Showing posts from January, 2016

A way to visualize MOOC students...

Even though this semester is relatively calm, compared to last semester, I still find myself not writing as much as I think I would like.  I've set aside, temporarily, the book I was meant to have finished reviewing last October, on MOOCs, until the semester ends and I can focus on them a little more. One reason for the refocus of energies is EDDE 804. We are focusing on leadership in education, and I am finding myself spending a lot more time pondering the topic.  I was going to be "ruthlessly pragmatic" and just focus on the assessments, but the cohort members provide for some really interesting discussion and points to ponder.  Another thought that crossed my mind was this: am I over MOOCs?  There was a time when I used to check out coursera, edx, futurelearn, and the other not-so-usual suspects for new courses, however these days going to those sites seems more like a chore than anything else.  I've downloaded a whole bunch of videos from previous courses that

First attempt at recording lectures...

I feel like this took forever to do, but it's finally done! Last November we had a guest lecturer, Dr. Bessie Dendrinos , from the National and Kapodistrian Univerity of Athens, come speak to us on the subject of "Global Economy and the Urgent Need for Languages: American and European responses to foreign language learning exigency".  I recorded the video on a FlipCam (remember those?) and edited really quickly on Camtasia to add in some clearer slides.  The FlipCam isn't that bad.  I think a lavalier microphone and a tripod would do wonders for any future things I record.  The transcription (big thank you to Kathleen, Liz, and Laura) and the captioning on YouTube took a while since we're all new at this.  Let's see how the next one goes in terms of production

On prepping for a dissertation

I must be the only weirdo who inquires about "taking" a seminar before the 'logical' or programmed sequence of the seminar.  That said, for my doctoral program the final seminar (EDDE 806) is actually open to all EdD students (and alumni) so I have been on-and-off in this seminar since I started two years ago.  When I was in 801 it was easier to attend, so I probably attended 3-4 sessions.  The next two semesters, with 802 and 803 were more challenging, so I dropped from weekly sessions.  Now, with 804 on tap (formally) for this semester, it seems easier (and more conducive) to participate in 806 again.  My goal (even though it hasn't formally been approved yet) is to get as many of these reflections done and "out of the way" as possible so that I can focus on more organic community efforts later on.  So, without further ado, the reflection for last  evening's session.  The main presentation last evening was by Dr. Marguerite Koole of the Univ

Why we collaborate

In a MOOC a long time ago, in an internet far, far, away, a rag-tag team of starry eyed researchers got together to research about MOOCs (hey, I've got to setup an interesting getting together story, otherwise how are we going to get a movie deal? ;-)  ). All joking aside, back in 2011 the 3rd MOOC I participated in was a MOOC organized by Inge de Waard called mobiMOOC. I participated as a member, probably a 'memorably active participant', based on the categorization of participants we had in mobiMOOC, and near the end something crazy happened - there was a call for collaborative research! This was unsual since my mental model of academics is that they (we?) tend to just keep our toys/research for ourselves so that we can claim all the glory.  This wasn't like that. It was an open call to put together a paper based on the MOOC we had just participated in, which was really cool!  In the end we had a few of us working on this paper, which earned us a prize at the Mobil

Assessment in MOOCs

The more I read chapter in  Macro-Level Learning through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Strategies and Predictions for the Future , the more I am starting to feel like Anton Ego from the animated movie Ratatouille ;-)  It's not that I am aiming to write harsh reviews of the stuff I read, but I kind of feel like the anticipation I have for reading some published things about MOOCs just aren't met with the appropriate level of satisfaction from reading what I am reading. This time I am reviewing chapter 7, which is titled  Beyond the Phenomenon: Assessment in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) .  The abstract is as follows: MOOC course offerings and enrollments continue to show an upward spiral with an increasing focus on completion rates. The completion rates of below 10 percent in MOOCs pose a serious challenge in designing effective pedagogical techniques and evolving assessment criterion for such a large population of learners. With more institutions jumping on

eLearning, ePedagogy, MOOC MOOC!

