Stephen Downes works with the Digital Technologies Research Centre at the National Research Council of Canada specializing in new instructional media and personal learning technology. He is one of the originators of the first Massive Open Online Course, has published frequently about online and networked learning, has authored learning management and content syndication software, and is the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily. Through a thirty year career Downes has contributed pioneering work in the fields of online learning games, learning objects and metadata, podcasting, open educational resources. Today he is developing gRSShopper, a personal learning environment, offering a course on new e-learning technologies, and supporting research and development in the use of distributed ledger technology in learning applications. He is a popular keynote speaker and has spoken in three dozen countries on six continents.


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h-card: Stephen Downes,, Casselman Canada

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Coronavirus / Covid19 quick reference kit, to take your class or conference online cheaply and in a hurry:

Creating an Online Class or Conference - Quick Tech Guide

Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: Exposing misleading argumentation techniques reduces their influence


One of the arguments against censorship of misinformation and fake news is that 'sunlight disinfects' and that 'truth will out' in the end. Our recent experiences with this philosophy in online content have shown that this is very often not the case. Falsehoods sometimes need sunlight to grow. "Misinformation is often resistant to correction—in particular if a correction challenges a person’s worldview." What the authors of this study found was that methods that "first elaborate on the general effects of worldview on the acceptance of evidence" are more likely to have an impact on the a subject's acceptance of misinformation than mere presentation of scientific fact to the contrary. From 2017 but relevant today.

Today: 61 Total: 61 John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ullrich K. H. Ecker, PLOS ONE, 2020/07/14 [Direct Link]

‘Different ways of knowing’


This article by Joanne Jacobs references in a positive light this article by Lenny Pier Ramos that depicts the idea of many ways of knowing as unhelpful and unscientific. My view is that this is a misrepresentation of science. While we may want "to objectively understand a testable reality," in fact (as I have argued in the past) a great deal of science depends on the interpretation we give to the observations and measurements we make. Is the universe fundamentally mechanical or animal? Do probabilities represent alternative realities or personal commitments to individual outcomes? Are interactions quantifiable, or ineliminably vague? Evidence underdetermines interpretation. Push any scientific perspective hard enough, and you get a 'way of knowing'. These are always personal and often cultural. This is the core finding of historians philosophers of science of the last fifty years, and yes, it is overturning what could be understood as a colonial doctrine of a unified society.

Today: 65 Total: 65 Joanne Jacobs, Linking and Thinking, 2020/07/14 [Direct Link]

ACE Framework


This is a link to the ACE framework - ACE standing for 'Adaptability, Connection, and Equity' - in use at Plymouth State University. "ACE elevates three characteristics that are clear, context-sensitive, values-driven, and mission-aligned; we can use them to plan assignment-, course-, and institution-level responses to crisis (such as COVID-19) in the areas of our university that are connected to teaching and learning." (I've referenced this elsewhere, but it doesn't show as a duplicate link in OLDaily, so here it is). Here's a larger version of the image, a grid of ACE-informed practices.

Today: 66 Total: 126 Robin DeRosa, Plymouth State University, 2020/07/15 [Direct Link]

Making Online Learning Active


I appreciate the intent of this article, but I'm not sure the author fully comprehends the meaning of 'active'. "Show your students how to create a citation from a URL" is not an example of active learning. Neither is "Leading content repositories in U.S. history..." The is as a whole is just a well-worn list of internet tools (and not even divided into useful categories, like mine). While active learning can include internet tools, and pretty much anything is better than passive consumption, I think it's much better when it involves getting students up off their chairs, away from the computer, and into the rest of the house, the outdoors, or (pandemic permitting) the community.

Today: 182 Total: 280 Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, 2020/07/14 [Direct Link]

Quality Assurance Rubric for Blended Learning


This document (32 page PDF) contains both an overview of how to use the rubric and the rubric itself. It was designed for a network of institutions located in East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) who are moving toward broader use of blended learning (defined here as "the purposeful fusion of face-to-face and online environments to conduct teaching and learning"). It's analogous to what people have just recently started calling 'hybrid learning'. The rubric itself covers such areas as navigation, content, instructional design, course structure, student support, technology and media. It's a basic rubric that won't apply to non-standard course design, but will probably service its intended purpose quite well.

Today: 88 Total: 342 Kirk Perris, Romeela Mohee, Commonwealth of Learning, 2020/07/13 [Direct Link]

A primer on practice evaluation:How to participate in the process of evidence-based practice


Although "designed for students who have already had an introductory research methods course who are now engaged in an evaluation project or course" it is still definitely a primer and you do not have to have taken a course either to understand it or benefit from it. This relatively short book is an accessible and sometimes breezy introduction to evidence-based research. It gently describes much of the jargon in the field and takes readers through a step-by-step process of research design. Though it is addressed mostly to social work and clinical interventions, it is more widely applicable; a lot of education research follows much the same methodology and terminology, and readers will even find a lot of overlap with the design and construction of business cases and program assessment. Recommended.

Today: 75 Total: 309 Elspeth Slayter, PressBooks, 2020/07/13 [Direct Link]

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