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Call for Papers for a Thematic Monograph (spring 2017) Deadline for submission of originals: 5 March 2017
Topic: THE POST-MOOC ERA: OPPORTUNITIES FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE EDUCATION
Coordinator of the MONOGRAPH:
SANTIAGO MENGUAL ANDRÉS
UNIVERSITY OF VALENCIA
@tic. revista d’innovació educativa invites you to submit articles for a special issue on THE POST-MOOC ERA: OPPORTUNITIES FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE EDUCACION.
Articles must be based on one of the following thematic areas:
1. THE POST-MOOC ERA. The boom of the MOOC phenomenon has left remarkable scientific literature in the last five years in need of reflection. This issue welcomes empirical studies on the impact of MOOCs in higher education as an educational, technological and political phenomenon. This call accepts studies analysing the phenomenon and its integration as part of the global education agenda, its instrumental and political uses, its contribution to teaching as well as related phenomena such as MOOC2Degree.
2. NEW CONCEPTS OF MOOCs. MOOCs are starting to diverge in initiatives such as NOOCs and SPOOCs. This issue aims to include studies and research that analyse educational innovations, showing benefits, contributions and challenges faced in the framework of research on e-learning and dissemination of knowledge.
3. REDESIGN OF ONLINE LEARNING SPACES AND THE FUTURE OF MOOCs. MOOCs have been a milestone for the materialisation of e-learning for formal and non-formal education. Despite this, MOOCs have received criticism. Papers and research in this line will address the future perspectives of open education from a critical standpoint, analysing the role expected from both universities and educators in the adoption and dissemination of new models of e-learning and open education.
Instructions for sending articles
Articles must be sent via the web: http://www.uv.es/attic
The author be registered as a user of the system in order to send the article.
Please follow the instructions provided. The manuscript must be in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Open Document Format (.odt)
It can be written in Spanish, English or Catalan.
All submissions will undergo a blind peer review process by two reviewers. If you have any questions, please contact the coordinator(s) of the issue.
Editing rules: http://go.uv.es/Fg52J4h
Deadline for submission: 5 March 2017
Expected publication date: 24 June 2017
@tic. revista d’innovació educativa (ISSN 1989-3477) received the FECYT 2016 seal of scientific and editorial quality. It is indexed in the Emerging Sources Citation Index of the Web of Science, Erih Plus, Educational Research Abstracts, Redalyc, DOAJ, ISOC, IISUE, Carhus Plus, DICE, CIRC, ISOC, Latindex, REDIB, RESH, among others.
In the light of all the new technologies that are now available to universities, the article asks, why has the lecture refused to go away? One astute observation is that even when universities do adopt online modes of teaching such as MOOCs, all that seems to occur is the lecture is transferred to digital format. This is sometimes referred to pejoratively as 'shovelware' in academic circles, because course designers and lecturers can't seem to break out of the traditional mode of thinking about teaching, and simply shovel their content across into digital format. As a result, a lot of content found on university VLEs consists of PowerPoint slides or other lecture oriented artifacts - of which more later.
There are three issues to consider here. The first, as has been clearly articulated by Vicki Davis, is that technology should be used to support student learning and as a set of tools to encourage the creation of original/new content. It should never be used to control learning or to determine the content students to which they have access. Too often, the pace and direction of learning continue to be dictated by the sage on the stage.
The second issue is that lecturers often use technology as a substitute for interactivity, assuming that the inclusion of a video for example, will deliver content in a new and dynamic manner. Video certainly has its place in the learning environment, but it should never be used as a surrogate for good dialogue or other discursive learning activities. Video, as with any technology, should be used as a stimulus to thinking and should never become a stopgap when the lecturer needs to pad out some time.
The third concerns the nature of the lecture itself. If a lecture is nothing more than an expert standing in front of an audience speaking for an hour, then there are clearly issues around its effectiveness. Many lectures do fit this profile, and even those where academics try to embellish with technology can fall flat. This is usually because the addition of features such as PowerPoint slides merely replace or reinforce the didactic method. The majority of lecture slides contain little more than text and bullet points, which tempts lecturers to read from them. The problem with this is that many lecture slides are more for the benefit of the lecturer than they are for the students.
Notwithstanding these issues, I believe there is some hope. In my next blog post I'm going to argue that lectures can be transformed into active learning events with the appropriate application of pedagogy and technology. I hope to offer some examples of alternative methods to lecturing that can, and do, engage large groups of students.
