Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken — by Clay Shirky

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This is the background to the entire conversation around higher education: Things that can’t last don’t. This is why MOOCs matter. Not because distance learning is some big new thing or because online lectures are a solution to all our problems, but because they’ve come along at a time when students and parents are willing to ask themselves, “Isn’t there some other way to do this?”

MOOCs are a lightning strike on a rotten tree. Most stories have focused on the lightning, on MOOCs as the flashy new thing. I want to talk about the tree.

Imagine picking a thousand students at random from among our institutions of higher education. Now imagine unpicking everyone at one of US News‘ Top 100 liberal arts colleges or universities. You’d expel anyone from the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT. Anyone from from Emory or Rice. Anyone from Vanderbilt, Clemson, Drexel. Anyone from the famously good state schools—UMass, Virginia, the California universities. After ejecting those students from your group, how many of the original thousand would be left?

About 900.

 

graphs

 

 

 

From DSC:
Houston, we have a problem.

Curbing the cost of college: Coursera wins approval to offer online courses for credit for under $200 — from techcrunch.com by Rip Empson

Excerpt:

Up until now, the startup has not offered degrees or credits for its online classes, which has meant that Coursera classes have existed mostly as a way to pursue supplementary or continuing education — not as part of degree programs. But that changed today, as Coursera announced [last Thursday morning] that five of its courses have been approved for “credit equivalency” by the American Council on Education (ACE). This means that students who complete these five courses can receive college transfer credit at institutions that accept ACE recommendations.

So, importantly, Coursera’s new credit equivalency doesn’t automatically mean that every university it has partnered with automatically guarantees credit for the approved courses; instead, institutions have the option to accept or decline credit. In other words, it’s up to them.

Also see:

Creative learning on mass, or the MIT MOOC– from daveswhiteboard.com by Dave Ferguson

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Just this morning, I came across MIT Media Lab’s announcement for its Learning Creative Learning online course. You can read about it or skim the outline to make your own judgment; I’m enjoying the laid-back description, which tracks with my previous massive open online course experience:

  • “This is a big experiment. Things will break. We don’t have all the answer.”
  • “We hope that participants will jump in as collaborators rather than passive recipients.”
  • “Check out our shiny new platform. Actually, don’t, because we didn’t build a shiny new platform.”

How NOT to design a MOOC: The disaster at Coursera and how to fix it — from onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com by Debbie Morrison

Excerpt/update:

Note: I’m also enrolled in Coursera’s E-learning and Digital Cultures, with University of Edinburgh, which is so far excellent.  What I wrote in this post is exclusive to the course Fundamentals  of Online Education: Planning and ApplicationI also completed Introduction to Sociology, through Coursera last year which was quite good.

Update:  This course is  now ‘suspended’. Participants received this email February 2,  at 4:17 pm (PST).  “We want all students to have the highest quality learning experience. For this reason, we are temporarily suspending the “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application” course in order to make improvements. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. We will inform you when the course will be reoffered.”

.

From DSC:
There will be many more disasters I’m sure. But as with learning, failure is to be expected (some would say mandatory) and learning is messy. This is especially true when technological change and innovation are moving at ever-increasing speeds.

The questions that comes to my mind after reading this are:

  • We still need to experiment — but how do we experiment with MOOCs on a smaller scale?
  • How can we keep things manageable?
  • Can bloggers help in sharing what’s working and what’s not? (Like Debbie did.)

.

 

The pace has changed -- don't come onto the track in a Model T

 

 

From DSC:

In real estate, one hear’s the mantra:
Location. Location. Location.

In higher education, I have it that we’ll be hearing this for a while:
Experimentation. Experimentation. Experimentation.

Consider the following reflections on Steve’ Kolowich’s solid article, The new intelligence (from InsideHigherEd.com)

Excerpt:

And for the largest public university in the country, it is hardly fiction. Arizona State University has become ground zero for data-driven teaching in higher education. The university has rolled out an ambitious effort to turn its classrooms into laboratories for technology-abetted “adaptive learning” — a method that purports to give instructors real-time intelligence on how well each of their students is getting each concept.
.

 

From DSC:
Besides being used in blended learning environments…some predictions:

  • These technologies will become integrated into what MOOCs eventually morph into and provide a significant piece of the assessment/guidance puzzle
  • Such tools will be a part of one’s future learning ecosystem
  • Such tools will be part of interactive, massively open online educationally-related games
  • Such tools will be integrated into personalized learning agents — spiders/recommendation engines that scan the web for relevant items that one needs to complete one’s cognitive gaps in a subject/topic
  • They will be accessible from your living room as well as from your mobile devices
  • They will integrate into web-based learner profiles

It’s the sort of thing I was trying to get at with this graphic from 3 years ago:
.

