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Activity 9: Relating learning analytics to the concerns of educators and students

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Figure 1 reflects on the classification of types of questions asked by the teacher during the investigation. But I am not very much satisfied with the drafted questions!

The goals of learning analytics are highlighted in table 4. It highlights that learning analytics can be used to assess data in different ways. It can be used by teachers and learners as well for self-reflection. Learning analytics is used to gather data, to provide decision support, to track user activities and to provide feedback. Teachers use it to monitor student progress, to highlight challenges, to improve teaching and to discover learning patterns. They can also use it to find which activities were useful for learning purpose.

Data-driven questions:

When and how long are student accessing specific learning offerings (during a day)? 

Pedagogy driven questions:

How often do students use a learning environment (per week)?

Is the performance in e-tests somehow related to exam grades?

Will the access to specific learning offerings increase if lectures and exercises on the same topic are scheduled during the same week?

Do native speakers have fewer problems with learning offerings than non-native speakers?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

The webpage says “If learners are asked to reflect at a certain point, then the time spent on site in that period, and any postings, will be relevant. If they are asked to work together and collaborate on a project, then their social networks will be of interest.”

Disagree with the first statement! I always read and prepare answers to the activities on MSWORD. I then post the responses at once for few activities. For learning analytics, it might be a dubious activity as it cannot find that I spent less time on site and posting, but more time on completing the task out of the OU forum zone.

For the second point, social network will be of interest to learning analytics, but learners consent MUST be taken to access collaborative project work information. Many times, hidden agendas of learning analytics can breach the trust and ethical rules.


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Activity 7: Google Analytics

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Type of data collected: Demographics, interests, behavior, technology, etc. I liked the idea of localizing the ad in

different languages for the outside target users. I think Google Analytics is mainly used for marketing and business

purposes.

Google Analytics are not used at my workplace. We place paid ad on Facebook for admission and the rest work to approach target audience is

done by their team. I can also see Facebook Analytics for my personal facebook page. They regularly send me details of

number of visitors, etc.

Learner

Educator

Administrator

IT and Marketing

 

Interests

Technology- to find which device learners mostly use to access data

 

Demographics

Active Users

Interests

Geo

Behavior

Technology

Interests


Data on active users can be used to find the number of users visiting to our website.  Demographics

can help to design appropriate content for the specific age group. I am not sure but I wonder if Google Analytics

identify real id? Can Google Analytics trace the emotions and feelings as well? If not, then Google Analytics

has certain drawbacks such as it cant trace if the user of the id has one id or using dozens of forge id.

 


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Activity 2: Investigating big data

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I read the article given on the links.

In the given case, Netflix runs a contest and lure people for prize money. It is a longitudinal contest means they received lots of data. In this way, they collected lots of methods and techniques.

Amazon uses various tactics such as item-to-item collaborative filtering which is based on our browsing history. They also use customer reviews and recommendations to attract customers. Amazon employee plays an important role to catch our purchasing and browsing behaviour. They also create occasional hype like BLACK FRIDAY SALE.

Privacy Crisis and Big Data

I searched for “big data” for Facebook. I read that Facebook is using our data for the business purpose. Our information is being shared with others without letting us know.  In fact, data to target US, voters were sold to Cambridge Analytica is accused of using that data to target US voters during 2016 elections. Recently Europen Union has passed data privacy bill to ensure the right to privacy.

I then searched for the Google big data. It says that big data means a well-structured data, which is produced in the form of text, video, images and audio. Google has developed open source tools that are used for big data purposes. Example, Google use semantics for the purpose of Google search engine.  Cloud computing is one of the best data storage and analytic place.

Visit: https://datafloq.com/read/google-applies-big-data-infographic/385

It has lots of information about Google big data working.

 



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Activity 1: Defining learning analytics

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The definition on Wikipedia Page

Learning analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.

Learning analytics is the use of intelligent data, learner-produced data, and analysis models to discover information and social connections for predicting and advising people's learning (Siemens, 2010).

I used Google and found the following definitions:

 According to EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (2016), “It is an educational application of web analytics aimed at learner profiling, a process of gathering and analyzing details of individual student interactions in online learning activities."

It is a process of collecting, evaluating, analysing, and reporting organizational data for decision making (Campbell and Oblinger, 2007).

Comparing the definitions available on Wikipedia and on other websites, I found two terms ‘decision-making’ and ‘learning profiling’ as unique in other definitions. Whereas elements such as collection, analysis are similar.  

 My definitions and viewpoints

 Learning analytics is the graphical or table representation of statistical data about a particular educational context. It is a data which is collected and analyzed using different tables or graphs. These data can be collected at one point or through longitudinal research. It can also be used for meta-analysis. Collecting direct data from systems such as personal data or any personal record and using it for research or other purposes need consent from the participants.

Right to privacy is often breached by the telecommunication and other big companies. Recently, Facebook was held accountable for sharing big data with other firms. These malpractices are very common these days.  I am not sure but I think Google and Yahoo also use Educational data mining (EDM) and trace our websites because whenever I click any interesting educational website, most of the time, the same webpage appears on my Google and Yahoo account page from the next time I log in

I am not sure but want to ask if OU uses Academic analytics? If yes, can anybody share the link? 

 

References

Campbell, J.P. and Oblinger, D.G. (2007). Academic analytics. [online] The EDUCAUSE. Available at: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/PUB6101.pdf [Accessed 25 Jun. 2018].

