Professor & Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University

Category: sharing

The importance of ALT-J going open access

Posted on February 15th, by George Veletsianos in my research, open, scholarship, sharing. 3 comments

The ALT-J Journal has been renamed to “Research in Learning Technology”, but more importantly, starting in January 2012 the journal will be published under an open access license.Why is this important? ALT-J is quite respected in the field, and the number of high-profile, highly-respected journals in the field that are open access is limited. As high-profile, high-quality journals take the open access route, it is highly likely that more and more researchers will entertain the idea of publishing in venues that embrace openness (and not the type of “openness” that requires researchers to pay to have the ability to disseminate their work).

Scholarly publishing has traditionally been evaluated in terms of perceived journal quality and citation counts. Empirical research has indicated (a) citation advantages for papers published in an open access manner [Hajeem, Harnad, & Gingras, 2005], or (b) no significant differences in terms of citation counts between open access and non-open-access journals [Zawacki-Richter, Anderson, & Tuncay, 2010]. As far as journal quality goes: even though the number of high-quality open access in the field is limited, open access does not necessarily mean low quality. ALT-J’s move into the open access realm demonstrates this, and a number of people even predict that ALT-J will gain a higher status in the field.

References

Hajjem, C., Harnad, S. and Gingras, Y. (2005) Ten-year cross-disciplinary comparison of the growth of open access and how it increases research citation impact. IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin, 28(4), 39-47.

Zawacki-Richter, O., Anderson, T., & Tuncay, N. (2010). The growing impact of open access distance Education journals: A bibliometric analysis. The Journal Of Distance Education / Revue De L’ÉDucation à Distance, 24(3).

Full disclaimer: I serve on ALT-J’s editorial board.

Scenes and Symbolisms of Learning

Posted on February 9th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

Mike Wesch recently put out a call asking for “2 minute video[s] showing us scenes of what you see in your everyday life during your most critical learning moments.” Crowdsourcing video is a powerful strategy to gather authentic and interesting data from a wide range of contributors, and the contributions that Dr. Wesch has received so far demonstrate this point clearly.

I used this call to develop the first 30-minute “in-class” activity my students engaged with in my Spring 2011 course entitled “Online Learning in the Participatory Age.” This video contributes to the project described above, but also serves as our first contribution to participatory cultures (with follow-up activities designed to understand the implications of online participation for individuals). Our discussions not only denoted critical learning moments, but, we believe, reveal the spectrum of learning that may exist between the new and the old, the formal and the informal, the traditional and the non-traditional. More importantly however, we tried to stay away from binaries and from elevating one form of learning over another, using the video as a jumping point for the Spring semester.

The video is posted here, and is also embedded below:

Data Snippet: Connections in an Online Course

Posted on January 22nd, by George Veletsianos in my research, online learning, open, sharing. No Comments

This post is part of this year’s goal to share more data and findings from my in-progress papers. My research assistant and I are working on a paper examining certain aspects of an online course. We came across an interesting quote and I thought that it might be of interest to others because this student is describing an experience that (some might say) is not frequent:

[I am] really liking that connection with our classmates… it’s interesting that in a traditional face-to-face course, I don’t always feel as connected to my classmates, even though I’m going to be sitting right next to them, engaged in face-to-face conversation.

Even though I am not at all interested in comparing face-to-face and online courses (other than to point out that online affords different opportunities), I think that the quote above indicates once again that online courses can be enjoyable and that face-to-face does not necessarily mean interactive or connected. To play with Sherry Turkle’s new book title, is this a case of “together alone?”

Photo credit: Sitting alone, by naraekim0801

Emerging Technologies in Distance Education: Summary

Posted on January 19th, by George Veletsianos in emerging technologies, open, sharing. 1 Comment

Following Elizabeth Wellburn on her project to blog summaries of each chapter of Emerging Technologies in Distance Education has been very exciting. She has now blogged summaries of each chapter and if you’d like a short introduction to the book, you can head to her blog.

