Friday, December 6, 2013

Harvard's report on MOOCs

Harvard Magazine posted an article yesterday about recent discussions and reports about MOOCs and the university's participation in them. One thing that I noticed:
REPORTING TO the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at length for the first time since he was appointed vice provost for advances in learning last September, Peter K. Bol highlighted shifts in the landscape for the much-publicized massive open online courses (MOOCs). At the December 3 faculty meeting, Bol noted that:
  • People who register for free MOOCs, like those offered on edX, differ from conventional students, and are not using them like conventional courses.
 Well yeah! I've mentioned before that MOOCs are not comparable to traditional college courses because the people enrolling in them have a variety of goals for the course. Traditionally, college courses are part of a whole curriculum whose aim is to educate students in certain relevant fields, and a specific discipline. These students are usually of the same age, have the same goals for each course (learn enough to move on/get a good grade), and are peers in relation to the discipline. With MOOCs? Sure, a good portion might be these traditional students, but some may be experts in another field who want to get a better grasp of this related subject, a high school teacher who is looking for good applications for their classes, another college instructor/professor who wants to see how the course is taught, etc. You cannot compare completion rates of traditional higher education institutions with MOOCs, its like comparing malus and citrus.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Learning Styles DNE

Learning Styles do not exist (or DNE for you mathematicians). There I said it. I know many of those in the education community and industry have presupposed this conjecture as the basis for many long careers. I understand that many of you at this moment are saying "But I know I'm an auditory learner." I get that it seems like a simple, logical explanation for why some methods work and others don't. But under even a little scrutiny, it doesn't work.

The reason for this post: I recently went to a workshop that I thought was going to be about teaching techniques focused on using applications, but turned into "How to Teach with Learning Styles". For the first 45 minutes I squirmed in my chair as kinaesthetic, visual, and audible were bandied about and how a 5-minute survey would help students determine their preferred method of learning. There was a glimmer of hope when the facilitator said "Now even if a student has one of these learning styles, that doesn't mean the others are neglected." and everyone nodded in agreement, but the discussion quickly turned to the deterministic ways these styles should be used. I kept quiet during the workshop, but thought this would be a good venue to air this out.

I see Learning Styles, and in fact any method of quantizing personality traits, in the same way as the Theory of Forms. These Learning Styles are the deciphering of the proverbial shadows on the cave wall, when what they really want to study is the flickering of the light, the cognition of the brain. The styles are so far removed from the process of how the brain actually works, that they simplify this dynamic process (learning) into three easily understood classifications (or however many finite number of personalities). Cognition, epistemology, psychology, neurology, etc. are the ways we study and learn about how we learn and should be the prime motivators for finding methods of how to teaching.

While reasonable, we haven't mapped the human brain just yet, and therefore most of these disciplines can't help us with the day-to-day "What do I do in the classroom?" questions. There is a large body of work on research based methods for teaching, my favorite of which is How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. The book does an excellent job of summarizing current research, and providing real implementations that produce results.

The comparison of these research based methods and Learning Styles point to a larger issue, the lack of scientific principles used in supporting Learning Styles. Many, many studies show that Learning Styles do not predict anything, are a myth, and have been classified as such for 25 years.

Unfortunately people are going to keep on believing in Learning Styles because they 'believe' they fall into one of the three/finite cases. Their belief will trump any evidence because it is about 'them' and their identity. This is probably the biggest reason why Learning Styles will continue, the narrative of the individual is a powerful force, and a series of scientific papers will not dissuade that narrative. The only way to combat this myth is the slow steady work of changing curriculum, talking to people, and developing materials and products that use research based methods of instruction.





Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday MOOC News - 11/18/2013


For this week a couple of articles, an announcement by Facebook, and an updated graphic of the LMS market.
  • Open Source Winter 2014 - Facebook's partnership with a number of universities continues with thier Open Source course continuing into Winter 2014. The program offers a bridge between what software developers do with the academic subject of computer science. Increasing the relevance of academic disciplines is always a good thing, especially for Facebook who can scout out new talent before they're even on the market.
  • Common Core State Standards: What do they have to do with Higher Education? - Faculty Focus has an overview of how the CCSS affects higher education, and while helpful if you have never heard of the CCSS, is painfully short and lacks details. How do these standards affect remediation? How can college systems better integrate these standards into their curriculum? What about all these anti-CCSS advocates, are they worth listening to? How do (or could) these standards affect current efforts in OERs, MOOCs, and other innovations/buzz words?
  • MOOCs and Statistics Education: Fad or Opportunity? - AMSTAT has a good article on statistics education and MOOCs, with an interview of Brian Caffo, Jeff Leek, and Roger Peng. I completed Peng's Computing for Data Analysis, and 'audited' Leek's Data Analysis. I've discussed both these courses before, and feel this article is a few months too late. However, the article does provide a good overview of the challenges all three have faced, and how they are attempting to meet them.
  • Higher Education Market 2013 - Phill Hill has updated his LMS market share graph for 2013. A pretty neat graphic showing the evolution of the market.


My MOOCs

I participated a bit more in the Big Data in Education course last week. A number of students have complained that Baker speaks too fast, and the course covers topics too quickly. My response:
First, the guy is from one of the boroughs, he's going to talk a bit fast. I myself have recently moved from New York (7 years) back to my native Oregon, and all my students repeatedly ask me to slow down. In this class you do have the option of slowing down the speed of the videos, by clicking on the '-' button on the bottom left. Unfortunately my students don't have it that easy.

Second, the course is about Big Data in Education, not Big Data, statistics, or how to solve your specific research question. Prof. Baker has to assume knowledge about statistics, tools, and other Big Data odds-and-ends to get to the Education part. I have had to brush up on many of the statistical models, tools, and papers he's discussed. 

Lastly, Prof. Baker's passion and commitment to this subject is inspiring. No other Coursera professor is as active in the forums as he has been, he presents ideas concisely with plenty of avenues for us to research, and provides plenty of links, corrections, and documentation. I feel pretty lucky to be able to take this course.
That second point is something I believe is a consequence of the 'student as a consumer' paradigm some are promoting. Students sign up for some of these MOOCs expecting the instructor to cover the exact area they are interested in, at their ability level. "I'm taking this course, right? Shouldn't I get what I want from it?" Unfortunately the 'consumer' analogy breaks down here, they 'buy' these courses with their time and effort, not their money. Not sure how MOOC instructors and providers get around this paradigm, ignore it? "You are getting what you paid for."? Start charging and then provide greater support?

