Archive for February 5, 2013

GT and Coursera’s MOOC stumble: Why they are still experiments

Since I do write about MOOCs a lot here, it would be disingenuous of me not to report on the Coursera MOOC that got pulled, especially since it was from Georgia Tech. I think this is an example that proves MOOCs are still experiments. This would be a much worse story if this was a required course, or one that students had paid tuition for.

The course got off to a bad start; one student reported that the first e-mail he got from the instructor “was not an introduction to the course per se, nor instructions for getting started, but rather an apology for the technical glitches that were, unbeknownst to me, already occurring.”

Ms. Wirth had tried to use Google Docs to help the course’s 40,000 enrolled students to organize themselves into groups. But that method soon became derailed when various authors began editing the documents. Things continued downhill from there; some students also had problems downloading certain course materials that had been added to the syllabus at the last minute. When the confusion continued, Georgia Tech decided to call a timeout.

via Georgia Tech and Coursera Try to Recover From MOOC Stumble – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

February 5, 2013 at 7:26 am 6 comments

Open Source Edition of LiveCode (Modern HyperCard)

HyperCard is likely still the world’s most successful end-user programming environment.  Having an open source version that runs on all modern OS and mobile platforms would be fabulous.  I’m backing.

LiveCode lets you create an app for your smartphone, tablet, desktop computer or server, whether you are a programmer or not. We are excited to bring you this Kickstarter project to create a brand new edition of our award-winning software creation platform.

LiveCode has been available as a proprietary platform for over a decade. Now with your support we can make it open and available to everyone. With your help, we will re-engineer the platform to make it suitable for open source development with a wide variety of contributors.

Support our campaign and help to change coding forever.

via Open Source Edition of LiveCode by RunRev Ltd — Kickstarter.

February 5, 2013 at 1:27 am Leave a comment

Measuring the Success of Online Education: Duolingo and MOOCs

Was anyone else bothered by the argument in this NYtimes blog post?  “MOOCS aren’t effective in terms of completion rates; Duolingo is not a MOOC; Duolingo is effective.”  So…what does that tell us about MOOCs?

The paper on Duolingo effectiveness is pretty cool.  I think it’s particularly noteworthy that more prior knowledge of Spanish led to less of an effect of Duolingo.  I wonder if that’s because Duolingo is essentially using a worked example model, and worked examples do suffer from the expertise reversal effect.

Moreover, there are early indications that the high interactivity and personalized feedback of online education might ultimately offer a learning structure that can’t be matched by the traditional classroom.

Duolingo, a free Web-based language learning system that grew out of a Carnegie Mellon University research project, is not an example of a traditional MOOC. However, the system, which now teaches German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and English, has roughly one million users and about 100,000 people spend time on the site daily.

via Measuring the Success of Online Education – NYTimes.com.

February 5, 2013 at 1:21 am 2 comments


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