Photo by Archbob on Pixabay
Why lectures? by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's
I was interviewed recently by a reporter doing an article on OER (open educational resources) and I found myself being much more negative than I expected, since I very much support the principle of open-ness in education. In particular, I pointed out that OER, while slowly growing in acceptance, are still used for a tiny minority of teaching in North American universities and colleges. For instance, open textbooks are a no brainer, given the enormous savings they can bring to students, but even in the very few state or provincial jurisdictions that have an open textbook program, the take-up is still very slow.
I have written elsewhere in more detail about why this is so, but here is a summary of the reasons:
- lack of suitable OER: finding the right OER for the right context. This is a problem that is slowly disappearing, as more OER become available, but it is still difficult to find exactly the right kind of OER to fit a particular teaching context in too many instances. It is though a limitation that I believe will not last for much longer (for the reasons for this, read on).
- the poor quality of what does exist. This is not so much the quality of content, but the quality of production. Most OER are created by an individual instructor working alone, or at best with an instructional designer. This is the cottage industry approach to design. I have been on funding review committees where institutions throughout a province are bidding for funds for course development or OER production. In one case I reviewed requests from about eight different institutions for funds to produce OER for statistics. Each institution (or rather faculty member) made its proposal in isolation of the others. I strongly recommended that the eight faculty members got together and designed a set of OER together that would benefit from a larger input of expertise and resources. That way all eight institutions were likely to use the combined OER, and the OER would likely be of a much higher quality as a result.
- the benefits are less for instructors than students. Faculty for instance set the textbook requirement. They don’t have to pay for the book themselves in most cases. With the textbook often comes a whole package of support materials from the publisher, such as tests, supplementary materials, and model answers (which is why the textbook is so expensive). This makes life easier for instructors but it is the students who have to pay the cost.
- OER take away the ‘ownership’ of knowledge from the instructor. Instructors do not see themselves as merely distributors of information, a conveyor belt along which ‘knowledge’ passes, but as constructors of knowledge. They see their lecture as unique and individual, something the student cannot get from someone else. And often it is unique, with an instructor’s personal spin on a topic. OER’s take away from instructors that which they see as being most important about their teaching: their unique perspective on a topic.
- and now we come to what I think is the main problem with OER: OER do not make much sense out of context. Too often the approach is to create an OER then hope that others will find applications for it. But this assumes that knowledge is like a set of bricks. All you have to do is to collect bricks of knowledge together, add a little mortar, and lo, you have a course. The instructor chooses the bricks and the students apply the mortar. Or you have a course but you need to fill some holes in it with OER. I suggest these are false metaphors for teaching, or at least for how people learn. You need a context, a pedagogy, where it makes sense to use open resources.
I am making three separate but inter-linked arguments here:
- OER are too narrowly defined and conceptualized
- we need to design teaching in such a way that it is not just sensible to use OER but unavoidable
- we should start by defining what we are trying to achieve, then identify how OER will enable this.
So I will start with the last argument first.Developing the knowledge and skills needed in the 21st century
Again I have written extensively about this (see Chapter 1 of Teaching in a Digital Age), but in essence we need to focus specifically on developing core ‘soft’ or ‘intellectual’ skills in our students, and especially the core skills of independent learning and knowledge management. Put in terms of learning outcomes, in a world where the content component of knowledge is constantly developing and growing, students need to learn independently so they can continue to learn after graduation, and students also need to know how to find, analyse, evaluate, and apply knowledge.
If we want students to develop these and other ‘soft’ skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, evidence-based argumentation, what teaching methods or pedagogy should we adopt and how would it differ from what we do now?The need for teaching methods that are open rather than closed
The first thing we should recognise is that in a lecture based methodology, it is the instructor doing the knowledge management, not the student. The instructor (or his or her colleagues) decide the curriculum, the required reading, what should be covered in each lecture, how it should be structured, and what should be assessed. There is little independence for the learner – either do what you are instructed to do, or fail. That is a closed approach to teaching.
I am suggesting that we need to flip this model on its head. It should ultimately be the students learning and deciding what content is important, how it should be structured, how it can be applied. The role of the instructor then would not be to choose, organise and deliver content, but to structure the teaching to enable students to do this effectively themselves.
