Saturday, October 27, 2007

R685 Week 10 Reflection

Week 10, Online Interactivity, Engagement, and Social Presence

Last week in class we started to present content on the web supporting web 2.0. Everyone who is being graded needs to present YouTube videos or some web application. We did not get to mine so I will be doing two (see last weeks tidbits) this week. We are moving to how the web can be used in learning. Dr. Bonk brought up an interesting point how engineers want to collaborate with education professionals to deliver content over the web. This is the same with librarians. Why? Because, besides porn, that is what the web is tailored for. To deliver INFORMATION so others may KNOW or LEARN. What does this spell? E D U C A T I O N. Others see it why not education? Hey, I think we need to hitch our wagon to these partners because sooner or later they are just going to do it themselves…

For this week’s readings, Nora Jones kicks it off with a study of 5 online courses from Wales. The first thing I found interesting is Wales is “Objective One” as determined by the EU. This means they receive extra funding, I had no idea Wales would fall anywhere in any depressed category but now I know. I need to Google Wales economics to get a quick tutorial sometime. Anyway, they utilized Gilly Salmon’s five step model used in the Open University in the UK. To make a long story short Ms. Jones found the social interaction of an online class was very important and should be first to enable cohesiveness. Although it was the 2nd Step in Salmon’s scale after “setting up system…” and “welcoming…” Salmon never gave how to socially interact. These courses chose to have a F2F meeting first then set up the system. The study only validates her hypothesis (although it was not framed as such). In my opinion, this article started out evaluating online classes and ended up evaluating Gilly Salmon.

Dr. Bonk said to read this article to “get” what this upcoming week was about and he was right. Ms. Swan has written a nice over view in her “Learning Effectiveness Online…” I also think that Dr. Bonk likes her writing is because she uses the word “stuff.” Anyway, she discusses how F2F and distance learning has proven to be “no significant differences” but argues there are differences and online learning is different. The key of the article was her call to personalization, as it was the “… key to innovation in distance learning.” She then goes into interaction with instructors, interaction with classmates, and learner interface interaction. These were talked about in the other articles I am going to discuss below but she made it very interesting by giving examples from a diverse range of online institutions. She also sums it up very well in a 3 page table that spells out the findings and the implications of each.

I do not know why everyone wants to study MBA classes but that seems or seemed to be the hot research area around 2005. Bude Su along with Dr. Bonk put out another article in the long term study of online learning effectiveness in distance MBA classes. I have read a few of these already but this is the first time I grasped the idea of “vicarious interaction.” I also liked how this article defined interaction as “process oriented” and interactivity as “feature oriented. I never thought about the difference of the two and am guilty of using them interchangeably. Well, no more! The other MBA study used a real-time case meaning a problem was presented and the students made a decision and the business went with it. It was an evolving problem solving case that differed with decisions, just like the real world. In the end students liked it and learned a lot but as opposed to the numbers the comments were not as reassuring.

The tidbit was e-conferencing instruction. It discussed what was out there beyond a basic CMS. Speaking of e-conferencing, I just used Connect (old Breeze) in one of my other classes and it sucked did not work well. Long way to go boys and girls…

Jones, N. (2005). The development of socialization in an on-line learning environment. The Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 3(3),

Su, B., Bonk, C. J., Magjuka, R., Liu, X., Lee, S. H. (2005, summer). The importance of interaction in web-based education: A program-level case study of online MBA courses. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 4(1). and

Swan, K. (2003). Learning effectiveness online: What the research tell us. In J. Bourne, & J. C. Moore (Eds.). Elements of quality online education, Practice and direction. Sloan Center for Online Education, 13-45.

Theroux, James, Carpenter, Cari, & Kilbane, Claire. (2004). Experimental online case study for a breakthrough in student engagement: Focus group results. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 8(3), retrieved July 1, 2007, from

Shi, Shufang, & Morrow, Blaine Victor (2006). E-conferencing for instruction: What works? Educause Quarterly, 29(4), pp. 22-30. Retrieved July 10, 2007, from

Sunday, October 21, 2007

R685 Week 9 Reflection

Week 9 Course Management 1.0 in a Web 2.0 and Participatory e-Learning World

This week is about turning the traditional Course Management System on its head. The issue from the entire articles this week is that the CMS we know (and many love and hate) is now obsolete. Weigel summed up all the articles when he states; “… many educators and administrators are locked into a “classroom on steroids” model of e-learning that is more preoccupied with the categories of accessibility and convenience than pedagogical effectiveness and skill development.” Meaning the CMS is more for the facilitator than the students. In a web 2.0 realm not only is it NOT necessary the instructor try to emulate a classroom setting but is flat out wrong.

