Cognitive Surplus and cognitive deficit: experience isn’t everything

The concept of Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus is a seductive one as expounded in his 2010 book, subtitled Creativity and Generosity in a connected age. Thanks to the networked world of new media we now all have the potential to donate the spare time we usually donate to leisure pursuits or more pointedly, passively consuming…

The Digital Scholar course

For 4 weeks in July 2016 I was a student on the online Digital Scholar course, led by the Geneva Learning Foundation, in partnership with the University of Illinois College of Education and Learning Strategies International (LSi). I successfully applied to join (it wasn’t open in that sense) as I wanted a parallel component to my HEA fellowship studies that gave me insights…

How to earn the HE Industry Dialogue Badge

Introduction: This text gives the specifications for the badge, listing all its technical aspects. This is how you earn it. This badge is a research prototype designed to Open Badge standards. It carries no credits and is not accredited or verified by me or my University employers. However, the badge has real value, being endorsed…

How I badgered and badged HE: my plan to offer an Open Badge

As part of my Action Research project I’m launching a Badge according to Open Badge specifications. Well actually I’m only issuing the badge- I’m not awarding it. It’s not about me, it’s about investigating the dynamics of motivation, reward and inertia in qualifications and credentials. I intend to investigate how the development of Open Badges…

Smoke, Mirrors and Badges: thoughts on HE and Open Badges

One of the elements that is often missing from the more theoretical Open Badges literature is that of the user’s motivation and willingness to learn. It’s easy to assume Badges will gamify people or make material the pathways of learning that the user never visualised before, without the learner having to lift a finger. To…

Is Student Power the way to get Universities interested in Open Badges?

I’ve been researching Open Badges (and other forms of digital credentialing) for a while now, and have been curious why they have not yet found a firm niche within Higher Education. I’d suggest part of the answer is Universities are generally resistant to the philosophy of Openness that is enshrined within Open Badges. The University business…

How I survived the Open Badgeocalypse

2025: It was 3 years after the Badgocalypse, when the whole of human experience had been carved up by the corporations. As it was a Saturday, I awoke to find out I’d already earned two badges- one for above average REM from a healthcare agency, and the other for punctuality from my employer, as I’d…

Looking at the MOOC through the UKPSF prism: a few notes

So how does my MOOC map onto the UKPSF? The UKPSF, or UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education (2011) to give it’s full title, has been developed by The Higher Education Academy on behalf of the UK higher education sector, Guild HE and Universities UK. The material and content is…

What makes Action Research tick?

These notes started with me asking myself “Why are students allergic to research?” Ask new students about research, and they’ll see it as a bookish pursuit, which invariably means sitting down and concentrating, neither of which are overly popular. There’s also an assumption that research is at the planning stage- before the exciting ‘doing’ stage,…

The Community is the Curriculum: Rhizomatic Learning

Preface “I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge” Seymour Papert Looking at how we structure higher education and the taxonomies we use to support that structure led me to wonder how far our understanding of teaching and learning is led by those structures. Frameworks, Units, Projects, Tasks, like…

A MOOC Point: Universities go freemium?

I wrote this article over 3 years ago on halogenic.me but it’s a useful intro to the history, so I’ve copied it over here…. In the US, 2012 was the year of the MOOC or Massive Open Online Classroom. The surprise development of free courses at the likes of the Higher Education elite like Yale, Stanford and Harvard…