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Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI)

TEKRI blogs

New Project: Digitizing Higher Education

elearnspace (George Siemens) - June 8, 2017 - 10:51

In fall, I’ll be running a course on edX with a few colleagues on Digitizing Higher Education. This course is part of a larger initiative that I’ll be rolling out later this month focused on helping universities transition into digital systems: University Networks.

Here’s the pitch:

Higher education faces tremendous change pressure and the resulting structures that are now being formed will alter the role of universities in society for the next several generations. The best time to change systems is when it is already experiencing change. A growing number of consulting agencies and service providers are starting to enter the higher education space, bringing visions that are not tightly focused on learner development and service to knowledge advancement in research domains – i.e. a shift to utilitarian views of education. I’m concerned that in the process, universities will lose control over their enterprise and will become some version of corporate lite.

I recognize that universities need to change. They need to start with a basic question: If we were to create a model of higher education today that serves the needs of learners and society, what would it look like given our networked and technologically infused society? . The answer is not pre-existing. It’s something that we need to explore together. Societies and regions that make this change will benefit from increased employment opportunities for citizens, higher quality of life, and greater control over their future.

The project, University Networks, involves working with a small number of universities, or specific faculties and departments, that are committed to rethinking and redesigning how they operate. My goal is to bring on 30 universities and over a period of 4 years, rethink and redesign university operations to align with the modern information and knowledge ecosystem. The intent is to impact 1 million learners over the next four years through offering innovative teaching and learning opportunities, utilizing effective learning analytics models, integrating learning across all spaces of life, and creating a digital and networked mindset to organization operations.

A few details:

  • This is a cohort model where universities learn from each other and share those resources and practices that can be shared – for example, shared curriculum and shared quality rubrics. The cohort model enables more rapid change since the investments of all universities in the network will increase the value of the resources for everyone.
  • We provide centralized consultancy (this is a non-profit) where we enter a university for two weeks of in-depth analysis of existing practices and work with leadership to plan future investments and goals. Once this analysis is done, each university will enter one of ten modules based on their current progress. For example, a university without an LMS will enter module one whereas a university with advanced infrastructure but looking to develop online programs will enter at module four.
  • The shared consultancy and cohort model results in universities working with a fraction of the investment needed in working with a traditional corporation or consultancy firm. Clearly enabling partners will be needed and we’ll support and advise in that area as well. Our focus, however, is on rapid innovation owned and controlled by the university.
  • My motivation for this is twofold: 1. to serve the advancement of science through modern universities that reflect the information age and the changing economy. 2. to actively research systemic transformation in higher education.
  • As partners in university innovation, we (through Interlab) have deep expertise in machine learning, systemic innovation, networked learning, online learning, and digitization of organizations. More on our group here: http://interlab.me/collaboration/. What does this mean? Basically that we are committed to repositioning higher education for the modern era and that we have the skillsets to deliver on that commitment.
  • If you are interested in learning more, please email me: contact me. We are hosting an information event on June 30. We’ll provide more information at that time about the project, getting involved, and our expectation of university partners.

    We have an excellent advisory board directing this project:

  • John Galvin (Intel)
    Dror Ben-Naim (Smart Sparrow)
    Katy Borner (Indiana University)
    Al Essa (McGraw-Hill)
    Casey Green (Campus Computing Project)
    Sally Johnstone (NCHEMS)
    Mark Milliron (Civitas)
    Catherine Ngugi (Open Education Africa)
    Deborah Quazzo (GSV Advisors)
    Matt Sigelman (Burning Glass)

Handbook of Learning Analytics (open)

elearnspace (George Siemens) - June 7, 2017 - 07:23

When we started the learning analytics conference in 2011, we aligned with ACM. We received a fair bit of criticism for not pursuing fully open proceedings. Some came from our sister organization, IEDMS, that has open proceedings. We made a difficult choice to go with the traditional route of quality, indexed proceedings, largely in order to ensure that colleagues from Europe and Latin America could receive funds for their travels. It’s often not understood by advocates for openness that a key challenge for researchers is to publish for impact or publish for prestige. Prestige, as defined by so called “reputable” journals, is often a requirement for getting government funding for travel.

