Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Responding to Another Article About MOOCS

My Friend and Colleague Bob Cartelli sent this item about MOOCS over this morning from the Harvard Business Review: "Eight Brilliant Minds on the Future of Online Education"

 We are just discussing commenting on blogs in one of the online courses I teach this term. Though I tend to stay on the low-profile side, today I stepped into the comment area of that particular blog. I keep looking for some key questions to surface in the discussion about who will accept successful MOOC completion as course credit, what will be the cost of higher level assessment activities, and how students will be oriented and supported for MOOC success.

Probably what I might have established was how long I've been in online education and that some of these questions are certainly not new, they just haven't been addressed with MOOCS yet.
And if I'm uninformed, I hope to hear differently :).

 Cross-Posted Comment:

People attend higher ed for the sake of learning, to acquire social networks, and to gain employment skills. Self-directed learners have had mechanisms available to them under Credit for Prior Learning Assessments that translate the learning to credits at a given institution: Standardized tests like CLEP, challenge exams, and portfolio documentation.

 With MOOC as a viable addition, it remains to be seen which institutions will take a successful MOOC completion in transfer. Yes, I could gain the knowledge from MOOC and use that with one of the other PLA mechanisms, but the outright acceptance for credit is a different question. So beyond the learning, transfer, transcripts and credentialing are important issues. Additionally, some learning outcomes need more sophisticated assessment measures--who will provide that service at an institution and at what cost? Yes, we have TA's and yes, we have graders, and MOOC may well need those too.

 I understand that some higher models are currently in play and under study. I hope they will also look at who is successful, and how students are oriented and supported with such a model.

 PS. I have participated in two MOOCs and was mildly successful in one one them :).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Conference Proposals: Curation or Personal Learning Environment

As we think about conferences we plan to attend, it's not uncommon to think about what you will propose based on the themes listed in the call.

I'm looking at my favorite E-Learning conference right now and thinking about two topics, constructing personal learning environments and tools for curation.  Tools for the pedagogy is the emphasis at the ELCC conference.

I think a session on Personal Learning Environments would be a lot of fun and have significance because metacognition continues to be so important.I am thinking I could define PLE's formal and informal elements, mention how a particular learning goal defines the PLE, give examples and let participants create his or her own PLE diagram in the session. I recently created this as an assignment for a course and created a rubric as well, so I've done some of the background work already.

As for curation, I'm interested in the tools but also the best practices for curation. This stems from my long engagement with teaching academic citation skills and citation for presentations. So my own question is how do we teach students about attribution with the new curation tools.

Sharing with peers is the opportunity to learn more about the topic you're picking. As I think about my ideas about curation, I did a search on the terms "best apps for curation in higher ed" and found this very nice presentation--so, for starters, I'm sharing that here, and want to say thanks to Dr. Amy Antonio, Neil Martin, and Adrian Stagg who presented this at an Australian conference: