A response on Emergent Model for Open Courses

Well said Dave on Emergent Model for Open Courses – on the three reasons on open courses – strategic planning, training and research.
I think it is worthwhile to reflect on the value of open courses also from different perspectives – including institutions.
How would institutions perceive open courses (for free)?  In Australia, there are still severe competition amongst RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) and many private RTOs are operating on a profit basis. So, open courses may not be appealing for RTO operating on such a basis, as there would be significant “loss” of competitiveness when course content or process are all open to others (including the competitors) and learners around the world.  Critical questions also include: What are the institutional policies and strategies in open courses in institutions (RTO)?  What are the responses of educators, technologists and consultants involved in open courses?  Are open courses sustainable when operating (free)?  These are all very sensitive questions that are seldom asked, as many people (educators, consultants, administrators) may be affected or influenced by the decisions towards openness.  Besides, a quick survey of students could reveal their concern of their “paid course learning” could be impacted when the course is open to the outsiders who don’t have to pay, and could be registered in the open course.  I am not sure if I have brought up any significant added value to open course, but surely I think there are many values that are still not yet fully institutionalised, conceived and exploited as yet.
Finally, I agree with your three reasons, and I think there are much values that could be added to open course.  There are implications with the introduction of open courses into institutions though.
Greatly appreciate your insights into open course.
I will post this to my blog too.

How to measure the effectiveness of professional development activities

This post on measurement on the effectiveness of professional development attracts my attention.

Stephen commented in his OLDaily:

And the good point he make is that the effectiveness (if you want to call it that) of a learning event isn’t measurable at the time of the event – you have to wait for the cycles to complete.

Can the effectiveness of professional development be measured?  How and When?

I have composed a post on Teacher Training and classroom teaching here.  I have also shared my views and perspectives on Cooperative Online Education here.

I think an objective measurement of the effectiveness of professional development needs to be based on the context of application of the skills learnt and the teaching or learning situations.  An alternative assessment could be based on the learning achieved both by the educators and learners, throughout the course delivered by the educators, and after the course, in the form of research and course review.  This allows for a learning development for both the educators and learners rather than a “judgment” on a course based solely on the “effectiveness” of the professional activities.

Besides, the sole reliance of professional development is often not enough, especially in a complex learning environment.

What needs to be considered in mind could be illustrated with the pictures below:

How about this?

Here is the Networked Teacher (Photo: Flickr source: Alec Courus)

On Emergent Learning:

Integration of learning by Terry Anderson

Use of Forums and Blogs in MOOC

John Mak Blogs versus forum. Interesting finding. Wasn’t it similar to what we have found in our research of CCK08? Do people prefer blogs over forum in open courses/learning networks?
Steve Mackenzie John – you have to have reason to go to a blackboard forum. At least in MOOC’s people have more of a reason to participate in forum debates as they have shown an initial interest in developing their learning. I think blogs are best for personal learning, but forums in MOOC’S have their place (i.e. quick discussion and not so much work and deliberation as when writing a blog and weaving others viewpoints into your own blog.
Hope you are well, as ever your facebook postings are great. look forward to interacting more in PLENK2010
John Mak Thanks for your comments. I am well. Hope you are well too.
Yes, I share your views. There seems to be a pattern for many MOOCs and OOCs that initial interests in developing their learning could be sparked by forum debates and induction, with quick exchange & discussion leading to more ideas sharing & deliberation. Once people (participants) are accustomed to the networked learning experience, they would start to build their own learning networks via blogs, and transference of “new skills & connections” from one to another media space/tools – microblogs twitter, facebook links, amplify it, Youtubes, Myspace, friend feeds, RSS, Google Reader, Delicious, Google doc, wikispaces, pbworks (pbwikis), Flickr, Slideshare, Second Life (SL), Netvibes, Skype, Elluminate, UStream, Dimdim, Diigo, Drupal, Ning etc. Such modalities of learning are based on individual learning needs, and so the personal aggregation is a “decentralised” practice from the LMS intention.
This pattern of interaction and engagement in MOOC seems to also follow an exponential curve with slowing down in participation near the middle of the course, and a rapid decline in the participation in the forum. For CCK08, we have attempted to explain the reasons behind the pattern, and for CCK09, EduFuture and CritLit2010, the reasons for the changes in participation in the forums were somewhat different from the CCK08. Would it be due to the initial momentum brought about by CCK08 that have led to the intense debates?
This was especially evident with CCK09. With CCK09, Edufuture, CritLit2010 people had also got some experience in such connective learning and would be expecting slightly more extensive learning, with more extensive learning spaces/media/tools, whilst others who were new to it were still trying to see how it worked. So, would the “process” of such connective open course be equally important in the “content” part of an open course?
I have the intention of researching all the CCK09, EduFuture and CritLit2010, as compared with CCK08. I realised that Stephen and Rita have done the research on CritLit2010.
It is a challenge to conduct research in comparing the MOOCs, whereas objectivity and action research are both needed, in order to avoid research biasing.
Photo: Flickr

Postscript: Refer to this Teaching in Social and Technological Networks by George Siemens on CCK08 & CCK09