My reflections on “MOOCs of Hazard” – a well-thought out, balanced article by Andrew Delbanco


From DSC: Below are my reflections on MOOCs of Hazard — from newrepublic.com by Andrew Delbanco — who asks:  Will online education dampen the college experience? Yes. Will it be worth it? Well…


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While I’m not sure that I agree with the idea that online education will dampen the college experience — and while I could point to some amazing capabilities that online education brings to the table in terms of true global exchanges — I’ll instead focus my comments on the following items:

 

1) Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are recent experiments — ones that will continue to change/morph into something else.
They are half-baked at best, but they should not be taken lightly. Christensen, Horn, Johnson are spot on with their theories of disruption here, especially as they relate to innovations occurring within the virtual/digital realm.  For example, the technologies behind IBM’s Watson could be mixed into the list of ingredients that will be used to develop MOOCs in the future.  It would be a very powerful, effective MOOC indeed if you could get the following parties/functionalities to the table:

  • IBM — to provide Watson like auto-curation/filtering capabilities, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, as well as data mining/learning analytics expertise, joined by
  • Several highly-creative firms from the film/media/novel/storytelling industry, who would be further joined by
  • Experts from Human Computer Interaction (HCI)/user interface/user experience design teams, who would be further joined by
  • Programmers and interaction specialists from educational gaming endeavors (and from those who can design simulations), joined by
  • Instructional designers, joined by
  • The appropriate Subject Matter Experts who can be reached by the students as necessary, joined by
  • Those skilled in research and library services, joined by
  • Legal experts to assist with copyright issues, joined by
  • Other specialists in mobile learning,  3D, web development, database administration, animation, graphic design, musicians, etc.

It won’t be long before this type of powerful team gets pulled together — from some organizations(s) with deep pockets — and the content is interacted with and presented to us within our living rooms via connected/Smart TVs and via second screen devices/applications.

2) The benefits of MOOCs
  • For colleges/universities:
    • MOOCs offer some serious marketing horsepower (rather than sound pedagogical tools, at this point in time at least)
    • They are forcing higher ed to become much more innovative
    • They provide great opportunities to build one’s personalized learning networks, as they bring forth those colleagues who are interested in topic A, B, or C
    • They move us closer to team-based content creation and delivery
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  • For students:
    • They offer a much less expensive option to go exploring disciplines for themselves…to see if they enjoy (and/or are gifted in) topic A, B or C
    • They provide great opportunities to build one’s personalized learning networks, as they bring forth those colleagues who are interested in topic A, B, or C
    • They provide a chance to see what it’s like to learn about something in a digital/virtual manner

3)  The drawbacks of MOOCs:
  • MOOCs are not nearly the same thing as what has come to be known as “online learning” — at least in the higher ed industry. MOOCs do not yet offer what more “traditional” (can I say that?) online learning provides: Far more support and pedagogical/instructional design, instructor presence and dialog, student academic support services, advising, more student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction, etc.
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  • MOOCs are like drinking from a firehose — there are too many blogs/RSS feeds, twitter feeds, websites, and other resources to review.

4) It would be wise for all of us to be involved with such experiments and have at least a subset of one’s college or university become much more nimble/responsive.

 

Also see:

40 free world flags icon sets — from hongkiat.com by Michael Poh

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Meticulous Blueprint Chalk Typography

Meticulous Blueprint Chalk Typography (by Liz Collini) –– via Katie Hosmer at mymodernmet.com

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Adobe announces Creative Suite 6 and Adobe Creative Cloud on 4-23-12

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Adobe announces Creative Suite 6 and Adobe Creative Cloud on 4-23-12

 

.Also see:

From DSC:

  • This last piece from David Nagel addresses my fears and concerns with our current emphasis on standardized tests, common core standards, etc.  The emphasis is on STEM and can lead to a one-size-fits-all type of education that doesn’t allow each student to identify and pursue their own passions enough.