To ensure broader dissemination, and cope with our guilt, of our research, we set up an open journal: Journal for Learning Analytics.

I’m very excited about a new project that started as an idea during LAK13 in Leuven and is another commitment to openness by the Society for Learning Analytics Research: The Handbook of Learning Analytics. The book, CC-licensed, weighs in at 356 pages and provides a good snapshot of the status of learning analytics as a field. It’s a free download (both the book and the chapters). Given the number of masters programs that now incorporate learning analytics courses, or a growing number of LA masters programs, we felt it was important to get a research document into the public space.

Interaction pattern analysis in cMOOCs based on the connectivist interaction and engagement framework

Terry Anderson's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Interaction pattern analysis in cMOOCs based on the connectivist interaction and engagement framework

Authors: Wang, Zhijung; Anderson, Terry; Chen, L.; Barbera, E.

Abstract: Connectivist learning is interaction-centered learning. A framework describing interaction and cognitive engagement in connectivist learning was constructed using logical reasoning techniques. The framework and analysis was designed to help researchers and learning designers understand and adapt the characteristics and principles of interaction in connectivist learning contexts. In this study empirical evidence to support and further develop this framework is presented. This study analyzed 6 weeks of data harvested from the daily newsletter, Twitter, and a Facebook group in a well-known cMOOC led by George Siemens and Stephen Downes. These text transcripts were analyzed using a deductive approach of qualitative content analysis. This study revealed the main activity patterns of participants as they engage in four levels of interaction (operation interaction, wayfinding interaction, sensemaking interaction, and innovation interaction) during the MOOC. Generally the framework serves as a conceptual model to understand and to analyze the interaction in this cMOOC, although some implied interaction is hard to recognize and categorize. The relationship of the four levels of interaction and the role of each element in the framework were explored with the intent of offering the framework as a conceptual and analytic tool to guide both researchers and practitioners in designing and studying connectivist learning.
Categories: Publications

The Future of E-Learning

Terry Anderson's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: The Future of E-Learning

Authors: Dron, Jon; Anderson, Terry

Abstract: This is not the first attempt to predict the future of e-learning and our first confident prediction is that it will not be the last. Our intent in this chapter is to focus less on the digital technologies involved and more on broad trends and consequences, especially as they affect and are affected by the pedagogies and their surrounding educational infrastructures. We do not wish to predict the future so much as to characterize its general form and examine the implications for the present and the futures that emerge.

Description: Preprint for:Jon Dron and Terry Anderson (2016) The Future of E-learning. In the SAGE Handbook of E-learning Research (2016) Second Edition. Edited by Caroline Haythornthwaite, Richard Andrews, Jude Fransman and Eric M. Meyers. Sage
Categories: Publications

Lost in social space: Information retrieval issues in Web 1.5

Terry Anderson's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Lost in social space: Information retrieval issues in Web 1.5

Authors: Dron, Jon; Anderson, Terry

Abstract: This paper is concerned with the application of Web 2.0 technologies within a conventional institutional learning setting. After considering the affordances of Web 2.0 technologies vs Web 1.0 technologies and a framework for viewing social software in terms of groups, networks and collectives, we describe an instance of trying to use Elgg, a rich social application, to support a distance-taught course within a conventional face-to-face university. A number of issues are identified, some of which are related to Elgg’s interface but the biggest of which relate to the tensions between top-down and bottom-up control and the shifting contexts of personal, group, network and collective modes of engagement. These problems suggest that, in their current form, social technologies pose intractable difficulties in information organisation and retrieval when used for formal learning. We propose a range of solutions that make use of the wisdom of the crowd combined with human intervention. This paper addresses and extends themes explored in SIRTEL 07.
Categories: Publications

Invited Commentary on Reusing Online Resources, Chapter 19: Reuse of Resources within Communities of Practice, by Rachel Harris and Carol Higgison.

Terry Anderson's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Invited Commentary on Reusing Online Resources, Chapter 19: Reuse of Resources within Communities of Practice, by Rachel Harris and Carol Higgison.