 

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (2016). The NMC Horizon Report: 2016 Higher Education Edition. [online] The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. Available at: https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2016/2/hr2016.pdf [Accessed 25 Jun. 2018].

 



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Activity 23: Mapping visitors and residents

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I am not in favour of the idea of digital native and digital immigrants because it depends on context and engagement and productivity of using technology by anyone regardless of age. I saw both the videos and liked the idea of David White, who rephrased the idea as digital residents and visitors. Everyone engage with technology in different ways. In each context, one can become digital resident or visitor. In fact, we all are digital resident as well as visitors in the different continuum.

I have created a Visitors and Residents map for me in bit different way. I haven’t blurred the boundary, rather tried to list technologies with borders. It was not much difficult for me to design my technology map except for email account, as I really use each technology in different context.

 

Visitor

Resident

Personal

You Tube

We Chat

Tinder

Skype

Wiki         

Twitter

Slide Share

Facebook

Whatsapp

Google Docs and Google DriveYou Tube

Yahoo Mail

Gmail

Institutional

Blackboard

Word Press

Excel

Digital Library

 

 

LMS      

Blog

Asynchronous Discussion Forum

Institutional Email

Google Docs

PowerPoint

Word

 

 


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Activity 22: An open education technology

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Google Docs is one of the most interactive technologies, which can be used for collaborative learning. Learners can view and edit documents together to complete a project over a web. It offers free access and online storage. Resources can be shared with anyone. Google Docs is important for open education because most of the time, the use of technology in open education lacks interactivity beyond the technology itself. In order to ensure human interaction and collaboration, Google Docs is effective technology to create networks between learners and practitioners. 

Google Drive is very important technology for open education provider. They can use it to store course materials (audio, video, pdfs) free of cost. They can also use it to develop a collaborative project with others. Since Open Education requires a platform to save resources, Google Drive can reduce the financial burden.


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Activity 20: Exploring Rhizomatic Learning

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HI

I think that Rhizomatic learning pedagogy is particularly applicable in informal learning environment. MOOC is a good example! However after watching the video (Cormier, 2012), I realized that it could be accommodated in formal education, subject to the conditions and contexts. The features of this type of learning are:

No fix structure of learning

Create chain of unbounded network

Develop critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills

Contextual

Ownership

Offer complexities to resolve issues at own

 

1.    Were you convinced by rhizomatic learning as an approach?

Yes, I am! Cormier talks about the changing knowledge, which demand learners to engage in building unstructured networks. Making connections building communities out of  communities is what work well to develop critical thinking skills

 

2.    Could you imagine implementing rhizomatic learning?

I think that each one of us is already engaged in rhizomatic learning in some way or the other. I am not sure to implement it for my students, but I am looking forward to apply it.

 

3.    How might rhizomatic learning differ from current approaches?

It is a liberal approach to learning and making unbounded network. There is no fix structure of start or end of learning. It offers critical thinking and appreciates diverse viewpoints. Curiosity to learn and explore and learning through realization make this pedagogy unique.

 

4.    What issues would arise in implementing rhizomatic learning?

1.       Context

2.       Skills to form unbounded network

3.       May rise complexities

 



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Activity 19: Implementing connectivism

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TARGET AUDIENCE: UNIVERSITY TEACHERS

DURATION: SEVEN WEEKS (6 hours per week)

Background: In the 21st century, acquiring digital skills are significant to accelerate the teaching and learning process. The theory of connectivism offers great scope for learning in the digital world. According to Seimens (2005), “We can also share knowledge through networking.  Interacting with others in a unique and contextual way adds value to learning and also gauges us into productive interactions.”  Connectivism is a significant pedagogy in the digital age for open education, because we are connected to the diverse audience and resources through variety of software and apps. Ofcourse, it broadens the scope of learning and teaching. This amplification of learning, knowledge and understanding through the extension of a personal network is the epitome of connectivism.

Teachers can use varieties of methods and techniques to gauge learners. It also helps to improve their professional development skills. Further, they can use various online platforms to accelerate students’ and their own interactions.

Week

Topic

Resources

Principles

1

Social bookmarking

Diigo

https://www.diigo.com

OER:

https://blog.diigo.com/2014/09/03/annotating-pdf-docs-with-diigo-a-tutorial

Learning is a process of connecting specialised nodes or information sources. 

2

Blog

Word Press www.wordpress.com 

OER: The Open University Free Course, 2016 titled 

Teachers sharing resources online

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/education/teachers-sharing-resources-online/content-section-0



Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions

 

Decision making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. 

 

3

Digital Polling

DirectPoll

http://directpoll.com

(i)create a real-time survey in class (ii) visualization in real-time settings to connect with learners

 

OER: None

Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions

 

Decision making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. 

4

Spelling Checker

Grammarly

https://app.grammarly.com

(i)for checking grammar of students assignment (ii) for improving research writing skills as a practitioners

OER: https://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=1267728

Learning may reside in non-human appliances.

5

Sharing Learning Designs

CompendiumLD

www.compendiumld.open.ac.uk

 

OER: 

edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Compendium_LD

Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known.

 

Ability to see connections between fields, ideas and concepts is a core skill.

 

6

Discussion Forum

bbPress

https://bbpress.org/

Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning

7

Update Knowledge and Developments

Inside Higher Ed

http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs

Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.

