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Nils Peterson

Innovating the 21st-Century University: It's Time! (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE - 4 views

  • change is required in two vast and interwoven domains that permeate the deep structures and operating model of the university: (1) the value created for the main customers of the university (the students); and (2) the model of production for how that value is created. First we need to toss out the old industrial model of pedagogy (how learning is accomplished) and replace it with a new model called collaborative learning. Second we need an entirely new modus operandi for how the subject matter, course materials, texts, written and spoken word, and other media (the content of higher education) are created.
  • Research shows that mutual exploration, group problem solving, and collective meaning-making produce better learning outcomes and understanding overall. Brown and Adler cite a study by Richard J. Light, of the Harvard Graduate School of Education: "Light discovered that one of the strongest determinants of students' success in higher education . . . was their ability to form or participate in small study groups. Students who studied in groups, even only once a week, were more engaged in their studies, were better prepared for class, and learned significantly more than students who worked on their own."
  • Second, the web enables students to collaborate with others independent of time and geography. Finally, the web represents a new mode of production for knowledge, and that changes just about everything regarding how the "content" of college and university courses are created.
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  • As Seymour Papert, one of the world's foremost experts on how technology can provide new ways to learn, put it: "The scandal of education is that every time you teach something, you deprive a [student] of the pleasure and benefit of discovery."14 Students need to integrate new information with the information they already have — to "construct" new knowledge structures and meaning.
  • Universities need an entirely new modus operandi for how the content of higher education is created. The university needs to open up, embrace collaborative knowledge production, and break down the walls that exist among institutions of higher education and between those institutions and the rest of the world.To do so, universities require deep structural changes — and soon. More than three years ago, Charles M. Vest published "Open Content and the Emerging Global Meta-University" in EDUCAUSE Review. In his concluding paragraph, Vest offered a tantalizing vision: "My view is that in the open-access movement, we are seeing the early emergence of a meta-university — a transcendent, accessible, empowering, dynamic, communally constructed framework of open materials and platforms on which much of higher education worldwide can be constructed or enhanced. The Internet and the Web will provide the communication infrastructure, and the open-access movement and its derivatives will provide much of the knowledge and information infrastructure." Vest wrote that the meta-university "will speed the propagation of high-quality education and scholarship. . . . The emerging meta-university, built on the power and ubiquity of the Web and launched by the open courseware movement, will give teachers and learners everywhere the ability to access and share teaching materials, scholarly publications, scientific works in progress, teleoperation of experiments, and worldwide collaborations, thereby achieving economic efficiencies and raising the quality of education through a noble and global endeavor."17
  • Used properly, wikis are tremendously powerful tools to collaborate and co-innovate new content. Tapscott wrote the foreword for a book called We Are Smarter Than Me (2008). The book, a best-seller, was written by Barry Libert, Jon Spector, and more than 4,000 people who contributed to the book's wiki. If a global collaboration can write a book, surely one could be used to create a university course. A professor could operate a wiki with other teachers. Or a professor could use a wiki with his or her students, thereby co-innovating course content with the students themselves. Rather than simply being the recipients of the professor's knowledge, the students co-create the knowledge on their own, which has been shown to be one of the most effective methods of learning.
  • The student might enroll in the primary college in Oregon and register to take a behavioral psychology course from Stanford University and a medieval history course from Cambridge. For these students, the collective syllabi of the world form their menu for higher education. Yet the opportunity goes beyond simply mixing and matching courses. Next-generation faculty will create a context whereby students from around the world can participate in online discussions, forums, and wikis to discover, learn, and produce knowledge as networked individuals and collectively.
  • But what about credentials? As long as the universities can grant degrees, their supremacy will never be challenged." This is myopic thinking. The value of a credential and even the prestige of a university are rooted in its effectiveness as a learning institution. If these institutions are shown to be inferior to alternative learning environments, their capacity to credential will surely diminish. How much longer will, say, a Harvard undergraduate degree, taught mostly through lectures by teaching assistants in large classes, be able to compete in status with the small class size of liberal arts colleges or the superior delivery systems that harness the new models of learning?
  • As part of this, the academic journal should be disintermediated and the textbook industry eliminated. In fact, the word textbook is an oxymoron today. Content should be multimedia — not just text. Content should be networked and hyperlinked bits — not atoms. Moreover, interactive courseware — not separate "books" — should be used to present this content to students, constituting a platform for every subject, across disciplines, among institutions, and around the world. The textbook industry will never reinvent itself, however, since legacy cultures and business models die hard. It will be up to scholars and students to do this collectively.
  • Ultimately, we will need more objective measures centered on students' learning performance.
S Spaeth

Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0 (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUC... - 1 views

  • More than one-third of the world’s population is under 20. There are over 30 million people today qualified to enter a university who have no place to go. During the next decade, this 30 million will grow to 100 million. To meet this staggering demand, a major university needs to be created each week.
    • Nils Peterson
      quote from Sir John Daniel, 1996. The decade he speaks of has past
  • Open source communities have developed a well-established path by which newcomers can “learn the ropes” and become trusted members of the community through a process of legitimate peripheral participation.
    • Nils Peterson
      He describes an apprentice model, but we might also think about peripheral participation in terms of giving feedback using an educative rubric.
  • Lectures from model teachers are recorded on video and are then physically distributed via DVD to schools that typically lack well-trained instructors (as well as Internet connections). While the lectures are being played on a monitor (which is often powered by a battery, since many participating schools also lack reliable electricity), a “mediator,” who could be a local teacher or simply a bright student, periodically pauses the video and encourages engagement among the students by asking questions or initiating discussions about the material they are watching.
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  • The Faulkes Telescope Project and the Decameron Web are just two of scores of research and scholarly portals that provide access to both educational resources and a community of experts in a given domain. The web offers innumerable opportunities for students to find and join niche communities where they can benefit from the opportunities for distributed cognitive apprenticeship. Finding and joining a community that ignites a student’s passion can set the stage for the student to acquire both deep knowledge about a subject (“learning about”) and the ability to participate in the practice of a field through productive inquiry and peer-based learning (“learning to be”). These communities are harbingers of the emergence of a new form of technology-enhanced learning—Learning 2.0—which goes beyond providing free access to traditional course materials and educational tools and creates a participatory architecture for supporting communities of learners.
    • Nils Peterson
      Kramer's Plant Biotech group could be one of these. It needs tasks that permit legitimate peripheral participation. One of those could be peer assessment. Another could be social bookmarking. I now see it needs not just an _open_ platform, but an _extensible_ one. Here is where the hub and spoke model may play in.
    • S Spaeth
      I infer that you are referring to this research group. I am curious to learn why you selected this lab as an example.
  • open participatory learning ecosystems
Joshua Yeidel

EDUCAUSE Teaching and Learning Challenges '09 - Debate the list, join the community and... - 0 views

    Ning network for the EDUCause T&L Challenges project. Everything but the wiki...
Joshua Yeidel

TLChallenges09 | EDUCAUSE CONNECT - 0 views

    After four months of spirited discussion, the EDUCAUSE teaching and learning community has voted on the, "Top Teaching and Learning Challenges, 2009." The final list for 2009, ranked by popularity, includes (click on individual Challenges to visit their wiki page): 1. Creating learning environments that promote active learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge creation. 2. Developing 21st-century literacies among students and faculty (information, digital, and visual). 3. Reaching and engaging today's learner. 4. Encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning with IT. 5. Advancing innovation in teaching and learning (with technology) in an era of budget cuts.
Joshua Yeidel

Moving to Moodle: Reflections Two Years Later (EDUCAUSE Quarterly) | EDUCAUSE CONNECT - 0 views

    A good article about a transition from an in-house LMS to Moodle. Though the environment is somewhat different, lessons learned about the process are relevant to us.
    The lack of time to prepare was the main source of problems and undermined the effectiveness of CTET as a change agent.
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