Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Academics
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
May 19, 2015
Contact us observatorio@itesm.mx
When Actors Replace Instructors as On-Camera Talent
Campus Technology
  • Instructors have typically been the on-screen talent for the recorded lectures used in online courses. But when Purdue University began expanding the online certification courses, the design team came to a fundamental realization: Mundane 20- to 40-minute lecture videos of a "talking head" no longer provided the desired learning experience.
  • As a result, Purdue has begun pulling away from the use of subject-matter experts (SMEs) for pre-recorded lectures, replacing them with professional actors instead and has also shortened the lecture videos to under seven minutes each. The result has been much happier students.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/ActorsasInstructors

Keywords: subject-matter experts, SMEs, online education, MOOCs
Why So Many MOOC Videos Are Utterly Forgettable
  • The fixation with videos in MOOCs, online courses and blended learning is worrisome. Producing a MOOC is a high-cost operation, with an estimated average expense of $100,000 per course. 
  • Videos can get you exposed to a new concept for the first time in an agreeable way, but they do not produce learning, on their own. Specially a particular kind of video: the expository “lecture video,” usually a narrated PowerPoint and sometimes a “talking head” video. These are no better (or worse) than traditional lectures. 
  • The problem with making videos “central” to the student experience is that it comes at the expense of higher-order learning activities. We need to acknowledge the limitations of video and place emphasis on authentic learning and not just “engagement” (time watching, # of clicks).
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/ForgettableMOOCs

Keywords: online education, MOOCs, video production
An Education Guidebook for Inquiring Minds
District Administration
  • In his book A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger says the art of inquiry is the foundation of advancements in science, medicine, mathematics and more. Questioning “what is” often leads to the discovery of “what could be.” Yet, in our schools—the one place that should emphasize questioning—we value rote answers to standardized tests over challenging inquiry.
  • What happens too often in many schools is that it’s still the teacher asking most of the questions. Somewhere along the line, you have to flip it so it’s the kids asking questions. That’s a big jump because, in a way, it involves the teacher giving up some control and some power.  
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/InquiryLearning

Keywords: inquiry learning, educational trends, guidebook
Should Teachers Be Held Responsible for a Student’s Character?
  • Alongside growth mindset and self-control, grit, often defined as the ability to persevere when times get tough,  is on a short list of not-strictly-academic skills, habits and qualities that researchers have deemed essential. 
  • Nevertheless Angela Duckworth, the scientist most closely associated with the concept argue that grit isn’t ready for prime time, if prime time means to evaluate teachers based on things like character and grit. 
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/GritandEvaluation

Keywords: learning, grit, skills
Why Is The University Still Here?
  • Universities are supposed to be dead. These bastions of higher learning have been on Silicon Valley’s hit list for much of the past decade. And yet, we have arrived in 2015 and almost nothing seems to have changed about the way we get our degrees or even just our continuing coursework. What happened to the revolution?
  • Open education is absolutely needed – course materials should be distributed as widely as possible for as cheaply as possible. Knowledge deserves to be free. But that openness also makes it hard for these materials to gain primacy in the lives of their students when they are just sitting on the web like every other web page.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/WhyStillHere

Keywords: Higher Education, universities, online education, MOOCs
Want to Make Your Course ‘Gameful’? A Michigan Professor’s Tool Could Help
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • What if the classroom were more like a video game? Barry J. Fishman, a professor of information and education at the University of Michigan, would like to help you find out. Fishman has borrowed elements of gaming to develop GradeCraft, a LMS that lets instructors organize their courses in a “gameful” way.
  • The system lets students choose their own path through a course, selecting the assignments that interest and challenge them. At its heart is a tool, called the “grade predictor,” that helps to “manage some of the chaos” of such a personalized system. The grade predictor also helps students figure out what they need to do to reach the classroom goals they set for themselves.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/GamefulCourse

Keywords: video games, gamification, learning-management system, LMS
How Blended Learning Changed My Classroom Experience: A Student Perspective
  • At Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School in San Jose, CA, students are experiencing a new style of learning: Blended learning. When using blended learning, you allow students to go from a traditional classroom to using technology to learn.
  • The unique structure allows students to meet the criteria needed for college readiness. However, rather than learning together in a classroom working at the same pace, we are beginning to work as independent individuals. We have to take responsibility of our own learning, which prepares us for our studies in college.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/BlendLearningExp

Keywords: blended learning, styles of learning, high school
Professor and Students Share Reactions to the Flipped Classroom
Faculty Focus
  • A flipped learning model has more moving parts because one must unbundle traditional teaching practices. Professor LaRocco shares his experiences in this video interview.
  • Professor LaRocco discusses how he has enhanced his course materials—case studies, readings, and expert interviews—with tools including Camtasia, Wikispaces and Socrative for activating student feedback and greater discussion loops. 
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/VideooFlippedC

Keywords: flipped classroom, flipped learning
The Future Of Education: Truths, Lies And Wishful Thinking
  • In this interview, part of a series of conversations with leading teachers, thinkers and activists on education issues, Jordan Shapiro says that video games will not save education and talks about other misconceptions about where schools are headed.
  • "We love the revolutionary story, we love the underdog who's fighting the establishment story so much that I don't think that's necessarily serving the real things that do need to happen to make education work better," said Shapiro. 
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/ShapiroInterview

Keywords: education, future of education
More news
Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: observatorio@itesm.mx. TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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