Crowdsourcing online video

Posted on January 18th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 3 comments

I love listening to people’s stories and learning from people’s experiences, especially when these experiences differ. The rise of video on the web  as a communication medium has allowed many of us to share our stories and our experiences in a fun, first-person narrative format. This is increasingly recognized in educational/scholarly projects around the world in the form of crowdsourced video, in which project leaders request narrative videos from participants interested in the topic. Examples include the following,

  • The first time I came across crowdsourced video was in 2008, when participants at the World Economic Forum at Davos where asked to respond to the Davos Question of the year. Since then, they’ve started crowdsourcing  video online
  • Alan Levine’s amazing stories of openness from Open Ed 2009 serves as another example
  • … and the 2010 project on amazing stories of sharing
  • Christina Costa sent me a link to the Open Source Cinema work, which features what it describes as the world’s first open source documentary
  • The Earthducation project from the LT Media Lab, seeking answers on the question “What is education to you?” to study education and sustainability features a site where participants can record their video without the need to post on third-party sites. Incidentally, the Africa expedition was just launched – check it out and send them their video. I’ve worked with Charlie and Aaron in the past and their work is fantastic!
  • Our YoTeach project asking participants to answer the question “What is the role of the teacher? where video contributions were used in a sociology course and function as resources for teacher educators wanting to explore teacher roles with their students
  • The Narrating Lives Video project where individuals where asked  “to record short video responses to questions about their experiences as readers, scholars, and teachers.” Videos available here
  • Finally, Michael Wesch has posted a note last week asking for video contributions from students and professors demonstrating how students see their world and how they learn.

I would love to see more of these! Do you have any other examples that you can share?

Educational Technology and Related Education Conferences January- June 2011

Posted on January 15th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

Clayton Wright has once again provided us with his extensive list of educational technology conferences for the upcoming 6 months (Jan-Jun 2011). If you haven’t explored this list yet, here’s your chance to explore new conferences and lose yourself in places you might want to visit.

Clayton Wright Educational Technology and Education Conferences January to June 2011 (Word document)

Networks, Communities, Online spaces… Oh my!

Posted on January 7th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 4 comments

I am working on a paper that looks at online spaces and online participation with regards to online learning and part of this paper deals with understanding the sorts of entities that function within online environments that are open ended (networks, communities, groups, affinity spaces, etc). I have been trying to visually map these entities to make sense of them, and seeing Andy Coverdale‘s blog entry today (on mapping activity systems) encouraged me to post my mindmap of this work. Think of this is as a literature review skeleton. Enjoy!

Conceptualizing digital spaces

This image is available at a larger scale on my Flickr account.

2010: Blog Analytics

Posted on January 1st, by George Veletsianos in open, scholarship, sharing. 1 Comment

A new year always brings with it a reflection of the past, and what better way to do so by looking at some of the data behind this blog. In no particular order, during 2010, this blog was

  • visited 8,475 times
  • by 5,693 unique visitors
  • who viewed 13,709 pages.
  • The most popular page was the About me page that was viewed 1,175 times.
  • The second most popular page was my publications page with 1,067 views, and the third most popular was the draft paper I posted on participatory scholars (916 views).
  • The most popular date was September 7, with 204 visits. This was the result of posting my Introduction to Instructional Design syllabus online and sharing it on ITFORUM.
  • Visitors from 127 countries came to this blog, with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India, being at the top of the list. Cyprus (my homeland) only sent 55 visitors during 2010 (where’s the love?!)
  • The most frequent sources of traffic were from Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Athabasca University Press (a result of Emerging Technologies in Distance Education being published in August 2010).
  • The most frequently search query used to reach this blog was my full name.
  • My last name was spelled in 16 different ways when individuals searched for me (there’s pros and cons in having a unique last name I suppose!)
  • During 2010, I posted 30 entries. My hope for 2011 is to post more entries, more frequently, and to post more entries related to my in-progress research.

Thanks for reading… I look forward to 2011!