I don't know what the statistics on this would be overall, but it's worth noting that the impact on individuals can be significant. As the article says, for Black students like Josh, "in addition to learning algebra and coping with social awkwardness, they're often navigating an educational system that historically hasn't supported them.... (but) for Josh and kids like him, learning from home has given them a chance to thrive." Historically we've simply been blind to the shortcomings of in-person learning, but now, having focused on the shortcomings of remote learning, we're more focused on shortcomings in general.
This is an engaging and interesting article, well worth taking the time to read. The central focus is on the question of why teachers ignore the scientific evidence that is "regularly invoked in defense of one classroom practice or another." There are several reasons, but in the end they boil down to the idea that the research as conducted simply isn't relevant to their classroom experience. For example, a result that shows "x is better than nothing" isn't helpful to a teacher who considering a range of different options. Moreover, it is rare that a single best practice applies for all circumstances; context matters. Now I don't think all this is as easy to fix as the authors suggest; you can't just "start with with whatever trusted intervention is considered the current 'gold standard' for the desired outcome and used that as the control group." For most things, there is no 'gold standard'. So there needs to be, at a minimum, a back-and-forth with teachers to identify the context and intent. That's why a whole discipline called 'knowledge mobilization' emerged' a number of years ago. And to the extent that this doesn't happen, teachers will continue to ignore what is essentially uninformed research.
What are the key themes associated with the positive learning experience in MOOCs? An empirical investigation of learners’ ratings and reviews
This paper is really smart on a number of levels. It endorses a "students as co-creators" approach to course design, making their responses part of the design process. It uses a third-party site to collect reviews because several MOOC platforms don't support student feedback. It uses Leximancer, "a data-mining tool which extracts key concepts from collections of textual documents." It surveys a large number of varied responses - 8475 ratings and reviews submitted for 1794 MOOCs. It recognizes "there are underlying differences between MOOCs and credit-bearing university courses, and learning outcomes valued in traditional HEIs (e.g. achievement, persistence) may not be the best indicators to represent MOOC learning outcomes." And it produces a useful list of six propositions for promoting the learning experience in MOOCs, which I would summarize as follows::
- provide realistic learning contexts and instructional conditions
- design for mental challenge and stimulation
- design the course content, materials, and communications to generate interest
- create high-quality video lectures
- employ video lectures to simplify complex, difficult concepts
- address learners’ queries.
Today: 114 Total: 114 Ruiqi Deng, Pierre Benckendorff, International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 2021/03/02 [Direct Link]
Yesterday while reading Alan Levine's post I confused Open ETC Inspire with Open Education Challenge Series, then saw immediately after that 'How to Submit', and the pattern-matcher in my brain said 'contest'. It's not a contest, of course, it's an exercise where people recommend inspiring OpenETC sites, offering some words of explanation why. Atoning for my error, I read the post much more carefully, and this led me to the aforementioned Open Education Challenge Series, which (more accurately this time) is a set of ten challenges that take ten minutes or less to complete. It's intended for people new to OER, it started March 1, but hey, nobody says you have to follow the schedule. Via Alan Levine.
Starlink changes everything. It may be the most important form of learning technology of the century
One thing we hear every time we talk about online learning outside developed urban areas is the problem of access to the internet. The concern is so pervasive, and basically stops all other discussion, that I just want to wave my hands and say "I know, I know" and keep talking about videoconferencing. But of course I can't. That's why Starlink is so important. It provides internet access - proper broadband internet access - to rural and remote regions worldwide. And that makes it vitally important to online learning. Donald Clark has the details, so I won't repeat them all here. But after all the false starts (for example: WiMax) this may be the real deal.
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