May 6, 2011
The second book I want to post about is the 3rd edition of Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and technology that arrived on my desk yesterday. This one even came free ($82 in paper back, $45 as an ebook), because I authored one of the chapters (more below on that).
The book is edited by Robert Reiser and John Dempsey, and contains nearly 400 pages and 38 chapters. Each chapter is written by one of the big “who’s who” of mostly American instructional design (ID) gurus. You’ll find chapters by David Merrill, Walter Dick, David Jonassen, John Keller, Richard Clark, Michael Hannafin and the two editors – names familiar to instructional designers and ed tech students for the past 3 decades at least. There are also a few new faces – notably e-learning and knowledge management guru Marc Rosenberg and Valerie Shute (amongst many others). You can see the full Table of Contents here. I also noted an increasing (but still far in the minority) number of women scholars such as Marcy Driscoll and Elizabeth Boling.
The text is designed for the serious instructional design student. The editors have produced an edition of this text every five Read the rest of this entry »
March 31, 2011
I’ve decided to repost the email I sent to subscribers to IRRODL, announcing this VERY special issue. If you want to be one of the 5054 (and growing) IRRODL subscribers (its free) and get your very own email announcement of each new issue, rather than read this boring old blog, click here.
I am especially pleased with this special issue, partly because, I am becoming a connectivist evangelist, partially because this is the first full issue on Connectivsm in a peer reviewed Journal and certainly not least because Jon Dron and I have an article in it!
I usually shy away from publishing in IRRODL – too easy to be less than objective about reviewing and editing your own work! But I took the opportunity of a hot topic, personal interest, great guest editors (who of course were ruthless in their reviews – making it a better article!!) and a brilliant co-author made this opportunity irresistible.
Here is the subscriber letter: Read the rest of this entry »
February 1, 2011
The start of this year promises to be an active one for consumers of distance education and open learning research. IRRODL will be publishing 3 issues in the next 6 weeks, beginning with Vol. 12(1) that is described and linked to in this post.
This special issue of IRRDOL focuses on the exciting convergence of interests between open and distance learning (ODL) and the recognition of prior learning (RPL). The guest editor of this special issue is Dr Dianne Conrad who is the director, Centre for Learning Accreditation at Athabasca University. Dianne has used her contacts in this community to solicit the quality research articles and field notes that help us all understand more deeply this important and timely topic.
We hope you will take the time to visit the site, download, bookmark and cite articles in this issue. As usual the articles are disseminated in HTML, PDF, MP3 (audio) and EPUB (mobile) formats.
Finally I wish to thank all authors, reviewers, editors (and especially Dianne Conrad) and sponsors who make quality open access publishing possible.
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
Table of Contents
Editorial The landscape of prior learning assessment: A sampling from a diverse field Dianne Conrad HTML PDF MP3 EPUB
December 1, 2010
I am a big supporter of Open Access presses – largely because they serve potential readers without means or capacity to purchase books and as importantly, because they increase the readership and dissemination of ideas.
Athabasca University Press (AUPress) was Canada’s first open access, scholarly press, and provides all of its books for free download in PDF format and of course sells paper copies. These paper copies are offered for sale from the AUPress site, on Amazon and in epub format via sonybookstore. The download statistics for books and individual chapters are impressive and paper sales are about the same as scholarly publications from commercial or non open access scholarly publications.
For example my own edited book “Theory and Practice of Online Learning has been downloaded well over 90,000 times, read online by a large number of google book readers of the 20% offered at this site for free, and sales of over 1300 books. AUPress does pay royalties (about the same % of sales as commercial publishers). Interestingly I also got a small check from Copywrite Canada, from Universities who are paying for including chapters in reading packages- even though the students could download them for free!
I had a meeting with AUPress staff yesterday and we discussed ramping up production and promotion of the Issues in Distance Education series for which I serve as series editor. The series currently has 5 titles and 2 more “in press’.
