UMUC Orkand Lecture 2009


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UMUC Orkand Lecture 2009

  1. 1. Content and Connections: New Opportunities for Formal Education Orkand Distinguished Lecture Series Terry Anderson, PhD Professor and Canada Research Chair in Distance Education
  2. 2. Lecture Overview Intro and compulsory opening joke   Compelling case for use/re-use of open content   New models of connected learning   New Roles for our Educational Institutions  
  3. 3.   “Canada is a great country, much too cold for common sense, inhabited by compassionate and intelligent people with bad haircuts”. Yann Martel, Life of Pi, 2002.  
  4. 4. Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada Fastest growing university in Canada 34,000 students, 700 courses 100% distance education Graduate and Undergraduate programs Master & Doctorate – Distance  Athabasca Education * Athabasca University University Only USA Regionally Accredited University in Canada
  5. 5. Values   We can (and must) continuously improve the quality, effectiveness, appeal, cost and time efficiency of learning.   Learner control and freedom is integral to 21st Century formal education and life-long learning.   Education for elites is not sufficient for planetary survival “Today’s learners want to be active participants in the learning process – not mere listeners; they have a need to control their environments, and they are used to easy access to the staggering amount of content and knowledge available at their fingertips” EduCause Horizon Report 2009
  6. 6. The compelling Case for Openness Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing. – Terry Foote, Wikipedia
  7. 7. Open Education Resources (OERs) Vision + Affordance “At the heart of the open educational resources   movement is the simple and powerful idea that; the world’s knowledge is a public good in general   the World Wide Web provides an extraordinary   opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse that knowledge.” Hewlett Foundation Smith, & Casserly. The promise of open educational resources. Change 38(5): 8–17, 2006
  8. 8. OER Granularity Diagrams, photos   Articles (Open access publications)   Games, simulations, activities   Units of learning (IMS LD)   Units and courses   Programs   Special Issue of IRRODL edited by Dave Wiley fall 2009
  9. 9. OER’s are Open (Mostly) Meaning you can:   Augment   Edit   Customize   Aggregate and Mashup   Reformat   Re-published   But they need to be licensed –   not just put online   See Scott Leslie’s 10 minute video at
  10. 10. A Tale of 3 books Open Access E-Learning for the 21st Commercial publisher Century 100,000 + downloads & 934 copies sold at Commercial Pub. Individual chapters $52.00 1200 sold @ $135.00 2,000 copies in Arabic 500 hardcopies sold @ $50 Buy at Amazon!! Translation @ $8. Free at
  11. 11. Reading OERs Ebooks – just around the corner?
  12. 12. Reading OERs Espresso Book Machine Binding: Perfect-bound   books, indistinguishable from the bookstore copy. Page-Count: 40 to 830   pages. Speed: A 300-page book in   less than 4 minutes. File Format: Standard PDF   for book block and cover. Books can be downloaded   from the web, or in person from CDs, flash drives, etc. Cost $.03 /page   Reading Green - “Each of the books printed and sold… will save 5.8 kilograms in carbon emissions,”. Kanter 2008
  13. 13. Problems with OER Little take up by conventional teachers     Too little reward and recognition for authors   Too few learners, by themselves, actually engage with the content   Trouble breaking away from dependence on text books   Undeveloped business case   Too few teachers remix and repost content   Too difficult to upload, tag and share Solution?? Vibrant communities of Produsers??
  14. 14. Our own Experiment: Course development based on OER’s 4 Athabasca University courses:   Nursing,   Communications (Writing for the Theatre)   English for Business, &   Educ. Tech   Vastly different results   Critical variable was the attitude of the developer(s)   Christiansen, J., & Anderson, T. (2004) Feasibility of course development based on learning objects: Research analysis of three case studies. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Education,
  15. 15. What is missing? Clear pedagogical goals   Culture of development, sharing   and remix Network and social software   Solutions Lack of Business models   Reducing dependence on text books?   How much does current production   cost? Can we engage students to produce   high quality content? Are ads more palatable than fees?  
