin developing.

[Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous
Syndicate content