Another bugbear of mine cropped up in the same forum. There was discussion of MOOCs not favoring passive students, and others saying that this is the reason they have such high attrition rates. My response if you haven't heard it before:
This is a line of reasoning I can't get behind. "MOOCs have high attrition rates relative to traditional courses taught by colleges and universities. Therefore they are inferior to traditional courses." What? That's comparing two totally different things, like citrus and malus. The entry for MOOCs is an internet connection, a computer, and an email address. The entry for a college or university is prior education, placement tests, thousands of dollars, and a host of other things. By not completing a MOOC you've wasted at most a couple of minutes reading about the course and signing up. By not completing a degree, you've wasted years, thousands of dollars, and plenty else. Of course attrition rates are different, the more you invest in something the more you will see it through to completion. 

Also, the aims and motivations of students entering a MOOC can be very different. For a MOOC its not a big deal if you pick and choose the topics you want to learn about, and don't see it through to the end. For other students they want that credential. Even others may be experts in the field and want to hear what Prof. Baker is saying. Since there is no 'gatekeeper' for entry into MOOCs the population entering them will be very different than traditional colleges and universities. Again this leads to higher attrition rates, some student's initial expectations are that they won't 'complete' the course, even though they are getting something from it.
Feel free to join the conversation by commenting below.

Monday MOOC News comes out every Monday (hopefully) and contains my thoughts on current MOOC news, and a brief summary of the MOOCs I am taking. Feel free to join the conversation.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's been a year?!

In looking at some previous posts, it seems that this last November 12th was the 1-year anniversary of this blog! In this last year I've learned quite a bit about blogging, and made some changes:

  • Got rid of tagged articles in my RSS feed creating full posts. Initially this was pretty helpful, but I found that it clogged things up. I still do this for jobs I find.
  • Incorporated a semi-consistent Monday MOOC News feature. I've been trying to write this each week and have many, many drafts of this feature that only have one or two links, that don't say much. 
  • Failed at posting a weekly article about my teaching. I still like this idea, and may try it again Winter Term. Sharing the challenges of teaching as an Adjunct is important, not just for the therapeutic aspects, but also to explain to others what it is we do, and how higher education is changing.
If you have any suggestions for the blog, articles, formats, or anything else, feel free to comment below. I am always looking for news sources, blogs, articles, and papers, so link to those as well.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Job Opportunity: Adjunct Positions - Traditional Program - Warner Pacific College - Portland, OR

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Adjunct Positions - Traditional Program - Warner Pacific College - Portland, OR. I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via Math Adjunct Jobs in Portland, OR | Indeed.com at November 06, 2013 at 12:33AM

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday MOOC News

Between teaching, freelance projects, and settling a new apartment I have been a bit lax in writing new posts. To recommit to this blog, here is the Monday MOOC News.

Debt-Free Degrees - Former Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary education at the U.S. DoE David Bergeron, and philanthropist Steven Klinksy, propose a new accreditation association called Modern States that would accredit specific courses and not whole degree programs. This would allow MOOCs to grant credit for specific courses, reduce student costs, allow the creation of competency-based education models, and other good things. I think this would work, but creating it in the current environment, with faculty concerns of corporatization of the university, federal scrutiny of for-profit institutions, etc., would be difficult. Not saying it shouldn't be tried, just unsure how successful it will be.

MOOCs: Corporate Welfare for Credit - Salon has an insightful look into MOOCs, but creates a clunky argument against corporate MOOC providers. The problem of retention in higher education is apparently the same problem of retentions in MOOCs, even though the aims of students taking courses from either are completely different. Competition for K-12 schools is bad, resulting in poor results for charter schools, and therefore must be bad for MOOCs, even though their structures are completely different. The 'real' issue in higher education is low retention, the primary cause of which is cost, yet 'free' courses don't really address this issue. The article makes good points (cost really is an issue), but does not string them together to create a cogent argument against MOOCs.

Elearn Space has released a few of its MOOC presentations in preparation for the MOOC Research Initiative Conference. They are by Dr. George Siemens, and contain a good summary of MOOCs, their expansions, and a possible framework.

Keeping Introverts in Mind in Your Active Learning Classroom - Teaching even one college-level course you will find a variety of personality types, one of the most challenging is the introvert. Not because they are difficult people, but because they tend to not participate in the 'expected' way of most college students, sharing their thoughts when asked, responding to questions, and volunteering responses. This article discusses how to get introverts engaged, through modifying the course structure, and grade composition. I already use discussion forums in my math and stats courses, but may consider including them as part of a participation grade.



The Common Core, and Big Data courses started last week, but I have yet to participate. Hopefully I'll have some time later this week to get invovled.


Monday MOOC News comes out every Monday (hopefully) and contains my thoughts on current MOOC news, and a brief summary of the MOOCs I am taking. Feel free to join the conversation.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday MOOC News

For this week a short list of links:

This blog post by Jenny Gray gives a good perspective from the 'other' side of the looking glass. It is always helpful to remember that there are actual people on the other side of the screen, who may or may not have our proficiencies with technology. With MOOCs reaching an ever-widening audience, we should be mindful of how we use, and construct technology.

Melissa Hunder has a good summary of a LinkedIn discussion about having a 'messy classroom'. I use this approach for in-class assignments, but can see these ideas of 'messy' or 'strategic ambiguity' applying to an appropriate MOOC.

A few Chinese universities are signing up with edX to host their MOOCs. I'm curious how they'll structure their courses, and how/if they will be monitored by the Chinese government.

I am not currently involved with any MOOCs, but I am teaching two developmental math courses at a small community college. Hopefully I'll be able to participate in the Common Core, and Big Data courses that start next week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday MOOC News

This week a few pieces of MOOC news.

Wesleyan wants to change the world
Wesleyan president, Micheal Roth, announced a new course offered through Coursera called How to Change the World. Its a six week course that covers a range of topics (the environment, poverty, gender, etc.) and has a recommended workload of 3-5 hours. Given the breadth of the topics and the amount of time that will be taken to go over them, I'm not expecting much world changing from the course. Mashable might think so, but then again they sponsored the event this course was announced at.