  16. 16. The Emerging Political Economy of Peer Production: Michael Bauwens a 'third mode of production' different from for-profit   or public production by state-owned enterprises. Its product is not exchange value for a market, but   but use-value for a community of users “produce use-value through the free cooperation of   producers who have access to distributed capital”
  17. 17. Prod-Users - From production to produsage - Axel Bruns (2008) Users become active participants in the production of   artifacts: Examples:     Open source movement   Wikipedia   Citizen journalism (blogs)   Immersive worlds   Distributed creativity - music, video, Flickr
  18. 18. Produsage Principles Community-Based –the community as a whole can   contribute more than a closed team of producers.   Fluid Heterarcy – produsers participate as is appropriate to their personal skills, interests, and knowledge, and may form loose sub-groups to focus on specific issues, topics, or problems   Unfinished Artifacts –projects are continually under development, and therefore always unfinished;   Common Property, Individual Rewards – contributors permit (non-commercial) community use, adaptation, and further development of their intellectual property, and are rewarded by the status capital they gain through this process
  19. 19. “open education is not just about disseminating resources that can be localized in many ways to improve education in local contexts, but also about an opportunity toward broadening and deepening our collective understanding of teaching and learning. “Toru Liyoshi and M. S. Vijay Kumar 2008
  20. 20. OERs as Disruptive Technologies Christensen (1997, 2008) studies innovation and the   impact of disruptions A disruptive technology “transforms a market whose   services are complicated and expensive into one where simplicity, convenience, accessibility and affordability characterize that industry” p. 11 Unless steered by very wise leaders organizations will   “shape every innovation into a sustaining innovation - one that fits processes, values, and the economic model of the organization - because organizations cannot naturally disrupt themselves” p. 74
  21. 21. Open Educational Resources Produser Model Produser/Consumer Ex. WikiEducator Ex. MIT OCW Open participation Restricted participation Emergent governance Staff production Unrestricted licensing Institutional governance Mass growth potential Non commercial license Mora, M. (2008)
  22. 22. Short Case study: Open University UKʼs Development of Open Learn Rationale Opportunity:   The risk of doing nothing when technology and globalization issues   need to be addressed. A testbed for new technology and new ways of working   way to work with external funders who share similar aims and   ideals A chance to learn how to draw on the world as a resource.   Brand Promotion   A route for outreach beyond current student body   Demonstration of the quality of Open University materials in new   regions.
  23. 23. Open Learn Example 490 units
  24. 24. Social Learn: to devise means to put ourselves out of business - before our competitors do!! “For 3000 years education has made the learner adapt to   the system. SocialLearn [1] aims to reverse this and make the education system adapt to the learner.” Make the formal informal, and the informal   formal. Web 2.0 tools, attitudes, learning designs  Martin Weller
  25. 25. Creative Literacies driving Web 2.0: “The ability to experiment with technology in order to create and manipulate content that serves social goals rather than merely retrieving and absorbing information” p. 107 Burgess, J. (2006) Learning to Blog. Uses of Blogs Bruns &Jacobs
  26. 26. We are producing content How best to harness this creativity?   65,000 videos uploaded to YouTube every day   Facebook 24 million photos uploaded daily   50 million blogs, 50% written by under 19 year olds Scientific America 229(3) 2008 &   FaceBook Home
  27. 27. OERs concluded We have opportunity, tools, demand and capacity to   revolutionize the production and distribution of powerful learning content. But Education is more than content, how do we organize   ourselves for effective learning?
  28. 28. Steven Warburton, 2007
  29. 29. Social Learning Taxonomy of the Many Network Group Collective Dron and Anderson, 2007 31
  30. 30. Social Learning Taxonomy of the Many LMS Network Group Web 2.0 Tools Collective Semantic Web Tools
  31. 31. Social Learning Each of us participates in Groups, Networks and Collectives.   Learning is enhanced by exploiting the affordances of all three   sources of social learning. Issues, memes, opportunities and learning activities arise at all   three levels of granularity. Tools are designed and often work best at particular levels, but   can always be appropriated Formalize the formal   Informalize the formal (Martin Weller)  
  32. 32. Choosing the right tool? OR 2806 logos as of Feb.16, 2009
  33. 33. 1. Formal Education and Groups:   Classes, cohorts & collaboration   Leads to increases:  completion rates,  achievement  satisfaction as compared to individualized learning   Collaborative projects forge strong links   Familiar logistic challenges similar to institutional, campus-based learning   Can operate ‘behind the garden wall” to allow freedom for expression and development   Refuge for scholarship
  34. 34. Formal Learning and Groups Long history of research   and study   Established sets of tools Classrooms,   Learning Management   Systems Synchronous (video &   net conferencing) Email   Need to develop face to   face, mediated and blended group learning skills
  35. 35. Groups as Communities of Practice Wengler’s ideas of Community of Practice     mutual engagement – synchronous and notification tools   joint enterprise – collaborative projects, “pass the course”   a shared repertoire – common tools, LMS, IM and doc sharing
  36. 36. Distributed Group Tools
  37. 37. Problems with Groups Restrictions in time, space, pace, &   relationship - NOT OPEN Often overly confined by teacher   expectation and institutional curriculum control Usually Isolated from the authentic   world of practice “low tolerance of internal difference,   sexist and ethicized regulation, high Relationships demand for obedience to its norms and exclusionary practices.” Cousin & Deepwell 2005 Paulsen (1993) Group think (Baron, 2005) Law of Cooperative Freedom   Poor preparation for Lifelong Learning   beyond the course
  38. 38. Challenges of using new social software tools for group tasks Control   Pacing and Deadlines   Support   Privacy   Assessment   Ownership and perseverance  
  39. 39. Groups are necessary, but not sufficient for quality learning.
