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w19-Web-Enhanced, Hybrid and Open Classes

The educational use of Internet pursues pedagogically relevant answers to enable the building (and improve) a sociocultural learning environment.

These teaching environments: face-to-face, hybrid or fully online need to answer the fundamental question: whom do I want to learn?

The educational use of Internet is not just about the integration of tools and web resources to the teaching-learning process in order to enhance learning. Internet main contribution is to incorporate means, resources, languages ​​and social interaction dynamics that enrich the relationship between students and instructors.

It is clear that the internet is more present outside than inside the classroom. Internet for education aims to “synchronize” the classroom with the reality existing outside the classroom. This process not only involves the insertion of technological solutions, but in the development of an autonomous, constructivist, critical, and collaborative learning environment.

What about the MOOCs?


George Siemens makes an interesting reflection on MOOCs focused on two factors:

  1. The learning potential for society (globally)
  2. The learning theory and pedagogical models that influence different types of MOOCs.

Although George Siemens considers the latter as a secondary factor, it seems to me important to analyze regarding the MOOC Completion Rates.

The ratio of high initial interest registered participants and the high level of abandonment is related, among other factors, to:

  • The effect of initial attraction produced by curiosity
  • No evaluation of prior knowledge requirements

It is likely that the high registration of participants attracted by curiosity diminish over time and MOOCs attract really interested participants. On the other hand, curiosity has been for me a very important factor to learn (and to review) about MOOCs, although I have completed a few courses.

The requirements that currently use most MOOCs are simple test with a low level of evaluation. These assessment systems is still in its early stages of development, and include assessment methods such as Peer Review, Calibrated Peer Review or Automated Essay Scoring. These systems are currently being studied in depth by MIT Edx (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Read Stephen P. Balfour, ASSESSING WRITING IN MOOCS

Week 19 – MOOCs, Web-enhanced and blended courses

I spent more than 6 hours this week reading, watching videos and exploring tools. Unfortunately, I did not find many connections with what I do or I will do. I enjoyed learning about MOOC and its possibilities; I loved the idea from the beginning; education should be more than a blackboard and a photocopy; more than a lecture and exercises. Sometimes, it feels like we are living already in the future. There is so much to do, to create, to develop, to give. Education is transforming itself into something completely new and I am glad I live to see it.

Regarding Web-enhanced and blended courses, I must say that I did not find anything new in the readings. I use web-enhanced material for all my classes all the time; I give interesting projects to my students with options for those who do not like to use technology and are not fond of it. I used to incorporate Wiki, Voicethread, Glogster and other fascinating tools in my F2F classes, but I got a lot of frustrated students who could not get a good grade in the project just because of glitches on the software or difficulties understanding them. I hear all the time that we are teaching digital native students; I feel that most of community college students are an exception to this. I have to say that a majority of my students do not feel comfortable using technology in the classes, not even posting on the Discussion board in Blackboard. This week, I had a student who did not get a grade in her composition because she did not post it right (she saved it as a draft and I did not see it).  I wish the book would have covered more about blended courses; how they are conducted and more examples of it. I am glad Rachele DeMeo published her video of her own blended course on her posting this week, Merci Rachele!

I loved Cris Crissman’s introduction to this week’s video and how she ends.. Pedagogy first… capture that!  Thank you Cris, your video was clear and easy to understand, just like a good photograph :)




MOOC thoughts, long overdue

Time to get back to this long-neglected blog, with what else but a post about MOOCs. I was fortunate to be able to attend the Re:boot forum at UCLA in early January with the MOOCerstars and politicos, and should have reported on that. I did a lot of live tweeting along with Audrey Watters; see storify1 and storify2 if you’re interested. For quality analysis, Michael Feldstein and Phil Hill did very good work before, during, and after the event.

But that’s not what finally brought me back here. What did? I was asked an open-ended question about the role of MOOCs in relation to community colleges as part of a survey by the CA Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Here is my response:

MOOCs are certainly an interesting phenomena, but at first glance their current incarnation seems anathema to the community college approach. Community colleges focus on providing an environment where learners of all types find ample support services, small class sizes, instructor attention, and on-target instruction to help them persist, succeed, and receive certification of their educational endeavors in order to increase chances for employment or continuing education.