 

Addendum on 5/2/12:

 

 

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100 ideas that changed Graphic Design [Thorne]

100 ideas that changed Graphic Design — from coolhunting.com by James Thorne
The most influential concepts in the history of the industry

Excerpt:

In the new chronologically ordered book “100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design“, Steven Heller and Véronique Vienne explore the most important moments in an industry they themselves helped to define. Part of publisher Laurence King‘s popular “100 Ideas” series, the combination of symbols, techniques, archetypes, tropes and trends represents some of the major creative explosions that continue to inspire an array of visual mediums today. The scope is broad but intelligently refined, connecting all aspects of graphic design, from the age-old technique of text ornamentation to the relatively nascent appearance of pixelated images and digital type.

Another excerpt from book description

New in the “100 Ideas that Changed…” series, this book demonstrates how ideas influenced and defined graphic design, and how those ideas have manifested themselves in objects of design. The 100 entries, arranged broadly in chronological order, range from technical (overprinting, rub-on designs, split fountain); to stylistic (swashes on caps, loud typography, and white space); to objects (dust jackets, design handbooks); and methods (paper cut-outs, pixelation).

Written by one of the world’s leading authorities on graphic design and lavishly illustrated, the book is both a great source of inspiration and a provocative record of some of the best examples of graphic design from the last hundred years.

Also see:

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VideoCopilot.net

My thanks to Mr. Tim Pixley, for posting this resource out on LinkedIn.

Be aware of the light source hitting your screen — from Digital Photography Schoolby Peter West Carey

 

Which also points to:

40 free premium stock images to spice up your education blog — from EduDemic

From DSC:
I also like istockphoto.com — very reasonable for pricing. I’ve heard Blue Vertigo is a good place to start as well.

Some other ones I used to keep track of — several of which are NOT free — as well as some potentially interesting/helpful sites to you — are:

Why Angry Birds is so successful and popular: A cognitive teardown of the user experience — from Pulse > UX by Charles L. Mauro

Excerpt:

Simple yet engaging interaction concept: This seems an obvious point, but few realize that a simple interaction model need not be, and rarely is, procedurally simple. Simplification means once users have a relatively brief period of experience with the software, their mental model of how the interface behaves is well formed and fully embedded. This is known technically as schema formation. In truly great user interfaces, this critical bit of skill acquisition takes place during a specific use cycle known as the First User Experience or FUE. When users are able to construct a robust schema quickly, they routinely rate the user interface as “simple”. However, simple does not equal engaging. It is possible to create a user interface solution that is initially perceived by users as simple. However, the challenge is to create a desire by users to continue interaction with a system over time, what we call user “engagement”.

What makes a user interface engaging is adding more detail to the user’s mental model at just the right time. Angry Birds’ simple interaction model is easy to learn because it allows the user to quickly develop a mental model of the game’s interaction methodology, core strategy and scoring processes. It is engaging, in fact addictive, due to the carefully scripted expansion of the user’s mental model of the strategy component and incremental increases in problem/solution methodology. These little birds are packed with clever behaviors that expand the user’s mental model at just the point when game-level complexity is increased. The process of creating simple, engaging interaction models turns out to be exceedingly complex. Most groups developing software today think expansion of the user’s mental model is for the birds. Not necessarily so.

Other key items discussed:

  • Simple yet engaging interaction concept
  • Cleverly managed response time
  • Short-term memory management
  • Mystery
  • How things sound
  • How things look
  • Measuring that which some say cannot be measured

 

From DSC:
What Apple is able to do with many of their hardware and software products, what Charles describes here with Angry Birds, what Steelcase did with their Media:Scape product’s puck — and other examples — point out that creating something that is “easy” is actually quite hard.

 

Design tips — from blog.99designs.com

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Are touchscreen tablets effective design tools? — from SmashingMagazine.com

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Lead Image in Are Touchscreen Tablets Effective Design Tools?

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Smashing Styluses in Are Touchscreen Tablets Effective Design Tools?

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5 creative places to find textures

5 creative places to find textures — from MediaLoot.com by Tony Thomas

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find creative textures

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