National Novel Writing Month, known colloquially as NaNoWriMo, starts today and runs through the month of November, encouraging participants to write 50,000 words toward a novel. This is the 14th year of NaNoWriMo, and the number of registered participants has grown from 21 “overcaffeinated yahoos” to more than a quarter of a million in 2011. And while media buzz for NaNoWriMo continues to grow, its press popularity dwarfs that of other massive online learning environments, specifically MOOCs. Continue reading
I made a comment during the first week of reading in the Current/Future State of Higher Education (#cfhe12), lamenting the lack of readings that withstood academic rigor, most notably through the journal process. Academic journals are a source of contention and fight in open access circles (#oped12), and there are a number of journals that have already gone open access, continuing to vet and peer-review rigorous research while opening its books to anyone interested.
The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning is such an open journal, and readings from it have helped guide my understanding of the history of distance and online education. Within its electronic pages I have found history, perspective, dissent, and most importantly theoretical and research rationale for posits and claims. So I wonder why, at this point in my cMOOC readings for cfhe12 and oped12, I have not found any articles from this journal, considering the ones I have encountered so far paint a great road map leading us from the dawn of industrial education to the massification precipice we are at today. Continue reading
Just last week I discussed potential problems with having an academic, rigorous reading list in an open access course such as a cMOOC. My main contention was peer-review, empirical research (or the lack thereof) in the cMOOCs, as academic research is most often published in academic journals, journals that exist as a checkpoint to determine quality and sufficient rigor. If cMOOCs cannot take from this lit, the discussion happens around news briefs and blogs, entities that are important but an incomplete part of the balanced breakfast.
The other side of the equation reared its head this week, as Pearson moved to remove copywritten material from an edublogs site (last updated in 2007). The content in question was from a 1974 textbook that was out of print. The web host for edublogs, ServerBeach, responded by shutting down the server and removing access to the nearly 1.5 million edublogs. The professor who put the copywritten material (a 20 question true/false quiz primer) out there intended to only affect a specific class, and the question of fair use is viable in such a situation. However, fear of DMCA (likely spurred by SOPA and PIPA) seems to have resulted in a massive action for the interim.
So, it looks like the future of both open education (#oped12) and higher education (#cfhe12) is going to struggle with such a world, where this blog could show up on a reading list for a cMOOC, but if I were to publish research in the American Educational Research Association, it would not be available for such courses, and publishing it without permission (read: $$$) would result in massive shutdowns affecting many more than my work was ever intended to see.
One tangental hope from this article — I received link to this article through the Twitter feed of Michael Peter Edson, who is in charge of Web & New Media strategy at the Smithsonian (and who I had the pleasure of meeting in March to discuss various educational and museum policy). I often lament the lack of crossover in disciplines — a lot of cool open movement things are happening in museums (though not in museum ed departments, oddly enough), and it would be great to see the energy of such variant disciplines coalesce together. Maybe it will.
Very recent (read: September 25) research on the MOOC phenomenon by Sir John Daniel, one of the pioneers of open education (#oped12) and distance learning. A piece that I will return to for my scholarship (as well as pick from for other cited authors), but on
first second glance:
- I appreciate the focus on the xMOOC (still don’t like that term by the way, as it and cMOOC say that these are just two different apples off the same tree, when it’s more like two distinctly different trees ended up in the same forest because two birds delivered seeds from distant lands). Most published research comes from the cMOOC side of things, making a foray into the MOOC topic difficult, as the Man on the Street would associate MOOC with the sort of thing being done by Harvard, MIT and Stanford. Continue reading