Sunday, November 9, 2014

News Round-Up: November 9

I learned my lesson last month: weekly round-ups are better! So, I'm guessing Becky will be doing one soon for Academic Tech blog (which is my usual cue to do my round-up), but I'm going to try to do the round-up weekly now and, even better, I will be doing it not just from my G+ stream (as I used to do), but using my brand-new Inoreader feed that pulls together my posts both at G+ and Twitter and Pinterest! Because Inoreader has given me a much better way of keeping track of stuff (esp. Twitter stuff), the list is really long for this week! But that's good: out of the hundreds of items in the consolidated feed, I pulled the things I think I really might want/need to come back to in future. And since plenty of them are Connected-Courses-related, I've labeled this post as #ccourses also. Old round-ups? They're all here.

Federated Education: New Directions in Digital Collaboration. Incredibly important material here from Mike Caulfield; I've only had time to skim this. I'm hoping the colearning unit coming up in Connected Courses will give me a chance to really consider this in depth and talk about it with others.

Beyond filter failure: the downfall of RSS. FANTASTIC read. I am so in love with RSS... and so frustrated to see the poor use we have made of this amazing technology.

Open by default. Sadly, it takes enormous effort at my school to open anything up: in particular, you can't open anything inside the LMS. The coffin is nailed tightly shut. As I mentioned in the previous post, all the syllabus are shut up in the coffin, limiting their enormous value. Sigh. Maybe the moves being made in the way of open scholarship, open access for publications and data, will eventually trickle down to the world of teaching where open is just as essential for our success.

The Babson OER Survey and the Future of OER Adoption. Very helpful thoughts from David Wiley here. I think we can and SHOULD be looking more at OER rather than at online courses and learning management systems. If we want to work with faculty on things of real value to them, OER is the way to go.

Beyond the Blog. I love what Edward O'Neill and his colleagues at Yale are doing with this! Wow!

LMS=AOL. I'm sharing Jonathan Rees's great blog post here via the link to Phil Hill's share at Google+ where a good discussion ensued, some very useful "agreeing to disagree" that went on here.

Tracing Successful Online Teaching in Higher Education: Voices of Exemplary Online Teachers. Like Mike's piece above, this is one I really need to go over in detail. The experiential basis of the approach really appeals to me!

Strategies for Designing an Effective Online Courses. Lots of down-to-earth, nitty-gritty from Jen Ebbeler about her online course development experiment (she's a wonderful person to follow at Twitter; that's how we first connected).

How to Humanize Your Online Class. Fantastic stuff here from Michelle Pacansky-Brock.

Alec Couros: The Connected Teacher. Wonderful interview with Alec Couros about what we really are building as we interact in these ephemeral social spaces online. It gets off to sort of a slow start but keep listening: they build up to some fabulous observations, very inspiring.

Creating an (Online) Community of Learners. A useful list of the goals and tools from a teacher at Morehead State. I really enjoy learning about what different teachers are doing in their classes!

Some Lessons I’ve Learned from Teaching Online. I have reached some very different conclusions than Adeline Koh, and in our back-and-forth about this, she suggested I write something up for the Medium space she is curating for online education. I hope to do that soon!

Help! I am teaching online. Great advice here! In short: Learner Empathy: Take an Online Course; Face the Fear: Start Learning and Connecting; Keep Learning and Tweaking Your Course: Perfection is Not a Requirement.

Notes to my sleep-deprived self. I loved this post from Robert Talbert, esp. this part: "I can construct beautiful lessons that are demonstrably effective in helping students to learn, but if I act like a jackass in the process and make people feel stupid or small, then what good is it? They will know calculus – and hate it. And the core idea that makes higher education really viable – the formation of a relationship between a student and ideas, and between students and professors – is forfeited, sometimes even with just one outburst of anger on my part that could have, should have been controlled. Trust is an extremely fragile thing."

An Affinity for Asynchronous Learning. A wide-ranging take on asynchronous learning from Maha Bali and Bard Meier. I call myself the "Queen of Asynchrony" for a reason! It is the form of teaching and learning that I find the most powerful and useful, especially for courses that focus on reading, writing, and creating new content, as my courses do.

Connected Learning. And here is a wide-ranging piece on connected and social learning from Inside Higher Ed. So much good stuff here, especially this item: quote "In the cyber realm, words matter more than physical appearance, body language, eye contact, gestures, and other social cues. Authority in online communication depends more on the power of ideas than on those things that matter highly in face-to-face communication: an attractive appearance, a resonant voice, a dynamic or charismatic personality."

RSA Animate - Re-Imagining Work. Fantastic piece on working online with big implications for teaching/learning online also. Transcript too if you are in a hurry. :-)

Elinor Ostrom’s 8 Principles for Managing A Commmons. The "commons" is not original to digital, and there are some great lessons learned here from the way commons work out there in the world.

Was Skinner Wrong? Operant Conditioning & Down-Voting in Online Communities. I am ambivalent about upvoting on communities, but I do not like downvoting as I have seen it lead to all kinds of negative behaviors. That anecdotal impression of the bad effects of downvoting is reinforced by the results of this study.

Where Did Soul-Sucking Office-Speak Come From?. This is a pervasive problem in education, too, especially in education technology circles. Argh! And a related article: Brands of Nonsense.

The Good, The Bad, and The Elephant-Shaped Bell-Curve Farm Bias. I really appreciated Alan Levine's blog post about extreme reactions to complex systems, which is exactly why I value over at my school; my comments at G+ about that.

What We Cannot Learn from the Udacity/GT Partnership. Excellent observations from Rolin Moe: quote "If we continue to design our efforts and initiatives on the success of a handful of professional programs, the result will be history repeating for the large percentage of students underserved and underrepresented in existing and online higher education."

Learning From Autodidacts. In short: "Research suggests that being able to regulate one's own learning is not a natural tendency for most people."

How is the "Testing Culture" Changing Our Approach to Formative Assessment?. Very important question here from Bernard Bull. The numerification of everything is very depressing to me; students need real feedback about real tasks, not numbers based on jumping through multiple choice hoops.

5 Myths About Online Learning. Another one from Bernard Bull. This should be old news by now... but myths die hard. And a related article about people's lack of awareness of about online education: My Technological Dream of Carpe Diem.

On Assessing Student Learning, Faculty Are Not the Enemy. Great article at Inside Higher Ed about the perils of top-down assessment initiatives.

Want to succeed? You need systems not goals. Although in some ways it's just a rhetorical distinction, there's something important here I think. I'm pretty much totally a "systems" person when it comes to both teaching and learning. I'm thinking this might be useful to share with students too!

Connected Learning Design Principles. Great stuff here that goes way beyond the usual mind-numbing checklists that sometimes pass for course design: open participation, learning by doing, challenge, and interconnectivity.

Join me in Co-Learning with Connected Courses. A great write-up from Mia Zamora about the Colearning Unit coming up in Connected Courses over the next two weeks. I am very excited for this one!

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