 

 


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Activity 17: Student co-creation

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Open Textbook is a unique idea. In Pakistan, this concept is not yet introduced, but hopefully, I will pioneer it in the future. Rosa has used Pressbooks to begin her Open book project and it worked! For the first book project, she utilized her own resource but for the second project, she received a small grant. Just curious to know, if the Open University provides a grant to the students to develop textbook?

Like Rosa did, a tutor or a learner can set the framework of the book. They can create a call for collaborative work via Google doc. It can be a volunteer work, so those who are intrinsically motivated would work!

Tasks can be assigned to each tutor and learner. Like students can collect the text, while tutor can edit and load them into Pressbooks. The book can be built in stages.

Open text can also be used as a part of assignment or class activity. This is the sustainable approach to improve textbook and built on the existing resources collectively in a continuous cycle. The concept of Open Textbook can be used in MAODE as collaborative TMA, where each one can contribute and modify the identified textbook in the given context to develop something more creative. This would help to create more resources through the lens of learners. In return, learners would get marks.

Tutor and learners can also create Open Textbooks as the part of the tutor-marked activity. This will help (i) learners to collect and edit resources (ii) collect, add and moderate the textbook project (iii) share ideas with each other to compile best resources in a consolidated manner. When learners participate in creating books, they can feel more connected to the text. It also saves/ reduces money.

Barriers

1.    Hidden cost: In the case, Rosa used Pressbooks, which is an online business. They don’t remove watermark unless you pay some amount

2.    Funding OER creation: Require funding model

3.    Affordability of laptop or other digital devices to ensure each one owns or carries it.

4.    Digital Literacy skills: One of the interesting aspects is familiarity and proficiency of the team members in working with Open textbooks. Rosa initiated training on important aspects such as copyright and open licensing. Familiar with digital tools such as Hypothesis is also significant before initiating the digital textbook project.

5.    Privacy and safety issue when working in public

6.    Availability of Free Platform to upload the book


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Activity 16: Examining a definition

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I personally hold this viewpoint that Personal Learning Network does offer something new to everyone. With different forms of interactions, individuals either recall/refresh or gain new knowledge.  The argument, whether PLN is innovative or not is based on individual’s choice and context of its use! However, if someone is building a personal network on any digital platform for the first time, or use the same technology in a creative way for different purpose each time, then I would call it innovative.




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Activity 14: Comparing MOOCs

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Coursera

DS106

Technology

Using varieties of technologies such as podcast, OER, recorded lectures, discussion forums- all these can be accessed from computers, android mobile or tablet.

 

 

 

Blogging, audio, video, forum, Soundcloud Account, Twitter, Flickr

Pedagogy

Self-directed learning, traditional approach, peer and collaborative learning

Self-directed learning, peer and collaborative learning, case-study,  group work

General approach and philosophy

Coursera is a technological company, which provides formal as well as informal means of online education for everyone. Learners can choose the course of their choice from the pool of subjects offered by top universities and institutions. The partner universities including but not limited to PennState, Princeton University, John Hopkins University, etc. Learners can master any skills to boost their professional or personal prospects. Each course lasts for 4-6 weeks. Different activities such as watching videos, reading resources help learners to gain knowledge. Peer-review assignments, formative assessment, as well as auto-graded assignments are used to assess students. Upon successful completion, learners can apply for getting a verified certificate by paying the fee.

It was initiated in 2010 by University of Mary Washington as the part of experimenting on Computer Science Course in Digital Storytelling. The site portrays the best collection of student work, radio show archive, etc. They offer open courses such as Social Media Production ds106. Varieties of assignments are given to the learners such as visual, audio, web, video, mashup, writing, animated and 3d.


Below, there is a list of subject areas available and explore to select any course, according to your interest


You can find the list of few subjects I completed on Coursera


Here is how certificate looks like


My Experience in MOOCS
 
I have completed few of the online courses through Coursera and edX. The courses and the verified certificates were earlier available free. But sadly, these platforms have now taken a business approach. They charge some fee for the verified certificate. Of course, a pool of courses and resources are available for free. But still, certificates or badges play an integral role in motivating many learners. I emailed the MOOC course instructors quite a few times but never received any reply!- Maybe limited staff!  No peer support! No social connections! I never knew about other participants’ presence!  Also, I never found discussion forums active! Assessment methods were quite weak as they mostly assess your knowledge! Security and transparency are two of the serious issues! Unfortunately, you will not find any research report highlighting all the loopholes about MOOCs since the REALISTIC data of learners’ dropout and their experiences on large (MASSIVE) scale is concealed by the MOOCs provider.

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Activity 13: Reading

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Edited by Munir Sadruddin, Saturday, 7 Apr 2018, 11:45


I read ‘The Challenges to Connectivist Learning on Open Online Networks: Learning Experiences during a Massive Open Online Course’ (Kop, 2011). Connections with people, resources and context are significant in MOOCs. However, it has been witnessed that xMOOCs are mostly designed with more inclination towards resources than interactions with people and context. According to Sfard (1998), there is a blur boundary between acquisition and participation. Connectivism advocates participation, social interactions and engagement as important to create, re-create and refine knowledge. In connectivism, PLE is critical! Learners take ownership of learning. They find, create and share a resource, and set their own learning goals but, one needs some directions and guidance in self-directed learning! Intrinsic motivation, digital and critical literacies are at the forefront! We need to form a learning community to overcome many challenges! We need to understand the context and should have a clear purpose of MOOC. Two of the best platforms are blogs and discussion forum which should be used to gauge learners! But research is sparse to find challenges of MOOC through the lens of learners!

