Posts

When MOOCs turn into Self-Paced eLearning...

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It is true that, as of this writing, there is much more serious stuff happening in the world today, both in the US and abroad, but this has been percolating in my brain for a while, so I thought I'd jot down some thoughts on one of my favorite topics: the MOOC. Now that I am done with my dissertation, and I've had a little time to rest my brain and refocus on what I want to geek out on, I've wanted to do a retrospective piece on MOOCs. I was going to call it a post-mortem  because I think that the time of the MOOC has passed. Don't get me wrong, I think there is still gas in the tank of companies like Coursera, Edx, and Futurelearn, but I wouldn't call them MOOCs. The innovative pedagogical stuff I saw early on doesn't quite seem to be there these days, with a focus going to AI, massification, and Machine Learning.   In any case, my idea for a post-mortem was particularly poignant because 2022 is the 10th anniversary of the year of the MOOC  (time flies...😮). T

Graduate Students as OSCQR reviewers

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In the beforetimes (summer 2019), I had access to some graduate assistant hours and I needed to find a project for them.  Since this group of graduate assistants was destined to become educators, I thought it would be an interesting idea to train them on the OSCQR rubric and have them be " reviewer 1" and "reviewer 2" on a few course reviews that I wanted to undertake. I took on the role of the instructional designer in this exercise (reviewer 3).  Now, I know that the faculty member who is teaching these courses also needs to be part of the conversation, but more on that later... My original goal for this exercise, beyond the actual review, was to conduct a collaborative autoethnography of the process of having graduate students conduct OSCQR reviews of courses that they had themselves had most likely taken as a learner. Content-wise the material should have been similar even if the instructors and modalities were potentially different.  Well, the Fall 2019 semeste

What Dual Modeing Taught me about Remote Work

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"I go into the office for collaboration" - the collaboration... I suppose the title should be " some of what I learned...," since I probably can't fit everything in a blog post, but let's begin and see where I end up ;-)   The TL;DR: be careful about the word "choice," while choice is good, you might get results that you didn't expect and are ill-equipped to handle. I follow a Twitter personality who evangelizes about the remote office. I admit, I am biased and lean toward positive views of the remote office and remote work in general.  This morning one of the Twitter posts went like this: ~~~~~~~ Personality: Old people: young people need the office for social contact Young people: actually we'd like to live closer to our friends and family Respondent 1 (toward personality): My 20-year old son old prefers to go into the office and doesn't enjoy working from home the one day a week. People need choice. Working from home is not for ever

Dr. Academic Generalist?

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Puzzle board generalist Over the past few months, this idea has been floating around in my head, but I haven't really found the words to describe my general ponderings, so here goes a freewriting activity that I hope makes sense... July will be the one-year anniversary from whence I passed my dissertation defense (yay!) and became a "doctor"👏 (not the 'damn it Jim!" kind😜).  Over the last few years, leading up to my dissertation defense, I had spent a lot of time becoming an expert in collaboration, and specifically in an open educational context. There was a little rhizomatic stuff there, but I need to go back and read more about it. I had also spent a lot of time building my expertise on the Community of Inquiry model before I abandoned that line of inquiry, as well as communities of practice, MOOCs, and other peripheral areas to collaboration and open ed.  One of my friends, who had already completed their doctoral journey a few years prior, told me to reall

Pondering the MOOC post-mortem

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash Back in December, I had an idea: 2022 is the 10 year anniversary since the "year of the MOOC," so why not write something about it? After all, open education and MOOCs are subjects that interest me a lot, still. MOOCs of course go back before 2012, and the year of the MOOC  in 2012 was really relevant in North America.  I've seen other proclamations for the year of the MOOC being 2013 or 2014, but that's in different contexts. Anyway, since it's 10 years from some  proclamation, and this year is actually one where I am free and clear from the obligations of dissertation writing, I thought it would be fun to revisit my old stomping grounds and do a 10-13 year retrospective research article (I need to get back into publishing somehow, no? 😂). I also have a title:  MOOC post-mortem: A decade(+) of MOOCs .  More on this title later. Anyway, I decided to start this project in a very predictable way.  I already had a treasure trove of re

Who moved my cheese?