Authors: Anderson, Terry

Abstract: The Online Tutoring Skills (OtiS) e-workshop described in this chapter makes a significant contribution to knowledge of how to effectively design and manage virtual conferences or e-workshops. In addition they provide a useful discussion and exemplar of means by which the content of these forums can be re-used and repackaged for wider and continuing use. The first contribution of the paper is a description of an innovative process for soliciting and evaluating content from within the community of practice. This excellent paper ends with a discussion of a series of issues that arose during the e-conference and that could be described as a first look at best practice guide for e-workshop designers. I liked the article and I appreciate the serious conceptual and physical work put into organizing and documenting for re-use this professional development initiative.
Categories: Publications

OER Policies in Canada: A POERUP country report.

Rory McGreal's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: OER Policies in Canada: A POERUP country report.

Authors: Quirk, Diane; Anderson, Terry; McGreal, Rory

Abstract: This paper reports on the status of OER policies in Canadian government and higher education institutions, consisting of a POERUP (Policies for OER Uptake) Europroject country report on the existence of policy documents designed to support OER in the different provinces and their institutions. With the knowledge that there are not yet any governmental policies to support OER, open textbooks and few related activities in Canada, this report describes initiatives and/or policy statements that are currently being considered—or perhaps even in developmental stages—in higher education institutions and government.

Description: OpenCourseWare Consortium Global Meetings, OCWC Global Conference 2013, Bali, Indonesia, May 8-10.
Categories: Publications

Knowledge Series: Creating, Using and Sharing Open Educational Resources

Rory McGreal's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Knowledge Series: Creating, Using and Sharing Open Educational Resources

Authors: McGreal, Rory

Abstract: Open Educational Resources (OER) are free learning resources available on the Internet. OER can be openly licensed or in the public domain, and can be used or reused for free. They can exist in many formats: text (either print or digital); audio, video, multimedia or hypermedia; or various combinations of these. They can be based on a single learning point, a lesson, a series of lessons (a module), a whole course or even an entire programme of study. They can support a specific learning methodology or approach — whether that be behaviourist, constructivist, connectivist, etc. — or any combination of methodologies or approaches. Although they may differ in format, structure or approach, they share a common characteristic: their openness. The Knowledge Series is a topical, start-up guide to distance education practice and delivery.
Categories: Publications

Introducing MOOCs to Africa: New Economy Skills for Africa Program

Rory McGreal's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Introducing MOOCs to Africa: New Economy Skills for Africa Program

Authors: Boga, Sandi; McGreal, Rory

Abstract: MOOCs as a type of globally-networked learning environment (GNLE) could become a very useful delivery model in the developing world – but not necessarily when tied to a specific platform like Coursera. If developing countries allow themselves to be locked in to a certain MOOC platform, they may have to adhere to the foreign values put forth by the platform owners. As a result, developing nations may lose some of their autonomy and exclude potential local partners who may not be a part of the same platform (Siemens, 2013). This exclusivity will make developing countries vulnerable to the effects of cultural imperialism, and prevent true collaboration with other developing countries that may be facing similar issues.
Categories: Publications

Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice

Rory McGreal's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice

Authors: McGreal, Rory; Kinutha, Wanjira; Marshall, Stewart

Abstract: Open Educational Resources (OER) – that is, teaching, learning and research materials that their owners make free to others to use, revise and share – offer a powerful means of expanding the reach and effectiveness of worldwide education. Those resources can be full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, software, and other materials and techniques used to promote and support universal access to knowledge. This book, initiated by the UNESCO/COL Chair in OER, is one in a series of publications by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) examining OER. It describes the movement in detail, providing readers with insight into OER’s significant benefits, its theory and practice, and its achievements and challenges. The 16 chapters, written by some of the leading international experts on the subject, are organised into four parts by theme: OER in Academia – describes how OER are widening the international community of scholars, following MIT’s lead in sharing its resources and looking to the model set by the OpenCourseWare Consortium OER in Practice – presents case studies and descriptions of OER initiatives underway on three continents Diffusion of OER – discusses various approaches to releasing and “opening” content, from building communities of users that support lifelong learning to harnessing new mobile technologies that enhance OER access on the Internet Producing, Sharing and Using OER – examines the pedagogical, organisational, personal and technical issues that producing organisations and institutions need to address in designing, sharing and using OER Instructional designers, curriculum developers, educational technologists, teachers, researchers, students, others involved in creating, studying or using OER: all will find this timely resource informative and inspiring.
Categories: Publications