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Activity 12: Background to MOOCs

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Hello


After watching video and reading document, I learnt about the ranges of issues linked with MOOCs

1. There is a limited use of the discussion forum in xMOOCs. Lack of participation and lack of opportunity to brainstorm make many courses dull!

2.There is a limited interaction between credit and non-credit students.

3.Learners are not involved in the decision-making process, particularly in xMOOCs

4. The dropout rate is high

5. It is difficult to gauge diverse learners because methods for active participation is limited. Further, courses may not suit all the learners

6. One of the biggest challenges is linked to expertise. Not all the people who attend or run MOOCs re expert!

7. Burnout for the facilitators if the technical staff and facilitators are limited.

8.There could be a sensitivity of the resources for people of some cultural backgrounds

9. Pedagogical models are not much innovative and do not fit in the ideological models

10. Most of the courses on MOOCs are only drilling content and duplicate the classroom model

11. Weak assessment and evaluation techniques

12. Lacks networking and integrated structures

13. Chase of business model

14. Cannot  meet complex learning needs

15. Issues on the quality and upgrading of content

16. It is often linked to Mill racket when adopting a business model for MOOCs

17.Limitation of mass teaching methods

18. Issue with accreditation

Yes, MOOC approach could be adopted in my university, but we need to assess the available and the required resources. Further, we need to loop in practitioners and learners to take their viewpoints. Further, we need to see, what laws and policies say about online courses in Pakistan.


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Activity 11: The advantages and disadvantages of big and little OER

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I saw the slidecase on “Academic output as collateral damage” (Weller, 2011) and drew out the following

 

LITTLE OER

Benefits

Drawbacks

Cost-effective

Sustainability

Good for Novice as well as veterans

Quality Assurance

More distribution channels

Non-specialists

Free or low-cost

Plagiarism

Requires low storage

Less security

Less time consuming

 

Open filter

 

High reuse potential

 

 

BIG OER

Benefits

Drawbacks

Expand network to the larger communities (widening participation)

Security Issues

Varieties of resources

Require dedicated domain

Quality Assurance

More human resources and cost

Mostly Funded

Need expertise in Open source

Time-consuming

Sustainability


I am very much in favour of the concept of little and big OER. I would call it micro and macro OER. Little OER, in particular, opens up a forum for the institutions, learners and practitioners to share their practices as well as resources to others  Example, I teach MS students in a university. I prepare weekly presentations, which are shared with the course learners only. But if I share these teaching resources online to others (with CC of course) it would help many teachers and learners to gain knowledge, and to use the same resources to prepare improvised or contextual resources.  This micro chain can gradually create linkages to form a macro level work.


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Activity 10: Applying sustainability models

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Edited by Munir Sadruddin, Wednesday, 4 Apr 2018, 09:29

I read all three models. These models are contextual and accommodate needs of different types and needs of the organization

The MIT model is the mega project. It is centralized and focuses on paid human resource. This could be one of the reasons for its long-run sustainability for long. However,  it requires lots of staff and the support from external. 

Control: High degree

Courses: All MIT

Annual Budget: High

Funding sources: donors and partnerships

 

The USU model is a hybrid of centralisation and decentralisation, where paid as well as volunteers work for the sustainability of OER. It has the potential for the adaptation by various organizations.

Control: Borderline

Courses: Mostly USU

Annual Budget: Average

Funding sources: Foundation support

 

The Rice model is a collaborative model, which is almost decentralized. It is mostly run by the volunteers from across the world. It provides ownership to all. Loophole- no technical support!  Still, this model has the potential for the sustainability.

Control: None

Courses; no boundary- open for all

Annual Budget: varies

Funding sources: self or few are funded

 

Platforms

Model

Sustainability

Coursera

MIT  & Business Model

Yes, the courses are running successfully, and the network has expanded at large.

They have hired their staff and earn billions  from institutions who run their courses using their platform and getting technical expertise

BCcampus

Not sure! Maybe a Business model

FutureLearn

Rice  & Business Model

Yes, the courses are running successfully, and the network has expanded at large. They charge a fee for few courses we all!

 

OpenLearn

MIT & Rice Models

They offer courses offer by OU, free of cost to everyone. It is run by volunteers and funded partially by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

 

The three models shared by Wiley are contextual but it did not cover all the approaches. I think few of the platforms are remixing models for the sustainability rather taking a singular approach


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Activity 8: An OER course

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TARGET AUDIENCE: UNIVERSITY TEACHERS

DURATION: FIVE WEEKS (6 hours per week)

Background: In the 21st century, digital skills are important to accelerate the teaching and learning process. Digital teachers can use varieties of methods and techniques to gauge learners. It also helps to improve their professional development skills. Further, they can use various online platforms to accelerate students’ and their own interactions.

Week

Topic

Resources

Suitability (G/M/B)

1

Social bookmarking

Diigo

https://www.diigo.com

(i) read with annotation (ii) mark notes for reference purpose (iii) share the resources with colleagues and learners

OER:

Good because it is free and easy to learn. It is further embedded within the web browser. 

