Elearnspace

University of Texas at Arlington

This is likely not news to most readers as it has been posted in various blogs, forums, and announced at the MOOC Research conference in December, but I have applied, and received approval, for a leave of absence from Athabasca University to establish and set up a digital learning research lab at University of Texas at Arlington. I will be based in Arlington, but will continue to work with my AU doctoral students.

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The challenge of coherence

I’ve been thinking about coherence formation in the learning process for many years (it was a key topic of my phd). Traditionally, coherence of knowledge is formed by the educator through her selection of readings and lectures. The assumption underpinning learning design is something like “decide what’s important and then decide how to best teach it or foster learning activities around it”. When students take a formal course, success is measured by how well they internalize (whatever that means) and repeat back to us what we told them.

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The vulnerability of learning

In a meeting with a group of doctoral students last week, one individual shared her challenging, even emotionally draining, experience in taking her first doctoral course. Much of her experience was not focused on the learning or content. Instead, she shared her self-doubts, her frustrations of integrating doctoral studies into her personal and professional life, the fatigue of learning, and feeling overwhelmed. Personal reflections such as these are important but are usually not considered when discussing learning and being a successful learner.

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Changing Schools, Changing Knowledge: The Agenda

I’ve had the privilege of being on Steve Paikin’s The Agenda several times over the last few years. Steve is an informed and provocative interviewer, one of the best I’ve encountered covering the education sector. Earlier this year, I had an opportunity spend time on Steve’s program talking about how changing knowledge needs and structures are influencing the development of new learning systems and models. The interview is below:

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Invitation: MOOC Framework

Tomorrow (November 20), I’ll be hosting an online discussion on a MOOC Framework that I’ve been developing with a few colleagues. If you’re interested, more information is here.
The Jam itself runs from 12:00 – 6:00 pm. Register here. The discussion agenda has also been posted.

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The Failure of Udacity

Well, there it is folks. After two years of hype, breathless proclamations about how Udacity will transform higher education, Silicon Valley blindness to existing learning research, and numerous articles/interviews featuring Sebastian Thrun, Udacity has failed.

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Stop what you are doing. Watch this: The Avalanche that Hasn’t Happened

David Kernohan delivered an stunning presentation at the Open Education conference: The Avalanche that Hasn’t Happened. He provides a critical evaluation of the testing/evaluation narrative in education. It is the best take down that I have seen of the dominant trends of for-profit, testing, and deliverology (honestly, that’s a word) impacting education. This video (below) needs to be shared broadly, particularly with leaders in the education sector. This is an impressive and valuable documentary.

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MOOCs: How did we get here?

I’m at the Open Education conference in Park City, Utah. The conference is now in its impressive 10th year. I did a presentation following Andrew Ng (Coursera). Slides and video are below. The focus is on my early experiences with MOOCs, their current state, and future directions (as well as some angst and hope).

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WISE Panel: Can MOOCs democratize higher education?

The recording from the Can MOOCs democratize higher education? panel at WISE is available here. Donald Clark shares his experience of the event as a whole, including our panel.

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