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I was reading Twitter the other daaayyy (just picture someone from Letterkenny saying this😜) and I came upon yet another discussion that basically boiled down to online (or remote) versus face-to-face. I made the mistake of reading the replies🙄.   On the one hand, I was hoping that there would be a more nuanced discussion (and to be fair, I did get those types of replies from people I follow), but there were so many more about "online not being for everyone,"  about how people who teach face to face can "see if their points are landing and if learners are confused," or how "face to face is easier for building community" (maybe for you extroverts...🤨), or even "online works great if you love reading information off a screen and taking self-paced tests" (someone's learning like it's 1999...🤣) and other such (insert word/phrase of your choice). Obviously, the quotes are paraphrased. I became upset and irritated reading such non-sense pos

Wicked Smaht: ID PD as a branching path and not a ladder

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It's a Boston thing... Alright, this blog post has been sitting in my drafts for a while, since I am procrastinating writing that paper on video game preservation (a story for another blog), why no blog?😂. Now that the dissertation is done, and the doctoral degree is completed, I've been spending a little more time observing the ID-sphere on Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter and I have seen a fair number of threads that solicit feedback and advice regarding doctoral studies in the field of instructional design or something like educational leadership.  These two things come up often and it's no surprise given that that advertising for PhDs in ID and Ed Leadership come up even for me (including in Instagram where I basically mostly post nature photos!!!). It's usually certain for-profit universities that are responsible for the bulk of this advertising - at least for me, but I see certain names come up in the Facebook and Reddit threads as well. It's never your local st

Pondering the point of publishing as an "alt-ac"

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Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay Okay...okay!  I know, it's only been a couple of months since I defended my dissertation, and it's only been one month since it was totally official and on my transcript, but in thinking about further research I am simultaneously filled with both excitement and dread.  There are some things I want to pull out of my dissertation and polish up for an article, there are also threads on MOOCs and lurking that I want to return to, but I am feeling this sense of "oof😫" when I think about actually jumping in again.   It is quite possible that I need a much longer break, and maybe an actual vacation, but this reflection on research and publishing has gotten me to ponder the point of publishing as an alt-ac. Now that I am done with the doc program, many people ask if I'm going to pursue a tenure position somewhere. It's an interesting thought (neither appealing nor unappealing), but then the question does make me reflect on what I d

Cut the bull: The demise of the Baccalaureate has been greatly exaggerated

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  Courtesy of Redbubble After one-too-many "news" posts on IHE about plagiarism and "rigor" I decided to stop subscribing to IHE's RSS feed.  Idiocies that used to be a comment left in an actual news article (one which you could ignore) now have been promoted as opinion pieces on IHE.  To put it quite simply the junk-to-treasure ratio is now completely off on that site and there is no longer value to keep checking it as part of my regular news feed. That said, there was an article back in August (wow, a month went by!) by Ray Schroeder that I wanted to respond to. The article is titled Demise of the Baccalaureate Degree  and it provokes the reader with the following lede "Overpriced, outdated and no longer required by an increasing number of employers, is the baccalaureate in a death spiral?"  Let me just say that this is BS, right now. Go ahead and read it, if you'd like, and come back after that. It's disheartening to see a leader in distance

Pondering on counteroffers

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I don't often get to put on my HR/management/talent development hat, but I came across this interesting tweet this past week that got me thinking .  I started to write a tweet reply to it, but it got too lengthy (so here we are - back in the blog😁). A week or so ago I met with some former colleagues and mentors (folks who've already retired), which also reminded me of the mini scramble when I resigned a position years ago, and when counteroffers were considered. The text of the tweet (for posterity) is as follows: Resigned today. Current employer is scrambling to counter.  This is my PSA to those with the power to promote - don’t wait until your best employees want to leave to give them an offer that shows you value them. I couldn't agree more with the sentiments expressed by the tweet.  When someone resigns they most likely have another job already lined up and are least likely to take you up on your counteroffer. At this point, you've already lost your valued employ