The Dark Side of the 21st Century:  
Concerns About Technologies in Education
The main navigation page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Meanwhile, from an infinity of online sources, heads are being filled with data, information, and images, from all manner of sources — responsible, sensible, loony, exploitative, and malevolent. Fencing off children from much of this stuff has become a major parental concern, as well as a hopeless task, given children’s zest for the forbidden and preternatural facility at the keyboard.
Dan Greenberg, "We've Got a Monster on the Loose: It's Called the Internet," Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/index.php?id=247

A Vision of Students Today (Video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o

Video:  The Worst Thing You Can Do in Life is Set Goals
Stephen Fry: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 18 --- Click Here  http://www.openculture.com/2010/05/stephen_fry_what_i_wish_i_had_known_when_i_was_18.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Table of Contents
ALN is defined as Asynchronous Learning Network(s) or Networking

Loss of Your Life's Work With One Software Upgrade

Digital Scholarship: If You Want Tenure, Do Double the Work

"A Virtual Revolution: Trends in the Expansion of Distance Education"

Brain Alterations Caused by the World Wide Web

The U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act Undermines Public Access and Sharing 
(Included Copyright Information and Dead Link Archives)

Also see Bob Jensen's threads on cheating and plagiarism
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

Stability's End: 
Technologies with goofy names like Twitter and Facebook are replacing political stability with a state of permanent instability

Sensory Overload Apart From Data Overload

Customer Base for eLearning?

Concerns About Social Networking, Blogging, and Twittering in Education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm 

Millions of Web Documents are Not Being Archived for Future Scholars

Are Universities Becoming EMOs (Educational Maintenance Organizations)?

Concerns About Academic Standards, School Ethics and Student Ethics 

Controversies in Regulation of Distance Education

Barriers to Distance Education 

How can colleges best mix on-campus and online delivery of instruction?

Concerns About Faculty Resistance to Change and Mutation  
Teachers Must Adapt to Changed Mindsets of Incoming Students Who Grew Up With Computers

Concerns About Faculty Workloads and Burnout 

Cheating and Reduced Social Interaction 

Legal Concerns 

Fraud Concerns

Email and Teaching Evaluations Place Heavy Burdens on Teachers

Student Concerns  

Is your distance site operating within the law in terms of access by disabled students? 
Schools must demonstrate progress toward compliance.

The Digital Divide is Real

Lots of Hype and Not Much Profit 

Institutions, Reward Structures, and Traditions That Defy Changes in Higher Education

Websites Failing Disabled and Handicapped Users 

Concerns About the Explosion of Online Education

Concerns About High Attrition Rates in Distance Education

Concerns About Residency Living & Learning on Campus

Concerns About Nudity, Pets, Babies, and Other Adventures in Synchronous Online Learning

Concerns About Impersonality and Becoming Irrevocably Orwellian

Concerns About Making ALN Learning Too Easy

Concerns About Making ALN Learning Too Hard

Concerns About Corporate Influences on Traditional Missions

Concerns About Library Services 

Concerns About Academic Standards, School Ethics and Student Ethics 

Concerns About Information Overload

Concerns About Faculty Efficiency and Burnout

Concerns About Misleading and Fraudulent Web Sites

Concerns About Video Game Addiction and CyberPsychology

Concerns About Computer Services and Network Reliability

Concerns About Faculty Resistance to Change

Concerns About Effectiveness of Learning Technologies in Large Classes

Other Concerns  

Students’ Distress with a Web-based Distance Education Course: An Ethnographic Study of Participants' Experiences

New Foes 

A Message from Peter Kenyon on November 18, 1999

The Force and the Darkside

The Sanford Report in the Stanford Report 

David Noble's Articles on Digital Diploma Mills

David Noble's Concerns for Students' Privacy Rights 

Update Messages on Trends in Corporate Education

Daring Professors

Growing Up is More Anxiety-Provoking/Stressful

Social Networking for Education:  The Beautiful and the Ugly
 (including Google's Wave and Orcut for Social Networking and some education uses of Twitter)
 Updates will be at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

PowerPoint and Other Teaching Helpers (with warnings) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#PowerPointHelpers

Generation Gaps, Collegial Apathy or Hostility, and Loneliness --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#DarkSide

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

The Downside of Electronic Commerce and Technology:  Psychological Implications --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#Psychology 

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment and learning games are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theTools.htm#Edutainment

The main navigation page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

Education Tutorials

Free Images from the U.S. Government --- http://rastervector.com/resources/free/free.html

Free Federal Resources in Various Disciplines --- http://www.free.ed.gov/

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

"U. of Manitoba Researchers Publish Open-Source Handbook on Educational Technology," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3671&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Technology is changing the way students learn. Is it changing the way colleges teach?

Not enough, says George Siemens, associate director of research and development at the University of Manitoba’s Learning Technologies Centre.

While colleges and universities have been “fairly aggressive” in adapting their curricula to the changing world, Mr. Siemens told The Chronicle, “What we haven’t done very well in the last few decades is altering our pedagogy.”

To help get colleges thinking about how they might adapt their teaching styles to the new ways students absorb and process information, Mr. Siemens and Peter Tittenberger, director of the center, have created a Web-based guide, called the Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning.

Taking their own advice, they have outfitted the handbook with a wiki function that will allow readers to contribute their own additions.

In the its introduction, the handbook declares the old pedagogical model—where the students draw their information primarily from textbooks, newspapers, and their professors—dead. “Our learning and information acquisition is a mash-up,” the authors write. “We take pieces, add pieces, dialogue, reframe, rethink, connect, and ultimately, we end up with some type of pattern that symbolizes what’s happening ‘out there’ and what it means to us.” Students are forced to develop new ways of making sense of this flood of information fragments.

But Mr. Siemens said that colleges had been slow to appreciate this fact. “I don’t see a lot of research coming out on what universities might look like in the future,” he said. “If how we interact with information and with each other fundamentally changes, it would suggest that the institution also needs to change.”

Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning ---
http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/wikis/etl/index.php/Handbook_of_Emerging_Technologies_for_Learning

Preface

This Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning (HETL) has been designed as a resource for educators planning to incorporate technologies in their teaching and learning activities.

Introduction

How is education to fulfill its societal role of clarifying confusion when tools of control over information creation and dissemination rest in the hands of learners[3], contributing to the growing complexity and confusion of information abundance?

Change Pressures and Trends

Global, political, social, technological, and educational change pressures are disrupting the traditional role (and possibly design) of universities. Higher education faces a "re-balancing" in response to growing points of tension along the following fault lines...

What we know about learning

Over the last century, educator’s understanding of the process and act of learning has advanced considerably.

Technology, Teaching, and Learning

Technology is concerned with "designing aids and tools to perfect the mind". As a means of extending the sometimes limited reach of humanity, technology has been prominent in communication and learning. Technology has also played a role in classrooms through the use of movies, recorded video lectures, and overhead projectors. Emerging technology use is growing in communication and in creating, sharing, and interacting around content.

Media and technology

A transition from epistemology (knowledge) to ontology (being) suggests media and technology need to be employed to serve in the development of learners capable of participating in complex environments.

Change cycles and future patterns

It is not uncommon for theorists and thinkers to declare some variation of the theme "change is the only constant". Surprisingly, in an era where change is prominent, change itself has not been developed as a field of study. Why do systems change? Why do entire societies move from one governing philosophy to another? How does change occur within universities?

New Learners? New Educators? New Skills?

New literacies (based on abundance of information and the significant changes brought about technology) are needed. Rather than conceiving literacy as a singular concept, a multi-literacy view is warranted.

Tools

Each tool possesses multiple affordances. Blogs, for example, can be used for personal reflection and interaction. Wikis are well suited for collaborative work and brainstorming. Social networks tools are effective for the formation of learning and social networks. Matching affordances of a particular tool with learning activities is an important design and teaching activity

Research

Evaluating the effectiveness of technology use in teaching and learning brings to mind Albert Einstein’s statement: "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted". When we begin to consider the impact and effectiveness of technology in the teaching and learning process, obvious questions arise: "How do we measure effectiveness? Is it time spent in a classroom? Is it a function of test scores? Is it about learning? Or understanding?"

Conclusion

Through a process of active experimentation, the academy’s role in society will emerge as a prominent sensemaking and knowledge expansion institution, reflecting of the needs of learners and society while maintaining its role as a transformative agent in pursuit of humanity’s highest ideals.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 

 

Bob Jensen's Other Documents

Starting Page

Education

Learning

Table of Contents


Loss of Your Life's Work With One Software Upgrade

Dell Sells 64-bit Windows 7 Computers But the Sales Division is Still Relying on 32-Bit Windows XP Computers
Maybe that tells us something about backwards compatibility problems of 64-bit Windows 7 computers

Bob Jensen's Codec Saga: How I Lost a Big Part of My Life's Work
Until My Friend Rick Lillie Solved My Problem
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

The full essay below is on the Web at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/VideoCodecProblems.htm

There are many newer 64-bit Windows 7 computers that will not playback videos compressed on computers such as my 32-bit Windows XP computer. Give your 64-bit computer a test. The most popular video I ever produced is my 133ex05a.wmv video that's still being downloaded by thousands of security analysts and auditors. Even before I purchased a new computer I was getting complaints that this video would not play on 64-bit Windows 7 computers.

Give your computer test by trying to playback the 133ex05a.wmv video at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5341/

Playback problems are also arising in videos created by millions of people other than me, especially Camtasia videos produced on 32-bit computers. The trouble is that Microsoft's set of codecs embedded in Windows 7 leaves out some important codecs in earlier versions of Windows.Many high level tech support groups still don't know how to solve this problem. For example, two days ago three Level 2 experts in the Dell Technical Support Division did not have a clue on how to solve the problem. Even though the video above would not run on my various video players such as Windows Media Player, VLC Player, Realtime, and Quicktime, Dell Level 2 technicians suggested I try three other players. None of these players corrected my problem.

Codec --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codec
Warning: There are many outfits on the Web that offer free or fee downloads of codecs. Don't trust any of them unless somebody you really trust informs you that these downloads are safe. Many of codec downloads carry malware malicious code that will put such things as Trojan horse viruses into your computer. One outfit even claims to playback virtually all videos without using a codec. I don't trust this company enough to even try its download. Quite a few people have downloaded the K-Lite Codec Pack, but my Sophos Security blocker would not allow this download. Friends who have the K-Lite does tell me that they still can't run many older videos in 64-bit machines that will run in 32-bit computers.

To make a long story short, a technical support expert named Ian at California State University in San Bernardino proposed a solution to the problem at the behest of my good friend and education technology expert Professor Rick Lillie.

On Thanksgiving Day Rick sent the following recommendation:

The problem is specifically an audio codec that did not come with Windows 7. Ian found a trustworthy place which provides that particular codec:
http://www.voiceage.com/acelp_eval_eula.php

Trinity University requires that I honor a relatively tough Cisco Systems security barrier called Sophos if I want to run my files on servers at Trinity. The VoiceAge download mentioned above not only passed through my Sophos barrier, unlike the K-Lite Codec Pack, the download took place in the blink of an eye.

Now old videos play wonderfully on my new 64-bit Windows 7 laptop from Dell. However, this is a limited solution in that users around the world who do not know about this solution or an equivalent solution will either not be able to run many old videos or they will be clogging my email box. I am asking that all of you inform your tech support group about this solution. I informed the Dell Support Group.

A better solution for my hundreds of videos still being served up on the Web would take weeks of my time. Windows 7 OS 64-bit computers will play my huge uncompressed avi files that I store in my barn. It is out of the question to serve up enormous avi files that can be compressed into files that save over 90% of of storage and transmission size. However, I did experiment with recompressing a couple of avi files on my 64-bit machine. These files will playback in wmv, rm, swf, and mov formats using only Windows 7 codecs. But at this stage of my life I don't want to spend weeks of my time solving a problem that Microsoft could solve with little cost or trouble.

Why compress raw avi videos into compressed wmv, mov, mpg, rm, scf, or some other compressed versions?

Continued in the full essay at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/VideoCodecProblems.htm



Digital Scholarship: If You Want Tenure, Do Double the Work

I think this applies to all academic disciplines!

"Digital Humanists: If You Want Tenure, Do Double the Work," by Sydni Dunn, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 5, 2014 ---
https://chroniclevitae.com/news/249-digital-humanists-if-you-want-tenure-do-double-the-work?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

As interactive databases and open-access online journals fill academic dossiers, one question continues to be discussed: What happens when the scholars who build them come up for tenure?

It’s clear that timeworn tenure incentives—those that reward monographs published by prestigious university presses, say, or a series of individually written journal articles—aren’t a good fit for digital work.

So scholarly groups and universities with an interest in digital humanities are stepping up efforts to establish alternatives. But consensus is still a long way off. At many institutions, enthusiasm about the trending field is outpacing progress in rethinking the evaluation process.

This leaves digital humanists in a difficult position: convinced that their scholarly work is worth doing but unclear on what it will get them, careerwise. Some scholars who do digital work have found so-called alt-ac, alternative academic, careers, working at universities but off the traditional tenure track. But for those who want to stay on that classic track, a digital-only portfolio is a gamble. To play it safe, they are putting in overtime to satisfy the traditional requirements of an evaluation process that hasn’t caught up to their digital work.

In fact, many digital humanists who have successfully navigated the promotion process agree that the most reliable way to impress a tenure committee is to mix traditional work with the technological.

“We want to push the boundaries, but it’s hard to disrupt the expectations,” says Matthew K. Gold, an associate professor of English and digital humanities at the City University of New York’s College of Technology and Graduate Center. “So, unfortunately, going this route of creating digital projects still requires twice as much work.”

First, some good news: Earning tenure and promotion for digital scholarship is no longer a left-field idea, says Victoria E. Szabo, an assistant research professor of art, art history, and visual studies and program director of information science and information studies at Duke University. A growing number of digital humanists are moving up in the academy.

At the annual convention of the Modern Language Association, this month in Chicago, Szabo, a member of the group’s Committee on Information Technology, assembled a panel that can attest to that. A discussion titled “Evaluating Digital Scholarship: Candidate Success Stories” was to convene Gold, Cheryl E. Ball, Kari M. Kraus, Adeline Koh, and Alex Gil—all scholars who have secured tenure or promotion on the basis, at least partially, of their digital scholarship.

The MLA, for its part, is trying to create more success stories. It has joined the American Historical Association and an array of academic commenters, like Geoffrey Rockwell and Bethany Nowviskie, in offering guidance on how to assess digital scholarship.

The recommendations advise making expectations clear to candidates; asking faculty members familiar with digital work to participate in the review; accepting the work in its original, electronic form and not only, for example, as printed screen shots; and staying informed about technological innovations that help people with disabilities to conduct research, among other principles.

But, as the advocates of digital work will tell you, those broad guidelines are not hard-and-fast rules.

“The pace of technological change makes it impossible for any one set of guidelines to account completely for the ways digital media and the digital humanities are influencing literacies, literatures, and the teaching of modern languages,” the MLA guidelines warn. “A general principle nonetheless holds: Institutions that recruit or review scholars working in digital media or digital humanities must give full regard to their work when evaluating them for reappointment, tenure, and promotion.”

Meanwhile, some universities trying to build out their digital-humanities programs, such as Emory University and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, are leading their own efforts to clearly define what’s at stake with tenure and promotion.

According to a policy adopted in November, Emory’s College Humanities Council will evaluate digital humanities by reviewing digital projects in their electronic forms, working with tenure candidates to understand the extent and nature of their projects, and ascertaining the relationship among the “form, design, and medium” of the projects.

“We’re at a very different place than we were in 2009,” says Brian Croxall, a digital-humanities strategist and lecturer of English at Emory.

When departments and professors have the same objectives, communicating about digital scholarship can seem pretty easy. Kari M. Kraus, an associate professor in the College of Information Studies and the department of English at the University of Maryland, is a case in point.

Kraus, who began in her tenure-track post in 2007 and was promoted in the spring of 2013, was not required—or even encouraged—to have a published book, she says. Although she listed both traditional and nontraditional scholarship in her dossier, she felt she was able to expand her scholarly repertoire “by not being tied to the book model.”

But Kraus, whose focus is new media, digital preservation, game studies, transmedia storytelling, and speculative design, may be an exception that proves the rule. Her tenure home was in Maryland’s information-studies school, so most of the readers deciding her academic future were familiar with digital work.

Her department’s tenure requirements also varied greatly from those of the English department, which expects more text-driven application materials, she says.

Kraus’s experience is a demonstration: It is up to individual university departments to decide how digital work should be weighed, and reward systems vary on the basis of the nature of the institution.

That remains true, Croxall says, even now that most academics are willing to understand and support digital work.

“For people in the digital humanities, it’s no longer a question of, ‘Will my institution count it?’” he says. “It can get counted. It just might involve a bit more work on your part than what you would like.”

Adeline Koh, an assistant professor of literature and director of digital humanities at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, began her tenure-track job in 2010 and received tenure and a promotion in 2013. (Her title will be upgraded for the next academic year.) For both tenure and promotion, she says, the experience was welcoming and supportive.

But it wasn’t all about her digital work, which includes projects like Trading Races, a historical role-playing game designed to teach race consciousness. The job description for her literature professorship didn’t include a digital-humanities component, she says, so she listed her projects as a supplement to her traditional publications and discussed them in her interview. The panel focused more on her printed material, she says, but her digital work was also recognized.

- See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/249-digital-humanists-if-you-want-tenure-do-double-the-work?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en#sthash.nH8SMvhF.dpuf
As interactive databases and open-access online journals fill academic dossiers, one question continues to be discussed: What happens when the scholars who build them come up for tenure?

It’s clear that timeworn tenure incentives—those that reward monographs published by prestigious university presses, say, or a series of individually written journal articles—aren’t a good fit for digital work.

So scholarly groups and universities with an interest in digital humanities are stepping up efforts to establish alternatives. But consensus is still a long way off. At many institutions, enthusiasm about the trending field is outpacing progress in rethinking the evaluation process.

This leaves digital humanists in a difficult position: convinced that their scholarly work is worth doing but unclear on what it will get them, careerwise. Some scholars who do digital work have found so-called alt-ac, alternative academic, careers, working at universities but off the traditional tenure track. But for those who want to stay on that classic track, a digital-only portfolio is a gamble. To play it safe, they are putting in overtime to satisfy the traditional requirements of an evaluation process that hasn’t caught up to their digital work.

In fact, many digital humanists who have successfully navigated the promotion process agree that the most reliable way to impress a tenure committee is to mix traditional work with the technological.

“We want to push the boundaries, but it’s hard to disrupt the expectations,” says Matthew K. Gold, an associate professor of English and digital humanities at the City University of New York’s College of Technology and Graduate Center. “So, unfortunately, going this route of creating digital projects still requires twice as much work.”

First, some good news: Earning tenure and promotion for digital scholarship is no longer a left-field idea, says Victoria E. Szabo, an assistant research professor of art, art history, and visual studies and program director of information science and information studies at Duke University. A growing number of digital humanists are moving up in the academy.

At the annual convention of the Modern Language Association, this month in Chicago, Szabo, a member of the group’s Committee on Information Technology, assembled a panel that can attest to that. A discussion titled “Evaluating Digital Scholarship: Candidate Success Stories” was to convene Gold, Cheryl E. Ball, Kari M. Kraus, Adeline Koh, and Alex Gil—all scholars who have secured tenure or promotion on the basis, at least partially, of their digital scholarship.

The MLA, for its part, is trying to create more success stories. It has joined the American Historical Association and an array of academic commenters, like Geoffrey Rockwell and Bethany Nowviskie, in offering guidance on how to assess digital scholarship.

The recommendations advise making expectations clear to candidates; asking faculty members familiar with digital work to participate in the review; accepting the work in its original, electronic form and not only, for example, as printed screen shots; and staying informed about technological innovations that help people with disabilities to conduct research, among other principles.

But, as the advocates of digital work will tell you, those broad guidelines are not hard-and-fast rules.

“The pace of technological change makes it impossible for any one set of guidelines to account completely for the ways digital media and the digital humanities are influencing literacies, literatures, and the teaching of modern languages,” the MLA guidelines warn. “A general principle nonetheless holds: Institutions that recruit or review scholars working in digital media or digital humanities must give full regard to their work when evaluating them for reappointment, tenure, and promotion.”

Meanwhile, some universities trying to build out their digital-humanities programs, such as Emory University and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, are leading their own efforts to clearly define what’s at stake with tenure and promotion.

According to a policy adopted in November, Emory’s College Humanities Council will evaluate digital humanities by reviewing digital projects in their electronic forms, working with tenure candidates to understand the extent and nature of their projects, and ascertaining the relationship among the “form, design, and medium” of the projects.

“We’re at a very different place than we were in 2009,” says Brian Croxall, a digital-humanities strategist and lecturer of English at Emory.

When departments and professors have the same objectives, communicating about digital scholarship can seem pretty easy. Kari M. Kraus, an associate professor in the College of Information Studies and the department of English at the University of Maryland, is a case in point.

Kraus, who began in her tenure-track post in 2007 and was promoted in the spring of 2013, was not required—or even encouraged—to have a published book, she says. Although she listed both traditional and nontraditional scholarship in her dossier, she felt she was able to expand her scholarly repertoire “by not being tied to the book model.”

But Kraus, whose focus is new media, digital preservation, game studies, transmedia storytelling, and speculative design, may be an exception that proves the rule. Her tenure home was in Maryland’s information-studies school, so most of the readers deciding her academic future were familiar with digital work.

Her department’s tenure requirements also varied greatly from those of the English department, which expects more text-driven application materials, she says.

Kraus’s experience is a demonstration: It is up to individual university departments to decide how digital work should be weighed, and reward systems vary on the basis of the nature of the institution.

That remains true, Croxall says, even now that most academics are willing to understand and support digital work.

“For people in the digital humanities, it’s no longer a question of, ‘Will my institution count it?’” he says. “It can get counted. It just might involve a bit more work on your part than what you would like.”

Adeline Koh, an assistant professor of literature and director of digital humanities at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, began her tenure-track job in 2010 and received tenure and a promotion in 2013. (Her title will be upgraded for the next academic year.) For both tenure and promotion, she says, the experience was welcoming and supportive.

But it wasn’t all about her digital work, which includes projects like Trading Races, a historical role-playing game designed to teach race consciousness. The job description for her literature professorship didn’t include a digital-humanities component, she says, so she listed her projects as a supplement to her traditional publications and discussed them in her interview. The panel focused more on her printed material, she says, but her digital work was also recognized.

- See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/249-digital-humanists-if-you-want-tenure-do-double-the-work?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en#sthash.nH8SMvhF.dpuf

As interactive databases and open-access online journals fill academic dossiers, one question continues to be discussed: What happens when the scholars who build them come up for tenure?

It’s clear that timeworn tenure incentives—those that reward monographs published by prestigious university presses, say, or a series of individually written journal articles—aren’t a good fit for digital work.

So scholarly groups and universities with an interest in digital humanities are stepping up efforts to establish alternatives. But consensus is still a long way off. At many institutions, enthusiasm about the trending field is outpacing progress in rethinking the evaluation process.

This leaves digital humanists in a difficult position: convinced that their scholarly work is worth doing but unclear on what it will get them, careerwise. Some scholars who do digital work have found so-called alt-ac, alternative academic, careers, working at universities but off the traditional tenure track. But for those who want to stay on that classic track, a digital-only portfolio is a gamble. To play it safe, they are putting in overtime to satisfy the traditional requirements of an evaluation process that hasn’t caught up to their digital work.

In fact, many digital humanists who have successfully navigated the promotion process agree that the most reliable way to impress a tenure committee is to mix traditional work with the technological.

“We want to push the boundaries, but it’s hard to disrupt the expectations,” says Matthew K. Gold, an associate professor of English and digital humanities at the City University of New York’s College of Technology and Graduate Center. “So, unfortunately, going this route of creating digital projects still requires twice as much work.”

First, some good news: Earning tenure and promotion for digital scholarship is no longer a left-field idea, says Victoria E. Szabo, an assistant research professor of art, art history, and visual studies and program director of information science and information studies at Duke University. A growing number of digital humanists are moving up in the academy.

At the annual convention of the Modern Language Association, this month in Chicago, Szabo, a member of the group’s Committee on Information Technology, assembled a panel that can attest to that. A discussion titled “Evaluating Digital Scholarship: Candidate Success Stories” was to convene Gold, Cheryl E. Ball, Kari M. Kraus, Adeline Koh, and Alex Gil—all scholars who have secured tenure or promotion on the basis, at least partially, of their digital scholarship.

The MLA, for its part, is trying to create more success stories. It has joined the American Historical Association and an array of academic commenters, like Geoffrey Rockwell and Bethany Nowviskie, in offering guidance on how to assess digital scholarship.

The recommendations advise making expectations clear to candidates; asking faculty members familiar with digital work to participate in the review; accepting the work in its original, electronic form and not only, for example, as printed screen shots; and staying informed about technological innovations that help people with disabilities to conduct research, among other principles.

But, as the advocates of digital work will tell you, those broad guidelines are not hard-and-fast rules.

“The pace of technological change makes it impossible for any one set of guidelines to account completely for the ways digital media and the digital humanities are influencing literacies, literatures, and the teaching of modern languages,” the MLA guidelines warn. “A general principle nonetheless holds: Institutions that recruit or review scholars working in digital media or digital humanities must give full regard to their work when evaluating them for reappointment, tenure, and promotion.”

Meanwhile, some universities trying to build out their digital-humanities programs, such as Emory University and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, are leading their own efforts to clearly define what’s at stake with tenure and promotion.

According to a policy adopted in November, Emory’s College Humanities Council will evaluate digital humanities by reviewing digital projects in their electronic forms, working with tenure candidates to understand the extent and nature of their projects, and ascertaining the relationship among the “form, design, and medium” of the projects.

“We’re at a very different place than we were in 2009,” says Brian Croxall, a digital-humanities strategist and lecturer of English at Emory.

When departments and professors have the same objectives, communicating about digital scholarship can seem pretty easy. Kari M. Kraus, an associate professor in the College of Information Studies and the department of English at the University of Maryland, is a case in point.

Kraus, who began in her tenure-track post in 2007 and was promoted in the spring of 2013, was not required—or even encouraged—to have a published book, she says. Although she listed both traditional and nontraditional scholarship in her dossier, she felt she was able to expand her scholarly repertoire “by not being tied to the book model.”

But Kraus, whose focus is new media, digital preservation, game studies, transmedia storytelling, and speculative design, may be an exception that proves the rule. Her tenure home was in Maryland’s information-studies school, so most of the readers deciding her academic future were familiar with digital work.

Her department’s tenure requirements also varied greatly from those of the English department, which expects more text-driven application materials, she says.

Kraus’s experience is a demonstration: It is up to individual university departments to decide how digital work should be weighed, and reward systems vary on the basis of the nature of the institution.

That remains true, Croxall says, even now that most academics are willing to understand and support digital work.

“For people in the digital humanities, it’s no longer a question of, ‘Will my institution count it?’” he says. “It can get counted. It just might involve a bit more work on your part than what you would like.”

Adeline Koh, an assistant professor of literature and director of digital humanities at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, began her tenure-track job in 2010 and received tenure and a promotion in 2013. (Her title will be upgraded for the next academic year.) For both tenure and promotion, she says, the experience was welcoming and supportive.

But it wasn’t all about her digital work, which includes projects like Trading Races, a historical role-playing game designed to teach race consciousness. The job description for her literature professorship didn’t include a digital-humanities component, she says, so she listed her projects as a supplement to her traditional publications and discussed them in her interview. The panel focused more on her printed material, she says, but her digital work was also recognized.

- See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/249-digital-humanists-if-you-want-tenure-do-double-the-work?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en#sthash.nH8SMvhF.dpuf

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark sides of digital scholarship ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

 

 



Note from Bob Jensen:  This article delves rather deeply into the pedagogies of online programs such as programs at the University of Phoenix and UNext's Cardian University.

"A Virtual Revolution:  Trends in the Expansion of Distance Education," by Thomas J. Kriger, USDLA Journal (a refereed journal of the United States Distance Learning Association," November 2001 --- http://www.usdla.org/ED_magazine/illuminactive/NOV01_Issue/article02.html 

This report describes four major trends leading the growth of distance education. The purpose is not to cover every provider but to draw a picture of the types of organizational structures and educational activities that are on the rise. These include:

Corporate-university joint ventures. those that provide course management systems such as Blackboard, Campus Pipeline, eCollege and Web CT, as well as those who package and distribute courses or content from existing institutions such as UNext.com, Cenquest, Fathom, Global Education Network, Quisic and Universitas 21;

What do we learn from these descriptions? First, we learn that the variety of new ways to organize DE and reach new students is enormous, as is the talent that can be brought to bear in making education attractive in the new medium. But we also find that the way distance education is being organized and conducted often poses serious questions.

Much of the distance education under study here, whether non-profit or for-profit, is built on corporate ideas about consumer focus, product standardization, tight personnel control and cost effectiveness (maximizing course taking while minimizing the "inputs" of faculty and development time). These concepts are contrary to the traditional model of higher education decision-making which emphasizes faculty independence in teaching and research, academic control of the curriculum, academic freedom in the classroom and collegial decision-making.

While traditional practices are not sacrosanct, academic decision making processes have been very successful in producing quality higher education the best in the world. Our concern is that some of the new trends and practices described in this report may inhibit rather than promote good education. A number of specific concerns arose:

It is appropriate, indeed essential, to present information for the DE marketplace in an attractive, computer-friendly fashion. But over-attention to drawing "customers" may result in technology driving the way teaching is conducted-leading, for example, to models centered around bite-size, "point and click" accumulations of facts rather than a more reflective, less easily measured search for knowledge.

In the year 2000, AFT published Distance Education: Guidelines for Good Practice. The guidelines lay out 14 specific standards which, if observed, ensure high quality distance education. (A synopsis of the guidelines appears in the report's conclusion.) The guidelines advance AFT's belief that broad academic content, high standards, personal interaction and professional control are the key elements of educational quality. College faculty must insist on sound practice based on a broad vision of education-one that recognizes education is about more than facts, more than competencies, more than career ambitions.

Education, among other things, is about broadening intellectual horizons, relying on facts and reason when confronting life issues and learning to listen to others and defend ideas by the force of argument. That is why education is the foundation of a working democracy. Because distance education is ubiquitous and offers so much promise, faculty are obligated to carry the banner for quality and good practice while recognizing that this will sometimes require challenging current trends and practices

Continued at  http://www.usdla.org/ED_magazine/illuminactive/NOV01_Issue/article02.html  

Bob Jensen's documents on distance education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 


Education could well see major changes to how it's able to deliver learning content to students with this week's ruling by a federal court on the Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Order.

"Will Net Neutrality Ruling Doom Education to Second-Class Status?" by Dian Schaffhauser. T.H.E. Journal, January 16, 2014 ---
http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/01/16/net-neutrality-ruling-impact-on-education.aspx 

The ruling this week by a federal court on the Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Order may turn out to be, as one commenter called it, "a terrible idea," or, as another observer put it, a source of "a lot of overheated rhetoric." Education, for its part, could well see major changes to how it's able to deliver learning content to students online while at the same time positioning itself to become a major alternative supplier of broadband in this country.

Net neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, no matter who's providing it, where it's coming from, what it consists of, what devices it touches, or who it's going to. A YouTube video from Khan Academy, for example, should receive the same treatment by an Internet service provider (ISP) as a movie from Netflix or a commercial from Procter & Gamble.

Verizon, one of the largest ISPs in the United States, took on the Federal Communications Commission to call into question the idea that Internet service is a utility that needs close regulation, akin to electricity or the telephone. The seeds of the case were planted 12 years ago when the FCC declared that Internet service shouldn't be subject to the same rules as those other kinds of services. As Time magazine laid it out in a recent article, "The FCC made the fateful decision to classify broadband as an 'information service' not a 'telecommunications service,' which would have allowed the agency to impose 'common carrier' regulations prohibiting discrimination by the broadband companies."

In 2010, the FCC turned around and established "Open Internet Rules," which, as Time explained, "boils down to three rules": 1) ISPs need to be transparent about how they manage network congestion; 2) they can't block traffic on wired networks, no matter what the source; and 3) they can't put competing services into an "Internet 'slow lane" to benefit their own offerings. It's those last two rules that crumbled this week in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

In a statement Verizon noted that the ruling confirms FCC's jurisdiction over broadband access and maintains the transparency requirements. But now, the company added, "The court's decision will allow more room for innovation, and consumers will have more choices to determine for themselves how they access and experience the Internet."


Read more at
http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/01/16/net-neutrality-ruling-impact-on-education.aspx#5I7VlHOgosMA8CB2.99

The ruling this week by a federal court on the Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Order may turn out to be, as one commenter called it, "a terrible idea," or, as another observer put it, a source of "a lot of overheated rhetoric." Education, for its part, could well see major changes to how it's able to deliver learning content to students online while at the same time positioning itself to become a major alternative supplier of broadband in this country.

Net neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, no matter who's providing it, where it's coming from, what it consists of, what devices it touches, or who it's going to. A YouTube video from Khan Academy, for example, should receive the same treatment by an Internet service provider (ISP) as a movie from Netflix or a commercial from Procter & Gamble.

Verizon, one of the largest ISPs in the United States, took on the Federal Communications Commission to call into question the idea that Internet service is a utility that needs close regulation, akin to electricity or the telephone. The seeds of the case were planted 12 years ago when the FCC declared that Internet service shouldn't be subject to the same rules as those other kinds of services. As Time magazine laid it out in a recent article, "The FCC made the fateful decision to classify broadband as an 'information service' not a 'telecommunications service,' which would have allowed the agency to impose 'common carrier' regulations prohibiting discrimination by the broadband companies."

In 2010, the FCC turned around and established "Open Internet Rules," which, as Time explained, "boils down to three rules": 1) ISPs need to be transparent about how they manage network congestion; 2) they can't block traffic on wired networks, no matter what the source; and 3) they can't put competing services into an "Internet 'slow lane" to benefit their own offerings. It's those last two rules that crumbled this week in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

In a statement Verizon noted that the ruling confirms FCC's jurisdiction over broadband access and maintains the transparency requirements. But now, the company added, "The court's decision will allow more room for innovation, and consumers will have more choices to determine for themselves how they access and experience the Internet."

Continued in article


"An Architect and Scholar Weighs the Value of the Physical Campus," by Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Why-We-Need-the-Physical/133041/?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Jensen Comment
I don't think it comes as a surprise to parents and anybody connected with higher education that a whole lot is gained by having students, especially students recently graduated from high school, learn and live on campus while enrolled as full-time students. Parents like this cushion between having their children live at home and live on the mean streets. Young students, especially male students, are still immature for their age when they graduate from high school. Many are not yet prepared for living and learning completely on their own. And then there's the on-campus social and sexual interactions. How many marriages emerge from campus living versus living in the virtual world of education?

And I still think students learn as much or more from each other as they learn from their instructors. This is possible in online communications, but online interactions are somewhat more formalized by taking a class together. Online campus interactions are more serendipitous in dorm lounges, libraries, student commons, dining halls, sports events, sports team participation, music group participation, chapel participation, etc.

Having said this there can also be some advantages gained from online learning such as in an online tax accounting course at the University of Connecticut where students in the course are mostly full time professionals, many working for insurance companies, who share their career experiences with other students. This is less likely to happen in onsite courses where students tend to be not working full time as professionals and are often not as street smart as the older online working stiffs.

The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns About Technologies in Education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Are Universities Becoming EMOs (Educational Maintenance Organizations)? ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#EMOs


"Udacity Update:  A firsthand look at what it’s been like to take “Computer Science 101″ through the Internet higher-ed start-up," by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2012/03/21/udacity-update/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

It’s been a couple of weeks since my first post about the Udacity CS101 course, so here’s an update. Before that, let me mention this nice article in Wired about Udacity and its origins. That article sheds a little light on the questions I had earlier about Udacity’s business model.

So, Units 3 and 4 are now done with the CS101 course. The focus of Unit 3 was mostly on the concept of the list in Python, along with FOR loops and an emphasis on computer memory. Unit 4 was a bit of a left turn into a discussion of computer networks, with an emphasis on the basics of the Internet and the concepts of latency and bandwidth. So, just from this description, you can see one of the things I particularly like about CS101: It’s not just about Python. This is a class that is actually about computer science in general with Python as a tool for understanding it. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I find it easy to stick with CS101 when I’ve always ended up dropping previous attempts to learn Python. Context is a really good motivator. (The current Unit 5 is continuing this holistic trend by delving into algorithm analysis, which happens to be the same thing I’m teaching in my Discrete Structures class now.)

Unit 3 was rough. There were over 40 videos to watch, and two of the homework assignments that had to do with refining the fledgling web crawler program we are writing were just completely over my head. I also realized that I fall into the same trap as my students do: I procrastinate rather than budget my time. What I should have done was sit down for the first two evenings after the unit was released and plow through 20 videos at a time, then spend the remaining 5 days working on 1-2 homework problems a night. What I did was wait until 3 days before the homework was due to start on the videos. The good news is that I got 100% on all the homework I submitted. The bad news is that I only attempts 3/4 of the problems. So it was rough primarily because it reminds me that I’m just like any other student in terms of my tendency not to use time wisely. I’m hoping that can be converted into something positive.

Unit 4 was better. It was shorter, for one thing, and the material was new and interesting for me. “Learn more about computer networks” has been on my Someday/Maybe list for I don’t know how long, and I have finally actually learned more about them. The discussion of data structures was useful too, because I’m learning Python partially to write some software to help study columnar transposition ciphers, and the question of what’s the right data structure in Python to represent permutations of finite sets has come up with me before. As I mentioned before, having a specific project in mind when you learn something is a powerful way to stay engaged when learning it.

I’m slowly starting not to suck as a programmer, I think. I’m still a newbie, and my Discrete Structures students would probably crack up laughing at my attempts at coding. But when we had to write a program in Unit 3 to check the validity of a Sudoku problem — a “three gold star” problem, meaning extra-high difficulty level — and I managed to put together a procedure that works and does so in a nice, clean, organized way, I began to feel that this whole Udacity idea is actually working.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm



University Teachers: Know Your Copy Rights!

From the University of Illinois Blog Issues in Scholarly Communications on February 12, 2007 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

 

The American Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has recently produced a 6-page pamphlet about the rights teachers and teaching assistants have to share with their classes the intellectual property produced by others. Know Your Copy Rights: What You Can Do provides tips and guidelines for when articles, video, music, images, and other intellectual property can be shared with students under the banner of "fair use".

Among the topics covered in the brochure are: fair use, the advantages of linking to instead of copying works, and special provisions for displaying or performing works in classes. It also includes a handy one-page chart that highlights 24 situations when various categories of works can be used.

The pamphlet is free to download.

 


This UCLA court challenge could have very wide-reaching implications for the Fair Use safe harbor of the DMCA.
It will, however, not affect the many UCLA lecture videos available to the public on YouTube.

I'm really surprised that we've not had more challenges like this before now.
The Fair Use safe harbor does not equate to permission to use copyrighted materials for free after they are "readily available" for a fee.
It does apply to relatively short periods of time before such materials are "readily available" such as the day after a PBS broadcast.
But when that PBS or other video can be easily purchased, it no longer falls under Fair Use.
The huge gray zone concerns what copyrighted material that students must purchase individually as opposed to using the college's purchased copy.
The DMCA law is one huge mess in the gray zones.
Before you read this tidbit you may want to scan my threads on Fair Use ambiguities and the dark side of the DMCA at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright

"UCLA Pulls Videos From Course Sites After Copyright Challenge," by Jill Laster, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 2, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/UCLA-Pulls-Videos-From-Course/21013/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

The University of California at Los Angeles has stopped posting copyrighted videos on course Web sites after complaints from an educational-media trade group, leaving other colleges worried about repercussions.

The Association for Information and Media Equipment contacted the university in the fall, alleging that it had violated copyright laws by letting instructors use the videos, which were accessible only to students then enrolled in specific courses. The university temporarily stopped using online videos beginning this semester and is negotiating with the trade group.

Current copyright laws allow "fair use" exceptions for teaching and research, and one specific exception in copyright law lets instructors use legally made audiovisual material in face-to-face teaching activities. The university argues that posting the material to password-protected sites falls under these exceptions and that technology is "a critical component of our instructional mission here and at a lot of other universities," according to a spokesman, Phil Hampton.

But Allen Dohra, president of AIME, said posting those videos isn't protected and hurts the people who produce them. Mr. Dohra said his organization had three other institutions it needed to look into, although he declined to give their names.

"Every time there is a format change, the film producer has to make large capital expenditures to bring his collection up to date," Mr. Dohra said. "The customers want our product, enough of them prove that by stealing it, but they seem to have a problem with the companies recovering those capital expenditures. That is exactly the case in the UCLA matter."

The university could also cite the Teach Act, which allows limited use of copyrighted materials for online education, said Steven J. McDonald, general counsel for the Rhode Island School of Design. Mr. McDonald said that although the act constricts how much of a video can be posted, institutions could argue that using 100 percent of the video is necessary for the course. Mr. Dohra disputes the applicability of the Teach Act, in part because UCLA used some full-length films.

Steven L. Worona, director of policy and networking programs at Educause, said the higher-education-technology organization had already fielded calls from universities concerned by the UCLA case. He said institutions should wait to see what happens at UCLA before they take any action.

Mr. Worona said that posting class materials online was fairly common in higher education and that stopping institutions from posting online without paying more money could have broad implications.

"If it becomes a requirement nationwide for streaming media to be limited to face-to-face synchronous presentation, it will be more expensive for campuses, more expensive for students, and lose many of the benefits that digital networking offers to classroom instruction," he said.

Patricia Aufderheide, director of American University's Center for Social Media, disagrees with what she says is UCLA's decision to negotiate instead of fight, but understands why the institution did that. Universities have not joined together to find a way to deal with similar claims from media companies, she said.

Ms. Aufderheide, a professor of film and media studies who uses film clips for all of her classes, worries about challenges to universities' ability to post videos.

"I think this is something that really sends chills down your spine as a teacher," she said.

Instructors at UCLA are finding alternatives to using copyrighted videos online, said Robin L. Garrell, a chemistry professor and chair of the Academic Senate there. Some tell students to use Netflix or Amazon for movies, and others have modified their curricula based on what material is easily available.

Ms. Garrell and Patricia O'Donnell, manager of the university's Instructional Media Collection and Services, declined to give their opinions on the case. But Ms. O'Donnell did say that the discussion about posting videos has been beneficial.

"I think it's definitely on everyone's mind," Ms. O'Donnell said. "I think the challenge [by AIME] has just sort of brought it to the forefront."

Mr. Dohra said he felt that his group had been accused of bullying the university, and that a number of professors and librarians had been unfairly critical in online comments.

"The copyright laws were attacked as antiquated, and AIME was castigated for standing up for its members' rights," Mr. Dohra said. "I find it all strange, especially coming from those who should consider intellectual-property rights the most sacred of rights."

 

Jensen Comment
The bad news is that most faculty members in the U.S. are probably relying on Fair Use safe harbors that are really not safe.

The good news is that tradition generally entails first receiving a warning to "cease and desist" from the copyright holder.
Then if faculty comply with the "cease and desist" request there usually is no lawsuit or monetary damages except in unusual circumstances where the copyright holder claims to have incurred enormous damages for a first-time violation such as pirating and widely distributing a video to the public in general. The fact that UCLA password protected the videos in question greatly reduces the damages to the copyright owner.

So breathe easier if you've not yet received a "cease and desist" order, although this does not resolve the ethical issues for faculty who suspect they are not in compliance with the Fair Use law. In this case ignorance is bliss.

Another ethical issue is where a faculty member requests students to view a YouTube or other online video that is itself suspect even if it's on YouTube. For example, it's perfectly all right to assign a clip from CBS Sixty Minutes if it is served up on the Sixty Minutes Web site. However, after it is no longer free from CBS it probably is a violation if you assign the same clip still being served up on YouTube. Personally, however, I would probably still assign the clip as long as it's still on YouTube. I'm not particularly upset by using anything in the public domain. But just because Bob Jensen is not concerned does not make it perfectly all right!

Only one time did I get a complaint that I served up, on a Website, a quotation that was too long under Fair Use guidelines. I removed the entire tidbit. Afterwards the copyright owner asked me to reinstate the tidbit. Another time a student at the University of Oklahoma complained that I made an AAA teaching note available for an IAE Case. That was a total oversight mistake on my part when I had lumped a bunch of my files I make available to my FAS 133 audiences. I quickly removed the teaching note that truly should never have been served to the public by me. I featured this AAA PDF file to point out errors in the teaching note, but I really only intended to share it with my live audiences. It should never have been made available to the world, although I'm totally amazed that the OU student even found it since I never once made the URL available to the public. To me this shows the amazing power of Web crawlers like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You can't hide anything on the Web.

Update
 

"Judge Throws Out Copyright Lawsuit Over UCLA's Streaming of Videos to Students," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, Noivember 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Judge-Throws-Out-Lawsuit-Over/135932/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A federal judge in California has for the second time thrown out a lawsuit that accused the University of California at Los Angeles of violating copyright law by streaming videos online.

Judge Consuelo B. Marshall of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles had previously dismissed the lawsuit in October 2011, but she allowed the plaintiffs, Ambrose Video Publishing Inc. and the Association for Information Media and Equipment, a trade group, to file a second amended complaint. In a ruling issued last Tuesday, she rejected the second amended complaint.

The plaintiffs contended that UCLA had acted illegally in copying DVD's of Shakespeare plays acquired from Ambrose and streaming them online for faculty and students to use in courses. UCLA argued that streaming the videos was permissible under the fair-use principle, which can allow reproductions for teaching, and the Teach Act, which allows limited use of copyrighted materials for online education.

In her ruling, Judge Marshall said the plaintiffs had failed to provide adequate support for their infringement claim. The ruling hinges largely on findings that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that the defendants had sovereign or qualified immunity. But in a section of the ruling, Judge Marshall also considered four factors relating to the fair-use arguments.

One of those factors weighed in favor of not finding fair use, she wrote, "because the entire works were streamed, not just portions." But, on balance, she wrote, "the court concludes that there is, at a minimum, ambiguity as to whether defendants' streaming constitutes fair use." She added: "Notably, no court has considered whether streaming videos only to students enrolled in a class constitutes fair use, which reinforces the ambiguity of the law in this area."

A lawyer for the defendants, who include the Regents of the University of California and several individuals, said the ruling was "a complete victory."

The lawyer, R. James Slaughter of Keker & Van Nest LLP, told the news service Law360 that the ruling "confirms what UCLA has long believed: that streaming previously purchased video content over its intranet for educational purposes is not a copyright violation or a violation of any contract."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs were not immediately available for comment.

The case is Association for Information Media and Equipment et al. v. Regents of the University of California et al. (No. 2:10-cv-09378-CBM), in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright

 


"Fair-Use Guide Seeks to Solve Librarians’ VHS-Cassette Problem," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/fair-use-guide-hopes-to-solve-librarians-vhs-cassette-problem/35151?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The Association of Research Libraries might have a solution to what some librarians call “the VHS-cassette problem.”

Here’s the scenario: An academic library has a collection of video tapes that is slowly deteriorating, thanks to the fragile nature of analog media. A librarian would like to digitize the collection for future use, but avoids making the copies out of fear that doing so would violate copyright law. And the institution’s attorneys have advised the librarian that the fair-use principle, which might offer a way to make copies legally, is too flexible to rely on.

When the Association of Research Libraries and a team of fair-use advocates surveyed librarians to find out how they navigate copyright issues, many of them described that exact conundrum. But they may soon have a way out. Tomorrow the group will announce a code of best practices designed to outline ways academic librarians can take advantage of their fair-use rights to navigate common copyright issues.

The new code is one of a series published with the help of Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, a pair of American University scholars known for pushing back against the restrictions of copyright law. The duo has helped several professional communities develop similar codes. Brandon Butler, director of public-policy initiatives at the Association of Research Libraries, said this guide is different than early fair-use guidelines for libraries, which he described as narrowly crafted “safe harbors” that had the unintended effect of making it more difficult for librarians to do their jobs. Mr. Butler said this version gives librarians a collective voice that they haven’t enjoyed in the past.

“It’s not meant to be a legal memo handed down from on high telling librarians, We the lawyers have told you here are your rights,” he said. “It’s meant actually to be exactly the opposite of that. It’s meant to be a brief from the librarians to the lawyers saying, We know a little bit about fair use too, and here’s what we think are our rights.”

The team assembled the code during nearly 40 hours of group discussions with research librarians, Mr. Butler said. It identifies eight common library practices to which the fair-use principle can be applied, like making special-collections items available electronically and creating digital versions of library materials for patrons with disabilities. Each principle includes a set of limitations and enhancements that further specify how a fair-use claim can be made. A consensus about the eight items did not emerge immediately, Mr. Butler said, especially when some of the principles discussed material posted on the Web.

“There’s a kind of feeling that if you do something on the Internet, that’s especially dangerous,” he said. “We’ve been doing physical exhibits for time immemorial, but once it’s on the Internet, anyone in the world can see it and maybe they could even copy it. And that creates a special heartburn.”

Eventually, the groups realized that self-censoring their online activities would be contrary to their mission as librarians.

“Should we really be limiting what we do out of this kind of generic fear of the Internet?” Mr. Butler asked. “Or can we think this through and find a way to make it fair use if we do it right?”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright


Online Pedagogy at the University of Phoenix

Phoenix faculty work in a highly structured environment. Course facilitators in traditional classes are forbidden to lecture. Faculty are, instead, expected to closely follow Phoenix's "teaching/ learning model," which begins with course syllabi and detailed teaching modules developed by fulltime faculty on the main campus. In this way, faculty responsibilities are broken down into a series of discrete steps, such as when course development is detached from teaching. Phoenix course modules "include guidelines for weekly assignments, group activities and grading."  Some course modules contain classroom time-management guidelines broken down into 15-minute intervals.

Phoenix defends its practice of using these restrictive guidelines in the name of standardization. The university's online catalog declares: "The standardized curriculum for each degree program provides students with specified levels of knowledge and skills regardless of the delivery method or classroom location."

Critics argue, however, that Phoenix's course modules violate academic freedom because they don't allow faculty members sufficient discretion. Milton R. Blood, managing director of the American Assembly of the Collegiate Schools of Business, has characterized Phoenix's standardized curriculum as "McEducation." He explained, "It's a redefinition of how we go about delivering higher education. The question is whether it's really higher education when it's delivered in a franchised way."

Thomas J. Kriger, quoted from the article cited above.


Dark side questions about distance education from the Kriger article cited above.

Evaluation of Distance Coursework Should Be Undertaken at all Levels:

Questions about DE trends and practices

1. The marketplace and the curriculum: Most of the models outlined in this report emphasize meeting immediate market demands for coursework as well as treating students primarily as "customers." It is entirely appropriate to consider student and industry preferences in designing curricula, particularly in the corporate training arena. However, we believe that the pre-eminent perspective should be that of academic professionals rather than the marketplace. One concern is that the pure "student as consumer" model rests on the questionable assumption that student-consumers know what they want when they begin an educational program and can confidently decide what courses will lead to the desired educational "product." Another concern is that broad-based liberal arts coursework, as well as high academic standards, could take a back seat if market models become dominant.

2. Technological capabilities and the curriculum: In one of the stories cited earlier, a distance education advocate explained that professors will have to curb their lectures in order to fit their ideas into a 256-character dialogue box. This raises serious questions. Technological capabilities and limitations should not be the primary factor driving the curriculum and research required of distance education students, rather than the rich interplay among research, curriculum and good pedagogy.

3. Faculty decision-making: To ensure that academic decisions are made for academic reasons, a key characteristic of quality in distance education is ensuring that faculty are in control of shaping and approving courses and integrating them into a coherent curriculum. This is the number one item in AFT's Guidelines for Good Practice. Another basic precept is academic freedom; an individual faculty member should have the authority to determine how the class will be taught.

We are concerned, however, that many of the programs described above appear to keep authority to develop course content confined to a very narrow circle. Some models directly challenge the idea of academic freedom in the classroom. For example, at

the University of Phoenix, we saw that course "facilitators" (they are not called teachers) not only are forbidden to lecture, but also must follow detailed teaching modules.

4. Disaggregation: Many of the institutions reviewed here are moving to a model of curriculum development and teaching that "unbundles" the many roles of the faculty member. A process that has traditionally been maintained from start to finish by the individual faculty member is being parted into specializations-curriculum developers, content deliverers, assessment specialists, etc. This can be seen most starkly in movements such as "The National Learning Infrastructure Initiative" (NLII) created in 1994 by Educom (now Educause), a coalition of technology corporations, public and private colleges and universities and higher education organizations.

Specifically, the NLII would increase student access through the construction of a broadband network modeled on the Internet. The program would be characterized by self-paced study instead of academic calendars, fixed class meetings or a traditional curriculum. Students would pursue their studies via new instructional software that breaks down complex subjects into individual components or modules.

In 1996, Educom released a report on "The Virtual University," which envisions the resulting new role for faculty and the benefits for the institution.

[In the virtual university], the many roles previously combined in a single faculty member are now disaggregated. Faculty may specialize as developers of courses and courseware wherein they move from being content experts to being a combination of content expert, learning-process design expert, and process-implementation manager; as presenters of that material; as expert assessors of learning and competencies; as advisors; or as specialists in other evolving roles.[43]

In this view, one of the main advantages of the NLII is that it would "reduce faculty intervention, thereby containing costs."[44] As Massy and Zemsky explain:

Workstations don't get tenure, and delegations are less likely to wait on the provost when particular equipment items are "laid off." The "retraining" of IT equipment (for example, reprogramming), while not inexpensive, is easier and more predictable than training a tenured professor .[45]

As our report indicates, many providers in all four categories have embraced this vision to differing extents, but the AFT believes this is not the best route to quality. Quoting directly from the AFT Guidelines. A number of studies have demonstrated the importance to student learning of establishing a feedback loop between classroom teaching, curriculum development and scholarly research. That loop becomes inoperative when teaching faculty operate from workbooks based on a prefabricated curriculum that the faculty member has little role in developing, a curriculum that was not shaped directly by the practitioner's experience in teaching these classes or conducting research on these subjects. Students deserve teachers who know all the nuances of what they are teaching and who can exercise professional judgment and academic freedom in doing so.

5. Course standardization: Many of the providers outlined above are attracted to the idea of creating consistent and transferable courses by utilizing course management software and course development specialists. The idea is that an institution or set of institutions can make all of their courses have the same look and feel, and that courses can and should be designed for longevity and transferability. If course management software such as Web CT or Blackboard simply provide faculty with greater technical support and facilitate the faculty member's pedagogy, then they will be powerful teaching aids. But standardization in programming and teaching is the wrong way to go; academic good practice requires a faculty with differing points of view and presentation styles, freewheeling discussion and academic freedom.

6. Class Size: AFT's distance education practitioners report that good DE generally requires more teacher preparation time than a traditional class as well as more time devoted to interacting with students (through e-mail, chat rooms, etc.) Therefore, it is important to maintain a workable class size. The concern, however, is that commercially minded DE will expand class sizes too greatly in order to maximize enrollments. The move on the part of some providers to concentrate on offering high-enrollment introductory courses (such as introductory psychology) is of particular concern because DE practitioners tell us the students best suited to succeed in a distance education environment are not the newcomers but those who are more mature, better prepared and able to work independently.

Increasing class size is an integral part of the Pew grants at Rio Salado College cited earlier. Introductory algebra, which had the third highest enrollment of the top 25 courses in the district, was selected for redesign. Course content was delivered via interactive software. The restructuring increased the student/faculty ratio from 35 to 100 students per instructor, although each faculty member was assigned teaching assistants to help with technology questions, and students had access to a help desk.[46] AFT's Guidelines recommend that class size be established through normal faculty channels, with a view to maintaining a high level of interactivity. "Given the time commitment involved in teaching through distance education," say the Guidelines, "smaller class size should be considered, particularly at the inception of a new course."

7. "Outcomes" and Class Time: Some providers cited in the previous chapter shift more of the educational assessment to "outcomes." The Western Governors University emphasis on "proficiencies" is the most extreme version of this shift. A greater emphasis on outcomes may be warranted, but a critical question remains: Will an exclusive focus on measurable outputs shortchange the importance of process and interactivity in higher education?

Distance education advocates often deride what they call "seat time"-the practice of requiring students to be together and work together for periods of time before passing their courses. Under their theory, if a student can demonstrate "competencies," it should not matter how much time is spent achieving these competencies. The AFT, however, believes that deep knowledge of a subject is not simply a matter of passing a competency test. It does in fact require time-time in the same room or in cyberspace-with teachers and other students chewing over ideas, hearing contrary points of view and defending conclusions. There is reason for concern if time on task comes to be viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity in DE on the corporate model.

8. Same-time, same-place interaction: There is no denying that rich interaction can take place in distance education classes, but we believe it is equally untenable to argue that same-time, sameplace interaction has no legitimate role in an undergraduate education. We believe distance education should utilize every available opportunity to bring students and faculty together at some time during an academic program. Our concern is that providing such opportunities does not appear to be a consideration for most of the providers we have stud-

led. It is particularly troubling to have no sametime, same-place interchange through an entire undergraduate program. AFT faculty who teach by distance education have reported to the union that they believe same-time, same-place interaction should be part of any undergraduate program. In fact, more than 70 percent say that no more than half of a full undergraduate program should be delivered via distance education.

In conclusion, it is proper, even necessary, for higher education faculty to make distance education work, but that may often mean contradicting current DE practice to affirm academic values. Faculty must mobilize behind the principle that democratic governance rather than top-down management produces better, more credible education. Faculty must ensure that college degrees are awarded in the context of a coordinated curriculum with broad-based content. Faculty must see to it that students have the equipment, training and support to succeed in the distance education environment and that they have appropriate academic counseling. Faculty must make the case that time does matter-that education is not simply a matter of passing a competency test but, whether in the same room or far apart, being with other teachers and students chewing over ideas, hearing contrary points of view and defending conclusions. Faculty must assert and find ways to implement the notion that same-time, same-place interchange is an important part of a college education. Faculty must always affirm the importance of free exchange of ideas.

In short, faculty must insist on sound practice based on a broad vision of education-one that recognizes education is about more than facts, more than competencies, more than career ambitions the things that can be easily "sold." Education is about broadening one's intellectual horizons, learning to rely on facts and reason rather than on prejudices when confronting life issues. It is about learning to listen to others and defend ideas by the force of argument. It is about learning respect and acquiring open mindedness, and as such, education is the foundation of a working democracy.

Distance education can make an important contribution toward achieving these goals if it is organized around practices such as those in AFT's Distance Education: Guidelines for Good Practice. However, no one should imagine that implementing these guidelines will be easy in a world where the promise of big dollars and big enrollments constantly beckons. AFT and its members, other organizations representing the faculty and, of course, individual faculty members themselves, will have to be prepared to take up.


Elite Research University Online Degrees?
"Somebody is going to figure out how to deliver online education for credit and for degrees in the quality sector—i.e., in the elite sector," said Christopher Edley Jr., dean at Berkeley's law school and the plan's most prominent advocate. "I think it ought to be us—not MIT, not Columbia, not Caltech, certainly not Stanford."
Jensen Comment
Actually Stanford introduced one of the highest quality Master of Engineering online programs in history, the ADEPT Program --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm
Search for the word ADEPT at the above site. The ADEPT video approach, however is only suited to highly talented and highly motivated students. I doubt that the ADEPT program is suited for online students in general.

