Open online learning ecosystem - Porto & Thompson

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Open online learning ecosystem - Porto & Thompson

  1. 1. OPEN  LEARNING  ECOSYSTEM  FOR  THE  MILITARY  IN  THE  DIGITAL  AGE     Stella  C.S.  Porto,  DSc  &  MDE   Jacklyn  Thompson,  MDE     Master  of  Distance  Education  &  E-­‐Learning   The  Graduate  School   University  of  Maryland  University  College     Link  to  Presentation  in  Prezi:   http://prezi.com/qyezaq8tj1jj/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share         This  presentation  discusses  how  MOOCs,  OERs,  digital  badges,  and  e-­‐portfolios  have  converged  as   pieces  of  a  learning  ecosystem  puzzle  that  supports  an  open  and  sustainable  framework  for  lifelong   learning  for  adults  in  all  professional  fields  with  special  relevance  for  those  in  the  military.       Description   The  importance  of  educational  provisions  for  those  stationed  abroad  and  their  families  has  been  a  pillar   for  institutions  adopting  different  forms  of  flexible  education.  There  is  also  the  understanding  that  adult   learners,  including  the  military,  acquire  skills  and  knowledge  through  activities  and  experiences  in  the   workplace.  There  is  a  need  for  an  explicit  recognition  and  validation  of  such  demonstrated  experiences   so  they  can  be  mapped  onto  formal  education  paths  for  further  professional  development.       In  recent  literature  it  is  hard  to  miss  the  references  to  MOOCs  (Massive  Open  Online  Courses),  OERs   (Open  Educational  Resources),  badges  and  e-­‐portfolios.  These  terms  have  in  time  converged  as  pieces  of   a  puzzle  that  supports  an  open  access  framework  for  lifelong  learning  in  the  digital  age.  This   presentation  discusses  how  such  pieces  of  this  learning  ecosystem  puzzle  fit  together  and  what  kinds  of   standards  are  needed  in  order  to  support  a  flexible  and  sustainable  learning  framework  for  adults  in  all   professional  fields,  with  special  relevance  for  those  in  the  military.       E-­‐portfolios  have  become  a  standard  practice  in  the  education  and  employment  fields,  and  are  well   recognized  as  a  major  tool  for  supporting  lifelong  learning  and  learner-­‐centered  approaches  to   education.       A  digital  badge  is  a  way  to  display  talents  and  competencies,  both  practical  and  academic.  The  idea  is   that  a  badge  is  a  widely  accepted  digital  symbol  that  acknowledges  and  recognizes  certain  skills  and/or   competencies.  Thus,  displaying  badges  in  one’s  e-­‐portfolio  is  a  natural  method  for  portraying   professional  achievement.       The  amount  of  OERs  currently  available  on  the  web  is  massive,  but  not  always  easy  to  find.  Assessing  the   quality  of  such  materials  can  also  be  a  complex  process.  The  adoption  of  these  resources  by  institutions   is  slowly  evolving,  still  depending  on  standards  and  quality  assurance  processes.  For  individuals  with   adequate  readiness  to  navigate  the  web  and  the  ability  to  learn  on  their  own,  OERs  can  be  of  significant   value  at  no  cost.       Much  of  the  impact  of  the  MOOC  wave  in  education  is  still  unfolding.  Since  MOOCs  are  completely  free   of  cost,  they  open  up  many  possibilities  for  exploration  of  a  variety  of  topics.    Besides  the  push  for  being  