Europe's MOOCs
The Gray Lady did a piece on Europe's MOOCs. What most interests me about the European market is the dynamic between the course provider's country of origin's culture, language, and local-specific issues, and how they relate to the wider market. However this may just be an American's fascination of countries that are smaller than most US states.

New UK MOOC provider, Future Learn
Staying on the other side of the pond, there is a new UK MOOC provider, Future Learn. From their course listings it seems that they are focused on humanities (Corpus linguistics, Muslims in Britain), science and related issues (Sustainability, society and you, Cancer in the 21st century - the genomic revolution), The discovery of the Higgs boson, and the almost required technology courses (Begin programming: build your first mobile game, Web science: how the web is changing the world). A good set of initial courses, I'm excited to see what they offer next.

Newish site for corporate elearning
eLearning Mind is a new company that provides corporate instructional design services, but has offered some of their best practices. While not groundbreaking, it is nice to see a semi-fluid exchange of ideas in that world.


My MOOCs

I've fallen off my current MOOCs, but am looking forward to Foundations of Virtual Instruction, Common Core in Action: Math Formative Assessment, and Big Data in Education all through Coursera. I may have to enrol in the signature track in at least one of the courses, just to make sure I finish it. The Moodle MOOC was interesting, but I found myself with a bit too much work this last month. I also found myself kind of annoyed with their badges. They offered only two, a basic 'you've posted something' and a completion. I was hoping for a "Helper - respond to 25 questions" or a "Reviewer - review 10 other student courses".



Monday MOOC News comes out every Monday (hopefully) and contains my thoughts on current MOOC news, and a brief summary of the MOOCs I am taking. Feel free to join the conversation.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday MOOC News

Not much MOOC news since last week's post, but I thought I'd point you in a few different directions; some analysis articles, people I listen to about this subject, and some fun stuff.

One blogger's analysis of another blogger's post, in another blog
Jimmy Daly over at EdTech Focus on Higher Education wrote a post about the recent MOOC for credit brewhaha, and mentions Johnathan Tapson's article at pandodaily and his application of the Gartner Hype Cycle to MOOCs. Tapson makes a number of good points defending MOOCs (the completion rate boogeyman being one) and gives plausible predictions as to the future of MOOCs, and Daly takes the Gartner Hype Cycle a bit further by adding a more detailed graph. Give Tapson's article a read, and Daly's a once over.

Stephen Downes
Stephen Downes is a Canadian education researcher at the National Research Council of Canada. His blog discusses education news, MOOCs, education technology, and plenty of other good stuff. In the face of the hype machine of new technologies and new ways of educating, Stephen's skepticism is refreshing. His experience in the field, and his background in logic, makes his analysis of MOOC news reasoned and thoughtful. He can pick apart press releases and tell you what will work, and what won't.

Dan Meyer
While not being solely about MOOCs, Dan Meyer's blog dy/dan takes a look at math education, education in general, and education technology. His TED talk and some of his posts are constructive take-downs of certain players in education, and what they should really focus on. The work he has done on Three-Act Math Problems has been great, and has helped me reexamine how I present authentic questions to students.

Every Day Carry
The Every Day Cary (EDC) subreddit is about the things we carry with us on a daily basis. People post pictures of their EDC and usually a short description of their work or their daily lives. There is an element of taking an 'inventory' here that appeals to me, but also an appreciation of the tools we carry and how these tools change us, as we change them.


My MOOCs

My status hasn't really changed since last week. I have been participating in Teaching with Moodle: An Introduction more in the forums than in the actual work. I'm thinking I might wait to plunge head first into a Moodle MOOC, at least until they offer a course covering material I don't know, or more prominent credentials are offered. Still looking forward to Big Data in Education MOOC.
Monday MOOC News comes out every Monday (hopefully) and contains my thoughts on current MOOC news, and a brief summary of the MOOCs I am taking. Feel free to join the conversation.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Job Opportunity: Instructional Designer - Social Studies (Downtown Seattle)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Instructional Designer - Social Studies (Downtown Seattle). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist seattle | all jobs search "instructional design" at September 11, 2013 at 02:21PM

Is Coursera making money a good thing?

It looks like my favorite MOOC provider Coursera is making (some) money. From their blog:
At Coursera, we want to help you get recognized for your achievements in online learning, whether it is earned in a degree program or in a single online course. For this reason, we launched Signature Track in January of this year, which gives students the opportunity to earn Verified Certificates in recognition of their hard work and successful completion of some of Coursera’s rigorous course offerings...
25,000 sign ups and $1 million in revenue, and in light of this, we’d like to share more about this program and the achievements of the students.
For those that don't know, signature track does include a 'Verified Certificate' but also some premium services. These services are similar to those freemium services, or free-to-play games that give you special services after you pay a bit of money, individualized support, quicker response time from staff/faculty/TAs, etc. Initially Coursera was looking at a few different monetization techniques, including recruitment fees from sponsored companies in their Career Services, this kind of freemium service, and possibly their store (kidding).

I'm having mixed feelings about this announcement. I'm glad that this sort of credentialing system/premium service is earning them money. It will further Coursera's mission, grow the company, and expand their course offerings. Great! On the other hand, in essence tuition is floating their boat. This is not the revolutionary pricing model I had expected from them, and I'm worried that they will fall into the trap traditional colleges and universities have fallen into; costs that grow faster than inflation. Granted, crowdsourcing these huge numbers of students will (and does) bend the cost curve, but if you're offering more and more traditional services (ala this freemium service) that cost curve will bend back. Sure, leveraging the base technology will be useful, but I don't believe it will do so enough to make a significant difference. At least not in ways radically different than traditional higher education institutions.

I hope they find other revenue models that don't rely on student payments, but take into account everyone who benefits from having an educated and trained workforce and population.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday MOOC News, on a Tuesday!


I've been planning to do a regular Monday MOOC News article for some time now, compiling my own experiences with MOOCs, and discussing some of the current news and trends. Yesterday I was busy with a few small projects, applying for teaching positions this fall, and there was a general lack of MOOC news. Today has been almost the complete opposite, so let's get into it.