 

"U. of California (Berkeley) Considers Online Classes, or Even Degrees:  Proposal for virtual courses challenges beliefs about what an elite university is—and isn't," by Josh Keller and Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 9, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/In-Crisis-U-of-California/65445/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Online education is booming, but not at elite universities—at least not when it comes to courses for credit.

Leaders at the University of California want to break that mold. This fall they hope to put $5-million to $6-million into a pilot project that could clear the way for the system to offer online undergraduate degrees and push distance learning further into the mainstream.

The vision is UC's most ambitious—and controversial—effort to reshape itself after cuts in public financial support have left the esteemed system in crisis.

Supporters of the plan believe online degrees will make money, expand the number of California students who can enroll, and re-establish the system's reputation as an innovator.

"Somebody is going to figure out how to deliver online education for credit and for degrees in the quality sector—i.e., in the elite sector," said Christopher Edley Jr., dean at Berkeley's law school and the plan's most prominent advocate. "I think it ought to be us—not MIT, not Columbia, not Caltech, certainly not Stanford."

But UC's ambitions face a series of obstacles. The system has been slow to adopt online instruction despite its deep connections to Silicon Valley. Professors hold unusually tight control over the curriculum, and many consider online education a poor substitute for direct classroom contact. As a result, courses could take years to gain approval.

The University of California's decision to begin its effort with a pilot research project has also raised eyebrows. The goal is to determine whether online courses can be delivered at selective-research-university standards.

Yet plenty of universities have offered online options for years, and more than 4.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall-2008 term, notes A. Frank Mayadas, a senior adviser at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation who is considered one of the fathers of online learning.

"It's like doing experiments to see if the car is really better than the horse in 1925, when everyone else is out there driving cars," he said.

If the project stumbles, it could dilute UC's brand and worsen already testy relations between professors and the system's president, Mark G. Yudof.

As the system studies whether it can offer quality classes online, the bigger question might be this: Is California's flagship university system innovative enough to pull online off?

Going Big The proposal comes at a key moment for the University of California system, which is in the midst of a wrenching internal discussion about how best to adapt to reduced state support over the long term. Measures to weather its immediate financial crisis, such as reduced enrollment, furloughs for staff and faculty members, and sharply rising tuition, are seen as either temporary or unsustainable.

Administrators hope the online plan will ultimately expand revenue and access for students at the same time. But the plan starts with a relatively modest experiment that aims to create online versions of roughly 25 high-demand lower-level "gateway courses." A preliminary list includes such staples as Calculus 1 and Freshman Composition.

UC hopes to put out a request for proposals in the fall, says Daniel Greenstein, vice provost for academic planning, programs, and coordination. Professors will compete for grants to build the classes, deliver them to students, and participate in evaluating them. Courses might be taught as soon as 2011. So, for a current undergraduate, that could mean the option to choose between online and face-to-face versions of, say, Psychology 1.

The university plans to spend about $250,000 on each course. It hopes to raise the money from external sources like foundations or major donors. Nobody will be required to participate—"that's death," Mr. Greenstein said—and faculty committees at each campus will need to approve each course.

Building a collection of online classes could help alleviate bottlenecks and speed up students' paths to graduation. But supporters hope to use the pilot program to persuade faculty members to back a far-reaching expansion of online instruction that would offer associate degrees entirely online, and, ultimately, a bachelor's degree.

Mr. Edley believes demand for degrees would be "basically unlimited." In a wide-ranging speech at Berkeley last month, Mr. Edley, who is also a top adviser to Mr. Yudof, described how thousands of new students would bring new money to the system and support the hiring of faculty members. In the long term, he said, online degrees could accomplish something bigger: the democratization of access to elite education.

"In a way it's kind of radical—it's kind of destabilizing the mechanisms by which we produce the elite in our society," he told a packed room of staff and faculty members. "If suddenly you're letting a lot of people get access to elite credentials, it's going to be interesting."

'Pie in the Sky' But even as Mr. Edley spoke, several audience members whispered their disapproval. His eagerness to reshape the university is seen by many faculty members as either naïve or dangerous.

Mr. Edley acknowledges that he gets under people's skin: "I'm not good at doing the faculty politics thing. ... So much of what I'm trying to do they get in the way of."

Suzanne Guerlac, a professor of French at Berkeley, found Mr. Edley's talk "infuriating." Offering full online degrees would undermine the quality of undergraduate instruction, she said, by reducing the opportunity for students to learn directly from research faculty members.

"It's access to what?" asked Ms. Guerlac. "It's not access to UC, and that's got to be made clear."

Kristie A. Boering, an associate professor of chemistry who chairs Berkeley's course-approval committee, said she supported the pilot project. But she rejected arguments from Mr. Edley and others that faculty members are moving too slowly. Claims that online courses could reap profits or match the quality of existing lecture courses must be carefully weighed, she said.

"Anybody who has at least a college degree is going to say, Let's look at the facts. Let's be a little skeptical here," she said. "Because that's a little pie-in-the-sky."

Existing research into the strength of online programs cannot simply be applied to UC, she added, objecting to an oft-cited 2009 U.S. Education Department analysis that reported that "on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction."

"I'm sorry: I've read that report. It's statistically fuzzy, and there's only something like four courses from a research university," she said. "I don't think that's relevant for us."

But there's also strong enthusiasm among some professors in the system, including those who have taught its existing online classes. One potential benefit is that having online classes could enable the system to use its resources more effectively, freeing up time for faculty research, said Keith R. Williams, a senior lecturer in exercise biology at the Davis campus and chair of the UC Academic Senate's committee on educational policy, who stressed that he was speaking as a faculty member, not on behalf of the Senate. "We're supportive, from the faculty perspective, of looking into this in a more detailed way," he said.

A National Context While the University of California plans and looks, other public universities have already acted. At the University of Central Florida, for example, more than half of the 53,500 students already take at least one online course each year. Pennsylvania State University, the University of Texas, and the University of Massachusetts all enroll large numbers of online students.

UC itself enrolls tens of thousands of students online each year, but its campuses have mostly limited those courses to graduate and extension programs that fully enrolled undergraduates do not typically take for credit. "Pretty pathetic," is how Mr. Mayadas described California's online efforts. "The UC system has been a zilch."

But the system's proposed focus on for-credit courses for undergraduates actually stands out when compared with other leading institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University. Both have attracted attention for making their course materials available free online, but neither institution offers credit to people who study those materials.

Mr. Mayadas praised UC's online move as a positive step that will "put some heat on the other top universities to re-evaluate what they have or have not done."

Over all, the "quality sector" in higher education has failed "to take its responsibility seriously to expand itself to meet the national need," Mr. Greenstein said, dismissing elites' online offerings as "eye candy."

Jensen Comments
The above article suggests that online programs make more money than onsite programs. This is not universally true, but it can be true. The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee charges more for online courses than equivalent onsite courses because online courses have become a cash cow for UWM. The reasons, however, are sometimes dubious. Online courses are often taught with relatively cheap adjunct specialists whereas onsite courses might be taught with more expensive full-time faculty.

Also the above article ignores the fact that prestigious universities like the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, and University of Maryland have already been offering accredited and highly respected undergraduate and masters degrees in online programs for years. They purportedly impose the same academic standards on online programs vis-a-vis onsite programs. Adjunct instructors  with proper supervision need not necessarily be easy graders. In fact they may be more responsive to grading instructions than full-time faculty quavering in fear of teaching evaluations in their bid for tenure and promotions.

Who's Succeeding in Online Education?
The most respected online programs at this point in time seem to be embedded in large university systems that have huge onsite extension programs as well as online alternatives.  Two noteworthy systems in this regard are the enormous University of Wisconsin and the University of Texas extension programs.  Under the initial  leadership of Jack Wilson, UMass Online thrives with hundreds of online courses.  I think Open University in the U.K. is the largest public university in the world. Open University has online as well as onsite programs. The University of Phoenix continues to be the largest private university in the world in terms of student enrollments. I still do not put it and Open University in the same class as the University of Wisconsin, however, because I'm dubious of any university that relies mostly on part-time faculty.

From the University of Wisconsin
Distance Education Clearinghouse ---  http://www.uwex.edu/disted/home.html

I wonder if the day will come when we see contrasting advertisements:
"A UC Berkeley Accounting PhD online in 5-6 Years Full Time"
"A Capella Accounting PhD online in 2 Years Full Time and no comprehensive examinations"

Capella University is one of the better for-profit online universities in the world. ---
http://www.capella.edu/

A Bridge Too Far
I discovered that Capella University is now offering an online Accounting PhD Program
--- 
http://www.capella.edu/schools_programs/business_technology/phd/accounting.aspx

Although I have been recommending that accountancy doctoral programs break out of the accountics mold, I don't think that the Capella's curriculum meets my expectation ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

On May 4, 2010, PBS Frontline broadcast an hour-long video called College Inc. --- a sobering analysis of for-profit onsite and online colleges and universities.
For a time you can watch the video free online --- Click Here
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/collegeinc/view/?utm_campaign=viewpage&utm_medium=toparea&utm_source=toparea

Even in lean times, the $400 billion business of higher education is booming. Nowhere is this more true than in one of the fastest-growing -- and most controversial -- sectors of the industry: for-profit colleges and universities that cater to non-traditional students, often confer degrees over the Internet, and, along the way, successfully capture billions of federal financial aid dollars.

In College, Inc., correspondent Martin Smith investigates the promise and explosive growth of the for-profit higher education industry. Through interviews with school executives, government officials, admissions counselors, former students and industry observers, this film explores the tension between the industry --which says it's helping an underserved student population obtain a quality education and marketable job skills -- and critics who charge the for-profits with churning out worthless degrees that leave students with a mountain of debt.

At the center of it all stands a vulnerable population of potential students, often working adults eager for a university degree to move up the career ladder. FRONTLINE talks to a former staffer at a California-based for-profit university who says she was under pressure to sign up growing numbers of new students. "I didn't realize just how many students we were expected to recruit," says the former enrollment counselor. "They used to tell us, you know, 'Dig deep. Get to their pain. Get to what's bothering them. So, that way, you can convince them that a college degree is going to solve all their problems.'"

Graduates of another for-profit school -- a college nursing program in California -- tell FRONTLINE that they received their diplomas without ever setting foot in a hospital. Graduates at other for-profit schools report being unable to find a job, or make their student loan payments, because their degree was perceived to be of little worth by prospective employers. One woman who enrolled in a for-profit doctorate program in Dallas later learned that the school never acquired the proper accreditation she would need to get the job she trained for. She is now sinking in over $200,000 in student debt.

The biggest player in the for-profit sector is the University of Phoenix -- now the largest college in the US with total enrollment approaching half a million students. Its revenues of almost $4 billion last year, up 25 percent from 2008, have made it a darling of Wall Street. Former top executive of the University of Phoenix Mark DeFusco told FRONTLINE how the company's business-approach to higher education has paid off: "If you think about any business in America, what business would give up two months of business -- just essentially close down?" he asks. "[At the University of Phoenix], people go to school all year round. We start classes every five weeks. We built campuses by a freeway because we figured that's where the people were."

"The education system that was created hundreds of years ago needs to change," says Michael Clifford, a major education entrepreneur who speaks with FRONTLINE. Clifford, a former musician who never attended college, purchases struggling traditional colleges and turns them into for-profit companies. "The big opportunity," he says, "is the inefficiencies of some of the state systems, and the ability to transform schools and academic programs to better meet the needs of the people that need jobs."

"From a business perspective, it's a great story," says Jeffrey Silber, a senior analyst at BMO Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of the Bank of Montreal. "You're serving a market that's been traditionally underserved. ... And it's a very profitable business -- it generates a lot of free cash flow."

And the cash cow of the for-profit education industry is the federal government. Though they enroll 10 percent of all post-secondary students, for-profit schools receive almost a quarter of federal financial aid. But Department of Education figures for 2009 show that 44 percent of the students who defaulted within three years of graduation were from for-profit schools, leading to serious questions about one of the key pillars of the profit degree college movement: that their degrees help students boost their earning power. This is a subject of increasing concern to the Obama administration, which, last month, remade the federal student loan program, and is now proposing changes that may make it harder for the for-profit colleges to qualify.

"One of the ideas the Department of Education has put out there is that in order for a college to be eligible to receive money from student loans, it actually has to show that the education it's providing has enough value in the job market so that students can pay their loans back," says Kevin Carey of the Washington think tank Education Sector. "Now, the for-profit colleges, I think this makes them very nervous," Carey says. "They're worried because they know that many of their members are charging a lot of money; that many of their members have students who are defaulting en masse after they graduate. They're afraid that this rule will cut them out of the program. But in many ways, that's the point."

FRONTLINE also finds that the regulators that oversee university accreditation are looking closer at the for-profits and, in some cases, threatening to withdraw the required accreditation that keeps them eligible for federal student loans. "We've elevated the scrutiny tremendously," says Dr. Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits many post-secondary institutions. "It is really inappropriate for accreditation to be purchased the way a taxi license can be purchased. ...When we see any problematic institution being acquired and being changed we put it on a short leash."

Also note the comments that follow the above text.

But first I highly recommend that you watch the video at --- Click Here
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/collegeinc/view/?utm_campaign=viewpage&utm_medium=toparea&utm_source=toparea

May 5, 2010 reply from Paul Bjorklund [paulbjorklund@AOL.COM]

Interesting program. I saw the first half of it and was not surprised by anything, other than the volume of students. For example, enrollment at University of Phoenix is 500,000. Compare that to Arizona State's four campuses with maybe 60,000 to 70,000. The huge computer rooms dedicated to online learning were fascinating too. We've come a long way from the Oxford don sitting in his wood paneled office, quoting Aristotle, and dispensing wisdom to students one at a time. The evolution: From the pursuit of truth to technical training to cash on the barrelhead. One question about the traditional university though -- When they eliminate the cash flow from big time football, will they then be able to criticize the dash for cash by the educational entrepreneurs?

Paul Bjorklund, CPA
Bjorklund Consulting, Ltd.
Flagstaff, Arizona


Brainstorm on What For-Profit Colleges are Doing Right as Well as Wrong

"'College, Inc.'," by Kevin Carey, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/College-Inc/23850/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

PBS broadcast a documentary on for-profit higher education last week, titled College, Inc. It begins with the slightly ridiculous figure of Michael Clifford, a former cocaine abuser turned born-again Christian who never went to college, yet makes a living padding around the lawn of his oceanside home wearing sandals and loose-fitting print shirts, buying up distressed non-profit colleges and turning them into for-profit money machines.

Improbably, Clifford emerges from the documentary looking OK. When asked what he brings to the deals he brokers, he cites nothing educational. Instead, it's the "Three M's: Money, Management, and Marketing." And hey, there's nothing wrong with that. A college may have deep traditions and dedicated faculty, but if it's bankrupt, anonymous, and incompetently run, it won't do students much good. "Nonprofit" colleges that pay their leaders executive salaries and run multi-billion dollar sports franchises have long since ceded the moral high ground when it comes to chasing the bottom line.

The problem with for-profit higher education, as the documentary ably shows, is that people like Clifford are applying private sector principles to an industry with a number of distinct characteristics. Four stand out. First, it's heavily subsidized. Corporate giants like the University of Phoenix are now pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars per year from the taxpayers, through federal grants and student loans. Second, it's awkwardly regulated. Regional accreditors may protest that their imprimatur isn't like a taxicab medallion to be bought and sold on the open market. But as the documentary makes clear, that's precisely the way it works now. (Clifford puts the value at $10-million.)

Third, it's hard for consumers to know what they're getting at the point of purchase. College is an experiential good; reputations and brochures can only tell you so much. Fourth—and I don't think this is given proper weight when people think about the dynamics of the higher-education market—college is generally something you only buy a couple of times, early in your adult life.

All of which creates the potential—arguably, the inevitability—for sad situations like the three nursing students in the documentary who were comprehensively ripped off by a for-profit school that sent them to a daycare center for their "pediatric rotation" and left them with no job prospects and tens of thousands of dollars in debt. The government subsidies create huge incentives for for-profit colleges to enroll anyone they can find. The awkward regulation offers little in the way of effective oversight. The opaque nature of the higher-education experience makes it hard for consumers to sniff out fraudsters up-front. And the fact that people don't continually purchase higher education throughout their lives limits the downside for bad actors. A restaurant or automobile manufacturer that continually screws its customers will eventually go out of business. For colleges, there's always another batch of high-school graduates to enroll.

The Obama administration has made waves in recent months by proposing to tackle some of these problems by implementing "gainful employment" rules that would essentially require for-profits to show that students will be able to make enough money with their degrees to pay back their loans. It's a good idea, but it also raises an interesting question: Why apply this policy only to for-profits? Corporate higher education may be the fastest growing segment of the market, but it still educates a small minority of students and will for a long time to come. There are plenty of traditional colleges out there that are mainly in the business of preparing students for jobs, and that charge a lot of money for degrees of questionable value. What would happen if the gainful employment standard were applied to a mediocre private university that happily allows undergraduates to take out six-figure loans in exchange for a plain-vanilla business B.A.?

The gainful employment standard highlights some of my biggest concerns about the Obama administration's approach to higher-education policy. To its lasting credit, the administration has taken on powerful moneyed interests and succeeded. Taking down the FFEL program was a historic victory for low-income students and reining in the abuses of for-profit higher education is a needed and important step.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The biggest question remains concerning the value of "education" at the micro level (the student) and the macro level (society). It would seem that students in training programs should have prospects of paying back the cost of the training if "industry" is not willing to fully subsidize that particular type of training.

Education is another question entirely, and we're still trying to resolve issues of how education should be financed. I'm not in favor of "gainful employment rules" for state universities, although I think such rules should be imposed on for-profit colleges and universities.

What is currently happening is that training and education programs are in most cases promising more than they can deliver in terms of gainful employment. Naive students think a certificate or degree is "the" ticket to career success, and many of them borrow tens of thousands of dollars to a point where they are in debtor's prisons with their meager laboring wages garnished (take a debtor's wages on legal orders) to pay for their business, science, and humanities degrees that did not pay off in terms of career opportunities.

But that does not mean that their education did not pay off in terms of life's fuller meaning. The question is who should pay for "life's fuller meaning?" Among our 50 states, California had the best plan for universal education. But fiscal mismanagement, especially very generous unfunded state-worker unfunded pension plans, has now brought California to the brink of bankruptcy. Increasing taxes in California is difficult because it already has the highest state taxes in the nation.

Student borrowing to pay for pricey certificates and degrees is not a good answer in my opinion, but if students borrow I think the best alternative is to choose a lower-priced accredited state university. It will be a long, long time before the United States will be able to fund "universal education" because of existing unfunded entitlements for Social Security and other pension obligations, Medicare, Medicaid, military retirements, etc.

I think it's time for our best state universities to reach out with more distance education and training that prevent many of the rip-offs taking place in the for-profit training and education sector. The training and education may not be free, but state universities have the best chance of keeping costs down and quality up.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


Wake Up Little Suzie, Wake Up:  Big Brother's Watching at Northern Arizona University
"University Plans to Install Electronic Sensors to Track Class Attendance," by Karen Wilkinson, Converge Magazine, May 8, 2010 ---
http://www.convergemag.com/infrastructure/University-Plans-to-Install-Electronic-Sensors-to-Track-Class-Attendance.html

Jensen Comment
These "proximity cards" have many types of other uses, including crime prevention and law enforcement. But there are problems, including "Don't Leave Home Without It." "It's a trend toward a surveillance society that is not necessarily befitting of an institution or society," said Adam Kissel, defense program director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. "It's a technology that could easily be expanded and used in student conduct cases."

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

 


Brain Alterations Caused by the World Wide Web

Kids to Today Are Not Necessarily Lazy; Their Brains May Be Different

Video:  A Vision of Students Today --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o

"The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains," by Nicholas Carr, Wired Magazine, June 2010 ---
 http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/ff_nicholas_carr/all/1

Meanwhile, from an infinity of online sources, heads are being filled with data, information, and images, from all manner of sources — responsible, sensible, loony, exploitative, and malevolent. Fencing off children from much of this stuff has become a major parental concern, as well as a hopeless task, given children’s zest for the forbidden and preternatural facility at the keyboard.
Dan Greenberg, "We've Got a Monster on the Loose: It's Called the Internet," Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/index.php?id=247

 

June 6, 2010 message from Richard Newmark [richard.newmark@PHDUH.COM]

I think this little anecdote highlights massive differences between kids today and kids a generation or two or three ago.

My son, Quinn, is 11. He has been doing video editing for two or three years. We started with Windows Movie Maker and I did much of the work. As time went on, he started doing more of the work himself. I always tried to let him make the creative decisions. Then, last summer, I purchased a MacBook Pro and Final Cut Studio for him so he could use what he learned at a week-long digital video editing camp. Now he is quite competent with the basic tool-set of Final Cut. You can see some of his work at http://www.youtube.com/phduh.

Well, after his project, a video of Mile High Mayhem three-day rocket launch that we attended http://www.youtube.com/phduh#p/a/u/0/Utptvf8hrBo , I floated the idea about him doing video-editing for other people and making money doing it. He is really excited about the idea. We talked about setting up a Youtube channel as an advertisement, using PayPal to collect money, using Skype to video conference with customers, and ftp sites like sendspace.com to deliver the final product.

 

For me, this exercise highlights how different the world is now as compared to when we were kids. It also illustrates that today’s kids are not lazy; they just have a totally different mindset than we do. Maybe it helps that his dad is a former CPA and an AIS professor and that both of his parents make sure that we nurture his creativity.

 

Rick

----------------------------------------

Richard Newmark
Professor, School of Accounting and Computer Information Systems
Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business
2004 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winner
University of Northern Colorado
Campus Box 128, Kepner Hall 2090G
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 405-5576 mobile/home
(801) 858-9335 personal fax
http://PhDuh.com/unc


The Case Against the World Wide Web
A provocative article in the forthcoming issue of Atlantic Monthly argues that Web surfing is rewiring our brains, making us unable to stay focused long enough to make it to the end of a book or long article. To support his thesis, the author, Nicholas Carr, cites these scholars: Bruce Friedman, of the University of Michigan Medical School; Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University; and James Olds, a professor of neuroscience at George Mason University. Mr. Carr also mentions a report of online research habits by scholars from University College London. A study by the National Endowment for the Arts also seems to support Mr. Carr's argument. The study, "To Read or Not to Read," showed, among other things, that the portion of college graduates who were proficient in reading prose declined 23 percent from 1992 to 2003.
Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3085&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

For a short while the Atlantic Monthly article ("Is Google Making Us Stupid?") may be downloaded free from http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google

I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I think I know what’s going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I’m not working, I’m as likely as not to be foraging in the Web’s info-thickets—reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link. (Unlike footnotes, to which they’re sometimes likened, hyperlinks don’t merely point to related works; they propel you toward them.)

For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to such an incredibly rich store of information are many, and they’ve been widely described and duly applauded. “The perfect recall of silicon memory,” Wired’s Clive Thompson has written, “can be an enormous boon to thinking.” But that boon comes at a price. As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

I’m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances—literary types, most of them—many say they’re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. “I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a] voracious book reader,” he wrote. “What happened?” He speculates on the answer: “What if I do all my reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I’m just seeking convenience, but because the way I THINK has changed?”

Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,” he wrote earlier this year. A pathologist who has long been on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School, Friedman elaborated on his comment in a telephone conversation with me. His thinking, he said, has taken on a “staccato” quality, reflecting the way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. “I can’t read War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.”

Anecdotes alone don’t prove much. And we still await the long-term neurological and psychological experiments that will provide a definitive picture of how Internet use affects cognition. But a recently published study of online research habits, conducted by scholars from University College London, suggests that we may well be in the midst of a sea change in the way we read and think. As part of the five-year research program, the scholars examined computer logs documenting the behavior of visitors to two popular research sites, one operated by the British Library and one by a U.K. educational consortium, that provide access to journal articles, e-books, and other sources of written information. They found that people using the sites exhibited “a form of skimming activity,” hopping from one source to another and rarely returning to any source they’d already visited. They typically read no more than one or two pages of an article or book before they would “bounce” out to another site. Sometimes they’d save a long article, but there’s no evidence that they ever went back and actually read it. The authors of the study report:

It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.

Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice. But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking—perhaps even a new sense of the self. “We are not only what we read,” says Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University and the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. “We are how we read.” Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that puts “efficiency” and “immediacy” above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace. When we read online, she says, we tend to become “mere decoders of information.” Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged.

Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings. It’s not etched into our genes the way speech is. We have to teach our minds how to translate the symbolic characters we see into the language we understand. And the media or other technologies we use in learning and practicing the craft of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains. Experiments demonstrate that readers of ideograms, such as the Chinese, develop a mental circuitry for reading that is very different from the circuitry found in those of us whose written language employs an alphabet. The variations extend across many regions of the brain, including those that govern such essential cognitive functions as memory and the interpretation of visual and auditory stimuli. We can expect as well that the circuits woven by our use of the Net will be different from those woven by our reading of books and other printed works.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
People generally read some books for pure entertainment and the fast passage of time. With Agatha Christie still being my favorite mystery writer, I read mystery books like Agatha Christie might've written while I'm on airplanes and in hospital waiting rooms and even while Erika shops. I read these without looking for embedded messages other than learning about properties of some poisons is I ever did undertake to commit murder.

People read some books for the message, especially passages from the Bible or Qur'an or biographies about great leaders or teachers like Abraham Lincoln, Socrates, and Albert Einstein.

People read some classics for both entertainment and embedded messages such as Moby Dick and the great books of Leo Tolstoy, although I must admit that several times in my life I grew too weary of Tolstoy to ever finish War and Peace. Often the benefits of the message are not worth the wearying effort to wade through the verbiage. This is probably why even our best writers often turn to short stories or magazine/journal articles or poems to communicate their messages.

I don't blame the Internet for the decline in book reading or the speed reading and scanning of books. The Internet is a fault only to the extent that it is part of our frenetic lifestyles and the flood of information from more and more books, articles, television, NetFlix DVDs, Blockbuster DVDs, etc. Books have to compete with many newer alternatives aside from the Internet. And our lifestyles just do not make it easy to find a few hours each day to read a long book cover-to-cover. Admittedly part of the problem is the added time we now devote to email messaging, blogs, online journals, podcasts, Webcasts, and Bob Jensen's tidbits. But somehow I personally think I would be depriving myself of much learning if I cut off my broadband cable and started working my way through the classics or the endless stream of new, often poorly written, so-called best sellers.

There's nothing sacrosanct about book reading in the information age. Books must compete with other alternatives. And often books are very worth while, although I must admit that I'm prone to speed reading and scanning just like I was 50 years ago. There's more in Randy Pausch's new short book than in his video speeches, television interviews, and most likely the forthcoming movie about his life and death. Some books we just read to learn more about what we can't find anywhere else. This makes books compete if they contain more of what we are seeking. I'm not really seeking to learn more about Barbara Walter's sex life, so I don't choose to read her autobiography. But there are books that I seek out because I want to know more about particular topics.

I find that the main advantage of a printed book is that I like reading from hard copy rather than a computer screen and that I find books to be better than any other alternative for perusing and scanning. I must admit that I rarely, if ever, read every word in any book at any time. I guess this goes with my Type A personality and aversion for wasting time even at things like golf. There's a golf course on two sides of my property and a life-time membership came with the purchase of my house. I've played a total of five holes in five years up here in the mountains because there are better things to do like spending ten hours a day on the Internet. Maybe there's something true about "The Case Against the World Wide Web."

Perhaps my brain really has been altered by the WWW, at least what's left of my aging brain!


"The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains," by Nicholas Carr, Wired Magazine, June 2010 ---
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/05/ff_nicholas_carr/all/1

During the winter of 2007, a UCLA professor of psychiatry named Gary Small recruited six volunteers—three experienced Web surfers and three novices—for a study on brain activity. He gave each a pair of goggles onto which Web pages could be projected. Then he slid his subjects, one by one, into the cylinder of a whole-brain magnetic resonance imager and told them to start searching the Internet. As they used a handheld keypad to Google various preselected topics—the nutritional benefits of chocolate, vacationing in the Galapagos Islands, buying a new car—the MRI scanned their brains for areas of high activation, indicated by increases in blood flow.

The two groups showed marked differences. Brain activity of the experienced surfers was far more extensive than that of the newbies, particularly in areas of the prefrontal cortex associated with problem-solving and decisionmaking. Small then had his subjects read normal blocks of text projected onto their goggles; in this case, scans revealed no significant difference in areas of brain activation between the two groups. The evidence suggested, then, that the distinctive neural pathways of experienced Web users had developed because of their Internet use.

The most remarkable result of the experiment emerged when Small repeated the tests six days later. In the interim, the novices had agreed to spend an hour a day online, searching the Internet. The new scans revealed that their brain activity had changed dramatically; it now resembled that of the veteran surfers. “Five hours on the Internet and the naive subjects had already rewired their brains,” Small wrote. He later repeated all the tests with 18 more volunteers and got the same results.

When first publicized, the findings were greeted with cheers. By keeping lots of brain cells buzzing, Google seemed to be making people smarter. But as Small was careful to point out, more brain activity is not necessarily better brain activity. The real revelation was how quickly and extensively Internet use reroutes people’s neural pathways. “The current explosion of digital technology not only is changing the way we live and communicate,” Small concluded, “but is rapidly and profoundly altering our brains.”

What kind of brain is the Web giving us? That question will no doubt be the subject of a great deal of research in the years ahead. Already, though, there is much we know or can surmise—and the news is quite disturbing. Dozens of studies by psychologists, neurobiologists, and educators point to the same conclusion: When we go online, we enter an environment that promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning. Even as the Internet grants us easy access to vast amounts of information, it is turning us into shallower thinkers, literally changing the structure of our brain.

Back in the 1980s, when schools began investing heavily in computers, there was much enthusiasm about the apparent advantages of digital documents over paper ones. Many educators were convinced that introducing hyperlinks into text displayed on monitors would be a boon to learning. Hypertext would strengthen critical thinking, the argument went, by enabling students to switch easily between different viewpoints. Freed from the lockstep reading demanded by printed pages, readers would make all sorts of new intellectual connections between diverse works. The hyperlink would be a technology of liberation.

By the end of the decade, the enthusiasm was turning to skepticism. Research was painting a fuller, very different picture of the cognitive effects of hypertext. Navigating linked documents, it turned out, entails a lot of mental calisthenics—evaluating hyperlinks, deciding whether to click, adjusting to different formats—that are extraneous to the process of reading. Because it disrupts concentration, such activity weakens comprehension. A 1989 study showed that readers tended just to click around aimlessly when reading something that included hypertext links to other selected pieces of information. A 1990 experiment revealed that some “could not remember what they had and had not read.”

Even though the World Wide Web has made hypertext ubiquitous and presumably less startling and unfamiliar, the cognitive problems remain. Research continues to show that people who read linear text comprehend more, remember more, and learn more than those who read text peppered with links. In a 2001 study, two scholars in Canada asked 70 people to read “The Demon Lover,” a short story by Elizabeth Bowen. One group read it in a traditional linear-text format; they’d read a passage and click the word next to move ahead. A second group read a version in which they had to click on highlighted words in the text to move ahead. It took the hypertext readers longer to read the document, and they were seven times more likely to say they found it confusing. Another researcher, Erping Zhu, had people read a passage of digital prose but varied the number of links appearing in it. She then gave the readers a multiple-choice quiz and had them write a summary of what they had read. She found that comprehension declined as the number of links increased—whether or not people clicked on them. After all, whenever a link appears, your brain has to at least make the choice not to click, which is itself distracting.

Continued in article (including hot links not provided above)

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


"Staying Smart in Dumbed-Down Times," by Judith Shapiro, Inside Higher Ed, June 13, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/06/13/shapiro

In 1963, when I was graduating from college, a book was published entitled Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, by the noted historian Richard Hofstadter. In exploring anti-intellectualism as a major current of American culture, Hofstadter examined various facets of our nation’s history over time. He described how those living in rural areas grew suspicious of urban life. He analyzed how utilitarianism and practicality, associated with the world of business, were accompanied by a certain contempt for the life of the mind. He devoted special attention to evangelicalism, although we should perhaps more specifically define his target as fundamentalism, a literal-minded approach to the Bible that involved hostility to all forms of knowledge that contradicted scripture or sought to interpret it as a set of historical documents reflecting the context of its production. He noted how all of this combined to make the term “elite” a dirty word.

This exploration of American national character, which was very much a product of his times, notably the atmosphere of fear and distrust that characterized the Cold War, is still quite timely today. Which is why I felt compelled to re-read Hofstadter’s book last summer. And why I was particularly interested in reading an update and homage to Hofstadter by Susan Jacoby, whose book The Age of American Unreason was published just this year.

Jacoby brings Hofstadter’s arguments into the present, illustrating them with examples from the times in which we live today. She talks about the powerful role played by fundamentalist forms of religion in current America; about the abysmal level of public education; about the widespread inability to distinguish between science and pseudoscience; about the dumbing-down of the media and politics; about the consequences of a culture of serious reading being replaced by a rapid-fire, short-attention-span-provoking, over-stimulating, largely visual, information-spewing environment.

She, like Hofstadter, invites us to consider how all of this has affected the great venture that is American democracy? So, let us do so.

Once upon a time, the leaders of our country were the kind of men — and, let’s face it, it was a men’s club at the time — who were learned, who valued scholarship and science. The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 at the instigation of Benjamin Franklin, counted also among its early members presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

In adopting as its mission the promotion of “useful knowledge”, the American Philosophical Society reflected a time in which the sciences and the humanities were not divided from one another, and in which there was no opposition between what we might now call pure and applied science. What it did reflect was an opposition between Enlightenment values of reason and empirical research, on the one hand, and what we might call “faith based” beliefs, on the other. There were clergymen among the early members of the APS, but they were those who felt that their religious convictions did not stand in their way of their desire to be among the most educated members of their society.

That was then. This is now: We have a president who believes that “creation science” should be taught in our schools. As Jacoby points out, we should understand “how truly extraordinary it [is] that any American president would place himself in direct opposition to contemporary scientific thinking.”

But let’s not just pin the tail on the elephant here and pick only on the Republicans — or, to be more precise, on the extreme right wing of the Republican party, since there are, after all (though they may be increasingly hard to locate), moderate, thoughtful — one might even say, liberal — Republicans.

Let’s look at the Democrats, at the nomination fight we all followed – followed, it seems, since the early Pleistocene. Here we had two candidates vying to run for President who had been educated at institutions that are among the most distinguished in our country: Wellesley, Yale, Columbia and Harvard. Both candidates were obviously highly intelligent and knowledgeable. Yet both felt the need to play down their claims to intellectuality — and the winner may still feel that need in the general election. Hillary Clinton chugalugged beer and sought to attach the dread label of “elitist” to her rival. And Barack Obama felt compelled to follow one of the most honest and sophisticated political speeches in recent memory with strenuous displays of folksiness.

And who are we to blame them? If anyone is going to serve as president, the first step is to get elected. What level of intellectual interest and background can political candidates presuppose on the part of our nation’s citizenry? What level of interest in the most important challenges facing us in the years ahead? What level of public demand that assertions be backed up with sound reasoning and actual facts?

To take just one example: citing data from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, released in 2005, Jacoby notes that two-thirds of Americans believe that both evolution and creationism should be taught in our public schools. Who would have thought that, all these years after the United States became the laughing stock of the civilized world through international newspaper coverage of the Scopes trial, we would still see the fight we have recently seen in the state of Pennsylvania over teaching creationism in our public schools?

Nor is this simply a matter of religious belief. Many who advocate teaching creationism do so in the name of providing a “fair and balanced” curriculum. This misplaced pluralism, which draws no distinction between the results of scientific inquiry and the content of folk beliefs, is in line with the loose way in which the word “theory” is used, such that Einstein’s “theory” of relativity or Darwin’s “theory” of evolution is on a par with the loose way we use “theory” to describe any kind of wild guess. In this latter sense, “theory” is used as the opposite of “fact”, rather than as a systematic set of hypotheses to explain a variety of facts. Moreover, simply changing the label from “creationism” to “creation science” or “intelligent design” gives this set of untestable and unfalsifiable assertions the veneer of science, which is quite enough for a lot of people who have little or no sense of what real science is.

But let us not let the scientists and scholars themselves off the hook. Jacoby devotes some interesting passages in her book to forms of pseudo-science that were at various times in our history embraced by members of the most educated classes. Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, we had social Darwinism, which sought to justify differences between rich and poor as a reflection of “survival of the fittest” (which, by the way, was not an expression coined by Darwin). And lest we look upon those benighted forebears too complacently, let us keep in mind that, much more recently, we have had sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, which share many of the same faults, though in more sophisticated trappings, as befits the trajectory of the natural and social sciences since the 19th century unilinear evolutionism of Herbert Spencer and others.

Returning to the world of politics, the first presidential candidate I campaigned for myself — I was 10 years old at the time and we were having a mock convention in my elementary school (those were the days when candidates actually got chosen at the party’s national convention) — that first presidential candidate was the quintessential, unelectable intellectual Adlai Stevenson, who ran against Dwight Eisenhower. One of the well-known anecdotes about him is the time a woman went up to him after a speech and said, “Mr. Stevenson, every thinking American will be voting for you.” To which he replied, “Madam, that is not enough. I need a majority.”

In her chapter on “Public Life”, which is subtitled “Defining Dumbness Downward”, Jacoby opens by talking about the extemporaneous speech given by Robert Kennedy on April 4th, 1968, when he had just learned, before taking the stage in Indianapolis, that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. had just been assassinated in Memphis. Kennedy began by invoking from memory the following lines from Aeschylus:

Even in our sleep, pain which we cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
Until, in our own despair,
Against our will,
Comes wisdom
Through the awful grace of God.

Jacoby notes how inconceivable it is today that a major political figure, an aspirant to the highest office in the land, would use such a quote, given the pervasive fear nowadays of seeming to be an “elitist.” Yet Robert Kennedy was not showing off to his audience or condescending to them. He just assumed that he could address them in this way, whether or not they themselves were familiar with these lines, much less could quote them from memory.

Jacoby’s discussion of the dumbing down of our public, political culture follows a chapter on what she calls “The Culture of Distraction”. She worries over the consequences of our being constantly bombarded by noisy stimuli, by invitations to multitask in a way that fosters superficiality as opposed to depth. The major casualties of our current media-saturated life are three things essential to the vocation of an intellectual: silence, solitary thinking, and social conversation.

Continued in article

Question
What would Socretes say about our computerized and networked world?

"Empathy in the Virtual World," by G. Anthony Gorry, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 31, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Empathy-in-the-Virtual-World/48180/

We live increasingly "on the screen," deeply engaged with the patterns of light and energy upon which so much of modern life depends. At work we turn our backs to our coworkers, immersing ourselves in the flood of information engendered by countless computers. At the end of the workday, computers tag along with us in cellphones and music players. Still others, embedded in video displays, wait at home. They are all parts of an enormous electronic web woven on wires or only air. We marvel at what we can do with this technology. We turn less attention, however, to what the technology may be doing to us.

Recall Plato's allegory of the cave, in which Socrates tells of prisoners who are rigidly chained in a cave, facing a wall with a fire burning brightly behind them. Between the fire and the prisoners, people carry vessels, statues of animals made of wood and stone, and other things back and forth on a walkway. Held fast, the prisoners see only shadows on the wall and hear only echoes of the voices behind them. Mistaking these for reality, the prisoners vie with one another to name the shadowy shapes, and they judge one another by their facility for quickly recognizing the images.

A sorry scene, we say—a pale imitation of what life should be, a cruel punishment. We do not need philosophers or scientists to tell us that without social interaction, we would not be human. But what has the prisoners' plight to do with us? We are not in chains. We have many face-to-face engagements with others. And the centuries between that cave and the present have seen monumental developments in human consciousness: the emergence of language and imagination, and the invention of tools of communication that have enabled rhapsodes, scribes, and novelists to thrust us into lives real and invented. Today digital technology extends that reach, making possible ever-beguiling fabrications for entertainment and escape. It has put us at the gate of a magical garden crowded with many others who, from the flickers on a screen, clamor for our attention and concern.

If Socrates could wander the halls of our workplaces or visit our homes, he would be amazed by the advance of our multimedia computers over the primitive technology of his cave with its statues and firelight. Technology, however, never bestows its bounty freely, and Socrates might make us a bit uncomfortable with questions about the role that machines play in modern life: Do they bind us in subtle ways? Are they drawing us into such intimacy that life on the screen will soon replace the face-to-face community as the primary setting for social interaction? If so, at what cost?

I fear that we will pay for our entry into the magical garden of cyberspace with a loss of empathy—that our devotion to ephemeral images will diminish our readiness to care for those around us. We might hope, of course, for an increase in understanding, tolerance, and perhaps even empathy as technology makes more permeable the boundaries that presently divide communities and nations. Such benefits would surely be a boon to our troubled world. But as technology exposes us to the pain and suffering of so many others, it might also numb our emotions, distance us from our fellow humans, and attenuate our empathetic responses to their misfortunes. In our life on the screen, we might know more and more about others and care less and less about them.

What is the source of our feelings for others—the "pity for the sorrowful, anguish for the miserable, joy for the successful" that Adam Smith called fellow feeling? Perhaps it is simply in our nature to respond emotionally to those around us. Indeed, our emotional responses arise swiftly and unbidden, particularly in the presence of those bearing the weight of injury, loss, fear, or despair. We might, therefore, expect our natural sympathy and compassion to be impervious to corrosion by modern life. Yet for every heartwarming account of compassion, aid, and sacrifice, the daily news offers a story of indifference, hatred, or abuse that illuminates a second aspect of our nature: a willingness to advance our individual interests at others' expense.

Evolutionary theory and neuroscience both seem to confirm the view of those who attribute humans' compassionate acts to strict social controls —including laws, mores, teachings, and taboos—that alone keep our brutish self-interest in check. If that is so, then changes in the way we interact, and particularly the loss of those social controls, could undermine our caring for one another. Natural selection shaped the brains and behavior of our primate forebears to serve both self and others. By grouping, they could better meet environmental challenges and promote their reproductive success. Individuals still cared most for their own prospects and those of their kin, but increasing social integration demanded care for the interests of the community. Natural selection, therefore, favored primates that could sense the intentions and needs of others of their kind. In time, they became sensitive to the emotions and behavior of others. Our ancestors responded instinctively to body language—not only gross actions, but the twitch of an eye, tremor of a hand, tensing of a leg, and the dilation of a pupil, all subtle indicators of the intent of the brain within the body observed. Thus primates could forge alliances, exchange favors, achieve status, and even deceive. Those who were particularly skilled in "working the crowd" gained added advantages for themselves and their offspring. Because of those advantages, primate sociability became a powerful adjunct to a fierce focus on self.

Genetic adaptations to the demands of that long-ago time still influence our culture, and ancient emotional centers in our brains affect many of our social interactions. But the emergence of imagination set us on the path to what J.K. Rowling characterized as understanding without having experienced, to thinking ourselves into other people's minds and places. One hundred years ago, Joseph Conrad noted that there is a permanently enduring part of our being "which is not dependent on wisdom … which is a gift and not an acquisition." The artist speaks to that part of us, for through it, "one may perchance attain to such clearness of sincerity that at last the presented vision of regret or pity, of terror or mirth, shall awaken in the hearts of the beholders that feeling of unavoidable solidarity; of the solidarity in mysterious origin, in toil, in joy, in hope, in uncertain fate, which binds men to each other and all mankind to the visible world."

For hundreds of years, novels have engaged our empathetic faculties with the lives of imagined others. We learn to read through practice, shaping our brains to accommodate the linearity and fixity of text. Literacy repays that effort by introducing us to a multitude of fictional others whose lives can entertain and edify us. Today, as our brains acclimate to digital technology, a computer screen is increasingly our window to the world. Technology crowds our lives with others' experiences, each claiming a bit of our attention and concern. Some readers of novels say that by introducing us to fictional others, stories make us more sensitive to the feelings of real people. With its jumble of streaming video, elaborate games, social networks, news reports, fiction, and gossip, cyberspace could coax us to greater regard for the unfortunate and oppressed. The widespread grief that followed the death of Princess Diana is a vivid example of the power of technology's Muses to extend the reach of another's mythical life into our own. As digital technology increases its hold on our imaginations, perhaps it will do what novels are said to do: make us a more compassionate, "nicer" species.

Hesiod observed that the Muses have the power to make false things seem true. That, of course, is how they sustain fiction. Today's technology offers new ways to engage our imaginations. Movies, television advertising, and pictures in magazines depict tantalizing, unreal worlds that offer us, if we will suspend our disbelief, what Sontag called "knowledge at bargain prices—a semblance of knowledge, a semblance of wisdom." Even when we know that what we see cannot be, the falsity of our experience may not reduce our empathetic response, which is more automatic than considered. Our brains, seeking stimulation rather than knowledge, may find more engagement in a montage of simulated joys and agonies than in the lives of real people and events.

In the movie theater, for example, watching the Titanic slowly sink, we suffer with its desperate passengers and fear for their fate. We know the images we see are an amalgamation of the real and artificial. But our brains care little about the way technology weds fact and fiction; we care about the experience, not analysis, and for a few minutes, the sinking is real.

Of course, artists have drawn us into imaginative worlds for thousands of years. But when their performances were finished, their books read, or their movies seen, we returned to our everyday lives—and to our friends and neighbors. Now digital technology is erasing the boundary between the magic and the mundane. Computers give us not only a diversion or a lesson, but a fantastic life in which we can indulge our interests with the click of a link, where we can be any place at any time, where we can be who we want to be.

Technology is replacing the traditional social structures of the face-to-face community with more-fluid electronic arenas for gossip, preening, and posturing. Facebook and MySpace members "strut their stuff" with embellished self-descriptions and accumulations of "friends" from far and wide. Those affectations would mean little if we were not so sensitive to trappings of rank, so irresistibly drawn to judge and categorize others. Repeated encounters with those who present themselves as a blend of the actual and the fantasized alter our expectations of trustworthiness and reciprocity. Absent the accountability of face-to-face interaction, there seems little need to adhere to social conventions of the past. Users are free to invent themselves without regard for the concerns or needs of others.

John Updike said the Internet is chewing up books, casting fragments adrift on an electronic flood. We might say the same of lives; technology is cutting out pieces and offering them isolated from their natural context. Just as a dismembered novel loses accountability and intimacy, so too does a person who appears only in fragments. Other people's experiences are reduced to grist for the mill of our emotions, where our inclinations, histories, prejudices, and aesthetic preferences grind them to our liking. With technology as a remote control, we can tune in the emotional stimulation we crave and tune out what we find unpleasant or disturbing. As we shuttle from e-mail to hyperlinks to phone calls, we may find little time or inclination to uncover real suffering in the chaotic mix of the actual and the invented.

A century ago, in "The Machine Stops," E.M. Forster envisioned a time when a powerful Machine would mediate all experience. His Machine had woven an electronic garment that "had seemed heavenly at first." Over time, however, technology had imprisoned humanity in an electronic cave where the body had become "white pap, the home of ideas as colorless, last sloshy stirrings of a spirit that had grasped the stars." The sudden failure of the Machine doomed its dependents, who knew no other life but that on the screen.

Continued in article

 


The U.S Digital Millennium Copyright Act  (DMCA)
 Undermines Public Access and Sharing
DMCA Link:  http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf 


Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act

Fair Use --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

Picking The Locks: Redefining Copyright Law In The Digital Age ---
http://lisnews.org/picking_the_locks_redefining_copyright_law_in_the_digital_age

Ultimate Guide to Copyright for Students ---
http://www.whoishostingthis.com/resources/student-copyright/


Fair Use Act --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FAIR_USE_Act

"Google Gets Another Win in Book-Scanning Court Challenge," Andy Thomason, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 16, 2015 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/google-gets-another-win-in-book-scanning-court-challenge/105884?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en&elq=ec9e14ee5eff44fa87240c66a2380dd4&elqCampaignId=1636&elqaid=6609&elqat=1&elqTrackId=ac65689c97d147cdacf63acf9caf390a

After at Ten Year Court Fight Google just scored a major victory against US authors ---
http://qz.com/652744/google-just-scored-a-major-victory-against-us-authors/

A ten-year long case against Google has finally seen its end.

Today, the US Supreme Court announced it had declined to hear Authors Guild v Google, a pivotal case that pitted book authors’ rights against the tech giant’s desire to build a massive digital library. In doing so the court quietly sided with Google, agreeing with previous rulings that its massive book scanning project is legal.

In 2005, the Authors Guild, an advocacy group for authors’ rights, sued Google for its book scanning initiative, then called the Google Books Library Project. The digital giant had scanned 20 million books and released them online without permission from their authors, with the goal of making books more findable and searchable. At the time, Google also ran ads on the scanned pages (they’ve since stopped); the guild argued that Google was infringing on writers’ copyright and depriving them of potential income.

Though Google removed its ads, the case continued, changing dramatically from a dispute about monetary compensation to one about how to treat creative work in a time of mass digitization. Ten years later, in 2015, a court of appeals ruled again against the authors, saying that the book scanning project was protected under “fair use”—by digitizing, Google Books had transformed the books, and therefore was not in violation of copyright:

Google’s making of a digital copy to provide a search function is a transformative use, which augments public knowledge by making available information about Plaintiffs’ books without providing the public with a substantial substitute for matter protected by the Plaintiffs’ copyright interests in the original works or derivatives of them.

Current US law protects works based on pre-existing works, if they add something or make something new out of the original. But an amicus brief filed in February by big-name writers like Margaret Atwood, J.M. Coetzee, and Malcolm Gladwell argued thatthe internet was not anticipated when fair use was defined in 1976. Today, derivative works, no matter how transformative, may spread to millions in an instant, all while trading heavily on someone’s creative ideas without compensation.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright

 


From the Scout Report on March 18, 2016

Teaching Copyright
https://www.teachingcopyright.org/

When California passed a law in 2006 requiring schools that accept
technology funding to educate their students about copyright, plagiarism,
and Internet safety, many states considered following suit. However, to
date there are few online curricula that help educators to present
copyright law in a way that is both balanced and thought provoking. Enter
Teaching Copyright, which boasts five lessons that seek to teach students
the basics of copyright while encouraging their creativity and curiosity.
Lessons cover such topics as copyright and the rewards of innovation, the
intricacies of fair use, free speech, public domain, and a review of what
students already know. The last lesson takes students through an
entertaining and educational mock trial that helps them master the
principles of fair use. [CNH]

 



2. Library of Congress: Timeline of Copyright Milestones
http://www.loc.gov/teachers/copyrightmystery/text/files/

Prior to the Statute of Anne, which was passed in England on April 10,
1710, the rights of authors and publishers to control the copying and
distribution of their work went largely unacknowledged. However, after that
landmark law, a number of nations instituted copyright laws similar to the
ones we know today, including laws passed in the post-Revolutionary War
United States. On this page from the Library of Congress, readers will find
an excellent timeline of copyright milestones, from the age of scribes
prior to the invention of the printing press in the 15th century to the age
of the Internet. Along the way they may enjoy perusing entries about the
Universal Copyright Convention, held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1952, the
amending copyright laws in 1980 to include computer programs, and the 1998
law that extended copyright protection to the life of an author plus 70
years after the author's death. Indeed, this excellent compilation helps
take "the mystery out of copyright," and offers a comprehensive look at
copyright law through the ages. [CNH]

 



3. Common Sense Media: Copyright and Fair Use Animation
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/copyright-and-fair-use-animation

This three-minute video about copyright and fair use, which was produced by
Common Sense Media and intended for use by secondary teachers, provides an
excellent overview of basic concepts related to copyright law. For example,
the video offers five tips for using copyrighted Internet content,
including: check who owns it, get permission to use it, give credit to the
creator, buy it (if necessary), and use it responsibly. The video also
explains that content can be used fairly when the intention is related to
schoolwork and education, news reporting, criticizing or commenting, and
comedy or parody, but that the work must not be for profit and only small
bits of it can be presented. In addition to the short animation, the site
provides a helpful lesson plan called "Copyrights and Wrongs," as well as a
Video Discussion Guide to help students engage with the material. [CNH]


 



4. Copyright in Education Flowchart
https://exbibliolibris.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/copyright-flowchart.jpg

"Can I use material I found online for teaching or school work?" This
illuminating infographic answers the question in a step-by-step guide,
identifying what material can - and cannot - be used for teaching or school
purposes. For example, the flowchart suggests that readers who need media
to present their research or to assist with teaching might first consider
creating their own media. If they can't do that, they might search for
Public Domain materials. If they can't find what they're looking for in the
public domain, they might search for Creative Commons. If that doesn't
work, they can then think about whether they might claim Fair Use. The
infographic also includes a section on licensing one's own media, a section
on how to think about whether it might be feasible to claim fair use, and
instructions for how to ethically and legally claim fair use in certain
circumstances. [CNH]


 



5. Fair Use Evaluator

http://librarycopyright.net/resources/fairuse/

In the United States, use of copyrighted material is considered fair when
it is done for a limited and transformative purpose. Knowing what is
determined fair use and what isn't, however, is not always as easy as it
sounds. The Fair Use Evaluator, which was created by the American Library
Association's Office for Information Technology Policy, helps readers
through the process of deciding what is and isn't fair use under the U.S.
Copyright Code. To use the evaluator, select "Make a Fair Use Evaluation."
The program will then take readers through five steps, including Getting
Started, The Fair Use Evaluator, Provide Additional Information, Get a Hard
or Electronic Copy, and How to Use Your Analysis. In addition, on the
homepage readers may also select Learn More About Fair Use, for basic
information about fair use guidelines. As an interactive tool, the
Evaluator is a helpful resource for anyone unsure about fairness of use.
[CNH]


 



6. The United States Copyright Office
http://copyright.gov

The United States Copyright Office website virtually teems with information
about the multifarious intricacies and real world practicalities of
copyright law. Here readers may Register a Copyright, Record a Document,
Search Records, and Learn About Statutory Licensing. They may also engage
in various Tutorials that are designed to help users navigate the site,
such as an excellent Copyright Search Tutorial, which may be viewed in
PowerPoint, Webpage, PDF, and OpenDocument formats. Beginners to the wide
world of Copyright may benefit from the answers found in the Frequently
Asked Questions section, where they can find explanations of such
quandaries as "What is Copyright?" and "When is my work protected?" Finally
the Law and Policy page includes a range of services, including sections
dedicate to Copyright Law, Regulations, and Policy Reports, among many
others. Interested readers may also find the Fair Use Index especially
useful as it allows users to search jurisdictions and categories for
particular cases and judicial decisions. [CNH]

 



7. NYPL: Public Domain Collections
http://www.nypl.org/research/collections/digital-collections/public-domain

According to Copyright.gov, "A work of authorship is in the 'public domain'
if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the
requirements for copyright protection." Works in the public domain may be
used free of charge for any purpose. Amazingly, the New York Public Library
has recently placed more than 180,000 of the items in their Digital
Collections in the public domain. Readers may like to explore several tools
and projects designed to inspire use of the public domain resources. These
include Visualize the Public Domain, where readers may scout the public
domain resources by century, genre, collection, or color; Discover the
Collections, where experts post blog entries inviting users to use the
collections in interesting ways; and a series of Public Domain Remixes, in
which NYPL staff have used public domain materials to create groundbreaking
games and projects. In addition, readers may use the excellent search
function to explore the digital collections and discover for themselves
what might be useful. [CNH]

 



===== Intellectual Property and Licensing ===

8. WIPO: What is Intellectual Property?
http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/

As this excellent site from the World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO) so succinctly explains, intellectual property (IP) refers to
creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works;
designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. Types of IP
include Copyright, Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs, and
Geographical Indications. As a whole, the WIPO website is broadly
informative and readers will find a number of excellent Publications. For
example, the freely downloadable PDF "What is IP?" contains an introduction
and pithy chapters on the subjects of patents, trademarks, industrial
design, and geographical indications, as well as a chapter dedicated to
copyright and related rights. For a more comprehensive treatment, readers
will also find the freely downloadable "WIPO Intellectual Property
Handbook." [CNH]

 



9. Intellectual Property Law: Why Should I Care?
https://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/col/bruinsuccess/01/01.cfm

This entertaining site from the UCLA Library helps readers understand the
elaborate case law of intellectual property through illustrations, quizzes,
and colorful text boxes. After perusing the homepage, readers may like to
explore the various sections of the site. The first, Intellectual Property,
includes 15 subsections that explain the basics of copyright, fair use,
patents, trademarks, and other related topics before offering a quiz to
help readers maximize their learning. Need a File, Share a File delves into
copyright as related to the ever more common practice of file sharing,
while Citing and Documenting Sources provides an excellent primer on how to
avoid plagiarism and how to properly cite various types of media. For
readers working in a college context, this sterling resource from UCLA
libraries can provide students and professors with everything they need to
know about intellectual property in academia. [CNH]

 



10. Ten Simple Rules to Protect Your Intellectual Property
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3493459/

Scientists of all kinds will benefit from reading this excellent article
from the open access journal, PLoS: Computational Biology. The authors,
each of whom is well established in his field, offer ten simple rules that
might help researchers protect their intellectual property. These include
tips such as: Get Professional Help, Know Your (Intellectual Property)
Rights, Think about Why You Want IP, Be Realistic about What You Can, and
Cannot, Protect, Keep Your Idea Secret until You Have Filed a Patent
Application, and others. Each rule is accompanied by several explanatory
paragraphs that elucidate and clarify the points, making for an
exceptionally useful list of advice for scientists that would like to
protect their innovative work and develop it for the next phase of inquiry
and results.[CNH]

 



11. Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus (PDF)
http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/news/publications/IP_Report_March_2012.pdf

This 76-page report prepared by the Economics and Statistics Administration
and the United States Patent and Trademark Office makes the case that, far
from being secondary to the task, trademarks and other intellectual
property (IP) rights provide the very bedrock by which the United States
expands its economy and makes its place in the world. Key findings of the
report include the fact that the U.S. economy as a whole relies on some
form of IP, because nearly every industry either produces or uses
intellectual property. The report also identifies 75 industries that are
particularly IP-intensive, and these industries accounted for approximately
27 million jobs and almost 19 percent of employment in the year 2010. The
report also includes distinct sections dedicated to patents, trademarks,
copyrights, and employment, each of which are fact filled and educational
in their own right. [CNH]

 



12. Creative Commons
http://creativecommons.org

Creative Commons is a nonprofit that offers free legal tools to creative
people who would like to share their work under specified conditions. On
the site, readers may like to start by searching the commons, which they
can do using the convenient search feature. A search turns up results from
the OpenClipArt library, Google, Wikimedia Commons, SoundCloud, and other
sources - all of it pre-approved for legal use. The site also features a
number of compelling features for users who would like to license their own
content. For example, under Licenses, users will find categories such as
About the Licenses, Choose a License, and Things to know before licensing
to understand available licensing options for particular products. On the
other hand, readers who would like to use the work of others may also read
about Best practices for attribution and Getting permission. Finally, the
Creative Commons blog is a regularly updated source of information about
licensing, public domain work, and the various artists and others that use
Creative Commons to license their work. [CNH]

 



13. Foter Blog: How To Attribute Creative Commons Photos
http://foter.com/blog/how-to-attribute-creative-commons-photos/

With more than 227 million images available for legal use on its site,
Creative Commons is a phenomenal resource for bloggers, educators, web
designers, and many others working in digital images. However, according to
the researchers at Foter Blog, more than 90 percent of Creative Commons
photos are not attributed at all. Of those that are attributed, less than
10 percent are attributed properly. This surprisingly clear infographic
provides concise directions for how, exactly, to attribute Creative Commons
content. First, the infographic explains what a Creative Commons license is
and what it allows users to do. Then it explains the different conditions
(Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivative Works, and Share Alike) and
what they mean. Finally, the graphic offers some statistics on the most
popular licenses and categories before reviewing how users should attribute
photos, using a simple four-step process that includes citing the author,
the title of the work, the license type, and the copyright notices. For
readers who would like to understand how to properly attribute Creative
Commons content, this infographic is a must see. [CNH]

 



14. YouTube: A Shared Culture
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQqZU8G7bAo

This snappy and succinct 3-minute video offers readers a concise
explanation of what Creative Commons is, what it does, and how artists,
corporations, musicians, bloggers, and anyone else might make use of it.
Put simply, according the video, Creative Commons is like a public park:
anyone can use a public park, as long as they follow certain guidelines.
Likewise, anyone can use the materials on the Creative Commons website, as
long as they correctly attribute the work, based on the Creative Commons
licensing system. In addition, artists and others who would like to share
their work may choose exactly how they would like it to be used. For
example, can it be used for commercial purposes, or not? Or, can people use
it to make derivative work? Or, do the users need to share alike? Creative
Commons seeks to build a global community of shared ideas, and this video
explains the process. [CNH]

 



15. Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media
http://guides.library.harvard.edu/Finding_Images

Subject matter experts at the Harvard Law School Library have compiled over
130 Research Guides  to assist students and other library patrons with
their research initiatives. Ranging in topic from Animal Law to Mergers &
Acquisitions to Visualization Tools, there are numerous resources to be
explored. One particular guide of note is the Public Domain and Creative
Commons Media Finder. This handy reference was crafted by Research
Librarian Meg Kribble and will help interested readers locate and correctly
attribute public domain and Creative Commons media for personal and
academic use. To start, the guide breaks down the difference between the
public domain and Creative Commons. Then, the guide links to a helpful
three-minute video that explains the Creative Commons process and offers an
infographic detailing the various types of Creative Commons licenses.
Perhaps most helpful, are the  annotated listings of public domain and
Creative Commons Web resources. This thorough compilation is sure to make
it easy to find Images, Audio Content, and Video Content for a variety of
projects and presentations. [CBD]

 


Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA and Fair Use ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright

 

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm
Scroll down to "Law"

 


"In India, Academics Defend Photocopying of Textbooks for Course Packs," by Mridu Khullar Relph," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 15, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/In-India-Academics-Cry-Foul/140329/

In early July, after the monsoon rains have washed away the last of an oppressive heat, students and their parents arrive in droves here at the University of Delhi to begin the academic year. It is a busy time for the roadside markets and other businesses near the campus, when they earn most of their annual income from sales of tea, snacks, T-shirts, and, most important, course packs.