2

Blog

Word Press www.wordpress.com (i) write a digital reflective diary and share practices with others (ii) maintain a portfolio for personal professional development


OER: The Open University Free Course, 2016 titled 

Teachers sharing resources online


Good because it is easy to create. It is also a secure platform and free to use. Easily accessible on a portable device.

3

Digital Polling

DirectPoll

http://directpoll.com

(i)create a real-time survey in class (ii) visualization in real-time settings to connect with learners


OER: None

Very good because it will help practitioners to receive instant feedback

4

Spelling Checker

Grammarly

https://app.grammarly.com

(i)for checking grammar of students assignment (ii) for improving research writing skills as a practitioners

OER: https://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=1267728


Good because it is embedded in MSWord and easy to handle. There is no need of a subscription

5

Sharing Learning Designs

CompendiumLD

www.compendiumld.open.ac.uk

(i) collaborate with learners and practitioners for designing learning activities or plans


OER: 

edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Compendium_LD

Good because it has a flexible visual interface. Teachers can articulate ideas and share with others to receive feedback

 

To be honest, I haven't used OER as OER in the past. I accessed resources online in order to write research papers but was not much familiar with OER platforms. MAODE is gradually helping me to explore more about OER through different activities. I think OER reduce the cost of resources. Further, practitioners can create new resources in their own context, in the light of the available resources.
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Activity 7: Exploring OER issues

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I read the OER Evidence Report 2013-2014 and found out the three key issues in OER

Issue No. 1: Re-use and Adaptation in ODL

Rationale: Open Educational Resources provide opportunities to the ODL learning designers and the practitioners to adapt the resources to their own context, and create something new. This could help to reuse the relevant materials and showcase the adapted version to others.  However, most of the time, resources are used as it is. It hampers the creativity and breaks the continuous cycle of new resource development. Further, not all the people across the globe are trained enough in technical capacities to develop contextual digital resources such as Pakistan. Lack of accessibility to technologies also affect the re-use of resources. According to Abeywardena  (2012), “the uptake of the wider adoption of OER in teaching and learning is slow from the perspective of an ODL institution due to the lack of understanding of how to implement the use and re-use of OER across the various interconnected departments” (p.51)

Way to Address

The model presented by Abeywardena  (2012) is well justified. It is divided into four distinct stages (i) capacity building; (ii) creation of an institutional repository; (iii) quality assurance; and (iv) recognition and rewards such as cost-effective.

Issue No. 2: Unavailability of OER in the local language

Rationale: OER is not the part of most of the countries national and formal academic institutional policy. Further, the resources available are only published in few international languages. This certainly restricts many learners to get access to diverse resources in their local language. One of the recent reports highlighted lack of cultural relevance as one of the barriers to personal use and adaptation of OER. According to the report (COL, 2017), “Most government respondents indicated that no efforts were made to translate resources into local languages. Nevertheless, several respondents did provide examples of initiatives to translate OER. Both economic and social barriers exist in translating OER into local languages. Not only are translations seen as being expensive and time-consuming, but sentiments expressed by respondents indicating that there are linguistic biases involved, particularly a propensity to use English” (p.7).

Way to Address

National and International funding to translate resources on institutional or countrywide bases. Creation of national, regional and international linkages of freelance translators could be of help.

Issue No. 3: Limited use of OER repositories

Rationale: Most of the learners prefer accessing only those OER, which are famous such as TED, YouTube, Khan Academy, MIT, etc. There are many quality repositories available, but not all the learners and practitioners are aware how to locate these. I would like to share my personal students’ example. Whenever, we assign any writing task to the students, more of the time they extract materials from Wikipedia because they lack knowledge about OER repositories.  Moreover, most of the faculty members do not have awareness about OER and only prefer using limited books available in the physical library. A recent survey conducted by Babson Survey Research Group revealed that most of the higher education faculty members lack awareness about OER (Matt, 2017). Another study found the same among the university students (Hurt, 2013).

Way to Address

The best possible way for the OER repositories is to promote their work through different social media platform. Teachers can also play a significant role by providing a list of relevant repositories to the students. They can even assign a task to collaborate and prepare a list of repositories by each group. This will certainly help to collect pools of repositories.

Other important issues include quality resources, plagiarism, copyright

Reference

de los Arcos, B., Farrow, R., Perryman, L., Pitt, R. and Weller, M. (2014). OER Evidence Report 2013-2014.. [online] OER Research Hub. Available at: https://oerresearchhub.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/oerrh-evidence-report-2014.pdf [Accessed 30 Mar. 2018].

Abeywardena, I. (2012). The Re-use and Adaptation of Open Educational Resources (OER). An Exploration of Technologies Available. [online] The Commonwealth of Learning. Available at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.473.2207&rep=rep1&type=pdf [Accessed 30 Mar. 2018].

Matt, S. (2017). Lack Of Awareness Is The Biggest Obstacle For Open Educational Resources [blog]. University of the People. Available at: https://www.uopeople.edu/simonebiles/blog/lack-awareness-biggest-obstacle-open-educational-resources/ [Accessed 30 Mar. 2018].

Hurt, L. (2013). De Montfort University Student Perceptions and Understanding of Open Education Resources. Masters. De Montfort University. COL (2017). OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES: Global Report 2017. [online] Common Wealth of Learning. Available at: http://oasis.col.org/bitstream/handle/11599/2788/2017_COL_OER-Global-Report.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [Accessed 30 Mar. 2018].