Like a mechanic...

 

Please don’t misunderstand me, the human mind is far beyond the complexity of an engine. But I still think that there will be more tools & technologies developed that will help the teachers/professors in their efforts to guide students into the knowledge of a discipline.

I beseech the corporate world to get involved more here — and not with the end goal of earning profits — but rather, with the aim of making the world a better place and giving a huge gift to the generations yet born. 

I urge the corporate world to reach into their deep pockets (1.X trillion in cash at this point in time) and team up with our youth/teachers/professors/instructional designers/programmers/etc. to develop sophisticated, educationally-related, engaging games that are relevant to the world that our youth will be growing up in; and/or create interactive simulations that provide more choice/more control to the learners. 

I urge more of the corporate world to join Knewton and Pearson and allocate some significant resources to help develop the next gen learning tools.  I’ll bet that we’ll be amazed at what can be produced! Your daughters, sons, granddaughters, and grandsons will really appreciate the work that you did for them!!!

 

 

SanJoseStatePlus-UdacityPartnership-Jan2013

 

Also see:

Excerpt:

Today Udacity is thrilled to announce a partnership with San Jose State University to pilot three courses — Entry-Level Mathematics, College Algebra, and Elementary Statistics — available online at an affordable tuition rate and for college credit. To my knowledge, this is the first time a MOOC has been offered for credit and purely online. Much credit for this partnership goes to Mo Qayoumi and Ellen Junn, president and provost of SJSU, and to the five fearless SJSU professors who have chosen to work with us at Udacity to explore this new medium. The offices of Governor Brown and CSU Chancellor White have also been critically important to this partnership for their leadership and expediency. Last but not least, I want to personally thank our great Udacians who, like everyone on this list, have worked endless hours to drive innovation.
Over the past year, MOOCs have received a lot of attention in the media and education circles mostly because so many students are taking advantage of the course for free. Predictions that MOOCs would fundamentally change higher education often revolved around the fact that the courses have unprecedented reach and affordability.

 

From DSC:
Given that such “Walmarts of Education” (i.e. solid learning at a greatly reduced prices) continue to develop, what’s our/your plans for responding to this trend? How are we/you going to compete?  What’s our/your vision and strategy?  By the way, you can look all you want to for data — but at the end of the day, it’s likely with this sort of thing that you won’t find all of the data that you require to make a decision. Examples:

  • When I began working for Kraft Foods in 1990 (brought in to roll out email to 66 plants at the time), I believed in the power of email when few others did. Email was viewed as “fluff” and it would never be used for solid business practices; management put the project on hold. But I kept working with email at Kraft — trying to get others to use it. If you looked for data back then, you wouldn’t find it. But by the time I left Kraft in 1997, thousands of people could communicate with thousands of other people throughout the world — within minutes.
    .
  • When Alexander Graham Bell introduced the telephone, what data would support the success of his invention?  I suppose you could have pulled some data on the usage of the telegraph, but even then, vision would have had to trump the data (the ancestor of Western Union rejected his invention, as they questioned why anyone would need/use a telephone when there was already the telegraph in usage).
    .
  • Such technological developments often are not so easy to back up with data; they require some vision, experimentation, and risk taking.

 

Nine rules for stifling innovation — from blogs.hbr.org by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

  1. Be suspicious of any new idea from below — because it’s new, and because it’s from below. After all, if the idea were any good, we at the top would have thought of it already.
  2. Invoke history. If a new idea comes up for discussion, find a precedent in an earlier idea that didn’t work, remind everyone of that bad past experience. Those who have been around a long time know that we tried it before, so it won’t work this time either.
  3. Keep people really busy. If people seem to have free time, load them with more work.
  4. In the name of excellence, encourage cut-throat competition. Get groups to critique and challenge each others’ proposals, preferably in public forums, and then declare winners and losers.
  5. Stress predictability above all. Count everything that can be counted, and do it as often as possible. Sweep any surplus into master accounts, and eliminate any slack. Favor exact plans and guarantees of success. Don’t credit people with exceeding their targets because that would just undermine planning. Insist that all procedures be followed.
  6. Confine discussion of strategies and plans to a small circle of trusted advisors. Then announce big decisions in full-blown form. This ensures that no one will start anything new because they never know what new orders will be coming down from the top.
  7. Act as though punishing failure motivates success. Practice public humiliation, making object lessons out of those who fail to meet expectations. Everyone will know that risk-taking is bad.
  8. Blame problems on the incompetent people below — their weak skills and poor work ethic. Complain frequently about the low quality of the talent pool today. If that doesn’t undermine self-confidence, it will undermine faith in anyone else’s ideas.
  9. Above all, never forget that we got to the top because we already know everything there is to know about this business.

