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Definitely one of the best of 2016.
If you missed this one, watch it now. The problem isn't going to go away on its own.

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No matter how many times it has been said, saying it again (with style) is necessary.

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Bottom line: people care more about who shared something than the authorship of a post online when determining the trustworthiness of the post.
Not terribly surprising, though the numbers are slightly stronger than I might have been willing to guess. But this isn't really new either. In college, I might have respected a certain professor and therefor more heavily weighted the material he brought to the class regardless of the initial source, especially in areas where I didn't have the expertise to judge the quality of sources.

Food for thought.

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I had to read this article about people not reading, twice.
Wow, even people who are paid to read and write, people who are paid to read and write about reading and writing... don't read anymore. Here's a sample paragraph out of this bizarro world:

Let's say you pick up a copy of "Jude the Obscure," become obsessed with Victorian fiction and somehow manage to make your way through all 200-odd books generally considered part of that canon. Moretti would say: So what? As many as 60,000 other novels were published in 19th-century England—to mention nothing of other times and places. You might know your George Eliot from your George Meredith, but you won't have learned anything meaningful about literature, because your sample size is absurdly small. Since no feasible amount of reading can fix that, what’s called for is a change not in scale but in strategy. To understand literature, Moretti argues, we must stop reading books.

Even Humanities professors have given up on the Humanities. My mouth hung open in surprise. This isn't about bad taste in books or how the digital age is ruining the younger generation's attention span, these are the professionals whose raison d'etre is the study of literature simply giving up on their profession.

via +Paul Heimann

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Cracks in credentialing?
So you want some badges, you pay for classes to get badges, the company giving out the badges goes under before you can get said badges...

The truth is, no one really cares if their TV manufacturer goes out of business tomorrow, or the guys who made your coffee tumbler. Sure you might have your favorite brand of kayak if you are into that sort of thing, or if you have a warranty with Kenmore you'd like them to be around to honor it, but education is a wee bit different.

Of course, it doesn't appear they were doing much of a job to begin with:

"Although a minority of learners, particularly those who have not participated in learning for a considerable time, improve their confidence initially, they do not achieve the vocational knowledge and employability skills necessary to enable them to advance their career aspirations," it said.


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I'll admit, this is not how I thought Turnitin would go down.
Turnitin is a temporary solution at best. In fact, automated plagiarism enforcement has always had a limited application. It's fine for catching essay-banks and thoughtless copycats, but the idea of tens of thousands of research papers a year in ENG101 all trying to be original in their treatment of To Kill a Mockingbird is absurd on its face.

Still, I forgot that there's always a market for doing something the easier way. So now we've got paraphrasing services. Good grief.

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I've got some friends over at CSUCI. They're good folks.
It's interesting that the banking metaphor came up because the idea that learning can be strictly measured is an accumulation of something like Bitcoin concerns me. To me, that's not what learning is about. It's not that I'm opposed to competency-based learning or other methodologies. I'm not opposed to doing assessments, but I think if we think learning is only that, I have a problem with that. I think many of us in higher education are really resistant to giving up the idea that while there's value in what you can assess, there's also value in things that are really hard to assess.

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