If any readers are interested in producing a volume for this series, I hope you will contact me or the Press for author’s guidelines and further details. Like all AUPress books, each volume must survive two rigourous peer reviews. We are developing new guidelines for editors of edited volumes. The current practice is to accept publications only after the complete draft manuscript is submitted. This is problematic when an editor is trying to solicit chapter contributions and has no guarantee that the Press will accept the completed volume. However, an editor can communicate that the volume is being readied and hopefully published in open access format by AUPress, but there is no guarantee that any individual chapter or the whole book will survive the review process. The upside of this process is that a completed chapter or a book, can likely find an outlet someplace, even if fails AUPress’s review.
So please forward this post to any potential DE, online learning or even blended learning author wannabes and check out, download, or if you can afford it, order an AUPress book!
September 16, 2009
I was very fortunate to be able to attend what I consider to be one of the best higher education, ed tech conferences in the world, last week in Manchester, UK. I was even more fortunate to be asked to do the closing keynote. The annual Association for Learning Technologies sponsors the Conference (the C) and a Journal Alt-J. This year, was a sold out event and lots of great presentations, conversations and networking. Alt-C is probably the best kept UK secret, as it is a world class event, but the attendees are at least 90% UK ed tech innovators. The conference features the usual keynotes, panels, tradeshow, concurrent sessions, posters, food and drink. Unlike some others I’ve attended, this one was very well organized, few presenters missing and tight adherence to time lines leaving a fair chunk of time for discussion after each presenter. Read the rest of this entry »
August 27, 2009
Jon Dron and I have received funding to enhance social networking amongst the distributed students and staff at Athabasca University. This is a two year position and requires programming skills and communications abilities to help create and sustain AU’s system and contribute to the elgg community.
For more details check Athabasca Human resources listing
July 14, 2009
After reading Wired Chris Anderson’s (2009). Free: The Future of a Radical Price (available but ironically only for free to residents from the world’s richest country, the US, from SCRIBD), I spent some time reflecting on the disruptive effects of ‘free’ on higher education provision and opportunity.
Free has not only effected media consumption, publishing, and software production but also has capacity to create very disruptive, low end challenges to higher education. A low end disruption offers a service to a large new market by providing satisfactory (but not necessarily equivalent, at least at the beginning) services to large new groups of consumers. The most publicized example in higher education is the University of the People, founded by Israeli entrepreneur Shai Reshef. UoPeople is headquartered in California and is now registering students for its first courses to begin in September 2009. Mr Reschef provides a good overview of his vision and the logistics of operating a very low cost institution in a recent Higher Ed podcast. Read the rest of this entry »
July 7, 2009
I had the pleasure of attending a recent meeting (and dinner) of the advisory board for the ReVica project and wanted to share some of the work and results of that project. I’ll skip over the obvious fact, that the project could have spent a little more time creating a more inviting acronym and get to the accomplishments.
ReVica is a two year project, funded as part of the lifelong learning program of the European Commission. The idea of the project is to conduct inventories of EU and other ‘virtual campus’ projects and to extract best practices, lessons learned etc. The main tool to do this has evolved into a fairly sophisticated wiki at www.virtualcompuses.eu Besides the Wiki (discussed below) the project has produced a number of research papers and a set of newsletters, that I found quite informative Read the rest of this entry »
May 13, 2009
A couple of months ago I was honored to be asked to give the annual Ernest Boyer lecture at an all -college gathering of Empire State College- State University of New York. I had heard about Empire State for some years, as it was founded in 1971 – about the same time as the Open University UK and my own Athabasca University. Each of these were new initiatives devised new institutional delivery models to increase access to University programming for adults. The OUUK and many of the institutes that were spawned after it (like Athabasca) choose an industrial model of distance education to increase affordability and the access to programming. This meant that specialty course development teams created extensive and often multi-media course packages that were delivered by mostly part time tutors to students at a distance. This model created economy of scale through mass production and division of specialized labour. I had assumed that Empire State operated under a similar model, as it too emphasizes distance education programming, adult learners, flexibility and access.
I was quite wrong! Read the rest of this entry »
April 21, 2009
This is the second book in the series Issues in Distance Education from Athabasca University Press. I am the series editor, and wrote the forward to this text, so obviously there is lots of room for conflict of interest (though no pecuniary gain) in this review.
The book is edited and contains an introduction by Athabasca University professor Mohamed Ally. The text consists of 3 sections: Read the rest of this entry »