The Not-Yetness term.

Openness as transparency between students; communication between students and the outside world; interdependent relationships between educational institutions and external practices ( Dalsgaard and Thestrup). This paper asks if openness is a absolute positive.

The authors claim that:

  • a. the binary between open and closed is false: closed is associated with hierarchy and repression while openess represents creativity and innovation, a total liberation from the constraints of formal study (…) all forms of openess entail forms of closed-ness (Edwards), educators decide what forms of openess are justifiable pedagogically and ideologically.
  • b. the overemphasis on access homogenizes learners and contexts: not all individuals require simply access to content in order to learn; OER emphasis on replication presumes uniformity of learners (…) complexity reduction is problematic (McArthur)
  • c. open does not attend issues of power and inclusion: OERs could be reproducing asymmetric power relations between those who produce and those who passively assimilate the offerings (…) access is not enough unless it is seen in a context of social inclusion and justice

Not-Yetness is a response to dominant discourse of using technology in education: accepting risk and uncertainty of practices in flux while setting boundaries and looking for alternative modes of openness in digital education where there is an emphasis on the learners’ connections and not just content. Openness as a quality of relationship amongst students, teachers, technologies, texts and an unknown audience.

Example No 1: while wikis promote consensus around dominant voices, a federated wiki allows individuals to manage and control content, they resolve to multiple servers

Example No 2: blogging provokes an awareness of audience and voice but student bloggers rarely have the option to experiment with identity or set their own limits of exposure

Example No 3: exposing learning to an unknown and therefore unpredictable audience (the agents beyond the course) may lead students to making decisions based on the awareness of that audience.

 

References

Collier, A., Ross J. 2016. For whom, and for what? Not-yetness and thinking beyond
open content. Open Praxis, vol. 9 issue 1, January–March 2017, pp. 7–16 (ISSN 2304-070X), available here

Nomad

A Nomad…

  1. is an apt metaphor for the learner
  2. exists only in becoming and in interaction
  3. is intrinsically motivated toward the pursuit of learning
  4. is another phase of becoming
  5. appropriates the authority of some distant figure who often holds over it
  6. thinks of knowledge not as static, but rather as a flexible element to be alchemically interacted with
  7. is unconstrained
  8. is in constant movement
  9. is not as “losing one’s way” but is as “losing the way”
  10. is restrained from prefixed and definite articles
  11. space is smooth, open-ended
  12. mode of distribution is nomos (=arraying oneself in space), not logos
  13. moves in amorphous, informal spaces, nonlinear structures
  14. finds a viable milieu in the complex and chaotic structure of the web

 

Remembering Umberto Eco’s A Componential Analysis of the Architectural Sign /Column semiotic analysis through this stunning paper entitled; “Community Tracking in a cMOOC and nomadic learner behavior identification on a connectivist rhizomatic learning network” by : Bozkurt, A., Honeychurch, S., Caines, A., Bali, M., Koutropoulos, Ap., Cormier, D.

 

Degreed

degreed

Degreed is a startup that aspires to become a credentials’ bank. It does so by trying to create a standardized assessment for skills no matter where the individuals got them. Only a year ago it was funded with a 21 million investment to fuel the continued growth of lifelong learning and skills’ measurement for companies and professionals. Degreed seeks to create a common language for grading.

In the log in process Degreed asks you to Use the Degreed free online platform to achieve your learning goals, whether your goal is to learn a new skill or polish an existing one. You then choose from a variety of themes the ones that appeal to you more and you begin attending related material offered to you in the platform. Degreed keeps track of any books, articles, videos or even courses you might read about or watch and accumulates the traces of this material to help you prove your competencies.

In this week’s Economist the article: The return of the MOOC: Established education providers v new contenders, introduces Degreed along with Pluralsight as two companies that are trying different ways to answer to the difficult task of assessing one’s capabilities. The author claims that as long any training gets recognized and accredited it is even more likely that more lifelong learners will receive a continuing education through MOOCs or any other form of adult learning.