EdX and Google get in bed together.
So it seems that EdX and Google are teaming up to launch MOOC.org sometime next year in the hopes of creating a platform for MOOCs. Individuals, businesses, educational institutions and others would be able to offer their own MOOCs through this platform, similar to having your videos hosted on YouTube. This seems confusing to me, doesn't Google have something like this in Course Builder? What does EdX have that Course Builder doesn't? Well, users for one. Course Builder really hasn't had wide-adoption, and with their university partners, EdX's standing in the field will give a sense of legitimacy to Google's MOOC platform offerings.

A new MOOC looks at badges.
A few groups have joined together to demonstrate the use of badges by putting together a MOOC on the subject. Mozilla (naturally), Blackboard, and a couple others are offering this MOOC, starting yesterday! First, thanks for the heads up guys. You may find your enrollment numbers go up if you give people fair warning. Second, awesome! With more MOOCs being offered having some kind of standardized accreditation, or credential to demonstrate competency is necessary to MOOCs continued success.

The Great MOOC Experiment
Gary S. May, Dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, has a great article at Inside Higher Ed, talking about how MOOCs are in their experimental phase, and that we should give them time to mature. While I disagree with his statement "The prospect of MOOCs replacing the physical college campus for undergraduates is dubious at best.", everything else is fairly on point.

And from the young people acting like grumpy old people pile...
.. the Daily Tar Heel, the student news paper of UNC, has put out an editorial with the title "MOOCs will never replace traditional methods". You can read the article yourself, but I thought this passage was worth talking about "It also wouldn't be fair to the student in the physical classroom that has met the rigorous demands of lectures and in-class exams to be equated to a MOOC." These students seem to assume that the in-class, and the online environments are inherently different, and that one is more rigorous than the other. Their 'evidence' is that in-class lectures and exams are somehow more difficult than online. In my experience this comparison is flatly false, and that both types of environments are demanding in different ways. The amount of self-control, discipline, and perseverance that are needed for any kind of online course is far greater than that needed for face-to-face courses.

My MOOCs

Looks like the Big Data in Education MOOC through Coursera has been put off until October 24th. I'm really looking forward to it, so hopefully this delay will make the course that much better.
  1. Teaching with Moodle: An Introduction - This course is focused on Moodle newcomers, but I signed up to get Mary Cooch's perspective on Moodle, and to help build my contact list with other Moodle users. I spent today answering questions in the questions and answers forum, and replying to other posts. Its always fun to hear how people use Moodle, and how they solve issues differently.
  2. Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education - I haven't been active in this course, but I am looking forward to taking a day and seeing what they have for andragogy, and any special things to watch out for in health care education.
  3. Foundations of Business Strategy - Another course I'm kind of half taking, but I may become more involved in it soon. Having just started my business I'm going to need to start thinking in business strategy terms more and more.


Monday MOOC News comes out every Monday (hopefully) and contains my thoughts on current MOOC news, and a brief summary of the MOOCs I am taking. Feel free to join the conversation.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My new company Academic Designs

I'm starting a company to formalize my freelance work, and to grow the services I offer. You can read more about it here Academic Designs.

My service offerings would include the following types of projects;
  • Developing the curriculum and courseware for a developmental mathematics program at a college or university.
  • Refine course objectives of an existing course.
  • Work with a school district or individual school to revamp their Grade 6-12 mathematics curriculum to align to the Common Core State Standards.
  • Consult on the creation of online courseware that aligns to the Quality Matters rubric in an unofficial capacity.
  • Moodle support, training, and workshops.
There are also plans for a few products that align to the Grades 6-12 CCSS mathematics standards, and small Moodle plug-ins.

I am looking to grow both my client base, and my contractor base. If you know of either, feel free to send them my information by copying and pasting the below:



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Move to Portland, Or

As you may or may not know, I have moved to Portland, Oregon from Brooklyn, New York. My fiance and I have moved back to Oregon for a number of reasons; closer to family and friends, while we enjoyed the New York lifestyle it didn't fit us long term, and we would like to start a family here.

What this means for you is my posts should be more in-depth, more frequent, and the job leads may focus on institutions, companies, and start-ups based in the Pacific Northwest. With my job and project prospects looking a bit more distributed, I will have more time and more reasons to post here.

If you live in Portland, or in the surrounding areas, feel free to contact me to discuss the education technology trends of the area. I'm looking forward to getting to know the Portland market, its needs, and how I can help.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Job Opportunity: math text book writers/editors (Boston)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: math text book writers/editors (Boston). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist boston | writing gigs search "math" at August 12, 2013 at 03:28PM

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Job Opportunity: Instructional Designer

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Instructional Designer. I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist portland | all jobs search "math" at August 06, 2013 at 07:59PM

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Job Opportunity: Multiple Instructional Facilitators -- Continuing Education (Tacoma)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Multiple Instructional Facilitators -- Continuing Education (Tacoma). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist seattle | all jobs search "instructional design" at July 08, 2013 at 06:06PM

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer hiatus

Hi all,

I hope you have enjoyed my rantings, ravings, and job postings, but I will be taking a break from the blog for about a month. I am traveling and have a few projects in the works that need my attention. I'm hoping to be back late July/early August.

If you'd like to get in touch with me, feel free to use the links on the right.

Best,

Robert

Sunday, June 16, 2013

6/16/2013 MOOC Update

At the moment I am actively taking the following MOOCs:
Thinking about the Udacity course, I actually like this model of having a free MOOC that you can take on its own, but suggesting students buy the instructor's/institution's text. It allows people to take these courses for free, provides some kind of income for the instructor and MOOC provider, and if students buy the book they get something 'physical' out of the course.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Online courses: Only for those who can pay for it?

Teaching online courses I've encountered many student issues dealing with technology. From using the right browser, to understanding the LMS. The most persistent problem though was not with specific programs or websites, but basic connectivity. A good number of my students were stealing wifi to take their online course! Those that weren't either had basic internet, or were going to places where it was free.

