Archive for September 3, 2012

Heading Down Under for ICER 2012: 4-13 September 2012

I leave tomorrow 4 September for Auckland, NZ and the International Computing Education Research (ICER) 2012 conference which will be 10-11 September.  I will be presenting Lauren’s work on subgoal-based instruction in CS, Barbara will be presenting our statewide survey work, Briana Morrison will present the Disciplinary Commons for Computing Education, and Christine Alvarado will present a lightning talk on our ebook evaluation of the Runestone Interactive Python book.  I will likely miss some blog posts between now and when I return 13 September.  (It will be particularly hard for me to post on 5 September, the day I “skip” while over the Pactific.)

We’re leaving a bit early so that I don’t have to be in an airplane on 7 September, my birthday — I’m ending my first half century Down Under.

September 3, 2012 at 9:51 am Leave a comment

Access is not the same as learning: Videos don’t go on the Transcript

In this story, I side with those who consider the “learning” described as “illegitimate.”  Watching a TED lecture doesn’t mean you learned anything.  What does it mean to “take” a course from OCW?  You downloaded the PDF’s?

If a college course means anything, it means that you did something, you demonstrated your learning.  No one should get credit towards a degree for watching the video.

Fast-forward 472 years. You’re a college student. You’ve taken advantage of some amazing opportunities in the online world. You’ve listened to Nobel laureates discuss the Eurozone crisis and explain how current difficulties relate (or not) to classical theories of economics. You’ve worked through the underlying physics and chemistry for nearly every episode of “MythBusters.” You regularly watch the TED lectures. And you’ve even taken courses from the Open Learning Initiative and from OpenCourseWare at MIT. Now you want the academic credit for those forms of learning.

Although you won’t actually be burned at the stake as Cranmer was, you have a very good chance of experiencing the modern version of this torture because it is equally threatening to the elite. It goes something like this.

First, you’ll be asked to produce the sacred document, otherwise known as a transcript, indicating that you officially took the course. No transcript you say? Sorry — your learning is then considered “illegitimate,” and you’re then often cast out into the night where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth as you stumble back to the very beginning of college to start over.

While an exaggeration, today — through such outlets as TED, various open-source course initiatives, and primary sources through digital content providers — we all have access to the knowledge that previously was the province of academia. In the same way that access to the New Testament gave otherwise uneducated English people access to the very heart of Christianity, that access is “dangerous.” It threatens the central notion of what a college or university exists to do, and so, by extension, threatens the very raison d’etre of faculty and staff.

via Cavanaugh essay how accreditation must change in era of open resources | Inside Higher Ed.

September 3, 2012 at 9:44 am 2 comments


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