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Comment: Re:MOOC is designed like a physical classroom (Score 2) 181

by Half-pint HAL (#47898695) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

We want courses designed for casual learning and that means flexible hours, fewer homework assignments.

That's why a online class will never educate anyone.

You're assuming he's being lazy, rather than analysing his point. The main promise of internet learning was supposed to be accessibility in terms of where you want and when you want. The timetable in MOOCs is often just too rigid, and if you've got something big on at work, you might just need to be able to tune out for two weeks.

Comment: Re:Slashvertisement (Score 1) 181

by Half-pint HAL (#47898673) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

They get "achievements" for lots of things like taking classes, doing tests to make sure they understand the material, etc. The education-as-a-game incentive system is a fun way to encourage continuing education.

Nah. If you need to gamify then the material and methods are not intrinsically stimulating. You learn by stimulation. Little badges may encourage you to continue using the platform, but they rarely encourage learning. None of the MOOCs I've seen use any of the potential of computing to personalise the learning process - for example, Udacity shows you the same "feedback" video after a "quiz" regardless of the answer you choose.

What are you even talking about? Why are you dissing ANY free program for people to educate themselves? If even ONE person did it, it is not a failure. The fact that thousand of self-motivated, self-paced individuals take advantage of world-class education systems, all for free-- it's by definition a success.

If its goal is to educate one person, and it educates one person, it has not failed. If its goal is to provide universal university level education, it has failed.

Comment: Re: hahaaa.... (Score 1) 181

by Half-pint HAL (#47898649) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

The history of education consists of many long traditions of direct interaction between teacher and student (and to a lesser extent between students). MOOCs undermine that, so really it would be more surprising if in any permutation they did work for any more than the small minority of autodidacts.

I'm not sure, but I think the potential is there. The problem with MOOCs is that no-one ever lived up to one of the big promises: improvement. As a teacher, if I deliver the same lesson repeatedly, I will try to improve it each time based on student difficulties in the previous session. I try to identify what gap in knowledge caused the student to fail, and take pre-emptive steps to fill that gap for future students. In some places, I've had 3 students in a class, in some places almost 30. Some university lecturers might have 100 or more. And after each cohort, the lesson improves. But MOOCs often take in a cohort of thousands, deliver an identical course to all of them, and then what...? Many courses only run once. No lessons learned. Ones that repeat may not change, and even if they do, there's not enough contact to determine whether the change is for the better... until after the course.

The revolution requires a change of mindset. Small cohorts and continual improvement. Run the course twice a month and you'll get more feedback and revision within 1 month than a university lecturer might get in 24 years of teaching the same course. This isn't cheap, which is why the free MOOC model is nonsense. Instead, free courses have to be nothing more than "Beta tests" of a future commercial course. 1 year of free with massive dev investment with the aim of selling the course for credit for five-ten years. Ideally it would be sold across institutions rather than just used in a single place.

Comment: Re:"console shooter" (Score 1) 93

by Half-pint HAL (#47898383) Attached to: Early Reviews of Destiny: Unfulfilled Potential
Light guns only work on progressive-scan screens (CRTs and the like). They track the position by timing when the scan line moves in front of the point of focus to determine where it's pointing. This is why firing the gun led to the whole screen flashing - it needed the increased brightness to detect the scan beam.

Comment: Re:In other words nobody is born smart (Score 1) 268

by Half-pint HAL (#47896315) Attached to: Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little
Of course intelligence exists. Differences in intelligence are detectable, even if only in a fuzzy, uncertain way. The point is that in the context in question -- the search for genetic indicators -- there is no detectable correlation. If there's no detectable correlation, the effect, if it exists is too small to worry about.

Comment: Re:In other words nobody is born smart (Score 1) 268

by Half-pint HAL (#47883997) Attached to: Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little
In fact, pig farmers can already manipulate their livestock in utero, feeding expectant mothers more when it will encourage physical development in the litter (big pigs give more meat) and reducing food when supply would result in mental development (thinking wastes precious calories). Attempts to replicate these findings in humans would rightly be considered unethical.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. -- Emerson