Second Reflection, Adult 640

I have really enjoyed studying and reading about the educational theories: behaviorist, cognitivist, constructivist and connectivist. To me, connectivism is what social media and networking is all about. I have been skimming through this massive document. It’s very overwhelming, but it stresses the importance of community knowledge instead of individual knowledge. I don’t know if I could convince my high school Calculus teacher that my C didn’t matter since there were people around me that knew more about math than me, but that’s not really the real world application. I know how to find information, and that’s the power, the social intelligence.

I get to speak with all kinds of people at work, which I love. There’s one area that is so afraid of eLearning. My contact over there said many of the faculty fear cheating (because it’s not happening in person? I thought) and want to have exam proctors. I asked a faculty member in my department about it, as he is teaching a very large (60+) online class this summer and I asked him he was afraid of cheating. He said no, he has huge tests that he administers on Blackboard and he randomizes the question selection. Students who cheat, he said, probably cheat in person as well, and that his tests teach the students how to find the information. He has problems remembering vocabulary words and facts every semester too, but he knows where to go to get the information, and if it’s from other students, that’s fine.

Inside Higher Ed did a study on faculty and online education, which I thought was pretty relevant. I did my EDUS660 paper on faculty involvement in the online education process, and like this particular survey, assessment is one of the biggest challenges that faculty see. I am looking forward to that module in a few weeks.

Found this great piece on blogging in school. It doesn’t have much to do with what we’re doing with our blogs, but gives tips if you plan to assign blogs as an instructor.

I also researched Peter Norvig a little more after the presentation this week and discovered he co-founded Udacity, an online science and technology educational organization. The classes are free and you can take a test (assessment) for a fee in order to “certify your skills.” One of the biggest differences between Udacity and other online education programs is that they pair with 20 companies and allow students to (pretty easily) submit their resume to one of these companies. While this is great for students, it’s a coup for companies who are looking to find knowledgeable employees with computer science experience. As someone who has over ten years of Human Resources experience, I am excited to think these about these online programs helping to find great employees with specialized skills.

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6 thoughts on “Second Reflection, Adult 640

  1. Nice post, Melissa. I suspect that we are going to see a huge growth in the use of the web to pair companies looking for employees with online programs producing graduates. It is already happening in for-profit and community college levels.

  2. I wonder too when people protest the use of online education because of the potential to cheat. Could it be tied in to their need to retain power & control over their students? Whose to say the students showing up in a F2F class are the ones doing the assignments? With the exception of this class (where the teacher had our pictures projected!! :-)) I have never been asked for proof that I was indeed the one registered for the class. I could have been paid by a registered student to attend & do the work! It seems to me that it is just as easy to deprive yourself of an education, regardless of whether you are in a traditional classroom or a virtual one. So, educators need to be ever cognizant no matter what venue they instruct in.

  3. Linda, that has been true since I started teaching 21 years ago. Hiring a substitute student was big business in some of the frat houses at U of Nebraska.

  4. Hey Mel, for some reason, when I started reading your post, the theory of evolution popped into my head, specifically when you referenced community versus individual knowledge. While this is a throw back to week one, the trend toward engaging in a community (and creating knowledge therein) seems to continue. Wether it’s settling land in a new-fangled farming community in 2000BC or sharing classroom space with a fellow calculus student in 2000AD, mankind strives to be connected. Viewing knowledge just like any other resource seems appropriate given the copyright/patent age of the 21st century. 🙂

  5. Interesting post -I enjoyed reading about the study of faculty and online education. Just a thought – who is really cheated when someone cheats? Where did personal integrity and conscious go?

  6. I did my EDUS660 paper on an online topic, too! Partly as a challenge to myself because of my bias toward F2F, but also because I knew this would be my track, and I wanted to see what information was out there about it. My topic researched using acceptability as a measure for evaluating online education, and I proposed a research project that would look at the acceptability of online coursework in terms of helping students further either their academic pursuits or their career. Through my literature review, I found that some studies mentioned that employers valued the technology skills students learned by participating in learning online. The main disadvantage cited was the potential or perceived lack of interaction between students and instructors as well as between students and their fellow classmates. Interestingly, I didn’t find anything in the way of cheating or dishonest behavior. Sounds like it may be more of a fear within that academic arena and not so much an issue for the corporate world?

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