Nov 27, 2007

OpenEd week 14 - Reflections on Hoshuang

I reflected on a post by Hoshuang, Random Stuff that Matters; a great post with lots of interesting ideas. I used Diigo (RECOMMENDED!!) to make notes, so if you have it as well, you can see them on his blog.


Random Stuff that Matters » Blog Archive » OpenEd: Week 13

  • the Swedish model, which is not radically different, but just the concept of only teaching one course at a time (half a year of anthropology, a year of psychology, etc - with enough breadth, depth and credits you get your BA - no majors or minors), which usually ends with a 5-8 hour exam, that often has two or three questions on it
    • I read about a similar model from New Zealand, where kids in some K12 schools get a subject for a month or a few months, and collaboratively create videos, websites, texts, drawings, pictures on the subject. Kids really enjoyed education, learned a lot, and applied their own ideas directly I loved the model!
  • Indian NGO that waged a campaign against accreditation in the first place.
    • Interesting... can I join? I have my doubts on accreditation as well... What's the name of it?
  • As the open source idea extends to ever more domains, people might be participating in Wikipedia, writing open source textbooks, composing music, shooting footages for a collectively produced documentary… All this could be part of a portfolio of skills. Or would we have certifications, like we have for certain professions now? Instead of a bar exam, would an English major have to write an English lit certification test?
    • Good point.. applying your knowledge! I think that is much better than accreditation.
  • In fact, what we want is for students to be in a creative learning environment, one that forces them to think and reflect, and rub shoulders with scholars and peers, for four years.
    • Don't forget apply knowledge and create new knowledge!
  • Instead, the TOEFL allows you to learn English any way you want, through any number of institutions, self-learning, getting a foreign girlfriend, watching Hollywood movies, working as a maid in England - and in the end, it’s wholly irrelevant. You don’t even put down on paper where you learnt English, because they trust that the test accurately shows your command of English.
    • Good point in favour of the Accreditation Only model, described by DW as well. My personal opinion is that accreditation exists because people need some trust mechanism. If you are qualified by that institution for those subjects, you are able to do this and that. (skills) If you are already trusted, and proved your skills in other settings, documented online in a trusted environment, accreditation becomes superfluous.
  • Right now, we are putting millions of people through first year courses in economics and history, with professors who have never learnt anything about pedagogics. I would love more peer-review in teaching, teachers sitting in on each other’s classes, giving each other feedback.
    • I hope I can introduce more transparance into my university. As I discussed earlier, I talked to the Executive Board of my Uni last week, and they mentioned a new kind of work process, with experts being experts, not teachers, and that the teaching and guidance is supported with people and technology: so more e-learning materials, and quality time with experts. (diving into the subject)
  • I remember reading about a professor of physics who recorded lectures especially for them to be put online, and then used the time he was allotted with the class to do experiments with them, having groups work and then circulate to help them. I would argue that this is a much more rational way of using the very expensive face time allotted with a professor.
    • Ha, exactly: that's what I mean with quality time. (see note above)
  • how this is financed is another chapter, whether through user fees or state sponsorship or exchange - I tutor you in something and someone else tutors me in something else
    • YES: Exchange! That is the system I hope to (co-)develop one day, maybe as PhD student. I describe this as a value mechanism, and someone told me a year ago that it was science fiction. He was not joking: I am not an expert in SF, but he told me it like a system that they have in Star Trek or Star Wars or something.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you Thieme, for that wonderful thoughtful comment. It is sometimes lonely to be blogging - my stats tell me I have lot's of readers, but if you don't get comments or people tell you they read it, you never know if they did. Your comments inspired me to blog more :)

    Do you think you could do a pingback to my blog, or post these comments as a normal comment, so that other readers not using Diigo can also read them (although Diigo seems interesting, I'll have to check it out).

    The link to the Indian organization is in my first blog post, let's see if I can find it.

    Here's the link to the org:

    and their anti-credentials page:

    Thanks again