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Activity 5: The case for learning objects

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I read the article of Downes (2001) titled Learning Objects: Resources for distance education worldwide. Few of the technical things were complicated to understand, the rest was fine.

The article of Stephen Downes reflects on theoretical and practical elements of learning objects. He has quoted many interesting examples on learning objects and different programming structures. 

The writer states "Suppose that just one description of the sine wave function is produced. A high quality and fully interactive piece of learning material could be produced for, perhaps, $1,000. If 1,000 institutions share this one item, the cost is $1 per institution. But if each of a thousand institutions produces a similar item, then each institution must pay $1,000, with a resulting total expenditure of $1,000,000." 

True! On that premise, I have a question, are ALL the institutions willing to collaborate in producing quality content by a single institution and share with the rest?; are ALL the institutions willing to share resources with others free or at low cost? We all know the answer! The ongoing content war shows availability of the same content on hundreds and thousands of websites. Most of the institutions are chasing to adopt the business model of education than sharing quality content for free or low rate with all. That could be the reason for not finding much OER content production from many countries, except few, who truly understand its value!

After reading the article, I realized that we need to take many people into consideration when designing online courses.

Downes states "The vast majority of course syllabi require that students obtain more than one textbook". In Pakistan, as far as I know, textbooks until grade 12 is same and only one textbook for each course is required to be studied. They often buy workbooks (easy notes), which are legally not approved in Pakistan.

I agree with this statement  "students frequently use parts of books (or parts of journals) in their research and reading. That’s why most university libraries come equipped with photocopiers". This is the most common practice at the university level in Pakistan as well.

Few examples such as resources on Holocaust are good, but there are varieties of subject areas, which are unavailable such as I cannot find open education resources or any free online courses on Elements of Human Rights in Higher Education Policies of Pakistan.


From the readings, I extracted the following challenges: time, availability of contextual resources, familiarity with technicality, learning objectives, the generalizability of content, user-friendly platform, and above all COST of online courses. I  want to start an online course for people living in far wide areas of Pakistan, but unless I find funding agencies along with a good team, it is difficult to turn ideas into reality, because the term 'OPEN' is very political in many ways. 

The writer has discussed the concept of Rapid Application Design (RAD). The cost is reduced due to RAD, but indirectly, some cost is involved!

I like Bates model, but too expensive! From the readings, I understood that there is a gap in connectivity between producers, institutions and resources. OER agencies must provide free platform and assistance to writers and institutions who want to contribute their part for open access. Further "reusable learning materials and reusable applications" must be taken into consideration when designing learning objects. After all, learning object must look for performance-based outcomes than content-based,



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Activity 4: Identifying priorities for research

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Language: Knowledge sharing and openness in education are the key features of internationalization of education. However, there is a number of cultural barriers such as language, which funding organization must consider to widening accessibility and maximizing learners’ participation (Stacey, 2007). Most of the open education resources such as books and research papers are not translated in languages used in the third world countries such as Urdu and Hindi. Thus, language gap is widening gaps in learners’ access to online resources (Cobo, 2013).If funding organization invest in translating books and other resources in most of the languages, it will expand the network of learning

 

Copyright: Most of the Open Educational Resources are copyrighted under Creative Commons. However, still, rise in pirated and plagiarized content highlight loophole in the copyright laws (Pena, n.d.; Prasad and Rao, n.d.). It is significantly affecting the accessibility of quality content. Funding organization must provide awareness and ensure copyright of resources from multiple sources. Further copyrighted laws of each country should also be taken in a loop.

Cost:  According to Miao, Mishra and McGreal “OER development can take different routes, such as creation, adoption, adaptation and curation” (2016, p.5). All these require the cost. There are three types of cost which mainly affect OER 1. For producer: the cost of a server, where OER is kept; 2. For the author: the cost of publication; 3. For institutes, learners and practitioners: cost to adoption, adaptation, and access quality and updated content. In order to provide support to all of these, the financial organization must adopt a model, which can overcome cost barriers for all the stakeholders.

 

 References

Miao, F., Mishra, S. and McGreal, R. (2016). Open Educational Resources: Policy, Costs and Transformation. UNESCO and Commonwealth of Learning.

Prasad, R. and Rao, J. (n.d.). OERs: Issues and Challenges of Copyrights, Licensing and Access. [online] Available at: http://oasis.col.org/bitstream/handle/11599/2634/PDF?sequence=4&isAllowed=y [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

Pena, H. (n.d.). Higher Education: The Success and Challenges in Open Education Resources (OER). [online] Available at: http://eprints.rclis.org/13743/1/pena.pdf.Cobo, C. (2013). Exploration of Open Educational Resources in Non-English Speaking Communities. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, [online] 14(2). Available at: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1493/2482 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

Stacey, P. (2007). Open educational resources in a global context. First Monday, [online] 12(4). Available at: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1769/1649 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].


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Activity 3: Representing open education

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Edited by Munir Sadruddin, Wednesday, 21 Mar 2018, 07:27
Hi 

I read the following book and webpage to derive the meaning of openness in education:


Weller, M. (2014). Battle for Open- How openness won and why it doesn't feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press.

Bates, T. (2018). What do we mean by 'open' in education? | Tony Bates. [online] Tonybates.ca. Available at: https://www.tonybates.ca/2015/02/16/what-do-we-mean-by-open-in-education/ [Accessed 21 Mar. 2018].


