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Dougclow
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Another returning player saying hello! I played casually in the past using a nom du jeu that I've now forgotten.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2014 on Week One: Lurkers and Loyalists at Only a Game
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More good stuff, thanks Martin. But ... and it's a minor point ... my power law spider sense is tingling! The black line with its equation looks a lot like a power law. Obviously, when she gets back from maternity leave, Katy will be wanting to explore an exponential fit, and a two-population exponential fit (like in the Educause paper from Coursera folk: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/retention-and-intention-massive-open-online-courses-depth-0 - though notably they do not discuss what other fits they explored) and all sorts of other things, following best practice (starting here: http://tuvalu.santafe.edu/~aaronc/powerlaws/) before claiming that these data are best fit by a power law. Sorry - it's just red rag to a bull for me.
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2013 on Redefining MOOC completion rates at The Ed Techie
Bah, messed up the replace - I meant: "Most courses have only two or three activities that any given learner likes, but the course format forces people to choose between signing up for a dozen mediocre activities to get those two or three, or not getting any of the activities at all." And actually most courses include way more than a dozen mediocre activities. (Where mediocre is by learner perception, not teacher. Obviously every single one of *our* activities are outstanding.)
Toggle Commented Dec 12, 2013 on Completion data for MOOCs at The Ed Techie
Wow, top stuff! And a fun (fsvo 'fun') discussion on Twitter too. I think this is learning analytics in a nutshell: the numbers matter, but they are not all that matters. So, for instance, the correlation seen above between the size of MOOCs and the completion rate might suggest that bigger is worse, not better. But it could be some third factor - and looking at Katy's MOOC data in the live version (http://www.katyjordan.com/MOOCproject.html) you can see that most of the data comes from Coursera and Open2Study. Open2Study account for most of the points on the left-hand side of that graph: small enrolment, very high completion. That suggests to me it's worth looking more closely at Open2Study and why it has high completion. It could simply be that their courses have smaller numbers and so more people complete. Or it could be that their courses are better than Coursera's. Or it could be something else, like they are calculating the baseline differently. The other thing that has smacked me in the eyes is the course length vs completion graph. Now, the first thing to observe here is that you'd expect a clear negative correlation in this treatment of the data even if there were no real effect: if people drop out of a course at a certain rate time, the longer the course goes on, the more time they have to drop out, and so the lower the completion rate will be. (I think there are ways of analysing to control for this - will talk to you offline.) But thinking about MOOCs and drop out vs climb out vs "I got what I wanted" reminded me of Clay Shirky on MP3s vs albums (http://www.shirky.com/writings/herecomeseverybody/napster_nyt.html): "Most albums have only two or three songs that any given listener likes, but the album format forces people to choose between paying for a dozen mediocre songs to get those two or three, or not getting any of the songs at all" In his (in?)famous piece about MOOCs (http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2012/11/napster-udacity-and-the-academy/) he says "our MP3 is the massive open online course (or MOOC), and our Napster is Udacity, the education startup". I think he might be right about the second - particularly now Udacity's history has even stronger parallels to Napster's from a punter perspective. But I think he might be slightly wrong about the first: MOOCs are still very large chunks of learning. Reworking that album/song quote gives us: "Most courses have only two or three activities that any given learner likes, but the course format forces people to choose between signing up for a dozen mediocre songs to get those two or three, or not getting any of the activities at all." I have a horrible suspicion that the unit of learning that most people *want* is nearer the three minute single than the one-hour album. Never mind the 30-week course. (And I'm not meaning three minutes of learning metaphorically here.)
Toggle Commented Dec 12, 2013 on Completion data for MOOCs at The Ed Techie
I'm with Erik - I like data too. :-) And I also share his concern that we are focusing on the data we have, rather than the data that might be most illuminative. It's the classic drunkard's lost-key search: "What are you doing?" "Looking for my keys." "They don't seem to be here under this streetlight. As you sure you lost them here?" "No, I lost them over there, in the dark." "Then why look here?" "Because this is where the light is." I do share your (Martin's) concern with completely atheoretical approaches, though - typically they're not actually atheoretical, they have a very robust theory, it's just unstated and unexamined. We need both theory and data. What do you base a theory on, if not evidence? How "people centric" or "humane" your theory is in theory can be a very misleading predictor of what it's like in practice. Think Stalinism or Maoism for extreme examples.
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2013 on The iceland of Dallas at The Ed Techie
Stealing and riffing on your idea from Twitter ?yesterday, I think I'd replace the "education is broken" slogan with "education is fixed", with all its connotations: - education is a gamble rigged to favour a certain group - education is very set in its ways - education has been bodged together to patch up egregious failings - education has recently taken a dose of illegal drugs Erm ... maybe the metaphor isn't quite that good.
Technologies don't rarely die, they never die. Or at least, almost never die. They might well reduce substantially in occurrence, but not vanish entirely. Kevin Kelly made the strong claim here (no species of technology has ever gone globally extinct), and someone challenged him - and he won handily. The fax is a good example. It's not dead! There are at least two working faxes in our office right now. I had to send one just eighteen months ago. And I'm fairly confident they're still in fairly widespread use in Japan. Dave - is your keg party an open one?
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Nov 8, 2012