Understanding Mobile Learning at Athabasca University through MobiGlam (UMLAUT-M): Do the Benefits Justify the Cost and Time? at the 2008 International Conferfence on Mobile Learning

Mohammed Ally's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Understanding Mobile Learning at Athabasca University through MobiGlam (UMLAUT-M): Do the Benefits Justify the Cost and Time? at the 2008 International Conferfence on Mobile Learning

Authors: Ally, Mohamed

Abstract: 1. The goal of the UMLAUT-M project is to investigate the viability and pedagogic usefulness of mobile access to online course materials. Although the project team is composed of researchers and programmers from the United Kingdom and Canada, the project itself is being conducted at a distance University in Canada. Students of this university receive textbooks, manuals, and other materials through the mail. Currently, there is some provision for person to person interaction through telephones, the learning management system (Moodle), and various other electronic tools. Yet, there remains an apparent lack of "connectedness" among learners because of the physical and temporal separation of the instructors and the learners. The project tested a system called MobiGlam which allows students to access Moodle courses through a variety of mobile devices such as cellular telephones, PDAs, and smartphones.

Description: This first presentation was attended by approximately 40 people from many countries. The first part of the paper presented information on why the research study was conducted while the second part of the paper presented details on the research study. Many attendees are starting to use Moodle as the Learning Management System (LMS) and are interested in finding out how AU is planning to use Moodle on mobile devices. At the end of the session there were questions on the implementation of Moodle on mobile devices. The time for the presentation was short. It would have been helpful to have a longer session.
Categories: Publications

Inductive Reasoning and Programming Visualization, an Experiment Proposal

Kinshuk's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Inductive Reasoning and Programming Visualization, an Experiment Proposal

Authors: Moreno, Andres; Myller, Niko; Sutinen, Erkki; Lin, Taiyu; Kinshuk

Abstract: We lay down plans to study how Inductive Reasoning Ability (IRA) affects the analyzing and understanding of Program Visualization (PV) systems. Current PV systems do not take into account the abilities of the user but show always the same visualization independently of the changing knowledge or abilities of the student. Thus, we propose IRA as an important skill when comprehending animation, which can be used to model the students and thus to adapt the visualization for different students. As an initial step we plan to check if IRA correlates with ability to answer program related questions during program visualization. We discuss the possible benefits of using IRA modeling in adaptive PV.
Categories: Publications

An initial framework of contexts for designing usable intelligent tutoring system

Kinshuk's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: An initial framework of contexts for designing usable intelligent tutoring system

Authors: Patel, Ashok; Russell, David; Kinshuk; Oppermann, Reinhard; Rashev, Rossen

Abstract: The notion of context has been an issue of research in various aspects of intelligent systems such as knowledge management, natural language processing, reasoning and so on. This paper focuses on the various contexts surrounding the design and use of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) and proposes an initial framework of contexts by classifying them into three major groupings: interactional, environmental and objectival contexts. Interactional contexts are used by the system, environmental contexts surround its design and use while objectival contexts refer to the objectives of an educational system as exhibited by its ‘teaching’ and ‘assessment’ practices. A better understanding of these contexts is essential for designing better and more usable intelligent tutoring systems.
Categories: Publications

Development of a user-friendly interface for the creation of user elements

Kinshuk's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Development of a user-friendly interface for the creation of user elements

Authors: Kinshuk

Abstract: The solution of the basic equations relating stiffness, displacement and force in finite element analysis is not trivial, partially due to the large numbers of equations involved. Various techniques have been developed for this purpose and commercial finite element packages like Ansys resolve the equations and store the results quite efficiently and have large element libraries. If a particular element formulation is not found in the library of Ansys, the users can develop their own elements with the help of Fortran routines provided with Ansys. It should be emphasised that these routines are not at all user friendly and require considerable work every time a new type of element is needed. This paper describes the development of a user friendly program by interfacing the mathematical package Mathematica with Ansys to make the user element capability more or less generalised, and more efficient.
Categories: Publications

Intelligent Tutoring Tools in a Computer Integrated Learning Environment for introductory numeric disciplines