But this year, confusion and unease pervade the dozens of photocopy shops that produce the packs, which include a semester's worth of reading material from various textbooks and academic journals. That's because one of their own, Rameshwari Photocopy Services, is at the center of a legal fight that has gained international attention.

Three of the world's biggest academic publishers—Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Taylor & Francis—are suing Rameshwari and the university for producing thousands of bound course packs a year. They claim that the course packs violate various copyrights, hurt their bottom lines, and reduce residual payments to the academics in India, the United States, and elsewhere whose work is being copied.

But the publishers' move has drawn widespread criticism among professors and students in India. They say this kind of photocopying not only is entirely within the law, but also is essential for education in a developing country where students can barely afford one textbook, let alone dozens for each class.

Indeed, the opponents' portrayal of wealthy, Western publishers trying to wring funds from poor Indian students has helped trigger a global outcry. Last year Amartya Sen, the Harvard economist and Nobel laureate, sent a letter asking the Oxford press, which publishes his work, to abandon the lawsuit. In March a similar letter to all three presses came from more than 300 academics and authors from around the world—33 of whom the publishers name in the suit as victims of copyright infringement.

"As authors and educators, we would like to place on record our distress at this act of the publishers, as we recognize the fact that in a country like India marked by sharp economic inequalities, it is often not possible for every student to obtain a personal copy of a book," the letter said.

Of course, legal battles over course packs and copyrights are not new to academe. In the United States, for example, a closely watched case brought by Cambridge, Oxford, and SAGE Publications against Georgia State University is working its way through the U.S. court system. The publishers assert that the university committed widespread copyright violations when it allowed some of their content to be used, unlicensed, in electronic reserves.

The Rameshwari Photocopy case touches on some of the same issues but may have broader implications for the country's universities, where photocopying has long been standard operating procedure.

It's been a student tradition in India for decades: Look through a syllabus and head off to the copy shop to get a course pack. Indian professors as well as students argue that the packets are integral to university education.

"If I have to teach a subject, I design a very elaborate teaching plan, the aim of that being that I need to expose my students to and have them thinking critically about several key themes and topics through a wide diversity of reading," says Shamnad Basheer, a professor of intellectual-property law at Kolkata's National University of Juridical Sciences. "These are not textbooks. These are short extracts of books and several different books. They in no way affect the market of the main books." 'It's the Law of the Land'

But the publishers claim that course packs are in violation of India's Copyright Act of 1957, which gives copyright holders exclusive rights over reproduction of the material. They do not intend to deny Indian students the texts needed for their education, they insist, arguing that universities can pay an annual licensing fee that would allow for limited reproduction of the covered publications.

"It's the law of the land that photocopying for commercial purposes is not desirable, because it's not fair to stakeholders concerned," says Sudhir Malhotra, president of the Federation of Indian Publishers, which represents the Indian branches of the three plaintiffs. The photocopy shop, by selling course packs, is engaging in commercial activity, he says.

"Yes, we recognize that students do need to photocopy certain educational material, and they need to do it easily, quickly, and as inexpensively as possible," Mr. Malhotra says. "All we are saying is that [copy shops and universities] should take a license. It's a question of legal compliance. If a radio station wants to broadcast music, a song, it takes a license from the music society. That's it."

Last year the federation endorsed a plan by the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation, which grants literary copyright licenses, to provide licenses to universities that want to be able to reproduce the works of publishers that work with the rights group. This year, some Indian universities signed up.

But many academics argue that the publishers are overlooking the fact that Indian copyright law has a fair-use clause and an education exemption.

Satish Deshpande, a sociology professor at Delhi, says the publishers want the courts to essentially rewrite the law.

"I think this case is a very deliberate 'test' case on the part of the publishers," he says. "They're not really interested in the specifics of this particular case, but they want to use it as an example, and, in a sense, they want to use it to reinterpret the copyright law in a way that will suit their interests better than the letter of the law now seems to."

Mr. Malhotra, of the publishers' federation, denies that they have any motive other than to honor the letter of the law.

Other academics take issue with the licensing fees that universities would have to pay if they signed an agreement with the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization.

Mr. Basheer, the professor of intellectual-property law, says that the fees, which vary depending on the university, may seem low but would very likely increase over time, and that universities would pass the expense on to students themselves.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Years ago I put copies of most readings in my courses, including my textbooks, on reserve in the campus library. In those days it was more expensive for students to photocopy a textbook than to buy it new or used. Putting the textbook on reserve was mostly a convenience for students who wanted to study on a particular day and had left their textbooks at home.

Technology has changed the situation today. Now textbooks are very expensive, and students who take the trouble to use a scanner can get free electronic copies.  I don't think publishers have a copyright case against a professor who simply puts several copies of the textbook on reserve at the library. The professor has no control over a student's decision to scan a free copy (with a huge amount of time and effort). The publisher could sue students for doing this, but it would be hard to detect when a student scans in privacy.

I think a professor who puts an electronic copy on a server, such as a Blackboard server, without permission from the copyright holder is in violation of copyright law. The Fair Use Safe Harbor does not apply to this egregious act ---
See Below.

Also professors who give closed-book examinations and allow students to use their computers (not connected to the Internet) must worry that those computers contain electronic versions of textbooks.

 


Question
What is one of the major historical sources of copyright law?

A review of  Unfair to Genius by Gary A. Rosen (Oxford, 307 pages, $27.95)
"The Scourge Of Tin Pan Alley:  Ira Arnstein's frivolous suits against America's greatest composers created modern copyright law," by Ken Emerson, The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2012 ---
http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444327204577614533857436886.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t&mg=reno64-wsj

. . .

According to Ira B. Arnstein, he did, and for more than three decades he persistently sued the likes of Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, their publishers and their rights organizations for plagiarizing his own ditties. In truth, Arnstein contributed less to the Great American Songbook than he did to "copyright law and lore," as Gary A. Rosen explains in his entertaining and instructive book, "Unfair to Genius: The Strange and Litigious Career of Ira B. Arnstein."

Arnstein, Mr. Rosen writes, was "a crank, a noodnik, and a loser." He was briefly committed to a mental hospital and certified a lunatic. Even Arnstein himself once confessed in court: "Reading my testimony, anyone would get an idea that the person testifying is of a disordered mind." Though he never won a case, Mr. Rosen argues that Arnstein's quixotic claims "engaged some of the finest legal minds of his era, forcing them to refine and sharpen their doctrines."

. . .

Much of "Unfair to Genius" chronicles the battles royal over rights between songwriters, publishers and the new technologies of records, radio and film. Lyricist Lorenz Hart sneered that Ascap's archrival, BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), stood for "Bad Music Instead." In the late 1950s, crooner Rudy Vallée castigated Judge Learned Hand and his 1940 ruling in favor of radio broadcasters for spawning rock 'n' roll and "the cacophony that floods the air waves." Today the devastation of the music industry by the equally if not even more disruptive technology of the Internet makes these battles of more than merely historical interest.

In Mr. Rosen's view, power in popular music and control over copyright gradually passed from the sheet-music publishers of Tin Pan Alley to the songwriters who composed the Great American Songbook, and from them to the "superstar performers and integrated big media companies" of the rock era. Arnstein, whom Mr. Rosen likens to Woody Allen's Zelig, pops up intermittently in this narrative, illuminating it fitfully.

Much about Arnstein's life, including his date of birth (somewhere between 1876 and 1883), is unknown or undiscovered by Mr. Rosen. Having emigrated from a Ukrainian shtetl, Arnstein sang as a boy soprano in a Russian peasant choir at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. After Arnstein's voice changed, he studied violin and composition in New York and toured the U.S. as a pianist supporting opera diva Nellie Melba. He began to make a respectable living as a composer and voice and piano teacher in Harlem and augmented his income by dabbling in popular music, publishing a few pop songs and playing piano accompaniment to silent films. His greatest ambition was to compose an opera based on the life of David. After the Metropolitan Opera rejected it as "amateurish," Arnstein slipped gradually but ineluctably into penury and a dementia that Mr. Rosen diagnoses as "morbid querulousness," a behavior disorder characterized by a self-destructive and disruptive pursuit of personal vindication in the courts.

Mr. Rosen, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, admits that his book isn't a biography but "a narrative romp across six decades of understudied legal and cultural history." Sometimes it romps into the weeds of irrelevance. Do we really care to learn that an ostensibly expert witness who "played a relentless Inspector Javert to . . . Arnstein's beleaguered Jean Valjean" devoured cauliflower in college? And Mr. Rosen never quite clinches his argument for Arnstein's significance by explaining clearly how copyright and intellectual property law would be different today if he had never filed a suit.

But if Arnstein at times seems like a bit player in the book whose subtitle bears his name, Mr. Rosen's cast of characters, which sprawls from the bench to business to the boards, contains some real corkers. One standout is cantor Josef "Yossele" Rosenblatt, "the Jewish Caruso," whom Mr. Rosen compares, in his refusal to compromise his faith, to Sandy Koufax. Rosenblatt's beard, Mr. Rosen writes, 'in impossibly literal compliance with Leviticus 19:27," sported "four perfect, hospital corners." His voice seemed impossible, too, spanning 3½ octaves. "Doubtless he could sing the whole score of the Barber of Seville all by himself," one critic marveled. Unlike Arnstein, whom the Metropolitan Opera spurned, Rosenblatt starred there in "La Juive" and elsewhere on a vaudeville bill that included the young Gypsy Rose Lee.

That improbable leap from high opera to low vaudeville suggests the fun to be found in "Unfair to Genius" as it leavens legal history with showbiz anecdote, and insight with amusement.

Copyright Troll --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_troll

TED Video:  Drew Curtis: How I beat a patent troll --- Click Here
http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_curtis_how_i_beat_a_patent_troll.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TEDTalks_video+%28TEDTalks+Main+%28SD%29+-+Site%29&utm_content=Google+Reade

American Library Association's Slide Rule Helper for Copyright Law--- http://librarycopyright.net/digitalslider/

"Colleges Offer Online Help on Copyright Law for Instructors," by Marc Beja, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 24, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3846&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

A Fair(y) Tale:  Animated cartoon about copyright law --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo
Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms.  Also see http://snipurl.com/fairu1
Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

 

Also see Bob Jensen's threads on cheating and plagiarism
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

"New copyright-like rights considered harmful," by Mike Linksvayer, Creative Commons, December 13th, 2010 ---
http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/25560


Fair Use --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
Note that Fair Use safe harbors that apply to the U.S. generally do not apply to other countries. However, other countries may also be more lax in enforcement of copyright laws.

"Let's Spread the Word About Fair Use," by Zick Rubin, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 23, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Lets-Spread-the-Word-About/134544/

Last month, as college students across the country prepared to head back to campuses, my fax machine coughed out my annual "Request for Permission" from the Copyright Clearance Center, the corporation that is one of the world's largest brokers of licenses to copy other people's work.

As in past years, the center asked me how much I wanted to charge to permit Middle Earth College to include a copy of Chapter 5 of my book, Liking and Loving: An Invitation to Social Psychology, in a course pack for the 18 students enrolled in Professor McClain's Management 710 this fall. (I've changed the names of the college, the professor, and the course.)

If past experience were a guide, I could name my price, out of which the Copyright Clearance Center would take its 15-percent commission. Given how oppressively high college tuitions have become these days, I doubted that the students would notice the extra three or four dollars that I could ask each of them to pony up for the right to have his or her own copy of Chapter 5. The form had blanks to check for "fee for page," "fee per copy," and "flat fee," but not for "no fee."

I was delighted that Professor McClain wanted to use my chapter again, especially given the hefty permission fees I have charged in past years. It's true that Liking and Loving was published 39 years ago and has long been out of print. Some of the timely examples in Chapter 5­—such as the public events of Vida Blue's rookie season for the Oakland Athletics, in 1971—are not quite so timely anymore. But I think it still holds up pretty well.

Yes, I knew that licensing fees had driven up the price of some course packs to $100 or more, to the dismay of colleges and students. Once a great innovation, allowing professors to create their own reasonably priced books of readings for their courses, the course pack was in danger of foundering. High licensing costs were also stretching college-­library budgets for the course pack's digital offspring, the electronic version placed on reserve for students enrolled in a course.

On the other hand, we want American students to have the best possible educational resources, don't we? And since Liking and Loving was going to enter the public domain awfully soon­­—in 2068—I figured I had better make the most of my copyright while I still could. There was just one problem, and, as a copyright lawyer, I couldn't ignore it. Under current copyright law, Middle Earth College probably doesn't need my permission—or anyone else's—to include my chapter in the course pack. The university and its bookstore have a right to make copies of the chapter for enrolled students without even asking, under the copyright doctrine of fair use.

If this was fuzzy before, it's clearer now, from the careful opinion issued in May by the federal judge Orinda Evans in the test case brought by publishers—and paid for in part by the Copyright Clearance Center itself—against Georgia State University. After a two-week trial in Atlanta, Judge Evans ruled that Georgia State had the right to make available to enrolled students up to one chapter of a 10-chapter book without permission or payment, as a matter of fair use. That's because the constitutionally prescribed purpose of copyright is not to enrich authors or publishers but rather to encourage the progress of knowledge.

Under Judge Evans's opinion, in an instance like the Middle Earth request, three of the four determining factors for fair use come out in the "fair" direction: First, Professor McClain is assigning my chapter for nonprofit educational purposes, not for commercial gain; second, although some have said that Liking and Loving reads like a novel, it is a factual and—ahem!—scientific work; third, the portion that is being copied is only one chapter out of 10 and makes up only a small proportion of the book's pages.

The only factor that tilts in the "unfair" direction is the fact that, thanks mainly to the work of the copyright center, there is a readily available licensing market for photocopying excerpts of my book. In 3-to-1 cases like this one, Judge Evans determined that Georgia State's copying was fair use and required no permission at all. Out of some 75 instances that the court considered, the judge found only five to be infringements—and each of them involved the use of two or more chapters of a book. Although the Georgia State case involved electronic course reserves, not photocopies, the same fair-use calculus applies.

Copyright law is admittedly amorphous—in the first fair-use case, back in 1841, Justice Joseph Story called it "the metaphysics of the law"—and the publishers have filed an appeal. So it's possible that the law will change.

But, in the meantime, Judge Evans's decision is the leading case on this issue, and the Copyright Clearance Center, having supported the test case against Georgia State, should respect the court's decision. At the least, it should inform copyright owners of the decision and give them another choice: a blank for "this looks like fair use to me." That's what I faxed back to the center this year, even though I had to write it in.

Continued in article


In landmark ruling, federal judge rejects most arguments made by publishers in suit against Georgia State over e-reserves. But she also imposes some rules that could complicate life for librarians and professors.
"Some Leeway, Some Limits," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 14, 2012
---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/05/14/court-rejects-many-publishers-arguments-e-reserves 


"Canadian Supreme Court’s Copyright Rulings Are Called ‘Big Win’ for Colleges," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 12, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/global/canadian-supreme-courts-copyright-rulings-are-called-big-win-for-colleges/33897

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that photocopying material for student use does not infringe the country’s Copyright Act, reports CTV news. The ruling, one of five copyright decisions issued on Thursday by the court, means that colleges and universities stand to save millions of dollars in copyright fees. Academics applauded the rulings. Laura Murray, a copyright expert at Queen’s University, called it “a big win for education.” Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, expressed similar sentiments in a blog post about the rulings.

July 13, 2012 reply from Ramesh Fernando

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6571/125/
I strongly recommend for anyone interested in Canadian copyright law follow Professor Geist of the University of Ottawa at http://www.michaelgeist.ca

 


In landmark ruling, federal judge rejects most arguments made by publishers in suit against Georgia State over e-reserves. But she also imposes some rules that could complicate life for librarians and professors.
"Some Leeway, Some Limits," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 14, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/05/14/court-rejects-many-publishers-arguments-e-reserves 

A federal judge on Friday outlined many ways colleges can continue to cite the doctrine of "fair use" to permit their making electronic copies of books and other materials for use in teaching and scholarship. In a landmark ruling over many issues not previously litigated to this degree in the digital era, the judge rejected many of the claims in a suit by three prominent publishers against Georgia State University. In 94 of the 99 instances cited by the publishers as copyright violations, the judge ruled that Georgia State and its professors were covered by fair use. And the judge also rejected the publishers' ideas about how to regulate e-reserves -- ideas that many academic librarians said would be unworkable.

At the same time, however, the judge imposed a strict limit of 10 percent on the volume of a book that may be covered by fair use (a proportion that would cover much, but by no means all, of what was in e-reserves at Georgia State, and probably at many other colleges). And the judge ruled that publishers may have more claims against college and university e-reserves if the publishers offer convenient, reasonably priced systems for getting permission (at a price) to use book excerpts online. The lack of such systems today favored Georgia State, but librarians who were anxiously going through the decision were speculating that some publishers might be prompted now to create such systems, and to charge as much as the courts would permit.

The 340-page decision by Judge Orinda D. Evans is a pivotal point in years of litigation brought by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publications -- with backing from the publishing industry. Many experts expect this case to assume a role that cases against Kinko's (decided in 1991) and Michigan Document Services (decided in 1996) played in defining copyright issues for printed coursepacks. But the Georgia State decision doesn't end the legal hearings (even if there isn't an appeal). Evans ordered the publishers to propose remedies for the violations she found, and new hearings will be held on those proposals.

While some university librarians were so anxious about this case that they stayed up late Friday to tweet their reactions, some of the official reactions aren't coming until later today. The Association of American Publishers would say this weekend only that it was studying the decision. A Georgia State spokeswoman said that its officials were also reviewing the decision and couldn't say much more than "we're reviewing the judge's order but are pleased with our initial assessment." (As the decision notes, the publishers' group recruited the three plaintiffs in the case, and with the Copyright Clearinghouse Center split the legal costs of the three publishers who sued.)

While the legal analysis may take time, both publishers and academic librarians have reacted strongly throughout the case. Publishers argued hat their system of promoting scholarship can't lose copyright benefits. Judge Evans in her decision noted that most book (and permission) sales for student use are by large for-profit companies, not by nonprofit university presses. But the Association of American University Presses has backed the suit by Cambridge and Oxford, saying that university presses "depend upon the income due them to continue to publish the specialized scholarly books required to educate students and to advance university research."

Many librarians, meanwhile, have expressed shock that university presses would sue a university for using their works for teaching purposes. Barbara Fister, a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College and an Inside Higher Ed blogger, tweeted Friday night: "It still boggles my mind that scholarly presses are suing scholars teaching works that were written to further knowledge."

The reserve readings at the crux of the dispute are chapters, essays or portions of books that are assigned by Georgia State professors to their undergraduate and graduate students. (While the readers are frequently referred to as "supplemental," they are generally required; "supplemental" refers to readings supplementing texts that the professors tell students to buy.) E-reserves are similar to the way an earlier generation of students might have gone to the library for print materials on reserve. The decision in this case notes a number of steps taken by Georgia State (such as password protection) to prevent students from simply distributing the electronic passages to others.

Sorting Out the Law

Judge Evans spends much of the decision focused on whether Georgia State's use of e-reserves was consistent with the principles of fair use. She notes that the fair use exemption in federal law requires consideration of four factors (although the law is vague on exactly how the four factors should be weighed). The four factors are:

1. "The purpose and character of the use," including whether the use is "for nonprofit educational purposes."

2. "The nature of the copyrighted book."

3. "The amount and substantiality of the portion used."

4. The impact of the use on "the market" for sale of the book or other material.

Evans found that the first two factors strongly favored Georgia State. The university is a nonprofit educational institution using the e-reserves for education, she notes. Further, she found for Georgia State on the second factor, noting that the works in question were nonfiction and "informational," categories she said were appropriately covered by fair use.

The analysis of the third and fourth factors was less straightforward to Judge Evans. She starts by rejecting a claim of the publishers that a 1976 agreement between publishers and some education groups should govern fair use for e-reserves. That agreement was "very restrictive," she writes. For example, only work that did not exceed 2,500 words was covered. Still other limits were set on how many times an instructor could invoke fair use in a single course.

While rejecting the 1976 agreement, Judge Evans writes that there are legitimate questions about how much material may be used. In a sign of just how complicated the issues are, she notes that the publishers asked her to base any percentages on only the text portion of a book (excluding introductory pages, footnotes and concluding tables) while Georgia State wanted everything counted. Evans based her percentages on Georgia State's view that the book is the entire book.

Her challenge, she writes, is to determine what size excerpts are "small enough" to justify fair use. Here, after reviewing a range of decisions, Evans settles on 10 percent of a book (or one chapter of a book) as an appropriate measure, allowing professors enough substance to offer students, while not effectively making a large portion of the book available.

On the fourth factor (market impact), Evans writes that there is a clear impact if and only if the publisher has a system for selling access to excerpts that are "reasonably available, at a reasonable price." The reason this prong did not help the publishers more in the case is evidence cited by the judge that much of the material in question was not available through an online licensing program. So Georgia State did not have the "reasonably available option."

At various points in the decision, Evans also weighs the intent of both copyright protection and fair use in the context of this case, generally with an analysis that is sympathetic to Georgia State. "Because the unpaid use of small excerpts will not discourage academic authors from creating new works, will have no appreciable effect on plaintiffs' ability to publish scholarly works, and will promote the spread of knowledge," she writes.

Continued in article


Copyright Troll --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_troll

TED Video:  Drew Curtis: How I beat a patent troll --- Click Here
http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_curtis_how_i_beat_a_patent_troll.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TEDTalks_video+%28TEDTalks+Main+%28SD%29+-+Site%29&utm_content=Google+Reader


"Copyright Goes Philosophical," by Carlin Romano, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 29, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Copyright-Goes-Philosophical/130451/?sid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

If God hadn't felt confident that he'd maintain copyright control over Creation, would he have sat on his hands for six days? True, his control presumably runs for the life of the author plus eternity—which may be the same thing in his case—but you figure he had bigger fish to fry, or at least to put in the sea.

How about ordinary sons and daughters of Adam and Eve? (Note to Supreme Court: I claim "fair use" here vis-à-vis the Big Guy, Moses, biblical scribes, whoever.) Exactly what incentive do they need to create books, poems, articles, songs, albums, movies, documentaries, TV shows, and more? Do they need profit? Or do they just enjoy and prefer profit? Must it be big profit—even if a project is one's lifelong creative dream—or will a small payoff do?

And how long must the profit continue? Do most artists care about what happens 70 years after their death? (Many artists, as we know, need a scheduler to figure out what's happening tomorrow.) And how about break-even status? Can that incentivize creativity? Wouldn't a lot of noncommercial types—the kind of nonprofit artists perennially going out of business—be happy with that?

Last month brought an explosion of breaking news about intellectual-property issues, including copyright—the public battle over Internet-piracy bills in Congress, with ideological alliances crisscrossing standard lines, and sponsors turning against their own bills; the Supreme Court decision, Golan v. Holder, which strengthened copyright holders by permitting former public-domain works to be whooshed into copyright; and the Justice Department attack on Megaupload.

To casual observers, it might seem that issues of intellectual property—the term generally refers to copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secrets—like so much in Washington, get decided through battle in the political and judicial policy trenches, abetted by lobbying. The striking aspect of the IP cascade was the ideological uncertainty—the unpredictability of where various parties lined up, or might.

Hard-core libertarians and others, as has been the case in recent decades, continue to differ on whether they want information to be free or want it sufficiently controlled by corporate America so that Big Corporate can be free to make huge profits. Free-speech advocates generally loathe copyright expansion that blocks the ability of "everyman" to use or play with the speech of others, but they also share concerns of artists and creative sorts, who feel pinched by the ability of others to copy and distribute their work amid the digital revolution.

The Chronicle has covered the developments most pertinent to academics. (See, in particular, "The Copyright Rebellion," May 29, 2011, with its guide to Web sources.) But as copyright law has grown and altered in recent decades, "intellectual property" has become a term that leapfrogs a number of philosophical issues, and a body of philosophical and jurisprudential work has grown that can help one clarify positions on the trench warfare. As this brief, highly selective Baedeker to books and journals indicates, there's more than enough IP material around for on-the-fence Congresspeople, or their staffers, to find a way back to ideological moorings.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright


Wikipedia Policy on Quotations

Hi Eileen,

You might want to read the FAQs at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ten_things_you_may_not_know_about_Wikipedia
This includes the Following:

Everyone can use Wikipedia's work with a few conditions

Wikipedia has taken a cue from the free software community (which includes projects like GNU, Linux and Mozilla Firefox) and has done away with traditional copyright restrictions on our content. Instead, we've adopted what is known as a "free content license" (specifically, a choice between the CC-BY-SA and the GFDL): all text and composition created by our users is and will always remain free for anyone to copy, modify, and redistribute. We only insist that you credit the contributors and that you do not impose new restrictions on the work or on any improvements you make to it. Many of the images, videos, and other media on the site are also under free licenses, or in the public domain. Just check a file's description page to see its licensing terms.

 

Then if you really want to be confused read my threads on the DMCA ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright

Note that I am not a copyright lawyer, But in my humble opinion there's a huge difference between reproducing parts of works by commercial authors versus non-commercial authors. In the case of non-commercial authors like myself copyright holders almost always contact these authors to cease and desist without commencing frightful lawsuits. There are millions of quotations at my Website and only twice did somebody ask me to remove quotations. One was a a guy cleared of fraud charges who no longer wanted  newspaper quotations on the Web linking his name with allegations of fraud. The other was a woman who thought my quotations of her work were too long. After I removed them, however, she politely contacted me requesting that I put them back into my Web pages.

I do follow certain personal guidelines. I rarely quote an entire piece without permission. Yeah there are times when I quote very short newspaper items like editorial opinions in their entirety, but the WSJ never seems to mind.

There are some things that cannot be reproduced in part such as cartoons. I generally avoid putting cartoons at my Website. Those that you find an my Website were copied with permission. I'm not quite so fussy about personal email messages where I do forward cartoons, but if I'm going to put them into a Web server I become much more cautious.

As a rule copyright holders cannot prevent you from quoting their published works as long as the quotations are short in length. One of the main reasons is that authors cannot use copyright law to put their works above criticism. Sometimes it's really not effective to criticize a work without quoting some parts of that work.

Audio and video reproductions have their own complications. Generally the DMCA allows 30 second reproductions without having to seek permission in every instance. This allows radio and television shows to reproduce short blurbs without having to seek permission in every instance. But the DMCA makes exceptions if the particular 30 seconds is the only part of great value in the entire piece such as a few seconds of video of a Dallas parade showing the bullet passing through the head of President Kennedy.

Lastly writers like me should beware of becoming too complacent about getting away with long quotations. It's a little like overstating deductions to charities on a tax return. Just because you get away with such overstatements annually for 40 years does not make it legal. Also just because copyright holders do not complain about my lengthy quotations does not mean that I've not set a bad example for others to follow.

On the other hand, I've also encountered others who become overly cautious about copyright laws. I view them as drivers education teachers who never exceed 45 miles per hour on an Interstate highway. They set a bad example, especially for their drivers education students, even if what they do is perfectly legal.


Pirate Bay (controversial file sharing site) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Bay

Watch the New Pirate Bay Documentary Free Online ---
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/13cd8d5b1355389c

Last Friday night, TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Moments later, the indie documentary became freely available online, which left the film’s director, Simon Klose, grinning, not grumbling. It makes sense when you consider the premise of the filmPirate Bay is, of course, the web site that allows users to share media (music, movies, games, software) through a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, some of it copyrighted, some of it not. And the new film, writes Wired, documents “the hectic trial of Pirate Bay administrators Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and Peter Sunde, who were eventually convicted in a civil and criminal copyright case in Sweden in 2009 that pitted them against the government and the entertainment industry.”

TPB AFK is available on YouTube and Pirate Bay too. It’s also listed in the Documentary section of our big collection of 500 Free Movies Online.

Bob Jensen's threads on copyright law and the DMCA ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright


Proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. Congress ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

How SOPA Would Affect You ---
http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57329001-281/how-sopa-would-affect-you-faq/

"Wikipedia begins 24-hour shutdown protest," New Zealand Herald, January 19, 2012 ---
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10779616

Wikipedia has gone 'dark' for 24 hours in protest of US anti-piracy legislation. Photo / Supplied Expand Wikipedia has gone 'dark' for 24 hours in protest of US anti-piracy legislation. Photo / Supplied

Wikipedia went dark, Google blotted out its logo and other popular websites planned protests to voice concern over legislation in the US Congress intended to crack down on online piracy.

Wikipedia tonight shut down the English version of its online encyclopaedia for 24 hours to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate version, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Google placed a black redaction box over the logo on its much-visited US home page to draw attention to the bills, while social news site reddit and the popular Cheezburger humour network planned to shut down later in the day.

The draft legislation has won the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce.

But it has come under fire from digital rights and free speech organisations for allegedly paving the way for US authorities to shut down websites accused of online piracy, including foreign sites, without due process.

Continued in article

Jensen Copy
This is a classic example of trying to pop a pimple with a sledge hammer. If Congress passes this legislation as proposed it will be a disaster to open sharing as we know it today.

The good news is Wikileaks --- http://wikileaks.org/
I despise the Wikileaks site itself, but the good news is that Congress could not remove Wikileaks from the Internet even if it tried. Wikileaks may fold due to diminished financial support, but an act of Congress cannot shut it down unless there is worldwide cooperation to shut it down, and there will probably be ice fishing in Hell before the U.S. could engineer such cooperation. Similarly, I don't think an act of Congress can shut down Wikipedia or any other open sharing site that moves off shore. Stick that in your ear Rep. Lamar Smith.

"Brake the Internet Pirates:  How to slow down intellectual property theft in the digital era," The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2012 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577142893718069820.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t

Wikipedia and many other websites are shutting down today to oppose a proposal in Congress on foreign Internet piracy, and the White House is seconding the protest. The covert lobbying war between Silicon Valley and most other companies in the business of intellectual property is now in the open, and this fight could define—or reinvent—copyright in the digital era.

Everyone agrees, or at least claims to agree, that the illegal sale of copyrighted and trademarked products has become a world-wide, multibillion-dollar industry and a legitimate and growing economic problem. This isn't college kids swapping MP3s, as in the 1990s. Rather, rogue websites set up shop oversees and sell U.S. consumers bootleg movies, TV shows, software, video games, books and music, as well as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, jewelry and more.

Often consumers think they're buying copies or streams from legitimate retail enterprises, sometimes not. Either way, the technical term for this is theft.

The tech industry says it wants to stop such crimes, but it also calls any tangible effort to do so censorship that would "break the Internet." Wikipedia has never blacked itself out before on any other political issue, nor have websites like Mozilla or the social news aggregator Reddit. How's that for irony: Companies supposedly devoted to the free flow of information are gagging themselves, and the only practical effect will be to enable fraudsters. They've taken no comparable action against, say, Chinese repression.

Meanwhile, the White House let it be known over the weekend in a blog post—how fitting—that it won't support legislation that "reduces freedom of expression" or damages "the dynamic, innovative global Internet," as if this describes the reality of Internet theft. President Obama has finally found a regulation he doesn't like, which must mean that the campaign contributions of Google and the Stanford alumni club are paying dividends.

The House bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and its Senate counterpart are far more modest than this cyber tantrum suggests. By our reading they would create new tools to target the worst-of-the-worst black markets. The notion that a SOPA dragnet will catch a stray Facebook post or Twitter link is false.

Under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998, U.S. prosecutors and rights-holders can and do obtain warrants to shut down rogue websites and confiscate their domain names under asset-seizure laws. Such powers stop at the water's edge, however. SOPA is meant to target the international pirates that are currently beyond the reach of U.S. law.

Continued in article

January 18, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Pat,

The Copyright Trolling Business Model is Most Often a Fraud Model
One disturbing trend is the rise in purchase of companies like failing newspapers by attorneys for pretty much the sole purpose of pretending they will sue. For example, if the Cactus Gulch Daily Sentinel has lousy cash flow prospects, bottom feeders may instead buy the newspaper for almost nothing with a focus on threatening to sue people who put portions, even a single picture from the newspaper's archives, on the Web or in an email message to family.

The copyright trolling buyers may even shut down publishing current articles by the failing newspaper and simply scour the Web daily for people they can threaten to sue for publishing quotations and pictures from the archives.

What is evil is that many of these copyright trolls prey on the weak.
For example, suppose Grandma posts a 1958 newspaper picture of her children at the Cactus Gulch July 4, 1958 parade on her Facebook page. The copyright troll owner of the defunct Cactus Gulch Daily Sentinel will send a threatening letter to her demanding $5,000 immediately or he will sue her for copyright violation. She trembles in fear that if she has to hire an attorney, it will cost her more than $5,000 when hauled into court.

What weak people like Grandma do not know is that more often than this copyright trolling fraudster really has no intent of suing. The reason is that his lawsuit most likely will be thrown out of court if she only copied one old picture from the newspaper, and even if he should win in court this fraudster's damage award may be less than $100. This is how copyright trolls are fraudsters preying on the weak by trying to scare the weak into paying out of fear..

All this may be technically legal, but I still find this copyright trolling business model distasteful.

Look up "Copyright Troll" in Wikipedia when Wikipedia ends its one-day protest of SOPA.

There are quite a few copyright trolling fraudsters out there, some of whom are defrauding other copyright trolls themselves (ha ha)  ---
http://current.com/technology/92979069_copyright-troll-john-steele-uses-flawless-software-he-paid-250k-to-create-in-order-to-generate-evidence-to-sue-1000s-in-torrent-lawsuits.htm 

Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

 


I like to see patent buyers who add no value to society other than value to themselves lose in court
"Patent Lawsuit Against U. of Phoenix Is Dismissed," by By Ben Wieder, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 27, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/patent-lawsuit-against-u-of-phoenix-is-dismissed/29287?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A patent infringement case brought against the University of Phoenix and its parent company, Apollo Group, was dismissed this month by the U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Va.

Digital-Vending Services International asserted in a March 2008 suit that the underlying design of courseware management software at Phoenix and two other for-profit online colleges, Walden University and Capella Education Company, violated three patents held by members of the nonprofit Community and Learning Information Network, represented by Digital-Vending Services.

Walden and its parent company, Laureate Education Inc., and Capella earlier settled separately with Digital-Vending Services, which is based in Washington and whose member network includes patent holders with ties to the education, defense, aerospace, and software industries.

The court said in dismissing the suit against Phoenix that Digital-Vending Services “failed to point to admissible evidence that could support a finding of infringement.”


"Medical Diagnostic Test Taken Down By Copyright Claim," by Alex Knapp, Forbes, December 31, 2011 ---
http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2011/12/31/medical-diagnostic-test-taken-down-by-copyright-claim/
Thank you Robert Harris for the heads up.

For twenty five years, doctors and psychologists made use, free of charge, of the of the Mini–Mental State Examination, a 30 item list of questions used to cognitively screen patients for different mental tasks. It was used in textbooks, in medical schools, and a number of other applications. That’s because it was incredibly useful for doctors to use in order to diagnose certain ailments, even without specialized training.

In 2000, however, the authors of the MMSE started to enforce their copyright – for the first time since its inital publication in 1975. They granted a license to the company Psychological Assessment Resources, which now charges for use of the MMSE. As a result, the MMSE is now being used in fewer and fewer textbooks and other applications.

In response to the loss of a useful diagnostic tool, a group of researchers from Harvard developed the “Sweet 16″ in March of 2011. The Sweet 16 is comprised of 16 questions, used for the same cognitive screening tasks as the MMSE. Not only that, it performed as well or better than the MMSE, and the researchers made it freely available to anyone who wanted it.

. . .

There is also, I think, a serious legal question as to whether PAR can copyright the MMSE form in the first place – much less suggest that the Sweet 16 is infringing. James Grimmelmann, an associate professor at the New York Law School, has a long analysis in which he suggests that the MMSE form is uncopyrightable. Here’s a snippet.

In the first place, copyright is not available for any “procedure” or “process.” Administering the MMSE is carrying out a process. It cannot be copyrighted, any more than a new drug could be. That’s what patents are for, not copyright. [...]

What about the forms? You might object that PAR isn’t trying to stop doctors from using the MMSE, only to stop others from selling the forms that go with it. Well, it turns out the Supreme Court rejected that argument, too. In Baker v. Selden, the defendant was selling a book of blank forms to be used with the plaintiff’s accounting system. The Court held that this, too, was permissible. Yes, the Court said, the plaintiff could copyright his book explaining the system of accounting, but that copyright would not extend to the forms themselves.

The bottom line, according to Grimmelmann, is that the authors of the Sweet 16 pretty much “did everything right” by ensuring that the expressive portions of their test were different. And where those questions are similar to the MMSE, they’re not copyrightable. Nor, for that matter, are the forms used to administer the Sweet 16. Now, if the authors of the Sweet 16 were to copy portions of, say, a diagnostic manual explain the best way to administer the test, that probably (and rightly) would be a violation of copyright.

This is going to be an interesting story to watch over the coming months, both regarding the copyright of the MMSE and possibly enforcement of copyright of other clinical tests. Personally, I agree with Grimmelmann that the authors of the MMSE should terminate their license and release the MMSE into the public domain. I also agree with Newman and Feldman that clinicians should release any future diagnostic tests into the public domain or, at the very lease, should adopt “copyleft” techniques such as Creative Commons use to ensure that enforcement of copyright doesn’t put patients at risk.


Audio Clip on Copyright Fair Use
The March 2011 edition of The Pulse features an interview with Steve Anderson, director of the Media Arts + Practice Ph.D. Program and assistant professor of interactive media at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. He discusses the prospects of a more rational future for fair use in publishing and teaching ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/audio/academic_pulse/the_future_of_copyright_fair_use


Asia:  The Best and the Worst of Education Technology

"Closing Thoughts From a Monthlong Ed-Tech Tour of Asia," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/college20/closing-thoughts-from-a-monthlong-ed-tech-tour-of-asia/27305

Jensen Comment
One of the biggest issues when the West views the East, is the alleged failure of many parts of the East to honor the West's copyrights and patents on advances in technology and the failure to not only pay royalties but to profit from distribution of the West's books and software and some hardware.


Fair Use Section 107 of the DMCA --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Use
Note that many nations such as Canada do not have Fair Use safe harbors for educators

"Last Round of Filings Made in Georgia State U. Fair-Use Lawsuit," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 4, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/last-round-of-filings-made-in-georgia-state-u-fair-use-lawsuit/35088?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The plaintiffs and the defendants in the fair-use lawsuit that has pitted three academic publishers against Georgia State University have now filed their final post-trial briefs. That was the last opportunity for each side to make its case before the federal judge overseeing the case in Atlanta delivers a ruling. No date has been set for a decision in the closely watched case, but observers say one is likely by early fall. Cambridge U. Press, Oxford U. Press, and SAGE Publications have alleged that the use of copyrighted material in e-reserves and on faculty Web sites has exceeded the bounds of fair use. (See here for different opinions on what’s at stake for higher education.)


Hi Pat,

You are being good and proper for photographs that you paste into documents such as student handouts or overhead transparencies or your PowerPoint slides.

Section 107 (Fair Use) protections apply for educational use of pictures “immediately.” For example, suppose a graph picture appears in the WSJ on August 16, 2010. You can probably serve up the image on Blackboard, Moodle, or otherwise display that picture graph with a Fair Use safe harbor to your class on Monday, August 16, 2010 but not December 16, 2010. Such is the nature of Fair Use safe harbors under Section 107 of the DMCA. Fair Use protects educational use for “news immediacy” benefits to students. What’s murky is how long after August 16, 2010 your safe harbor Fair Use protection lasts. Generally it’s not more than a few days or however long it takes to get display permission from the copyright’s owner.

You would lose “immediacy benefits” on August 16  if it takes two weeks for the WSJ to grant permission to display pictures for educational purposes. One purpose of Fair Use is to make it possible to display educational material immediately to students and not be delayed up by the permission-granting process. But “immediately” does not cover your students on December 16, 2010 when there was sufficient time to obtain permission from the WSJ. Technology in most instances has greatly shortened the time it takes to get permissions from publishers.

Fair use safe harbors do not apply to any uses other than very limiting “educational purposes.” I doubt that my Web site qualifies for Fair Use since it is open to the public in general. If I put the picture on a Blackboard, Moodle, or some other password controlled server, Fair Value would apply if only my current students were given current passwords. There are of course gray zones where current passwords are given to former students. I doubt that former students qualify for Fair Use safe harbor protections. But “immediacy” time limits apply even to a password-controlled server, and millions of educators in the United States are probably serving up Blackboard or Moodle or PowerPoint pictures, such as graphs, to current students where Fair Use safe harbors have legally expired.

I think most educators are truly unaware of how fast Fair Use safe harbors expire under Section107 of the DMCA.

Of course Fair Use allows you to quote “reasonably short” portions of text material without any safe harbor time limits. Safe harbors last forever for reasonable quotations of text and very short video clips.

There are really three types of Web links to pictures and cartoons. One type of link does not show the picture on your Web page but is a link to somebody else’s Web page where the picture can be viewed in a file such as a htm file or xml file.. I don’t think there are any copyright issues when linking to a public Web page without showing the picture on your Web page such as when you link to all the pictures at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm
or thousands of my pictures at
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/

 A second type of link, the “mirror” link, shows the picture on your Web page when you really don’t actually store the picture on your Web server or your desk computer --- http://www.4x4review.com/Forums/tabid/97/forumid/46/postid/18519/view/topic/Default.aspx

There is some question of whether you should pay for the “mirror right” to display the picture as illustrated in the link above. The copyright holder might collect your fee and then simply take down his/her Web page that displays the picture. The “mirror image” will then disappear from your Web page even though you paid for the right to display it with this type of “mirror” link. In all cases, it is probably best to seek permission for mirror links even though you don’t have full control of the image being displayed.

A third type is where you copy the picture itself into your Web server and then link to that picture on your Web server. If you pay the copyright holder for the right to serve up the image on your password-controlled server, the copyright holder cannot later on remove the picture from your server. You should probably seek permission whenever there’s any doubt about open sharing right.

Many photographers, including me, give open sharing permission to all photographs served up on their Websites. Permission is not needed for open sharing photographs, although it is common courtesy to cite the source of the open sharing pictures you serve up. Generally you can copy open shared images into your Web server and serve them up as long as you like. However, this takes server storage space if you are serving up a lot of pictures. An alternative is to use a “mirror” link even if the image is open shared. A “mirror” link, however, faces the risk of becoming an uncontrolled broken link.

Hundreds of colleges now serve up thousands of lectures on YouTube ---
http://www.youtube.com/edu
These can be safely downloaded into your own computer since they are open shared. You can serve them up on password-controlled servers. Whether or not you can serve them up to the public at large is a question I cannot answer. Clearly there are problems if the college removes certain lectures from YouTube and you are still serving up their lectures on a public-access Web server.

As a disclaimer, note that I’m not a copyright attorney. You should check with Fair Use experts on your campus before relying on anything I state about Fair Use.

My links to Fair Use expert documents served up from various universities (like Duke) are shown below.


"Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against UCLA Over Use of Streaming Video," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 4, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-against-ucla-over-use-of-streaming-video/33513?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A judge dismissed a lawsuit on Monday that had accused the University of California at Los Angeles of copyright infringement for streaming videos online. One copyright expert thinks the UCLA decision increases the chance that the HathiTrust digital-library consortium will prevail in its effort to fight off a separate copyright lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild over the digitization of books from university libraries.

The lawsuit against UCLA was filed by the Association for Information Media and Equipment (AIME) and Ambrose Video Publishing Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Those plaintiffs claimed that UCLA had violated copyright and breached its contract by copying DVD’s of Shakespeare plays acquired from Ambrose and streaming them online for faculty and students to use in courses.

But U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo B. Marshall found multiple problems with their arguments. Among the most important: He didn’t buy the plaintiffs’ claim that UCLA had waived its constitutional “sovereign immunity,” a principle that shields states—and state universities—from being sued without their consent in federal court. The judge also held that the association, which doesn’t own the copyrights at issue in the dispute, failed to establish its standing to bring the case.

The decision means “universities will have a little more breathing room for using media,” says James Grimmelmann, an associate professor at New York Law School.

But the more important implication is that the case will be a precedent that universities can cite in future copyright disputes, Mr. Grimmelmann says. The UCLA decision will make the Authors Guild case against HathiTrust more of a long shot, he speculates. That battle, which concerns a collection of digital books that Google scanned from university libraries, also involves an association suing on behalf of copyright owners, and the target of the lawsuit is a digital repository hosted by a state institution, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. In addition to Michigan, defendants in the HathiTrust case include Cornell University, Indiana University, the University of California, and the University of Wisconsin.

“That suit has almost exactly the same sovereign-immunity and standing problems as this one,” Mr. Grimmelmann says. “If the HathiTrust suit were to be decided tomorrow by the same court, it would be dismissed.”

The Association of Research Libraries hailed the UCLA victory as an especially welcome bit of good news, given all the copyright struggles dogging universities. But the group pointed out in a blog post that the decision ”stops short of vindicating the strongest fair-use arguments in favor of streaming.” Kevin Smith, Duke University’s scholarly-communications officer, also noted in his own post that, because much of the dismissal hung on the sovereign-immunity question, “a major part of the decision applies only to state entities” and “does not translate to private universities.”

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright

 


In the face of powerful lobbyists in publishing and other media, I never, never thought this "fair use" would happen with the dreaded DMCA.

"New DVD Copyright Exemption for Educational Purposes," Inside Higher Ed, July 27, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/07/27/qt#233421

The U.S. Copyright Office on Monday promulgated a number of new exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including one allowing university staffers and students to hack DVD content and display it for educational purposes. If a university or student lawfully obtains copy of a DVD, the agency says, they can bypass the encryption so long as "circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for... Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students." The exemption applies when professors or students want to use excerpts of the hacked DVD in documentary films or "non-commercial videos." Tracy Mitrano, director of I.T. policy at Cornell University and a technology law blogger for Inside Higher Ed, called the decision "very big news," and "good news," for higher education, noting that advocates in academe have been lobbying for an expansion of fair use exemptions for some time. One campus that might take heart is the University of California at Los Angeles, which an educational media group threatened to sue last spring for copying and streaming DVD content on course websites. The university had refused to stop the practice, and a UCLA spokesman said the group, the Association for Information and Media Equipment, has not followed through. He said UCLA is reviewing the new rules.


Help for Scholars on 'Fair Use'
Amid reports that many scholars are holding back on their use of materials that they aren't sure are covered by "fair use" provisions to copyright law, a new guide attempts to provide help. "The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication" was produced by the International Communication Association, American University's Center for Social Media, and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American's law school.
Inside Higher Ed, June 24, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/06/24/qt#230888


"Copyright laws threaten our online freedom, by Christian Engström, Financial Times, July 7, 2009 --- http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/87c523a4-6b18-11de-861d-00144feabdc0.html 


"In Court, a University and Publishers Spar Over 'Fair Use' of Course Materials," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 14, 2010 --- http://chronicle.com/article/In-Court-a-University-and/64616/

Maybe you're a professor who wants to use a chunk of copyrighted material in your course this spring. Or perhaps you're a librarian or an academic publisher. If so, the much-followed Google Book Search settlement is not the only legal case you need to be watching. A federal case involving publishers and a state-university system, Cambridge University Press et al. v. Patton et al., should produce a ruling soon, and its stakes are high.

First, a little history. In the spring of 2008, three academic publishers, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publications, brought a lawsuit against several top administrators at Georgia State University. The plaintiffs claimed that the university was encouraging the unauthorized digital copying and distribution of too much copyrighted material, particularly through its ERes and uLearn systems. ERes allows students to access digital copies of course material via a password-protected Web page; uLearn is a program professors can use to distribute syllabi and reading material.

The three publishers alleged that the unauthorized copying was "pervasive, flagrant, and ongoing." In February 2009, Georgia State put in place a revised copyright policy, including a checklist for faculty members to help them decide whether the amount of material they wanted to copy exceeded fair use.

Almost two years and many depositions later, both sides have filed briefs asking for a summary judgment in the case.

Legal briefs are a dry genre, but these tussle over some of the central questions of fair use in an academic context: How much is too much when it comes to copying rights-protected content without permission? To what extent is it the institution's job to shepherd its professors and students through the thorny complexities of copyright?

Unfair Use The publishers' filing attacks what it calls the university's "blanket presumption of 'fair use'" in a higher-education context. The filing goes after the university's new fair-use checklist and copyright policy, saying that it "delegates the responsibility for ensuring copyright compliance entirely to faculty unschooled in copyright law."

The plaintiffs quote from the depositions of several Georgia State professors who acknowledge that they are not always clear on the copyright issues at stake. ("This is outside of my area of expertise," one is quoted as saying.) The publishers want the university to use the Copyright Clearance Center's licensing system or something like it for course materials.

The defendants take a strict we-didn't-do-it view. Their brief argues that "any alleged unlawful reproduction, distribution, or improper use was actually done by instructors, professors, students, or library employees."

Georgia State's filing also argues that the new copyright policy has drastically reduced the use of the plaintiffs' copyrighted material. It agrees with the plaintiffs that the defendants have no budget for permissions fees and that "faculty members would decline to use works like those at issue if there was an obligation to pay permissions fees."

So on one side you have a set of major academic publishers understandably eager to protect revenue, and on the other side you have a university that says it doesn't promote copyright infringement and doesn't have the money to pay a lot of permissions fees. One implication (threat?) one could draw is that if professors can't use what they need at no charge, they will probably use something else.

Complexities of Copyrights I asked Kevin L. Smith, the scholarly-communications officer at Duke University, for his reaction. Mr. Smith helps scholars sort out copyright complexities—a function that is becoming ever more essential in university life, as this case makes very clear—and he has written about the GSU case on his blog, Scholarly Communications

For the moment, publishers appear unwilling to go after individual professors. "These faculty members are the same people who provide the content that university presses publish, so it would be really self-defeating," Duke's copyright maven, Mr. Smith, explained. "It would also be an endless game of 'whack-a-mole.' They would prefer a broad judgment against a university."

In any case, the Duke expert said, a fair-use case like this deserves more than a summary judgment. This case cuts to the heart of how many professors choose course material now and how students use it. Summary judgment or not, Duke's Mr. Smith said, "I think faculty and administrators should be very concerned."


"Colleges Offer Online Help on Copyright Law for Instructors," by Marc Beja, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 24, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3846&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

As instructors prepare for the fall semester, colleges are trying to make sure their teachers aren’t breaking any copyright laws in their lectures.

The City University of New York’s Baruch College recently released an interactive guide to using multimedia in courses.

Baruch’s online guide begins with background information on copyrighted material, presented by a computer-animated middle-age man. Instructors can then click through the system’s “Copyright Metro,” which gives step-by-step verbal and written instructions on determining what materials can be used in courses legally. There are three “metro lines” that can be taken, depending on if the instructor plans to use the material in class or online, or if they have copyright-holder permission to use the material – which gets you a ride on the “express train” to the final stop, which says you can use the material.

Baruch is not alone in trying to prevent legal problems for itself or its professors. Among other institutions, Reed College has a traditional Web page that offers advice about using materials, with links to information from other college Web sites. The University of Maryland University College also has a site that has information for students and professors who want to legally use copyrighted material in classes and on the Internet.

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright


"A sad day for fair use," Creative Commons, July 6, 2009 --- http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/15664

Last week a U.S. district court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the publication of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, a book based on the idea of J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caufield character as a 76 year old man. Strong reactions to the ruling have come from many across the legal, literary and technology fields, for example Mike Madison, Jim Brown, and Mike Masnick.

My Media Musings delivers the bottom line, easily understood by all:

Seeing judges ban books is never a good thing. Seeing a judge ban a book for such flimsy reasons as this is downright frightening. If her ruling stands, expect to see a long line of similar suits in the near future.


"Canadian Supreme Court’s Copyright Rulings Are Called ‘Big Win’ for Colleges," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 12, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/global/canadian-supreme-courts-copyright-rulings-are-called-big-win-for-colleges/33897

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that photocopying material for student use does not infringe the country’s Copyright Act, reports CTV news. The ruling, one of five copyright decisions issued on Thursday by the court, means that colleges and universities stand to save millions of dollars in copyright fees. Academics applauded the rulings. Laura Murray, a copyright expert at Queen’s University, called it “a big win for education.” Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, expressed similar sentiments in a blog post about the rulings.


There were an estimated 130 million works licensed under Creative Commons
Creative Commons --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

Creative Commons Home Page ---  http://creativecommons.org/

"Response to ASCAP’s deceptive claims," by Eric Steuer, Creative Commons, June 30th, 2010 ---
http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/22643?utm_source=ccorg&utm_medium=postbanner

Last week, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) sent a fundraising letter to its members calling on them to fight “opponents” such as Creative Commons, falsely claiming that we work to undermine copyright.*

Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses – plain and simple. Period. CC licenses are legal tools that creators can use to offer certain usage rights to the public, while reserving other rights. Without copyright, these tools don’t work. Artists and record labels that want to make their music available to the public for certain uses, like noncommercial sharing or remixing, should consider using CC licenses. Artists and labels that want to reserve all of their copyright rights should absolutely not use CC licenses.

Many musicians, including acts like Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys, Youssou N’Dour, Tone, Curt Smith, David Byrne, Radiohead, Yunyu, Kristin Hersh, and Snoop Dogg, have used Creative Commons licenses to share with the public. These musicians aren’t looking to stop making money from their music. In fact, many of the artists who use CC licenses are also members of collecting societies, including ASCAP. That’s how we first heard about this smear campaign – many musicians that support Creative Commons received the email and forwarded it to us. Some of them even included a donation to Creative Commons.

If you are similarly angered by ASCAP’s deceptive tactics, I’m hoping that you can help us by donating to Creative Commonsand sending a message – at this critical time. We don’t have lobbyists on the payroll, but with your support we can continue working hard on behalf of creators and consumers alike.

Sincerely,
Eric Steuer
Creative Director, Creative Commons

"MIT Tops List of College Copyright Violators," by Erica R. Hendry, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 17, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3833/mit-tops-list-of-college-copyright-violators

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright


"Colleges Offer Online Help on Copyright Law for Instructors," by Marc Beja, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 24, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3846&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

A Fair(y) Tale:  Animated cartoon about copyright law --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo
Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms.  Also see http://snipurl.com/fairu1
Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Harvard Study:  Copyright restrictions limit the spread of digital learning tools
Copyright restrictions limit the spread of digital learning tools in schools and colleges, according to a new report from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, at Harvard University.
Inside Higher Ed, July 19, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/19/qt

From the AAUP (with higher education in mind)
Campus Copyright Rights and Responsibilities: A Basic Guide to Policy Considerations --- http://www.aaupnet.org/aboutup/issues/Campus_Copyright.pdf

New Guidelines for Copyright Policies in Universities
Four associations have released a guide for colleges to use in reviewing whether their copyright policies reflect recent legal and technological developments. The guide notes that colleges and their faculty members are major producers of copyrighted material, and that professors and students also are big users of such material — sometimes in ways that create legal difficulties. The groups that prepared the guide are the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American University Presses, and the Association of American Publishers.
Inside Higher Ed, December 7, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/07/qt

A report released yesterday by a pair of free-expression advocates at New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice claims Web site owners and remix artists alike are finding free-expression rights squelched because of ambiguities in copyright law. The study argues that so-called "fair use" rights are under attack. It suggests six major steps for change, including reducing penalties for infringement and making a greater number of pro-bono lawyers available to defend alleged fair users. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 12/6/2005
Coverage at http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-5983072.html"> 
Report at http://www.fepproject.org/policyreports/WillFairUseSurvive.pdf">a>
From the University of Illinois Scholarly Communication Blog on December 7, 2005 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/ 

A Fair(y) Tale:  Animated cartoon about copyright law --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo
Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms.  Also see http://snipurl.com/fairu1
Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Harvard Study:  Copyright restrictions limit the spread of digital learning tools
Copyright restrictions limit the spread of digital learning tools in schools and colleges, according to a new report from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, at Harvard University.
Inside Higher Ed, July 19, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/07/19/qt

From the AAUP (with higher education in mind)
Campus Copyright Rights and Responsibilities: A Basic Guide to Policy Considerations --- http://www.aaupnet.org/aboutup/issues/Campus_Copyright.pdf

New Guidelines for Copyright Policies in Universities
Four associations have released a guide for colleges to use in reviewing whether their copyright policies reflect recent legal and technological developments. The guide notes that colleges and their faculty members are major producers of copyrighted material, and that professors and students also are big users of such material — sometimes in ways that create legal difficulties. The groups that prepared the guide are the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American University Presses, and the Association of American Publishers.
Inside Higher Ed, December 7, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/07/qt

A report released yesterday by a pair of free-expression advocates at New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice claims Web site owners and remix artists alike are finding free-expression rights squelched because of ambiguities in copyright law. The study argues that so-called "fair use" rights are under attack. It suggests six major steps for change, including reducing penalties for infringement and making a greater number of pro-bono lawyers available to defend alleged fair users. BNA's Internet Law News (ILN) - 12/6/2005
Coverage at http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-5983072.html"> 
Report at http://www.fepproject.org/policyreports/WillFairUseSurvive.pdf">a>
From the University of Illinois Scholarly Communication Blog on December 7, 2005 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/ 


"Copyright Clearance Center Expands Blanket Pricing Offer," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 8, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3299&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

The Copyright Clearance Center, which helps colleges buy rights to reprint journal articles, book chapters, and other material in course packs and for other uses, now offers its blanket-pricing option to large institutions that were previously ineligible. And it has signed up one of the country's largest universities, the University of Texas at Austin. The nonprofit group began offering the blanket-pricing option last year at the request of college officials who complained they were spending too much time and money clearing rights each time an article or book chapter was used on campus. At first the group offered the "annual copyright license," as it is known, only to colleges with 5,000 students or fewer. In March the group began extending the offer to all institutions. Thirty-three have signed up so far. Tim Bowen, product manager for academic licensing for the group, said that the cost of the annual license varies based on the size and type of college. The price ranges from about $7 per student to about $10 per student, he said. "A community college is not going to pay $7 a head because it's much lower for them," he added, noting that such pricing is typical for other types of content as well. "A medical school is going to pay more." Not everything is covered under the blanket plan. Using texts for promotional use or for interlibrary loans requires clearance on a case-by-case basis, for instance.