Image available here

2016 MOOC Stats

COURSES: 6.850 from over 700 Universities (2.600+ new ones)

USERS: Coursera: 23million/ edX 10 million/ XuetangX: 6 million/ FutureLearn 5.3 million/ Udacity: 4 million

PROVIDERS-Coursera: 1700 + courses/ EdX: 1300/ FutureLearn: 480/ Miriada X: 350 (Spanish)/ XuetangX 300+ 9Chinese)

SUBJECTS:

mooc-thematics-copy

 

Image & Data retrieved here

Who is Open Educator?

open-educators

Having established that open collaboration among educators brings quality and attractiveness to higher education Fabio Nascimbeni and Daniel Burgos seek to determine a framework that enhances openness among Universities. Despite the wide dissemination of open material -mostly through MOOCs-, Higher Institutions they say, are still reluctant to engage further. Nascimbeni and Burgos  focus on the role of the professors and teaching in matters of openness; it is the faculty they say that needs to change.

So, what they did was study the related literature and then sit together with Mackintosh, Mc Greal, Nerantzi, Teixeira and Weller and discuss on a potential conceptual framework. They came up with the following definition:

An Open Educator chooses to use open approaches, when possible and appropriate, with the aim to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning. He/she works through an open online identity and relies on online social networking to enrich and implement his/her work, understanding that collaboration bears a responsibility towards the work of others.

Their definition is further analyzed through the description of the Open Educators main activities:  sharing their ideas; sharing their educational content and teaching resources; fostering co-creation of knowledge by students; implementing open assessment practices.

The authors take this a step further and introduce a framework of self evaluation for educators (image on top). This table, they claim, will help educators determine their current position and relate themselves to develop accordingly in terms of openness. The three different educator profiles on the left column describe the three dominant trends; while the different qualities of openness in teaching on the right columns describe the activities they engage in accordingly.

Since not all educators engage in open practices in the same degree, the authors also describe a process of gradual transitioning from acquiring awareness to getting transformed into open educators.

First of all, I would like to say that I do like a good definition, but what I like even more is an good short and open definition. What the two authors came up with was a quasi page long text and even that wasn’t enough; they kept on explaining and analyzing it further. And the full identity of the Open Educator continues to elude them since at this point their research sample involves only a small percentage of active OEs. Their effort in my opinion is as futile as it is unnecessary; as long as educators are not educated to educate, any attempt to induce change will only be dealt with contempt. Traditional institutional figures can hardly grasp the meaning of transitioning from one point to the next, let alone giving up on their power of sharing knowledge on their own terms. That makes Open Educators the sole missionaries for change toward a new learning environment that treats all individuals as equals. And that is the only single lined definition I can come up with at this point.

Image available here

 

 

 

A MOOC on MOOCs

federica-mooc

An International Colloquium entitled: “The MOOC Identity” that took place in Napoli last summer, gave way to the creation of a MOOC now run by Federica EU*. Various personalities from all around the world -among which Stephen Downes, Rita Kop, Steven D. Krause and many more- express their views on the future perspectives of MOOCs. It has just started so, if anyone is interested there is still time to enroll. For more information press here

*Federica EU is the online platform of Federico II University of Napoli currently host to more that 300 online courses

Didactic/Reflexive Pedagogies

cope-kalatzis-graph

Cope and Kalatzis use this pair of terms to describe alternative pedagogical systems, and by using their special characteristics they demonstrate how technology in itself cannon produce change in pedagogy, it is pedagogically neutral. In fact, technology features such as flipped classroom and e-textbooks often reproduce didactic pedagogy principles. So,

Didactic Pedagogy:

  • balance of control is with the instructor
  • focus on cognition
  • focus on the individual learner
  • the learners must demonstrate that they can replicate discipline knowledge

Reflexive Pedagogy

  • the learner has considerable scope and responsibility for epistemic action (knowledge is dialogical)
  • focus is on the artifacts and knowledge representations constructed by the learner and the process of their construction
  • focus is on the social sources of knowledge
  • wider range of epistemic processes

In  their forthcoming book “e-Learning ecologies” the two authors present the reader with seven new learning affordances (see image above). They explore the way new media can be used to serve the reflexive model of education. At the moment they run the e-Learning ecologies, MOOC in the Coursera platform.

 

References

Kalatzis, M., Cope, B., 2015, “Learning and New Media“, in The SAGE Handbook of Learning, edited by David Scott and Eleanore Hargreaves, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage, Pp. 373-387

Cope, B.,Kalatzis, M., 2015,”Assessment and Pedagogy in the Era of Machine-Mediated Learning” Pp. 350-374 in Education as Social Construction: Contributions to Theory,
Research, and Practice, edited by T. Dragonas, K. J. Gergen, S. McNamee, and E.
Tseliou. Chagrin Falls OH: Worldshare Books.

Image available here