Below given is my representation

Openness in education means empowering others with open access to knowledge and skills. It supports ownership of learning. These resources/ courses are available to the larger audience, which support transformative production. However, one needs to have the accessibility to technology in order to avail open learning resources.  For me, it a complicated term because, at many instances, this word is not integrated well into open education/learning system. Example, a good number of open resources lack accountability and reputation. Financial barrier still prevails to retrieve many credible books and research journals.


Regards


Dr. Munir




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My experience with open education

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During the last module of MAODE, I learned and improved a lot- both as a learner and practitioner! The course strengthened my critical thinking and research skills. It has connected me to diverse learners, whose viewpoints on my posts helped me to improve my writing skills.  I also learned how to work collaboratively with others. I received lots of appreciation, social as well as moral support. Vigorous participation in weekly activities supported my learning and teaching practices in many ways.  

I was a bit hesitant to own blog due to security reasons in Pakistan. But this course has familiarized me with technicalities and offered me a secure platform to express my opinions with others. Participation in OU live discussions enhanced my team building skills. I implemented few of the learnt technologies in my professional life as well. By reading research papers and articles, I learned how to give evidence-based responses during TMA and EMA.

I also did few online certificate courses from Edx platform. The certificates I earned helped me both personally and professionally. The only think it lacked was interactivity and engagement with other learners.

I am not in favor of open access publication, because of quality and cost factors. I once decided to publish my article with SAGE Open, but they asked for the charge. I published two of my papers in other open access journals, but they lacked quality. In my viewpoint, most of the open access publication platforms is not much reliable.



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Activity 13: Significant new technologies

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Technology

How long used for educational purposes

by my organisation

by me

Adaptive Learning Technologies

-

-

Mobile Learning

-

1 year

The Internet of Things

2 years

5 years

Next-Generation LMS

We are still using outdated LMS and it only serves the purpose of uploading and downloading resources.

1 year

During the last module, I used asynchronous discussion forum within LMS and found it effective for my students. But the management did not show the willingness to adopt this practice across the university due to strict laws related to speech sensitivities in Pakistan

Artificial Intelligence

-

-

Natural User Interfaces

-

-


I would be adopting the following technologies at my university

Adaptive learning technologies: I read about this term in the report as well as online. It can be used to track students’ progress (expertise as well as areas of improvement) as well as to facilitate their learning needs. In our university, we cannot track students’ progress at large because of the manual grading system. We have a larger number of students and each teacher check assignments, quizzes and tests at their convenience. It makes harder for practitioners to trace students’ progress or to guide them accordingly. We have lots of teachers who are trained in IT but they are not using the most out of technology.  Kara & Sevim (2013) highlighted its significance for the similar purpose. “Adaptive learning systems can monitor each learner’s knowledge construction process simultaneously and present scaffoldings and provide immediate feedback in accordance with each learner’s expectations. Interactive tutor in the system helps students to excel each skill, give short quizzes about the content, keep individual score and offer additional help (p.112).” Learners can also trace their progress online through adaptive technology system in an online course (Heo & Joung, 2004), but in my institutional context, it can be successfully used in the blended-learning environment.


Mobile Learning: Most of our university students have access to mobile and internet. During the last module, I conducted one activity, where learners used mobile for research purpose. It was a successful attempt. But learners mostly use mobile for chatting than for productive purpose. I want to initiate mobile learning among students to improve their listening and communication skills.

Mobile technology is useful for language learning. Demouy and Agnes (2010) successfully used mobile devices for French language programme. Similarly, Zhang (2010) highlighted the positive impact of mobile technology on improving listening skills of English as Second Language Learners.

Most of the students studying in our university belong to the rural background and lack vocabulary. I will be using mobile technology to send them one vocabulary each day along with one audio file to improve their listening skills.  In return, each student will use the vocabulary in a sentence and will share the audio with others on a dedicated Whatsapp group (initial plan).

Natural User Interfaces (NUI): I read about a model for an online educational game using natural user interface, which can potentially improve the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development of learners (Shapi'i & Ghulam, 2016). NUI has been successfully used for medical learners, but I our university can potentially test a prototype and then use it for the future teacher learning by creating virtual learning environment using NUI.


References (IN APA)

Shapi'i, A., & Ghulam. S. (2016). Model for Educational Game Using Natural User Interface. International Journal of Computer Games Technology. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6890351

Kara, N., & Sevim, N. (2013). Adaptive Learning Systems: Beyond Teaching Machines. Contemporary Educational Technology, 4(2), 108-120. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1105533.pdf

Heo, H., & Joung, S. (2004). Self-Regulation Strategies and Technologies for Adaptive Learning Management Systems for Web-based Instruction. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED485141.pdf

Demouy, Valérie and Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (2010). On the spot: using mobile devices for listening

and speaking practice on a French language programme. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25 (3), 217-232

Zhang, Y. (2016). The Impact of Mobile Learning on ESL Listening Comprehension. 3rd International Conference on Advanced Education and Management. Retrieved from dpi-proceedings.com/index.php/dtssehs/article/viewFile/4290/3928



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Activity 11: Connectivism

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Seimens combines key features of learning theories with technology and proposed a new theory of learning for the digital age. He gave the rationale that all the previous learning theories were developed before the age of technology. Today, the trajectory of learning is rapidly changing. Technology is used by the learners to organize and meet social and learning needs. Learners expand knowledge through digital interactions with people and resources. Institutions are adopting digital practices to keep abreast with new developments. 