  2. 2. translated  into  college  credits,  MOOCs  can  also  be  a  promise  of  recognized  education  directly  by   employers  looking  for  proof  of  competencies  and  abilities  and  not  necessarily  a  formal  degree.       In  this  presentation,  participants  will  learn  and  discuss  about  the  challenges  and  promises  of  these   different  initiatives.  They  will  be  able  to  delineate  how  the  pieces  of  the  learning  ecosystem  puzzle   should  evolve,  so  they  hold  the  potential  of  working  perfectly  together  as  a  response  to  the  needs  of   continuous  professional  development  and  recognition  of  competencies  and  skills  for  a  broad  range  of   adults,  new  and  old  to  the  job  market,  including  military  transition  to  civilian  life.  The  focus  of  the   presentation  is  on  the  synergy  of  these  initiatives  and  how  this  opens  up  a  bright  path  for  military  and   veterans  in  pursuit  of  professional  development  within  a  highly  accessible  framework.     Bibliography     Batson,  T.  (2012).  Definition  of  “ePortfolio”.  Batson  Blog.  The  Association  of  Authentic,  Experiential  and   Evidence-­‐based  Learning.  http://www.aaeebl.org/tbb?mode=PostView&bmi=1075857     Batson,  T.  (2013)  The  Taming  of  the  MOOC  –  With  ePortfolio  evidence.  Campus  Technology.   http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2013/01/16/The-­‐Taming-­‐of-­‐the-­‐MOOC.aspx       Brooks,  D.  (2013).  The  campus  tsunami.  New  York  Times.   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/opinion/brooks-­‐the-­‐campus-­‐tsunami.html       Fain,  P.  (2012).  Digital  badging  for  veterans.  Inside  Higher  Ed.  December  7,  2012.     http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/07/website-­‐recognizes-­‐military-­‐skills-­‐digital-­‐ badges     Hartman,  E.  (2013).  Are  ePortfolios  still  relevant  for  today’s  students?  EmergingEdTech.   http://www.emergingedtech.com/2013/03/are-­‐eportfolios-­‐still-­‐relevant-­‐for-­‐todays-­‐students/     Jeffrey,  K.  (2012).  ePortfolios  as  badges  –  A  badge  system  design  for  learning  by  creating.  Hastac.   http://www.hastac.org/blogs/kbjeffrey/2012/03/26/eportfolios-­‐badges-­‐badge-­‐system-­‐design-­‐ learning-­‐creating       Jones,  E.  (n.d.)  The  surge  in  online  military  education.  Straighterline.   http://www.straighterline.com/online-­‐education-­‐resources/veterans-­‐education-­‐1/the-­‐surge-­‐in-­‐ online-­‐military-­‐education/       Kolowich,  S.  (2013).  American  council  on  education  recommends  5  MOOCs  for  credit.  The  Chronicle  of   Higher  Education.  February  7,  2013.  https://chronicle.com/article/American-­‐Council-­‐on-­‐ Education/137155/     Leader-­‐Kelley,  C.  (2013).  Lifelong  learning:  Luxury  or  survival?  The  evolllution.   http://www.evolllution.com/featured/lifelong-­‐learning-­‐luxury-­‐survival/     Lyle,  A.  (2013).  Dempsey:  Education  provides  foundation  of  democracy.  Joints  Chief  of  Staff.   http://www.jcs.mil/newsarticle.aspx?id=1106      
  3. 3. Masterson,  K.  (2013).  Giving  MOOCs  some  credit.  American  Council  of  Education.   http://www.acenet.edu/the-­‐presidency/columns-­‐and-­‐features/Pages/Giving-­‐MOOCs-­‐Some-­‐ Credit.aspx     Nielsen,  S.  (2013).  Review  of  the  book  “Educating  America’s  Military”.    http://www.h-­‐ net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=37632       Open  Educational  Resources.  (n.d.)  The  William  and  Flora  Hewlett  Foundation.   http://www.hewlett.org/programs/education-­‐program/open-­‐educational-­‐resources     Porto,  S.  and  Walti,  C.  (2013).  ePortfolios:  The  revival  of  a  powerful  tool  for  lifelong  learning.  The   evolllution.  http://www.evolllution.com/distance_online_learning/eportfolios-­‐revival-­‐powerful-­‐ tool-­‐lifelong-­‐learning/       Sample  college  courses  for  free  through  MOOCs  (n.d.)  VestGuide.   http://vetsguide.com/sample_college_courses_for_free_through_moocs_800922052.html       Young,  J.R.  (2012).  American  council  on  education  may  recommend  some  courser  offerings  for  college   credit.  The  Chronicle  of  Higher  Education.  November  13,  2012.     http://chronicle.com/article/MOOCs-­‐Take-­‐a-­‐Major-­‐Step/135750/      

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