So I wasn't surprised when reading this article from Mercury News about high-school students taking online courses, that their biggest issue was students having internet access at home. From the article:
It turned out some of the low-income teens didn't have computers and high-speed Internet connections at home that the online course required. Many needed personal attention to make it through. The final results aren't in yet, but the experiment exposed some challenges to the promise of a low-cost online education. And it showed there is still a divide between technology-driven educators and the low-income, first-generation college hopefuls they are trying to reach.
 With the drive to put more courses online, there's always an assumption of connectivity to the Internet. In my experience, a good portion of high needs students don't have this connectivity, and thus won't view these courses as a viable path. The reason for this lack of connectivity? In my view, cost.

There are numerous studies and papers showing that the U.S. pays more for their internet than comparable countries. By keeping these costs up, telecommunications companies won't just slow innovation, reduce our competition, and limit the internet-based products and services we have, but also education. With MOOCs, CCSS testing prep, and more online courses, the demand for faster, stable, and wide reaching internet services will only multiply and grow. Having a low-cost option would enable everyone to take part in the unequivocal revolutions that are happening within education. Hopefully, someone will take up the torch and offer nationwide wifi with new spectrum. Hopefully.


Job lead: Manager of Online Instructional Course Development

I was contacted by a recruiter looking to fill a Manager of Online Instructional Course Development position in the New York area. You should have at least a familiarity with technology enough to know online communities and resources. Math content knowledge is the most important of the position. This position is a kind of project manager and lead to implement the program and build the online library. If you want more details, feel free to contact me at robert.weston.82@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Job Opportunity: Math Academic Content Expert (Union Square)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Math Academic Content Expert (Union Square). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist new york | all jobs search "math" at June 09, 2013 at 09:34AM

Friday, May 31, 2013

Job Opportunity: Adjunct Math Instructor (Portland, Oregon)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Adjunct Math Instructor (Portland, Oregon). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist portland | all jobs search "math" at May 31, 2013 at 04:53PM

Monday, May 6, 2013

Endorsements on LinkedIn: The New Grade Inflation?

So I've been growing my LinkedIn profile recently to expand my contact list, and to look for freelancers. My home institution is gearing up for a few initiatives that will need instructional designers, writers, copyeditors, and support personnel. I thought if I were to grow my contact list now, we would have an easier time finding qualified people.

In connecting to other people I noticed that a number of them used LinkedIn's Skill & Expertise section, and endorsed me for specific skills. These were people I just added as a connection who I didn't know before. I thought it was a bit strange, not knowing these people how would they know I'm qualified in anything?

After some reflection it seems like Skills & Expertise is a ripe area for inflation, in a similar way that grades are. Greater competition forces greater 'numbers' (grades, number of recommendations) to be highly coveted. A quid pro quo of grades and instructor evaluations/skills & expertise and skills & expertise benefits everyone. There doesn't seem to be many checks on these numbers, and if they line up with reality.

That last point is the focus of a number of recent efforts in L.A. and New York to accurately measure teacher performance. Both use the value-added economic measure to gauge the impact a single teacher has on a student, relative to all other teachers. There is some merit to this measure, but in no way can it be the only criteria teachers should be evaluated on. Teaching is a dynamic endeavor, one that uses the range of human expression and thought, and cannot be reduced to a single value. There has to be some middle ground between the objective and the subjective here, as in everywhere else.

So if we are trying to measure grade inflation (or related phenomenon), shouldn't we try to measure Skills & Expertise inflation? Would LinkedIn open up that information for data analysis junkies on Kaggle? Would they do some of that themselves, and publish it in one of their glossy infographics?

Until there is a bit more clarity on what these numbers are, and what they mean, I'll be politely declining recommendations from people I haven't met. I hope you do too.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Education Week's CCSS Coverage

Education Week has been doing some decent coverage of the CCSS and the recent backlash. Today they posted two articles about the CCS:

Friday, April 19, 2013

CCSS and Local Control

The Education Gadfly blog posted The emperor is mostly naked: Responding to Common Core critics, an insightful response to critics of the Common Core. I agree with most of their points, but this one caught me:
Fabrication #3: The Common Core strips local school boards of their authority over curriculum
Regardless of whether this is a fabrication or not, I've always been annoyed with the assumption that local control of education is the best way of organizing our primary education institutions. We have thousands of school districts doing the same things; creating lesson plans aligned to state standards, developing their own training materials, and training faculty. This system worked great when graduates would compete for jobs locally. Teachers and administrators would be trained in fairly constrained domains, and could develop curricula and materials that target those jobs.

But we are no longer competing with the town down the highway. We are competing with Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, and Sydney. Global competition requires global skills. Skills we must train our teachers and administrators to teach. If we ask local education institutions to develop an ever-increasing amount of materials, in order to compete internationally, can we really trust that the quality of that education will get better?

In essence we are asking local school districts to compete with countries whose curriculum is organized at a national level. For New York, and Los Angeles, that may be fine. But for Birmingham, Tallahassee, and Denver? Wouldn't placing some amount of curriculum development in the hands of the federal government, with their wide range of resources and funding, be a better approach?

Friday, March 29, 2013

3/29 Job Opportunities


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

RateMyProfessor for MOOCs

The Cavalier Daily's article Rate my MOOC discusses the differences between the standard bearer of student angst RateMyProfessors, and the creation of MOOC review sites, Top Free Classes, Grade My Course, and CourseTalk. The article discusses the inherent biases of the review sites, given the properties of the students. Traditional undergraduates usually use RateMyProfessors when they feel strongly about a course, usually negative feelings. I have found that it is unlikely that a student who passed a course, and enjoyed it will take the time to write a review. The drive to assign blame is unfortunately greater than the drive to offer positive feedback.

Students who use the MOOC review sites, the article claims, are those that strive through the course and complete it. For these students, the blame for not completing the course rests solely on them because there are no outside forces require them to take these courses. Undergraduates on the other hand have to take courses they may not want to take. This proportional relationship between being forced to take a course, and the resulting blame-passing (if you are forced, more blame, if you aren't, less blame) is one that needs to be taken into consideration for all educators. Teacher reform efforts inherently have this bias, as do for-profit colleges, and charter schools; students will rate a teacher/instructor/professor poorly if they are required to take a class and perform poorly. Just another reason why student surveys should always be paired with objective data.