MOOCs, on the other hand draw in massive numbers of enrollees to, in general, highly specialized subjects. Their pedagogy is generally based on recorded lectures, quizzes, and student-student interaction unmediated by an instructor. Successful completers are a tiny fraction of the enrollees and are usually students who are already highly educated. Completers receive no official credit, although options are growing to receive credit through proctored assessment or by enrolling in a for-credit class which relies heavily on a MOOC for course content and activity. MOOCs at present seem to fall into the accreditation category of Correspondence Education, since they do not provide “regular and substantive interaction” (aka “regular effective contact”) between students and instructor.

Community colleges may find opportunities to provide MOOC assessment or to build local courses around MOOCs, adding the “regular effective contact” piece that MOOCs don’t provide. But the “business model” that elite institutions are following in working with providers like EdX, Udacity, and Coursera does not seem to apply at all at the community college level.

On the other hand, the “true” origin of MOOCs from the early-to-mid 2000s is rooted in ideals of open access, open educational resources, and student-generated content. These MOOCs were built around a more DIY, “take what you need and give back what you can” kind of approach. This model seems to me much more aligned with the community college ideals of community outreach, wide access, and life-long learning. But this is a very different sense of the role of the MOOC than what I see being hyped now.

What’s your take?

Assessment Myself / Self Examination / Contradictions – Week 2

I am here, in the PotCert, to learn, to learn a lot, because I have no experience teaching. It is really a very good experience to read the peers week 2 posts, and the tools provided are really a good start. I took some of your experience to think about it. I will give some months classes during my MA this academic year, but not yet. So let’s go to do a self-examination and check what I would do. I found some contradictions between my thoughts, by answering the questionaire, and the results I thought I would have.

Nestor Alonso Picture / (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The title is each holding a part (of the knowledge). This is what I thing it should work. Every one sharing their knowledge to do a unit. But after filling the questionnaire and watching the Lisa’s video I saw some contradictions, because my answers didn’t fit with it.

Assessment myself, this is what I am doing beginning of week 2 of the Pot Cert proposal. To fill in a questionnaire and to evaluate the results. So simple? Not when the obtained results are not what you think you should have. This make moving your head from one side to the other, checking the questionnaire and the answers to ensure everything is right. And the result remain equal. You are on the right side of the line. This is not bad or good itself, the problem is when you think you are in the left side/middle and you confirmed you are in the right.

Howsoever I am not actually a teacher, so this is not only to see what kind of teacher I am, better is what kind of teacher I would be. So, really, I am starting from the beginning and I can improve to the best proposal, if there is a best proposal, of course.

Talking about my matter, philosophy, I think that the best is to be at the right side, that means providing a big amount of content to the students but, after some reflection about the drawings Lisa linked, I think there is good a second step where the students could take part of the teacher’s role and produce and drive the class and the materials, and introduce discussions in the class. So probably I would move to a combination of lectures and discussions. Then there are several proposals for the activities I am sure I will reflect about. But the main thing is that I would do a two step proposal, giving as much materials as possible, not only lectures but also videos and other internet material as a first; and a second step where the students were able to share their experiences and thoughts after attending all of these lectures.

So, I think correct would be a little bit more to the left than my 19. I saw I am very prescriptive, probably because my inexperience, and I think that I should be a little bit less and give more flexibility to the students with this second step. There was a very interesting reflection for me because, with this short questionnaire and drawing, I saw that I was thinking to do the same teaching I received in the university, and I always critiziced, and permit me to understand and see a different way of teaching.

Iterating toward … what exactly?

One year ago, I was still settling into my brand-new position as Faculty Director of Online Education at MiraCosta. I dabbled with POT(Cert) last year and my first POTCert post was full of questions that I think I now have answers for. Of course, many of those answers are, “it depends,” “we’re not sure” or “you tell us.” I feel more comfortable with the ambiguity, more aware of where the immediate opportunities exist to make a difference, and also more settled with taking a long view when it comes to being part of significant institutional change/growth. And aren’t all of those things part of life as an educator?

