Home > Meeting Notes > TriLUG 2013-06-13 Meeting Cathy Davidson on MOOCs

TriLUG 2013-06-13 Meeting Cathy Davidson on MOOCs

I attended the June 13th 2013 Triangle Linux User Group meeting held at NC State University’s Centennial Campus at Engineering II Building. The speaker for the meeting was Cathy Davidson of Duke University. This blog is a stream of consciousness / notes from the meeting.

2013-06-13 19.59.43

Justis Peters made announcements about all the great upcoming events. Lightning Talks coming soon Jul 11 or Sep 12. Have a Job/Want a Job was fairly active. Trilug.org Barry Peddycord (new PR officer) introduces Cathy Davidson from Duke University. She is the first member of the Mozilla board who is an educator. Working with McArthur Foundation and HASTAC foundation. How to recognize skills that are not specifically learned from academia. Badging as credentialing. (some schools will accept badging as prerequisites, but it is very new.)

Multiple choice tests were invented due to a teacher shortage in 1914. 1925 Scholastic testing would do multiple choice tests. Can badging supplement credentialing. Alternative forms of learning outside the classroom. Education was invented in a assembly line way.

Wrote a book what happened when steam powered presses made cheap books for common people. Talked about the first American Novel after the revolution being published along with the constitution. William Wells Brown wrote this novel in opposition to the US Constitution since it included slavery and didn’t include women. She was surprised to see a plaque on campus at UNC-CH saying that Brown had been part of starting UNC-CH after getting thrown out of Massachusetts and disappearing. Once the Internet came along, it would have the same distractions as the books were accused of in the first print revolution. Female Land Pirates(?).

Pockets were invented to hide books in their clothes. The idea was that the same control about knowledge from the revolutionary period with books is the same as people now look at the Internet.

She doesn’t do syllabus anymore. The students decide what to do for the class. In her class with Brad, they decided to write a book on ideas on open learning. It is in copy editor now. It will be published with HASTAC. Audience member brought up that this wasn’t new and CD agreed that it was very old but not done very often.

Ideas from HASTAC. They are working on badging. HASTAC is a large org with various members some with coding experience. Rabid humanists. Project to teach kids about how to use social media well.

How would someone apply for a badge? Ex. kids go to DC and visit museum, the badge system allows kids to have a more purposeful experience. Gives them structure towards learning experience. Badges are left in the system so others can learn from them. Kids crowdsource other badges. The badge has metadata. Justis: Q: will badges need to be held by institutions or will they also be by communities? It is a meritocracy. No one has to say negatives since it is a matter of the number of badges collected rather than negatives.

Talk about badging within TriLUG.

Q: Assuming badges take off and spread, will institutions link into things like LinkedIn, etc.? A: perhaps, but the current system isn’t working. No one agrees that standardized tests are working. Drop out rates for students as well as teachers is a crisis. We need an alternative and perhaps badging can play a part. Open source education.

Q: How would badging work with fringe areas? A: McArthur is setting up media centers in underused libraries in areas where kids can use it. New Media Center

Q: When you build a model of the badging system what are the bellweathers are when it is working? How can you tell when it morphs into something bad? There will be gamers, how do you deal with them? How does badging work with resources in education?

A: People will try to game the system. You can experiment or innovate if you are afraid of the problems. The system will be subverted. Example of badges for vets where military folks self regulating. They let the vets design their own system.

Many more questions, but I got tired of typing. There was a lot of discussion on how the processes with badging works. The value of badging and the variations of different badges.

I am not sure I understand all the issues that are being discussed about badging and how it would be used. Crowdsourcing of credentials seems to be immature process and would need to be recognized by our organizations to give it credibility.

I was surprised that she didn’t talk much about MOOCs. I think she has moved on from that as a major topic.

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Categories: Meeting Notes
  1. June 14, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Thanks for the blog post! I loved meeting you all, and re-meeting some people I have met before. Here are some things that may be helpful: (1) an annotated bibliography on lots of information and examples and debates and practical advice on badges: http://hastac.org/collections/digital-badges You can also contact sheryl.grant@duke.ed our subject-area expert on this subject for more information if TriLug is interested in trying one.

    And, no, I’m still in the MOOC business but no one asked about that. This weekend, in fact, the online Los Angelos Review of Books is publishing a staged debate on MOOCs and anyone can leave comments. If you are interested, I hope you will because I’m tired of only hearing from those of us teaching MOOCs and would love more feedback from those taking them.

    And here’s information about the upcoming combined MOOC and face to face we’re doing on “the History and Future of Higher Education” from Coursera in S 2014—with lots on peer-to-peer alternatives: http://hastac.org/blogs/kaysi-holman/2013/05/15/storyboarding-future-higher-education And http://hastac.org/collections/history-and-future-higher-education

    And another collection of articles, blogs, posts about MOOCs here: http://hastac.org/collections/mooc-hq

    Hope this is helpful.

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