BSN, SoftChalk and Google+ course aimed at K-12 educators

MarketWatch posted this article New Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Delivered by Blended Schools Network Using SoftChalk Platform yesterday about a course offered by Blended Schools Network (BSN), through SoftChalk, using Google+. Hear Mark Radcliffe from BSN discuss the course;


While there is a lot of edu-tech babble and self-promotion in that video, he does have a point. Educators need to become more comfortable using technology. But, my question is, how will this course do that? From the press I don't get a sense of what the assessments and resources will be. It being a MOOC I may enroll as a lurker and pick and choose the parts I want to participate in.

Reading the article I couldn't help but get a little cynical. This is a great visibility booster for BSN, SoftChalk (which is going up against both well-heeled LMS, and open source ones), and Google+ (which could use a boost). On the other hand, it may prove a useful experience. Time will tell.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

MOOC Watch: Open2Study

Open Universities Australia has just released a new MOOC platform, Open2Study. The platform has courses from a number of colleges and universities; International College of Management, Macquarie University, Polytechnic West, and TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute. Their current course offerings are business and humanities focused, with 10 courses to start. The Conversation wrote an article about the new platform.

This new platform may be a good outlet for Australia's over educated workforce, and grow distance education institutions. With Moodle HQ located in Perth, Western Australia, I may have to make a trip out there.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Moodle Conversion Purgatory

My home institution is in the middle of a Moodle conversion from 1.9 to 2.3. We use a Moodle-specific host who has a variety of plug-ins, and enhancements to core Moodle. They're great, but the conversion process for courses that use their products are cumbersome. If anyone has an easy way to move courses from Flexpages in Moodle 1.9, to a weekly format in Moodle 2.3, I'm all ears.

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Job Opportunity: Supervising Editor, Math K-8

I just learned that a New York City based educational publisher is looking for a Supervising Editor, Math K-8 for their print products. Their texts are primarily test-prep focused, but they are looking to expand their offerings. Contact me for more info.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quality Matters Reviewer Status

This last week I completed the Quality Matters Peer Reviewer Course, and successfully applied to become a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer. It has taken quite a bit of my time these last two weeks, and I'm a bit behind on LAK13, and need to catch up.

I enjoyed the Peer Reviewer Course, and gained a broader understanding of what QM reviews should focus on. The primary area I had difficulty with was providing balanced feedback without sounding repetitive or insincere. I consistently provided constructive feedback that used evidence from the course and the QM Rubric, but was a bit terse and may have turned off the course instructor. I'm generally good at providing positive feedback to students and faculty, but didn't include many positive statements or comment. I suppose I was focusing on the rubric and the course, and not the fact that there was a person behind the course.

I do wish the course relied on individual files less. Almost every link in the course was a separate Word or pdf file. By the end of the course I had two dozen files to wade through. Granted, I have these files for future reference, but having the option to download them, or view them as web pages would be preferable.

As a personal preference, the course used an anthropology course as a sample course to review, and I wish they had chosen a different discipline. Out of all social sciences, I've always had the most difficulty understanding anthropology. A friend of mine just earned their masters in anthropology, and called anthropology the study of human behavior that doesn't fit into any other social science. This is obviously useful, but a discipline that has no clear definition or guiding topic area rubs against my training in axiomatic thinking.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Job Opportunity: Math Standards Aligner (Vancouver)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Math Standards Aligner (Vancouver). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist portland | all jobs search "math" at March 05, 2013 at 03:28PM

Monday, March 4, 2013

Job Opportunity: Math Educator (Remote)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Math Educator (Remote). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist new york | all jobs search "math" at March 04, 2013 at 09:53AM

Sunday, March 3, 2013

LAK13 Assignment #1 - Analytics: Logic and Structure Postscript

In Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2013, the first assignment, Analytics: Logic and Structure (link is live only if you are registered for the course), has the following description:
For this assignment, develop an analytics model to gain insight into a complex topic using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Select a particular topic or subject area that interests you (current events, historical activities, a learning challenge) and detail how you will "interrogate" this subject using various analytics tools or techniques. Your project can be in the form of a presentation, a blog post, a video, a simulation, or other digital artifact. The important aspect of this assignment is to walk through the processes and considerations that pre-date tool selection.
There are additional details, but this is the core charge of the assignment. I commented on the assignment in the forums:
Our first assignment seems to allow for a wide variety of projects. This is understandable, given the variety of backgrounds of students, varying understandings of statistics, and the convergence of a number of fields that contribute to Learning Analytics.
I then went on to ask some clarifying questions, and made some suggestions as to the structure of the project, specifically getting a data set to work from and then developing an analytics model. Looking back I realize my suggestions were running counter to the intent of the assignment. Mr. Siemens is looking to replicate the situation that people in analytics are dealt with; hodgepodges of data silos, inconsistent objectives from the different institutions (or within a single institution), regulatory barriers, and a legion of other issues. By having us develop a relevant question we would be put in a position to deal with these barriers, and share our experiences in getting around them.

I appreciate his commitment to using authentic contexts, but feel a bit more direction would have been helpful. The description doesn't specify that the context is necessarily learning analytics, and if it were, the issues above would prevent real data from being gathered. In a later post I mention:
It is starting to look like getting a usable dataset is going to be the primary issue for our projects for this course. The sort of data sets that we are looking to use usually contain sensitive information, and in the case of our US colleagues (myself included), using them in such an open setting would run afoul of FERPA. I have a dataset I am working with, but do not feel my institution is in a place to intelligibly create a data policy, let alone a data openess policy.
All this points to a disconnect between my goals for this course, and Mr. Siemens' goals for this assignment. This course being part of my personal and professional development, I want some clear tools and techniques to analyze student-generated data with when I leave this course. I have serious reservations about using my real data, and thus want an available data set that will help me develop those tools and techniques. In this assignment Mr. Siemens is more concerned about the way we frame our analytics questions, and our plans for how to answer them.

To satisfy both of our goals, I've decided to look at student and teacher performance. There is a wide range of open datasets available, and there are powerful questions about learning analytics that can be approached. LA focuses on related, but different datasets, however the tools and techniques to analyze this data set should transfer to analyzing student generated data in an LMS.