  40. 40. 2. Formal Learning with Networks Networks create and sustain links between individuals   creating flexible communication and information spaces Networks link diversity, span boundaries, enable   communication among disparate individuals Each of us may belong to many networks   Networks can connect self-paced and independent   learners to cooperative study activities Network: An integrated system of resources and people 42
  41. 41. Networks Provide resources from which students’ extract and   contribute information   In school one should learn to build, contribute to and manage one’s networks   Transparency provides application and validation of information and skills developed in formal learning   Provides role models for new students   Networks last beyond the course - basis for ongoing support and advise from alumni and professional communities 43
  42. 42. “People who live in the intersection of social worlds are at higher risk of having good ideas” Burt, 2005, p. 90
  43. 43. Communities of Practice Distributed   Share common interest   Self organizing   Open   No expectation of meeting or even knowing all members   of the Network Little expectation of reciprocity   Contribute for social capital, altruism and a sense of   improving the world/practice through contribution (Brown and Duguid, 2001)
  44. 44. Communities of Practice Networks Distributed   Share common interest   Self organizing   Open   No expectation of meeting or even knowing all members   of the Network Little expectation of reciprocity   Contribute for social capital, altruism and a sense of   improving the world/practice through contribution (Brown and Duguid, 2001)
  45. 45. Groups are Managed - Networks Emerge! Networks cannot be controlled like a group - requires   new types of learning activity and leadership Meritocracy nor autocracy   Need to both amplify and extinguish interactions   Facilitate quality knowledge and artifact construction   Stimulate emergent behaviours and adaptation   47
  46. 46. The New Yorker September 12, 2005
  47. 47. Building Networks of Practice in Education Motivation – marks, rewards, self and net efficacy, net-   presence Structural support   Exposure and training   Transparent systems   Wireless access, mobile computing   Cognitive skills – content + procedural, disclosure control   Social connections, reciprocity   Creating and sustaining a spiral of social capital building   Nahapiet & Ghoshal (1998)  
  48. 48. Network Pedagogies Connectivism   Learning is network formation: adding new nodes, creating new   paths between people and learning resources “Learning can reside outside of ourselves (within an   organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn are more important than our current state of knowing.” Siemens, G. (2007) Complexity   Learning in environments in which activities and outcomes   emerge in response to authentic need creates powerful learning opportunities Learning at the edge of chaos   Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education   See the Networked Student by Wendy Drexler 50
  49. 49. Social Software works to facilitate and build Networks Networks combine personalization with socialization   creating transparency (Dalsgaard, 2008) Focus is on the individual’s spaces and the way they share   and expose their space to others Reflections (blog)   Tagged Resources (photos, links, tasks)   Accomplishments (portfolio, artifacts)   Sharing and growing interests and skills   Finding friends, study buddies (profiles)   Scheduling, coordinating   Collaborative work spaces (wikis, doc sharing)   51
  50. 50. Network Tool Set (example) Text Text 52 Stepanyan, Mather & Payne, 2007
  51. 51. Access Controls in Elgg
  52. 52. Social tagging network for students
  53. 53. Networks force Individual Ownership and Construction “Networks in contrast (to groups and communities) make   no claims about the type and character of the links between nodes” Chris Jones, (2004) This forces network participants to more actively engage   in their own network development, off loading the responsibility from teachers and empowering learners to build and manage their own networks
  54. 54. quot;the network contains within it antagonistic clusterings, divergent sub-topologies, rogue nodesquot; Galloway and   Thacker, 2007 p. 34 “There is crack in everything, that's how the light gets in” Leonard Cohen Image from
  55. 55. Researching Educational Networks of Practice How to sustain input beyond the course ?   What type of control is needed to support and grow   trust and provide sufficient privacy? Control and evaluation ?   Appropriate tool sets ?  
