Sunday, February 8, 2015

February 8: OpenTeachingOU News Update

So, I feel all the more strongly about my #OpenTeachingOU experiment after reading the Babson report this week. If the majority of people in higher ed still believe that online courses are not "legitimate," then those of us who KNOW otherwise need to share what we know as openly and as widely as possible. So, I will carry on with #OpenTeachingOU as my hashtag at Twitter,while also collecting #OpenTeachingOU from Google+ and my blogs over at the #OpenTeachingOU Omnifeed. (Thanks, as always, to Inoreader for that fabulous tool!)

Below is my #OpenTeachingOU round-up for this week, and you can find previous round-ups here too. I am really pleased that I managed to tag at least one item every day this week, and the beginning-of-semester rush has settled down, so I can hopefully start reading more widely. I am badly behind on people's blogs, but blogs are patient: in the coming week, I will try to catch up on some of my favorites.

OU Folks

Youth Community Informatics Studio. Wonderful, very informative blog post from Colin Rhinesmith about his new community-engagement course, "Leadership in Information Organizations" where they are working with the Moore Public Library. It sounds exciting!

Adentures in Digital Humanities. The open set-up that Katherine Pandora is using for this "dream course" means there are new things we can all see and learn about every week. The group blogs, for example, are up and running!

What is Your Motivation for Learning? Very useful post from College of Liberal Studies about students and motivation. I like the idea of thinking about motivation from different angles... because it's true: different students are differently motivated, as are teachers too of course!

PRPubs Pinterest. At Twitter Adam Croom shared a Pinterest project that is part of his PRPubs class.

I would be glad to know of other examples of open teaching going on at OU this semester!

Beyond OU

Bad News for Online Learning in Annual Report & “Unsustainable” MOOCS are Full Steam Ahead. You will find lots of write-ups of the Babson report data, but the one that got to the issues that most concern me is this post from Debbie Morrison.

Online Teaching: A New Beginning. And here's a nice counter-point to the Babson report: a guest post at Michelle Pacansky-Brock's blog about an online instructor's explorations and discoveries.

What Are Your Favorite Faculty Development Blogs? I was so glad to see Debbie Morrison and Michelle Pacansky-Brock on this list from the Chronicle's ProfHacker blog, and I look forward to exploring and finding more!

Desperately Seeking the Unique Pedagogical Characteristics of Face to Face Teaching. Excellent post from Tony Bates turns the Babson report upside down: instead of asking online to prove itself, he is asking defenders of face-to-face to please explain just what exclusive claims they have to teaching efficacy. 

Coursera Sets Sights on Universities. Yes, the megalomania at Coursera never stops: they still want us to believe that their courses are so good that universities can use them instead of teachers. I kid you not. No need for in-house expertise. Just buy Coursera. Ka-ching.

Instructure Releases 4th Security Audit. This is not about teaching but it is a nice write-up from Phil Hill about the importance of transparency, and I think it is no accident that Instructure is being transparent about its security audits, just as Instructure built an LMS that allows instructors to decide whether their content is open or not.

Ford Foundation, Open Access and Really Sharing Knowledge. Excellent post from Nancy White about openness, something to read together with Phil's Instructure post above. As I see it, the closed design of D2L, where instructors cannot share their teaching or their teaching materials even if they want to do so, is probably the single biggest barrier to our pedagogical progress. So, again: another reason for #OpenTeachingOU. We've got to get out of the D2L lockdown and start sharing more online!

Does It Matter Whether Students Recognize What We Do As Teachers? This post from Pernille Ripp also reinforces my sense of why OpenTeaching is so important: it matters to our students too, perhaps more than any other audience! 

What if Contentment is the Answer? Beautiful post from John Spencer about how contentment can lead to more and better risk-taking: confidence, not complacency.

How Medium Is Building a New Kind of Company with No Managers. Lots of good analogies for education here: this reaction against dehumanizing styles of business management would also work very well as a reaction against dehumanizing education styles as well.

Engagement: I Do Not Think It Memes What You Think It Memes. Very thought-provoking post from Terry Elliott about engagement as something that must be reciprocal and not just stimulus-response (a bit like my post about interaction from last week... but with better memes, ha ha).

My Stuff

Storytelling Posts. I really like being able to share the student blog posts in a dedicated stream; this week I shared the stories coming in from the Myth-Folklore class. I also shared their reading diaries, and it is the stories in those diaries that provide the raw materials for their storytelling later in the week. Coming soon: the Storybook websites are taking shape for this semester, as are the Portfolios!

Spring 2015: Grace Period Reminder Tracking. This is the blog post where I'll be providing an overview of my "little data" experiment for this semester, trying different interventions with students who are chronically late with work for class. The post is updated now for Weeks 3 and 4.

And as an image this week, I wanted to share this great painting of a "colporteur" (17th-century France).  It showed up in one of the book-oriented Twitter feeds I follow, and I thought it was beautiful: I feel like a colporteur for my students, singing the praises of the books... but the books I offer are free! Whoo-hoo! Long live the public domain and the open Internet!

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