 

From DSC:
The above posting reminds me of the phrase…”culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

On the flip side of things, see:

Tagged with:  

Jan. 17, 10 a.m. EST:
The winners of the News Challenge: Mobile

Jan. 18, 12:30 p.m. EST :
Hear the winners talk about their projects via live webstream at www.knightfoundation.org/live.
The presentations are part of a gathering at Arizona State University on the future of mobile media.

To stay updated, follow @knightfdn and #newschallenge on Twitter.

 


 

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding the best breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding – and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.Innovators from all industries and countries are invited to participate. Previously run once a year, the Challenge is running three times in 2012, to more closely mirror the pace of innovation. Each round has its own theme.

 


 

With a special thanks for the above resource going out to my sister, Sue Ellen Christian, Associate Professor of Journalism at Western Michigan University; and if I may put in a plug for her work, please see my sister’s latest book:

.

 

 

Colleges lose pricing power — from the WSJ by Michael Corkery

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The demand for four-year college degrees is softening, the result of a perfect storm of economic and demographic forces that is sapping pricing power at a growing number of U.S. colleges and universities, according to a new survey by Moody’s Investors Service.

Facing stagnant family income, shaky job prospects for graduates and a smaller pool of high-school graduates, more schools are reining in tuition increases and giving out larger scholarships to attract students, Moody’s concluded in a report set to be released Thursday.

.

From DSC:
To me, this is just another way of saying the higher education bubble is popping.  I think the bubble may pop at different times for different institutions, but the overall picture is clear: Higher ed will either reinvent itself — and hopefully quickly — or it will lose a portion of its relevance and place in society (how much is ultimately lost depends upon how much higher ed can experiment, innovate, and reinvent itself).

Also relevant here:

 

The year ahead in IT, 2013 — from InsideHigherEd.com by Lev Gonick

Excerpt (emphasis by DSC):

The functional organization model makes it increasingly more difficult for IT on campus to be a meaningful partner and contributor to the strategic future of the University if and as it gets painted into the corner of being an expensive infrastructure cost center.

The alternative models to the functionally organized IT organization are many. The challenge for IT leaders is to cede a modicum of control and embrace the need to experiment in new, more porous, organizational models that facilitate and support the co-production of innovative solutions that meet the needs of higher education moving forward. Becoming a solutions-focused and internal consulting organization is at the core of what I take to be the opportunity for IT in higher education.

From DSC:

If other staff, faculty, students, and members of administration see everyone from the IT Department — and the IT Department as a whole — as only the folks who “install Microsoft Word and keep my PC running” — then we are in for some real trouble ahead. 

Endeavors originating out of — or significantly enabled by the IT department — have the potential to create massive new revenue streams. For example, this can be seen in  the growth of online learning these last few years and will most likely be true (at least in a significant part) for what MOOCs morph into.

Taking a cue from other industries that have gone to bat against the Internet, if you were the person in charge of picking members of the team that’s responsible for the future vision and strategies of your organization, who would you pick to be on your team?

.
asdfsadf

From DSC:
The other day, I mentioned how important it will be for institutions of higher education to increase the priority of experimentation. But, for a variety of reasons, I believe this is true for the K-12 world as well. Especially with the kindergarten/early elementary classroom in mind, I created the graphic below. Clicking on it will give you another example of the kind of experimentation that I’m talking about — whether that be in K-12 or in higher ed.

 

DanielChristianJan2013-ExperimentsInCustomizedLearningSpaces

 

From DSC:
I’m trying to address the students that are more easily distracted and, due to how their minds process information, have a harder time focusing on the task at hand.  In fact, at times, all of the external stimuli can be overwhelming. How can we provide a learning environment that’s more under the students’ control? i.e. How can we provide “volume knobs” on their auditory and visual channels?

Along these lines, I’m told that some theaters have sensory-friendly film showings — i.e. with different settings for the lights and sound than is typically offered.