Question
Are you clueless about protecting your rights to your own writings?

"Librarian: Ohio State Professors Need Copyright Refresher," by Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 14, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2665&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Beware of faculty members who are clueless about whether they hold the copyrights to their research papers, Trisha Davis, a librarian at Ohio State University, told a group of librarians today at the midwinter conference of the American Library Association.

She made the remark while discussing the challenges Ohio State faced in building an institutional repository. The university has over 21,000 articles — including conference papers, teaching materials, photographs, and multimedia works — in the archive.

Faculty members will submit research papers to the repository often unaware that they have signed away the rights to their work to a journal publisher, Ms. Davis said. “They are stunned that they have not retained the copyrights,” she said. “They’re vehemently adamant” that they still have rights to the work.

Also, she added, faculty members sometimes add other scholars’ material to the repository, incorrectly assuming that this is allowed under fair use. —


Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft Office

From the University of Illinois Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog on December 13, 2006 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Microsoft has created a free add-in that enables you to embed a Creative Commons copyright license into a document that you create using the Microsoft application Word, PowerPoint, or Excel. With a Creative Commons license, authors can express their intentions regarding how their works may be used by others.

To learn more about Creative Commons, please visit its web site, www.creativecommons.org. To learn more about the choices among the Creative Commons licenses, see http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses.

Download the Creative Commons Microsoft Office add-in from the Microsoft website. For a short URL to this resource, use this tinyURL:
http://tinyurl.com/y9y634

Installation of the Creative Commons Microsoft Office add-in will add an option to your File menu whereby you can easily add the CC logo and usage statement to your document.

Bob Jensen's threads on tools of the trade are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


Patents can be obtained for most inventions and DNA discoveries,
but patenting tax plans borders on being rediculous

August 15, 2006 message from Scott Bonacker [aecm@BONACKER.US]

"Widgets, soft-drink formulas, new drugs: They can all be protected by patents. But did you ever think the clever tax-saving strategy your financial adviser is offering up could be patented as well? Don't dismiss the notion. Unauthorized use of a patented method might get you into hot water.

John Rowe, executive chairman of health insurer Aetna, knows that all too well. Within the past three years, at the suggestion of his advisers, Rowe set up two trusts and funded them with nonqualified stock options. An independent options valuation expert estimated their value for BusinessWeek at $28.5 million. Rowe's so-called grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) would pay him an annual income for a specific time and reserve whatever is left for family members. Plus, he could achieve dramatic gift-tax savings, says Carlyn McCaffrey, a lawyer with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York who is an expert on GRATs, though not involved in the case.

But in January, Rowe was sued in U.S. District Court in New Haven for patent infringement by Wealth Transfer Group, an Altamonte Springs (Fla.) firm that obtained a patent on this strategy in 2003. Apparently, the plaintiff learned of Rowe's GRATs when, as a corporate insider, he reported the transfer of the options.

Read the rest at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/bw/20060727/bs_bw/id20060726214792 

or when size matters:  http://tinyurl.com/qrnf8 

My impression is that as a matter of public policy patents on things like this shouldn't be granted, if indeed the underlying tax laws are worthy of passage by our legislators.

Scott Bonacker, CPA
Springfield, MO

 

Question
Is downloading of texts protected by "Fair Use" in U.S. Copyright Law (the DMCA)

"Georgia State: Downloading Texts is Fair Use," The University of Illinois Issues in Higher Education Blog, June 27, 2008 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Many of us have been following the lawsuit three publishers have brought against Georgia State University for copyright infringement with great interest. In its response to the suit, Georgia State has now asserted that its online distribution of course material is permitted under copyright law's fair-use exemption. In papers filed earlier this week, the university admitted that it was offering the material online to students through electronic reserves in the library, the Blackboard/WebCT Vista course-management system, department Web pages, and other Web sites. But, it says the practice is allowed under the fair-use doctrine of the Copyright Act.

There is no clear interpretation of "Fair Use" relating to the amount of material that can be used for such activities as scholarship, teaching, reporting, and review.

In addition to advancing its fair-use argument, the university also says it is protected from federal lawsuits by sovereign immunity protections guaranteed by the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The outcome of this lawsuit will impact the ways in which colleges and universities distribute course materials and provide access to digital materials.

Jensen Comment
The Fair Use safe harbors are frequently violated by professors who really do not want to know the limitations of these provisions in the law.July 3, 2008 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

This might be a good time to repeat this video on fair use.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo

A full-screen version is available for download for your classes from:

http://snipurl.com/fairu1

This was put together by a law professor from Bucknell, and apparently is being distributed by Cyberlaw at Stanford University. Be sure to carefully read the pseudo-FBI warning at the beginning, too. Cute.

If I remember correctly, I believe this was posted on AECM on March 28 by Richard Campbell.

David Fordham


Question
Are you confused by the nuances of the "Fair Use" section of U.S. Copyright Law under the DMCA?

From the Issues in Scholarly Communications Blog at the University of Illinois on June 19, 2006 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Good Fair Use Site

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has created a Web site on fair use.

Called The Fair Use Network, the site says it attempts to alleviate the "mass of confusion for artists, scholars, journalists, bloggers, and everyone else who contributes to culture and political debate."

The site guides people on what to do if they get a letter from a copyright owner demanding that they cease and desist from making use of the owner's work. And the site also explains how much people can borrow, quote or copy from another's work.

Jensen Comment
The Fair Use safe harbors are frequently violated by professors who really do not want to know the limitations of these provisions in the law.


Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing of course materials by prestigious universities are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Question
How popular are these open sharing sites and what are the issues of copyrights?

June 26, 2006 message from Jagdish S. Gangolly [gangolly@INFOTOC.COM]

Bob,

I wanted to pitch for an article by my good friend and colleague, Terry Maxwell:

"Universities, Information Ownership, and Knowledge Communities"

The Journal of the Association of History and Computing http://www.mcel.pacificu.edu/JAHC/JAHCVII2/ARTICLES/maxwell/maxwell.html

Here is the teaser:

_________________________________________

The recent decision by MIT to post the information from all its 2,000 courses free to the Web has generated tremendous excitement online, with more than 42 million hits recorded in the first month, according to MIT statistics 1.

The project, entitled OpenCourseWare, was initiated by MIT professors and funded by $11 million in grants from two foundations. As of March, 2004, 700 courses, encompassing all five schools and two-thirds of the faculty on the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus, have been added to the site (ocw.mit.edu).

The project did not start as an effort to populate the information commons. On the contrary, in 1999, Robert Brown, MIT's provost, asked a faculty committee to study the idea for an online for-profit equivalent to the physical school.

However, after researching the issue, the faculty committee concluded that a profit-making venture was not viable, suggesting instead that the university and its faculty make its course material available for free online 2.

As reported by Charles Vest 2, the university's president, the OpenCourseWare initiative has had impacts both inside and outside the university. Within MIT, professors have begun using one another's materials to supplement their own teaching efforts, and are discovering interdisciplinary connections that could lead to new innovations inside the institution. Outside the university, MIT alumni, interested individuals, and other educators from around the world are using the courseware as a means to keep current in their fields and as models for new courses and curriculum.

The effort has generated interest in other areas, particularly among Intellectual Property legal commentators, who questioned the relationship between faculty-generated course notes and university property rights 3. Given the fact that the project is faculty-initiated and voluntary, intellectual property issues in the curricular area between the university and professors have not yet come to a head at MIT. However, the project has had to navigate the murky waters of copyright in other respects, particularly with regard to the negotiation for permissions with other information providers 4.

Nevertheless, the project still leaves open the question of the relative information rights of professors and universities.

In addition, it raises broader questions of the roles both of professional disciplines and the institutional structures developed to support them in a technological world in which traditional boundaries between information transformation, production, and dissemination are under strain. The following attempts to lay out some of the relevant issues, focusing particularly on the role of the university in an online world.

A Brief Look at the University in Society

Lying at the center of questions about university and academic information ownership is a deeply contested vision of the role of both scholarship and the institutions designed to support research. Do scholars labor primarily as individual authors and inventors, or are they members of what Enlightenment scholars termed a res publica, loosely defined as a republic of ideas operating beyond institutional and political boundaries? Are universities places of sanctuary for ideas, separated from the marketplace, or information dissemination institutions situated squarely in the market?

In her book "Who Owns Academic Work?," Corynne McSherry 5 traces the history of modern American universities and makes a strong case that these questions are largely unanswerable, because they assume a stability in self-conception that is historically missing. She argues that medieval universities and guilds were primarily envisioned as mechanisms for monopoly control over ideas, with the former focusing on professional control and the latter on control over invention. With the coming of the Enlightenment, voluntary academic societies sought to break down university monopolies on knowledge, constructing a meritocracy based on open communication and communal enquiry, and existing in cooperation with the growing commercial marketplace. At the institutional level, nineteenth-century German conceptions of the university, based on Kant's ideas in Conflict of the Faculties, envisioned the university as a place apart from the marketplace, yet poised to provide knowledge based on reason to political rulers. In the United States, German models of scholarly independence blended with the British tradition of liberal arts and informed citizenship, leading to a tension between disinterested scholarship and community. This admixture was further complicated by the presence of private schools funded through religious and other associations sitting cheek-and-jowl to land-grant public universities, developed to provide practical assistance in the development of new agricultural and mechanical techniques.

By the twentieth century, the split between theoretical and practical knowledge within universities was institutionalized through a separation of faculties of arts and science from engineering and professional school. At the same time, the continued compartmentalization of knowledge into disciplines supported the rise of self-contained academic communities with different standards of scholarship and practice.

To support the engagement of the university in the marketplace, during the 1920's several American universities, particularly those with large engineering components, inaugurated small offices dedicated to technology transfer, particularly the processing of patent applications for professors. However, in a major shift, the end of the Second World War saw a major increase in government grant programs for basic research, insulating the academy from a necessity to rely on private funding sources and enhancing the traditional notion of universities as the preferred site for basic objective research separate from the commercial marketplace. At the same time, a greater integration of the university into public life occurred, with the provision of GI Bill grants to returning members of the military. University enrollments doubled during the next 15 years, doubling again within another 8 years.

By the 1990s, the position of universities within society began to shift again. Federal funding for research slowed, along with other public financing sources. Pressure developed to seek private financing through partnerships with foundations and corporations. Universities undertook attempts at more aggressive management of intellectual assets, often bringing them into conflict with academic communities. The rise of the Internet signaled the potential for developing new resource streams through the development of online courses and degrees, but no one was sure where the dividing line stood between individual and institutional ownership of course materials.

Academic publishing, long a backwater in the publishing industry, showed strong growth and consolidation as publishers embraced electronic dissemination and new models of product bundling.

Here is another Terry Maxwell piece:

Toward a Model of Information Policy Analysis: Speech as an Illustrative Example by Terrence A. Maxwell FM10 Openness http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_6/maxwell/

Jagdish

Jagdish S. Gangolly
email: gangolly@infotoc.com

Fax: 831-584-1896
skype: gangolly

URL: www.infotoc.com
Blog: http://www.bloglines.com/blog/gangolly

 

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing of course materials by prestigious universities are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 


"Your Photos, Your Rights, and the Law: Answers to questions about copyright and your rights as a photographer," by Dave Johnson, PC World via The Washington Post, May 31, 2006 --- Click Here

Ironically, the answer to this simple question is not so simple anymore. But for almost any digital photo you take today, you can count on the copyright lasting for 70 years.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that has pioneered a new way to share creative works. The group offers a number of licenses with names like Attribution, NoDerivs, NonCommercial, and ShareAlike.

If you choose to share your photos with a Creative Commons license, you're telling the world that you're offering to let other people use your photos in ways that are traditionally not supported by standard copyright law. Using an Attribution license, for example, is like releasing your photo in the public domain, though it requires anyone using your photo to give you credit. Attribution-NonCommercial is similar, but specifically prohibits people from using your photo for commercial use.

While using a Creative Commons license is a nice idea, and you'll find a lot of people using them on sites like Flickr.com, keep in mind that Creative Commons has no legal teeth. Only copyright law has that.

There are three ways to copyright a photo (or any other creative work).

Here's the easy way: Any work you create is automatically copyrighted. In other words, you don't need to do anything at all to receive some protection under copyright law.

However, there are copyrights--and then there are copyrights. While technically you never have to take action to copyright a creative work, simply putting a copyright notice on your work strengthens your copyright protection. To assert your claim to a digital photo, for example, just place a copyright notice somewhere on the picture. Commonly, photographers use the text tool in a photo editing program to do this in the lower-right corner.

The most aggressive copyright action you can take is to register your photo with the Registrar of Copyrights in Washington, DC. There is a form to fill out and a $30 fee to pay, but this approach provides you with the highest level of protection available. For more info go to the U.S. Copyright Office's Web site.

Continued in article


From Duke University
Arts Project:  Comics about video, academe, and the law --- http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/

“Will a spiky-haired, camera-toting super-heroine... restore decency and common sense to the world of creative endeavor?” -Paul Bonner, The Herald-Sun

“Bound By Law lays out a sparkling, witty, moving and informative story about how the eroded public domain has made documentary filmmaking into a minefield.” -Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net

“Bound by Law translates law into plain English and abstract ideas into ‘visual metaphors.’ So the comic's heroine, Akiko, brandishes a laser gun as she fends off a cyclopean 'Rights Monster' - all the while learning copyright law basics, including the line between fair use and copyright infringement.”

I learned about this from the Scholarly Communications blog at the University of Illinois on March 16, 2006 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Bound by Law Duke Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain has just released "BOUND BY LAW?" - a comic book on copyright and creativity -- specifically, documentary film. It is being published today under a Creative Commons License. The comic, by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins explores the benefits of copyright in a digital age, but also the threats to cultural history posed by a “permissions culture,” and the erosion of “fair use” and the public domain. Berkman Blog 3/15/06

Free digital versions are available here. http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/digital.html 

 


The Access Principle’
The book reviews the various models to bring the dissemination of knowledge online and to make it free, and along the way, the book criticizes plenty of publishing practices, copyright interpretations and scholarly traditions. John Willinsky, professor of language and literacy education at the University of British Columbia, has devoted much of his scholarship to the ideas behind the book. Among other things, he directs the Public Knowledge Project, which is financed by the Canadian government to promote the free exchange of information. Willinsky responded to questions about the themes of his book.
Scott Jaschik, "‘The Access Principle’," Inside Higher Ed, December 20, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/20/access


A computer scientist at Trinity University told me that a great source for legal studies of copyright and patent law is Eben Moglen at Columbia University --- http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/

He runs a blog called "Freedom Now" at http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/blog
Entries are relatively infrequent and date back to April 2000
There are also a few links to audio and video presentations.

Here's a March 7, 2005 entry at http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/blog 
The United States Department of Justice announced today that it would be making a radical purchasing decision: stop dealing with the firm it considers an illegal monopoly. No more Microsoft Word at Main Justice. So they will spend $13 million to acquire Word Perfect licenses from Corel. Did they consider OpenOffice at $0? Why bother—Let’s just cut Social Security benefits instead.

The February 16, 2005 entry contains the following quote from "Freedom and the Robot Army"
The twenty-first century will be different. The United States will lead the way.
The Pentagon is investing heavily in the development of robot infantry. Given the resources it will bring to bear, within two decades we will see the introduction of machines that remove all sense of consequences, personal and social, from the business of killing. Robot infantry may or may not prove valuable battlefield soldiers. In specialized roles they will probably succeed in being more cost-effective than human combatants. But at the violent suppression of political unrest they will be unparalleled. A brigade or two will be within the budget of every autocrat faced with a green or orange or red revolution. We won’t need them to be torturers, however. For that, as we have learned, human volunteers are always available.

From one of the leading law school advocates of open sharing
Many of Eben Moglen's papers on patents and copyrights can be downloaded from http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/

My good friend John Howland, a professor of computer science, recommends these particular papers for starters:

Bob Jensen's threads on OKI ,DSpace, and SAKAI: Free sharing of courseware from MIT, Stanford, and other colleges and universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Duke Law & Technology Review --- http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/dltr/


Copyright Information and Dead Links

Copyright Information --- http://ejw.i8.com/copy.htm 

Journals Associations, 
Councils and Organizations 
Education 
General Issues 
Permission 
Intellectual Property 
Government Law 
Publishing Concerns 
Libraries and Copyright 
Mega Sites Music 
Dead Link Archive --- http://ejw.i8.com/copy.htm#dead 

DEAD LINK ARCHIVE 
For Dead Links, use Internet Archive to find a version of these sites. Highlight and copy the URL, then go to the Way Back Machine at http://www.archive.org/index.html  and then paste the URL into the web address box. Often icons are not available and the most recent listed version may not bring up the page. Go to an earlier date on the archive list for that site. Also, if you do not find it archived, try the Google Search Engine at http://www.google.com  and check their archive. Songwriter and Music Copyright Resources, http://www.npsai.com/resources.htm 

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm 


This message is from the Director of the Trinity University Library.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Graves, Diane J. 
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 9:22 AM 
To: Trinity Faculty 

A number of you have asked about the legal use of copyrighted material on your websites and Blackboard courses. I just learned about this site, prepared at the CUNY Baruch College, which will help. It’s an interactive guide in a flow chart format that shows the steps you need to take to use copyrighted media in teaching. It’s very easy to follow.

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/tutorials/copyright/ 

Both the library and IMS are providing links to this guide from our sites, but you might find it helpful to review it now and bookmark it for later use.

Diane

Diane J. Graves, Professor & University Librarian
Elizabeth M. Coates Library, Trinity University
One Trinity Place, San Antonio, TX 78212

February 2, 2005 reply from Dr. Jagdish Pathak [jagdish@UWINDSOR.CA

I liked the presentation. It opened in my lotus notes browser without any problem. It is knowledge enhancing and equally enjoyable stuff!

Jagdish Pathak, PhD 
Guest Editor- Managerial Auditing Journal (Special Issue) 
Accounting Systems & IT Auditing Faculty 
Accounting & Audit Area 
Odette School of Business 
University of Windsor 
401 Sunset Windsor, N9B 3P4, ON Canada


February 3, 2005 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

COPYRIGHT AND LEARNING

"Like evil trolls guarding the gates, the copyright controllers are trying to hold sway over our actions and create walled gardens around knowledge repositories so that they can maintain full control over who uses applications or accesses content and when, where, and how they use it."

In "Stealing the Goose: Copyright and Learning" (IRRODL, November 2004) Rory McGreal calls for taking back education's "fair use" and "fair dealing" rights that are in jeopardy as some intellectual property owners seek to tighten control and maximize profits. The article is available online at http://www.irrodl.org/content/v5.3/mcgreal.html 

International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) [ISSN 1492-3831] is a free, refereed ejournal published by Athabasca University - Canada's Open University. 

For more information, contact Paula Smith, IRRODL Managing Editor; tel: 780-675-6810; fax: 780-675-672; email: irrodl@athabascau.ca ; Web: http://www.irrodl.org/ 


Money Can Buy You Anything You Want in the U.S. Senate
You May Go to Jail for Taping and Skipping
No Fair Going to the Refrigerator During Commercials

As early as this week, the Senate may try to quickly pass a bill that would radically change copyright law in favor of Hollywood and the music industry. One provision: Skipping commercials would be illegal. Michael Grebb reports from Washington.
Wired News, November 16, 2004 --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,65704,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2 

A number of influential lawyers, scholars and activists are increasingly concerned that copyright law is curbing our freedoms and making it harder to create anything new. This could be the first new social movement of the century.

"The Tyranny of Copyright?" by Robert S. Boynton, New York Times Magazine, January 25, 2004 ---  http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/25/magazine/25COPYRIGHT.html 

Unfortunately for the students, their actions ran afoul of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (D.M.C.A.), one of several recent laws that regulate intellectual property and are quietly reshaping the culture. Designed to protect copyrighted material on the Web, the act makes it possible for an Internet service provider to be liable for the material posted by its users -- an extraordinary burden that providers of phone service, by contrast, do not share. Under the law, if an aggrieved party (Diebold, say) threatens to sue an Internet service provider over the content of a subscriber's Web site, the provider can avoid liability simply by removing the offending material. Since the mere threat of a lawsuit is usually enough to scare most providers into submission, the law effectively gives private parties veto power over much of the information published online -- as the Swarthmore students would soon learn.

Continued in the article


Dentists in Canada discover they have to pay fees to Canadian music publishers for the right to play copyright music in their offices. U.S. dentists may be surprised to find out that similar rules apply in their country.
Katie Dean, Wired News, August 2, 2004 --- http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,64397,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 
Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright 


November 29, 2004 message from Diane Graves

You may have already heard of the Creative Commons licenses, but if not, take a look at this site: http://creativecommons.org/  Creative Commons licenses allow the author/creator to retain some rights, but don’t lock down the rights the way the traditional copyright agreements do. Here is how the site describes the options: “With a Creative Commons license, you keep your copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit -- and only on the conditions you specify here. If you want to offer your work with no conditions, choose the public domain.” You may want to look at the EDUCATION section on the site: http://creativecommons.org/education/ 

The Creative Commons has been enormously successful since it debuted in 2001. It has the potential to be very helpful in the higher education arena; it is already in use at MIT’s Open CourseWare and DSpace projects and at Rice University’s Connexions Project.

I encourage you to browse through the Creative Commons site and think about how you could use their licensing options with your own work. It’s an exciting development with the potential to revolutionize the way we share information in higher education.

Diane

P.S. Here are two short videos that describe the philosophy behind the Creative Commons: http://mirrors.creativecommons.org/ 

Diane J. Graves, Professor & University Librarian
Elizabeth M. Coates Library,
Trinity University
One Trinity Place , San Antonio , TX 78212
email: diane.graves@trinity.edu


While nasty little kids are driving their "fat, ugly, and molesting" teachers to give up the ghost because of networked and often false insults, their older brothers, sisters, parents, and misfits (many of whom are foreign enemies) are bent on overthrowing government regimes. No regime is immune from the instabilities caused by technologies that have great benefits to societies along with emerging costs that we'd not anticipated.

Anarchists have never had it so good!

Is this something George Orwell failed to anticipate or is it something that will ultimately bring on the evils of Big Brother?

Twittering an evil dictator sounds like a great thing until we discover that a nation may forever be thrown into instability and hunger by these little "tweets." Twittering may bring wealth and prosperity to Egypt in this decade, but don't count on it doing so for all the world in the 21st Century.

"Stability's End:  Technologies with goofy names like Twitter and Facebook are replacing political stability with a state of permanent instability," by Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2011 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704358704576118754214049490.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t 

'Stability" has been the goal of civilized foreign policy since the dawn of the Cold War and arguably since the Congress of Vienna, which posited a framework for international relations in 1815. Stability, whose virtues are many, has had a worthy run. It's done.

Stability is done as we have known it, at least until political leadership evolves a better understanding than they have shown during the events in Egypt of the permanently unstable world they've tumbled into. The man who pitched the curators of national stability into their current shocked state—evident this week in the streets of Cairo and before that in the capital of Tunisia and before that in the U.S.'s November elections—is William Shockley.

Shockley, a physicist, co- invented the transistor. The transistor replaced the vacuum tube as the central component of all electronic devices. The transistor enabled Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, an ocean of apps and the unending storm of information that blows all of us, including politicians, here and there like leaves. Why would anyone think it possible in such a world for a Hosni Mubarak to maintain stability with the methods he's used since 1981?

The point here is not to argue again that information and communication technology (ICT) has caused another colorful "revolution." Nor is it to overstate the power of these technologies to enable democratic reform.

My point is merely to describe what is going on in front of our faces: This new, exponentially expanding world of information technologies is now creating permanent instability inside formerly stable political arrangements.

This stuff disrupts everything it touches. It overturned the entire music industry, and now it is doing the same to established political systems.

Here is how it works. In 2007, Egypt sentenced a blogger named Kareem Amer to four years in prison for insulting the president. Ten years ago, Mr. Amer would have simply disappeared, like all the others. So what if his family and 15 friends grumbled? Stability.

Not now. Instead, Mr. Amer became an icon of regime repression. What changed? Instead of 15 friends whispering over coffee in a café, 15,000 can talk to each other all day and every day via Internet cafés about who's getting tortured. According to the Open Net Initiative's helpful country profiles, some one million Egyptian households have broadband access, often sharing lines.

Think what this means at the crudest level: Huge swaths of any wired population exist in a state of engagement. Instability. Before, stifled populations were mostly sullen. Now, all the time, they're in mental motion.

Even if the Mubarak thugs somehow disperse the people in the street, they'll return some day because there is no effective way to cap their ability to share grievances on a massive scale. Egypt earlier pulled the plug on its entire Internet. So what? No nation will turn it off forever.

The Egyptian government itself has been responsible for expanding ICT, even making cheap computers available. Tunisia's autocrats wired their own nation, with some 1.7 million Internet users in a population of 10.2 million.

Continued in article

February 4, 2011 reply from David Fordham

Bob, what's old is apparently new again.

Either that, or author Henninger is completely ignorant of history.  I agree with Henninger in general.  But it's not new.  The same exact argument he makes about transistorized technology can be leveled against Gutenberg (and just as deservedly) hundreds of years ago.  Anyone who's been to Europe is aware of the instability which devastated that highly-civilized society after the invention of the printing press made it possible for radical new ideas to get into the hands of a wide (and generally unthinking, relatively uneducated, unenlightened, and catastrophically impatient) audience.  Instead of peaceful discussion, conferencing, give-and-take, diplomacy, and other less destructive avenues of change, which admittedly take time and are not as immediately effective, the widespread dispersal of "any man's" ideas -- happening without regard to the origin, merits, or value of those ideas-- resulted in the very instability Henninger is describing.

Riots, mob violence, millions of deaths, wanton destruction of wealth (ruination of the fruit of human labor) on an unprecedented scale, complete destruction of priceless antiquities, disappearance of what we today call "civil rights", nations appearing, nations disappearing, leaders rising and falling, polarization of the population... all of this and more can trace its origins to the widespread dissemination of ideas which upset the status quo -- new concepts being put to an unprepared populace.

Much has also been written about the impact of the printing press on the American independence movement, which the English still call "the uprising" or "the revolt".

I'm sure Shockley would be honored to have the results of his work compared with Gutenberg.  (Alas, Shockley is often demonized because "he called it as he saw it" after extensive research in genetics and human behavior.)    This is why I'm not a big fan of complete democracy in the presence of irresponsible "journalism", whether on paper or on a cell phone screen.  As Scar says in the movie the Lion King,.... (click here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfSea_Q4WXg  ... 15 seconds.)

So I disagree with the use of the word "new" when Henninger says his point is to "describe what is going on... the "new" exponentially-expanding world of information technologies is creating permanent instability ..."   No.  The exponentially expanding world of information technologies dates from the invention of writing, and political instability is not "created by" technology. (tip of the hat and wink to David Coy.)  It is created by people who utilize the technology in a particular way, usually a very ignorant, short-sighted, and often self-serving way, without realizing the long-term effect their action has on the human institutions.  Today's journalists, commentators, "pundits", and yes, even some of us old graybeard denizens of the academy (like yours truly) often spout off ideas which, simply due to the reach of the technology, like Gutenberg's, will cause others to reach conclusions, judgments, opinions, attitudes, etc. which the originator hadn't stopped to think about, and if the originator had, probably would not have promulgated in the first place.

The author of an old book called Ecclesiastes says there is a time (and place) for everything. This implies that there is an inappropriate time and place.  I believe it.

Read some articles about the iconoclasts, the resulting counter-reformation, the inquisitions, and other results of Gutenberg's invention to see what we're in for if our journalists (and social networkers) aren't careful.   Perhaps one might begin to appreciate some of my acidity, rancor, and contempt for so much of today's "news". I've been there and although I haven't "done that", I have seen its effects, and it isn't pretty.

Bottom line:  I agree entirely and completely with Henninger's take on instability, and the widespread dispersal of communication leading to instability.  But this is not new.

David Fordham
JMU

Video:  Scar's surrounded by idiots --- https://mail.google.com/a/trinity.edu/#inbox/12decc30470f9b36

We Live in Public 2009 Documentary Film --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Live_in_Public

The film details the experiences of "the greatest Internet pioneer you've never heard of," Josh Harris. The dot.com millionaire founded Pseudo.com, the first Internet television network during the infamous tech boom of the late '90s. After achieving prominence amongst the Silicon Valley set, Harris became interested in controversial human experiments which tested the effects of media and technology on the development of personal identity. Ondi Timoner documented the major business-related moments of Harris's life for more than a decade, setting the tone for her documentary of the virtual world and its supposed control of human lives.

Among Harris' experiments touched on in the film is the art project "Quiet: We Live in Public," an Orwellian, Big Brother concept developed in the late '90s which placed more than 100 artists in a human terrarium under New York City, with myriad webcams following and capturing every move the artists made. The pièce de résistance was a Japanese-style capsule hotel outfitted with cameras in every pod, and screens that allowed each occupant to monitor the other pods installed in the basement by artist Jeff Gompertz.

The film's website describes how, "With Quiet, Harris proved how, in the not-so-distant future of life online, we will willingly trade our privacy for the connection and recognition we all deeply desire. Through his experiments, including another six-month stint living under 24-hour live surveillance online which led him to mental collapse, he demonstrated the price we will all pay for living in public."

"He climbs into the TV set and he becomes the rat in his own experiment at this point, and the results don't turn out very well for him," says Timoner of the six month period Harris broadcast his life in his NYC loft live online. "He really takes the only relationship that he's ever had that was close and intimate and beaches it on 30 motion-controlled surveillance cameras and 66 invasive microphones. I mean his girlfriend who signed on to it thinking it would be fun and cool, and that they were living a fast and crazy Internet life, she ended up leaving him. She just couldn't be intimate in public. And I think that's an important lesson; the Internet, as wonderful as it is, is not an intimate medium. It's just not. If you want to keep something intimate and if you want to keep something sacred, you probably shouldn't post it."

The film includes commentary from internet personalities Chris DeWolfe, Jason Calacanis, Douglas Rushkoff, and venture capitalist Fred Wilson as well as artists and producers involved in the "Quiet: We Live in Public" event V Owen Bush, Leo Fernekes, Feedbuck, Leo Koenig, Gabriella Latessa, Alex Arcadia, Zeroboy, Alfredo Martinez, and others.

 

We Live In Public - Official Trailer ---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_XSTwfdFwIY

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


Sensory Overload Apart From Data Overload

I'm not so concerned with data overload as I am with sensory overload and artificial (virtual) experience of the wonderful things in life. The increasing amount of data will be eventually handled by advances in data mining technology and artificial intelligence --- such as when the doctor can tell more about you from the blood and tissue specimens examined by computers than he/she can get from any other source.

"Are We Living in Sensory Overload or Sensory Poverty?" by Diane Ackerman, The New York Times, June 10, 2012 ---
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/are-we-living-in-sensory-overload-or-sensory-poverty/?emc=eta1

. . .

I’m certainly not opposed to digital technology, whose graces I daily enjoy and rely on in so many ways. But I worry about our virtual blinders. We’re losing track of our senses, and spending less and less time experiencing the world firsthand. At some medical schools, it’s even possible for future doctors to attend virtual anatomy classes, in which they can dissect a body by computer — minus that whole smelly, fleshy, disturbing human element.

When all is said and done, we exist only in relation to the world, and our senses evolved as scouts who bridge that divide and provide volumes of information, warnings and rewards. But they don’t report everything. Or even most things. We’d collapse from sheer exhaustion. They filter experience, so that the brain isn’t swamped by so many stimuli that it can’t focus on what may be lifesaving. Some of their expertise comes with the genetic suit, but most of it must be learned, updated and refined, through the fine art of focusing deeply, in the present, through the senses. Once you’ve held a ball, turning it in your hands, you need only see another ball to remember the feel of roundness. Strip the brain of too much feedback from the senses and life not only feels poorer, but learning grows less reliable. Subtract the subtle physical sensations, and you lose a wealth of problem-solving and lifesaving details.

As an antidote I wish schools would teach the value of cultivating presence. As people complain more and more these days, attention spans are growing shorter, and we’ve begun living in attention blinks. More social than ever before, we’re spending less time alone with our thoughts, and even less relating to other animals and nature. Too often we’re missing in action, brain busy, working or playing indoors, while completely unaware of the world around us.

One solution is to spend a few minutes every day just paying close attention to some facet of nature. A bonus is that the process will be refreshing. When a sense of presence steals up the bones, one enters a mental state where needling worries soften, careers slow their cantering, and the imaginary line between us and the rest of nature dissolves. Then for whole moments one may see nothing but the flaky trunk of a paper-birch tree with its papyrus-like bark. Or, indoors, watch how a vase full of tulips, whose genes have traveled eons and silk roads, arch their spumoni-colored ruffles and nod gently by an open window.

On the periodic table of the heart, somewhere between wonderon and unattainium, lies presence, which one doesn’t so much take as engage in, like a romance, and without which one can live just fine, but not thrive.

 

 


Customer Base

At the start of the 21st Century, the customer base appeared to be shrinking for eLearning. Then it commenced once again to soar.


"College Degree, No Class Time Required University of Wisconsin to Offer a Bachelor's to Students Who Take Online Competency Tests About What They Know," by Caroline Porter, The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2013 --- "
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578255992379228564.html
Thank you Ramesh Fernando for the heads up.

David Lando plans to start working toward a diploma from the University of Wisconsin this fall, but he doesn't intend to set foot on campus or even take a single online course offered by the school's well-regarded faculty.

Instead, he will sit through hours of testing at his home computer in Milwaukee under a new program that promises to award a bachelor's degree based on knowledge—not just class time or credits.

"I have all kinds of credits all over God's green earth, but I'm using this to finish it all off," said the 41-year-old computer consultant, who has an associate degree in information technology but never finished his bachelor's in psychology.

Colleges and universities are rushing to offer free online classes known as "massive open online courses," or MOOCs. But so far, no one has figured out a way to stitch these classes together into a bachelor's degree.

Now, educators in Wisconsin are offering a possible solution by decoupling the learning part of education from student assessment and degree-granting.

Wisconsin officials tout the UW Flexible Option as the first to offer multiple, competency-based bachelor's degrees from a public university system. Officials encourage students to complete their education independently through online courses, which have grown in popularity through efforts by companies such as Coursera, edX and Udacity.

No classroom time is required under the Wisconsin program except for clinical or practicum work for certain degrees.

Elsewhere, some schools offer competency-based credits or associate degrees in areas such as nursing and business, while Northern Arizona University plans a similar program that would offer bachelor's degrees for a flat fee, said spokesman Eric Dieterle. But no other state system is offering competency-based bachelor's degrees on a systemwide basis.

Wisconsin's Flexible Option program is "quite visionary," said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, an education policy and lobbying group that represents some 1,800 accredited colleges and universities.

In Wisconsin, officials say that about 20% of adult residents have some college credits but lack a degree. Given that a growing number of jobs require a degree, the new program appeals to potential students who lack the time or resources to go back to school full time.

"It is a big new idea in a system like ours, and it is part of the way the ground is shifting under us in higher education," said Kevin Reilly, president of the University of Wisconsin System, which runs the state's 26 public-university campuses.

Under the Flexible Option, assessment tests and related online courses are being written by faculty who normally teach the related subject-area classes, Mr. Reilly said.

Officials plan to launch the full program this fall, with bachelor's degrees in subjects including information technology and diagnostic imaging, plus master's and bachelor's degrees for registered nurses. Faculty are working on writing those tests now.

The charges for the tests and related online courses haven't been set. But university officials said the Flexible Option should be "significantly less expensive" than full-time resident tuition, which averages about $6,900 a year at Wisconsin's four-year campuses.

The Wisconsin system isn't focusing on the potential cost savings the program may offer it but instead "the university and the state are doing this to strengthen the state work force," said university spokesman David Giroux.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media-studies professor at the University of Virginia who has written about the future of universities, called the program a "worthy experiment" but warned that school officials "need to make sure degree plans are not watered down."

Some faculty at the school echoed the concern, since the degree will be indistinguishable from those issued by the University of Wisconsin the traditional way. "There has got to be very rigorous documentation that it lives up to the quality of that name," said Mark Cook, an animal-sciences professor and chairman of the university committee for the faculty senate at the Madison campus.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has championed the idea, in part because he left college in his senior year for a job opportunity and never finished his degree. He said he hoped to use the Flexible Degree option himself.

"I think it is one more way to get your degree. I don't see it as replacing things," Mr. Walker said

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
If competency based learning is to be offered in this manner, I think the pretense that this is equivalent to a traditional undergraduate degree should be dropped. An undergraduate diploma traditionally maps to a curriculum that includes some courses that just cannot be examined with competency-based testing proposed in this article. This includes speech courses where students must stand in front of audiences to perform and be evaluated. This includes case courses where the student's oral contributions to oral discussions of a case, discussions that take on  serendipitous tracks and student interactions. Science laboratories and many other courses entail use of onsite equipment, chemicals, etc. Some physical education courses entail individual and team performances. Music courses often entail performances on musical instruments or singing before critics. Education courses often entail live teaching and other interactions with K-12 students.

In between we have online universities that still make students take courses and interact with instructors and other students by email, chat rooms, etc. A few like Western Governors University even have course grades based on competency-based testing. But WGU only offers certain majors that do not entail onsite laboratory experiences and other onsite experiences. In the 19th Century the University of Chicago allowed students to take final examinations in some courses without attending any classes.  But this did not apply to all types of courses available on campus.

The day will probably come where there are no undergraduate or graduate degrees. Students will instead have transcript records of their graded performances onsite and online. But that day has not yet arrived. The above University of Wisconsin alternative to obtaining an undergraduate diploma must be severely limited in terms of the total curriculum available onsite at state university campuses in Wisconsin.

The above University of Wisconsin alternative to obtaining an online diploma cuts out important parts of online learning in a course where students frequently interact with instructors and other students enrolled in class.

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm


Asia:  The Best and the Worst of Education Technology

"Closing Thoughts From a Monthlong Ed-Tech Tour of Asia," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/college20/closing-thoughts-from-a-monthlong-ed-tech-tour-of-asia/27305

Jensen Comment
One of the biggest issues when the West views the East, is the alleged failure of many parts of the East to honor the West's copyrights and patents on advances in technology and the failure to not only pay royalties but to profit from distribution of the West's books and software and some hardware.


Explosive Growth in Online Enrollments in the United States

"Distance Ed Continues Rapid Growth at Community Colleges," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, April 7, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/07/distance

Community colleges reported an 18 percent increase in distance education enrollments in a 2007 survey released this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges, in Philadelphia.

The survey on community colleges and distance education is an annual project of the Instructional Technology Council, an affiliate of the AACC. The survey is based on the responses of 154 community colleges, selected to provide a representational sample of all community colleges. Last year’s survey found community colleges reporting an increase in distance education enrollments of 15 percent.

This year’s survey suggests that distance education has probably not peaked at community colleges. First there is evidence that the colleges aren’t just offering a few courses online, but entire programs. Sixty-four percent of institutions reported offering at least one online degree — defined as one where at least 70 percent of the courses may be completed online. Second, colleges reported that they aren’t yet meeting demand. Seventy percent indicated that student demand exceeds their online offerings.

The top challenge reported by colleges in terms of dealing with students in distance education was that they do not fill out course evaluations. In previous surveys, this has not been higher than the fifth greatest challenge. This year’s survey saw a five percentage point increase — to 45 percent — in the share of colleges reporting that they charge an extra fee for distance education courses.

Training professors has been a top issue for institutions offering distance education. Of those in the survey of community colleges, 71 percent required participation (up from 67 percent a year ago and 57 percent the year before). Of those requiring training, 60 percent require more than eight hours.

Several of the written responses some colleges submitted suggested frustration with professors. One such comment (included anonymously in the report) said: “Vocal conservative faculty members with little computer experience can stymie efforts to change when expressing a conviction that student learning outcomes can only be achieved in a face-to-face classroom — even though they have no idea what can be accomplished in a well-designed distance education course.” Another response said that: “Our biggest challenge is getting faculty to participate in our training sessions. We understand their time is limited, but we need to be able to show them the new tools available....”

In last year’s survey, 84 percent of institutions said that they were customers of either Blackboard or WebCT (now a part of Blackboard), but 31 percent reported that they were considering a shift in course management platforms. This year’s survey suggests that some of them did so. The percentage of colleges reporting that they use Blackboard or WebCT fell to 77 percent. Moodle showed the largest gains in the market — increasing from 4 to 10 percent of the market — while Angel and Desire2Learn also showed gains.

The survey also provides an update on the status of many technology services for students, showing steady increases in the percentage of community colleges with various technologies and programs.

Status of Services for Online Students at Community Colleges

Service Currently Offer Offered a Year Ago
Campus testing center for distance students 73% 69%
Distance ed specific faculty training 96% 92%
Online admissions 84% 77%
Online counseling / advising 51% 43%
Online library services 96% 96%
Online plagiarism evaluation 54% 48%
Online registration 89% 87%
Online student orientation for distance classes 75% 66%
Online textbook sales 72% 66%

Rate of Growth in Online Enrollments --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm#OnlineGrowthRates


Separating Fact from Hype and Wishful Thinking about Education Technology
"Hurdles Remain Before College Classrooms Go Completely Digital," by Dave Copeland, ReadWriteWeb, February 20, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/hurdles_remain_before_college_classrooms_go_comple.php

OnlineUniversities.com came out with an optimistic infographic last week about how college classrooms are going digital.

But as someone who makes as much as a quarter of his income from teaching college classes in any given year, and who also spends a good amount of time speaking at conferences trying to help professors incorporate technology and social media into their curriculum, the view from the trenches is very different than the iPad-in-every-backpack proponents would have you believe.

This is not to say that tech isn't changing the way we teach and the way students learn: it most certainly is. But probably not as fast as some people outside of higher ed think it is.

Since 2006, Mashery has managed the APIs for more than 100 brands such as The New York Times, Netflix, Best Buy and Hoovers. Powering the more than 10,000 apps built upon these APIs, Mashery enables its customers to distribute their content, data or products to mobile devices and web mashups.

 

People who say we're at the dawn of a new way of learning at the college level are overlooking some rather significant economic and cultural hurdles. At the same time, academic freedom means professors can choose to implement technology a lot, a little bit or not at all into their curriculum. And implementing it "a lot" isn't always a good thing, particularly if it isn't used in a way that boosts learning outcomes.

We (Don't) Have The Technology

If you were to visit the library on the campus where I teach, you would see students waiting to use outdated desktops in the computer labs and library, particularly around midterms and finals week. It seems odd at first, considering the school has a laptop requirement for all undergraduates. That means you have to have a laptop computer when you enroll, and presumably, as an instructor, I can require my students to bring them to any class.

But here's the reality: laptops break, and students can't afford replacements.

The mainstream media has sold us a myth of college still being the place for the ultra-elite, for kids who start compiling "brag sheets" in the fourth grade and have parents that shell out five figures to hire a college admissions coach.

But in practice, most college students these days are like the ones I teach at a four-year state college: they are, by-and-large, the first in their family to attend college. Almost all of my students work, and many work full-time or multiple part-time jobs. Some are parents. An increasing number are so-called nontraditional students and are enrolling after an extended break from education. These students often support families and, in many case, have college-aged children who need their own laptops.

Now factor in that the fastest growing segment of higher education are community colleges, which by-and-large draw kids from working class backgrounds or cater to people who have been laid off and are trying to get trained for a new career.

For a lot of students, replacing a broken laptop is a choice between skipping a rent payment or sucking it up and waiting in those long lines at the computer lab. Asking them to shell out for an iPad on top of the laptop just isn't feasible for many college students, and that means its going to take longer to get everyone on board with the tech revolution in higher ed.

Tenure Doesn't Equal Tech Savvy

One of the concerns among students on the campus where I teach is that the university employs an alert system that sends them text and email messages if there is a life-threatening emergency on campus (think Virginia Tech in 2007). But what are they supposed to do, these students ask, if they're in a class where the teacher bans them from using smartphones and laptops?

Academic freedom means professors get to run their classrooms in the way they want, and that includes choosing the tools they use to teach. Having sat in meetings where faculty members have threatened to file union complaints because email means students can - GASP! - contact them at any time, I think we're a ways off from blanket incorporation of social media and tablet textbooks across the curriculum.

These same professors, many of whom predate the Internet era in higher ed, never concede that email also means fewer student visits during office hours for simple questions, which means more time to get actual work done. This isn't meant as a knock on them, but there are varying degrees of enthusiasm for incorporating tech into teaching and, unlike high schools, tech enthusiasm can't be mandated by a curriculum committee.

High School's Chilling Effects

Career academics are not, however, the only ones to blame. A lot of students come to college with backward views of what social media is and what it can accomplish. And most importantly, what is and isn't acceptable on social media.

And why shouldn't they? They come from schools where teachers can be reprimanded or even fired for connecting with students on social networks. Several schools across the country are implementing bans on teachers friending not only current students but former students on Facebook.

There's no easy fix for overcoming these preexisting biases. Step one, as a professor, is make sure you don't use Facebook for classwork: even though it's the default social network for so many of us, there's still too much of a creep factor in crossing that student-professor line (and, frankly, with Facebook's ever-shifting privacy policies, even if you think you're protected you may end up seeing stuff about your students you'd be better off not knowing about).

But that leaves us to decide which social network we should use with our students. Dedicated social networks like the one being rolled out for students by Microsoft seem like a good idea, but my own experience is that a site students check for reasons other than school tends to produce more frequent check-ins and a more organic discussion about classwork, which is exactly what I want to accomplish with social media in my classes.

I tried using Google+ last September, only to be thwarted in a freshman writing class where some of the students were not yet 18. Google has since relaxed its age restrictions, but the social network is still too new for students to gravitate toward it. In my experiment, students found it confusing, or at least less intuitive than Facebook, and I was finding most would only use it if I mandated it.

I've had the best luck with Twitter, including the use of it in a film class so we can discuss the film as we're screening it each week (for a sample, see this storify of tweets from the class discussion of Shawshank Redmeption). But, again, only about half of my students will use it if I don't require it. And of the students who start using it because I require it in my class, fewer than 10% will continue to use it when the semester ends.

Hope On The Horizon: The Kindle Effect

The people I thought would be stingiest about adopting technology in their classrooms have, in many cases, been the most willing to change. I now see a lot of those seemingly stodgy old English professors walking around campus with a Kindle tucked under their arm.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the hope and hype of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 


"New Book by Pollster John Zogby Says Online Education Is Rapidly Gaining Acceptance," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 12, 23008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3236&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

John Zogby, president & CEO of the polling company Zogby International, says that American students are quickly warming up to the idea of taking classes online, just as consumers have taken to the idea of renting movies via Netflix and buying microbrewed beer.

In a new book by Mr. Zogby released today, he said that polls show a sharp increase in acceptance of online education in the past year. For more on the story, see a free article in today’s Chronicle.

National surveys show that a majority of Americans think online universities offer a lower quality of education than do traditional institutions. But a prominent pollster, John Zogby, says in a book being released today that it won't be long before American society takes to distance education as warmly as it has embraced game-changing innovations like microbrewed beers, Flexcars, and "the simple miracle of Netflix."

The factor that will close that "enthusiasm gap" is the growing use of distance education by well-respected universities, Mr. Zogby predicts in the book, The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (Random House).

The book, which is based on Zogby International polls and other studies, also touches on public attitudes toward politics, consumer habits, spirituality, and international affairs, and on what men and women really do want from each other. Mr. Zogby says polls detect signs of society's emerging resistance to big institutions, and its de-emphasis on things and places. "We're redefining geography and space," he says—and a widening acceptance of online education is part of the trend.

Today there is still a "cultural lag" between the public's desire for flexible ways to take college courses and what the most-established players offer, Mr. Zogby said in an interview with The Chronicle on Monday. "There's a sense that those who define the standard haven't caught on yet," he said.

But Mr. Zogby writes that polling by his organization shows that attitudes about online education are changing fast. His polling also points to other challenges that colleges will face as they race to serve a worldwise generation of 18-to-29-year-olds that Mr. Zogby calls "First Globals."

In one 2007 poll of more 5,000 adults, Zogby International found that 30 percent of respondents were taking or had taken an online course, and another 50 percent said they would consider taking one. He says the numbers might skew a little high because this poll was conducted online and the definition of an online course was broad, including certificate programs or training modules offered by employers.

Only 27 percent of respondents agreed that "online universities and colleges provide the same quality of education" as traditional institutions. Among those 18 to 24 years old, only 23 percent agreed.

An even greater proportion of those polled said it was their perception that employers and academic professionals thought more highly of traditional institutions than online ones.

Rapid Shift in Attitude

Yet in another national poll in December 2007, conducted for Excelsior College, 45 percent of the 1,004 adults surveyed believed "an online class carries the same value as a traditional-classroom class," and 43 percent of 1,545 chief executives and small-business owners agreed that a degree earned by distance learning "is as credible" as one from a traditional campus-based program.

Mr. Zogby said that differing attitudes in two polls within a year show that "the gap was closing"—and he said that wasn't as surprising as it might seem. As with changing perceptions about other cultural phenomena, "these paradigm shifts really are moving at lightning speed."

That, says Mr. Zogby, is why he writes about online universities in a chapter—"Dematerializing the Paradigm"—that discusses the rise of car-sharing companies like Flexcar (now merged with Zipcar), the emergence of Internet blogs as a source of news and information, and the popularity of microbrewed beer.

And while it may be true that microbrews and Zipcars, at least, are still very much niche products, Mr. Zogby says they are signs of transcendent change—just like the distance-education courses that are being offered by more and more institutions across the country. "When you add up all the niche products, it's a market unto itself," he says.

In the book, Mr. Zogby also highlights the emerging influence of the First Globals, whom his book calls "the most outward-looking and accepting generation in American history." First Globals, he says, are more socially tolerant and internationally aware.

It is these First Globals, he writes, who are shaping what he says is nothing short of a "fundamental reorientation of the American character away from wanton consumption and toward a new global citizenry in an age of limited resources."

Higher education, he said in the interview, needs to take notice and adapt. These days, he said, students are much more likely to have experienced other cultures firsthand, either as tourists or because they have immigrated from someplace else. Whether college for them is a traditional complex of buildings or an interactive online message board, said Mr. Zogby, "there is a different student on campus."

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at the following sites:

 

 


Updates 2007

Question
What is the rate of growth in online enrollments in the U.S.?

"More Online Enrollments," by Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed, October 23, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/10/23/sloan

More students than ever are taking courses online, but that doesn’t mean the growth will continue indefinitely. That’s the takeaway from the Sloan Foundation’s latest survey, conducted with the Babson Survey Research Group, of colleges’ online course offerings.

With results from nearly 4,500 institutions of all types, the report, “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning”, found that in fall 2006, nearly 3.5 million students — or 19.8 percent of total postsecondary enrollments — took at least one course online. That’s a 9.7-percent increase over the previous year, but growth has been slowing significantly: last year, the jump was 36.5 percent.

But compared to the growth rate for enrollment overall (1.3 percent), the report notes, the online sector is still rapidly expanding. Most of that expansion is happening where online classes are already being offered.

“The number of new institutions entering the online learning arena had definitely slowed [by last fall]; most institutions that plan to offer online education are now doing so,” the report’s authors wrote.

The institutions surveyed seem to believe that the most important reason for offering online courses is to improve student access, while the top cited obstacles to more widespread online offerings are student’ discipline or study habits, followed by faculty acceptance.

The survey focuses solely on what it classifies as “online” courses: those offering 80 percent or more of their content over the Internet. As a result, trends in so-called “blended” or “hybrid” courses, in which students occasionally meet in person with their professors while also receiving considerable instruction online, are not covered in the report.

The importance of online courses varies widely depending on the type of institution. Public universities, for example, view online education as much more critical to their long-term strategies than private or even for-profit institutions. And not surprisingly, two-year colleges have shown the most growth, accounting for a full half of online enrollments over the past five years:

Four-Year Growth in Students Taking at Least One Online Course

  Enrollment, Fall 2002 Enrollment, Fall 2006 Increase Compound Annual Growth Rate
Doctoral/Research 258,489 566,725 308,236 21.7%
Master’s 335,703 686,337 350,634 19.6%
Baccalaureate 130,677 170,754 40,077 6.9%
Community colleges 806,391 1,904,296 1,097,905 24.0%
Specialized 71,710 160,268 88,558 22.3%

The importance to online strategies is broken down in the following chart:

% Saying Online Education Is Critical to Their Institutions’ Long-Term Strategy

  Public Private Nonprofit Private For-Profit
Fall 2002 66.1% 34.0% 34.6%
Fall 2003 65.4% 36.6% 62.1%
Fall 2004 74.7% 43.8% 48.6%
Fall 2005 71.7% 46.9% 54.9%
Fall 2006 74.1% 48.6% 49.5%

Even if online growth can’t go on at this pace forever, most institutions still see room for increasing enrollments:

% Saying They Expect Online Enrollments to Increase

  Doctoral/Research Master’s Baccalaureate Associate’s Specialized
Expecting increase 87.5% 84.0% 75.6% 87.8% 75.3%

Tables From “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning”

The study also found that most growth was expected at institutions that are the most “engaged” — that is, “currently have online offerings and believe that online is critical to the long-term strategy of their organization. These institutions, however, have not yet included online education in their formal strategic plan.”

 


 

In theory, distance education is supposed to open up an era when all students have a range of options not limited by geography. But a new report from Eduventures finds that most distance students enroll at distance programs run by institutions in their own geographic regions, and that more than a third of these students take online courses offered by an institution within a 50-mile radius.
Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/03/28/qt

More and more prestigious universities are sharing course material and lecture videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

MIT now has most of its entire curriculum of course materials in all disciplines available free to the world as open courseware. This includes the Sloan School of Business Courses --- http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html
Especially note the FAQs --- http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Global/OCWHelp/help.htm

By the end of the year all MIT's course materials will be available, which is probably the most extensive freely open knowledge initiative (OKI) in the entire world.

MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW) has formally partnered with three organizations that are translating MIT OCW course materials into Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese --- http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Global/AboutOCW/Translations.htm

Question
What is the most popular download course at MIT?
Answer: According to ABC News last week it's the Introduction to Electrical Engineering Course.

Other major universities now have huge portions of their curriculum materials available --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI 

If you want to try something quite different, you might consider some online business and accounting courses from the University of Toyota --- http://www2.itt-tech.edu/st/onlineprograms/  (These are not free).

Other online training and education programs are listed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen


Education Balance: Even Resident Students Can Benefit for Life With Some Online Courses

"Latest Twist in Distance Ed," by Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed, August 9, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/08/09/american

Turns out, the American University online program is somewhat of a hybrid. While the university marketed that first course, about terrorism and the legal system, to all sorts of groups in an effort to gauge outside interest, all but two of the 27 students who took the class were its own. Many of the students were away from Washington for the summer, living abroad or at home

“The most important information we’ve gathered is that our distance learning courses are most attractive to our own students,” Ettle said. “Students know they can use credits toward a degree, whereas some students [outside] might be unsure how they could use the credits.”

As distance education continues to evolve, American’s model will likely become more common, according to Diana Oblinger, vice president for Educause, the nonprofit group that deals with technology issues in higher education.

“It makes absolute sense,” Oblinger said. “Both institutions and students are concerned about the time-to-degree. If you can take a course while you are away and when it’s convenient, that helps you progress toward graduation. From an institution’s perspective, why allow your student to take someone else’s course?”

This summer, American is offering 25 online courses, none of which are longer than seven weeks. The condensed schedule works well for students who are either amidst or have just finished study abroad programs or summer jobs and want to extend their stays away from campus while earning credits, Ettle said. It’s also popular with students who take on internships during the year and want to go to school in the summer without having a full course load.

American provides incentives for those who are part of the distance learning program. Starting several summers ago, the university began giving professors whose online course proposals were accepted a $2,500 course development grant. Summer teaching at American isn’t a substitute for teaching an academic year course, and the additional compensation is only monetary incentive to teach in the summer online. Students receive a discounted rate on summer distance courses, and the price hasn’t changed in four years. A three-credit course costs $2,200, which is about 30 percent cheaper than a graduate course and about 25 percent cheaper than an undergraduate course, Ettle said.

There are other obvious cost savings: Students don’t have to pay for campus housing, and the university frees up space for other uses. The overhead cost of running a distance education course is also significantly less than it is for a normal classroom-based course, Ettle said.

“We’re utilizing our facilities more efficiently,” she said. “We want repeat customers — it’s good for them and it’s good for us.”

Still, American limits students to two distance courses per summer to prevent those who are working or studying elsewhere from overloading their schedules. The university places no limits, though, on the number of summers a student can take an online course.

Oblinger said it’s becoming more common for a university to either require or strongly suggest that its students take an online course as a way to prepare them for how learning often takes place in the workplace.

Continued in article


Updates 2006

Open Sharing Catching on Outside the United States
Britain’s Open University today formally begins its effort to put its course materials and other content online for all the world to use. With its effort, OpenLearn, which is expected to cost $10.6 million and is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the university joins Massachusetts Institute of Technology and institutions in several other countries in trying to put tools for learning within the reach of otherwise difficult to reach populations.
Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2006

Open2 Net Learning from Open University (the largest university in the U.K.) --- http://www.open2.net/learning.html

Soaring Popularity of E-Learning Among Students But Not Faculty
How many U.S. students took at least on online course from a legitimate college in Fall 2005?

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education . . . ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’
Elia Powers, "Growing Popularity of E-Learning, Inside Higher Ed, November 10, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/10/online

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education.

Roughly 3.2 million students took at least one online course from a degree-granting institution during the fall 2005 term, the Sloan Consortium said. That’s double the number who reported doing so in 2002, the first year the group collected data, and more than 800,000 above the 2004 total. While the number of online course participants has increased each year, the rate of growth slowed from 2003 to 2004.

The report, a joint partnership between the group and the College Board, defines online courses as those in which 80 percent of the content is delivered via the Internet.

The Sloan Survey of Online Learning, “Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006,” shows that 62 percent of chief academic officers say that the learning outcomes in online education are now “as good as or superior to face-to-face instruction,” and nearly 6 in 10 agree that e-learning is “critical to the long-term strategy of their institution.” Both numbers are up from a year ago.