LAK13 Assignment #1 - Analytics: Logic and Structure

Introduction

There is an effort within US public K-12 schools to analyze student performance, and use that analysis to improve schools. The most public and political aspect of this effort has been the use of this data to measure teacher effectiveness. A few school districts have released student and teacher information (Los Angeles, New York City, etc.), and have made them widely available. This data can be used to answer basic questions about student and teacher performance.

Questions

My main question; is this a good idea? Are student scores a good reflection of teacher effectiveness? There are a few other related questions I'd also like to explore:
  • Are the analysis methods between school districts transferable? 
  • Is the value-added model a 'good' one?
  • Should parents use the teacher ratings/rankings to make decisions about where their child goes to school?
  • Do these ratings/rankings say anything useful about college and work readiness, unemployment, crime, etc.?
Potential Issues

This issue is a politically charged one, and I'm concerned about getting an unbiased dataset, and that the ratings/rankings contain hidden assumptions that are not based on fact. Having this concern does not mean that I won't use certain datasets, but I will work under a trust and verify policy. 

Pulling in datasets from multiple school districts, agencies, and bureaus may cause issues of data comparability. I'm unsure of how to deal with these issues, and would appreciate any suggestions.

Data Sources

There is a wide range of raw data, and measures based on this data, available to the public;


The only student and teacher performance data that is in an accessible state is the Colorado School Grades' data from Kaggle. The data from NYC Open Data has always been fairly accessible, but with the wide variety of data types, I'm a bit unsure of their usability. At this time I am unsure if I can get access to the LAUSD data in a usable format.

Next Steps

I would like to continue researching available datasets, and from there identify the ones that seem most usable. Once those have been identified, use R to perform exploratory data analysis, and identify any useful trends. Using the ratings/rankings of different school districts on student and teacher data that has a different measure may also help identify potential flaws in each measure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

195 Posts about MOOCs

Jay Cross at the Internet Time Blog has compiled 195 posts about MOOCs. Plenty by George Siemens, who is currently teaching CN-1370-LAK2013 Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2013  (which is pretty great so far), a few by Stephen Downes, but most seem to be a bit older. With MOOCs changing, seemingly, everyday, current articles are necessary.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Building Connections - A Life Lesson Reminder

Two events today reminded me about the necessity of meeting new people, and building connections. I've been focused over the last few months on courseware development, a LMS upgrade, Google Apps for Education integration, numerous MOOCs I've been taking, and the odds and ends of helping to run online courses. Growing my network has not been a very high priority.

The first reminder was finishing Sonia Sotomayor's memoirs My Beloved World. In it she details a rough upbringing, and charts her trajectory through Princeton, Yale Law, being an ADA, private practice, volunteer work, and ends with her entering a federal judgeship. She is very frank about growing up in the Bronx, and discusses difficult and emotional issues she lived through. She is equally frank about how her network of people helped her to get where she is today. After entering Princeton it seems that opportunities opened up to her because she naturally enjoyed meeting people. She discusses how when meeting someone, she tries to learn something from them. While this is an admirable quality in and of itself, it has the added benefit of growing her network, and using it strategically when the time calls for it.

The second reminder was a presentation by Patrice Torcivia from Empire state College. A faculty member at my home institution is working with her on a grant project, studying online 'study abroad' methods. As the Instructional Designer for the courseware she will be using for the course, I was curious about some of the tools and workflow of the project. An offhanded comment between Patrice and the faculty member caught me off guard, it was something like "We met a year ago, and now we're part of this project." It reminded me that my work doesn't have to be the constant barrage of spreadsheets, schedules, trainings  development, and teaching. There is a social dynamic to this work that I'm neglecting, and should be a part of.

My mom always said that some life lessons need to be relearned on occasion. This is just one of those occasions.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

MOOC Update: Slate wadding into the morass.

Will Oreums' article Online Class on How To Teach Online Classes Goes Laughably Awry on Slate is a bit too snarky for its own good. It does sum up the recent press about the course fairly well, but he does get a few things wrong;

In other words, Morrison concludes, "The honeymoon with MOOCs is over." A Twitter hashtag for the course, #foemooc, stands as a testament to the wreckage.
Most of the tweets on #foemooc are a testament to the amount or reporting about the issue, not the MOOC itself. Right after the course was canceled, there were around 30-40 tweets from students about the course. As of the writing of this, most tweets are either news organizations riding the story or Instructional Designers proclaiming the necessity of 'intelligent' (in their view) design for courses of all sizes.

The failure of a Coursera course about Coursera courses is clearly an embarrassment for company and concept alike. 
The course wasn't about Coursera courses specifically, but about online education. Sure, MOOCs fall within this, but they were not the focus of this course. This turn of phrase may be witty, but is inaccurate.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2/2 MOOC Update: FOEPA Canceled

So this is an interesting development, just received this email;

Dear Robert Weston,

We want all students to have the highest quality learning experience. For this reason, we are temporarily suspending the "Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application" course in order to make improvements. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. We will inform you when the course will be reoffered.

Yours, 
Fatimah
This being the first week, there were a few issues that seemed solvable. Group assignments disappearing in a shared Google Spreadsheet, discussion forums not allowing you to refine your search by sub topics, and student complaints about 'chaos' were surmountable.

The one area that remained consistent, but questionable, was the content. The 'brain based learning' paper I mentioned in my last post was suspect.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1/30 MOOC Update: Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application (FOEPA)

The Coursera course Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application (FOEPA) started on Monday with a number of issues;


  • We were instructed to create groups of 20 students using a Google Spreadsheet. Seems simple enough, but with a few thousand people trying to edit a single document at a time, it quickly became a morass. Rows were copied, people were deleted from groups, and the site used their mobile theme because of the load.
  • I never realized how limited Coursera's discussion forums are. I can't search by discussion forum, see a person's posts (namely mine) on one page, and change the default viewing method. 
  • Having the default to a discussion forum be that you subscribe to it, with no options for digest emails, has blown up my inbox. Sure its a pretty simple thing to change, but its annoying.
For the first assignment we were asked to respond to a few readings. Below is one of my responses.