Also see — with thanks going out to Ori Inbar (@comogard) for these:
.

 

A relevant addendum on 1/10/12:

TryBeingMe-Jan2013

 

From DSC:
In this series of periodic postings re: experimentation (see here and here), this week’s Consumers Electronics Show prompts me to think about different types of experiments, prompting such questions as:
.

  • When will we see more educationally-related second screen apps?
    .
  • How might this type of setup dovetail with MOOCs provided by institutions of higher education? With MOOCs offered by the corporate world?
    .
  • What sorts of technologies will weave their way into what could be offered here?
    (The following possibilities come to my mind: Artificial Intelligence (AI), learning agents, recommendation engines, course or topic playlists, web-based learner profiles, data mining/analytics, videoconferencing, educational gaming, virtual tutoring, BYOD, and/or cloud-based computing. Other…?)
    .
  • Will Internet-enabled marketplaces and exchanges — between learners and teachers — become commonplace?
    .
  • Will technologies involved with endeavors like IBM’s Watson or with Knewton be deployed in this kind of convergent environment? If so, what sorts of doors/job opportunities/new skillsets would that open up or require?
    .

.

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

.

Some relevant items on this include:

Flingo reveals Samba, a first of its kind dual interactive TV and second screen platform — from pandodaily.com byasdf

Excerpt:

This week at CES in Las Vegas (the Consumer Electronics Show), San Francisco-based Flingo will release the latest version of its platform, dubbed Samba, aimed at changing this. Samba will make four-year-old Flingo one of the first to offer a combined Interactive TV and Second Screen experience.

“We saw a surge of Smart TV and tablet adoption in 2012, but realized that a seamless TV experience across all screens was missing,” says Flingo co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin, formerly of BitTorrent. “Samba will blur the lines between linear television and the Web.”

Flingo is unique in that it uses video, not audio to identify what content is being viewed…

Samba offers viewers the ability to actively engage with programming in real-time through their primary screen. This can take the form of polls, social conversations, recommendations, or consumption of related media. In the case of Second Screens, aka internet-connected laptops, tablets, and smartphones used simultaneously while watching TV, the company can offer an even wider array of complementary content and engagement, such as aggregated social feeds relating to live programming or an ability to watch past episodes of a live show. This can all be delivered across multiple screens, in concert.

 

Also see:

Smart TV Alliance adds Panasonic and IBM to its fold, lays bare new SDK features -- Sean Buckley

 

Also see:

 

samsung smart tv ces 2013

 

Kevin Smith/Business Insider

 

More tangentially, but still relevant:

  • McGraw-Hill to debut adaptive e-book for students — from blogs.wsj.com by Shalini Ramachandran
    Excerpt:

    The SmartBook…works like this: All readers essentially see the same textbook as they read for the first five minutes. But as a reader answers review questions placed throughout the chapter, different passages become highlighted to point the reader to where he or she should focus attention.

 

From DSC:
The other day, I mentioned how important it will be for institutions of higher education to increase the priority of experimentation. Clicking on the graphic below will give you an example of the kind of vision/experiment that I’m talking about.

(Though, more practically speaking, to operationalize this type of vision would actually require a series of much smaller experiments; I just wanted to present the overall vision of how these pieces might fit together).

 

DanielChristian--Jan2013-Experiment-with-Apples-Ecosystem

NOTE:
This 11″x17″ image is a 10MB PDF file, so it may take some time to appear.
Feel free to right-click on the graphic in order to download/save/print the file as well.

 

Also relevant is this upcoming event from educause:

 

1/8/13 addendum resulting from a Tweet from a great colleague, Mr. Travis LaFleur (@travislafleur), UX Designer at BiggsGilmore

 

 

Developing a MOOC-inspired course — from the User Generated Education blog by Jackie Gerstein

Excerpt:

During Fall, 2012, I developed and taught a graduate course entitled, Social Networked Learning, for the Boise State University’s Educational Technology Program.  Most of the students were in-service K-12 educators. I provided an overview of the learning activities for this course in two previous blog posts.

Sample student projects from this course can be viewed at http://learni.st/users/jackiegerstein/boards/4710-social-networked-learning.

This was a new course in educational technology.  As is true for many of us using educational technology in the classroom, we are experimenting with how technology can enhance the learning experiences of our students.  Sometimes we have failures, often times we have successes.

Also see Jackie’s posting:

 

 

 

 

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

© 2019 | Daniel Christian