Mr. Downes comes in again with an opinion (surprise) but calls the CMS a learning management system and defines as the same (Blackboard, Web CT) but they are in fact different. A CMS manages a course while a LMS is a comprehensive approach to managing learning which a CMS would be a part. He starts with discussing learning objects then moves to the CMS. He explains Learning objects are connected to computer based delivery systems (CBT) and can be used as course building blocks but by connecting LO’s to CBT he has in essence connected LO to behaviorism. I agree with Weigel that the current CMS is steeping in behaviorism but am having a difficult time with the LO being thrown in there, something I need to think about more. Mr. Downes brought in again the “digital native,” blogging, and wikis while defining web 2.0 and those who use it, nothing new from him. However, he brought up George Siemen’s connectivism and Rushkoff’s Cyberia then segued to a discussion of an “open society.” I think he really likes this connectivism thing; I do not (as a learning theory).

Bryan Alexander does a great job of giving a brief history and current update of web 2.0 by discussing specific applications. He takes the reader from the beginning (1960’s) to the start of social bookmarking with and the rapid explanation of some of the applications. He then discusses how these can be used in the classroom including the use of RSS feeds and collaboration sites.

John Thompson gives the same background of web 2.0. He like the others call on educators to embrace this technology and not shun it as the students will be expecting it. He refers to Alexander’s article when discussing precedents and the future but does not go as in depth. He also brings in Tufts mapping technology, Penn State’s texting program, and Duke’s iPod program. For the future he said that institutions need to transform to avoid the “Starbucks Effect” (Hammonds, 2006) where a better business model and product will take away market share. This is prevalent in the University of Phoenix’s takeover of the non-traditional student. They are the largest accredited university in the US because they catered to a large group of the population who were largely ignored by academia unless the student wanted to conform. I am an alum from UOP and they offered exactly what I needed while I was working, an accredited curriculum, a set class schedule, convenient times, and a good education. I did not need a student union, football team, or a sprawling campus. However, I paid for it, UOP is very expensive…

Wiegel, V. (2005). From course management to curriculum capabilities: A capabilities approach for the next-generation CMS. EDUCAUSE Review, 40(3), 54-67. Retrieved August 22, 2006, from

Downes, Stephen (2005, October). E-learning 2.0. E-Learn Magazine. Retrieved October 26, 2006, from

Alexander, Bryan (2006, March/April). Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning? Educause Review, 41(2), 32-44. Retrieved July 9, 2007, from

See Table: Brown, Malcolm (2007, March/April). Mashing up the once and future CMS. Educause Review, 42(2), 8-9. Retrieved July 9, 2007, from

Thompson, John (2007, April/May). Is education 1.0 ready for Web 2.0 students? Innovate Journal of Online Education, 3(4), Retrieved July 4, 2007, from

Tidbits: Class Presentation
Wikis in plain English:
Did you know; Shift Happens; globalization; information age:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

R685, Week 8 Reflection

Week 8 Open Educational Resources

This week we entered into the actual web products in web 2.0. Only 1-2 article were required this week due to the volume of each of the readings. The first article is a book. It a good book but it is still a book. The Open eLearning Content Observatory Services (OLCOS) has produced a European Roadmap for 2012 is an incredibly dense publication that outlines everything done and everything we will do in this class. It is an outline for education and business, and acknowledges most will be done in higher ed. The report takes on tough topics of access, participation, licensing, etc. It also gives recommendations to educational institutions and separate recommendations for teachers. If someone wants to know about open source and is practical application one needs look no further than these 149 pages.

The article by Steven Downes is his attempt to alleviate excuses. For everyone who thinks open source is too hard or is not worth trying he gives suggestions to mitigate common excuses. First he understands that open source is not really free and needs money to sustain the movement he gives multiple models to obtain funding. This is repeated for both the technology and the staffing of projects. Dr. Bonk stated this sounds like Mr. Downes was sick of answering these questions, I agree.

The tidbits are open source project projects that we reviewed. My favorite is the Global Text Project. They are giving free text books via the web, CD, or DVD to economically depressed areas. The textbooks are written by reputable individuals and are free for all. Look at this movement to start to permeate throughout the world. The second is the Open Knowledge Foundation that does the same thing but is more of a distributor rather than a producer. Both these projects are means to bring once exclusive materials to the masses. A Dr. Bonk says, “Learning should be free.”

Geser, Guntram (ed.). (2007, January). Open Educational Practices and Resources: OLCOS Roadmap 2012 (149 pages). Retrieved July 4, 2007, from and

Downes, Stephen (2007). Models for sustainable open educational resources. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects. 3, Retrieved July 5, 2007, from


The Open Knowledge Foundation:
Global Text Project:

R685, Week 7 Reflection

Week 7 (Oct 8th) Free and Open Source Software

This week was interesting; we conducted a panel of key players in the open source movement. Each person in class had 1 or multiple roles to play. The person acted as if they were the person they were assigned from the information gleaned from the articles and bios retrieved.

I had 4 assignments this week. The first was a debate between Eric Raymond and N. Bezroukov about the Eric Raymond’s The Cathedral and the Bazaar. The basic premise is that software built in a cathedral style with a core team and built from the bottom up is no match for the bazaar style where it is lateral and people pick and choose as they shop for projects of interest. Nicolai thinks it is a bit idyllic, and it I, but it was intended to be that way. Open source has its issues but there are never problems in the “theory.”