Kinshuk's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Intelligent Tutoring Tools in a Computer Integrated Learning Environment for introductory numeric disciplines

Authors: Patel, Ashok; Kinshuk

Abstract: Research in the field of Intelligent Tutoring Systems has failed to provide any substantial or viable systems that could be used in real academic environments. This situation appears to be the result of two factors: first, the failure to identify clearly the objectives and the scope of such systems; and second, the continuously shifting technological platform on which such systems are built. This paper examines the possible objectives for the development of tutoring systems and presents an approach adopted by the Byzantium project. It describes a model of computer integrated learning environment (CILE) and discusses the role of an intelligent tutoring tool (ITT) within this model. The paper also considers the potential of the Internet for various learning environments. Based on our experience of designing and implementing four ITTs that have the same look and feel (but which address diverse subject areas) the paper suggests a possible extension of the Byzantium approach to the Internet through the conversion of ITTs into intelligent tutoring applets (ITAs).
Categories: Publications

The Right Circumstances for Multidisciplinary Research

Caroline Park's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: The Right Circumstances for Multidisciplinary Research

Authors: Park, Caroline L.
Categories: Publications

Mobile Learning in Nursing Practice Education: Applying Koole's FRAME Model

Caroline Park's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Mobile Learning in Nursing Practice Education: Applying Koole's FRAME Model

Authors: Kenny, Richard F.; Van Neste-Kenny, Jocelyne M.C.; Park, Caroline L.; Burton, Pamela A.; Meiers, Jan

Abstract: We report here on an exploratory formative evaluation of a project to integrate mobile learning into a Western Canadian college nursing program. Third-year students used Hewlett Packard iPAQ mobile devices for five weeks in a practice education course in April—May, 2007. Koole's (2009) Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) model provided our definition of mobile learning and was used to organize our presentation of the results of the study. Participants reported positively on the usability of the mobile devices, finding them easy to learn, readily portable, and the screen size sufficient for mobile specific programs. However, they had difficulty with the wireless connectivity and, despite an initial orientation, did not have time to fully learn the devices in the context of a busy course. As a result, it is not clear if students can effectively use the social technology provided by such devices or if mobile learning can support interaction between instructors and learners in this context. The use of mobile devices in nursing practice education is feasible, but further investigation is needed on the use of m-learning for communication and interactive purposes.
Categories: Publications

Replicating the Use of a Cognitive Presence Measurement Tool

Caroline Park's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Replicating the Use of a Cognitive Presence Measurement Tool

Authors: Park, Caroline L.

Abstract: This paper is a report of the replication of a seminal study on cognitive presence in computer mediated conferencing (CMC) by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2001). A comparison of cognitive presence coding by three different researchers is also demonstrated. The study reignites debates about what constitutes the segment of CMC data to be coded and the objectivity of this type of data.
Categories: Publications

Home Births and Hospital Deliveries: A Comparison of the Perceived Painfulness of Parturition

Caroline Park's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Home Births and Hospital Deliveries: A Comparison of the Perceived Painfulness of Parturition

Authors: Morse, Janice M.; Park, Caroline L.

Abstract: Cognitive assessments of the amount of pain associated with childbirth by parents electing either homebirth (n=282) or hospital delivery (n=191) were compared using Thurstone's univariate scaling method of paired comparisons. Subjects compared the pain of childbirth with 8 other painful events. The hospital birth group rated childbirth pain significanlly higher than the homebirth group. In the homebirth group, females considered the pain to be less than the males, and in the hospital birth group, the females rated pain higher than the males.
Categories: Publications

Toward Sustainable Funding in Higher Education

Brian Stewart's publications - May 29, 2017 - 07:00
Title: Toward Sustainable Funding in Higher Education

Authors: Stewart, Brian

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to layout a framework for the effective ongoing sustainable funding of ICT funding to Universities in particular and Higher Educational institutions in general. The approach taken is to provide a perspective on the role of infrastructure in supporting Higher Educational Institution’s core educational, research and administrative functions. The framework also articulates the composition of ICT infrastructure and derives a cost model for the provision of infrastructural services. The model is intended to be straightforward enabling ready adoption while also providing flexibility in order that it can be updated on a periodic basis to reflect changing technological demand and supply conditions.
Categories: Publications