This also should not be a sudden process, where students suddenly switch from a lecture-based format as an undergraduate to a more open structure as a post-graduate, but a process that is slowly and increasingly developed throughout the undergraduate program or a two-year college program where soft skills are considered important. One way – although there are many others – of doing this is through project- or problem-based learning, where students start with real challenges then develop the knowledge and skills needed to address such challenges.
This does not mean we no longer need subject specialists or content experts. Indeed, a deep understanding of a subject domain is essential if students are to be steered and guided and properly assessed. However, the role of the subject specialist is fundamentally changed. He or she is now required to set their specialist knowledge in a context that enables student discovery and exploration, and student responsibility for learning. The specialist’s role now is to support learning, by providing appropriate learning contexts, guidance to students, criteria for assessing the quality of information, and quality standards for problem-solving, knowledge management and critical thinking, etc.A new definition of open resources
Here I will be arguing for a radical change: the dropping of the term ‘educational’ from OER.
If students are to develop the skills identified earlier, they will need access to resources: research papers, reports from commissions, case-study material, books, first-hand reports, YouTube video, a wide range of opinions or arguments about particular topics, as well as the increasing amount of specifically named open educational resources, such as recorded lectures from MIT and other leading research universities.
Indeed, increasingly all knowledge is becoming open and easily accessible online. All publicly funded research in many countries must now be made available through open access journals, increasingly government and even some commercial data (think government commission reports, environmental assessments, public statistics, meteorological models) are now openly accessible online, and this will become more and more the norm. In other words, all content is becoming more free and more accessible, especially online.
With that comes of course more unreliable information, more false truths, and more deliberate propaganda. What better preparation for our students’ future is there than equipping them with the knowledge and skills to sift through this mass of contradictory information? What better than to make them really good at identifying the true from the false, to evaluate the strength of an argument, to assess the evidence used to support an argument, whatever the subject domain? To do this though means exposing them to a wide range of openly accessible content, and providing the guidance and criteria, and the necessary prior knowledge, that they will need to make these decisions.
But we cannot do this if we restrict our students to already ‘approved’ OER. All content eventually becomes an educational resource, a means to help students to differentiate, evaluate and decide. By naming content as ‘educational’ we are already validating its ‘truth’ – we are in fact closing the mind to challenge. What we want is access to open resources – full stop. Let’s get rid of the term OER and instead fight for an open pedagogy.
Punto final al último bandazo, una ley ideológica, partidista y clasista, sin más apoyo parlamentario que el PP, que chocó con el activismo laicista, nacionalista y de los intereses de la escuela pública. Derecha e izquierda moderadas, C’s y PSOE, acordaron en enero paralizarla y sustituirla por otra basada en un pacto. Ahora se suma el PP y parece que, hasta ahí, podría hacerlo Unidos Podemos (veremos los nacionalismos). No hay motivo por el que el partido del gobierno vaya a cambiar sus convicciones, pero al estilo más ideológico y prepotente de Wert, catapultado desde la FAES, sucede el más negociador y pragmático de Méndez de Vigo, formado en la diplomacia, que si algo enseña esta es a mantener las formas, hacer concesiones y no empecinarse. Falta, como advertí un 28/11/13 en este diario, que los demás recuerden que no hay paraíso al que volver. Se promete trabajar por un gran pacto de Estado, social y político para (1) alcanzar los objetivos de la estrategia 2020 de la UE y (2) lograr una ley básica con vocación de estabilidad, pero ni son lo mismo ni van de la mano: (1) se refiere a cobertura escolar, competencias del alumnado, retención (vs. abandono), titulación, formación permanente, empleo juvenil y movilidad estudiantil; (2) supone abordar titularidad, religión, lenguas, comprehensividad, financiación, evaluación y carrera profesional, al menos. Es fácil llegar a acuerdos de intenciones y ciertas medidas sobre (1), lo que nos une, pero la estabilidad del sistema requiere acuerdos sobre (2), lo que nos divide; por lo que, paradójicamente, (2) es la condición de (1). Un gran pacto duradero solo podrá cerrarse con una ley, básica y algo ecléctica, en la que estén todos a gusto, ninguno a su gusto ni a disgusto.
This talk looks at a number of current trends in online learning and sorts then according to their likelihood of success. In general, those that depend on significant human intervention - such as, for example, creating competency definitions - are expected to be failures. The distinction between learning as a path and learning as an environment is discussed,Digital trends challenging learning and training in the workplace, Brussels, Belgium (Keynote) Nov 26, 2016 [Comment]