If I begin to think I have it all figured out – whether it’s content, pedagogy, students, technology, my institution, my colleagues – I probably am becoming a bit stale. Thus my blog’s title and tagline – Education Everywhere: life = growth = learning = change.  For me, the fundamental excitement of online education is that it offers an opportunity to rethink the conceptual (not just physical) boundaries that come to us with time- and place-bound education. And rethink not just once, but continually.

Thus the concept of iteration – as Wikipedia says, “the act of repeating a process usually with the aim of approaching a desired goal or target or result.” So what might that goal/target/result be for an educator? Clearly, student learning is at the top of the list. But even that raises questions: learning what? And how do we know if learning occurs? And how do we find a link between our process (course design & teaching) and that learning?  And so we think about more specific aims … which then adds a further iterative aspect to what it means to be an online instructor.

David Wiley’s blog is called iterating toward openness; he is a key leader in improving education through development and use of open educational resources. What I like about this is his goal is really a principle. It is not a concrete, black-and-white target. Measurable outcomes are often thought of as destinations, with broader principles as guideposts/roadmaps, but I think it’s the other way around.

So, to wrap up this introduction of myself for Potcert 12 … what drives me? What am I “iterating toward”? As an educator, leader, manager, coach, and parent, my ultimate hope is to co-create an environment in which people thrive: that is, they find safety, health, and respect; they discover connection and meaning; they express caring, creativity, and joy. Is there a way to express that more succinctly? I look forward to elaborating (iterating) on this theme in the weeks to come …

Tagged: potcert, Week 1

POT cert presentation – Week 1

I would like to say hello to my peers in the Program for Online Teaching Certificate. The first SMOOC I am taking. I am sure this will be a nice and exciting experience. I will just introduce you a part of me and my life.

I am Xavier and I am blogging from Barcelona, a very beautiful city situated in the north-east of Spain. I am living with my wife and my two little daughters about 20 kms. from the center, just in the mountain. They are 6 and 4-year-old, and it is really a very nice experience see how they learn about the world around them. Normally I speak catalan daily with my family and university colleges but also I speak spanish.

Clean air Barcelona Neta ;-)
Clear air Barcelona Neta

Clean air Barcelona Neta ;-)
 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I started blogging almost one year ago and this course will permit me by blogging in english and also blogging about education. Normally I will post in English (I will do my best) for the course, but you could find also some other posts in Spanish. Please fell free to take a walk in my blog and to comment.

I am a graduate in philosophy but my work nowadays has nothing to be with it or with education. This is why I am preparing myself with this and other courses. This academic year, as I explained in my previous post, I will take a MA in the Teachers School of the Universitat de Barcelona to be a Philosophy Teacher in the secondary School.

Normally I like very much reading philosophy, specially ancient greek philosophy ( I like very much Plato, Socrates and Aristotle), and contemporary continental tradition, hermeneutic-phenomenologic (Husserl, Heidegger and Gadamer), but this is only with paper books. I do not use the web to read about philosophy, to be honest I don´t know exactly why, I will explore it. Now I am reading a lot about education, learning, e-learning and MOOC’s, specially on the web. I am excited to received and start reading the course book, although I think I will receive it with some delay because I booked it last week.

I like very much internet and social media and technologies and also I am enthusiastic with philosophy online teaching and also a discipline called digital humanities. This is why I decide to do this course. I saw that some of you had participate in the Social media and open education course and other courses, so most of you have a lot of experience in education and also in education online courses. I am sure I will follow you and, at the end, I hope I could collaborate with some online courses. The way I read on the internet is by following hashtag that are of my interest. I am using Diigo to bookmark and save by tags all the pages of my interest. Actually I read about higher education, here some of the articles, about digital humanities (DH), here some articles and some information about DH MA. I am interested in the DH Pedagogy. To end this short resume about my reading interest, I like very much to read articles about MOOC’s, just to try to understand what is happening with this new education alternative, because I think that the MOOC’s has a lot of interest to develop to the learners during a long period after the university, here you can find some articles about what a MOOC is.

I hope we can participate all together in the blogs with comments but also in twitter with the tag #potcert and in the Facebook group.

See you online.