Researchers at the Sloan Consortium, which is administered through Babson College and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, received responses from officials at more than 2,200 colleges and universities across the country. (The report makes few references to for-profit colleges, a force in the online market, in part because of a lack of survey responses from those institutions.)

Much of the report is hardly surprising. The bulk of online students are adult or “nontraditional” learners, and more than 70 percent of those surveyed said online education reaches students not served by face-to-face programs.

What stands out is the number of faculty who still don’t see e-learning as a valuable tool. Only about one in four academic leaders said that their faculty members “accept the value and legitimacy of online education,” the survey shows. That number has remained steady throughout the four surveys. Private nonprofit colleges were the least accepting — about one in five faculty members reported seeing value in the programs.

Elaine Allen, co-author of the report and a Babson associate professor of statistics and entrepreneurship, said those numbers are striking.

“As a faculty member, I read that response as, ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’ ” Allen said. “It’s a very hard adjustment. We sat in lectures for an hour when we were students, but there’s a paradigm shift in how people learn.”

Barbara Macaulay, chief academic officer at UMass Online, which offers programs through the University of Massachusetts, said nearly all faculty members teaching the online classes there also teach face-to-face courses, enabling them to see where an online class could fill in the gap (for instance, serving a student who is hesitant to speak up in class).

She said she isn’t surprised to see data illustrating the growing popularity of online courses with students, because her program has seen rapid growth in the last year. Roughly 24,000 students are enrolled in online degree and certificate courses through the university this fall — a 23 percent increase from a year ago, she said.

“Undergraduates see it as a way to complete their degrees — it gives them more flexibility,” Macaulay said.

The Sloan report shows that about 80 percent of students taking online courses are at the undergraduate level. About half are taking online courses through community colleges and 13 percent through doctoral and research universities, according to the survey.

Nearly all institutions with total enrollments exceeding 15,000 students have some online offerings, and about two-thirds of them have fully online programs, compared with about one in six at the smallest institutions (those with 1,500 students or fewer), the report notes. Allen said private nonprofit colleges are often set in enrollment totals and not looking to expand into the online market.

The report indicates that two-year colleges are particularly willing to be involved in online learning.

“Our institutions tend to embrace changes a little more readily and try different pedagogical styles,” said Kent Phillippe, a senior research associate at the American Association of Community Colleges. The report cites a few barriers to what it calls the “widespread adoption of online learning,” chief among them the concern among college officials that some of their students lack the discipline to succeed in an online setting. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents defined that as a barrier.

Allen, the report’s co-author, said she thinks that issue arises mostly in classes in which work can be turned in at any time and lectures can be accessed at all hours. “If you are holding class in real time, there tends to be less attrition,” she said. The report doesn’t differentiate between the live and non-live online courses, but Allen said she plans to include that in next year’s edition.

Few survey respondents said acceptance of online degrees by potential employers was a critical barrier — although liberal arts college officials were more apt to see it as an issue.

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing and education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Motivations for Distance Learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#Motivations

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of online learning and teaching are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Update in 2005

Distant distance education
Ms. Salin is part of a new wave of outsourcing to India: the tutoring of American students. Twice a week for a month now, Ms. Salin, who grew up speaking the Indian language Malayalam at home, has been tutoring Daniela in English grammar, comprehension and writing. Using a simulated whiteboard on their computers, connected by the Internet, and a copy of Daniela's textbook in front of her, she guides the teenager through the intricacies of nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Saritha Rai, "A Tutor Half a World Away, but as Close as a Keyboard," The New York Times, September 7, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/education/07tutor.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1126191549-1Ydu+7CY89CpuVeaJbJ4XA

The Blackboard:  A tribute to a long-standing but fading teaching and learning tool
From the Museum of History and Science at Oxford University
Bye Bye Blackboard: From Einstein and others
--- http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/blackboard/
Bob Jensen's threads on the tools of education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Controversies in Regulation of Distance Education

"All Over the Map," by Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed, December 8, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/12/08/regulation

As the distance learning market continues to grow, state agencies charged with regulating the industry continue to operate in a “fragmented environment,” according to a report presented Thursday at the 2006 Education Industry Finance & Investment Summit, in Washington.

One of the main questions these agencies must consider is what constitutes an institution having a “physical presence” in their state. In other words, what is an appropriate test to determine whether regulation is needed?

More than 80 percent of agencies that are included in the report said that they use some sort of “physical presence” test. But few agree on how to define the word “presence,” in part because there are so many elements to consider.

That’s clear in “The State of State Regulation of Cross-Border Postsecondary Education,” the report issued by Dow Lohnes, a firm with a sizable higher education practice. (The firm plans to release an updated report early next year after more responses arrive.)

Continued in article


The Shining Star in the Beleaguered World of  For-Profit Educational Corporations
"Will Apollo Hold On to Medals, by Jesse Eisinger, The Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2004, Page C1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,long_and_short,00.html 
(Note that Among other schools, Apollo owns the University of Phoenix.)

Last week, Apollo Group saved the for-profit education sector. At least for the moment.

Other big companies in the group -- ITT Educational Services, Career Education and Corinthian Colleges -- have been battling lawsuits and dealing with various investigations into their recruitment and placement practices, sending their stocks plummeting. Apollo Group, which has skirted such problems thus far, has nevertheless skidded about 20% from a June high of $98.

But a week ago today, the company shined. It said online-enrollment growth for the fiscal year ending August 2005 would top 40%, relieving investors who had been worried the toll of the investigations and lawsuits were slowing growth across the sector.

The fight between the longs and the shorts in education stocks has been one of the market's fiercest, with some of the most influential and sophisticated investors taking opposing sides. Apollo hasn't been targeted by shorts as much -- until recently. Its short interest rose almost two million shares in the most recent month, but is still relatively low compared with other education stocks.

Apollo, which declined to make executives available to comment, has been a stunning success story. The stock is up 9,800% since December 1994 and now has just under a $14 billion market capitalization. It trades at a nosebleed 32.5 times next year's earnings estimate of $2.40 a share.

Apollo sells education at bricks-and-mortar campuses and online. To date, the company has mainly focused on thirty-somethings, most of whom already are earning salaries of around $55,000 to $60,000 a year. The compelling growth story is online, so enrollment figures are watched closely.

In giving its upbeat outlook last week, Apollo also completed the conversion of its online-division tracking stock, University of Phoenix Online, into parent company shares. The move, while welcome by good-governance types, could also obscure what the true growth rate for the University of Phoenix Online will be.

Apollo will report that UOP online had 118,000 students by the end of fiscal 2004, which ended yesterday, analysts forecast. The company, which often underpromises and overdelivers, said last week it expected "online degree enrollments to grow in excess of 40%" in fiscal 2005. At a 40% growth rate, the online enrollment would be 165,000 by the end of next August. However, that figure isn't only for UOP online. The company has launched a pilot effort to go after 18- to 21-year-olds through its Western International University online unit.

WIU online growth is included in that 40% growth figure, according to Credit Suisse analyst Greg Cappelli. Apollo declined to break out its expectations for WIU online enrollment.

Continued in the article


Western Governors University, which was founded in 1997 as a collaboration of colleges in 19 states offering online programs, was for many years known for not meeting the ambitious goals of its founders. Projected to attract thousands of students within a few years, it initially attracted but scores of students. But the university has been growing lately, and on Wednesday announced that enrollment has hit 10,000, including students from all 50 states.
Inside Higher Ed, June 5, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/05/qt

Jensen Comment
Some of the things that made WGU controversial were as follows:

  • Before spreading to other states it was sponsored by four governors largely concerned with reducing the cost and increasing the availability of higher education;
     

  • It went online before online tools were as developed as they are today, and online learning was not yet accepted by most educators or students;
     

  • It acquired an early reputation for being career focused, which often riles humanities departments --- many educators appeared to predict and enjoy the life-threatening struggles of WGU;
     

  • It was and is still a competency-based program that takes much of the subjectivity of grading and graduation out of the hands of instructors who traditionally have the option of fudging grades for such things as effort.

WGU now has many undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including those in traditional fields of business such as accounting, marketing, etc.

 

Judith Boettcher in Syllabus, June 1999, 18-24 Judith Boettcher is affiliated with CREN. She predicts the following scenarios (which appear to be heavily in line with the emerging WGU programs mentioned above):

1.  A "career university" sector will be in place (with important partnerships of major corporations with prestige universities).

2.  Most higher education institutions, perhaps 60 percent, will have teaching and learning management software systems linked to their back office administration systems.

3.  New career universities will focus on certifications, modular degrees, and skill sets.

4.  The link between courses and content for courses will be broken.

5.  Faculty work and roles will make a dramatic shift toward specialization (with less stress upon one person being responsible for the learning material in an entire course).
(Outsourcing Academics http://www.outsourcing-academics.com/ )

6.  Students will be savvy consumers of educational services (which is consistent with the Chronicle of Higher Education article at http://chronicle.com/free/99/05/99052701t.htm   ).

7.  The tools for teaching and learning will become as portable and ubiquitous as paper and books are today.

An abstract from On the Horizon http://horizon.unc.edu/horizon/online/login.asp  

Will Universities Be Relics? What Happens When an Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Object? John W. Hibbs

Peter Drucker predicts that, in 30 years, the traditional university will be nothing more than a relic.    Should we listen or laugh? Hibbs examines Drucker's prophesy in the light of other unbelievable events, including the rapid transformation of the Soviet Union "from an invincible Evil Empire into just another meek door-knocker at International Monetary Fund headquarters." Given the mobility and cost concerns of today's students, as well as the growing tendency of employers to evaluate job-seekers' competencies rather than their institutional affiliations, Hibbs agrees that the brick-and-mortar university is doomed to extinction.

Jensen Comment
I think bricks and mortar will be around for a long time as long as young and naive students commencing adulthood need more than just course content in the process of becoming well-rounded adults.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's advice for new faculty can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm


Soaring Popularity of E-Learning Among Students But Not Faculty
How many U.S. students took at least on online course from a legitimate college in Fall 2005?

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education . . . ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’
Elia Powers, "Growing Popularity of E-Learning, Inside Higher Ed, November 10, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/10/online

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education.

Roughly 3.2 million students took at least one online course from a degree-granting institution during the fall 2005 term, the Sloan Consortium said. That’s double the number who reported doing so in 2002, the first year the group collected data, and more than 800,000 above the 2004 total. While the number of online course participants has increased each year, the rate of growth slowed from 2003 to 2004.

The report, a joint partnership between the group and the College Board, defines online courses as those in which 80 percent of the content is delivered via the Internet.

The Sloan Survey of Online Learning, “Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006,” shows that 62 percent of chief academic officers say that the learning outcomes in online education are now “as good as or superior to face-to-face instruction,” and nearly 6 in 10 agree that e-learning is “critical to the long-term strategy of their institution.” Both numbers are up from a year ago.

Researchers at the Sloan Consortium, which is administered through Babson College and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, received responses from officials at more than 2,200 colleges and universities across the country. (The report makes few references to for-profit colleges, a force in the online market, in part because of a lack of survey responses from those institutions.)

Much of the report is hardly surprising. The bulk of online students are adult or “nontraditional” learners, and more than 70 percent of those surveyed said online education reaches students not served by face-to-face programs.

What stands out is the number of faculty who still don’t see e-learning as a valuable tool. Only about one in four academic leaders said that their faculty members “accept the value and legitimacy of online education,” the survey shows. That number has remained steady throughout the four surveys. Private nonprofit colleges were the least accepting — about one in five faculty members reported seeing value in the programs.

Elaine Allen, co-author of the report and a Babson associate professor of statistics and entrepreneurship, said those numbers are striking.

“As a faculty member, I read that response as, ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’ ” Allen said. “It’s a very hard adjustment. We sat in lectures for an hour when we were students, but there’s a paradigm shift in how people learn.”

Barbara Macaulay, chief academic officer at UMass Online, which offers programs through the University of Massachusetts, said nearly all faculty members teaching the online classes there also teach face-to-face courses, enabling them to see where an online class could fill in the gap (for instance, serving a student who is hesitant to speak up in class).

She said she isn’t surprised to see data illustrating the growing popularity of online courses with students, because her program has seen rapid growth in the last year. Roughly 24,000 students are enrolled in online degree and certificate courses through the university this fall — a 23 percent increase from a year ago, she said.

“Undergraduates see it as a way to complete their degrees — it gives them more flexibility,” Macaulay said.

The Sloan report shows that about 80 percent of students taking online courses are at the undergraduate level. About half are taking online courses through community colleges and 13 percent through doctoral and research universities, according to the survey.

Nearly all institutions with total enrollments exceeding 15,000 students have some online offerings, and about two-thirds of them have fully online programs, compared with about one in six at the smallest institutions (those with 1,500 students or fewer), the report notes. Allen said private nonprofit colleges are often set in enrollment totals and not looking to expand into the online market.

The report indicates that two-year colleges are particularly willing to be involved in online learning.

“Our institutions tend to embrace changes a little more readily and try different pedagogical styles,” said Kent Phillippe, a senior research associate at the American Association of Community Colleges. The report cites a few barriers to what it calls the “widespread adoption of online learning,” chief among them the concern among college officials that some of their students lack the discipline to succeed in an online setting. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents defined that as a barrier.

Allen, the report’s co-author, said she thinks that issue arises mostly in classes in which work can be turned in at any time and lectures can be accessed at all hours. “If you are holding class in real time, there tends to be less attrition,” she said. The report doesn’t differentiate between the live and non-live online courses, but Allen said she plans to include that in next year’s edition.

Few survey respondents said acceptance of online degrees by potential employers was a critical barrier — although liberal arts college officials were more apt to see it as an issue.

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing and education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm


July 1, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

WHAT HAPPENED TO E-LEARNING?

"Thwarted Innovation: What Happened to E-learning and Why" presents the results of the Weatherstation Project of The Learning Alliance at the University of Pennsylvania. This study sought to answer the question "Why did the boom in e-learning go bust?" Over an eighteen-month period authors Robert Zemsky, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and William F. Massy, professor emeritus of education and business administration at Stanford University, tracked faculty and staff attitudes towards e-learning at six colleges and universities. Their findings challenged three prevalent e-learning assumptions:

-- If we build it they will come -- not so;

-- The kids will take to e-learning like ducks to water -- not quite;

-- E-learning will force a change in the way we teach -- not by a long shot.

The complete report is available online, at no cost, in PDF format at http://www.irhe.upenn.edu/Docs/Jun2004/ThwartedInnovation.pdf.

The Learning Alliance is "a provider of educational research and leadership support services to presidents of accredited, non-profit

two- and four-year colleges and universities. The Learning Alliance serves the mission of higher education institutions by providing its senior administrators with timely access to expertise, current research, and market data." For more information, contact: The Learning Alliance, 1398 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA 19382 USA; tel: 610-399-6601; fax: 815-550-8892; Web: http://www.irhe.upenn.edu/index.php.

The Weatherstation Project was conceived as "an antidote to those first descriptions of the market for e-learning, which were often warped by missing data and overly hopeful assumptions about how quickly new products would come to market and how receptive learners and instructors were likely to be."

 

In my opinion, the Weatherstation Project is biased from the start by skeptics who do not balance the successes against the failures to date --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm 
For example, the report fails to even mention one of the world's most successful e-Learning endeavors in his own institution, the Master's of Engineering (ADEPT) distance learning program at Stanford University even though one of the two authors is a long-time faculty member and top administrator at Stanford.

Here are some counter examples.

New and Expanding Market Motivations
Example 1 --- Stanford University --- http://ww.stanford.edu/history/fulldesc.html 

Stanford University shook up the stuffy Ivy League and other prestigious schools such as Oxford and Cambridge when it demonstrated to the world that its online training programs and its online Masters of Engineering (ADEPT) asynchronous learning degree program became enormous cash cows with nearly infinite growth potentials relative to relatively fixed-size onsite programs.  In a few short years, revenues from online programs in engineering and computer science exploded to over $100 million per year.

The combined present value of the Stanford University logo and the logos of other highly prestigious universities are worth trillions.  Any prestigious university that ignores online growth opportunities is probably wasting billions of dollars of potential cash flow from its logo.  

Virtually all universities of highest prestige and name recognition are realizing this and now offer a vast array of online training and education courses directly or in partnership with corporations and government agencies seeking the mark of distinction on diplomas.


Example 2 --- University of Wisconsin --- http://webct.wisc.edu/ 
Over 100,000 Registered Online Students in The University of Wisconsin System of State-Supported Universities

Having a long history of extension programs largely aimed at part-time adult learners, it made a lot of sense for the UW System to try to train and educate adult learners and other learners who were not likely to become onsite students.

The UW System is typical of many other large state-supported universities that have an established adult learning infrastructure and a long history of interactive television courses delivered to remote sites within the state.  Online Internet courses were a logical extension and in many instances a cost-efficient extension relative to televised delivery.


Example 3 --- Harvard University

In light of new online learning technologies, Harvard University changed its long-standing residency requirement in anticipation of expanding markets for "mid-career professionals" according to Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers, EDUCAUSE Review, May/June 2002, Page 4.  Harvard has various distance education programs, including those in the Harvard Business School that currently cost over $4 million per year to maintain.


Example 4
From Syllabus News, Resources, and Trends on July 2, 2002

Babson Blends Online, Onsite MBA Program

Babson College said it will launch in Jan. a "fast track" MBA program that integrates traditional onsite classroom instruction with distance learning components. The program will enable students to obtain an MBA in 27 months, and is designed for executives struggling to balance work and personal demands in an economic recession. Intel Corp. sponsored the program as a complement to its corporate education package, and has modeled it with 33 employees. The blended MBA program calls for students to attend monthly two and-a-half days of face-to-face sessions with Babson's faculty on campus in Wellesley. During the rest of the time, students will take part in Internet-based distance learning sessions with their professors and access interactive multimedia course content.

For more information, visit: http://www.babson.edu/mba/fasttrac


Example 5 --- Texas A&M Online MBA Program in Mexico --- http://olap.tamu.edu/mexico/tamumxctr.pdf 

Some universities view online technologies as a tremendous opportunity to expand training and education courses into foreign countries.  One such effort was undertaken by the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University in partnership with Monterrey Tech in Mexico.  For example, Professor John Parnell at Texas A&M has been delivering a course for several semesters in which students in Mexico City take the online course in their homes.  However, once each month the students meet face-to-face on a weekend when Dr. Parnell travels to Mexico City to hold live classes and administer examinations.

You probably won't have much difficulty making a guess as to what many students say is the major reason they prefer online courses to onsite courses in Mexico City?


Example 6 --- The University of Phoenix --- http://www.phoenix.edu/index_open.html 

The University of Phoenix became the largest private university in the world.  Growth came largely from adult learning onsite programs in urban centers across the U.S. and Canada.  

The popular CBS television show called Sixty Minutes ran a feature on the growth and future of the newer online training and education programs at the University of Phoenix. You can download this video from http://online.uophx.edu/onl_nav_2.asp# 

The University of Phoenix contends that online success in education depends upon intense communications day-to-day between instructors and students.  This, in turn, means that online classes must be relatively small and synchronized in terms of assignments and projects.


Example 7 --- Partnerships 
Lucrative partnerships between universities and corporations seeking to train and educate employees.

The highly successful Global Executive MBA Program at Duke University (formerly called GEMBA) where corporations from around the world pay nearly $100,000 for one or two employees to earn a prestigious online MBA degree --- http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/admin/gemba/index.html

UNext Corporation has an exclusive partnership with General Motors Corporation that provides online executive training and education programs to 88,000 GM managers.  GM pays the fees.  See http://www.unext.com/ 

Army University Access Online --- http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/index.html 
This five-year $453 million initiative was completed by the consulting division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  Twenty-four colleges are delivering training and education courses online through the U.S. Army's e-learning portal.  There are programs for varying levels of accomplishment, including specialty certificates, associates degrees, bachelor's degrees, and masters degrees.  All courses are free to soldiers.  By 2003, there is planned capacity is for 80,000 online students.   The PwC Program Director is Jill Kidwell --- http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/kidwell.html 

Army Online University attracted 12,000 students during its first year of operation.  It plans to double its capacity and add 10,000 more students in 2002.  It is funded by the U.S. Army for all full time soldiers to take non-credit and credit courses from selected major universities.  The consulting arm of the accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers manages the entire system. 

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has a program for online training and education for all IRS employees.  The IRS pays the fees for all employees.  The IRS online accounting classes will be served up from Florida State University and Florida Community College at Jacksonville --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60881-2001May7.html 

Deere & Company has an exclusive partnership with Indiana University to provide an online MBA program for Deere employees.  Deere pays the fees.  See "Deere & Company Turns to Indiana University's Kelley School of Business For Online MBA Degrees in Finance," Yahoo Press Release, October 8, 2001 --- http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/011008/cgm034_1.html 

The University of Georgia partnered with the consulting division of PwC to deliver a totally online MBA degree.  The program is only taken by PwC employees.  PwC paid the development and delivery fees.  See http://www.coe.uga.edu./coenews/2000/UGAusnews.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on the bright and the dark side of education technologies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 


"Your Right to X-Rated Sites"
The ACLU and the government butt heads over privacy, free speech, and protecting kids online--again
By Anush Yegyazarian, PC World, April 7, 2004 --- http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,115531,00.asp 

In early March, the Supreme Court again heard arguments concerning the 1998 Child Online Protection Act. That act was intended to protect children from viewing online what the law calls "material that is harmful to minors."

There are qualifications about how such material must also lack any redeeming scientific, artistic, political or literary value for minors. In other words, this shouldn't affect a teen's ability to see full-frontal pictures of Michelangelo's David or the armless and topless Venus de Milo, or even to read explicit excerpts from anatomy texts.

What COPA intends to target is pornography. We all know that the Web is full of it, and that it's fairly easy to access.

Aside from what's truly obscene--which the law and the courts have sort of, kind of, defined--what's classified as porn or material harmful to minors tends to differ depending on whom you ask and the age of the minor in question. But no matter how you define it, according to the First Amendment, adults have the right to create and to view sexually explicit material--even if that material may be deemed pornographic or harmful to minors.

So the question before the Supreme Court, lawmakers, and every parent is: How do we keep sexually explicit material available to adults but away from children?

Burden on Creators or Consumers?

Let me get a couple of disclaimers out of the way first: I'm not a parent; I'm also not a consumer of so-called adult entertainment.

But I like the HBO show Sex in the City, and discussing it is a lot of fun. There are chat rooms and sites devoted to the show, some of which may at various times include commentary that's naughty at best and harmful to minors at worst, offering little or no redeeming value for those minors. Do such sites have to require proof of age for access? You can argue that they do, according to COPA.

In large part, it's the proof-of-age requirement that has prompted the American Civil Liberties Union and other like-minded organizations to oppose COPA before the Supreme Court. Under the act, sites that have "prurient" (legalese for sexually explicit material that lacks redeeming value) material harmful to minors must require some form of ID--such as a credit card, an adult ID, a digital certificate, and so on--to prove that the person who wants access to the content is over 17 years old.

So what's the problem? Well, there are a couple issues.

First, requiring an ID removes anonymity, which would deter at least some people from going to a site. They may be concerned about the potential stigma because they don't trust the site to protect their privacy, or they may want to limit the number of sites that have personal information about them. COPA does include some privacy provisions, but whether they're sufficient is debatable.

Second, the people running such a site may decide to self-censor, avoiding a subject--even something they're legally allowed to discuss--because they don't want to risk running afoul of COPA or don't want to shoulder the additional cost of implementing an age-verification method.

The ACLU and other groups have persuaded lower federal courts (most recently the Third Circuit Court of Appeals) that reasons such as these are enough to shelve COPA or send it back to the congressional drawing board. And let's not forget that a too-broad definition of indecency helped in striking down the 1996 Computer Decency Act.

But most importantly, adult IDs are not the only way to protect children online. Other methods could be just as effective without triggering self-censorship or creating problems with free speech or privacy rights.

Other Methods of Protection

COPA required the creation of a commission to investigate and evaluate various child-protection methods, and to assess any adverse impact on adults who want to access adult materials. That commission made its report in October 2000.

Guess what? According to the report, no single protection method is best. And requiring IDs has a negative impact on adult access, our First Amendment rights, and privacy, among other things. However, user- and ISP-based filtering and "greenspaces" (domains or sites that are specifically kid-friendly, such as the recently approved .kid domains) scored better as protection mechanisms, while avoiding many of the negatives of requiring adult IDs.

Continued in the article


We may have to wave goodbye to streaming media.

"Colleges That Transmit Sound and Video Online Reluctantly Discuss Strategy for Answering Patent Claim, by Scott Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2004, Page A27.

Colleges, along with pornography distributors and mainstream businesses, are struggling for ways to refute claims by Acacia Research Corporation, which says it owns patents on the streaming technology that allows Web users to transmit and play sound and video.  In letters to companies and to many colleges, Acacia is seeking licensing deals that would pay it 2 percent of the gross revenue the recipients derive from such online media.

Acacia has had some successes recently.  It was just granted another patent for streaming technology in Europe.  It signed up a hotel pay-per-view company and, in a coup, a pornography company that had been part of a small group of adult-entertainment sites fighting the patent claims in court.

Acacia has also started sending letters to major corporations.  General Dynamics, the billion-dollar aerospace-and-defense contractor, signed a licensing deal in late December.

Meanwhile, colleges are reluctantly trying to decide whether to band together to challenge Acacia's claims.  Among higher-education providers, only 24/7 University, a for-profit distance-learning company based in Dallas, is known to have agreed to a deal.

Robert A Berman, senior vice president for business development at Acacia, said colleges had "panicked" and "assumed that we're asking for more than we're really asking for."

Acacia, he said, is seeking royalties from colleges only on revenues from their distance-learning courses.  The company is willing to waive royalties on revenue from other classes that use streaming technology.  "We're talking about licenses in the $5,000-to-$10,000-a-year range--at least for now," he said.

Acacia officials won't say how many colleges, or which ones, they have written to.  Institutions of all sizes have received the letters, but it is unclear what criteria the company used in choosing them.

'BUSINESS DECISION'

24/7 University struck an agreement with Acacia early this month.  Delwin Hinkle, chief executive officer of the university, called the deal "simply a business decision."

"They tell you that they have $55-million in the bank and that they are willing to spend that to enforce their patents," he said.  "We looked at it and said it's just another tweak to our cost structure, and we don't have the money, the time, or the inclination to mess with them."

Mr. Hinkle said he had tried to contact major universities to discuss a collective defense but never got a response.  He did not consider joining in the pornography companies' litigation.  "You're known by the company you keep," he said.  "No disrespect to their business, but I'm a Baptist deacon, and I can't hang with those boys."

E. Michael (Spike) Goldberg, chief executive of HomegrownVideo.com, is leading the pornographers' fight against Acacia.  He has been frustrated by higher education's unwillingness to work with him or join his case.

 Continued in the article.


February 12, 2004 message from David R. Fordham [fordhadr@JMU.EDU

Bob, 

In the IT circles, my experience has been that Acacia has the same reputation as a shirtless, tattooed, multi-pierced skinhead who walks up to your car at a stoplight, splashes Coke on your windshield, wipes it off with a paper towel and demands $5 for cleaning your car.

According to what I've heard at a lot of IT conferences, Acacia is a firm of sleazebag lawyers whose only claim to business legitimacy is the buying of semi-worthless patents which are vague enough to be stretched and convoluted and contorted to cover some activity that the general population is already engaged in (such as breathing, eating, etc.) and then doing a lot of research to find a hapless victim who is too clueless or too poor to afford a decent lawyer to find knowledgable expert witnesses so the Acacia team can snow-job a clueless jury into believing that the vague patent has been infringed. Then, Acacia uses their "success" to scare (e.g., legal extortion?) a lot of other clueless companies into settling for "licensing fees", which they then hold up in other court cases as "legitimizing" their claim to the vague patent covering the activity. They only take an interest in activities which have become such an integral part of society as to cause great hardship if they cease, since Acacia's goal is not to stop patent infringement as much as it is to extort licensing fees from others who are doing all the work.

Acacia's streaming video claim is based on a patent issued to an individual in 1992 for transmitting music electronically. But MP3 (the Motion Picture Experts Group Audio Level 3) file format was invented in 1989 and released to the public in 1991. The Acacia claim is that any file which can be used to reconstruct any music or video image is covered by their patent and cannot be transmitted electronically (e.g., like a CD player playing in your living room while you are talking to your grandma on the phone!) unless Acacia receives royalties. In other words, if you sing a jingle on your digital answering machine, you are violating the same Acacia patent which Acacia is using to sue college and universities.

From the scuttlebutt at IT conferences, Acacia's only business is filing lawsuits. They do not invent anything, they don't manufacture anything, they only file lawsuits and collect royalties and fees.

I don't have any first-hand knowledge of any of this, but I have heard many times of their questionable business practices at conferences, and several of my student groups over the last few years have done some research and reported on this phenomenon. One of them described Acacia's relationship to the IT industry as the "Nigerian Treasure Scam" is to the banking industry.

Although Acacia may have some institutions cowed, I'm not sure based on what I've read, that it is much more than a paper tiger that was able to snow-job some juries. (Having served on five juries, I have positively no confidence in a jury to make a good decision on something like this, and the judges of my experience are only marginally better!) I know our legal people here have turned up their nose at Acacia's "success", and aren't the least bit worried.

Check out: http://www.streamingmedia.com/patent/ 

My reference to "Acacia's Flying Circus" was a reference to Monte Python's antics, shenanigans, and sheer ludicrousness, engaging in activities which are so bizarre as to be almost beyond belief. (The dead parrot sketch, for example -- involving the Acacia pet store, and their customer, the very first gullible jury they snowed.)

David R. Fordham 
PBGH Faculty Fellow 
James Madison University


July 2004 Update on the Fair Use Controversy in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law

Unlike many other countries such as Canada, educators have the luxury of "fair use" in copyright law, although some aspects of this safe harbor are in question under the "new" DMCA copyright law --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright 

Under fair use provisions in the DMCA, educators can keep one photocopy of a journal article and large portions of a book even though they did not purchase those items. What I think is less clear is how to interpret the spontaneity test for sharings with other colleagues and students.  If three colleagues want to each have copy of an article from your private library, they can do so under the fair use safe harbor statutes provided there is not sufficient time to get the item from the publisher.  There is a spontaneity test discussed below.  Probably the most violated part of the fair use statute arises when educators share their photocopied journal articles, magazine articles, and multimedia files with other educators or place these items on library reserve or in Blackboard/WebCT online files for students without regard to the spontaneity test. 

You can read more about fair use and the spontaneity test at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright 

July14, 2004 Update
Colloquy Live from The Chronicle of Higher Education --- http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/2004/07/copyright/ 

"Fair Use and Academic Publishing Wednesday, July 14, at 1 p.m., U.S. Eastern time

Indiana University Press's withdrawal of a scholarly book is just the latest example of copyright claims trumping scholarship. Just what use are "fair use" provisions in copyright law if presses lack the wherewithal to challenge such claims? What steps can be taken by scholars to protect fair use?

Richard Byrne (Moderator):
    Good afternoon. Welcome to this week's Colloquy Live. My name is Richard Byrne. I am the editor of the Chronicle's research and publication section. Our chat today concerns Fair Use and Academic Publishing.

Copyright laws protect the rights of authors, but at times they also have bedeviled scholars' research efforts. The "fair use" provisions of copyright law should provide scope for scholars to do their work and stay on the right side of the law, but changes to copyright law and strong challenges to fair use have made both scholars and academic presses skittish about asserting fair use.

Our guest today, Wendy Seltzer, is a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She will be answering questions today about the uses that fair use can be put to in an academic setting, and she will also discuss a few ideas that she has been kicking around about how scholars and academic presses might assert fair use provisions of copyright law in a more active fashion.

Thank you, Wendy, for agreeing to appear on our chat today. Welcome.




Wendy Seltzer:
    Thanks for inviting me to join you.

First let me give a few notes about fair use, an important part of the public-private balance of copyright. It is now codified at Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act as a limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright holders. Fair uses are fair without the permission of the copyright holder, even against that permission.

The law sets out a four-factor test:
1) the purpose and character of the use (non-commercial or commercial; transformative or mere duplication)
2) the nature of the copyrighted work (fiction or nonfiction, published or unpublished)
3) the amount used in proportion to the whole
4) the effect on the market for the work
(See http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html )

More factors in your favor makes a finding of fair use more likely, but the law gives us no bright lines or percentages. That's part of the reason why Lawrence Lessig has been saying that "fair use is merely the right to hire a lawyer."

I should also note that the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other public interest organizations do try to make it easier to hire a pro bono lawyer in fair use cases. We think it's critically important to preserve fair use as an actual, not merely hypothetical defense.

Continued in the Transcript


Under the fair use safe harbor, campus libraries do not have to own subscriptions to journal articles placed on reserve. U.S. educators can make photocopies from their private collections and make copies of just about anything for reserve reading purposes. They can also put their own books on reserve whether they are hard-copy (paper) or electronic copies.  Things  they can never place on reserve are original copies of items (such as books) that are borrowed via Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  The ILL code dictates that libraries may not lend or borrow for this purpose. There also is a timing spontaneity test under fair use statutes that is commonly violated by educators and libraries.

Fair Use statutes allow educators to share multimedia, such as video tapes of television shows, for educational purposes. However, these items must also pass the spontaneity test, which requires that there wasn't a great deal of time to obtain copyright permissions. . For example, I may make a home-recorded segment from last night's television broadcast available to students, but fair use safe harbor does not allow me to share with other students or educators after the network makes copies available for sale.

For practical purposes, the Trinity University library interprets the  spontaneity test to mean that, the first semester a copy of an item (journal article, chapter from a book, videotape, CD, etc.) is placed on reserve, the library will not seek copyright permissions. Virtually all materials used in subsequent semesters will need those permissions unless there are blanket permissions by the publisher. For example, all publications of the American Accounting Association can be used for non-commercial education purposes at any point in time without getting express copyright permissions.

In a November 18, 2003 message, the Director of the library at Trinity University (Diane Graves) wrote the following:

The other test we must apply deals with how much of the material used. In the case of a book, for example, we can't copy in its entirety a full book, or even ½ of one, if it is still in print. Even if the book is out of print, we must be able to show that we did everything possible to find an out-of-print dealer to sell it to us. If that fails, we can make a full copy. In the case of copies made from journal articles, we can most certainly make copies of articles from our originals, your originals, or even copies we have obtained from other libraries. Any of those can be placed on reserve. 

Keep in mind that the law makes it pretty easy for active educators to go outside the fences of "fair use."  For example, suppose an educator ignores the spontaneity test and shares materials with other educators and students term after term.  The copyright holder must first file a complaint with that educator cease and desist. . In theory, the educator cannot be sued for damages until receiving a warning from the copyright holder.   Also monetary damages for this educator's free sharing are probably too small to warrant a lawsuit.  If the educator or the educator's employer profits from this sharing, however, then lawsuits may come crashing down.  It is unlikely, however, that The Wall Street Journal will come crashing down on Professor X who puts a copy of a Wall Street Journal article on reserve every semester.  Her/his employer, however, will object if this act violates the employer's policy of requiring that permissions be received after the spontaneity period has passed.  

Actually, most publishers of journals and magazines have made it quite easy for educators to obtain permissions online.  Also keep in mind that some things do not require permissions.  These include quotations of reasonable length (I generally take liberties here) and up to thirty seconds of an audio or video recording.  These safe harbors apply to all persons and not just educators.  The purpose is to allow the works to be evaluated and criticized in public.  For example, if a publisher would not allow even a short quotation to be published, this denial could deny critics to effectively air their criticisms.  For example, recall the furor over the CBS Reagan Movie.  Selected lines from that movie were published by critics (e.g., in Time Magazine) before the movie became public.  It is my understanding that those critics need not obtain permission to quote small portions of the dialog of the movie.  Of course there are limits to most anything in U.S. courts.  Television news stations that aired 20 seconds of the knock out scene from a Mike Tyson Pay-for-View prize fight a few minutes after the loser hit the deck got  into trouble.


November 23, 2003 message from Bob Woodward [rsw@WUBIOS.WUSTL.EDU

One of the issues relating to self publishing is how to protect your intellectual property.

Based on his battles with record industry, Larry Lessig has proposed Creative Commons, an alternative to Copyright.

http://creativecommons.org 

While his computer seems to be off or disconnected or something this Sun eve, Larry's blog is usually found at

http://www.lessig.org/blog/  

Bob Woodward


Critics fear consumers may be shortchanged by an agreement between the technology and recording industries over the future of digital copyright policy.
"Downside to Digital Rights Pact," by Katie Dean, Wired News, Janaury 15, 2002 ---  http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,57211,00.html 

A new agreement between the technology and recording industries -- touted as a boon for consumers and businesses -- is not as rosy as it sounds, say some digital rights groups.

On Tuesday, the Business Software Alliance, Computer Systems Policy Project and the Recording Industry Association of America pledged to follow a set of principles that address digital content issues like piracy and copy protection while rejecting government technology mandates.

"It's sort of a guidebook for how we all want to act in the public policy arena," said Hilary Rosen, CEO of the RIAA.

The agreement calls for technology and record companies to promote consumer awareness about Internet usage and digital copying issues. It also pledges support for technical measures that limit the illegal distribution of copyrighted material and opposes government-imposed technical mandates.

The agreement "minimizes the distracting public rhetoric and needless legislative battles," she said. "Our industries need to work together for the consumer to benefit and for our respective businesses to grow."

"There will be continued investment in new products and new music delivery methods," she said. "Consumers' interest in music is served if the investment in creativity can be protected."

But some digital rights groups said the agreement attempts leave the public without much input on crucial issues about digital content rights.

"It is not good news for the consumer," said Wendy Seltzer, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

"They are trying to take the legislative process out of the legislature and put it in the hands of a few industry groups," Seltzer said. "There's a lot of public debate that has to go on and we do need Congress to step in and undo the mess that has been created by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act."

Continued at http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,57211,00.html 

Also see http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,57205,00.html 


"New Ways to Skirt DMCA … Legally!" by Katie Dean, Wired News, October 29, 2003 --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,60996,00.html 

Busting open a digital lock to get hold of copyright works normally is forbidden, but the Librarian of Congress ruled Tuesday that there are exceptions.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, prohibits, among other things, bypassing any technology that controls access to copyright material. This provision is criticized frequently by digital-rights groups because they say it stifles many legitimate activities in the process, including academic research, competition and innovation.

the controversial law also recognizes that there are certain cases when circumvention should be permitted. Thus, it mandates that every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress review and grant exceptions to the anti-circumvention provision.

Those who are exempt from the rule are those who are "adversely affected by virtue of such prohibition in their ability to make non-infringing uses of that particular class of works," according to the DMCA.

Basically, those who have a non-infringing, fair-use reason to circumvent copy protections should be allowed to do so.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Copyright Office released the four "classes of works" exempted from the anti-circumvention rule. People may bypass a digital lock to access lists of websites blocked by commercial filtering companies, circumvent obsolete dongles to access computer programs, access computer programs and video games in obsolete formats, and access e-books where the text-to-speech function has been disabled.

One programmer who testified at the Copyright Office rule-making proceedings in April was jubilant that the filtering exemption was renewed.

"How sweet it is," said Seth Finkelstein, a programmer and anticensorship activist. "Without the exemption, the DMCA would make it a violation to decrypt the blacklist to find out what (filtering companies) are actually censoring. The actual contents of these blacklists are an important censorship issue.

"The Copyright Office has recognized the importance of fair use in this area affected by the DMCA," Finkelstein said. "It's not a blanket declaration of being legal, but it's an ability to argue fair use."

Filtering advocates had hoped the exemption would be dropped.

"I'm disappointed because I thought we had made it clear that the exemption is unnecessary to conduct meaningful evaluations of filters," said David Burt, a spokesman for Secure Computing, which purchased N2H2, a filtering company.

He cited extensive studies from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Consumer Reports and the Department of Justice, among others, in his testimony and said that "these methods are adequate for evaluating filters."

Gwen Hinze, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the group was pleased that the Librarian of Congress renewed and granted important exemptions, but was disappointed that exemptions the EFF proposed on behalf of consumers were not granted.

Continued in the article.


Question
What do garage door openers and copyright law have in common?

Answer

"Garage Doors Raise DMCA Questions," by Katie Dean, Wired News, September 17, 2003 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,60383,00.html 

Manufacturers of a seemingly innocuous product -- a garage door opener -- are embroiled in a battle that tests the limits of a controversial copyright law.

Skylink Technologies manufactures a universal garage door opener that can be used to open and shut any type of garage door. Its competitor, the Chamberlain Group, claims that Skylink violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, by selling such a product.

Chamberlain alleges Skylink's handheld portable transmitter can activate Chamberlain's garage door openers and, in doing so, unlawfully bypasses a technology-protection measure built into the device's software.

Skylink disagrees, and recently filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for summary judgment, whereby a judge decides the case instead of going to trial.

"When Chamberlain sells (its) garage door openers, there is no restriction prohibiting the consumer from operating the garage door with a third-party transmitter," said David Djavaherian, an attorney for Skylink. "For a violation to occur under the DMCA, access to the copyright work must be unauthorized."

Neither representatives of Chamberlain nor its lawyers returned repeated calls for comment.

The case has been closely monitored by digital rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has argued that the DMCA is being abused by companies that want to stifle their competitors. The DMCA, the groups contend, also impedes innovation.

Continued in the article.


In using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as an excuse to sue third parties that dare to make inexpensive consumables, tech equipment makers also cheat consumers. It's reminiscent of the telcos' fight for dominance in the '50s --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,57268,00.html 


January 15, 2003
The Supreme Court rules that the 20-year extension on copyrights included in a 1998 law is not unconstitutional. It's a big win for media corporations --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,57220,00.html 

Also see http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,830856,00.asp 

The result of the ruling is that works copyrighted by creators are extended until 70 years after the death of the creator, which protects heirs of the creators. Corporations who own copyrighted works have most of their copyrights protected for 95 years. The ruling is already being referred to as "the Eldred decision" because Eric Eldred, who owns a public Web library, had challenged the decision by Congress to uphold copyright extension.


December 17, 2002 message from Davidson, Dee (Dawn) [dgd@MARSHALL.USC.EDU

An article in yesterday's LA Times describes another approach to the Copyright laws debate. A new company, comprised mostly of academics, proposes there be several copyright laws that loosen the rules for some uses of published material while strengthening the rules for other uses. Board members of the company include Eric Elder, an Internet publisher who was outraged by the 1998 copyright extension ruling, Lawrence Lessig, who was at Harvard in 1998, Hal Abelson of MIT, James Boyle of Duke, and Eric Saltzman, a former filmmaker.

Excerpts from the article, which is quite long, are below. I have the web link at the bottom, but if anyone can't get to the site and wants the article, I can copy and paste.

**************************
"Into this messy and acid-edged situation comes Creative Commons, a new nonprofit organization that will launch its first projects today. Based at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, Creative Commons has a high-profile board and an ambitious mission. The goal is to promote creativity and collaboration by developing new forms of copyright while reinvigorating the ever-shrinking sphere of copyright-free works: the public domain.

"Using the copyright system, we will make a wider, richer public domain for creators to build upon and individuals to share," said Stanford law professor and Creative Commons Chairman Lawrence Lessig. "Walt Disney built an empire from the riches of the public domain. We'd like to support a hundred thousand more Walt Disneys."

As a first step, Creative Commons has developed a group of licenses that will allow copyright holders to surrender some rights to works while keeping others.

One license, for instance, allows people to copy or distribute a work as long as they give the owner credit. Another allows a work to be copied, distributed or displayed as long as it is for a noncommercial purpose. A third license permits copying but forbids using the work to make another, derivative work. (The licenses are legal documents, although that doesn't guarantee that people will honor them.) .......... The notion of loosening the bounds of copyright isn't new. For more than a decade, the Free Software Foundation has used for its own programs and offered others a license that guarantees the freedom to share and change software. O'Reilly & Associates, a leading computer manual publisher, uses the Web to publish a number of books under open-publication licenses.

Still, the notion that creation confers ownership and that ownership is practically eternal is embedded in the system.

Since 1978, copyright protection has been automatic on any new work -- which has made it very hard to purposely free it. 

In response, Creative Commons has developed what it is calling the Founders' Copyright. A creator agrees to a contract with Creative Commons to guarantee that a work will enter the public domain after just 14 years, which was the span granted by the first copyright law in 1790. O'Reilly said it will be the first to publish under these terms. ........ 

Another license puts work into the public domain immediately. One of the first works to have a public domain license will be "The Cluetrain Manifesto," an influential book on Internet marketing that was published three years ago. It was a natural evolution, considering that the text of "Cluetrain" was posted on the Web awhile ago by the authors. .......... 

Critics already are wondering why a creator would donate anything to the public domain beyond, for example, an unpublished or unpublishable novel. Are people so altruistic as to create things for free? "The same thing was said about the whole Internet a few years ago," Eldred observed. "The existence of the Web is the answer."

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-copyright16dec16.story 

http://www.latimes.com/templates/misc/printstory.jsp?slug=la%2Dfi%2Dcopyright16dec16&section=%2Fbusiness 


December 2002
The U.S. Copyright Office asked for public comment on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and it got it. Critics worry about everything from losing great art to restricting blind people's access to information --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,56963,00.html 

The responses are available at http://www.copyright.gov/1201/2003/comments/index.html 

Also see http://news.com.com/2100-1023-978497.html?tag=fd_lede1_hed 

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreadful DMCA are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright 


Some Good News From CIT Infobits on October 31, 2002

ONLINE TEACHING AND COPYRIGHT

The provisions of the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH), which are likely to be passed this fall, would amend the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 to give schools and higher education institutions new rights to use copyrighted materials for distance education. The bill would give educators "fair use" rights that are already in place for regular classroom use.

New rights covered include:

-- "Expanding the range of works that may be transmitted over electronic systems to nearly all types of materials -- although only portions of some works could be transmitted."

-- "Allowing the content to be transmitted to students at any location, rather than just to classrooms, as is legal under current law."

-- "Allowing educators to store transmitted content and give students access to it, if only for short periods."

-- "Allowing the conversion to digital form of analog works, such as printed or videotaped material, but only in cases where the material is not already available in digital form, such as on DVD."

For more information about TEACH, read Andrew Trotter's article, "Bill Would Ease Copyright Limits For E-Learning" (EDUCATION WEEK, October 30, 2002), available online at http://edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=09copyright.h22 


Really Bad News from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

"EFF Whitepaper: Unintended Consequences Three Years under the DMCA --- http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/20020503_dmca_consequences.html  

1.  Executive Summary

Since they were enacted in 1998, the “anti-circumvention” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), codified in section 1201 of the Copyright Act, have not been used as Congress envisioned. Congress meant to stop copyright pirates from defeating anti-piracy protections added to copyrighted works, and to ban “black box” devices intended for that purpose.1

In practice, the anti-circumvention provisions have been used to stifle a wide array of legitimate activities, rather than to stop copyright piracy. As a result, the DMCA has developed into a serious threat to three important public policy priorities:

Section 1201 Chills Free Expression and Scientific Research.

Experience with section 1201 demonstrates that it is being used to stifle free speech and scientific research. The lawsuit against 2600 magazine, threats against Princeton Professor Edward Felten’s team of researchers, and prosecution of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov have chilled the legitimate activities of journalists, publishers, scientists, students, program­mers, and members of the public.

Section 1201 Jeopardizes Fair Use.

By banning all acts of circumvention, and all technologies and tools that can be used for circumvention, section 1201 grants to copyright owners the power to unilaterally eliminate the public’s fair use rights. Already, the music industry has begun deploying “copy-protected CDs” that promise to curtail consumers’ ability to make legitimate, personal copies of music they have purchased.

Section 1201 Impedes Competition and Innovation.

Rather than focusing on pirates, many copyright owners have chosen to use the DMCA to hinder their legitimate competitors. For example, Sony has invoked section 1201 to protect their monopoly on Playstation video game consoles, as well as their “regionalization” system limiting users in one country from playing games legitimately purchased in another.

This document collects a number of reported cases where the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA have been invoked not against pirates, but against consumers, scientists, and legitimate comp­etitors. It will be updated from time to time as additional cases come to light. The latest version can always be obtained at www.eff.org.

2.  DMCA Legislative Background

Congress enacted section 1201 in response to two pressures. First, Congress was responding to the perceived need to implement obligations imposed on the U.S. by the 1996 World Intellectual Property Or­ganization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty. Section 1201, however, went further than the WIPO treaty required.2 The details of section 1201, then, were a response not just to U.S. treaty obligations, but also to the concerns of copyright owners that their works would be widely pirated in the networked digital world.3

Section 1201 contains two distinct prohibitions: a ban on acts of circumvention, as well as a ban on the distribution of tools and technologies used for circumvention.

The first prohibition, set out in section 1201(a)(1), prohibits the act of circumventing a technological measure used by copyright owners to control access to their works (“access controls”). So, for example, this provision makes it unlawful to defeat the encryption system used on DVD movies. This ban on acts of circumvention applies even where the purpose for decrypting the movie would otherwise be legitimate. As a result, if a Disney DVD prevents you from fast-forwarding through the commercials that preface the feature presentation, efforts to circumvent this restriction would be unlawful.

Second, sections 1201(a)(2) and 1201(b) outlaw the manufacture, sale, distribution or trafficking of tools and technologies that make circumvention possible. These provisions ban not only technologies that defeat access controls, but also technologies that defeat use restrictions imposed by copyright owners, such as copy controls. These provisions prevent technology vendors from taking steps to defeat the “copy-protection” now appearing on many music CDs, for example.

Section 1201 also includes a number of exceptions for certain limited classes of activities, including security testing, reverse engineering of software, encryption research, and law enforcement. These exceptions have been extensively criticized as being too narrow to be of real use to the constituencies who they were intended to assist.4

A violation of any of the “act” or “tools” prohibitions is subject to significant civil and, in some circumstances, criminal penalties.

3.  Free Expression and Scientific Research

Section 1201 is being used by a number of copyright owners to stifle free speech and legitimate scientific research. The lawsuit against 2600 magazine, threats against Princeton Professor Edward Felten’s team of researchers, and prosecution of the Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov have imposed a chill on a variety of legitimate activities.

For example, online service providers and bulletin board operators have begun to censor discussions of copy-protection systems, programmers have removed computer security programs from their websites, and students, scientists and security experts have stopped publishing details of their research on existing security protocols. Foreign scientists are also increasingly uneasy about traveling to the United States out of fear of possible DMCA liability, and certain technical conferences have begun to relocate overseas.

These developments will ultimately result in weakened security for all computer users (including, ironically, for copyright owners counting on technical measures to protect their works), as security researchers shy away from research that might run afoul of section 1201.5

Professor Felten’s Research Team Threatened

In September 2000, a multi-industry group known as the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) issued a public challenge encouraging skilled technologists to try to defeat certain watermarking technologies intended to protect digital music. Princeton Professor Edward Felten and a team of researchers at Princeton, Rice, and Xerox took up the challenge and succeeded in removing the watermarks.

When the team tried to present their results at an academic conference, however, SDMI representatives threatened the researchers with liability under the DMCA. The threat letter was also delivered to the researchers’ employers, as well as the conference organizers. After extensive discussions with counsel, the researchers grudgingly withdrew their paper from the conference. The threat was ultimately withdrawn and a portion of the research published at a subsequent conference, but only after the researchers filed a lawsuit in federal court.

After enduring this experience, at least one of the researchers involved has decided to forgo further research efforts in this field.

Pamela Samuelson, “Anticircumvention Rules: Threat to Science,” 293 Science 2028, Sept. 14, 2001.
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/293/5537/2028

Letter from Matthew Oppenheim, SDMI General Counsel, to Prof. Edward Felten, April 9, 2001.
http://cryptome.org/sdmi-attack.htm

Dmitry Sklyarov Arrested

Beginning in July 2001, Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov was jailed for several weeks and detained for five months in the United States after speaking at the DEFCON conference in Las Vegas.

Prosecutors, prompted by software goliath Adobe Systems Inc., alleged that Sklyarov had worked on a software program known as the Advanced e-Book Processor, which was distributed over the Internet by his Russian employer, ElcomSoft Co. Ltd. The software allowed owners of Adobe electronic books (“e-books”) to convert them from Adobe’s e-Book format into Adobe Portable Document Format (“pdf”) files, thereby removing restrictions embedded into the files by e-Book publishers.

Sklyarov was never accused of infringing any copyrighted e-Book, nor of assisting anyone else to infringe copyrights. His alleged crime was working on a software tool with many legitimate uses, simply because third parties he has never met might use the tool to copy an e-Book without the publisher’s permission.

In December 2001, under an agreement with the Department of Justice, Sklyarov was allowed to return home. The Department of Justice, however, is continuing to prosecute his employer, ElcomSoft, under the criminal provisions of the DMCA.

Lawrence Lessig, “Jail Time in the Digital Age,” N.Y. Times at A7, July 30, 2001.
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/30/opinion/30LESS.html

Jennifer 8 Lee, “U.S. Arrests Russian Cryptographer as Copyright Violator,” N.Y. Times at C8, July 18, 2001.

Scientists and Programmers Withhold Research

Following the legal threat against Professor Felten’s research team and the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov, a number of prominent computer security experts have curtailed their legitimate research activities out of fear of potential DMCA liability.

For example, prominent Dutch cryptographer and security systems analyst Neils Ferguson discovered a major security flaw in an Intel video encryption system known as High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). He declined to publish his results and removed all references on his website relating to flaws in HDCP, on the grounds that he travels frequently to the U.S. and is fearful of “prosecution and/or liability under the U.S. DMCA law.”

Neils Ferguson, “Censorship in Action: Why I Don’t Publish My HDCP Results,” Aug. 15, 2001.
http://www.macfergus.com/niels/dmca/cia.html

Neils Ferguson, Declaration in Felten & Ors v R.I.A.A. case, Aug. 13, 2001.
http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/Felten_v_RIAA/20010813_ferguson_decl.html

Lisa M. Bowman, “Researchers Weigh Publication, Prosecution,” CNET News, Aug. 15, 2001.
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-6886574.html

Following the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov, Fred Cohen, a professor of digital forensics and respected security consultant, removed his “Forensix” evidence-gathering software from his website, citing fear of potential DMCA liability.

Another respected network security protection expert, Dug Song, also removed content from his website for the same reason. Mr. Song is the author of several security papers, including a paper describing a common vulnerability in many firewalls.

Robert Lemos, “Security Workers: Copyright Law Stifles,” CNET News, Sept. 6, 2001.
http://news.com.com/2100-1001-272716.html

In mid-2001 an anonymous programmer discovered a vulnerability in Microsoft’s proprietary e-Book digital rights management code, but refused to publish the results, citing DMCA liability concerns.

Wade Roush, “Breaking Microsoft's e-Book Code,” Technology Review at 24, November 2001.
http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/innovation11101.asp

Foreign Scientists Avoid U.S.

Foreign scientists have expressed concerns about traveling to the U.S. following the arrest of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov. Some foreign scientists have advocated boycotting conferences held in the U.S. and a number of conference bodies have decided to move their conferences to non-U.S. locations. Russia has issued a travel warning to Russian programmers traveling to the U.S.

Highly respected British Linux programmer Alan Cox resigned from the USENIX committee of the Advanced Computing Systems Association, the committee that organizes many of the U.S. com­puting conferences, because of his concerns about traveling to the U.S. Cox has urged USENIX to hold its annual conference offshore. The International Information Hiding Workshop Conference, the conference at which Professor Felten’s team intended to present its original paper, has chosen to hold all of its future conferences outside of the U.S. following the SDMI threat to Professor Felten and his team.

Will Knight, “Computer Scientists boycott US over digital copyright law,” New Scientist, July 23, 2001.
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns00001063

Alan Cox of Red Hat UK Ltd, declaration in Felten v. RIAA, Aug. 13, 2001. http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/Felten_v_RIAA/20010813_cox_decl.html

Jennifer 8 Lee, “Travel Advisory for Russian Programmers,” N.Y. Times at C4, Sept.10, 2001.
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/10/technology/10WARN.html?searchpv=past7days

IEEE Wrestles with DMCA

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which publishes 30 per cent of all computer science journals worldwide, recently was drawn into the controversy surrounding science and the DMCA. Apparently concerned about possible liability under Section 1201, the IEEE in November 2001 instituted a policy requiring all authors to indemnify IEEE for any liabilities incurred should a submission result in legal action under the DCMA.

After an outcry from IEEE members, the organization ultimately revised its submission policies, removing mention of the DMCA. According to Bill Hagen, manager of IEEE Intellectual Property Rights, “The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has become a very sensitive subject among our authors. It’s intended to protect digital content, but its application in some specific cases appears to have alienated large segments of the research community.”

IEEE press release, “IEEE to Revise New Copyright Form to Address Author Concerns,” April 22, 2002.
http://www.ieee.org/newsinfo/dmca.html

Will Knight, “Controversial Copyright Clause Abandoned,” New Scientist, April 15, 2002.
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992169

2600 Magazine Censored

The Universal City Studios v. Reimerdes case6 illustrates the chilling effect that section 1201 has had on the freedom of the press.

In that case, eight major motion picture companies brought a DMCA suit against 2600 magazine seeking to block it from publishing the DeCSS software program, which defeats the encryption used on DVD movies. 2600 had made the program available on its web site in the course of ongoing coverage of the controversy surrounding the DMCA. The magazine was not involved in the development of software, nor was it accused of having used the software for any copyright infringement.

Notwithstanding the First Amendment’s guarantee of a free press, the district court permanently barred 2600 from publishing, or even linking to, the DeCSS software code. In November 2001, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court decision.

In essence, the movie studios effectively obtained a “stop the presses” order banning the publication of truthful information by a news publication concerning a matter of public concern—an unprecedented curtailment of well-established First Amendment prin­ciples.

Carl S. Kaplan, “Questioning Continues in Copyright Suit,” N.Y. Times, May 4, 2001.
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/04/technology/04CYBERLAW.html

Simson Garfinkel, “The Net Effect: The DVD Rebellion,” Technology Review at 25, July/Aug. 2001.
http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/garfinkel0701.asp

Xenia P. Kobylarz, “DVD Case Clash—Free Speech Advocates Say Copyright Owners Want to Lock Up Ideas; Encryption Code is Key,” S.F. Daily Journal, May 1, 2001.

Continued at http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/20020503_dmca_consequences.html 


Question
Murat Tanju (with respect to one-time fair use under U.S. copyright law) asked the following question:
>>"Isn't first time fair use applicable to the reader (students) who change each time a course is given rather than the faculty who put it on reserve every time?">>

Answer
The answer is no. Diane Graves explains this below. Long-term use of full articles in repeated courses without copyright holder permission is definitely not allowed. I did, however, remind all of you that the American Accounting Association and many other academic associations does not require written permission for articles used in education courses. See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm 

Of course, fair use still allows quotations and excerpts without permission, and the gray zone centers upon what proportion is fair. The real issue concerns whether revenues of the copyright holder are seriously impaired by unfair use. For example, I often take liberties with large cited quotations, but some of my citations probably generate more revenues for the copyright holders if users adopt the original works in courses. For example, if I place a long quote from Magazine X in my New Bookmarks or messages on the AECM, professors who would never have otherwise have known about the article and/or would not purchase the article for themselves are not depriving the copyright holder of revenue. If they freely distribute the article or even my long quotation to an entire class of students, however, they are depriving the copyright holder of revenue. Loss of revenue is the real issue! The revenue market for many publishers is the student market. Fair use was placed into copyright law for education speed and convenience, but it was not put there for long-term damages to publishers.