The second session I was the mediator and the topic was Open Source Software in North America and China. The main idea is that open source has no government oversight here but in China it is the gov’t producing and distributing the software and the code, mainly Red Flag Linux.

The 4th session I was David Wiley from Utah State stating that everyone needs to embrace open source and not be afraid of it. The best quote was when he states; “if teachers are not as good as the materials they use they should be replaced by them.” He also goes on to say we should not be afraid of information or if it is going to replace their job and equates it to the library. The library is full of information and nobody is afraid of the information in the library why should the information on the web be different?

Finally, I was asked to role play Phillip Dodds who has recently passed. He was the gentleman on “First Encounters or the Third Kind” that worked the keyboard in the communication scene and said “What are we saying to each other?” He worked for ADL and was instrumental in developing and advancing SCORM.


Raymond, E. S. (2000). The cathedral and the bazaar. Retrieved March 10, 2007, from

Bezroukov, N. (2005a). Open source software development as a special type of academic research (Crique of Vulgar Raymond). First Monday. Retrieved December 22, 2005, from

Bezroukov, N. (2005b). A second look at the cathedral and the Bazaar. First Monday. Retrieved December 23, 2005, from

Pan and Bonk Open Source Articles (3 choices):

Pan, G., & Bonk, C. J. (2007, March). The Emergence of Open-Source Software, Part II: China. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 8(1). See; special issue on the “Changing Faces of Open and Distance Learning in Asia” is found at

Pan, G., & Bonk, C. J. (2007, September). The Emergence of Open-Source Software, Part I: North America. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 8(3). See

Pan, G., & Bonk, C. J. (2007). A socio-cultural perspective on free and open source software. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. See

3. Wiley, D. (2006). Open Source, Openness, and Higher Education. Innovate, Volume 3, Issue 1. Retreived October 18, 2007 from


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

R685, Week 6 Reflection

Neo Millennial and Web 2.0 Learners

This week we are starting to look at web 2.0, the tools and the users. In class the big item was what is needed to be a successful online student today as compared to 2000. After reflection, my own opinion is not much. People need to be good time managers, have time (online is extremely time dependent), and have a willingness to explore. The latter is where learners get “tripped” up by not having an open mind going into the instruction to try something new. I guess this could be said for the instructors also. The new lists had more tools than the 2000 checklist but the aforementioned principles are sound. One only needs a better computer and broadband and figure it out from there.

The articles were in line with what was discussed, learning styles for today’s education. The first article was from the Partnership for 21t Century Skills. This partnership is a medley of public and private organizations that give opinions and recommendations for education. My big take was how industry wanted to use NCLB to introduce and have education embrace measurement. This was the first time I have heard this argument besides on my parent’s porch discussing this same topic with my mother. I think education and teachers need to be measured just like everyone else. Although it may not be perfect it is a means of accountability.

Educating the Net Generation was an excerpt from Ch 6. This was a good analysis comparing the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and the Net Generation and how they learn online. To no surprise the Net generation was more comfortable with technologies but what was interesting is the Baby Boomers got more out of it.

The next two articles are by or assisted Chris Dede of Harvard University discussing Neomillennial learners. Chris Dede is adamant that everyone has the potential to be a neomillennial learner, not just the millennials or the net generation whatever they are called. A lot of people talk about the generation divide, boomers, gen X, and millenilals (gen y. net gen, etc.) and classify learning styles through this divide. Not Dede, NO, everyone can be a neomillenial learner one just needs to grasp and accept (enjoy?) the latest in educational technology today. Not only accept it, immerse oneself in it. He uses the work immersion a lot.

My tidbit this week was from the San Francisco Gate discussing media usage time. If that sounds like the studies I already covered, you would be right. They just regurgitated the Kaiser and Pew studies I reviewed last week. So, if you want to read the actual studies go to the studies. If you want a shorter read with a little bit of drama, this article is for you. Wait! There is something worth noting, multitasking. Dr. Jordan Grafman, Chief of the cognitive neuroscience section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the Institute of Health (he must not be able to fit his phone #s on his business card) stated no one can do two things at once it is genetically impossible. The brain can only focus on one thing at a time. People can be doing multiple things but can one focus on one at a time. Although he admitted to often try to multitask.

Dede, C. (2005). Planning for neomillennial learning styles. Educause Quarterly, 28(1),

Hartman, J., Moskal, P., & Dziuban, C. (2005). Preparing the academy of today for the learner of tomorrow.

Dieterle, E., Dede, C., & Schrier, K. (in press). “Neomillennial” learning styles propagated by wireless handheld devices. In M. Lytras & A. Naeve (Eds.), Ubiquitous and pervasive knowledge and learning management: Semantics, social networking and new media to their full potential. Hershey, PA: Idea Group, Inc. Retrieved on August 28, 2006, from

Learning for the 21st Century (A Report and MILE Guide for 21st Century Skills) MILE (Milestones for Improving Learning) Guide for the 21st Century skills.

Seligman, K. (2006, May 14). Young and wired. San Francisco Chronicle, Retrieved November 20, 2006, from