  56. 56. 3. Collectives: Harvesting the Wisdom of Crowds 58
  57. 57. 3. Formal Education and Collectives “a kind of cyber-organism, formed from people linked algorithmically…it grows through the aggregation of Individual, Group and Networked activities” Dron & Anderson, 2007 Collectives used to aggregate, then filter, compare, contrast and   recommend. Personal and collaborative search and filter for learning   Smart retrieval from the universal library of resources – human and   learning objects Allows discovery and validation of norms, values, opinion and “ways of   understanding” 59
  58. 58. Problem with very weak ties Information, communication and interaction with those   we share very weak ties is likely of most value, because they have access to resources and connections that we do not. But they are also least likely to want to expend energy sharing their data. Collective applications work best when we contribute for   our individual gain, affording harvesting for collective gain Ex. Social bookmarking  
  59. 59. Collective Tools 61
  60. 60. Collective Examples: Determining our Effect Analysis of blog postings using semantic and matching   techniques Potential uses: uncover suicidal ideation mental health of the community understand evolving communication genres measure impact of popular memes understanding and predicting early adopters See Mishne, & de Rijke (2006) Capturing Global Mood Levels using Blog Posts 62
  61. 61. Collective Example: Terry’s Store at Amazon Drachsler, H., Hummel, G., & Koper, R. (2009). Identifying the Goal, User model and Conditions of Recommender Systems for Formal and Informal Learning. Journal of Digital Information, 10(2)
  62. 62. Explicit recommender systems:   Explicit 65
  63. 63. Collective filtering of stories and comments   Customizable by individuals to set quality of comments   displayed Critical mass essential but demonstrates how informed   readers collectively filter for each other “6,000 or 7,000 comments on a busy day that other   people write (and review) and just a dozen stories of just a paragraph or two that we actually generate,” Rob Malda, Founder Slashdot
  64. 64. Collective Examples for Educational Application Artifact Ranking systems: Google Search; CitULike;     Tag Clouds: What do collectives find of interest?   Recommendation Systems: People like me, like …..   Wikis: Contributions from the crowd   Folksonomies: Bottom up and emergent classification systems   Voting and auctions: Perfect market?   Prediction Markets:   Net based psychology and sociology
  65. 65. Hive mind? Borgs? Group consciousness? Collectively managing planet Earth   What does it mean to be aware of each other?   Collectives operate as mirrors to monitor and learn from our collective selves (Spivack, 2006) 69
  66. 66. Are We what we click? “If you want to understand   the new connected world and how we choose to live in it, Look no further than our Internet behaviour; after all, we are what we clickquot; p 203” Tancer, (2008) Behaviours (online searches,   paths etc.) viewed collectively offer powerful insights into human behaviour
  67. 67. Collectives, Privacy & Identity Best way to protect personal integrity is by creating a   robust but realistic web presence. Your actions are being mined, best to be a miner rather   than a lump of coal! Active social net users are more socially active and   integrated than non users (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007) Use of Blogs reduces feelings of alienation and isolation   among online learners (Dickey, 2004) When perceived interest and benefits increase,   willingness to provide personal data increases (Dinev & Hart, 2006)
  68. 68. Learning Content Net Blogs E-portfolios Calendar Resources Assignments Course and social Grades Communities Syllabus Discussions?
  69. 69. Learning Content Collectives Net GROUPS Blogs E-portfolios Calendar Resources Assignments Course and social NETWORKS Grades Communities syllabus
  70. 70. Where will I find the Time? Is this stuff just a big fad that I can safely ignore? Clay Shirky (2008) social surplus of time “Two hundred   billion hours of television watching, in the U.S. alone, every year. Put another way that's 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year spent watching television”
  71. 71.   Schoolis not the primary learning context. By using all the resources of content, places, groups, networks and collectives we prepare students for a life and a love of learning.
  72. 72. Research Content Connections
  73. 73. “The class is not the primary   learning event. It is life itself that is the main learning event. Schools, classrooms, and training sessions still have a role to play in this vision, but they have to be in the service of the learning that happens in the world. Etienne Wenger  
  74. 74. quot;He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” Chinese Proverb Your comments and questions most welcomed! Terry Anderson Blog:
  75. 75. Network Politics The mere existence of this multiplicity of   nodes in no way implies an inherently, ecumenical or equalitarian orderquot;. P. 13 Galloway and Thacker, 2007 Networks used to wage war on both   states and terrorist resistance The more the West continues to perfect   itself as a monolith of pure, smooth power, the greater the chance of a single asymmetrical attack penetrating straight to the heart” p. 17
  76. 76. Internet Singularity Human Knowledge Ability to Analyze Ability to Create the Online World Digital Artifacts “ Primary cause is claimed to be ubiquitous computing, democratization of computing resources, and iterative processes of creation and discovery becoming continuous.” Gary William Flake Microsoft / MSN
  77. 77. On average, the production and provision of the distance learning courses consumed nearly 90% less energy and produced 85% fewer CO2 emissions (per student per 10 CAT points) than the conventional campus-based university courses