For example, I serve up a short "teaser" clip from one of my favorite segments of in the CBS show called Sixty Minutes. My teaser video clip is at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/mp3/133summ.htm#Introduction   I also have my downloaded entire segment that I played in class soon after I downloaded a live broadcast. However, for use in subsequent semesters, I used a purchased segment exactly like the segment I already had on my shelves.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Graves, Diane J. 
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 4:07 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert 
Subject: RE: Re: Copyright Compliance Service

Bob, 

Your understanding is correct. Our interpretation of Fair Use (which is fairly common in the academic library world) is this: the first time (first semester) a copy of an item is placed on Reserve, it falls within the Fair Use category, so there is no need to seek permission for its use. However, if the item is used for subsequent courses in other semesters, we will require evidence that permission has been requested. So if you have any items on reserve this fall semester that you intend to use again in the spring, we'll call it fair use for the fall and seek copyright permission for any use you'll have in subsequent semesters for those same items. The Fair Use designation has to do with spontaneity--if you find something you just HAVE to use in your class this term, you don't need to ask permission to assign it. If you choose to use it again, it's premeditated, in effect. You have time to plan to use it, and must request permission to do so from the copyright holder. There is a good guide to thinking through this process at IUPUI's website. You might want to look at it: http://www.iupui.edu/~copyinfo/fuchecklist.htm l Lately, the focus in the courts has been on the economic impact of repeated, long term use of the same item, and the availability of permissions. (See under Effect on the IUPUI site). The fact that new students cycle through the course doesn't seem to be a factor in the eyes of the courts. Does that answer your question? Roger Horky is our new Manager of Copyright and Reserves. He can answer any additional questions you have. He's at x8189; rhorky@trinity.edu . Thanks for your interest!

Diane J. Graves


Written Permission to Use Some Articles in Courses is Not Required

I thought that the following message from the Director of the Trinity University Library might be of more general interest in this era of uncertainty over the DMCA mess.

She does not go into issues of material placed by instructors under courses in the Blackboard server, but I assume the same policies extend to the Blackboard server. I do remind you that many academic associations have policies that allow distributions of their journal articles to students. For example, all American Accounting Association journals are subject to the following policy statement:

***************************************

Permission is hereby granted to reproduce any of the contents of _[Name of the AAA Journal] ___ for use in courses of instruction, as long as the source and the American Accounting Association copyright are indicated in any such reproductions.

Written application must me made to the American Accounting Association, 5717 Bessie Drive, Sarasota, FL 34233-2399, for permission to reproduce any of the contents for use other than courses of instruction.
***************************************

I suspect that all we must do is notify our library and/or our Blackboard master of the above policy that is printed in the back of all AAA journals. Check with other academic associations for similar policies.

But then again, who can trust an accountant these days?

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message-----
From: Graves, Diane J.
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 2:30 PM
To: Trinity Faculty/Staff
Subject: Copyright Compliance Service

To all Trinity faculty and departmental secretaries:

Trinity has recently reviewed its compliance with current copyright guidelines, particularly as they relate to the library’s course reserves service. In the past, the library accepted any and all materials faculty members wished to place on reserve without regard for copyright compliance issues, often in violation of copyright. Beginning this year, we have resolved to meet our obligations to intellectual property rights holders and the law more diligently.

Trinity’s need to abide by copyright laws will affect the teaching faculty in many ways, the most significant of which will be that we are changing library procedures for placing items on reserve.

Library staff have composed a new and formal copyright compliance policy. Please take the time to read it; at http://lib.trinity.edu/servcols/circ/cpyrghtp.shtml . Some of its more important elements are:

1. When an item is placed on reserve for the first time (ever) copyright compliance will usually not be necessary. First-time use of an item is generally considered to be “fair use” of that item as permitted by the US Copyright Code. However, the library will require copyright permission for all items placed on reserve a second or later time.

2. Faculty members are welcome to seek copyright permissions for their reserve materials themselves. If you obtain permission on your own, you will need to provide proof of that permission to the reserves manager before the material can be placed on reserve. Be aware, however, that library resources—time and money—are limited. Please plan ahead so you have time to identify alternatives.

3. The library has set aside a small fund for royalty payments. At the present time, this amounts to just $50 per instructor. We suspect that this will not be sufficient; this is a new experience for us and we may have grossly underestimated the budgetary requirements of full copyright compliance. Any royalty fees beyond this amount will be charged to the appropriate department.

4. Because the library’s resources are so limited, instructors should designate the maximum royalty payment they are willing to incur on each reserve item. They should also rank their reserve requests in order of importance to the class so that the library staff charged with obtaining copyright permissions can prioritize the processing of their requests.

5. Any item submitted without proof of copyright permission will not be placed on reserve for two weeks, to permit time to process copyright permission requests. At the end of the two-week period, the item will be placed on reserve with the understanding that it will be removed if permission to use it is denied. Please take into account this two-week delay when submitting reserves.

6. To expedite the process of securing copyright permissions, we will need as much bibliographic information about the item as is possible. We have designed a new reserves submission form that asks for the pertinent information. The more complete the citation, the more quickly we can process the reserve item.

Please note that the library now offers an electronic reserves capability, which will affect how we process reserves materials. We will be sending you all a short message describing some of the more significant changes.

If you have any questions, please contact . . [Deleted]

Diane J. Graves, Professor & University Librarian
Elizabeth M. Coates Library, Trinity University
715 Stadium Drive, San Antonio, TX 78212


"FAIR USE" IS GETTING UNFAIR TREATMENT 
Two recent federal court rulings in Hollywood's favor could undermine consumers' historical rights to use the content they buy http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2002/tc20020514_1528.htm?c=bwtechmay17&n=link13&t=email 

To hear the entertainment industry tell it, a wave of digital piracy threatens to destroy the future of movies, records, and other media. While the danger of piracy is real, the other side of the story is that Hollywood has been on a remarkable legislative and legal winning streak in its campaign to win increased protections (see BW Online, 4/18/02, "High Tech vs. Hollywood on Capitol Hill"). Along the way, some long-established consumer rights may disappear. And the message from the courts so far seems to be "Get used to it." 

The invention of digital media has made it possible for people without any special skills or equipment to make copies that are essentially indistinguishable from the originals. It has also given the creators of media the technical means not only to prevent copies from being made but to limit the ways consumers use products they have purchased, for example, by blocking the playing of U.S. DVD movies in Europe or preventing certain music CDs from being played in computers.

Copyright law has always tried to strike a delicate balance between the rights of content creators to be compensated for their work and the rights of consumers to use what they have paid for. But the development of digital media and Big Media's attempt to completely control it have destroyed the delicate equilibrium that is copyright law.

UNDER ASSAULT.  Two legal doctrines, called "first sale" and "fair use" are threatened by these technical changes. Under first sale, the buyers of copyrighted works in the U.S. may dispose of their purchases as they see fit (this isn't true in all countries). If you own a book, record, or DVD, you can sell it, lend it, or give it away. Fair use is a broader and vaguer concept, but it covers such things as quoting from a book in a review, copying part of a work for classroom use, or, most relevantly, making a copy of a music recording for personal use.

Both doctrines are now under assault. The most recent blow came in a May 8 ruling by U.S. District Judge Ronald M. Whyte in San Jose, Calif., in which he upheld the constitutionality of key provisions of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

This criminal case, U.S. v. Elcom Ltd., is a curious one. It began last July when FBI agents, acting on a complaint from software maker Adobe Systems, arrested Elcom employee Dmitry Skylarov at a hackers conference in Las Vegas. He was charged with "trafficking" in software designed to circumvent copy protections in Adobe's eBook Reader software, a criminal violation of the DMCA. The case against Skylarov were eventually dropped, and he returned to Russia, but the charges against Elcom are moving forward.


Continued at  http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2002/tc20020514_1528.htm?c=bwtechmay17&n=link13&t=email 


David Takes on Goliath

"'Politics of Control' Leads a Law Student to Challenge Digital-Copyright Act," by Andrea L. Foster, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 2, 2002 --- http://chronicle.com/free/2002/08/2002080201t.htm 

Benjamin G. Edelman, a first-year student at Harvard University's law school, is the latest academic researcher to challenge the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Mr. Edelman, last month filed a lawsuit against N2H2 Inc., a Seattle-based Internet filtering company, in U.S. District Court in Boston. The suit asks a judge to prevent N2H2 from suing Mr. Edelman under the digital-copyright law should he decide to bypass the company's encryption, which prevents him from discovering its complete list of blocked Web sites. (See an article from The Chronicle, July 26.)

Q. How did you become interested in Internet filtering?

A. I had been aware of it generally for some years. It's hard to say when it all started. But the ACLU contacted me two years ago as they were preparing to challenge a variety of state laws requiring the use of filtering software in libraries. Alaska, for example, had such a law, and there were some other states. ...

These laws were unconstitutional and they were preparing to bring challenges to various state courts. Then the Children's Internet Protection Act was passed, mandating the use of such software nationally in all libraries and public schools receiving federal funding. And that became the ACLU's priority and mine.

Q. How did the ACLU hear about you?

A. I had done some expert work in at least one, maybe a few other cases prior to that time. I had been working at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society here at Harvard Law School, where I guess my name had gotten some exposure. Two years ago, of course, I was a sophomore in college. But nonetheless, I guess they called up and asked for me by name.

Q. Were you already interested in computers before you came to Harvard?

A. I had been interested in computers for about as long as I can remember. I had been doing some computer-related work in junior high school and high school, helping people choose computers, putting them together, designing databases and networks. And so I came to Harvard with a particular interest in that subject.

Q. When the lawsuit was filed, you talked about how it concerned "technology and the politics of control." What did you mean by that?

A. First, I should credit the phrase to Professor [Jonathan] Zittrain of the law school, who used it as a subtitle of his course, "Internet and Society: The Technologies and Politics of Control." And I think he would say it's his research interest, and it certainly is mine.

The core idea is roughly as follows: The Internet has a certain appearance to it, when you first connect to it, when people were first learning about it. And I suppose in 1996, 1997, 1998, it seems like the Internet could be whatever you wanted it to be, that no one could particularly change what it was, and no one could stop you from doing what you wanted to do. If you wanted to put a death threat on the Internet about your neighbor or your enemy, you could do that, and no one could really get you. If you wanted to steal music using the Internet, you could do that, and no one could get you. ...

The later idea -- my idea, and Zittrain's -- was that, in fact, there were a variety of forces that for economic gain, for political gain, for other reasons, might seek to restrict what people could and couldn't do on the Internet.

Continued at http://chronicle.com/free/2002/08/2002080201t.htm 


Take a quiz on your knowledge of the changes in fair use and copyright laws?

"The Educator's Guide to Copyright and Fair Use," by Hall Davidson, Tech-Learning, October 16, 2002 --- http://www.techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/2002/10/copyright.html 
The summary chart is at http://www.techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/2002/10/copyright_chart.pdf 

This is the way it happens: You're a teacher. You find the perfect resource for a lesson you're building for your class. It's a picture from the Internet, or a piece of a song, or a page or two from a book in the library or from your own collection. There's no time to ask for permission from who owns it. There isn't even time to figure who or what exactly does own it. You use the resource anyway, and then you worry. Have you violated copyright law? What kind of example are you setting for students?

Or you're the principal. You visit a classroom and see an outstanding lesson that involves a videotape, or an MP3 audio file from the Web, or photocopies from a book you know your school doesn't own. Do you make a comment?

The Original Intent Were the framers of the Constitution or the barons of Old English law able to look over your shoulder, they would be puzzled by your doubts because all of the above uses are legal. Intellectual property was created to promote the public good. In old England, if you wanted to copyright a book, you gave copies to the universities. According to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors...but encourage others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work." In other words, copyright was created to benefit society at large, not to protect commercial interests.

Nowhere is this statement truer than in the educational arena. In fact, educators fall under a special category under the law known as "fair use." The concept, which first formally appeared in the 1976 Copyright Act, allows certain groups to use intellectual property deemed to benefit society as a whole, e.g., in schools for instructional use. However, it deliberately did not spell out the details. Over the years, fair use guidelines have been created by a number of groups-usually a combination of educators, intellectual property holders, and other interested parties. These are not actual laws, but widely accepted "deals" the educational community and companies have struck and expect each other to follow.

What follows is a new version of "The Educators' Lean and Mean No FAT Guide to Fair Use," published in Technology & Learning three years ago. As you take the quiz on page 28, you will learn that no matter the technology-photocopying, downloads, file sharing, video duplication-there are times when copying is not only acceptable, it is encouraged for the purposes of teaching and learning. And you will learn that the rights are strongest and longest at the place where educators need them most: in the classroom. However, schools need to monitor and enforce fair use. If they don't, as the Los Angeles Unified School District found out in a six-figure settlement, they may find themselves on the losing end of a copyright question.

Know Your Limitations-and Rights It has never been a more important time to know the rules. As a result of laws written and passed by Congress, companies are now creating technologies that block users from fair use of intellectual property-for example, teachers can't pull DVD files into video projects, and some computers now block users from inputting VCRs and other devices. In addition to helping schools steer clear of legal trouble, understanding the principles of fair use will allow educators to aggressively pursue new areas where technology and learning are ahead of the law, and to speak out when they feel their rights to copyright material have been violated.

Now, take a quiz that will assess your knowledge of what is allowable-and what isn't-under fair use copyright principles and guidelines. There's also a handy chart that outlines teachers' fair use rights and responsibilities. Good luck.

The quiz is at http://www.techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/2002/10/copyright_quiz.html 

The chart is at http://www.techlearning.com/db_area/archives/TL/2002/10/copyright_chart.pdf 


From Syllabus News on October 18, 2002

MIT, Elsevier, Wiley Sue Coursepack Producer

MIT Press, Elsevier Science Inc., and John Wiley & Sons Inc., three major publishers of scientific, technical, and medical materials, filed suit against Gainsville, Fla.-based Custom Copies Inc., charging the company with unauthorized mass photocopying of material from the publishers' books and journals. The complaint alleges that Custom Copy produces coursepacks for sale on the campus of the University of Florida at Gainesville, without authorization from the copyright holders. "When a coursepack producer engages in mass photocopying of rightsholders' materials for its own profit, without clearing rights … [it] severely harms both the creators and the publishers of those materials," said Mark Seeley, general counsel of Elsevier Science. The suit is being coordinated by Copyright Clearance Center Inc., a licenser of text reproduction rights.

For more information, visit: http://www.copyright.com 


Powerful commercial interests and tort lawyers combined forces in engineering the DMCA legislation in the U.S that throws education and information use into a turmoil of risk and uncertainty.  An article with frightening examples is provided by Georgia Harper, "Copyright Endurance and Change," Educause Review, November/December 2000, pp. 20-26.  She states the following on Page 21"

Some of these changes --- licenses, access controls, certain provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) --- have the potential to drastically undermine the public right to access information, to comment on events, and even to share information with others.

Section 107 on "fair use" continues to, with increased ambiguity, provide safe harbors for use of small amounts of material, material not yet available for purchase when needed for students, and material that should be open to criticism and review without fear of reprisals in copyright infringement lawsuits.  Nevertheless, the DMCA has provisions that erode Section 107.  Georgia Harber states the following on Page 24:

Even though fair use is a key "stress point," there has been no change to Section 107.  The stresses on fair use result from other things:  technological "fixes" that control dissemination of copyrighted works; legal frameworks, established to control dissemination, that marginalize fair use; and license terms that ignore fair use as well as other public rights protected in the Copyright Act.  Ultimately, I am concerned that the basic goal of copyright --- to improve our society by fostering creativity, encouraging the dissemination of information, and supporting the development of knowledge --- is endangered by the erosion of fair use in the digital environment.

Remember, fair use embodies a balance between the competing interests of owners and users, between control and access, between control and the First Amendment, and it bridges the gap between a willing seller and a willing buyer of rights to use.  A diminishing role for fair use may well mean less public access and less ability to speak, to criticize, and to comment.

An ERIC Digest from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education (ERIC-HE) addresses some complex copyright questions related to distance education. "Copyright Concerns in the Age of Distance Education," by law librarian James H. Walther, is available online at http://www.eriche.org/digests/2000-9.pdf 


Things are not a whole lot better on the international scene.  An international copyright treaty proposal is stirring up U.S. opposition from open-source developers to ISPs --- http://www.wirednews.com/news/politics/0,1283,43820,00.html 

It appears disastrous for program developers," Stallman said. "Many countries have laws about what kinds of software can be developed.... Everything relating to information should be taken out of this convention."

The treaty in question is a heretofore obscure proposal known as the Hague Convention, which European nations generally support, but the U.S. State Department has criticized. If countries agree to the convention, they'd be required to enforce judgments in certain type of civil lawsuits brought in another jurisdiction.

That prospect lightens the hearts of entertainment lobbyists, who fear increasingly widespread piracy and the possibility of Napster clones arising in countries that don't have laws restricting online file-sharing.

Currently the Hague Convention includes copyright offenses in a section that Stallman, Internet providers, and consumer groups are lobbying to remove. Stallman, for instance, claims countries that are even more permissive about awarding software patents could sue U.S. programmers for violating them -- and thereby wreak havoc on the free software movement.

But Robert Raben, who spoke on Tuesday as a representative of the recording industry, warned that excluding copyright from the draft convention would be a mistake: "Its intentional exclusion at this point would be a terrible message to send to the world."

This dispute eerily mirrors a similar spat between the entertainment industry and open source and hacking groups that also involves copyright law. At the behest of business lobbyists, Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which limits programmers' ability to circumvent copy protection schemes and was the recent subject of an appeals court hearing.

Other speakers cautioned that it's too late to perform radical surgery on the Hague Convention, which has been under discussion since 1992 and was tentatively adopted by the 49 member nations of the Hague Convention in June 1999. A two-stage diplomatic summit is scheduled to begin in June 2001 and resume in 2002.

"You can't take it out of the convention, you just can't do it," said Marc Hankin, of Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal, a law firm that deals with intellectual property disputes.

Only recently, however, have American businesses and nonprofit groups appeared to realize the sweeping scope of the treaty. (A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office request for comments last year went largely unheeded.)

Sarah Deutsch of Verizon said her employer opposed the Hague Convention. "I do think the convention is an expansion of the rights of copyright holders," she said. In an earlier letter, Verizon said it had "significant concerns" with the measure.


 

Concerns About Social Networking in Education

See Bob Jensen's threads about concerns on Education/Learning Applications of ListServs, Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and Twitter in education are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


Millions of Web Documents are Not Being Archived for Future Scholars

I find this to be an enormous problem in scholarship and research.  I download and store almost any article that I deem important in my work and teaching.  For example, I have some really important FASB documents on FAS 133 that are no longer available at the FASB Website.  It becomes discouraging to quote and cite works that are not longer available to readers.  This is a real bummer modern scholarship.

"A crisis for Web preservation Fugitive documents published on the Web are not being preserved." by Florence Olsen, FCW.com, June 21, 2004 --- http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2004/0621/pol-crisis-06-21-04.asp 

A crisis for Web preservation Fugitive documents published on the Web are not being preserved — From FCW.com The Federal Depository Library Program has fallen behind in cataloging and preserving access to government documents published only on the Web. As a result, public access to those publications is spotty at best.

"This is not a problem; this is a crisis," said Daniel Greenstein, head of the California Digital Library, which serves the 10 universities in the University of California system. He said information is disappearing from government Web sites at an alarming rate.

At the Government Printing Office, which runs the depository library program, officials are struggling with the problem, known as fugitive documents, said Judith Russell, superintendent of documents. Fugitive documents are electronic publications that remain outside the federal depository collections in 1,300 libraries nationwide.

To capture those publications automatically, GPO officials may turn to Web-harvesting technologies. In May, agency officials published a notice asking vendors to submit information about Web-crawler and data-mining technologies that could assist in locating fugitive government publications…

Continued in the article

 

Are Universities Becoming EMOs (Educational Maintenance Organisations)?

Some of us may be interested in these two fascinating sites that address questions such as:

Are universities becoming EMOs (educational Maintenance Organisations)? Are faculty being reduced to hired help? Are university administrators becoming vendor-agents and corporate managers (rather than Scholar-administrators?) Are faculty losing control of the product of their labour? ... ...

http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue3_1/noble/  

http://www.coolclass.com/newsletter/vol01no02-clarke.html 

While I did not get into teaching to get rich (in fact I got out of the rich corporate world and into teaching, to escape intellectual drudgery), and I am glad that I am not at the beginning of my career, I do feel sad about the passing of an era.

The society has to clarify what our rights as academics are just as it is grappling with the issues of intellectual property rights in this electronic age. Nowadays I find that school administrators smell money a lot faster than they do intellectually stimulating ideas. What a pity the age of scholar-administrators is coming to an end, supplanted by that of pencil-pushing career manager-bureaucratic education merchants. Is this the intellectual equivalent of the supplanting of the age of chivalry by that of book-keepers?

Respectfully submitted,

Jagdish 
Jagdish S. Gangolly, 
Associate Professor
(j.gangolly@albany.edu ) State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222. Phone: (518) 442-4949 Fax: (707) 897-0601 URL: http://www.albany.edu/acc/gangolly 

An Editorial by Bob Jensen

HMOs and health clinics often deliver inferior medicine because there is no competition or very little competition in a geographic market.  EMOs (see above) will not have such advantages of geographic monopoly.  Education, unlike heath care, is no longer bound by geography.  EMOs face exploding global competition to a point where only the best can thrive.  To date this is not the case with HMOs.

I tend to disagree with the EMO doom and gloom outlook for the future of online education programs.  In my opinion, such claims as "redundant faculty" are not rooted in communications with faculty in experimenting in quality distance education --- faculty that are nearly burned out by the increased communications between themselves and students in respected online programs.  Online faculty in major universities are biting their knuckles because of the increased intensity of communication in online courses and the demands of being more creative and more of an expert to online students seeking something akin to one-on-one tutorials with instructors.  In a sense, the distance education courses are reverting to the Oxford tutorial system.  Many of the online courses are highly Socratic.

Of course it is possible to put up an online course of the EMO variety that has virtually no communication between instructors and students. But it is also possible to put up a high quality, prestigious distance education course in which the communications between faculty and students and the communications between students and other students are much greater than in traditional courses.  This is what the SCALE experiments at the University of Illinois try to study in much greater rigor than the off-the-wall doom and gloom soothsayers  seem to ever discover or comprehend.  For links to the SCALE experiments and an audio commentary by Dan Stone, go to MP3 audio presentation at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000cpe/00start.htm

I predict that the problem of online education is that the eventual rewards from great online teaching will draw the brightest and the best of our new educators into more teaching and less research.  In the past 50 years, major universities have placed the highest rewards and honors on research and publication performances.  It is not surprising that teaching and learning are not focused upon in doctoral programs that center 100% on research skills and experience.  It is not surprising that the American Accounting Association Doctoral Consortium virtually ignores education technologies and the changing times in online education.  It is not surprising that researchers strive to teach only researchers (i.e., doctoral students) and not have to face the great unwashed (undergraduate students).  It is not surprising that researchers tend to avoid teaching undergraduates whenever possible.  It is not surprising that great teaching is not a priority for researchers who are assigned (punished?) to teach undergraduate courses.  It is not surprising that researchers are often the least skilled in education technologies and the least interested in taking on online courses that are very demanding in terms of time and creativity and will draw them away from their research and publication in top journals.

Times will be changing with respect to corporate education and online delivery of courses.  Corporations will soon be offering up compensation packages and lifestyle packages that will attract the brightest and the best of new talent, including newly minted doctoral students.  At the moment, Sarah Supercharged with her new Stanford University diploma in hand places highest priority on going to a prestige university to conduct research and minimize teaching.  In was and still is a great honor for her to get her new assistant professorship at Rochester and only have to teach one course a year.  

But there will soon be a new employer on the block.  Rather than endure the strains of tenure uncertainty and stress of research and publication at the University of Rochester, Sarah Supercharged will soon have an alternative of making ten times as much in earnings (due to stock options and other compensation incentives) to focus on online creativity, student communication, and quality delivery of courses in executive education from some education corporation (possible a corporation owned by a prestige university).  And she will be able to deliver the courses from her ocean front home in Big Sur (California) or her horse ranch in Idaho or cattle farm in New Zealand rather than have to endure a daily grind to her research lab in Rochester, NY.  Her students around the world will receive a wonderful ("Supercharged") education, because she is so motivated and talented.  She brings to each of them her very best, partly because the value of her stock options depend upon her online performance. 

My worry is not that the "EMOs" will be worse than our present prestige universities.  My worry is that they will be much better, in part because they will draw away the top talent and change priorities from research to teaching.  Research will suffer in the long run, because it will be much more difficult to fund and to subsidize with large undergraduate lectures on campus that in the 20th Century were the cash cows that fed research.  Education corporations will start milking those cash cows, and for-profit corporations will be less inclined to fund basic research not tied to the bottom line of profit.

I repeat what I said at the beginning of this editorial.  HMOs and health clinics often deliver inferior medicine because there is no competition or very little competition in a geographic market.  EMOs  will not have such advantages of geographic monopoly.  Education, unlike heath care, is no longer bound by geography.  EMOs face exploding global competition to a point where only the best can thrive.  To date this is not the case with HMOs.


"An Architect and Scholar Weighs the Value of the Physical Campus," by Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Why-We-Need-the-Physical/133041/?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Jensen Comment
I don't think it comes as a surprise to parents and anybody connected with higher education that a whole lot is gained by having students, especially students recently graduated from high school, learn and live on campus while enrolled as full-time students. Parents like this cushion between having their children live at home and live on the mean streets. Young students, especially male students, are still immature for their age when they graduate from high school. Many are not yet prepared for living and learning completely on their own. And then there's the on-campus social and sexual interactions. How many marriages emerge from campus living versus living in the virtual world of education?

And I still think students learn as much or more from each other as they learn from their instructors. This is possible in online communications, but online interactions are somewhat more formalized by taking a class together. Online campus interactions are more serendipitous in dorm lounges, libraries, student commons, dining halls, sports events, sports team participation, music group participation, chapel participation, etc.

Having said this there can also be some advantages gained from online learning such as in an online tax accounting course at the University of Connecticut where students in the course are mostly full time professionals, many working for insurance companies, who share their career experiences with other students. This is less likely to happen in onsite courses where students tend to be not working full time as professionals and are often not as street smart as the older online working stiffs.

The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns About Technologies in Education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Are Universities Becoming EMOs (Educational Maintenance Organizations)? ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#EMOs

 


Separating Fact from Hype and Wishful Thinking about Education Technology
"Hurdles Remain Before College Classrooms Go Completely Digital," by Dave Copeland, ReadWriteWeb, February 20, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/hurdles_remain_before_college_classrooms_go_comple.php

OnlineUniversities.com came out with an optimistic infographic last week about how college classrooms are going digital.

But as someone who makes as much as a quarter of his income from teaching college classes in any given year, and who also spends a good amount of time speaking at conferences trying to help professors incorporate technology and social media into their curriculum, the view from the trenches is very different than the iPad-in-every-backpack proponents would have you believe.

This is not to say that tech isn't changing the way we teach and the way students learn: it most certainly is. But probably not as fast as some people outside of higher ed think it is.

Since 2006, Mashery has managed the APIs for more than 100 brands such as The New York Times, Netflix, Best Buy and Hoovers. Powering the more than 10,000 apps built upon these APIs, Mashery enables its customers to distribute their content, data or products to mobile devices and web mashups.

 

People who say we're at the dawn of a new way of learning at the college level are overlooking some rather significant economic and cultural hurdles. At the same time, academic freedom means professors can choose to implement technology a lot, a little bit or not at all into their curriculum. And implementing it "a lot" isn't always a good thing, particularly if it isn't used in a way that boosts learning outcomes.

We (Don't) Have The Technology

If you were to visit the library on the campus where I teach, you would see students waiting to use outdated desktops in the computer labs and library, particularly around midterms and finals week. It seems odd at first, considering the school has a laptop requirement for all undergraduates. That means you have to have a laptop computer when you enroll, and presumably, as an instructor, I can require my students to bring them to any class.

But here's the reality: laptops break, and students can't afford replacements.

The mainstream media has sold us a myth of college still being the place for the ultra-elite, for kids who start compiling "brag sheets" in the fourth grade and have parents that shell out five figures to hire a college admissions coach.

But in practice, most college students these days are like the ones I teach at a four-year state college: they are, by-and-large, the first in their family to attend college. Almost all of my students work, and many work full-time or multiple part-time jobs. Some are parents. An increasing number are so-called nontraditional students and are enrolling after an extended break from education. These students often support families and, in many case, have college-aged children who need their own laptops.

Now factor in that the fastest growing segment of higher education are community colleges, which by-and-large draw kids from working class backgrounds or cater to people who have been laid off and are trying to get trained for a new career.

For a lot of students, replacing a broken laptop is a choice between skipping a rent payment or sucking it up and waiting in those long lines at the computer lab. Asking them to shell out for an iPad on top of the laptop just isn't feasible for many college students, and that means its going to take longer to get everyone on board with the tech revolution in higher ed.

Tenure Doesn't Equal Tech Savvy

One of the concerns among students on the campus where I teach is that the university employs an alert system that sends them text and email messages if there is a life-threatening emergency on campus (think Virginia Tech in 2007). But what are they supposed to do, these students ask, if they're in a class where the teacher bans them from using smartphones and laptops?

Academic freedom means professors get to run their classrooms in the way they want, and that includes choosing the tools they use to teach. Having sat in meetings where faculty members have threatened to file union complaints because email means students can - GASP! - contact them at any time, I think we're a ways off from blanket incorporation of social media and tablet textbooks across the curriculum.

These same professors, many of whom predate the Internet era in higher ed, never concede that email also means fewer student visits during office hours for simple questions, which means more time to get actual work done. This isn't meant as a knock on them, but there are varying degrees of enthusiasm for incorporating tech into teaching and, unlike high schools, tech enthusiasm can't be mandated by a curriculum committee.

High School's Chilling Effects

Career academics are not, however, the only ones to blame. A lot of students come to college with backward views of what social media is and what it can accomplish. And most importantly, what is and isn't acceptable on social media.

And why shouldn't they? They come from schools where teachers can be reprimanded or even fired for connecting with students on social networks. Several schools across the country are implementing bans on teachers friending not only current students but former students on Facebook.

There's no easy fix for overcoming these preexisting biases. Step one, as a professor, is make sure you don't use Facebook for classwork: even though it's the default social network for so many of us, there's still too much of a creep factor in crossing that student-professor line (and, frankly, with Facebook's ever-shifting privacy policies, even if you think you're protected you may end up seeing stuff about your students you'd be better off not knowing about).

But that leaves us to decide which social network we should use with our students. Dedicated social networks like the one being rolled out for students by Microsoft seem like a good idea, but my own experience is that a site students check for reasons other than school tends to produce more frequent check-ins and a more organic discussion about classwork, which is exactly what I want to accomplish with social media in my classes.

I tried using Google+ last September, only to be thwarted in a freshman writing class where some of the students were not yet 18. Google has since relaxed its age restrictions, but the social network is still too new for students to gravitate toward it. In my experiment, students found it confusing, or at least less intuitive than Facebook, and I was finding most would only use it if I mandated it.

I've had the best luck with Twitter, including the use of it in a film class so we can discuss the film as we're screening it each week (for a sample, see this storify of tweets from the class discussion of Shawshank Redmeption). But, again, only about half of my students will use it if I don't require it. And of the students who start using it because I require it in my class, fewer than 10% will continue to use it when the semester ends.

Hope On The Horizon: The Kindle Effect

The people I thought would be stingiest about adopting technology in their classrooms have, in many cases, been the most willing to change. I now see a lot of those seemingly stodgy old English professors walking around campus with a Kindle tucked under their arm.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the hope and hype of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


Institutions, Reward Structures, and Traditions 
That Defy Changes in Higher Education

The military has a chain of command and a tradition for carrying out orders promptly throughout the system.  A university is the antithesis of the military.  There is very little chain of command in a tenure system that allows faculty to ignore many edicts from their "superiors" in the administrative chain of command.  Probably more at fault than tenure is the tradition of allowing faculty to make independent decisions concerning what they put into "their" courses and what topics they will pursue in "their" research.

Funds are rewarding innovation and change are scarce in university budgets.  Even more constraining is the comfort a faculty member takes in student evaluations at present and the risk and fear that hovers over innovation and risk taking.

Be assured that most faculty members in universities are not lazy.  It may appear to be a cushy job with only nine or twelve contact hours in the classroom, but it is not at all uncommon for faculty to put in sixty hour weeks staying abreast of the new knowledge of their disciplines and contributing to this new knowledge with research and writing.  A huge effort is made to build and maintain a reputation for scholarship and research.  This means that there is precious little time to carve out for learning new educational technologies.

Universities seeking to offer online courses must often hire new faculty or attempt to make deals with existing faculty by providing release time, summer grants, and other incentives that often fail to have a lasting impact on genuine commitment to change and genuine long-term contributions to innovation and online education.

University policies, resource constraints, and promotion and tenure traditions stand in the way of competing with corporations such as UNext that will treat instructors more like professional employees.  The salaries and benefits will be greater in the corporations, but there will not likely be any tenure or job security.  Indeed the reward packages may be so great as to provide very real competition to universities seeking to hire the best new faculty or retain the best tenured faculty.


Barriers to Distance Education

Students surf to class, but there's no online deluge
— From the Los Angeles Daily News

Once expected to revolutionize higher education as the Internet transformed mass media, online education has disappointed its early enthusiasts but has found a valuable niche serving working adults, educators say.

"Once upon a time, in the go-go '90s, the thought was that online education would eventually supplant (traditional university education)," said David L. Kirp, professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

"But it's hard to replicate some of the things a real classroom can offer -- those face-to-face interchanges that people often want."

Nearly a decade after the Internet became a household fixture, the University of California system does not offer a single online course for undergraduates during the regular school year…

For the full story, visit:
http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200~20954~2266845,00.html


"Thinking Like an Entrepreneur," by Kevin M. Guthrie, Inside Higher Ed, June 25, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/06/26/guthrie

Increasingly, therefore, foundations, government agencies and universities are asking where they will find the recurring funding to sustain these online resources over time. They are requiring the leaders of such projects to develop sustainability plans that include ongoing sources of revenue; in short, they are looking for academics to act as publishing entrepreneurs. Success in such endeavors requires entrepreneurial expertise and discipline, but in our experience at Ithaka, few OAR projects employ fundamental principles of project planning and management. Why don’t they?

What we have observed is that deep cultural differences separate the scholarly mindset from the mindset of the e-entrepreneur. Most people overseeing online academic resources are scholars, raised in the academy, accustomed to its collegial culture and deliberative pace, shielded from traditional market forces. However, the rapid changes and ruthless competitive landscape of the Internet require a different mindset. The challenge for a successful OAR project leader is to marry the scholarly values essential to the project’s intellectual integrity with the entrepreneurial values necessary for its survival in the Internet economy.

To assist project leaders in successfully managing digital enterprises, Ithaka embarked on a project to study the major challenges to the sustainability of these online academic resources. Working with support from the Joint Information Systems Committee and the Strategic Content Alliance, we interviewed a range of people both in the academy and industry. During that effort, the fruits of which were published last week, we identified several aspects of the entrepreneurial approach that seem particularly important to creating sustainable digital projects:

1. Grants are for start-up, not sustainability. Most often, project leaders should regard initial funding as precisely that — start-up funding to help the project develop other reliable, recurring and diverse sources of support. The prevailing assumption that there will be a new influx of grant funding when the existing round runs out is counter-productive to building a sustainable approach. There are exceptions to this assertion — for example, if a grantee offers a service that is vital to a foundation’s mission or is exclusively serving an important programmatic focus of the funder — but these cases are unusual.

2. Cost recovery is not sufficient: growth is necessary. Project leaders need to adopt a broader definition of “sustainability” that encompasses more than covering operating costs. The Web environment is evolving rapidly and relentlessly. It is incorrect to assume that, once the initial digitization effort is finished and content is up on the Web, the costs of maintaining a resource will drop to zero or nearly zero. Projects need to generate surplus revenue for ongoing reinvestment in their content and/or technology if they are to thrive.

3. Value is determined by impact. OAR project leaders tend to underestimate the importance of thinking about demand and impact and the connections between those elements and support from key stake holders. The scholarly reluctance to think in terms of “marketing” is a formula for invisibility on the Internet. Without a strategic understanding of the market place, it is only through serendipity that a resource will attract users and have an impact on a significant population or field of academic endeavor. And of course, attracting users is essential for garnering support from a variety of stake holders: host universities, philanthropies and government agencies, corporate sponsors and advertisers. The most promising and successful online resource projects are demand driven and strive for visibility, traffic and impact.

4. Projects should think in terms of building scale through partnerships, collaborations, mergers and even acquisitions. Project leaders need to consider a range of options for long-term governance. Start-ups in the private sector, for example, aim for independent profitability but they also consider it a success to merge with complementary businesses or to sell their companies to a larger enterprise with the means to carry those assets forward. Not-for-profit projects should think similarly about their options and pursue different forms of sustainability based on their particular strengths, their competition, and their spheres of activity. Given the high fixed costs of the online environment, collaborations and mergers are critical for helping single online academic resource projects keep their costs down and improve chances for sustainability.

5. In a competitive world, strategic planning is imperative. In the highly competitive environment of the Web, project leaders must embrace the best operating practices of their competitors — a group that includes commercial enterprises — for mindshare and resources. That means they will have to act strategically, develop marketing plans, seek out strategic partnerships, understand their competitive environment, and identify and measure themselves against clear goals and objectives for how they will accomplish their missions successfully and affordably. An academic disdain for “commercialism” can doom many a promising scholarly project to failure on the Internet.

Historically, academic projects have been shielded from commercial pressures, in part by funders, but mainly because their economic environment operated independently from other areas of commerce. This separation between the “academic” and “commercial” economies is no longer meaningful. The project leaders that are most likely to succeed in today’s digital environment are those who can operate successfully under the pressures of competition and accountability, and in the messiness of innovation and continual reinvention.

6. Flexibility, nimbleness, and responsiveness are key. OARs need to develop the capability for rapid cycles of experimentation (“fail early and often”), rather than spending years attempting to build the optimal resource in isolation from the market. Unfortunately, many OARs are structurally set up to do the latter – their grants commit them to promised courses of action for several years and tie them to specific deliverables. Leaders of online academic resources may not realize that many funders would prefer nimbleness if it means that the OARs will have a greater impact. Funders, for their part, must recognize that multi-year plans need to be highly flexible to allow for adaptation to new developments in technology and the marketplace.

7. Dedicated and fully accountable leadership is essential. Running a start-up – and developing an online academic resource is running a start-up – is a full-time job requiring full-time leadership. The “principal investigator” model, in which an individual divides her time among a variety of research grants, teaching assignments, and other responsibilities, is not conducive to entrepreneurial success. New initiatives aiming for sustainability require fully dedicated, fully invested, and intensely focused leadership. If a principal investigator cannot provide it, he or she will have to retain a very capable person who can.

If new digital academic resources are going to survive in the increasingly competitive online environment, the academy needs a better understanding of the challenges of managing what are essentially digital publishing enterprises. Leaders and supporters of these projects must orient themselves to an entrepreneurial mindset and embrace principles of effective management. If they are unable to do that, important resources serving smaller scholarly disciplines will disappear, leaving only those projects that are commercially viable.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's advice for new faculty can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/newfaculty.htm


July 1, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

WHAT HAPPENED TO E-LEARNING?

"Thwarted Innovation: What Happened to E-learning and Why" presents the results of the Weatherstation Project of The Learning Alliance at the University of Pennsylvania. This study sought to answer the question "Why did the boom in e-learning go bust?" Over an eighteen-month period authors Robert Zemsky, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and William F. Massy, professor emeritus of education and business administration at Stanford University, tracked faculty and staff attitudes towards e-learning at six colleges and universities. Their findings challenged three prevalent e-learning assumptions:

-- If we build it they will come -- not so;

-- The kids will take to e-learning like ducks to water -- not quite;

-- E-learning will force a change in the way we teach -- not by a long shot.

The complete report is available online, at no cost, in PDF format at http://www.irhe.upenn.edu/Docs/Jun2004/ThwartedInnovation.pdf.

The Learning Alliance is "a provider of educational research and leadership support services to presidents of accredited, non-profit

two- and four-year colleges and universities. The Learning Alliance serves the mission of higher education institutions by providing its senior administrators with timely access to expertise, current research, and market data." For more information, contact: The Learning Alliance, 1398 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA 19382 USA; tel: 610-399-6601; fax: 815-550-8892; Web: http://www.irhe.upenn.edu/index.php.

The Weatherstation Project was conceived as "an antidote to those first descriptions of the market for e-learning, which were often warped by missing data and overly hopeful assumptions about how quickly new products would come to market and how receptive learners and instructors were likely to be."


From Syllabus News on July 20, 2004

For-Profit Institution Popularity Slipping, Says Online Consortium

Job candidates from traditional universities with online programs are more likely to be hired and promoted by corporations than candidates from for-profit providers of online education and degree programs. That’s the conclusion of a study by the Online University Consortium, a group of traditional universities which describes its mission as providing “access to reputable universities that have online degree programs you can trust.”

The OUC looked at data compiled over a recent 12-month period, gathered through surveys of corporate decision-makers attending major trade events such as Society for Human Resource Management and American Society for Training & Development. When compared to the previous year's findings, OEC said it found the number of companies preferring traditional universities is up 15 percent, with 65 percent selecting traditional schools compared to 50 percent in 2003. OUC said it also found that the number of companies choosing for-profit businesses declined, with 14.3 percent now indicating they would select a for-profit compared to 22 percent in 2003.

Deborah Besemer, president and CEO of recruitment services provider BrassRing, said employers are avoiding schools that have flooded the market with online degree programs and which have questionable regard for quality. "We see this when they search for candidates and specifically eliminate certain schools from their search. Reputation of the educational institution is what matters the most," said Besemer. "Employers want to hire students who have a full college experience whether online or in the classroom. They are looking for well-educated individuals to join their companies."

For more information on the OUC’s findings, visit http://info.101com.com/default.asp?id=8543 


In my opinion, the Weatherstation Project is biased from the start by skeptics who do not balance the successes against the failures to date --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm 
For example, the report fails to even mention one of the world's most successful e-Learning endeavors in his own institution, the Master's of Engineering (ADEPT) distance learning program at Stanford University even though one of the two authors is a long-time faculty member and top administrator at Stanford.

Here are some counter examples.

New and Expanding Market Motivations
Example 1 --- Stanford University --- http://ww.stanford.edu/history/fulldesc.html 

Stanford University shook up the stuffy Ivy League and other prestigious schools such as Oxford and Cambridge when it demonstrated to the world that its online training programs and its online Masters of Engineering (ADEPT) asynchronous learning degree program became enormous cash cows with nearly infinite growth potentials relative to relatively fixed-size onsite programs.  In a few short years, revenues from online programs in engineering and computer science exploded to over $100 million per year.

The combined present value of the Stanford University logo and the logos of other highly prestigious universities are worth trillions.  Any prestigious university that ignores online growth opportunities is probably wasting billions of dollars of potential cash flow from its logo.  

Virtually all universities of highest prestige and name recognition are realizing this and now offer a vast array of online training and education courses directly or in partnership with corporations and government agencies seeking the mark of distinction on diplomas.


Example 2 --- University of Wisconsin --- http://webct.wisc.edu/ 
Over 100,000 Registered Online Students in The University of Wisconsin System of State-Supported Universities

Having a long history of extension programs largely aimed at part-time adult learners, it made a lot of sense for the UW System to try to train and educate adult learners and other learners who were not likely to become onsite students.

The UW System is typical of many other large state-supported universities that have an established adult learning infrastructure and a long history of interactive television courses delivered to remote sites within the state.  Online Internet courses were a logical extension and in many instances a cost-efficient extension relative to televised delivery.


Example 3 --- Harvard University

In light of new online learning technologies, Harvard University changed its long-standing residency requirement in anticipation of expanding markets for "mid-career professionals" according to Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers, EDUCAUSE Review, May/June 2002, Page 4.  Harvard has various distance education programs, including those in the Harvard Business School that currently cost over $4 million per year to maintain.


Example 4
From Syllabus News, Resources, and Trends on July 2, 2002

Babson Blends Online, Onsite MBA Program

Babson College said it will launch in Jan. a "fast track" MBA program that integrates traditional onsite classroom instruction with distance learning components. The program will enable students to obtain an MBA in 27 months, and is designed for executives struggling to balance work and personal demands in an economic recession. Intel Corp. sponsored the program as a complement to its corporate education package, and has modeled it with 33 employees. The blended MBA program calls for students to attend monthly two and-a-half days of face-to-face sessions with Babson's faculty on campus in Wellesley. During the rest of the time, students will take part in Internet-based distance learning sessions with their professors and access interactive multimedia course content.

For more information, visit: http://www.babson.edu/mba/fasttrac


Example 5 --- Texas A&M Online MBA Program in Mexico --- http://olap.tamu.edu/mexico/tamumxctr.pdf 

Some universities view online technologies as a tremendous opportunity to expand training and education courses into foreign countries.  One such effort was undertaken by the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University in partnership with Monterrey Tech in Mexico.  For example, Professor John Parnell at Texas A&M has been delivering a course for several semesters in which students in Mexico City take the online course in their homes.  However, once each month the students meet face-to-face on a weekend when Dr. Parnell travels to Mexico City to hold live classes and administer examinations.

You probably won't have much difficulty making a guess as to what many students say is the major reason they prefer online courses to onsite courses in Mexico City?


Example 6 --- The University of Phoenix --- http://www.phoenix.edu/index_open.html 

The University of Phoenix became the largest private university in the world.  Growth came largely from adult learning onsite programs in urban centers across the U.S. and Canada.  

The popular CBS television show called Sixty Minutes ran a feature on the growth and future of the newer online training and education programs at the University of Phoenix. You can download this video from http://online.uophx.edu/onl_nav_2.asp# 

The University of Phoenix contends that online success in education depends upon intense communications day-to-day between instructors and students.  This, in turn, means that online classes must be relatively small and synchronized in terms of assignments and projects.


Example 7 --- Partnerships 
Lucrative partnerships between universities and corporations seeking to train and educate employees.

The highly successful Global Executive MBA Program at Duke University (formerly called GEMBA) where corporations from around the world pay nearly $100,000 for one or two employees to earn a prestigious online MBA degree --- http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/admin/gemba/index.html

UNext Corporation has an exclusive partnership with General Motors Corporation that provides online executive training and education programs to 88,000 GM managers.  GM pays the fees.  See http://www.unext.com/ 

Army University Access Online --- http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/index.html 
This five-year $453 million initiative was completed by the consulting division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  Twenty-four colleges are delivering training and education courses online through the U.S. Army's e-learning portal.  There are programs for varying levels of accomplishment, including specialty certificates, associates degrees, bachelor's degrees, and masters degrees.  All courses are free to soldiers.  By 2003, there is planned capacity is for 80,000 online students.   The PwC Program Director is Jill Kidwell --- http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/kidwell.html 

Army Online University attracted 12,000 students during its first year of operation.  It plans to double its capacity and add 10,000 more students in 2002.  It is funded by the U.S. Army for all full time soldiers to take non-credit and credit courses from selected major universities.  The consulting arm of the accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers manages the entire system. 

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has a program for online training and education for all IRS employees.  The IRS pays the fees for all employees.  The IRS online accounting classes will be served up from Florida State University and Florida Community College at Jacksonville --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60881-2001May7.html 

Deere & Company has an exclusive partnership with Indiana University to provide an online MBA program for Deere employees.  Deere pays the fees.  See "Deere & Company Turns to Indiana University's Kelley School of Business For Online MBA Degrees in Finance," Yahoo Press Release, October 8, 2001 --- http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/011008/cgm034_1.html 

The University of Georgia partnered with the consulting division of PwC to deliver a totally online MBA degree.  The program is only taken by PwC employees.  PwC paid the development and delivery fees.  See http://www.coe.uga.edu./coenews/2000/UGAusnews.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on the bright and the dark side of education technologies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 


Barriers to Distance Education --- http://www.emoderators.com/barriers/index.shtml 
Principal Investigator: Zane L. Berge

Cho, S.K. & Berge, Z.L. (2002). Overcoming Barriers to Distance Training and Education. Education at a Distance [USDLA Journal] (16)1. Retrieved February 8, 2002 from http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/JAN02_Issue/article01.html

When people within an organization plan for using distance training and education, there are several barriers to their efforts that they are likely to encounter. Consideration of barriers faced by other organizations may help leaders find solutions to reduce or to minimize obstacles in their own organization. Using a content analysis of thirty-two, in-depth case studies of leading organizations, this study begins to explore solutions to the barriers faced by organizations when they use distance education.

Berge, Z.L. & Muilenburg, L.Y. (2001). Obstacles faced at various stages of capability regarding distance education in institutions of higher learning. Tech Trends 46(4): pp. 40-45.

While distance education is on a fast growth curve right now, there are many barriers that must be overcome. The results reported here are from persons working in higher education (n=1276). The perspective taken is that various organizations are at different stages or levels of capabilities with regard to distance education-from never using distance education to other organizations in which distance education is how they do business.

The research questions reported on in this article are:

  1. do educators perceive different barriers depending upon the maturity of their organization's capabilities in distance education, and
  2. as the organization' distance education competency as a whole matures, will the overall number or intensity of perceived barriers to distance education be reduced? There are additional observations included.

Muilenburg, L.Y. and Berge, Z.L. (2001). Barriers to distance education: A factor-analytic study. The American Journal of Distance Education. 15(2): 7-22.

While numerous studies have discussed barriers to the successful implementation of distance education, many are based on the examination of one instructor’s experience, one distance learning environment, or one type of distance learning program. The findings provide useful information, but it is difficult to piece these studies together to create a holistic picture of the barriers to distance education.

Some quantitative studies have been conducted (Berge 1998; Cegles 1998; Dickinson et al. 1999; Rockwell et al. 1999; Yap 1996), but they tap a small or very focused population group. A larger-scale study was still needed to consider simultaneously the many dimensions of barriers to distance education as perceived by people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

The survey study reported in the following presentations and articles sought to represent the perceptions of people who differed on six demographic variables: (1) workplace (e.g., community college, government, nonprofit organization, K–12 education); (2) job function (e.g., support staff, manager, researcher, student); (3) type of delivery system used (e.g., audiotape, computer conferencing, interactive television [ITV]); (4) expertise regarding distance education; (5) the stage of the respondent’s organization with regard to capabilities in delivering distance education (from no distance education activity to distance education being the way the organization does business); and (6) the area in which the respondent primarily works (e.g., fine arts, engineering, education). These studies represent the responses of over 2500 persons.

Berge, Z.L. and Muilenburg L.Y. (2000). Barriers to distance education as perceived by managers and administrators: Results of a survey. In Melanie Clay (Ed.), Distance Learning Administration Annual 2000.

A survey was conducted to help better understand and more systematically study barriers to distance education. The survey addressed six demographic variables: 1) work place (e.g., community college, government); 2) job function (e.g., support staff; manager, researcher, student); 3) type of delivery system used (e.g., audio-tape, computer conferencing, ITV); 4) expertise of the individual regarding distance education; 5) the stage of the respondents organization with regard to capabilities in delivering distance education; and 6) the area in which the respondent primarily works (e.g., fine arts, engineering, education). The focus of this presentation is on barriers to distance education as perceived by managers and administrators.

Berge, Z.L. & Mrozowski, S. (1999) Barriers to Online Teaching in Elementary, Secondary, And Teacher Education. Canadian Journal of Educational Communication, 27(2): 59-72.

A review of the literature regarding the barriers to the use of educational technology in primary and secondary education was conducted. An emphasis was placed on the diffusion of computers in the schools, since the focus of this study is to determine what should be expected as computer-mediated communication (CMC) is used in schools to teach in online environments. A categorical framework, similar to one used by the first author for analysis of barriers to the use of CMC in higher education, was used (Berge, 1998).

The nine categories of barriers are: academic, fiscal, geographic, governance, labor-management, legal, student support, technical, and cultural. The literature review of barriers to the use of educational technology in K-12 using this framework suggested the primary areas of concern are academic, cultural, and technical. Secondary areas of concern are labor-management and fiscal issues, with little or no mention of geographic, governance, student support, or legal aspects of diffusion of technology.

To test whether the use of CMC as one important area of educational technology entering K-12 teaching and learning, a recently published four volume series of books titled, "Wired Together: Computer-Mediated Communication in K-12" was analyzed. Taken together, the seventy-two (72) chapters in these four books, mostly case studies, represent a considerable body of experience in online teaching and learning in K-12, pre- and in-service teacher training.

This content analysis was conducted:

  1. to determine how many different barriers to online teaching were mentioned across all the contributors, i.e., to indicate the range of the obstacles, and,
  2. to determine how often each particular category of barriers was mentioned, i.e., to indicate the perceived severity of these issues. The results are quite consistent when compared to the more general review of literature regarding educational technology.

Berge, Z.L. (1998). Barriers to online teaching in post-secondary institutions. Online Journal of Distance Education Administration. 1(2). Summer. Retreived February 8, 2002 from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/Berge12.html

Combined with demographic trends, political forces, economic factors, the need for lifelong learning, and the changing emphases in teaching and learning, there is a resurgence of interest in distance education both at traditional institutions of higher education and in organizations whose sole mission is distance education. Can higher education at "traditional" universities change to meet the new student demands and the intense competition among education providers that distance education brings?


Just a couple of years ago, every major game company was developing a massively multiplayer online game, based on the attractive business premise. But after many disappointments in recent months, the industry is realizing these games can become tar pits.

"Online Games a Massive Pain," by Daniel Terdiman, Wired News, July 16, 2004 --- http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,64153,00.html?tw=newsletter_topstories_html 

Electronic Arts' decision to shut down development of Ultima X: Odyssey -- the sequel to its long-running online game Ultima Online -- may force the game industry to re-examine what it takes to be a successful developer of massively multiplayer online games.

Electronic Arts joins a growing list of companies -- Cyan Worlds, Games Workshop, There Inc. -- that invested millions of dollars in online games, only to see disappointing sales or unfinished projects. But what's surprising about EA's setback is that it is the world's biggest video-game software company, with plenty of cash, talent, marketing muscle and patience to develop a franchise. Despite that, it pulled the plug on UXO.

What's more, over the past few years EA has pulled the plug, or announced plans to pull the plug, on a string of MMO games: Ultima Online II, Motor City Online, an online Harry Potter adventure game and Earth & Beyond. Most surprising of all, The Sims Online -- an online version of the biggest video-game franchise in history -- has been a disappointment for the company, by most accounts.

MMO games are notoriously hard to develop, much harder than traditional shrink-wrapped, single-player video games. Most MMOs create huge online worlds where thousands of players, each sitting in their homes, interact with each other -- exploring, trading and pillaging. The business premise to game companies is enticing: Players have to buy a copy of the game for about $50 at a retailer, then pay an additional monthly charge of $10 to $15 to gain entrance to the virtual world. But the companies have to pay a lot of attention to keep the online environments compelling and the players interested. And things that single-player games don't need as much -- like customer support and service -- are key to keeping subscriptions active.

"Maybe what we're learning is that (a traditional game company) is not going to be set up perfectly to run big online games," said Ed Castronova, an associate professor at Indiana University, and a moderator of Terra Nova, a blog that discusses virtual worlds.

In contrast to EA, Sony set up an independent division, Sony Online Entertainment, to focus exclusively on virtual worlds, Castronova pointed out. The result: Sony Online has had huge success with its EverQuest franchise, with at least half a million subscribers, and its Star Wars Galaxies world has had more than 300,000 players.

Of course, EA is not the only company that has had problems keeping MMOs afloat. For example, Games Workshop recently announced plans to close down Warhammer Online, as did Cyan Worlds with Uru Live. And There Inc. is on the verge of abandoning its metaverse in favor of becoming a platform builder, some speculate.

For its part, EA disputes the notion that it has had problems developing MMOs. Instead, it said the UXO move was a strategic realignment of resources.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment and learning games are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment 


How can colleges best mix on-campus and online delivery of instruction?

Question
How can colleges best mix on-campus and online delivery of instruction?

"Going Hybrid," by Kristin L. Greene, Inside Higher Ed, July 20, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/07/20/strategist

Too many college and university leaders think, “We have an online program and we have a campus program, so we can probably just combine the two to create a hybrid program.” This usually doesn’t work well because online and on-campus programs often appeal to different people for different reasons, and the delivery challenges for each are also quite different.

We’ve seen some great successes, and a few spectacular failures, in the hybrid market model (in which 20-80 percent of content is delivered online). From these examples, we’ve learned that planning up front and being clear about objectives are preconditions for success. Institutions considering hybrid models for a program, or even several courses, must first create a “business plan” and clearly state what they want to achieve, which students they plan to serve, and how they plan to compete. When building this plan for your institution, you should keep the following in mind:

The Goal. Why are you considering a hybrid model? What is the business rationale? Are you trying to reach different, or more, students, or trying to solve space constraints? Are you doing it because you see an unmet need in your marketplace or because your competitors are going hybrid and you feel the need to keep up? Are you looking for a local, regional, or national audience? The national market is becoming quite competitive, and programs in this space are becoming more commodity like, so a program focusing on the regional or local market may position your program for success.

Philosophy. A program with 20 percent of delivery online and 80 percent on-campus is quite different from a program with 80 percent online and 20 percent on-campus, yet they both qualify as hybrid. Will you use the online component only for communication purposes or for content delivery as well? How will you use adjunct faculty members — to create the content, deliver it, or both? The philosophy you choose should provide a blueprint or roadmap for how you will achieve your goals. Too often in our work, we have seen institutions miss this step — they did not identify their philosophy before jumping into the hybrid model, and later found that it significantly impeded success. Without a philosophy, it is difficult to communicate the value proposition internally or externally, and it becomes challenging to make some of the difficult trade-offs inherent in any new venture.

Target Consumer. What type of consumer is your hybrid offering designed to attract? Adult learners tend to be more open to an online experience because it allows them to balance their professional and personal lives with their educational pursuits. Traditional students — those aged 18 to 24 – tend to want face-to-face, classroom-based learning. Corporations may prefer a little of both, to allow employees to work and study at the same time. Segmenting the market by consumer types and needs — adult, traditional, current, new, credit, non-credit — and designing programs that fit these segments and needs are important early steps.

Integration. Integrating between bricks and clicks is probably the single biggest point of failure for institutions pursuing a hybrid model. Where does campus-based learning begin and end relative to the online component? How do student services coordinate with these components? What do you need to change about your student information system? The challenges range from technology and training, to content design and delivery, to student services. Be sure to prepare by thinking through the entire system and how it will affect the students, the faculty, and the staff.

Programs. Some courses and programs have done very well online and would be logical candidates for a hybrid model (e.g., business, IT, education), but not every course or program is well-suited to a hybrid approach. It’s best to begin with an audit of existing programs, dissecting the curriculum to determine how a hybrid model might be applied. At the same time, you should do an external evaluation of market demand and supply to determine where the best opportunities are for introducing new programs. Again, if you consider local versus national distribution, you may find that, on a local level, a particular hybrid program may provide a competitive advantage in attracting students.

Core Competencies. What is your institution known for? What do you do better than most of your peer schools? Focus your efforts on maximizing the benefit of these core competencies and consider outsourcing those areas that are not strengths, such as marketing, lead management, student services, or technology.

Faculty Buy-In. Faculty members have a large stake in content delivery because most of the time they supply the curriculum. Whether you plan to offer incentives for faculty to adapt content to a hybrid model or to outsource this function, faculty should be involved in the discussions.