The article Online Teaching and Classroom Change: The Trans-Classroom Teacher in the Age of the Internet by Susan Lowes focuses on research based solely on survey results. I find the reliance of survey results in education research, and specifically education technology or online education research, an overused and inappropriate research method. Survey results in most research are based on a person's own perceptions of their performance, and are colored through the participants' biases. I would find research that contains both survey results of participants, with objective data gathered from the LMS, student performance, and possibly outside reviewers with a standardized rubric/scoring mechanism, to be much more convincing.
For example, from the results they claim that "... computer science or programming reported making the fewest changes." This could easily be confirmed by having an outside reviewer look at both the online and face-to-face course, and with a rubric, determine how different they were.
Moving away from research, I know this ties into a bugbear education folks have about data, it is viewed as making people (instructors) accountable for human (student) behaviors. I'm not suggesting that schools, colleges, and universities require objective criteria to measure faculty, but we have to put this data in context, and use it appropriately. I would be very uncomfortable with an administrator looking at this data from a business perspective. I know if the data is available it may be misconstrued in this way, but if faculty don't develop a context around this data first, administrators, deans, and chairs will.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

1/27 MOOC Update: Data Analysis and Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application through Coursera

Today is the last day of the first week of the Data Analysis course offered by Coursera, taught by Jeff Leek. In going through the videos I'm a bit surprised by Jeff's reference of Wikipedia as an additional resource for students. I always get the feeling that academics are always suspicious of Wikipedia, and that its a dark secret that all people, including themselves, actually use the site. As soon as he mentions Wikipedia, I had kind of a 'Well duh!' moment. Why wouldn't you use such a huge database of semi-reliable information? Naturally he has a caveat emptor moment in one of his videos, but most people taking the course (I would imagine) have grown up with the site, or at least know its quirks.

I am also enrolled in Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application offered by Coursera, taught by Dr. Fatimah Wirth, which starts tomorrow (1/28). Her experience at NASA, and doctorate thesis are particularly impressive. She uses the ADDIE method of instructional design, which I've read a bit about, but would like to know more about. It seems to use backward design, but develops a consistent framework for it. She is also a Quality Matters reviewer, so I'm interested in how she applies her methods to meet their rubric.

I also received a survey for Professor Tucker Balsch's course, Computational Investing I. The focus of the survey was to identify areas of improvement for the course. I don't remember getting a similar survey for the Computing for Data Analysis course I took, and am taking it as a sign that they recognize that the course was not ideal. I would be very interested in taking another course by Professor Balsch, but with more instructional design or technology support.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New company: AdaptCourseware

In order to develop a rich community of courseware developers, there needs to be a variety of people, companies, and organizations whose aims, costs, and product offerings are different. On this front, over at the Higher Ed Management blog, Dr. Keith Hampson (who is 'publisher' of the site? Is he bounding blog entries and publishing them? Is this a boomer thing?) has an interview with Dr. John Boersma, CEO for Adapt Courseware. In the interview he discusses the company's courseware development process. Two things caught my eye, the first;

 We start by fine-graining course content – defining 200 or more learning topics for a typical three-credit course, each with its own set of learning objectives.
This is a time intensive process which, on face value, should increase the level of tracking student performance, and would allow for a wider amount of feedback. I've had similar thoughts of doing this for the CCSS for Mathematics, breaking down each standard into smaller sub-standards. In general I think this is a great approach, you can align your content to these smaller standards/topics, and build from there. In practice though I could see issues pop up around interpretation of standards, differences in the pedagogical theories of participants, and making measurable standards/topics from generalized ones.

The second was;

Academic object analytics look at the same data through another lens – just how effective is that instructional video, text, or multimedia interactive across all students? We work on continuously improving our content based on this feedback loop.
This is an area I would like to research at my home institution, utilizing learning analytics for resource, activity, or item analysis. Classical Test Theory has been used for item analysis for 50 some years, and I'm interested if there were a way to apply it, or other psychometric theories, to a larger scale.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Job Opportunity: MATH CURRICULUM WRITER (Grades 9-12) (Nationwide)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: MATH CURRICULUM WRITER (Grades 9-12) (Nationwide). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist seattle | all jobs search "math " at January 21, 2013 at 10:14AM

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Job Opportunity: Curriculum Writers (Anywhere)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Curriculum Writers (Anywhere). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist los angeles | writing gigs search "math" at January 19, 2013 at 05:09PM

Job Opportunity: Freelance Math Assessment Item Writers needed! (virtual office)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Freelance Math Assessment Item Writers needed! (virtual office). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist new york | all jobs search "math" at January 18, 2013 at 12:10PM

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Job Opportunity: Temporary Math Production Assistant (Seattle)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Temporary Math Production Assistant (Seattle). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist seattle | all jobs search "math " at January 17, 2013 at 12:11PM

Job Opportunity: Math Professional Development Designer

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Math Professional Development Designer. I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via Monster Job Search Results math at January 15, 2013 at 09:47AM

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Job Opportunity: Math CCSS Curriculum Writer (New York)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Math CCSS Curriculum Writer (New York). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist new york | all jobs search "math" at January 08, 2013 at 04:01PM

Job Opportunity: STEM Professional Development Designer

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: STEM Professional Development Designer. I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via Monster Job Search Results math at January 08, 2013 at 03:56AM

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Job Opportunity: Mathematics problem writing (Boston (home office))

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Mathematics problem writing (Boston (home office)). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist boston | writing gigs search "math" at January 04, 2013 at 05:17PM

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Webinar Listing: Data-Driven Curriculum Mapping - Closing the Loop on Accountability

I've signed up for the webinar Data-Driven Curriculum Mapping - Closing the Loop on Accountability, on January 9th, by Dr. Jane Souza. Granted its through ExamSoft, and I'm sure there will be some product pushing, but the description sounded interesting;

Dr. Jane Souza, Associate Dean of Assessment from St. John Fisher College, explores curriculum mapping as an essential aspect of the educational process as institutions face increasing accountability. The presentation will discuss how the process implemented by St. John Fisher College has engaged faculty and provided valuable evidence to improve curriculum mapping, foster research of scholarship and teaching, offer real-time personal feedback to students, and provide direct evidence of learning that can be used for institutional reporting.
I'm mainly curious about the 'real-time personal feedback to students' portion, and how its setup. I find it challenging to develop courses with real-time constructive feedback.