Designing Higher Learning — from learnlets.com by Clark Quinn

Excerpt (additional emphasis DSC):

I’ve been thinking a lot about the higher education situation, specifically for-profit universities. One of the things I see is that somehow no one’s really addressing the quality of the learning experience, and it seems like a huge blindspot.

I realize that in many cases they’re caught between a rock and a hard place. They want to keep costs down, and they’re heavily scrutinized.  Consequently, they worry very much about having the right content.  It’s vetted by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and has to be produced in a way that, increasingly, it can serve face to face (F2F) or online.  And I think there’s a big opportunity missed.  Even if they’re buying content from publishers, they are focused on content, not experience. Both for the learner, and developing learner’s transferable and long-term skills.

 

From DSC:
I commented on Clark’s blog how much I appreciate him putting that posting out there and helping us think through things.  I like his emphasis on creating an effective, engaging learning experience. This is why I think it will take a team-based approach in the future, as no one person has all of the skills to provide this type of experience. Clark alluded to this as well in his posting when he discusses some of the various roles out there (SME, ID, etc.). It reminds me of a graphic I did back in 2008 (with higher ed in mind):

 

Table-2015

 

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
      .
  • 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:

ECAR2012

 

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Example slides from today’s presentation:


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 ECAR2-2012

 

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ECAR3-2012

 

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 ECAR4-2012

 

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ECAR5-2012

 

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ECAR6-2012

 

 

From DSC:
I also support one of the questions which, paraphrasing, asked, “Do you pulse check students’ expectations?

 

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Simulation beyond perspective — from noemalab.eu by Pier Luigi Capucci
The discourse of holography as a tool for imagery, art, media studies and science.

Excerpt:

Holography suggests a new visual universe within a culture where the visual simulation is the most effective communication system; and it let us reflect about the need for a more comprehensive definition of “image”. We can believe that future images will also be holographic and that we shall communicate more and more through them, in a delicate balance between presence and absence, immediacy and remoteness, present and past, materiality and immateriality, matter and energy.

 

Frog Disection app from Punflay

Per Nicola Santiago at Punflay:

  • We develop educational iPhone/iPad apps for kids. Our Frog Dissection app which is being used in many schools was awarded the Mark Twain’s Ethical Science award by PETA and was also selected as the Best Science app by IEAR. We also have a Rat Dissection app in the store.

Side reflection from DSC:

This type of work shows the power of using teams of specialists. One person can’t do it all anymore — we need to face up to this fact and stop thinking that simply providing more professional development is the answer. I realize that using textbooks brings in teams of specialists — but it seems to me that we still think that simply by providing more professional development, our teachers and professors will be able to meet the constantly (and quickly) rising bar. That type of approach has outlived its usefulness and it just won’t cut it anymore; we do our students a major disservice by clinging to that outdated, status-quo-based model.

How can we move to using more teams of specialists to create and deliver our educational materials?

Nice work to the teams at Punflay in India!


 

 

 

Multimedia Transformation -- Special Report from Education Week

Excerpt:

In science and math classes across the country, digital tools are being used to conduct experiments, analyze data, and run 3-D simulations to explain complex concepts. Language arts teachers are now pushing the definition of literacy to include the ability to express ideas through media. This report, “Multimedia Transformation,” examines the many ways multimedia tools are transforming teaching and learning as schools work to raise achievement and prepare students for careers that require increasingly sophisticated uses of technology.

Instructional Design for Simulations — from the University of Central Florida

Training and educational programs are now incorporating stand-alone and PC-based simulations and instructional (video) games to enhance human performance. The result has been a growing demand for simulation, game-based training, and instructional systems in corporate, government, and education sectors. The Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design for Simulations takes an interdisciplinary approach to prepare educators, instructional designers, human resource personnel, and training specialists in corporate, industry, and educational settings. Students will acquire the skills to successfully work with engineers, graphic artists, computer programmers, and game developers to design training and instructional systems, focusing on the pedagogical aspects of stand-alone and PC-based desktop training and educational simulations and games. To learn more, visit the Instructional Technology website at: http://education.ucf.edu/insttech.

Required Courses: 15 Total Credit Hours
Courses are available both in Web-based and mixed mode (reduced seat time) formats. This program may be completed entirely online.

EME 6613 Instructional System Design
EME 6601 Instructional Simulation Design for Training and Education
EME 6614 Instructional Game Design for Training and Education
IDS5717C Introduction to Modeling and Simulation
DIG 6432 Transmedia Story Creation

For information contact:
Atsusi Hirumi, Ph.D., Associate Professor
College of Education…

From DSC:
I realize that many in education don’t view Bill and Melinda Gates with a great deal of admiration or respect. However, they and their foundation are about to make a hugely positive difference in — and contribution to — education. I’m sure that these grants will help create solutions that will feature professionally-done, highly-engaging, interactive, multimedia-based, team-created educational content. I hope that many of the solutions will feature sophisticated back-end engines that will allow for highly personalized/customized learning.

This is huge because such solutions are highly scalable. Plus look at who is involved at this point:

  • Pearson
  • Educurious Partners
  • Florida Virtual School
  • Institute of Play
  • Reasoning Mind
  • Quest Atlantis
  • Digital Youth Network
  • EDUCAUSE

Also see:

Also see:

 

A hugely powerful vision: A potent addition to our learning ecosystems of the future

 

Daniel Christian:
A Vision of Our Future Learning Ecosystems


In the near future, as the computer, the television, the telephone (and more) continues to converge, we will most likely enjoy even more powerful capabilities to conveniently create and share our content as well as participate in a global learning ecosystem — whether that be from within our homes and/or from within our schools, colleges, universities and businesses throughout the world.

We will be teachers and students at the same time — even within the same hour — with online-based learning exchanges taking place all over the virtual and physical world.  Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) — in the form of online-based tutors, instructors, teachers, and professors — will be available on demand. Even more powerful/accurate/helpful learning engines will be involved behind the scenes in delivering up personalized, customized learning — available 24x7x365.  Cloud-based learner profiles may enter the equation as well.

The chances for creativity,  innovation, and entrepreneurship that are coming will be mind-blowing! What employers will be looking for — and where they can look for it — may change as well.

What we know today as the “television” will most likely play a significant role in this learning ecosystem of the future. But it won’t be like the TV we’ve come to know. It will be much more interactive and will be aware of who is using it — and what that person is interested in learning about. Technologies/applications like Apple’s AirPlay will become more standard, allowing a person to move from device to device without missing a  beat. Transmedia storytellers will thrive in this environment!

Much of the professionally done content will be created by teams of specialists, including the publishers of educational content, and the in-house teams of specialists within colleges, universities, and corporations around the globe. Perhaps consortiums of colleges/universities will each contribute some of the content — more readily accepting previous coursework that was delivered via their consortium’s membership.

An additional thought regarding higher education and K-12 and their Smart Classrooms/Spaces:
For input devices…
The “chalkboards” of the future may be transparent, or they may be on top of a drawing board-sized table or they may be tablet-based. But whatever form they take and whatever is displayed upon them, the ability to annotate will be there; with the resulting graphics saved and instantly distributed. (Eventually, we may get to voice-controlled Smart Classrooms, but we have a ways to go in that area…)

Below are some of the graphics that capture a bit of what I’m seeing in my mind…and in our futures.

Alternatively available as a PowerPoint Presentation (audio forthcoming in a future version)

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— from Daniel S. Christian | April 2011

See also:

Addendum on 4-14-11:

 

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