Next academic course / Próximo curso académico

This new entry is to present the beginning of next course I will make from September. As I mentioned in the previous post the goal is to support the Master in Pedagogy I’ll make the next academic year with online courses. I commented the other two that I will follow,  E-learning and Digital Cultures and  Openness in education. This will be a program to teach online, POT (Program for Online Teaching). The program will run over 24 weeks, 12 weeks from September to November, and 12 more from February to April.

I think the three courses, two MOOC, and this third OOC (Open Online Class), will complement very well and that will be a great opportunity to connect them each other, and these with the Master, and all with a common nexus, education in general and online education of the humanities, that is the reason of my interest, in particular.

Since the two previous courses will overlap with this and probably with other posts of the master, I will try to make a good tag management. The latter will be using the hashtag #potcert.

Finally comment that the courses require a job to perform, participate in forums, in the blog itself, in tweets and doing videos, within other things, and how the three are in USA, I will do all of this information in English (in my best English). So this will be the last post bilingual. Those who will follow will be in English, if they are any of the online courses, or Spanish for the rest of the posts.

Clarification: The MA name in which I am trying to get as first option is not pedagogy, is on the faculty of teachers for secondary teacher.


Esta nueva entrada es para presentar el inicio del próximo curso que voy a realizar a partir de Septiembre. Como comenté en el post anterior el objetivo es el de apoyar el Máster en Pedagogía que voy a realizar el próximo curso académico con cursos de educación online. Ya comenté los otros dos que voy a seguir, E-learning and Digital Cultures y Openness in education. Este nuevo es un programa para enseñar online, POT (Program for Online Teaching). El programa se desarrollará en 24 semanas, 12 semanas de Septiembre a Noviembre, y 12 más de Febrero a Abril.

Pienso que los 3 cursos, dos de ellos MOOC, y este tercero OOC (Open Online Class), se van a complementar muy bien y que van a ser una magnífica oportunidad para relacionar unos con otros, y estos con el Máster, y todo teniendo un nexo común, la educación en general, y la educación online de las humanidades, que es el motivo de mi interés, en particular.

Como quiera que los dos cursos anteriores se van a solapar con este y, probablemente, con otros posts del máster, intentaré hacer una buena gestión de etiquetas. Este último será con el hashtag #potcert.

Por último comentaros que los cursos requieren de un trabajo a realizar, participación en foros, en el propio bloc, en twitter y vídeos, entre otros, y como los 3 son en USA, toda esta información la haré en inglés (en mi mejor inglés). Así pues este será el último post bilingüe. Los que siguen serán en inglés si son de cualquiera de los cursos o en castellano para el resto.

Nota: El nombre del máster en el que estoy intentando entrar como primera opción no es de pedagogía, es en la facultad de profesorado para ser profesor de secundaria.

Bonk / Bb MOOC week 1: Motivation & Encouragement (?)

inside of an Zambian school. The room welcome ...

Blackboard awaits the arrival of learners.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 5-week MOOC on Instructional Ideas & Technology Tools for Online Success appeals to me, especially when taught by Dr. Curt Bonk. And I’m curious to see how Blackboard is used as the environment for this, for better or worse.

So the first week has us reading up on motivation, tone, and encouragement to help online learners persist and succeed.

And while the content is good, I think for many participants the clearest takeaway at this point is a major sense of cognitive dissonance between the message and the medium. Lisa Lane’s blog has a great discussion going on about this, with Curt Bonk himself and at least one Blackboard employee weighing in. There are Bb tool issues to be sure: The Blackboard discussion board sucks, there is no doubt about it, especially when it is being used at this scale. But I think most of the issues are course design: Why would an open online course be set up to encourage people to use closed-system blogs and wikis? You don’t have to do it that way. But even more so, it is the activity design that I think is the biggest problem thus far. MOOCs certainly have a heightened element of self-organization and learner control, but thus far this MOOC does not feel purposeful about encouraging and facilitating this. We shall see what emerges from the chaos.

I will hold off on posting about week 1 content until after Dr. Bonk’s presentation this afternoon. Unfortunately I will have to watch the archive rather than being able to participate live.

Tagged: Blackboard, MOOC