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What Constitutes Student Success?



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  • 1. What ConstitutesStudent Success?Stephen DownesOnline Teaching Conference 2013Long Beach, California20 June 2013
  • 2. The question I’d like to put today: what happens tocourses when there are no more tests?
  • 3. The course as a support system for a testTwo criteria for success:•The student finishes thecourse, and•A passing grade on theevaluation or test
  • 4. The passion for finishing…• “Finish your supper, there are starving children in…”• “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over…”• “Giving up” on a book, “walking out” of a movie or a play
  • 5. The passion for testing• Outcomes based… - “The proof is in the pudding”• The need for a resolution of competition – the “best”• Getting the right answer – the whodunit, the victor
  • 6. An alternative reality…• To taste instead of simply consuming• The idea of experiencing rather than merely attending• Browsing rather than absorbing everything
  • 7. The complexity of it all…We could not eat all thefood in the world – and wehave multiple criteria forsuccess in eating (taste,nourishment, safety…)
  • 8. We cannot watcheverything in a sport – noteven in a single game – andeven a win can be a ‘badgame’
  • 9. We don’t have time to readall the books in a library, or allthe articles in the NY Times –criteria for success includesalience, interest andavocations, prurience…http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/06/how_people_read_online_why_you_won_t_finish_this_article.s
  • 10. The challenge…-How do we learn in this alternative reality?-How do we know this learning has been a success?
  • 11. The First MOOC – CCK08
  • 12. What are MOOCs•Massive – by design•Open – gratis and libre•Online – vs. blended and wrapped•Courses – vs. communities, websites, videocollections, etc
  • 13. cMOOCs vs xMOOCs•xMOOCs – the Big Elite Universities Way•Collections of centralized resources•Mass events (like videos, live events)•Automated grading etc.•cMOOCs – the Connectivist Way•Based on community, conversation, culture•Most importantly, are distributed
  • 14. The Connected Applicationhttp://x28newblog.blog.uni-heidelberg.de/2008/09/06/cck08-first-impressions/
  • 15. Design principles of the MOOC – autonomy, diversity, openness,interactivity
  • 16. Pedagogy of the MOOC – aggregate, remix, repurpose, feed forwardhttp://cogdogblog.com/2009/06/29/arrff/
  • 17. What do we think of when we think of life-long learning? Classrooms?Image: Judy Loftin http://mylifeismylab.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/may-is-social-networking-month-at-the-lifelong-learning-lab/
  • 18. We think of life-long learning as an ongoingprocess, not a static event.Image, adapted from Garrison, Barbara Stäuble http://otl.curtin.edu.au/professional_development/conferences/tlf/tlf2005/refereed/stauble.html
  • 19. We think of learning as an active processwhere we try things out and make sense ofthe experienceImage: http://annekcam.blogspot.ca/2011/09/reflecting-on-e-learning-theories-and.html
  • 20. To teach is to model and demonstrate, tolearn is to practice and reflectImage, adapted from Garrison, Barbara Stäuble http://otl.curtin.edu.au/professional_development/conferences/tlf/tlf2005/refereed/stauble.html
  • 21. There are two sides to the learningequation; this presentation is focused onlearningImage, adapted from Garrison, Barbara Stäuble http://otl.curtin.edu.au/professional_development/conferences/tlf/tlf2005/refereed/stauble.htmlOpenCoursesPersonalLearningModel anddemonstratePracticeand reflectMOOC(gRSShopper)PLE(Plearn)
  • 22. In this presentation, I invite you to thinkabout how you learnImage: http://sarahgraphic.wordpress.com/2008/03/
  • 23. What is knowledge?
  • 24. the knowledge is in the networkthe knowledge is the networkOld: universals– rules– categoriesNew: patterns– similarities– coherencesWhat ‘Knowing’ Is…The Machine is Us/ing Us - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g&noredirect=1
  • 25. Emergence• How we perceive patterns of connectivity• Take the actual connections, and interpret them as a distinctwhole• Take the distinct whole, and interpret as a set of connections• As Hume would say, our perception of a causal relationshipbetween two events is more a matter of custom and habitthan it is of observation.
  • 26. stands for?Or is caused by?Distributed Representation= a pattern of connectivityHopfield
  • 27. Meaning• Traditionalist theories – ‘meaning’ is the state of affairs representedor described• But what about ‘redness’, or ‘17’, or ‘power law?’ (Or ‘one’ as in ‘onetree’, ‘one puppy’, ‘one couch’?)• These are complex phenomena we can’t simply grasp• They are composed of the organization of low-level non-meaningful entities• We need to experience multiple phenomena multiple times
  • 28. Organization• Personal knowledge: The organization of neurons• Public Knowledge: The organization of artifacts• A common underlying logic: graph theory, connectionism, socialnetwork theory, etc.• If a human mind can come to know, and if a human mind is,essentially, a network, then any network can come to know,and for that matter, so can a society.
  • 29. What is learning?
  • 30. Network Learning…• Hebbian associationism• based on concurrency• Back propagation• based on desired outcome• Boltzman• based on ‘settling’, annealingLearning Theories
  • 31. ‘Downes Theory’ of Pedagogy
  • 32. Personal LearningWe are using one of theseTo create one of these
  • 33. Developing personalknowledge is more likeexercising than likeinputting, absorbing orremembering
  • 34. Keep in mind how we learn: repeatedexposure, formation of habitsImage, http://www.skillsconverged.com/TrainingTutorials/TraintheTrainer/WhatisTryPracticeDemonstrate.aspx
  • 35. What is it to ‘finish’ exercising?
  • 36. Network-Based AssessmentWe recognize thisBy perfomance in this
  • 37. Personal Learning EnvironmentA PLE is a tool intendedto immerse yourselfinto the workings of acommunity
  • 38. gRSShopper• A tool for managing connections• Used in Connectivism course
  • 39. What constitutes success in a network?• “I was astonished at the level of activity.• “Study groups were forming based on language andgeography. There were Spanish and Portuguese groups,study units forming in Bulgaria and Russia, Boston andIndia.”Michael S. Roth - http://chronicle.com/article/My-Modern-MOOC-Experience/138781/
  • 40. 1. Actually being in a networkCompare with ‘old media’,which tries to swallowvisitors whole (when allthey want is theirhoroscope)Jeff Jarvis - http://buzzmachine.com/2007/11/12/glam-the-success-of-the-network/
  • 41. 2. Network MetricsFor example:•Generating awareness•Increasing sales•Driving loyaltyLegacy Learning drives sales online using the GDN, byincreasing the volume of clicks and conversions while maintaina steady CPA.Google:http://www.google.com/ads/displaynetwork/success-stories.html
  • 42. 3. Support• Not just likes or clicks• ‘Support’ is tangible –but not measurable• Be able to ‘cull links’ toincrease supporthttp://andrea-zak.com/2010/12/08/network-of-peeps/ Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/64419960@N00/3436188161
  • 43. 4. Network Perspective• Complexity of inputparameters• Complexity of projectoutcomesWu and Tang - http://www.pacis-net.org/file/2007/1189.pdf
  • 44. 5. Innovation• That ‘something new’feeling• The concept of “radicalopenness”• Eg. AT&T “Foundry”http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=2949http://networkingexchangeblog.att.com/enterprise-business/5-keys-to-innovation-your-business-needs-to-succeed/
  • 45. Stephen Downeshttp://www.downes.ca