Hybrid courses and programs represent more of an evolution than a revolution in educational content delivery. Hybrid delivery represents a natural progression for many campus-based institutions to investigate and perhaps pursue, and often can serve as a competitive advantage in reaching a wider student population. Rigorously thinking through process design and delivery components and planning carefully for implementation will make the difference between those programs that succeed in the hybrid arena and those that invest a lot of resources with little to show for it.

 


Cheating and Reduced Social Interaction

Differences Between Students Who Cheat Versus Students Who Don't Cheat

"Study Examines The Psychology Behind Students Who Don't Cheat," Science Daily, August 18, 2008 --- http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080817223646.htm

While many studies have examined cheating among college students, new research looks at the issue from a different perspective – identifying students who are least likely to cheat.

The study of students at one Ohio university found that students who scored high on measures of courage, empathy and honesty were less likely than others to report their cheating in the past – or intending to cheat in the future.

Moreover, those students who reported less cheating were also less likely to believe that their fellow students regularly committed academic dishonesty.

People who don’t cheat “have a more positive view of others,” said Sara Staats, co-author of the research and professor of psychology at Ohio State University’s Newark campus.

“They don’t see as much difference between themselves and others.”

In contrast, those who scored lower on courage, empathy and honesty – and who are more likely to report that they have cheated -- see other students as cheating much more often than they do, rationalizing their own behavior, Staats said.

The issue is important because most recent studies suggest cheating is common on college campuses. Typically, more than half – and sometimes up to 80 percent – of college students report that they have cheated.

Staats conducted the research with Julie Hupp, assistant professor of psychology and Heidi Wallace, an undergraduate psychology student, both at Ohio State-Newark.

They presented their results Aug. 16 and 17 in Boston at two poster sessions at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Staats said this continuing research project aimed to find out more about the students who don’t cheat – a group that Staats and her colleagues called “academic heroes.”

“Students who don’t cheat seem to be in the minority, and have plenty of opportunities to see their peers cheat and receive the rewards with little risk of punishment,” Staats said. “We see avoiding cheating as a form of everyday heroism in an academic setting.”

The research presented at APA involved two separate but related studies done among undergraduates at Ohio State’s Newark campus. One study included 383 students and another 73 students.

The students completed measures that examined their bravery, honesty and empathy. The researchers separated those who scored in the top half of those measures and contrasted them with those in the bottom half.

Those who scored in the top half – whom the researchers called “academic heroes” – were less likely to have reported cheating in the past 30 days and the last year compared to the non-heroes. They also indicated they would be less likely to cheat in the next 30 days in one of their classes.

The academic heroes also reported they would feel more guilt if they cheated compared to non-heroes.

“The heroes didn’t rationalize cheating the way others did, they didn’t come up with excuses and say it was OK because lots of other students were doing it,” Staats said.

Staats said one reason to study cheating at colleges and universities is to try to figure out ways to reduce academic dishonesty. The results from this research suggest a good target audience for anti-cheating messages.

When the researchers asked students if they intended to cheat in the future, nearly half -- 47 percent -- said they did not intend to cheat but nearly one in four -- 24 percent -- agreed or strongly agreed that they would cheat.

The remaining 29 percent indicated that they were uncertain whether or not they would cheat.

“These 29 percent are like undecided voters – they would be an especially good focus for intervention,” Staats said. “Our results suggest that interventions may have a real opportunity to influence at least a quarter of the student population.”

Staats said more work needs to be done to identify the best ways to prevent cheating. But this research, with its focus on positive psychology, suggests one avenue, she said.

“We need to do more to recognize integrity among our students, and find ways to tap into the bravery, honest and empathy that was found in the academic heroes in our study,” she said.

Jensen Comment
I think cheating in school is much like accounting fraud in adulthood. The psychological factors interact heavily with situational factors such as the "tone at the top," particular pressures at the time, crowd psychology, and opportunity. In particular there's something to the statement that "since others were doing it, I also tried it."

Note in particular how many athletes, especially baseball players, succumbed to use of illegal performance enhancing drugs because they were aware that other top players were using such drugs.

There is also the circumstance of easy opportunity. I've previously mentioned that one daydream I repeatedly had, when I was riding my horse through about 100,000 acres of woods north of Tallahassee, centered on what I would do if I found suitcase full of cash hidden in those woods. This is analogous to having fraternity files of former examinations given by a professors who tend to repeat old questions and problems. Students who in most circumstances would not cheat might succumb under particularly easy opportunities that give them somewhat of an unfair advantage. Some might not even see looking at old examinations as cheating. Alas I never found a suitcase full of money.

An accounting professor at Trinity University was disturbed to learn that one student had purchased (on eBay) the examination test bank for the textbook she was using in a course. Some students shared using that test bank including some students who probably would not have cheated if the act had not become so darned easy and convenient.

One of the negative externalities of the Internet is that students now have more and more opportunities to cheat that did not exist when information at their fingertips did not double every 12 hours on the Internet.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm


July 30, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

NEW BOOK OF ONLINE EDUCATION CASE STUDIES

ELEMENTS OF QUALITY ONLINE EDUCATION: INTO THE MAINSTREAM, edited by John Bourne and Janet C. Moore, is the fifth and latest volume in the annual Sloan-C series of case studies on quality education online. Essays cover topics in the following areas: student satisfaction and student success, learning effectiveness, blended environments, and assessment. To order a copy of the book go to http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/books/volume5.asp. You can download a free 28-page summary of the book from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/books/vol5summary.pdf.

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is a consortium of institutions and organizations committed "to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines." Sloan-C is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information, see http://www.sloan-c.org/.


COMBATING CHEATING IN ONLINE STUDENT ASSESSMENT

In "Cheating in Online Student Assessment: Beyond Plagiarism" (ONLINE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE LEARNING ADMINISTRATION, vol. VII, no. II, Summer

2004) Neil C. Rowe identifies "three of the most serious problems involving cheating in online assessment that have not been sufficiently considered previously" and suggests countermeasures to combat them. The problems Rowe discusses are:

-- Getting assessment answers in advance

It is hard to ensure that all students will take an online test simultaneously, enabling students to supply questions and answers to those who take the test later.

-- Unfair retaking of assessments

While course management system servers can be configured to prevent taking a test multiple times, there can be ways to work around prevention measures.

-- Unauthorized help during the assessment

It may not be possible to confirm the identity of the person actually taking the online test.

You can read the entire article, including Rowe's suggestions to counteract the problems, at http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/ojdla/summer72/rowe72.html.

The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration is a free, peer-reviewed quarterly published by the Distance and Distributed Education Center, The State University of West Georgia, 1600 Maple Street, Carrollton, GA 30118 USA; Web: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/jmain11.html.


SOCIAL INTERACTION IN ONLINE LEARNING

Among the reasons Rowe cites (in the aforementioned paper) for cheating on online tests is that "students often have less commitment to the integrity of distance-learning programs than traditional programs." This lack of commitment may be the result of the isolation inherent in distance education. In "Online Learning: Social Interaction and the Creation of a Sense of Community" (EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY, vol. 7, no. 3, July 2004, pp. 73-81), Joanne M. McInnerney and Tim S. Roberts, Central Queensland University, argue that an online learner's feeling a sense of isolation can affect the outcome of his or her learning experience. The authors recommend three protocols to aid social interaction and alleviate isolation among online learners:

1. The use of synchronous communication

"Chat-rooms and other such forums are an excellent way for students to socialize, to assist each other with study, or to learn as part of collaborative teams."

2. The introduction of a forming stage

"Discussion on almost any topics (the latest movies, sporting results,

etc.) can be utilized by the educator as a prelude to the building of trust and community that is essential to any successful online experience."

3. The adherence to effective communication guidelines "Foremost among these guidelines is the need for unambiguous instructions and communications from the educator to the students involved in the course. To this end instructions regarding both course requirements and communication protocols should be placed on the course web site."

The complete article is online at http://ifets.ieee.org/periodical/7_3/8.html.

Educational Technology & Society [ISSN 1436-4522] is a peer-reviewed quarterly online journal published by the International Forum of Educational Technology & Society and the IEEE Computer Society Learning Technology Task Force (LTTF). It is available in HTML and PDF formats at no cost at http://ifets.ieee.org/periodical/.

The International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS) is a subgroup of the IEEE Learning Technology Task Force (LTTF). IFETS encourages discussions on the issues affecting the educational system developer (including AI) and education communities. For more information, link to http://ifets.ieee.org/.

......................................................................

ONLINE COURSES: COSTS AND CAPS

Two articles in the July/August 2005 issue of SYLLABUS address the often-asked questions on delivering online instruction: "How much will it cost?" and "How many students can we have in a class?"

In "Online Course Development: What Does It Cost?" (SYLLABUS, vol. 17, no. 12, July/August 2004, pp. 27-30) Judith V. Boettcher looks at where the costs of online course development have shifted in the past ten years. While the costs of course development are still significant, estimating them is not an exact science. Boettcher, however, does provide some rules of thumb that program planners can use to get more accurate estimates. The article is available online at http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=9676.

 

In "Online Course Caps: A Survey" (SYLLABUS, vol. 17, no. 12, July/August 2004, pp. 43-4) Boris Vilic reports on a survey of 101 institutions to determine their average course cap for online courses. The survey also tried to determine what influences differences in setting caps: Does the delivery method used make a difference? Are there differences if the course is taught by full-time faculty or by adjuncts? Or if given by experienced versus inexperienced providers? Or by the level (undergraduate or graduate) of the course? The article is available online at http://www.syllabus.com/article.asp?id=9679.

Syllabus [ISSN 1089-5914] is published monthly by 101communications, LLC, 9121 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 USA; tel: 650-941-1765; fax: 650-941-1785; email: info@syllabus.com; Web: http://www.syllabus.com/. Annual subscriptions are free to individuals who work in colleges, universities, and high schools in the U.S.; go to http://subscribe.101com.com/syllabus/ for more information.

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education in general are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

 

Legal Concerns

July 1, 2005 email message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

Duke Law & Technology Review (DLTR) http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/dltr/ 

"The Duke Law & Technology Review (DLTR) is an online legal publication that focuses on the evolving intersection of law and technology. This area of study draws on a number of legal specialties: intellectual property, business law, free speech and privacy, telecommunications, and criminal law -- each of which is undergoing doctrinal and practical changes as a result of new and emerging technologies. DLTR strives to be a 'review' in the classic sense of the word. We examine new developments, synthesize them around larger theoretical issues, and critically examine the implications. We also review and consolidate recent cases, proposed bills, and administrative policies."

"However, DLTR is unique among its sister journals at Duke, and indeed among all law journals. Unlike traditional journals, which focus primarily on lengthy scholarly articles, DLTR focuses on short, direct, and accessible pieces, called issue briefs or 'iBriefs.' In fact, the goal of an iBrief is to provide cutting edge legal insight both to lawyers and to non-legal professionals. In addition, DLTR strives to be the first legal publication to address breaking issues. To that end, we publish on the first and fifteenth of every month during the school year (September until April) and less frequently during the summer."

Duke Law & Technology Review is available free of charge as an Open Access journal on the Internet.

Bob Jensen's threads on the future of education technology and distance learning are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


Fraud Concerns

The majority of frauds in distance education and training programs arise in for-profit universities and training schools. Frauds range from ripping off government load programs to fraudulent promotions for students to fraudulent academic standards.

My main site on the gray zone of fraud among for-profit schools can be found at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

"Online Search Ads Hijack Prospective Students, Former Employee Says," by Josh Keller, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 7, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/online-search-ads-hijack-prospective-students-former-employee-says/33047?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Last year, James Soloway called hundreds of prospective students per day on behalf of a company that placed advertisements on Google and Bing. The ads promised to help students contact the admissions offices of public colleges if they filled out an online form and included their phone number.

He told the students who responded that they would hear from their preferred public college, even though they almost never did. In the meantime, he said, they should consider attending a for-profit college—such as Kaplan University, Grand Canyon University, or the University of Phoenix.

Most of the prospective students were confused. Some hung up. But sometimes, the pitch worked, he says. Some people, especially high-school students, believed he was an educational counselor and gave weight to his recommendations, he says.

The entire process was designed to redirect students who wanted information on a public college to a for-profit college, Mr. Soloway says. “The expectation was that we were not to allow a call to end with a student until we had created three private-school leads.”

The account offers new details about the practices of lead-generation companies that place misleading search ads to lure prospective students. (Click here to download Mr. Soloway’s full description of the call center’s activities.) In July, The Chronicle found dozens of ads on Google and Bing that falsely implied relationships with public colleges in order to get students to give away information that can be sold to for-profits.

Mr. Soloway made calls on behalf of one of those lead-generation companies, Vantage Media, from March to December 2010. The company contracted with a call center run by Mr. Soloway’s employer, Inspyre Solutions.

Representatives of Vantage, Kaplan, and Westwood College did not respond to requests for comment. Vantage officials have previously said that they provide a free service to both colleges and students, and that the company does not mislead anybody.

Mr. Soloway said he is speaking publicly about his former work because he feels bad that he helped to deceive students. He estimates that Vantage’s online marketing efforts brought in at least 2,000 prospects per week to the Winnipeg, Manitoba, call center where he worked.

After learning that students never heard back from the public colleges they were trying to reach—and realizing that he might soon be fired for poor performance—he quit his job and filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in February about Vantage’s practices.

“I feel bad that I was part of something that took advantage of people, a lot of them kids still in high school,” he says.

Mr. Soloway said he was given a single day of training before starting to work on behalf of Vantage, which made it difficult to advise students on their educational options. For instance, he says he started without knowing the differences between various nursing degrees.

Continued in article

"Colleges Fight Google Ads That Reroute Prospective Students," by Josh Keller, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 31, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Fight-Google-Ads-That/128414/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

 

Misleading Promotional Sites for For-Profit Universities

For-profit universities provide some free Website services in an effort to lure people into signing up for for-profit programs without ever mentioning that in most instances the students would be better off in more prestigious non-profit universities such as state-supported universities with great online programs and extension services.


I'm bombarded with messages like the following one from ---
http://www.paralegal.net/


Then go to the orange box at http://www.paralegal.net/more/
If you feed in the data that you're interested in a bachelor's degree in business with an accounting concentration, the only choices given are for-profit universities. No mention is made of better programs at the Universities of Wisconsin, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc.


I've stopped linking to the many for-profit university sites like this.
My threads on distance education alternatives are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

The for-profit universities are getting much more subtle in their online marketing programs. When you go to the site mentioned in the email message below, it looks like a great site with the homepage listing of major universities by state.

However, when you do a database search the bias of the site begins to show through. For example consider the Wisconsin zip code 53039 to search for an online undergraduate degree in accounting, all that appears is a listing of for-profit universities. What about the much cheaper and much more respectable online undergraduate accounting degree from the University of Wisconsin system of state universities?

Next consider the Maryland zip code 20742 to search for an online undergraduate degree in accounting, all that appears is a listing of for-profit universities. What about the much cheaper and much more respectable online undergraduate accounting degree from the University of Maryland  system of state universities?


As a matter of fact you get the same subset of for-profit universities whether you search for Wisconsin or Maryland.

It begins to look like this subset of for-profit universities is paying for this site and giving very biased outcomes in searches for online degrees.

Next I ran a test searching for on-campus undergraduate accounting degrees for both Wisconsin and Maryland. No listing is given for the cheaper and more prestigious accounting degrees from the state-supported universities in those states. Instead a listing of for-profit alternatives is presented.

Thus, these university search engines appear at first blush to be legitimate. However, when you dig deeper you discover that the recommendations are only for costly and less prestigious for-profit universities. I've no objection to them marketing their degree programs. However, if they pretend to be full service in the best interests of students, they should be including less costly and more prestigious alternatives from state-supported universities. They should also be listing alternatives from private non-profit universities in their search engines.

Message received by Bob Jensen on November 1, 2011

 
Hi Bob,

I run an economics degree site called
http://www.economicsdegree.net.
Having been a college professor 11 years, I decided to make a website to
help future economics students pick the right school for them. I spent
some time earlier today looking through the resource links listed on your
site, and I thought you would like to know I found a broken link on this
page:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

This is the broken link I came across:
http://www.accountingobserver.com/blog/

When you get a chance to fix this broken link, if you find an open
spot for a link to my site,
http://www.economicsdegree.net, I would
certainly appreciate it.  I believe my site is one of the largest actively
maintained resources that lists every accredited school offering an economics
degree.

Thank you :)
XXXXX

 

 

 

 

 


Email and Teaching Evaluations Place Heavy Burdens on Teachers

Fearing your student evaluations, how much time and trouble should you devote to email questions from your students?
For junior faculty members, the barrage of e-mail has brought new tension into their work lives, some say, as they struggle with how to respond. Their tenure prospects, they realize, may rest in part on student evaluations of their accessibility. The stakes are different for professors today than they were even a decade ago, said Patricia Ewick, chairwoman of the sociology department at Clark University in Massachusetts, explaining that "students are constantly asked to fill out evaluations of individual faculty." Students also frequently post their own evaluations on Web sites like www.ratemyprofessors.com  and describe their impressions of their professors on blogs.
Jonathan D. Glater, "To: Professor@University.edu Subject: Why It's All About Me," The New York Times, February 21, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/education/21professors.html

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies over student evaluations are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation


"Email Etiquette an Oxymoron? Perhaps Not," by Sanford Pinsker, The Irascible Professor, March 1, 2006 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-03-01-06.htm

It is no secret that technology has had its impact on teaching, but it is also no secret that there are times when the "impact" is unwelcome, if not downright unpleasant. I am referring to the habit, by now well established, in which students email their professors at the click of a mouse -- and then expect the professor to respond in a heartbeat. No request is too outlandish, as a recent article in the New York Times demonstrated: One first-year student emailed a calculus professor asking "If I should buy a binder or a subject notebook?"; another explained that she was late for Monday's class because she "was recovering from drinking too much at a wild weekend party." The war stories rattled on and on as the article explored the ways in which student e-mail have made professors not only "approachable" but also "on call" 24/7.

Untenured professors have good reason to worry if students perceive them as not responding swiftly enough -- no matter how inappropriate or downright outlandish student requests might be. After all, most students fill out evaluation forms at the end of the semester and woe to the professor who is perceived as dragging his or her heels when replying to student email. As a person who was once chided for not returning student papers promptly -- this, long before email became a fact of academic life -- I was glad that there was room on the form for the student to explain that he expected his paper returned at the end of the class in which he had turned it in. That, for him, defined "promptly," and I didn't meet his definition.

No doubt every professor who skimmed the New York Times article had an example or two drawn from personal experience. I am hardly an exception. I remember, for example, the first-year student who email me -- this, before our first meeting -- that she was a member of the field hockey team and that she would be leaving class early on a number of occasions (they were listed) and missing class altogether for away games. No doubt she thought this was thoughtful of her and only thought otherwise when I informed her that, at the college she was now attending, academic work took precedence over athletics, and that we ought to discuss the matter further in my office. I am happy to report that my reply got her thinking but unhappy to report that her "solution" to the problem was "make-up classes," ones I'd teach her privately during moments when she wasn't chasing a ball with a stick.

Ironically enough, the last email I received from a student had to do with the grade he got on a term paper (B-) that was headed “A Grave Injustice.” I resisted the opportunity to tell him that, if this was the largest 'grave injustice ' the world handed him, he was a fortunate young man indeed. Instead, I began with the formulaic, "I'm sorry you're upset but. . ." and went on to explain that it is my job to assign grades and that is what I'd done, to the best of my ability, in his case -- as my typed, half-page comments made clear. My point in relaying this exasperating tale is to remind professors not to get exasperated themselves. Volleying emails back and back is, well, unseemly, something that immature students do but that professional teachers don't.

My hunch is that the student email problem will only get worse. That's why it will, I believe, become crucial to establish an email policy -- call them guidelines, rules of etiquette, whatever you will -- and add it to course syllabi. I was hardly alone in making it clear on my syllabi that "Adults do not like to be called after 10 PM" (some prefer 7), and if I were still teaching I would add email to the mix.

Further, I would discourage students from emailing me drafts of papers not only the night before they are due, but also two or three nights before they are due. My policy, one that usually worked well, was to inform students that, under normal circumstances, I would be happy to comment on a one-page summary that included a working title, abstract, and up to three paragraphs -- if the single page document were turned in a week before the paper itself was due. "Unusual cases" (papers with grades below a C-) were dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes I would require that the paper be rewritten after an office conference, sometimes I would ask that a draft of the next paper be submitted at a mutually agreeable time.

Moreover, I think my etiquette rules would vary depending on the class. First-year students are often nervous Nellies; they want to do well but they lack confidence, sometime for good reason. My advice would be to cut them some slack, at the same time that you make it clear, in class, that some behavior is cheesy rather than classy. Because I'm something of a ham, I'd ham it up from time to time in my first-year seminar with tales, some real, some just made up, about what I called "students from hell." Everybody laughed but got the point about what not to do. If I were still teaching, I'd probably borrow the example about the student who emailed about what binder to buy.

Continued in article

 


Student Concerns

Technology is no substitute for bad works
Podcasts are becoming popular for educational purposes. Increasingly students in K-12 and in higher education are creating podcasts to demonstrate what they are learning. The technology is becoming so important that online course management systems, such as Angel Learning, are now incorporating features enabling content providers to include podcasting. However, many of those I've heard appear to be created by individuals experimenting with the technology and suffer from poor quality in the audio, content, and speaker presentation....
Patricia Deubel, "Podcasts: Where's the Learning?" T.H.E. Journal, June 2007 --- http://www.thejournal.com/articles/20764

Podcasts: Improving Quality and Accessibility
Podcasts are increasingly being used in K-12 and in higher education. In part 1 of this two-part series, I discussed their nature, demonstrated their potential for learning, and pointed out that in developing podcasts, students become involved with the project method, which is a real-world experience. I also voiced my concern that many podcasts I've heard suffer from poor quality of the audio, content, and speaker presentation. Accessibility is also a major issue that is being overlooked in their development. Let's now look at what you might do to improve the quality and accessibility of your podcasts, so that all learners can benefit, including those with disabilities....
Patricia Deubel, T.H.E. Journal, June 2007 --- http://www.thejournal.com/articles/20818


Despite Popularity, Researcher Finds Not Everyone Can Successfully Learn Through Online Courses
PhysOrg, February 25, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news123168113.html

Since the 1990s, online courses have provided an opportunity for busy adults to continue their education by completing courses in the comfort of their own homes. However, this may not be the best solution for everyone. A researcher at the University of Missouri has found some students may find success in these types of courses more easily than others.

Shawna L. Strickland, clinical assistant professor in the MU School of Health Professions, studied the demographics and personality types of distance learners.

“Correlations between learning styles and success in distance education have shown to be inconclusive,” Strickland said. “However, one common theme reappears: the successful traits of a distance learner are similar to the successful traits of an adult learner in traditional educational settings.”

With a mere 30 percent of distance learners actually completing their courses, learning more about the characteristics of these students would help educators structure online courses to be as beneficial as possible. Considering the lack of institutional support and isolation involved in the nature of online courses, success in these courses requires a person that is determined and responsible, Strickland said.

“The success of distance learning is dependent on communication among the learner, his or her peers and the instructor,” Strickland said. “To encourage success in distance learning, it is necessary to evaluate each individual’s needs on a case-by-case basis.”

One trait that aids in distance learning is related to personality type. Strickland found those with quiet, introverted personalities are more likely to feel comfortable with online learning courses. Shy individuals have a tendency to be uninvolved in the typical classroom setting. Online courses allow them to complete work on their own with a degree of anonymity.

“Distance learning allows the learner to overcome traditional barriers to learning such as location, disabilities, time constraints and familial obligations,” Strickland said. “However, not every learner will be successful in a distance learning environment.”

The study – “Understanding Successful Characteristics of Adult Learners” – was published in the most recent edition of Respiratory Care Education Annual.

Jensen Comment
The source of this publication is rather unusual and surprising --- Respiratory Care Education Annual.

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning include the following links:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


"Three Criticisms of the Online Classroom: An examination of a higher education online course in computer-mediated communication,"
by Jennifer A. Minotti Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) Newton, Massachusetts, USA  --- 
http://lttf.ieee.org/learn_tech/issues/october2002/index.html#3
 

Learning Technology [ISSN 1438-0625] is published quarterly by the IEEE Computer Society Learning Technology Task Force (LTTF). It is available at no cost in HTML and PDF formats at http://lttf.ieee.org/learn_tech/ 

Technological expertise, access to technology, additional time associated with participation, and the changing role of the instructor a just a few of the many issues the online classroom has changed (and often times inhibited) the ways students learn (Baym, 1995, Berge & Collins, 1996, Harasim, Hiltz, Teles, & Turoff, 1996). The three largest issues found to affect the way students participated in a single graduate level online course, are described below.

1.  Large Time Commitment

Too much time was the biggest complaint heard by students. Nearly every participant in the class commented about the large time commitment the course required. Most all of the students also seemed surprised at how much more time the online class took up over traditional face-to-face courses. In addition, I observed that nearly every participant was late in completing at least one assignment. In fact, many students were late multiple assignments.

"Having taken previous online courses in addition to this one, I definitely feel that online courses, though they provide access otherwise not available, require much more of a time commitment than face-to-face classes. Not only do we have weekly assignments, but the added 'checking in,' dialoguing through the week, and often troubleshooting our technology is much more demanding than in a traditional classroom setting, where the class meets once or twice per week."

"…We might think it would be more convenient to participate in class wherever and whenever we wanted by means of the Internet. However…we are not free of having a location in learing--in fact we are more hinged to one spot (in front of the computer), because it is there that we must do all of our work for the class (course exploration of web sites, class projects, particpation in the newsgroup, reading of submissions to newsgroup). It does also seem to take more time to accomplish all that needs doing for an on-line course."

2. Dealing with Technical Problems

Technical and access issues remained the second largest criticism and a major challenge to students, despite the best laid plans for designing this course. In this class, students knowledge of and access to technology varied greatly. This presented huge obstacles to students, some of whom experienced trouble accessing the course right from the beginning. Other students experienced problems at different points in the class, which often made their learning experience frustrating.

"I'm a bit frustrated and caught by the technical setup and requirements. Feedback on the process of the course to date: We could have used the month of February to get this behind us. I have allocated 10 hours a week to this course, using a formula of three times the amount of face time, assuming a typical three hour per week class. My time has been eaten up by the technical setup. I'm having a technical glitch with my company firewall."

"Ugh…I feel like I have overcome some HUGE obstacles just by getting into this newsgroup. The frustration and anger levels have been high and I have recently caught myself yelling at my computer."

3. Lack of Facilitation by the Instructor

Lastly, a lot has been written about the critical role the instructor plays in ensuring online courses are successful (Baym, 1995, Harasim, Hiltz, Teles, & Turoff, 1996, Jones, 1995). In this class, students really wanted, needed, and valued an active instructor, one who was visible online providing feedback to their work, supporting and questioning their statements, encouraging participation, and keeping the class on track. When not online for several weeks at a time, several classmates become disheartened. In response to the survey question, "What were you most disappointed/surprised by?" two students wrote:

"The lack of interaction from the professor. We really only got 'guidelines' twice this semester which was odd. Given the topic of our class, computer-mediated communication with the professor should have been examined. …I never knew if I was 'wrong' or totally off-base."

"…It's lonely out here in VirtualLand. …I am missing our teacher in this space. I understand his desire for a logos however I'm not exactly sure that this group in in syn and heading toward the same goal."

Conclusion

Indeed, we have a long way to go before the higher education online classroom is as successful as our face-to-face classroom. This will of course take time and perseverance. It will also take a critical evaluation of what is working and not working in each course we design, deliver, and participate in.

References

Baym, N. (1995). The emergence of community in computer-mediated communication. In S. Jones, CyberSociety: Computer-mediated communication and community. California: Sage.

Berge, Z.L., & Collins, M.P. (Eds.) (1996). Computer mediated communiation and the online classroom, Volume III: Distance learning. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Harasim, L., Hiltz, S.R., Teles, L., Turoff, M. 1996). Learn/ing networks: A field guide to teaching and learning online. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Jones, S.G. (1995). CyberSociety: Computer-mediated communication and community. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Jennifer A. Minotti Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) Newton, Massachusetts, USA jminotti@edc.org 

Student Technology Assessment at the Global Level

Executive Summary

The goal of the Computer Literacy Project is to gain a better understanding of student perceptions on the nature of computer literacy. The Computer Literacy Project Survey was developed over the last three years as the foundation of research into advanced technology use in education research. I have been particularly interested in the nature of computer literacy at the university level and in differential notions of computer literacy across disciplines. The survey has been electronically distributed to universities in nine states in the U.S and five countries outside the U.S., see Table 1. This is the first time in the history of education research that such a systematic study on computer literacy has been carried out using the Internet and web-based technology that has reached international proportions. Reported here are preliminary results from two Australian universities, one university in Hong Kong and one university in the US.

Continued at http://lttf.ieee.org/learn_tech/issues/october2002/index.html#3  


What not to do in PowerPoint (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cagxPlVqrtM


"What's wrong with PowerPoint--and how to fix it," by David Coursey, Executive Editor, AnchorDesk September 10, 2003 --- http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2914637,00.html 
(Thank you Ed Scibner for pointing to this link.)

Are PowerPoint slides making us stupid? Are all problems really just a few bullet points away from their solutions? Or is the medium having a bad effect on the message? I'm no Marshall McLuhan or Edward Tufte (I will pause here to let you all shout, "Damn straight!"), but I do know something about business presentations and how they're put together. And I know that PowerPoint too often gets in the way of the message, replacing clear thought with unnecessary animations, serious ideas with 10-word bullet points, substance with tacky, confusing style.

I DON'T KNOW what McLuhan would think about PowerPoint, him being dead and all. But Tufte is very much alive and, in an essay appearing in the September issue of Wired, minces no words: "PowerPoint is evil," says the Yale professor whose books have set the standard for graphic presentation in the computer age.

Tufte says that slideware programs like PowerPoint (there aren't many others left) "may help speakers outline their talks, but convenience for speakers can be punishing to both content and audience." The standard PowerPoint deck, he says, "elevates format over content, betraying an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch."

This is especially true given that many presenters--who really shouldn't be presenting in the first place--use PowerPoint as a crutch. PowerPoint becomes a tool to separate the presenter from the audience and from the message.

But it doesn't have to be this way. It's possible to use PowerPoint as a tool (just like the projector you probably use to display your presentation), and as a real complement to what you're saying, without dumbing down your ideas. Today I'd like to offer some advice to help you do just that.

 

  • Do the presentation first, then the slides. Many people draft and write their presentation in PowerPoint itself. It's far better to prepare the presentation in Word (or whatever other tool you use to write)--including all the detail you want to present--and then transfer the highlights to PowerPoint. The one problem with using Word for this: It doesn't have a very good outlining tool.

     

  • Artwork has killed more presentations than it's saved. You're not a graphic artist, and neither am I. PowerPoint makes it too easy to add confusing graphics to presentations. Use restraint.

     

  • Animation is for cartoons. Animation tends to take over the presentation, which then becomes more about the presenter trying to make all the builds and transitions work properly than actually presenting the content.

     

  • Present more than the slide. Don't you hate it when presenters stand at the front of a room and read their slides ?  Slides are supposed to convey the major points of the presentation, reinforcing the speaker's points. Use them as prompts to talk about specific topics, as an outline, not as the substance of the presentation itself.

     

  • Use the notes pages. Many people are unaware that PowerPoint lets you attach notes to slides, which can then be printed and used to guide you or to give to the audience. Search for "notes" in the Help file to find out more about this feature.

     

  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. No, you don't have to stand in front of a mirror and do your entire presentation. But a sit-down with some colleagues can answer the questions, "Do these slides make sense?" and "Is this the information people care about?"--before you find out the hard way.
My point here is that PowerPoint glitz alone does not an effective presentation make. While your decks shouldn't be boring, they aren't entertainment, either. A few staging and showbiz skills help, but most presentations are won or lost in the actual content. Your job is to control PowerPoint. If you don't, PowerPoint will control your presentation.

The Digital Divide is Real

In the 15th Century when the printing press was invented, the majority of the world's population was illiterate and could not make use of the books that poured forth.  Six hundred years later, a large proportion of the world's population still can neither read nor write.  In the 21st Century when the printing press gives way to digital storage and networked distribution, the hardcore illiterate will not benefit by virtue of being illiterate.  An even larger number who can read and write will still not have access anywhere close to the privileged populace having access to modern technologies.

One day, modern technologies will be the main agent in eradicating illiteracy and ignorance.  But in the interim decades, or even centuries, these technologies will exacerbate the divide between those who can benefit directly from technologies and those who are denied access for one reason or another (poverty, isolation, religious constraints, cultural constraints, etc.)


Websites Failing Disabled Users

"Websites 'failing' disabled users," by Geoff Adams-Spink, BBC News Online, April 14, 2004 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3623407.stm 

An investigation by the Disability Rights Commission shows that most websites are unusable by disabled people.

This means that many everyday activities carried out on the internet - booking a holiday, managing a bank account, buying theatre tickets or finding a cheaper credit card - are difficult or impossible for many disabled people.

Bert Massie, DRC Chairman described the situation as "unacceptable", and said the organisation was determined not to allow disabled people to be left behind by technology

A thousand websites were tested for the survey using automated software, and detailed user testing was carried out on 100 sites, including government, business, e-commerce, leisure and web services such as search engines.

The results showed that the worst affected group were those with visual impairments.

Blind people involved in testing websites were unable to perform nearly all of the tasks required of them despite using devices such as screen readers.

"The web has been around for 10 years, yet within this short space of time it has managed to throw up the same hurdles to access and participation by disabled people as the physical world," said Mr Massie.

"It is an environment that could be made more accommodating to disabled people at a relatively modest expense."

Mr Massie warned website owners to improve accessibility or be prepared to face legal action.

The 1995 Disability Discrimination Act requires information providers to make their services accessible.

The problems most commonly encountered by the disabled website testers were cluttered pages, confusing navigation, failure to describe images and poor colour contrast between background and text.

Researchers at London's City University, who carried out the study for the DRC, also found that many web developers were unaware of what needed to be done to make sites accessible.

Continued in the article

Good Website Design Checklist

  • Provide text equivalence for non-text elements 
  • Ensure good color contrast between foreground and background 
  • Pages must be usable when scripts and applets are turned off or not supported 
  • Avoid movement in pages 
  • Avoid pop-ups and don't change window without telling user 
  • Divide large blocks of information into manageable chunks 
  • Clearly identify the target of each link 
  • Use the clearest and simplest language possible

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DRC

 


Is your distance site operating within the law in terms of access by disabled students?
Schools must demonstrate progress toward compliance.

Accessibility in Distance Education A Resource for Faculty in Online Teaching --- http://www.umuc.edu/ade/ 

Common Questions

What does the word "accessibility" mean? (What is Accessibility?)

What disability laws should I know about if I teach online? (Legal Issues)

What do I need to consider if I have a student with a disability in my online course? (Understanding Disabilities)

How do I make my Web site accessible to everyone, including students with disabilities? (How-To)

What does an accessible Web site look like? Does it have to be text based? (Best Practices)

You can download the MP3 audio file of Susan Spencer's August 2002 presentation on this at one of my workshops --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm#2002 

 


Lots of Hype and Not Much Profit

From customer to analyst to investor, the consensus is that E-learning still has a few things of its own to learn. Until last month, the online-training sector wasn't as hard hit by the IT spending slump as most of the tech industry because it lets companies with tight travel and training budgets train workers inexpensively. But all that's changed. http://update.informationweek.com/cgi-bin4/flo?y=eHIP0BcUEY04e0Bcm70A1 

"E-Learning Struggles To Make The Grade," by Elisabeth Goodridge, Information, May 13, 2002 --- http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20020509S0011 

From customer to analyst to investor, the consensus is that E-learning still has a few things of its own to learn. It's a technology that's being re-evaluated across the board. There are plenty of problems, as early adopters discovered. "Many people have been burned," Meta Group analyst Jennifer Vollmer says. "And they're advising others to hold off if it isn't necessary."

Some of the stumbling blocks that trip up users of E-learning technologies are integration and interoperability problems among elements of E-learning systems; product limitations; inadequate support services; and vendors' financial woes.

But until last month, the online-training sector wasn't as hard-hit by the IT-spending slump as most of the technology industry. What E-learning had going for it was an ability to let companies with tight travel and training budgets train workers inexpensively.

For about a year and a half, many providers saw double-digit revenue growth, and several quickly became leaders in a field of hundreds. Docent, Plateau Systems, and Saba Software emerged as top developers of learning-management systems. Centra Software and Interwise became known for live-collaboration software, and NetG, SmartForce, and SkillSoft gained popularity as course-content designers.

Now, weakening demand is evident. Centra, SmartForce, and learning-management system makers Click2learn and DigitalThink warned in April of revenue shortfalls. On Wall Street, many suppliers' shares have lost more than 50% of their value since January.

Still, E-learning has a future; what it lacks is maturity. So, while there are businesses seeking the E-learning advantage, many are taking their time doing so. Before investing in these systems, they want to make sure they fully understand their own training needs, what works and doesn't in an E-learning format, and their product options. "People are slowing down on jumping into E-learning with both feet," says Larry Carlile, E-learning manager at consulting firm A.T. Kearney. "From cost savings to effectiveness, there's a better analysis these days."

Companies know that E-learning is no longer just about immediate cost savings but about increasing worker productivity, driving operational efficiencies, and streamlining corporate training. "With all of these benefits, E-learning is going to work, but we haven't found the best way to go about it," says Giga Information Group analyst Claire Schooley.

A number of deals in recent weeks show that many companies still believe they can make E-learning work. The American Red Cross and learning-management system supplier Plateau Systems cut a seven-year deal worth more than $10 million; Pathlore Software Corp. implemented a system for Delta Air Lines Inc.; and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. said last month that its use of the Vuepoint Learning System to consolidate training departments will save the automaker more than $11.9 million in five years.

Continued at  http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20020509S0011  


Controversies in Regulation of Distance Education

"All Over the Map," by Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed, December 8, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/12/08/regulation

As the distance learning market continues to grow, state agencies charged with regulating the industry continue to operate in a “fragmented environment,” according to a report presented Thursday at the 2006 Education Industry Finance & Investment Summit, in Washington.

One of the main questions these agencies must consider is what constitutes an institution having a “physical presence” in their state. In other words, what is an appropriate test to determine whether regulation is needed?

More than 80 percent of agencies that are included in the report said that they use some sort of “physical presence” test. But few agree on how to define the word “presence,” in part because there are so many elements to consider.

That’s clear in “The State of State Regulation of Cross-Border Postsecondary Education,” the report issued by Dow Lohnes, a firm with a sizable higher education practice. (The firm plans to release an updated report early next year after more responses arrive.)

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on cross-border distance education and training alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

 


Concerns About Faculty Resistance to Change and Mutation

Fearing your student evaluations, how much time and trouble should you devote to email questions from your students?
For junior faculty members, the barrage of e-mail has brought new tension into their work lives, some say, as they struggle with how to respond. Their tenure prospects, they realize, may rest in part on student evaluations of their accessibility. The stakes are different for professors today than they were even a decade ago, said Patricia Ewick, chairwoman of the sociology department at Clark University in Massachusetts, explaining that "students are constantly asked to fill out evaluations of individual faculty." Students also frequently post their own evaluations on Web sites like www.ratemyprofessors.com  and describe their impressions of their professors on blogs.
Jonathan D. Glater, "To: Professor@University.edu Subject: Why It's All About Me," The New York Times, February 21, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/education/21professors.html

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies over student evaluations are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation


"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

(Conclusion)
Some of the most interesting work begins in the academy but grows beyond it. "Scale" is not an academic value—but it should be. Most measures of prestige in higher education are based on exclusivity; the more prestigious the college, the larger the percentage of applicants it turns away. Consider the nonprofit Khan Academy, with its library of more than 3,000 education videos and materials, where I finally learned just a little about calculus. In the last 18 months, Khan had 41 million visits in the United States alone. It is using the vast data from that audience to improve its platform and grow still larger. TED, the nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, just launched TED-Ed, which uses university faculty from around the world to create compelling videos on everything from "How Vast Is the Universe?" to "How Pandemics Spread." Call it Khan Academy for grown-ups. The Stanford University professor Sebastian Thrun's free course in artificial intelligence drew 160,000 students in more than 190 countries. No surprise, the venture capitalists have come a-calling, and they are backing educational startups like Udemy and Udacity.

All of those are signposts to a future where competency-based credentials may someday compete with a degree.

At this point, if you are affiliated with an Ivy League institution, you'll be tempted to guffaw, harrumph, and otherwise dismiss the idea that anyone would ever abandon your institution for such ridiculous new pathways to learning. You're probably right. Most institutions are not so lucky. How long will it take for change to affect higher education in major ways? Just my crystal ball, but I would expect that institutions without significant endowments will be forced to change by 2020. By 2025, the places left untouched will be few and far between.

Here's the saddest fact of all: It is those leading private institutions that should be using their endowments and moral authority to invest in new solutions and to proselytize for experimentation and change, motivated not by survival but by the privilege of securing the future of American higher education.

The stakes are high. "So let me put colleges and universities on notice," President Obama said in his recent State of the Union address. "If you can't stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down." Because of the academy's inability to police itself and improve graduation rates, and because student debt is an expedient political issue, the Obama administration recently threatened to tie colleges' eligibility for campus-based aid programs to institutions' success in improving affordability and value for students.

Whether the president's threat is fair or not, it will not transform higher education. Change only happens on the ground. Despite all the reasons to be gloomy, however, there is room for optimism. The American university, the place where new ideas are born and lives are transformed, will eventually focus that lens of innovation upon itself. It's just a matter of time.

 

Jensen Comment
This a long and important article for all educators to carefully read. Onsite colleges have always served many purposes, but one purpose they never served is to be knowledge fueling stations where students go to fill their tanks. At best colleges put a shot glass of fuel in a tanks with unknown capacities.

Students go to an onsite college for many reasons other than to put fuel in their knowledge tanks. The go to live and work in relatively safe transitional environments between home and the mean streets. They go to mature, socialize, to mate, drink, laugh, leap over hurdles societies place in front of career paths, etc. The problem in the United States is that college onsite living and education have become relatively expensive luxuries. Students must now make more painful decisions as to how much to impoverish their parents and how deeply go into debt.

I have a granddaughter 22 years old majoring in pharmacy (six year program). She will pay off her student loans before she's 50 years old if she's lucky. Some older students who've not been able to pay off their loans are becoming worried that the Social Security Administration will garnish their retirement Social Security monthly payments for unpaid student loans.

We've always known that colleges are not necessary places for learning and scholarship. Until 43 years ago (when the Internet was born) private and public libraries were pretty darn necessary for scholarship. Now the Internet provides access to most known knowledge of the world.  But becoming a scholar on the Internet is relatively inefficient and overwhelming without the aid of distillers of knowledge, which is where onsite and online college courses can greatly add to efficiency of learning.

But college courses can be terribly disappointing as distillers of knowledge. For one thing, grade inflation disgracefully watered down the amount of real fuel in that shot glass of knowledge provided in a college course ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GradeInflation
Grades rather than learning became the tickets to careers and graduate schools, thereby, leading to street-smart cheating taking over for real learning perspiration ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

When 80% of Harvard's graduating class graduates cum laude, we no longer identify which graduates are were the best scholars in their class.

Soon those graduates from Harvard, Florida A&M University, Capella University, and those who learned on their own from free courses, video lectures, and course materials on the Web will all face some sort of common examinations (written and oral) of their competencies in specialties. Competency testing will be the great leveler much like licensure examinations such as the Bar Exam, the CPA exam, the CFA exam, etc. are graded on the basis of what you know rather than where you learned what you know. It won't really matter whether you paid a fortune to learn Bessel Functions onsite at MIT or for free from the MITx online certificate program ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

If you are an educator or are becoming an educator, please read:
"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


Question
Do you know why Socrates feared the high technology of writing?

"The soft bigotry of low expectations," Babbage Blog from The Economist Magazine, May 14, 2010 ---
http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2010/05/children_and_technology

This week Barack Obama offered a throwaway line about technology in a graduation speech at Hampton University.

With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations—none of which I know how to work—information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment.

And we cranked out a leader.

Socrates’s bugbear was the spread of the biggest-ever innovation in communications—writing. He feared that relying on written texts, rather than the oral tradition, would “create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls…they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves.” Enos Hitchcock voiced a widespread concern about the latest publishing fad in 1790. “The free access which many young people have to romances, novels and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth.” (There was a related worry that sofas, introduced at the same time, encouraged young people to drift off into fantasy worlds.) Cinema was denounced as “an evil pure and simple” in 1910; comic books were said to lead children into delinquency in 1954; rock’n’roll was accused of turning the young into “devil worshippers” in 1956; Hillary Clinton attacked video games for “stealing the innocence of our children” in 2005.

I think we imagine on some level that our children are weaker than we were. In 2004, I was working in a tech startup in Cambridge, Mass. We took on a Harvard undergrad as an intern; I asked her whether she used IM, which was how most of the office shared information. (Five geeks in two rooms. It smelled bad in the winter). Her answer, however, was

Oh, I stopped IMing in middle school. I just found that it wasn't very productive.

Ultimately we all grow into some kind of ambition, and have to make decisions about how we spend our time. There's no reason ambition will find iPads any more difficult to conquer than it did IM or novels before it. If spending time online is bad for your life (and I think it can be), you'll figure it out.

Continued in article


"Fulfilling Technology's Broken Promise: A Perspective on Educational Technology,"
by Robert Bilyk, co-founder of lodeStar Learning Inc. and Cyber Village Academy, T.H.E. Journal, February 2006 ---
http://www.thejournal.com/articles/17933/

The Broken Promise of Technology
The one inarguable difference between now and then has been the promise that technology holds for the classroom teacher. In the early 1980s, I worked with stand-alone machines that could render stick figures on the screen and display text and numbers. The state of the art in audio was a few timely beeps. Nevertheless, I could envision the promise and began creating things that I could use in the classroom to help kids.

Over the course of time, more and more educators have turned to technology to help kids—but only to be disappointed time and again. Computers were expensive, they broke or became obsolete, they didn’t talk to one another, and they divided teachers’ allegiance through the great schism of Macs vs. PCs. Then there was the software that sat in shrink-wrapped packages unused. Integrated Learning Systems (ILS) were also expensive and inflexible. If a teacher didn’t like the pedagogy or content of a particular lesson, she could do little to change, add, or delete content. Teachers had to accept the bad with the good: ILS perpetuated the existence of the stick figure; computers threatened the existence of the teacher. At least, that was a common apprehension.

And despite the greater use of technology, studies such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study from the National Center for Education Statistics have shown that our students still weren’t achieving well in math and science compared to their European and Asian counterparts. Fortunately, today’s educators are on the cusp of a tremendous realization: The promise that computers held for increased student achievement are finally being realized.

The New Promise of Technology
A teacher today who dares to imagine the possibilities that current technology affords won’t be disappointed: The total cost of ownership of a computer continues to decrease. Software is cheap and oftentimes free. Access to the Internet and all of the educational content that it holds is practically ubiquitous in American schools. Standards permit dissimilar computers to communicate with one another, and for educational content to be searched and shared. Therefore, technology needs to be met halfway. Lead teachers, mentor teachers, curriculum directors and administrators—teachers in general—must dare to dream again. Schools must place networked computers in classrooms, libraries, lobbies, and wherever else they can be safely accessed. Accessibility to computers is essential. Teachers need to be trained—not once but often. Professional development is also essential because teachers need to support each another. Ideally, teachers from common disciplines would network with one another. The use of instructional technology by teachers to improve student achievement must become habitual. And finally, all roads must lead to the teacher. That is, all student performance data must flow effortlessly to the teacher.

To fulfill the promise, computer use by teachers must become habitual, and computer use to improve student achievement must become habitual. The advent of learning management systems like Microsoft Class Server, Blackboard and Desire2Learn has enabled teachers to manage the student online learning experience. Often, school districts direct this usage to the exception—offering activities to children who are ill, replacing snow days with online days, and providing a class to a home-schooled child.

The snow day example was my favorite. The online snow day was designed by well-intentioned educators, but it had its flaws. In this example, the school trained its entire staff on an LMS so that one day, when it snowed, students could access their courses online. On the day it snowed, the untested system failed; staff were out of practice in creating, assigning, and grading; and students could hardly remember how to log on. This example might seem a little extraordinary, yet variations on this same theme are commonplace. Rather than integrating online curriculum into the example, schools flirt with technology at the edges, addressing the “unusual situation” so that the business of integrating the class with technology does not become “habitual” and second nature for teachers.

Continued in article

February 24, 2006 reply from Robert Holmes Glendale College [rcholmes@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US]

I have spent time in these classes reflecting on the role of the teacher. (I am mostly retired and teach one accounting class online.) The most effective classes are those that invlove two way communication with the students. Technology and lectures are poor substitutes for this dialogue. The electricity that sparks in the classes as the students offer ideas, the instructor says give me more, other students say "I never thought about that" is something to behold. I feel sorry for those (including my students) who have to try to get an education without this kind of enriching excitement.


One damaging effect of the clash between the academic and IT cultures is that teaching and scholarship have remained relatively untouched by the new information technologies.
Edward L. Ayers (, "The Academic Culture and the IT Culture: Their Effect on Teaching and Scholarship," EDUCAUSE Review, December 2004 --- http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm04/erm0462.asp 
Edward L. Ayers is Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and is Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

A year ago, my colleague Charles Grisham and I wrote an EDUCAUSE Review article entitled "Why IT Has Not Paid Off As We Hoped (Yet)." In short, we argued that information technology has not yet transformed higher education because the areas of teaching and scholarship, the "heart" of colleges and universities, have remained relatively untouched by the new technologies. In this article, I’d like to continue the discussion and also go further, exploring not only why these two areas continue to be, for the most part, resistant to the changes but also how technology can successfully address these core missions of higher education.1

The Invisible Success of IT Those of us who have been involved for a while in the long courtship between higher education and information technology can recall many ups and downs in the last thirty years or so.2 We remember when we first saw Mosaic, Netscape, and the World Wide Web. At each step along the way, some of the more impressionable among us thought that one innovation or another would push us over the top, that we would have finally gained the critical mass that would channel the undeniable power of information technology into higher education. We watched as commerce was transformed, as entertainment was transformed, as personal communication was transformed, and we kept waiting for the moment when higher education would be transformed in the same way.

In particular, we waited for the time when the very heart of education—the classroom and the scholarship taught in that classroom—would be transformed. Yet despite the tremendous investment that all institutions of higher education have made in information technology, despite the number of classrooms wired and the number of laptops mandated, the vast majority of classes proceed as they have for generations—isolated, even insulated, from the powerful technologies we use in the rest of our lives. Moreover, the form in which scholarship appears has barely changed. Across almost every field, researchers, no matter how sophisticated the technology they use in discovery, translate their discoveries into simple word-processed documents. Sure, they sometimes add JPEG images and other illustrations; and in the sciences, pre-prints rush around the world long before print journals would be able to publish the articles. But producing scholarly discourse in HTML and PDF formats has not changed scholarship in any significant manner. The nature of argument has remained remarkably resistant to innovation in rhetoric or form in every field of scholarly endeavor.

Very real technological accomplishments have tended to become invisible because they have been so successful. If you had told people a decade ago that card catalogs would virtually disappear within ten years and would be replaced by our current information-management systems, they would not have believed you. Librarians have been the real heroes of the digital revolution in higher education. They are the ones who have seen the farthest, done the most, accepted the hardest challenges, and demonstrated most clearly the benefits of digital information. In the process, they have turned their own field upside down and have revolutionized their professional training. It is testimony to their success that we take their achievement—and their information-management systems—for granted.

Similarly, college and university IT professionals have done more than anyone has asked them to do. The speed with which they have built networks and infrastructure, trained people, and created new student-registration and fiscal-management systems has been remarkable. And again, their success is taken for granted, with IT becoming almost as invisible as the electricity on which it runs. In a cruel irony, few faculty think "Ah, I will now use technology" whenever they check to see whether a book is in the library, or whether a student is enrolled, or whether their paycheck has been posted. And yet many do think: "I don’t want to use technology, or I can’t use technology, to teach in the classroom or to disseminate my scholarship." Those faculty who have ignored all the excitement up to this point have decided that they can withstand whatever else is put before them until the end of their careers. They go to their professional scholarly meetings and see only a few workshops and talks on the new technologies; they read the job ads and see that the jobs require exactly the same credentials as were required a quarter century ago.

The bottom line is that despite all the work and successes of IT professionals, teaching and scholarship at leading institutions of higher education remain relatively resistant to the possibilities of information technology.

The Academic and IT Cultures From the viewpoint of a dean who would love to see the transformation of higher education accelerated, and from the viewpoint of a long-time laborer in the technology vineyard who would love to see some of the fruit come to harvest, I’m struck by many faculty members’ resistance to the obvious benefits of the maturing technologies. From the viewpoint of a professor, however, I understand some of the more obvious reasons for this resistance: shortages of time, money, and energy. In addition, I see more systemic reasons, ones that we might call "cultural": deeply patterned, deeply entrenched habits of thoughts and behavior. The problem is that the academic culture and the IT culture simply do not mix together well.

Nobody seems to like the word academic. "That’s merely academic" is used as a dismissive description of something irrelevant to real life, something as pointless as counting angels on the head of a pin or writing an English composition paper on Beowulf. Any mention of the word academic in a book review is a kiss of death. In a particularly cruel twist, even when a nonacademic praises a book by a professor, the reviewer often dismisses the academy in the process: "Not the boring, self-indulgent, impenetrable, dithering book we always expect from an academic, this book is almost as good as one written by someone who knows a lot less about the subject."

When asked to identify ourselves, almost no professors choose "academic" as their first choice. "College teacher" can sometimes sound good, with its shades of the movie Dead Poets Society. "Professor" can be OK on occasion, bringing to mind John Houseman in the movie The Paper Chase. Saying that you work "at the college" or "over at the university" can usually get you through a casual conversation without too much loss of status at the tire store or supermarket.

But being more specific can often cause problems. When I’m on an airplane and tell someone that I teach history, all too often the response is: "Boy, I always hated history—all those names and dates." I got some notion of this when I started to work on the subject of the Civil War, and my mother-in-law, a very sweet woman, introduced me to one of her friends as a "Civil War buff." I carefully tried to explain the difference between a historian and a buff, with the main difference seeming to be that I don’t have another job from which the Civil War is merely a hobby.

As problematic as disciplinary nomenclature can be, adding "academic" makes it even more toxic. The title of "dean" sounds imposing, if faintly scary (satisfyingly enough), since so few people, including deans, know exactly what a dean does. But even I cringe when I think about defining myself as what I actually am during most of my waking hours: an "academic administrator." It’s hard to think of many job descriptions (for legally paying work) that have more negative connotations than that. The title conjures up all the mustiness of "academic" along with all the bureaucratic, paper-pushing, rubber stamp–wielding, red tape–entangling connotations of "administration."

On the other hand, as someone who has served on IT committees dominated by IT staff, I know how IT people speak about academics. I’ve seen the eye-rolling and heard the chuckling at some of the more clueless of my academic colleagues who can’t figure out how to empty the trashbin on their desktop computer. Still, my friends in information technology have their own struggles. You know the stereotypes. You’ve heard the whispers: "geek." As for me, I represent the worst of all worlds: I’m both a lifelong academic and a longtime IT geek. But perhaps this does give me the credentials to delve into the nomenclature of both the academic culture and the IT culture.

For a definition of geek, I turn to a very convenient authority, the dictionary function of Microsoft Word:

geek (n.): 
1. somebody who is considered unattractive and socially awkward (insult) 
2. a carnival performer whose act consists of outrageous feats such as biting the heads off live animals 
3. somebody who enjoys or takes pride in using computers or other technology, often to what others consider an excessive degree (informal disapproving) 

Leaving aside "biting the heads off live animals"—an activity that, in my experience, is indulged in by only a few academic administrators, and usually in private—I rest my case. When your own computer program tells you that by using that very program to "an excessive degree," you are becoming increasingly "unattractive and socially awkward," you might suspect that you’re in trouble. If you brush that warning aside to finish writing an article with that same program, you really are a geek.

As is often the case with oppressed groups, the disdain faced by those in the IT arena and those in the academic arena has not always brought the two together in a shared bond. The two cultures have so much to offer one another, so much to teach one another, if they would only look past the tweed and elbow patches on the one hand and the pocket protectors on the other. The IT industry and the academy share some obvious and important characteristics. Both deal with intangibles, especially ideas. Both are focused on networks and on the information those networks carry. Both are dedicated to innovation and competition. Both are extensible structures: build something once, and you can apply it everywhere.

But taking a clear-eyed view reveals that there’s more to the story. As shown in Table 1, information technology and the academy display competing characteristics.

Table 1.
Competing Characteristics

Information Technology

The Academy

  • everywhere and nowhere
  • strongly identified with a very specific location
  • brash young industry
  • a self-consciously ancient institution
  • highly unstable
  • the most stable institution across the world
  • new competitors continually emerge
  • impossible to break into top ranks
  • possibility of great profits
  • no possibility of profit at all
  • work performed by anonymous teams
  • centered on scholarly stars
  • obsolescence built in
  • designed to deny obsolescence
  • virtually instant results necessary     
  • patience a central virtue
  • designed to be transparent
  • opaque and labyrinth

Since information technology has infiltrated every nook and cranny of other parts of life, it seems to me that it must be the academy that resists. That is because several basic paradoxes lie at the heart of the modern American university—basic conflicts that make the academy a fascinating place to live and a hard place to administer:

Continued in the article


Teachers Must Adapt to Changed Mindsets of Incoming Students Who Grew Up With Computers

"How do you communicate with students who have grown up with technology? Schools are looking to technology for the answer," by Kevin Delaney, The Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2005, Page R4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110556110781524378,00.html?mod=todays_us_the_journal_report 

Forget the computer lab. To hold the attention of the tech-savvy PlayStation 2 generation, educators are working digital technology into every corner of the curriculum.

Pioneering teachers are getting their classes to post writing assignments online so other students can easily read and critique them. They're letting kids practice foreign languages in electronic forums instead of pen-and-paper journals. They're passing out PDAs to use in scientific experiments and infrared gadgets that let students answer questions in class with the touch of a button. And in the process, the educators are beginning to interact with students, parents and each other in ways they never have before.

The issue is, "how do we communicate with students today who have grown up with technology from the beginning?" says Tim Wilson, a technology-integration specialist at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn. "The traditional linear approach...often seems too slow and boring to students used to MTV, instant messaging and MP3s."

Permanent Record

Boosting this grass-roots tech effort is a new wave of free and low-cost technologies and services. Online forums and Web logs, or blogs, are simple to set up and free to use. So are "wikis" -- Web pages that can be written on as well as read, making it easy for teachers to make notes in the digital margins. Hardware, too, is getting cheaper: Prices have fallen for everything from wireless-networking equipment to hand-held gadgets to personal computers. And thanks to a computerization drive of the past decade or so, 99% of public schools now have Internet access, with an average of one computer for every five students, according to the Department of Education.

The department recently concluded that schools on the whole aren't doing enough with that infrastructure. But in schools across the country, a corps of tech-savvy educators are showing how to get the job done. Students in journalism classes at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J., for example, never turn in hard-copy assignments. They post them on blogs -- which allows their teacher, Will Richardson, and their fellow students to read and post comments about the articles.

