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Thanks for another interesting discussion point Martin. I think there's a number of interesting arguments that can form from this piece. To pick up on one: "Another approach may be to increase penetration of OERs into the secondary and tertiary levels" I think this is important due to the very nature of the viral nature of Openness, but penetrating those secondary and tertiary levels relies on visibility and accessibility. Most academics know about YouTube; some will know iTunesU; and fewer Jorum (as an example). So the challenge is getting to academic staff. Almost to the point of justifying subject specific sites (like those Subject Centres I guess) which can be incredibly valuable and to some degree, a natural place of interest. Anyway, just something that sprang to mind. P
Hi Martin, Fully agree. It's absolutely contradictory to publish articles on openness in closed journals. I was thinking about this recently and wonder if it's more related to the need to publish in higher quality journals, or at least in journals with higher impact factors (the two may not necessarily be the same). I was looking recently at open access journals to publish something in, that also contained a high impact factor. It's a challenge, unless you're prepared to pay $2000 (for Computers in Education, etc). I worked though a few of the top edtech journals according to Google Scholar Metrics ( but many tend to want paying for open access. This seriously bugs me - paying to be published surely raises an ethical dilemma???
Hi Martin, I like the idea of breaking the linear course model. It's something we discussed about 6 years ago when considering our online modules in the Faculty of Health at Edge Hill Uni. I think when you're relying on a social element to learning (constructivism, connectivism, etc) then you need to be sure you'll have enough numbers dipping into the different areas at the same time - something we couldn't be sure of with a module with 20-30 participants and 10 units of learning, but something entirely possible with the registrants in MOOCs. I'd like to see that implemented actually, and come to think of it, may suggest it as an experiment in one of Liverpool's FL MOOCs. Some MOOCs make all content open from the beginning (e.g. SNA on coursera) but not necessarily intended to be studied non-linearly. I think it would require an academic/SME to think a little differently. Often there'll be at least one section that is prerequisite to another, so that might designing around further still. Cheers P @reedyreedles
Hi Martin, Great post, and I'm sure everyone reading would like to thank Katy (and you) for sharing this data. Firstly, how did she get access to this data? Is it readily available? Secondly, I'm thinking about length of course Vs completion (or attrition). I can't see why there would be a correlation between the two. Merely more numbers wouldn't cause someone to drop out, but it could be related to messiness of forums.... I'd suspect if you was overwhelmed by the forums though, you just wouldn't participate in them rather than dropping out, but hey the data don't lie! It would be interesting to investigate this further. When you question whether 2x10k enrolments may or may not be better than 1x20k, I wonder/question/doubt the pattern is continuous - by that I mean it won't be true going on into 100k - 2m enrolments, etc. I suspect there'll be a plateau whereby the percentage of completions reaches a steady state regardless, so there'll be no significant difference in drop out rates between a MOOC with 500k enrolments to 2m enrolments. Thirdly, just an observation. Looking on Katy's blog I don't think there is any correlation between assessment type and completion rates, which is quite surprising I think. I'd expect this to be a significant factor influencing attrition - Anyway, thanks again. Peter @reedyreedles
Toggle Commented Dec 12, 2013 on Completion data for MOOCs at The Ed Techie
Firstly, thankfully Everton season tickets are a bit cheaper :-) Secondly, the danger when you lay out the costs against other activities, is not one purely related to investing in a luxury. Would I rather; a) spend 2.5k on a course? b) Take my *family* on a nice holiday (currently just the 2 of us but when you have kids, spending such quality time is important) - might be a once in a lifetime holiday. c) continue to take my nephew to Everton games - again, about quality time. Each have 'added value' beyond their initial title. I'm sure most academics take work home with them, so there is more value placed on quality time - I think that family time might take preference, especially if you have a 'stay-at-home' partner who looks after kids. That money is not strictly *yours*, it's the household income....
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2012 on Comparing the value of education at The Ed Techie
So an interesting perspective might be that smaller/less known institutions wishing to contribute to the open movement might be more effective (in terms of reaching self learners) by focussing on specific topic related areas due to the difficulty in competing with leading providers (competing in terms of reputation, but also resources/funds to produce high end materials).... Another interesting perspective is the value of small OERs to self learners compared with fuller 'courses'. Not sure if any research compares access to both.... Peter
Toggle Commented May 29, 2012 on Give me an M! at The Ed Techie
Hi Martin, Interesting reflections. I actually questioned on Twitter last week, if one can be a MOOC if there are only small numbers. Certainly not if they are commercial (but then if something is commercial is it really open anyway?), and furthermore, by definition (again, the problem with acronyms [never really like MOOC]). What really grabs me though, is that all of the MOOCs I've seen appear to be on learning technology, openness and other topics geared around CPD for educators. The Coursera, MIT/Stanford initiatives I've come across focus on Computer Science. I've recently met with a few colleagues for a small OER project in Applied Geomorphology at MMU and wonder if we could offer it as an open course. Perhaps the topic naturally narrows the market but would it work? I think it could... Finally, on your point regarding returning to educator run courses - does this bare any reflection on the uptake of the smaller resources by learners? I'd imagine (no hard evidence) that learners are likely to do a google search and if a structured open course from the OU returns, then that would be a trustworthy source. Compare that with an individual small OER from a lesser known HEI - any difference? Just speaking aloud really but all interesting debates. Cheers Peter Reed @reedyreedles
Toggle Commented May 28, 2012 on Give me an M! at The Ed Techie
Hi Martin Thanks for pointing me here - I did try to comment a while back but failed and lost my comments (my fault). As you know, I'm here based on the 'Perhaps Education isn't that broken' post I wrote recently - To this end, I just wanted to pick up on the 'if it aint' broke dont fix it' point of view.... This is a problem when trying to implement learning technologies - many staff do just fine without it, and (I'm sure partly) due to the fact the reward mechanisms in HE are not particularly great for such things. But I don't think the statement is actually relevant, let alone helpful. So the rhetoric of opportunity is interesting. In a sector where we focus on development and enhancement of students (or pupils depending on which age range you work with), and somewhere we focus on research and development ourselves, I wonder if there is such a state of 'not broken', or indeed, 'fixed'. Again, the adage isn't helpful. Regardless of how 'good' a lecturer/teacher is, there is always improvement; Applying research to practice. So the point I made in my blog post, was suggesting Education isn't broken, but it could be improved. It will never be perfect. I wonder how damaging the 'if it aint' broken don't fix it' attitude is to not only individual students who perhaps struggle to engage with certain approaches, but to whole programmes of study, and consequently the sector as a whole. Furthermore, what type message does this attitude portray to our students and graduates. I fear their inspiration to be better (if at all) will be more driven from the view of 'not wanting to end up like lecturer A', rather than 'wanting to be more like him'. As someone involved in HE for about 9 years (in various roles across different HEIs), regrettably I have seen too many people who live by the unhelpful adage. And my inspiration, whilst often is to do best by my students, is also sometimes to not end up like 'them'. For some reason, the fell out of love with the job. The day I do, is the day I leave the profession. So Education isn't broken at all. But some of the cogs could certainly do with a clean and an oil! Sorry for the waffling :-) Peter @reedyreedles
Toggle Commented May 17, 2012 on Education & the language of change at The Ed Techie
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May 16, 2012