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Code of Ethics in E-learning


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Presentation at the CEPOL 55/2012 event in Tallinn, August 28, 2012

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Code of Ethics in E-learning

  1. 1. Code of Ethics in E-learning Kaido KikkasEstonian IT College *** Tallinn University CEPOL 55/2012 Tallinn, August 28, 2012
  2. 2. The Mighty Technology◊ Yesterdays expensive rocket science is todays everybodys stuff. Examples: ● Todays mobile phones have more computing power than early Big Irons ● Long time (~20 years) ago, some folks actually sold news as their main business ● Mass media vs social media ● Todays home studio equipment (whether music, photo or film) was a professionals dream once◊ Bottom line: people can do great things when they dont have to face stupid obstacles
  3. 3. E-learning◊ Before early 80s: contact learning, pre-IT distance learning (correspondence, radio, TV)◊ 80s and early 90s: computer-based learning (PC as an interactive video player); CD-ROMs, learning software, multimedia◊ 90s: e-learning 1.0 – e-mail, Web 1.0, scripts and applets◊ Early 00s: e-learning 2.0 – learning management systems (WebCT/BB, Moodle)◊ Today: e-learning 3.0 – Web 2.0, distributed and personal learning environments
  4. 4. Opening up◊ At first, e-learning was a closed process using closed tools – proprietary LMSs with well- guarded access◊ Later, the tools opened up (Moodle, Claroline, Manhattan, ILIAS etc), but the content was stil closed◊ Nowadays, a rising trend is open (and distributed) tools to provide open learning experience – examples range from MIT OpenCourseWare to Wikiversity to Khan Academy. MMOG => MMOOC
  5. 5. “Houston, we have a problem...”◊ Technology has evolved a lot◊ Humans are (mostly) still the same◊ Possibly the most dangerous person to confront is a WEB (Well-Equipped Blockhead) (has anyone seen Idiocracy?)
  6. 6. A big question◊ Does the cyberspace exist?◊ Or: is the online world a new environment – or just the extension of the RL (Real Life)?◊ Maybe both are correct (in a sense)... Real Life with a twist?◊ The cyberspace is ● Like a knife – can be used to cure or to kill ● Like an amplifier – contacts, relations, stupidity...
  7. 7. Ethical issues in e-learning: an overview◊ Why, what, how, how much, when◊ Who is the teacher?◊ “On Internet, nobody knows youre a dog”◊ Someone tries to steal my dreams!◊ When things go sour
  8. 8. Why, what, how, how much, when◊ In the cyberspace, misunderstandings and controversies get amplified too – KISS◊ Set the rules but not in stone – and try to make people forget about them (to hell with the grade, this thing is FUN!)◊ Divide the workload along the course and use a clearly-defined point system instead of exam◊ When in doubt, rule in favour of students◊ Build a community
  9. 9. Who is the teacher?◊ Dictator – dictates everything◊ Supervisor – the superficial official, does not care◊ Guru – loves the stuff but is a bit too hippie◊ Sensei – the older brother/sister who happens to have seen and done it before. Recall the classics: "Daniel san, karate here (points to forehead). Karate here (points to his heart). Karate not here (points to his belt). You understand?" *** Daniel: “Yeah. Im sorry. That was pretty stupid.” Miyagi: “Miyagi say that to father when same thing happened. Father agree it was stupid. Father was right.”
  10. 10. “On Internet, nobody knows youre a dog”◊ In general, Dogbert was right◊ Yet ● Can we always speak our mind? Direct vs self- censorship ● Does the information stay inside? ● Can truths be different? ● How does the e-learning system used influence freedom of expression?
  11. 11. Someone tries to steal my dreams!◊ Pacta sunt servanda◊ Yet, the best before of todays intellectual property is long gone◊ When doing e-learning, do you ● sell your materials, or ● sell your brains (know-how, experience, insight)?◊ Do regulate the legal side – but keep it free (Creative Commons licenses are a good way)
  12. 12. When things go sour◊ E-learning can have a dark side, amplified (again!) by the cyberspace ● Destructive personalities (on both sides!) ● Cyber-hooligans ● Spammers ● Criminals◊ Well-defined policies help (study guide etc)◊ Technical safeguards (backups, firewalls etc)◊ An Armageddon scenario (aka WSHTF)?
  13. 13. (a very provisional) Code of Ethics◊ E-learning is a two-way process with mutual influence – community aspects are important◊ Motivation is of prime importance – and the teacher has the key here◊ Continuous work rather than one-time exams◊ Often, there can be many truths◊ Set the legal framework, but do not go crazy◊ Have a safety valve on the course (when things go sour)
  14. 14. Thank you The slides will be available at the Creative Commons BY-SA license