Siemens’s theory highlights the importance of building and maintaining external connections with others (human and non-human) for continual learning. It underlines the importance of recognizing new information and connecting it with other knowledge pool. Decision making and critical thinking are at the forefront of connectivism. He states that “Creating, preserving, and utilizing information flow should be a key organizational activity”. However, if/how learners utilize information appropriately?

Quaid-e-Azam the founder of Pakistan said, “The world is moving so fast that if you do not educate yourselves you will be not only completely left behind but will be finished up.” Rocha (1998) expressed that “the capacity to form connections between sources of information, and thereby create useful information patterns, is required to learn in our knowledge economy.”Today, young people have access to technology but are they making the most out of it?

Driscoll (2000) defines learning as a gradual process of improving human performance through digital interactions. But technology brings many challenges to the forefront such as the issue of the validity of resources. 

The cycle of knowledge begins with the individual and shift towards the network. Brown highlights the example of Maricopa County Community project. I also did the same activity and linked senior citizens with my university students. It helped them to learn from their experiences. It further strengthened the concept of social responsibility among learners. 

Rise of social networking and the availability of abundant information on the web can be shared around the world almost instantaneously. But what about the availability of unreliable data? What about growing piracy? Above all, what about the security issues on social networking in some countries, where free speech and online sharing of all sort of educational content is under the surveillance? Are learners willing to take ownership of learning in this digital age? Does this theory apply to those learners, who do not have access to technology? These and many other questions are yet to be explored.

We not only need knowledge through connectivity but also learn to seek “Actual Knowledge” and to learn to build better connections.


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Activity 9

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Edited by Munir Sadruddin, Saturday, 17 Feb 2018, 15:50

Behaviorism

a.       I saw the video of Operant conditioning experiment conducted by Skinner. Pigeon behavior was shaped by controlling the environment. I argue that if the environment is controlled, then a child might not behave same in other environments. I like the idea of giving children schedule of reward as reinforce strategy. But we need to give more intrinsic rewards than extrinsic one to the learners.

Behavior is not a static characteristic. It changes by time, situation and experiences. We can shape behavior by rewards. But for consistency in changing behavior, we need to design sustainable strategies such as constant encouragement and exposure to multiple learning environments.

 I am not in favor of isolation strategy of Skinner to change behavior!

b.      In Thorndike’s ‘trial and error’ theory, he proposed that learners learn a lot of new things from trials and errors.  Also, behavior changes because of its consequences. But providing reward all the time is not a good option. It might attach behavior changes with expectations or reward all the time! If children will not receive reward, they might get demotivated! Further, new habits are also developed by situations.

Cognitivism

According to Ausubel, learners must be taught directly through organizing materials. I am not in support of his idea. I am the proponent of Bruner’s idea of discovery learning approach.

According to Bruner “learners should be given opportunities to discover for themselves relationships that are inherent in the learning material.” So true! He proposed the teaching strategy called scaffolding, where the teacher demonstrate how to solve a problem and later give ownership to the learners to master the task, while teacher play the role of a facilitator/ supporter. In my viewpoint, it gradually shifts learners from DEPENDENCIES TO IN DEPENDENCIES.

Advantage: develop critical thinking skills, when pair diverse learners; observation is key to success; moving from simplified to complex tasks.

Disadvantage: difference of learners with regard to skills and level of competencies.

We must give opportunity to learners to take ownership of finding relationship that are inherent in the learning material.


 Constructivism

Piaget studied how knowledge develops from birth to adulthood. Although the stages he describe is the foundation of constructivism. But I argue, why he associated development with restricted age bracket? Children are sharper today because of increasing interactions with environment and because of availability of more learning opportunity at early ages. He did not focus on this domain.  What if a child is disable or a slow learner? Children discover new things now only by knowledge but participation!

Vygotsky focuses on social construction of knowledge [learning process] and on the role of language. Learning happen with interaction with environment. The more you interact the more you learn. All children have different abilities to accomplish tasks either independent or with the help of others guidance.

 



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New blog post

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Edited by Munir Sadruddin, Sunday, 4 Feb 2018, 13:27

I was introduced to blogging during H800. At first, I was not comfortable writing blog. But gradually I found it useful in many ways. Initially I kept my blog personal, but gradually I started sharing it with other classmates. I not only managed blog on OU website but also created external blog. I have the following tips for the students from my personal experience

1. I raised critical debates, clarify concepts and share my standing point with confidence (Downes, 2006). You can also use blog for the same reason!

2. It helped me to collect others viewpoints for EMA. You can use blog to collect viewpoints from the classmates for TMA and EMA.

3. I collected web links at one place and shared with my classmates

4. I wrote reflective journal. You can also maintain a personal journal/diary as blog

5. I shared my personal endeavors with others such as social activities.

6. I also used it for some activities in the module H800.

7. You can setup blogs to share your learning practices with global communities

Drawbacks: I received few replies on OU blog. At some point, I felt disengaged to continue writing blog on OU website, but my tutor encouraged me to keep on writing personal reflective diary. I advise you not to lose hope! Take it as a learning challenge for your personal growth and development. You can either keep your blog personal or share it with others, its up to you. 

I also advice new students to keep blogging and engage other participants by sharing blog link on the discussion forum. Try to actively comment on others blogs too. Make different folders for managing different types of educational blogs


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