Huzzah!  Half-way through  Macro-Level Learning through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Strategies and Predictions for the Future !  This time I am reviewing chapter 6, which is titled  Learning Theories: ePedagogical Strategies for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Higher Education .  The abstract is as follows: This chapter reviews various learning theories about e-pedagogical strategies for the effective use of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in higher education. E-pedagogical strategies refer to the various teaching methods or approaches used by educators when encouraging students to engage with online learning. An up-to-date broad knowledge of learning theories is required by educators to inform and inspire their teaching approaches. Before developing lesson plans, educators should have a clear idea of the learning outcomes which they hope the learners will achieve by engaging with the lessons, be they delivered on or off line. By knowing the desired learning outc

Internationalizing social work via MOOCs

First week of the new semester!  Last semester, with everything going on I decided to put off reviewing a book I told people I'd review, but for this semester I think I'll just forget ahead and get this done.  So, back for another review of a chapter in the book titled  Macro-Level Learning through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): Strategies and Predictions for the Future  (an IGI global title).  This time I am reviewing chapter 5, which is titled Internationalising social world education using Massive Open Online Courses .   The abstract is as follows: Internationalising the curriculum is a priority of universities worldwide and increasingly a focus of social work education. Social workers espouse principles of global justice and community development yet social work in Australia remains locally focused. A review of international and local trends in the literature on ePedagogy and social work education within the context of internationalising the social work curricu

Assessing the process or the product?

The other day I came across a post on ProfHacker written by Mah a B. where she talked a bit about her own teaching experiences and whether one assesses the process of learning or the product of learning.  I was thinking about this question in light of my own experiences as a learner, as a designer, and as an instructor who now has had experiences in introductory courses, capstone courses, and intermediate courses. Obviously there isn't a hard and fast rule about this.  In some courses, or parts of courses the final product matters enough so that it outweighs the grading component of the process.  My gut tells (and the educator) me that the process is really more important than the final product. However, my own acculturation into the field of instructional design snaps me back to SMART outcomes (you know, specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, and time-bound) wherein these goals are really about the product and not the process.  I suppose if you have the freedom to tweak t

MOOCs, facilitation, and sustainability

Just before my Athabasca semester starts I am trying to make headway in my Pocket 'to read' collection :-).  I had bookmarked this post by David Hopkins a while back where he asks for information about facilitation in MOOCs, and to some extent this runs into sustainability - something we briefly talked about in 2012 at UMass Boston when we hosted the MOOC sustainability symposium. In any case, the questions that David asks are interesting and important to consider, and I've been thinking about them on-and-off since I read his post, so here are some rudimentary, preliminary, working-thoughts. I should say that I am speaking more as an instructional designer and long-time MOOC follower, and not as someone who has developed and ran their own MOOCs. What are your thoughts on how we manage the course, the comments and discussion during the run, and the subsequent comments and discussion during re-runs? I think that the answer to this really depends on your philosophical s

Rhizo16 (planning) has begun...

...and along with it the usual cast of characters and their zany antics (picture a 90s cartoon here). The debate and brainstorming currently happening is how to welcome new members in a new MOOC when we've all started developing connections, bonds, and rhizomes together over the past couple of years.  Will anonymity work? New Groups? Delete old groups? Tea & Biscuits to welcome new members? Hmmmm... Simon Ensor's Anonymous Rhizo

Guilt free break?

I saw this on PhD Comics the other day... Right before New Year's, on Moodle, EDDE 804 opened up and was available to learners...there goes my guild-free break.  Now it's time to get a preview of what I need to do for class... The first two assignments are pretty straight forward (it seems).  The portfolio assignment is a little more nebulous.  A quick google search gives me some ideas of what previous cohorts have done, but I guess I need to start a scrap-book early in the semester to get ready for this last assignment...