Mr. Richardson says students like the blogs especially as an organizing tool, letting them easily search through past assignments. More broadly, he believes the blogs have "really profound implications" for education: Students discuss each other's work in new ways, such as linking to relevant information on the Web to support their comments. In some cases, people outside the school can access the blogs, providing students with a platform for disseminating their views. The blogs also let parents keep up to date on their kids' assignments more easily than ever before.

Lewis Elementary School in Portland, Ore., also uses Web-based publishing technology to open up new possibilities in communication. Fifth-graders send classwork, and essays and articles for their monthly newspaper, to a wiki over the school's network. Teacher Kathy Gould goes to the Web page and writes corrections and comments directly into the text -- instead of posting a note in a separate "comments" section, as with a blog. Students can then access the wiki to read and respond to her comments.

Meanwhile, students in John Unruh-Friesen's advanced-placement government class at Hopkins High School conduct running debates on an online forum outside of the classroom. The students, mostly 12th-graders, tackle issues including the presidential election, the possibility of a military draft and the Middle East conflict.

"Some students are reluctant to participate in class discussions," says Mr. Wilson, the technology-integration specialist at Hopkins. "Some of those kids feel much more comfortable interacting when they have time to craft a response."

Students in advanced foreign-language classes at Hopkins use forums to keep online journals and interact with each other. For example, the instructor of the fifth-year French course, Molly Wieland, used to require students to keep paper journals in French. Since moving those to an online forum, she says the students write more than they did before.

The fact that they're writing for an audience larger than just their teacher makes a difference, and what they're saying tends to be more conversational and relevant to the students' lives. A recent exchange between the students involved college choices and the wisdom of rooming with your best friend in the dorm -- all in French.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 


Concerns About Faculty Workloads and Burnout

Question
Why should teaching a course online take "twice as much time" as teaching it onsite?

Answer
Introduction to Economics:  Experiences of teaching this course online versus onsite

With a growing number of courses offered online and degrees offered through the Internet, there is a considerable interest in online education, particularly as it relates to the quality of online instruction. The major concerns are centering on the following questions: What will be the new role for instructors in online education? How will students' learning outcomes be assured and improved in online learning environment? How will effective communication and interaction be established with students in the absence of face-to-face instruction? How will instructors motivate students to learn in the online learning environment? This paper will examine new challenges and barriers for online instructors, highlight major themes prevalent in the literature related to “quality control or assurance” in online education, and provide practical strategies for instructors to design and deliver effective online instruction. Recommendations will be made on how to prepare instructors for quality online instruction.
Yi Yang and Linda F. Cornelious, "Preparing Instructors for Quality Online Instruction, Working Paper --- http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/ojdla/spring81/yang81.htm

Jensen Comment:  The bottom line is that teaching the course online took twice as much time because "largely from increased student contact and individualized instruction and not from the use of technology per se." 

Bob Jensen's threads on the positive side are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

September 2, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

SURVEY ON QUALITY AND EXTENT OF ONLINE EDUCATION

The Sloan Consortium's 2003 Survey of Online Learning wanted to know would students, faculty, and institutions embrace online education as a delivery method and would the quality of online education match that of face-to-face instruction. The survey found strong evidence that students are willing to sign up for online courses and that institutions consider online courses part of a "critical long-term strategy for their institution." It is less clear that faculty have embraced online teaching with the same degree of enthusiasm. The survey's findings are available in "Sizing the Opportunity: The Quality & Extent of Online Education in the U.S., 2002 and 2003" by I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, Sloan Center for Online Education at Olin and Babson Colleges. The complete report is online at http://www.sloan-c.org/resources/sizing_opportunity.pdf 

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is a consortium of institutions and organizations committed "to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines." Sloan-C is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information, see http://www.sloan-c.org/ 

 

July 1, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

STUDY OF ONLINE TEACHING WORKLOAD

In "Faculty Self-Study Research Project: Examining the Online Workload" (JOURNAL OF ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING NETWORKS, vol. 8, issue 3, June 2004), Melody M. Thompson, Director of the American Center for the Study of Distance Education at Penn State, reports on a workload study that was designed to go beyond anecdotal testimony. In the project six faculty who were teaching online courses "strove to identify those tasks that consumed a disproportionate amount of faculty time -- particularly time taken away from actual teaching/learning interactions with students." The study indicated that their workload "as measured by time on task, was comparable to or somewhat less than that for face-to-face courses." The article is available online at http://www.aln.org/publications/jaln/v8n3/v8n3_thompson.asp .

The Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) [ISSN 1092-8235] is an electronic publication of The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C). Current and back issues are available at http://www.aln.org/publications/jaln .

Accounting professors who teach online discuss their workloads at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/cepSanAntonio.htm 

"Teaching Courses Online:  How Much Time Does It Take," by Belinda Davis Lazarus, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, September 2003 --- http://www.aln.org/publications/jaln/v7n3/v7n3_lazarus.asp 

ABSTRACT 
Studies show that temporal factors like workload and lack of release time inhibit faculty participation in developing and teaching online courses; however, few studies exist to gauge the time commitment. This longitudinal case study, presented at the Seventh Annual Sloan-C International Conference on ALN, examined the amount of time needed to teach three asynchronous online courses at The University of Michigan-Dearborn from Winter 1999 through Winter 2000. Twenty-five students were enrolled in each course. Self-monitoring was used to measure the amount of time required to complete the following activities: 1) reading and responding to emails; 2) reading, participating in, and grading 10 online discussions; and 3) grading 15 assignments. Using a stopwatch, the investigator timed and recorded the number of minutes needed for each activity. Also, all messages and assignments were archived and frequency counts were recorded. The weekly, mean number of minutes and assignments was entered on line graphs for analysis. The data showed that teaching each online course required 3 to 7 hours per week, with the greatest number of emails and amount of time required during the first and last 2-weeks of the semesters. Participation in and grading of the discussions took the greatest amount of time and remained steady across the semester. However unlike many live courses, the students participated more in the discussions than the instructor did. The number of assignments that were submitted each week steadily increased over each semester. This case study indicates that the time needed to teach online courses falls within the range of reasonable expectations for teaching either live or online courses and represents the beginning of this area of inquiry. Consequently, additional studies are needed with a variety of instructors across a variety of courses and disciplines to further pinpoint faculty time commitment.

KEYWORDS Online Courses, Longitudinal Experiment, Faculty Workload, Teaching Online Courses


Personal E-mails Can Overwhelm

"Please Learn From My Mistakes," by David G. Brown, Syllabus, August 2002 --- http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=6592 

I have come to the sad realization that many of the innovations designed to keep my course fresh have failed. My memories of failures are so poignant that it may be constructive to share them here. They can serve as warnings to others.

Unstructured chat room discussions don’t work. Chats lack depth. Someone new is always interrupting the online conversation with his or her own topic just when the discussion is getting interesting.

Ungraded assignments are usually ignored. I used to ask two students to search the Web for two or three sites that provided alternative ways to learn the “topic of the day.” They shared information on these sites in annotated bibliographies. An end-of-the-course evaluation, however, revealed that their classmates never went to these sites.

My current practice is to require each student to e-mail me with an evaluative comment regarding the sites. They know that their comments will factor into the participation portion of their course grades. A recent end-of-the-course evaluation now shows that the students regard the alternate Web sites as important and useful components of the course.

Personal e-mails can overwhelm. One semester, I asked all of my students to send me an e-mail answer to an assigned question each time we reached the end of a textbook chapter. The responsibility for reading and evaluating all those submissions just about ruined my family life. Now I have Student A e-mail a proposed answer to Students B and C. Students A, B, and C must settle on a single answer. They teach one another, and I have only one-third as much grading to do.

Students need to know in advance what their responsibilities are if the computer network goes down on the eve of an important deadline. Networks do go down. Students will panic, unless there are instructions in the syllabus that anticipate forgiveness or outline their alternatives.

Another semester, several weeks before the final, I accidentally deleted all my students’ grades from the electronic grade book. Fortunately, the syllabus stressed that each student is expected to keep a copy of every assignment submitted and also of every grade-related message sent to him or her. With help from the class and substantial effort, I was able to reconstruct the gradebook. Now I print out a backup copy of grades about every two weeks.

I’ve come to realize that students accessing materials from course Web sites using a dial-up modem from a shared apartment off campus cannot, or will not, wait for long downloads. I had the bright—and well-received—idea of personalizing the list of course assignments. For each of our 34 assignment days I added thumbnail photos of the students responsible for presenting their special reports. Although student reaction to this personalization was quite positive, I noticed that they were consulting the list of assignments less frequently. A focus group session revealed that the list was now taking longer than a minute to open. Consulting the list was an increased burden.

My students bring their laptops to class everyday. Even so, I’ve learned that it’s wise to exchange e-mail messages before class when anything out of the ordinary is to occur. If, for example, my plan for the day requires that every student have their computer, I send the class an e-mail message.

I suspect that others have made mistakes from which we can all learn. If you have a brief story you’d like me to share in a future column, please e-mail me. Let me know if it’s OK to mention your name or if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.


Online Faculty Workloads

The CIT Infobits May 2002 article "Online Teaching and the 24-Hour Professor" ( http://www.unc.edu/cit/infobits/bitmay02.html#1 ) described how the Internet is changing professors' workdays and workloads. John Messing, Director of the Research Centre for Innovation in Telelearning Environments at Charles Sturt University, continues this topic in "Can Academics Afford to Use E-mail?" (E-JOURNAL OF INSTRUCTIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol. 5, no. 2, August 2002). Messing reports on a study that began as "an attempt to quantify what many educators have suspected . . . that the workload associated with the use of online tools is considerably higher than with conventional technologies. In the process of trying to make sense of the data, it became clear that there are a number of issues such as increased expectations on the part of students and the disproportionate load that administrative use of e-mail places on academics that are rarely, if ever, considered as part of the debate.

he study analyzed the author's administrative and course-related email messages from 1991-2001. Some of his observations:

Regarding course-related email: "While the number of students in [his Graduate Diploma of Applied Science] course has doubled, the volume of communication has increased 11 fold. . . ."

Regarding administrative email: "It might take a secretary 10 to 15 minutes to duplicate and distribute meeting papers to 20 people [via email]. If it takes each recipient just 5 minutes to read, extract, print and collect the meeting papers, that represents a total of 100 minutes. The secretary saves 10 minutes but the recipients collectively lose 100 minutes."

He concludes, "Just how much extra time an individual is prepared to sacrifice in order to also receive the benefits of the use of such tools is debatable. From a personal perspective, the limit has been reached. With well over 3000 e-mails to contend with in one semester, the system has become a scourge rather than a blessing."

The article is available online at http://www.usq.edu.au/electpub/e-jist/docs/Vol6No_1/messing_frame.html  (HTML format) and http://www.usq.edu.au/electpub/e-jist/docs/Vol6No_1/Messing%20-%20Final.pdf (PDF format).

e-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology (e-JIST) is published by the Distance Education Centre, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia; Web: http://www.usq.edu.au/dec/  Current and back issues of e-JIST are available at no cost at http://www.usq.edu.au/electpub/e-jist/ 


Concerns About Faculty Efficiency and Burnout

Barbara Brown wrote the following:

There are many myths and tacit assumptions about computer-mediated learning that can be explored in the Fielding context. Much has been written about technological efficiency and the potential of the Internet as an educational medium to save time and money or increase productivity. The author’s experience inspires a healthy skepticism in this regard. Having taught students in conventional classrooms for two decades, I experienced the computer-mediated mode of instruction as more time-consuming, at least initially, both from the standpoint of up-front course design and later, painstaking, labor intensive hours online - designing messages for the classroom forum, reading and downloading from the screen, posting new material, providing feedback, checking community bulletin boards, e-mailing student comments and grade reports, etc. In fact, there were many times when I felt torn between my real life and my virtual life on-screen, in an identity challenging  [Turkle, Sherry (1995), Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.] sort of way, simply because there did not seem to exist enough hours in the day to do justice to both. This was the case even in an "asynchronous" environment where I had the flexibility to conduct electronic office hours in my bathrobe over morning coffee or post feedback in the dead of night.

Moreover, absent face-to-face contact and ordinary non-verbal clues, even very mature students on the Internet demand more frequent interaction and reassurance in dialogue with their professors, an observation confirmed in student course evaluations. Students demand more feedback; and the more feedback they receive, the more interaction they want. There are at least two possible interpretations of this phenomenon: One is that it reflects the way students compensate for the lack of face-to-face interaction. Or, it may be that this medium disinhibits student communication, thereby stimulating the message exchange process. As the intellectual excitement of these conversations grows, so does the amount of interactivity in the virtual community.[See Rafaeli, Sheizaf and Fay Sudweeks (1998), "Interactivity in the Nets," in Network & Net Play: Virtual Groups on the Internet,
Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press/The MIT Press]

I estimate this mode of instruction requires roughly 40% to 50% more work on the teacher’s part in comparison with conventional classroom delivery. For example, where I might put approximately 36 hours of work per week routinely into a regular course load with a total of 120 students in four traditional class sections at a large public university, online instruction at Fielding required 50 hours or more per week - with only 24 students in just three sections of my digital classes. It also takes longer for faculty members and administrators to reach consensus in electronic group meetings.

B.M. Brown
"Digital Classrooms:  Some Myths About Developing New Educational Programs Using the Internet,"
T.H.E. Journal, December 98, p. 57
The online version is at
http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/current/feat04.html

Also see Concerns About Faculty Resistance to Change


Concerns About the Explosion of Online Education

Concerns About High Attrition Rates in Distance Education

August 31, 2007 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

REDUCING ATTRITION IN ONLINE CLASSES

"Attrition rates for classes taught through distance education are 10- 20% higher than classes taught in a face-to-face setting. . . . Finding ways to decrease attrition in distance education classes and programs is critical both from an economical and quality viewpoint. High attrition rates have a negative economic impact on universities."

In "Strategies to Engage Online Students and Reduce Attrition Rates" (THE JOURNAL OF EDUCATORS ONLINE, vol. 4, no. 2, July 2007), the authors provide a review of the literature to determine methods for "engaging students with the goals of enhancing the learning process and reducing attrition rates." Their research identified four major strategies:

-- student integration and engagement

Includes "faculty-initiated contact via phone calls, pre-course orientations, informal online chats, and online student services."

-- learner-centered approach

Faculty "need to get to know their students and assess each student's pre-existing knowledge, cultural perspectives, and comfort level with technology."

-- learning communities

"[S]trong feelings of community may not only increase persistence in courses, but may also increase the flow of information among all learners, availability of support, commitment to group goals, cooperation among members and satisfaction with group efforts."

-- accessibility to online student services.

Services might include "assessments, educational counseling, administrative process such as registration, technical support, study skills assistance, career counseling, library services, students' rights and responsibilities, and governance."

The paper, written by Lorraine M. Angelino, Frankie Keels Williams, and Deborah Natvig, is available at http://www.thejeo.com/Volume4Number2/Angelino Final.pdf

The Journal of Educators Online (JEO) [ISSN 1547-500X ]is an online, double-blind, refereed journal by and for instructors, administrators, policy-makers, staff, students, and those interested in the development, delivery, and management of online courses in the Arts, Business, Education, Engineering, Medicine, and Sciences. For more information, contact JEO, 500 University Drive, Dothan, Alabama 36303 USA; tel: 334-983-6556, ext. 1-356; fax: 334-983-6322; Web: http://www.thejeo.com/ .

Jensen Comment
Attrition rates are high because online students are often adults with heavy commitments to family and jobs. Initially they think they are going to have time for a course, but then the course becomes too demanding and/or unexpected things happen in their lives such as computer crashes, a change in job demands (such as more travel), family illness, marital troubles, etc. Sometimes online students initially believe the myth that online courses are easier than onsite courses and, therefore, take less time. About the only time saved is the logistical time waster of commuting to and from a classroom site.

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm


Despite Popularity, Researcher Finds Not Everyone Can Successfully Learn Through Online Courses
PhysOrg, February 25, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news123168113.html

Since the 1990s, online courses have provided an opportunity for busy adults to continue their education by completing courses in the comfort of their own homes. However, this may not be the best solution for everyone. A researcher at the University of Missouri has found some students may find success in these types of courses more easily than others.

Shawna L. Strickland, clinical assistant professor in the MU School of Health Professions, studied the demographics and personality types of distance learners.

“Correlations between learning styles and success in distance education have shown to be inconclusive,” Strickland said. “However, one common theme reappears: the successful traits of a distance learner are similar to the successful traits of an adult learner in traditional educational settings.”

With a mere 30 percent of distance learners actually completing their courses, learning more about the characteristics of these students would help educators structure online courses to be as beneficial as possible. Considering the lack of institutional support and isolation involved in the nature of online courses, success in these courses requires a person that is determined and responsible, Strickland said.

“The success of distance learning is dependent on communication among the learner, his or her peers and the instructor,” Strickland said. “To encourage success in distance learning, it is necessary to evaluate each individual’s needs on a case-by-case basis.”

One trait that aids in distance learning is related to personality type. Strickland found those with quiet, introverted personalities are more likely to feel comfortable with online learning courses. Shy individuals have a tendency to be uninvolved in the typical classroom setting. Online courses allow them to complete work on their own with a degree of anonymity.

“Distance learning allows the learner to overcome traditional barriers to learning such as location, disabilities, time constraints and familial obligations,” Strickland said. “However, not every learner will be successful in a distance learning environment.”

The study – “Understanding Successful Characteristics of Adult Learners” – was published in the most recent edition of Respiratory Care Education Annual.

Jensen Comment
The source of this publication is rather unusual and surprising --- Respiratory Care Education Annual.

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning include the following links:

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


From Infobits on December 21, 2001

HOW TO KEEP E-LEARNERS FROM E-SCAPING

Institutions that offer e-learning courses are reporting high levels of student attrition and a wide gap between student enrollments and completions. The authors of "How to Keep E-Learners from E-scaping" (by Jim Moshinskie and the eLITE Think Tank, JOURNAL OF INTERACTIVE INSTRUCTION DEVELOPMENT, vol. 14, no. 1, Summer 2001, pp. 8-11) present some techniques for getting, motivating, and keeping online students. Although the paper focuses primarily on online corporate trainers, the ideas are transferable to any online learning environment.

Some of the techniques outlined in the paper are common to all instruction delivery methods; some are specific to online teaching and learning. Here are a few of the authors' strategies:

Before the Online Course "What's in it for me?" Before the course begins, course providers must help learners see the benefit of taking the course and taking it online. Instructors must know their learners' goals, work environments, and connection capabilities. If the course is for in-service professional development, the students' employers need to get involved in providing peer coachers and by creating opportunities for practice and feedback.

During the Online Course Online learning can be an isolating experience for students. During the online course, instructors need to pay attention to feedback and human interaction to make up for the lack of in-person contact. Strategies include giving legitimate feedback that focuses on an individual's progress and specifically addresses individual performance. "Chat rooms, E-mail, electronic office hours, audio streaming, and online mentoring" all can provide the "human touch" between instructor and student and among fellow students.

After the Online Course Recognizing that learning is a process, not an event, instructors can support the student who completes the course by offering follow-up communication, virtual mentoring, and help in applying the learning in the student's workplace.

Note: the article is not available on the Web. Check with your college or university library to obtain copies.

Journal of Interactive Instruction Development [ISSN 1040-0370] is published quarterly by the Learning Technology Institute, 50 Culpeper Street, Warrenton, VA 20186 USA; tel: 540-347-0055; fax: 540-439-3169; email: info@lti.org ; Web: http://www.lti.org/ 


Nudity, Pets, Babies, and Other Adventures in Synchronous Online Learning

Smile! You're on Candid Class Camera!
"Nudity, Pets, Babies, and Other Adventures in Synchronous Online Learning," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 20, 2011 ---
Click Here
 http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/nudity-pets-babies-and-other-adventures-in-synchronous-online-learning/33846?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The University of Southern California places a premium on synchronous online education. Students fire up their Webcams and participate in live virtual classes.

But those live video feeds are opening a debate about classroom decorum, pushing the university to create new guidelines for “Netiquette.”

Barking dogs, wailing babies, a naked spouse—all have made cameo appearances in USC online classes, said Jade Winn, head of library services for USC’s education and social work schools, during a talk about online education at the Educause conference here.

Ms. Winn recalled one pajama-clad student who rolled over in bed, turned on a Webcam, and tried to attend class lying on a pillow. Another distraction: students crunching bowls of cereal.

“It’s just a whole level of being in someone’s home, that you don’t take into consideration,” Ms. Winn said in an interview after her talk.

The university plans to start taking it into consideration with a new Netiquette guide. The goal is to spell out up front what USC won’t tolerate. A spouse parading naked behind a student clearly isn’t kosher—but where else do you draw the line?

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads about the dark side of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

 


Concerns About Residency Living & Learning on Campus

In 1997, I listened to an address by Robert S. Sullivan, Directory of the IC2 Institute, University of Texas at Austin. He was extremely positive about opportunities for ALN networking and bridging of curriculum gaps with web courses that in many instances will become much higher in quality than a single university will normally be able to develop only for its own campus. At the end of his address, in response to a question from the audience, he did raise two very serious concerns (that I paraphrased below from my videotape of his remarks):

Problem 1: One day a "university" may only be left with onsite faculty and programs that distributed education vendors are not willing to "pay for." There is an important debate going on that focuses on the issue of whether the "university concept" might be undermined.

Problem 2: Students, especially undergraduate students, cannot have a complete learning experience without being physically present on a campus. The interpersonal and social dynamics of a campus may be put at risk with distributed learning.

Robert S. Sullivan, August 20, 1997 Plenary Session
Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association

Bob Jensen's Other Documents

Starting Page

Education

Learning

Table of Contents

Concerns About Impersonality and Becoming Irrevocably Orwellian

Wake Up Little Suzie, Wake Up:  Big Brother's Watching at Northern Arizona University
"University Plans to Install Electronic Sensors to Track Class Attendance," by Karen Wilkinson, Converge Magazine, May 8, 2010 ---
http://www.convergemag.com/infrastructure/University-Plans-to-Install-Electronic-Sensors-to-Track-Class-Attendance.html

Jensen Comment
These "proximity cards" have many types of other uses, including crime prevention and law enforcement. But there are problems, including "Don't Leave Home Without It." "It's a trend toward a surveillance society that is not necessarily befitting of an institution or society," said Adam Kissel, defense program director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. "It's a technology that could easily be expanded and used in student conduct cases."


Video:  The Worst Thing You Can Do in Life is Set Goals
Stephen Fry: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 18 --- Click Here  http://www.openculture.com/2010/05/stephen_fry_what_i_wish_i_had_known_when_i_was_18.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29


One of my students, Elizabeth Eudy, coined the phrase "irrevocably Orwellian."  At http://www.resnet.trinity.edu/users/eeudy/aln.htm she writes the following:

Although it is too far fetched to say that we will turn into cold, heartless robots as a result of ALN and that our society has become irrevocably Orwellian, the lack of face-to-face social interaction could potentially do more harm than good in our education. Will graduates of ALN degree programs be left wondering how they will cope in an actual job interview? Students need social interaction as vital component of maturation and professional development. The most successful use of ALN thus presents itself as a combination of online courses and real classroom interaction. The classes do not necessarily have to meet twice or three times a week as most do now, but rather as needed by the demands of students or by the judgment of the professor. In any case, as the market for ALN courses expands (as it is doing) traditional universities will have to upgrade their curriculum to ALN in order to remain competitive.

At a later point she writes the following:

ALN courses can be dehumanized to such an extent that students will no longer feel as if they belong to a learning community. Community is a key concept for the learning process, and enables students to gain support from each other. This concept is taken to the limit in traditional universities where students belong to a university community--they live in the dorms, they eat together at the cafeteria, they join various student organizatons, and most importantly, they learn together. The professors and students ideally belong to the same community of learning; although in some universities students feel that professors are too inaccessible. Many proponents of ALN still agree that the human component of education and university life is necessary. Degerhan Usleul, the chief operating officer of Interactive Learning International Corporation (ILINC), is quoted as saying: The importance of an instructor's physical presence, complete with body language, as well as the rapport one builds with classmates, are not easily replaced. Jo Ann Davy continues in the article, writing that Usluel recommends holding a physical event to help relationships, before connecting online.
Davy, Jo Ann. "Education and Training Alternatives." Managing Office Technology: Cleveland. April 1998.

Another student named Katie Lawrence lists drawbacks of ALN in a term paper as follows:

  • There are more dropouts than in actual on-campus courses
  • Loss of commuinty/campus atmosphere
  • There are no current standards for program assessment, so it is difficult for students to know which courses will be worth the money they are spending
  • Often, the high fees charged for some ALN courses go to fund actual campus courses rather than the virtual courses being offered.
  • Due to the large number of students taking ALN courses and their tendency to contact professors frequently, more professors or teaching assistants are required to adequately teach a cyber course.
  • "Learning ceases to be about analysis, discussion, and examination, and becomes a product to be bought and sold, to be packaged, advertised, and marketed." (taken from Dangers of Global Education)
  • Students loose out by not actually reading published books.
  • Because the courses are developed in the Western world, Western views are spread to all parts of the globe, which may inhibit the cultural growth of other societies, thus creating a unified, undiverse world. Computer access and availability and modem speed are problems for ALN courses given on college campuses - students are often times unable to log on due to slow modems or busy network lines.

Barbara Brown discusses the myth of asynchronous learning impersonality:

Another myth one frequently encounters about computer-mediated instruction is that of impersonality. People assume that in the absence of face-to-face interaction, relations automatically become more distant and impersonal. Traditional distance learning formats are said to be plagued with this problem.[9] Not so, in my experience with the interactive digital classroom. There is a type of intimacy achievable between teachers and students in this medium that is quite extraordinary, reminiscent of what Sproull and Keisler refer to as "second-level" social effects of the technology. I believe this intimacy results from a sense of shared control and esponsibility, commitment to collaboration and dialogue, and increased willingness to take risks in communications with others online. The verbal and writing-intensive nature of the text-based forum network also forces one to make one’s thoughts very explicit whenever possible; there is little room for subtlety. As one administrator put it: "In an online environment, words matter.... Words are everything."

Also, it takes longer for groups to reach consensus in brain-storming and problem-solving situations online.[10] People’s feelings can be hurt easily, so more time and effort are put into explaining meanings and supplying detailed contextual background to enhance mutual understanding. Thus, writers get to know one another intimately over time while computer-mediated conversations - both formal and informal - unfold. Neither e-mail nor chat, the forum classroom environment at Fielding calls for and inspires thoughtful, composed (after reading and reflection) asynchronous networked interactions, without sacrificing human warmth.

At this stage in the evolution of Internet educational technology, we are all learners. There is also a sense that we are innovators and early adopters who "crossed over" early in the technology transfer and diffusion process.[11] In the Fielding culture, this pioneer experience has come to be known as riding the waves, or embracing the "turbulence" of rough seas - a metaphor for global and organizational unrest as well. The attention given to group process online and the thoughtful nature of master’s-level conversations establish an intimacy within the group, belying the myth of impersonality.

B.M. Brown
"Digital Classrooms:  Some Myths About Developing New Educational Programs Using the Internet,"
T.H.E. Journal, December 98, pp. 57-58
The online version is at
http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/current/feat04.html

"The Myths Of Growing Up Online," by Henry Jenkins, MIT's Technology Review, September 3, 2004 ---  http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/04/09/wo_jenkins090304.asp?trk=nl 
Alarmist and polarized rhetoric is distorting important new findings about the risks and benefits of children's use of the Internet.

For almost a decade now, the debate about youth and new media technologies has been polarized around two conflicting myths—let's call them the Myth of the Columbine Generation and the Myth of the Digital Generation. The first is driven by fear, the other hope, but both distort the reality kids and parents must negotiate in the online world, and both exaggerate the centrality of digital media in children's lives.

Parents, educators, and policymakers can get whiplash trying to respond to the competing pull of these two myths. One pulls us toward wiring every classroom in the country so that kids may enjoy the benefits of digital access, the other mandates filtering programs in school and library computers since kids can't be trusted once they log on.

In a classic version of the Columbine Generation argument, Eugene Provenzo Jr., a professor of education at the University of Chicago, argues that recent school shootings are the "result" of a "social experiment" in giving children unfettered access to pornography and violence. By contrast, journalist Jon Katz, in his books Virtuous Reality and Geeks, offers a vivid version of the Digital Generation perspective, celebrating the ways that the online world has liberated children from the constraints of their own neighborhoods and the limitations of their narrow-minded parents.

Anyone who has read my column over the past few years knows I fall much closer to Katz than Provenzo. But if we are being honest, the truth lies somewhere in the huge space in between those two overstatements. When I went into schools around the country following the Columbine shootings, it was clear that teachers, parents, and students had heard plenty about the dangers of going online and little about the benefits. The case that growing up online was going to produce a more socially connected, better informed, and more creative generation was a perspective that was needed to counterbalance the hysteria being generated by the most sensationalistic news stories. I remember one student exclaiming, "Why haven't we be told this before?"

As time has passed, I have felt a greater need to pull back from such either-or arguments, yet to do so seems like unilateral disarmament as long as the culture warriors are ready to pounce on any concession. I have become increasingly concerned by the ways that television discussions, newspaper articles, and government hearings are structured around the assumption that this debate can be reduced to two opposing sides, usually pushed to their extremes—making it impossible for more moderate perspectives to be heard.

A case in point: a conference held this summer at the University of London brought together educators, activists, and scholars from more than 40 different countries to examine the research on the impact of new media on children's mental and social development, and on education, family, and community life. David Buckingham, one of the event's organizers, opened the sessions by challenging us to move beyond the easy answers and to acknowledge the complexities and contradictions our research was uncovering—good advice that was hard to follow.

A highlight of the conference was London School of Economics professor Sonia Livingstone's announcement of the preliminary findings of a major research initiative called UK Children Go Online. This project involved both quantitative and qualitative studies on the place of new media in the lives of some 1,500 British children (ages 9 to 19) and their parents. The study's goal was to provide data that policymakers and parents could draw on to make decisions about the benefits and risks of expanding youth access to new media. Remember that phrase—benefitsandrisks.

According to the study, children were neither as powerful nor as powerless as the two competing myths might suggest. As the Myth of the Digital Generation suggests, children and youth were using the Internet effectively as a resource for doing homework, connecting with friends, and seeking out news and entertainment. At the same time, as the Myth of the Columbine Generation might imply, the adults in these kids' lives tended to underestimate the problems their children encountered online, including the percentage who had unwanted access to pornography, had received harassing messages, or had given out personal information.

Livingstone’s report arrives at a pivotal moment: after decades of state-supported broadcasting, the British government is deregulating media content and opening the airwaves to greater commercial development. The number of media channels in British homes is expanding—and parents are being asked to play gatekeepers determining what media entered their home without being given the training or resources needed to do that job properly.

Continued in the article

 


Watch the Video

"The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It," by Jonathan Zittrain, The Washington Post, May 29, 2008 --- Click Here

Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, will be online May 29 at 11 a.m. ET to answer questions about his new book: The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It.

A transcript follows.

Zittrain, who co-founded Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, is also a participant in our new video series: Voices on Personal Technology. In his first installment, he answers the question: Is Google a threat to free culture?

Jonathan Zittrain: Hi there - thanks for having me as a guest today. I'm looking forward to the discussion. I'll type as quickly as I can!

Annandale, Va.: I was checking out some seriously cool videos of Google's upstart, open source mobile phone operating system, Android:

http://androidcommunity.com/first-live-images-of-fullscreen-android-demo-20080528/ 

What impact do you see this platform having on the mobile market?

Jonathan Zittrain: Android will be a good bellwether for my thesis that we're drifting towards locked down or vendor-controlled environments. If Android takes off, I'm wrong (but relieved!): it'll roughly fit the pattern of the Internet swamping the old AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy.

But without a new architecture for dealing with bad code, I worry that Android will be limited in how far it can go; there's a reason why the iPhone is so popular, and part of it has to do with the reliability of the device arising from every part being put there or approved by the same vendor.

_______________________

Bethesda, Md.: Web 2.0 feels so old - what do you envision for Web 3.0 or even 4.0?

Jonathan Zittrain: Heh. Why not jump to Web 5.0 while we're at it? (It reminds me of the old modems we used to use -- from 300 baud, to 1200 baud, then 2400, 15200, 34800, and 56K -- why not just jump straight to really fast?!)

Web 2.0 means different things to different people, and I'm actually pretty amazed at how much the versioning usually applied to a piece of software can be tagged to the Web. (It certainly does mean a Web based on a new version of its protocols.)

So: I think the idea of a Web page may be beginning to feel old; browse-and-click isn't the only way to interact with information and people. Some new technologies are rearranging that, but part of the question of whether we'll see them go mainstream is whether our endpoint devices will remain "unowned" by any single vendor or small group of vendors. If we're still using browsers ten years from now as the main way to be online, something's wrong.

_______________________

Tucson, Ariz.: Is Cybercrime coming from Africa undermining the potential for e-commerce in Africa? What do you think of the spam emails originating from Africa? What can be done about them before they evolve into more sophisticated forms of phishing?

Thanks,

William A. Foster

Faculty Associate

Science, Technology, and Society Program

Arizona State University

Jonathan Zittrain: In the last chapter of the book I quote from Gene Spafford, a renowned computer science professor:

"We can't defend against the threats we are facing now. If these mass computer giveaways succeed, shortly we will have another billion users online who are being raised in environments of poverty, with little or no education about proper IT use, and often in countries where there is little history of tolerance (and considerable history of religious, ethnic and tribal strife). Access to eBay and YouTube isn't going to give them clean water and freedom from disease. But it may help breed resentment and discontent where it hasn't been before.

Gee, I can barely wait. The metaphor that comes to mind is that if we were in the ramp-up to the Black Plague in the middle ages, these groups would be trying to find ways to subsidize the purchase of pet rats."

I don't agree with that. I think that movements like One Laptop Per Child are fascinating, and -- putting aside the implementation details that might alone make it fail -- I very much like the idea of bringing new groups of people online without giving them only "applications" like a mobile phone. I'd love to see what I call generative platforms deployed in areas that haven't really seen any consumer information technology -- and then see how readily a hacker culture can arise in the best sense, exactly the culture that brought us so many of the applications we now think to be central.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: With Google, Microsoft, Yahoo (unless it gets eaten up by Microsoft) continue to dominate the industry or will the Internet open back up to the marketplace to allow smaller companies to service niche markets in a profitable way?

Jonathan Zittrain: I think Google in particular is in a great position right now: a river of money flowing by them called search (and Ad Words); talented engineers with a day a week of free time to noodle around; and a brand that makes many of the next generation of talented engineers want to work there.

But the great thing about the Internet and PC we have today -- not a permanent thing, of course -- is that if someone comes along and invents better search, it wouldn't take that much for people to switch away. That may change as more and more of our own data goes online and gets cross-referenced, which is why Google and others are smart to want to create a single portal for search, mail, documents, etc.

Of particular interest to me are Web platforms like Facebook and Google Apps: people can code new stuff to run there, and there's a ton of creativity going into it, notwithstanding how annoying the Vampire App is on Facebook. One question is how open those platforms will be and can stay. I'm nervous that, naturally, Facebook or Google can (and do) shut down apps they don't like (or as Steve Jobs can and will do in the iPhone apps store), in a way that Bill Gates never really could do on a Windows box.

_______________________

Danville, Calif.: In your opinion, who are the smartest men in Internet technology?

Jonathan Zittrain: Why limit it to just men? :)

Esther Dyson thinks big and asks tough, skeptical questions. Of course, the usual suspects: Sergey Brin is an amazingly smart guy who shoots straight. Mark Zuckerberg has made brilliant strategic decisions, notwithstanding the more headline-grabbing tactical hiccups like Facebook Beacon. Charlie Nesson, a colleague at HLS, framed many cyberspace issues as ones of the commons nearly fifteen years ago. And Larry Lessig is near-effortlessly genius. In my view. :)

Continued in article

 


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Concerns About Making Education and Training Too Easy

Question
Do you know why Socrates feared the high technology of writing?

"The soft bigotry of low expectations," Babbage Blog from The Economist Magazine, May 14, 2010 ---
http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2010/05/children_and_technology

This week Barack Obama offered a throwaway line about technology in a graduation speech at Hampton University.

With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations—none of which I know how to work—information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment.

And we cranked out a leader.

Socrates’s bugbear was the spread of the biggest-ever innovation in communications—writing. He feared that relying on written texts, rather than the oral tradition, would “create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls…they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves.” Enos Hitchcock voiced a widespread concern about the latest publishing fad in 1790. “The free access which many young people have to romances, novels and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth.” (There was a related worry that sofas, introduced at the same time, encouraged young people to drift off into fantasy worlds.) Cinema was denounced as “an evil pure and simple” in 1910; comic books were said to lead children into delinquency in 1954; rock’n’roll was accused of turning the young into “devil worshippers” in 1956; Hillary Clinton attacked video games for “stealing the innocence of our children” in 2005.

I think we imagine on some level that our children are weaker than we were. In 2004, I was working in a tech startup in Cambridge, Mass. We took on a Harvard undergrad as an intern; I asked her whether she used IM, which was how most of the office shared information. (Five geeks in two rooms. It smelled bad in the winter). Her answer, however, was

Oh, I stopped IMing in middle school. I just found that it wasn't very productive.

Ultimately we all grow into some kind of ambition, and have to make decisions about how we spend our time. There's no reason ambition will find iPads any more difficult to conquer than it did IM or novels before it. If spending time online is bad for your life (and I think it can be), you'll figure it out.

Continued in article

Meanwhile, from an infinity of online sources, heads are being filled with data, information, and images, from all manner of sources — responsible, sensible, loony, exploitative, and malevolent. Fencing off children from much of this stuff has become a major parental concern, as well as a hopeless task, given children’s zest for the forbidden and preternatural facility at the keyboard.
Dan Greenberg, "We've Got a Monster on the Loose: It's Called the Internet," Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/index.php?id=247

It has been demonstrated in various ways in cognitive and learning science that making a training environment easier may be dysfunctional in the sense that it improves short term memory at the expense of long-term memory and performance.   Complex information needs to be multiply encoded in semantic and/or situational associations.  Computer-aided training may either enhance or detract from long-term performance.

For example, I am inclined to make it easier for students to find answers or get leads in each course topic.  I view it as taking the Mickey Mouse drudgeries of finding things that consume time. I hope to provide my students with more time to study what they find and less time trying to find what they study.   To do so I provide as much literature as possible on CD-ROMs (many of which I record myself), my LAN hard drive, and the University's web server.  However, it is possible that the Mickey Mouse activities contribute significantly to long-term memory.  To the extent that I am making discovery less difficult and more predictable, I might in fact be improving students' short term performance at the expense of long-term memory and cognition.

Robert Bjork states:

It has now been demonstrated in a variety of ways, and with a variety of motor, verbal, and problem-solving tasks, that introducing variation and/or unpredictability in the training environment causes difficulty for the learner but enhances long-term performance --- particularly the ability to transfer training to novel but related task environments.

Robert A. Bjork
"Memory and Metamemory considerations in the Training of Human Beings,"
Metacognition:  Knowing about Knowing
Edited by Janet Metcalfe and Arthru P. Shimaura
The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts
ISBN:   0262132982, 1994, Page 189

Click Here to View Working Paper 265 on Metacognition
Concerns in Designs and Evaluations of Computer Aided Education and Training:
Are We Misleading Ourselves About Measures of Success?

Other references are provided later on in this document under the section entitled "Fostering Deeper Learning:   Risks of Teaching More Than You Know."

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Concerns About Making Education and Training Too Hard

All courses at Trinity University are three-credit courses.  Virtually all of my students are full-time students who are taking at least five courses each semester.  On the faculty evaluation forms one of the questions reads:  "How would you rate the workload of this course?"   Another question reads:  "How difficult did you find this course?"   As I added more ALN modules in place of lectures, answers to these questions virtually all moved to "Very Heavy" and "Very Difficult."  The following quotation is representative of class concerns:

The work load was very heavy and put a strain on my other classes.  I liked the material, but weekly quizzes and examinations plus 50-90 pages of reading per class along with other classes is too much.

Actually I usually do not assign pages to read, but in the process of studying assigned topics, my graduate students dig out a huge amount of material that they themselves feel they must study.  In research projects constituting over 50% of the course grade, they must seek out, sift, digest, and nurture a vast amount of learning material.   Often students must spend a great deal of time building foundations to even study the material.  For example, projects entailing both design and implementation of relational databases entail learning how to make complicated software work.  Projects entailing how to account for financial instruments derivatives entail learning what those financing contracts are and how they are used in hedging strategies.

The bottom line is that it is not be reasonable for all five graduate courses each semester to take as much time as my courses.   Students would become frustrated, angered, and seek to somehow short circuit their effort if there was not enough time each week to cover five similar ALN courses.   Their traditional lecture courses are often neat and tidy with problems assigned from the back of the textbook and sufficient material in the textbook or lectures to master the assigned materials.  Students all study the same materials and can help each other in many lecture courses.  In my asynchronous modules, students must do a lot more digging on their own and generally come away frustrated by the "loose ends" that they neither have the time nor skills to master nor the skills to master.   For example, in the process of studying risk exposures of derivatives contracts they encounter mathematically complex Value at Risk time series models.   A few of the mathematically inclined students who elect to delve into such models learn more about Value at Risk  than students who go down other avenues on their projects.  Hence, students are not all studying the same materials, and it becomes more difficult to lean on each other for help crossing troubled waters.  In many instances their instructor, me, is not sufficiently up on the particulars of each topic to bail them out.  For more on this, skip to the section entitled Fostering Deeper Learning:   Risks of Teaching More Than You Know.

I like to force students to struggle on their own, because I think this prepares them for life after graduation.  However, there is a fine line in ALN between making ALN too easy versus making ALN too hard. I have not yet achieved the correct balance.  One example where asynchronous learning appears to achieve a good balance is the Business Activity Model (BAM) in Intermediate Accounting at the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.  A portion of one of my recent email messages is quoted below:

The mere fact that many ALN courses are shown to improve grades and/or the rate at which learning takes place does not imply that long-term performance has been enhanced. It is not clear whether better performance arises from a confounding of added sweat with ALNs. What does intrigue me, however, is how an entire year of Intermediate Accounting (typically very tough courses requiring memorization of lots of accounting rules and procedures) is now being taught at the University of Virginia totally without lectures by the two professors (Croll and Catanach) who, up until 1996, lectured (quite brilliantly) in virtually every class. Their anecdotal claims for the "BAM" non-lecture approach are that students are doing markedly better on in course examinations, the CPA examination, and on the job (which they can monitor since all students have internships with firms). I now feature a multimedia workshop module of the University of Virginia BAM ALN program. The average SAT of students in these UVA classes is over 1300. It is not clear that BAM will work so well on lesser mortals.

One way to judge good ALN workload balance is to keep track of teaching evaluations.  Students generally voice complaints when workloads are unreasonable (they will not always complain when a course is too easy).   The BAM asynchronous courses at the University of Virginia have heavy workloads, but Professors Croll and Catanach manage to pull these courses off with some of the highest instructor evaluations in the McIntire School of Commerce.

For more detailed information on the BAM pedagogy, I recommend the following two links:

 

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Concerns About Corporate Influences on Traditional Missions

There are two types of partnerings between business firms and universities.  The first type is where the university's faculty deliver a specialized degree program to employees of a business firm.  The program is often specialized calendar, courses, and mode of delivery.  For example, the PriceWaterhouse Coopers MBA program at the University of Georgia has a customized calendar, customized courses, and all courses are delivered asynchronously on the web.  

Another type of partnering is where the business firms deliver courses for the university degree programs.  An example of this type of partnering is the AT&T partnering with Western Governors University that was announced in two magazines that I track regularly.   For example, see

"AT&T Learning Network Hosts WGU Content," T.H.E. Journal, February 1999, 14-16.

One of my undergraduate students, Paul Meekey, notes the rise of partnerships between universities and corporations where the universities participate in educating and training employees of companies.  Paul's paper can be found at http://www.resnet.trinity.edu/users/pmeekey/frame2.htm wherein he states the following:

Employers are always trying to find ways to cut costs and now with the introduction of ALN,
they should be able to do so. Two companies that have enabled this technology are helping to reduce costs in their post graduate business training programs. CIGNA Corporation, an
insurance company located in Philadelphia has formed a partnership with Drexell University, also in Philadelphia to create a master's program for information systems. They came up with a three year program that would train their students online. The only time they actually met offline was for a two day orientation at the Drexell campus and after that  it was totally online. After the success of the program, Metlife, another insurance company decided to form a similar partnership with Drexel University. One advantage to this program that both company enjoyed was that both companies didn't have to give up their employees to go back to a university campus for the 2 yr. graduate program.

The employees could remain working for the company, continue working on their projects and fulfill their educational requirements after work, before work, on their days off, or on the weekends. Richard H. Lytle, dean of Drexel's College of Information and Technology, says that the he is really excited that both companies are not only using his program but applying it to software application within their own applications of everyday work. The program helps the companies to eliminate some costs and uncertainties of trying to hire full-qualified employees from major universities and also the time lost when employees have to go to these classes during normal working hours. The companies are also using what they have learned through Drexel University to eventually have all training in the company done through ALN, in all departments. New York University's School of Continuing Education also participates in online learning, and just recently formed a partnership with IBM to offer information systems courses for their professionals, on a global scale. We are sure to see a huge increase in ALN used in the business environment. Companies can keep their employees working hard and earning the profits while training them to make them more efficient at their job. Although still young, ALN is helping companies such as Citicorp, NYNEX Corp., and Sandoz to become more cost efficient in training their employees.

The above trends are a mixed blessing.   Clearly, expansion into corporate education and training expands the market alternatives for colleges facing a shrinking and increasingly competitive environment for traditional students and traditional continuing education students.  The flip side of the coin is that the universities may sacrifice some of their independence in setting curricula and course contents since corporations paying for the education and training will dictate such matters to a large degree.

For more discussion and references about corporate universities and partnerships between corporations and traditional universities, see http://WWW.Trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#CorporatePartnerships and http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#ErnstandYoung .

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Concerns About Library Services

The Internet has become the world's library.   However, content pales in comparison with scholarly works found in libraries that contain vast resources that either are not or cannot be digitized.  Making centuries of literature available on networks is cost prohibitive to digitize for and deliver from web servers.  Copyright restrictions deliberately protect vast bodies of new and older literature from being digitized. 

When asynchronous courses are delivered off campus, library access becomes a major problem that is frequently ignored in the hype of ALN promotion.  One of my students, Katie Greene, addresses this problem at http://www.resnet.trinity.edu/users/kgreene/distanceno.htm

In the above document, Katie provides links and references to literature on looming issues and "new roles for librarians."  She states:


Librarians must change their role if they want to keep up with the changes in education. They will need to change in three different ways. The first way would be that "librarians will take on a more proactive role in the classroom and will work more collaboratively with the teaching faculty to develop assignments that are feasible in the off-campus/ distance environment." (Lebowitz) Secondly, distance education will bring about "greater collaboration among institutions". (Lebowitz) Because their are no constraints on location, libraries from all over can work together to create collections of works and pool their resources. A good example of this cooperation, is Western Governors University, which is a university made by the governors of the western states. Along with this cooperation, though, "the supplying of library services will become highly competitive, and libraries may choose to outsource the provision of services to other institutions" (Cavanagh). Thirdly, the librarian's role "will shift to one of facilitator/instructor, rather than provider of information." (Slade) Librarians will now be communicating with students in remote locations via e-mail, video conferencing, chat lines, or audio conferencing. One example of this is at University of Maryland University College where students can "chat" with librarians online and ask any questions they might have. Librarians will have to be proactive and learn about the new technologies and make the materials available to students all over the world.

Many have already used these devices and made the information available. Old ways included loan programs and mailing books and other materials. Now librarians use information technology to develop online, virtual libraries. One criticism is that distant students do not have access to as much information, but librarians are now able to put entire works, full texts of books, journals, references, newspapers, as well as web searches and internet access on the internet.

Some Examples include:

VIVA the virtual library of Virginia - electronic collections of books, journals, newspapers , as well as internet searches.

Online Literature Library

Internet Public Library- references, magazines, newspapers, online texts.

Carrie-Full-Text Electronic Library.

Katie Greene raises other concerns and discusses the challenges of giving distance learners the same access to libraries as the access available to resident students.  One wonders how top programs such as the Duke University Global Executive MBA program and the Ohio University Online MBA Without Boundaries program  manage to provide library resources to students.

Judy Luther provides a paper entitled "Distance Learning and the Digital Library:  What Happens When the Virtual Student Needs to Use the Virtual Library in a Virtual University," Educom Review, July/August 1998, 23-26.  Although no virtual library is going to contain the text of all books and journals in a major academic library due to copyright and impracticalities of digitizing trillions of pages of text and graphics, there are some collaborative efforts being made by various universities to aid students taking virtual courses off campus.   Judy Luther's article is available at http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/edreview.html.

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Concerns About Academic Standards, School Ethics, and Student Ethics

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm


I must be psychic, because I've been saying this all along --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm
So has Amy Dunbar --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/Dunbar2002.htm

"The Medium is Not the Message,"  by Jonathan Kaplan, Inside Higher Ed, August 11, 2009 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2009/08/11/kaplan 
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Introduction

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Education released a report that looked at 12 years' worth of education studies, and found that online learning has clear advantages over face-to-face instruction.

The study, "An Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies," stated that “students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.”

Except for one article,
on this Web site, you probably didn’t hear about it -- and neither did anyone else.

But imagine for a moment that the report came to the opposite conclusion. I’m sure that if the U.S. Department of Education had published a report showing that students in online learning environments performed worse, there would have been a major outcry in higher education with calls to shut down distance-learning programs and close virtual campuses.

I believe the reason that the recent study elicited so little commentary is due to the fact that it flies in the face of the biases held by some across the higher education landscape. Yet this study confirms what those of us working in distance education have witnessed for years: Good teaching helps students achieve, and good teaching comes in many forms.

We know that online learning requires devout attention on the part of both the professor and the student -- and a collaboration between the two -- in a different way from that of a face-to-face classroom. These critical aspects of online education are worth particular mention:

  • Greater student engagement: In an online classroom, there is no back row and nowhere for students to hide. Every student participates in class.
  • Increased faculty attention: In most online classes, the faculty’s role is focused on mentoring students and fostering discussion. Interestingly, many faculty members choose to teach online because they want more student interaction.
  • Constant access: The Internet is open 24/7, so students can share ideas and “sit in class” whenever they have time or when an idea strikes -- whether it be the dead of night or during lunch. Online learning occurs on the student’s time, making it more accessible, convenient, and attainable.

At Walden University, where I am president, we have been holding ourselves accountable for years, as have many other online universities, regarding assessment. All universities must ensure that students are meeting program outcomes and learning what they need for their jobs. To that end, universities should be better able to demonstrate -- quantitatively and qualitatively -- the employability and success of their students and graduates.

Recently, we examined the successes of Walden graduates who are teachers in the Tacoma, Wash., public school system, and found that students in Walden teachers’ classes tested with higher literacy rates than did students taught by teachers who earned their master’s from other universities. There could be many reasons for this, but, especially in light of the U.S. Department of Education study, it seems that online learning has contributed meaningfully to their becoming better teachers.

In higher education, there is still too much debate about how we are delivering content: Is it online education, face-to-face teaching, or hybrid instruction? It’s time for us to stop categorizing higher education by the medium of delivery and start focusing on its impact and outcomes.

Recently, President Obama remarked, “I think there’s a possibility that online education can provide, especially for people who are already in the workforce and want to retrain, the chance to upgrade their skills without having to quit their job.” As the U.S. Department of Education study concluded, online education can do that and much more.

But Kaplan above ignores some of the dark side aspects of distance education and education technology in general --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm
The biggest hurdle, in my opinion, is that if distance education is done correctly with intensive online communications, instructors soon become burned out. In an effort to avoid burn out, much of the learning effectiveness is lost. Hence the distance education paradox.

Jerry Trites in Nova Scotia forwarded the link below:
"Online learning boosts student performance," by Don Tapscott,  Grownup Digital, August 20, 2009 --- http://www.grownupdigital.com/index.php/2009/08/online-learning-boosts-student-performance/  

The U.S. Department of Education has just released a report comparing traditional face-to-face classroom instruction to learning supplemented or completely replaced by online learning. The conclusion: “Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.”

The most effective teaching method blended face-to-face learning with online learning. The study notes that this blended learning often includes additional learning time because students can proceed at their own pace and lets them repeat material they find difficult.

The 93-page report, entitled an Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, was conducted by SRI International. Researchers looked at more than a thousand studies conducted between 1996 to 2008. Analysts then screened these studies to find those that (a) contrasted an online to a face-to-face condition, (b) measured student learning outcomes, (c) used a rigorous research design, and (d) provided adequate information to calculate an effect size.

Most of the comparative studies were done in colleges and adult continuing-education programs of various kinds, including medical training, higher education and corporate training. The researchers said they were surprised to find so few rigorous studies of K-12 students, so the report urges caution when applying the results to younger students.

Barbara Means, the study’s lead author and an educational psychologist at SRI International, was quoted on the New York Times’ website that “The study’s major significance lies in demonstrating that online learning today is not just better than nothing - it actually tends to be better than conventional instruction.”

The story notes that until fairly recently, online education amounted to little more than electronic versions of the old-line correspondence courses. That has really changed with arrival of Web-based video, instant messaging and collaboration tools. The study was limited to research of Web-based instruction (i.e., eliminating studies of video- and audio-based telecourses or stand-alone, computer-based instruction).

The real promise of online education is providing learning experiences that are more tailored to individual students than is possible in classrooms. In Grown Up Digital, I describe this as “student-focused” learning as opposed to traditional “teacher-focused” broadcast techniques with the teacher in front of a large class. The story correctly notes that online learning enables more “learning by doing,” which many students find more engaging and useful.

The moral of the story: Students would be better served with much of the curriculum being online. And to repeat what I said in the book, this does not mean a diminished role for teachers. Their time would be freed up to give extremely valuable one-on-one teaching.

August 28, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

One of the most successful distance education programs in the world, in my viewpoint, is the masters degree program headquartered in Vancouver called the Chartered Accountancy School of Business --- http://www.casb.com/

If you live in Western Canada, you obtain your CA designation by enrolling in the CA School of Business. The CASB program is flexible, combining the successful completion of a series of online modules with a three-year term of professional experience. Find out more about our program.

Some years back I was one of the outside reviewers brought in to examine CASB. I was impressed by the quality of this degree program and the tough standards of the program.

CASB is one of the few competency-based graduate programs in the world. By competency-based I mean that instructors have inputs in designing examinations for all students in the program, but at the same time, have no input in grading individual students. There can be no instructor-option subjective factors when assigning grades, which means no changes in grade for effort and interpersonal relationships.

The success of the CASB program, however, is a bit biased as is the success of the ADEPT Masters of Engineering distance education program in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. Firstly, students admitted to these programs were top undergraduate students majoring in very difficult concentrations. Secondly, in the case of the CASB, the students are all employed full time in Chartered Accountancy firms and are under heavy pressure to do well at all stages of the three year program.

Students do meet face-to-face on some weekends (monthly?) for some live classes --- case studies and examinations..

One other competency-based distance education program that has been booming in recent years is Western Governors University in the U.S. --- http://www.wgu.edu/

Most other distance education programs allow instructors more latitude in assigning grades.

Bob Jensen

The one thing to keep in mind is that there is no one pedagogy that is best in all circumstances. And our best students are probably going to get A grades under any pedagogy --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#AssessmentIssues 

The failing of distance education lies more in the instructors than the students. If done well, distance education tends to burn out instructors and takes an extraordinary amount of time relative to teaching onsite. If done poorly, the culprit is most likely the tendency to assign part-time or otherwise non-tenured instructors to the distance education courses. At the other extreme we have the dregs of the tenured faculty assigned to the distance education division.

The really bright spots in distance education are the times when the practicing professionals who are really good at their craft take on a distance education course either as a public service or as an experiment to see how they like teaching. The University of Phoenix has been good at attracting some top professionals.

 

The Chronicle of Higher Education has extensively studied performance of distance education
One such study was conducted by senior editor Blumenstyk

The Chronicle
's Goldie Blumenstyk has covered distance education for more than a decade, and during that time she's written stories about the economics of for-profit education, the ways that online institutions market themselves, and the demise of the 50-percent rule. About the only thing she hadn't done, it seemed, was to take a course from an online university. But this spring she finally took the plunge, and now she has completed a class in government and nonprofit accounting through the University of Phoenix. She shares tales from the cy ber-classroom -- and her final grade -- in a podcast with Paul Fain, a Chronicle reporter.
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2008 (Audio) --- http://chronicle.com/media/audio/v54/i40/cyber_classroom/

·         All course materials (including textbooks) online; No additional textbooks to purchase

·         $1,600 fee for the course and materials

·         Woman instructor with respectable academic credentials and professional experience in course content

·         Instructor had good communications with students and between students

·         Total of 14 quite dedicated online students in course, most of whom were mature with full-time day jobs

·         30% of grade from team projects

·         Many unassigned online helper tutorials that were not fully utilized by Goldie

·         Goldie earned a 92 (A-)

·         She gave a positive evaluation to the course and would gladly take other courses if she had the time

·         She considered the course to have a heavy workload

 

There is strong empirical support for online learning, especially the enlightening SCALE experiments at the University of Illinois --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois

August 11, 2009 reply from Steve Markoff [smarkoff@KIMSTARR.ORG]

Bob:

I've always believed that the role of the teacher is one of FACILITATOR.  My role in the classroom is making it EASIER for information to move from one place to another - from point A to point B.  This could be from textbook to student, it could be from the outside world to the student, from another student to the student, from the student him or herself to that same student AND from teacher to student (me to them).  In defining the word 'teaching', I think many people overemphasize the last transition that I mentioned, thinking that the primary movement of information is from them(the teacher) to the students.  In fact, it constitutes a minority of total facilitated information flow in a college classroom.  I think this misunderstanding leads many to underestimate the value of other sources in the education process other than themselves.  Online content is just one of many alternative sources. 

Unfortunately, online formats do allow certain professors to hide behind the electronic cloak and politely excuse themselves from the equation, which greatly hurts the student.  Also, online formats can be fertile ground for professors who lack not only the desire to 'teach' but the ability and thus become mere administrators versus teachers.

steve

Hi John and Pat and Others,

I would not say that out loud to Amy Dunbar or Denny Beresford that they’re easy graders ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm

I would not say that out loud to the graduates of two principles of accounting weed out courses year after year at Brigham Young University where classes meet on relatively rare occasion for inspiration about accountancy but not technical learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#BYUvideo

Try to tell the graduates of Stanford University’s ADEPT Masters of Electrical Engineering program that they had an easier time of it because the entire program was online.

There’s an interesting article entitled how researchers misconstrue causality:

Like elaborately plumed birds … we preen and strut and display our t-values.” That was Edward Leamer’s uncharitable description of his profession in 1983.

“Cause and Effect:  Instrumental variable help to isolate causal relationships, but they can be taken too far,” The Economist, August 15-21, 20098 Page 68.

It is often the case that distance education courses are taught by non-tenured instructors, and non-tenured instructors may be easier with respect to grading than tenured faculty because they are even more in need of strong teaching evaluations --- so as to not lose their jobs. The problem may have nothing whatsoever to do with online versus onsite education --- ergo misconstrued causality.

I think it’s very rewarding to look at grading in formal studies using the same full-time faculty teaching sections of online versus onsite students. By formal study, I mean using the same instructors, the same materials, and essentially the same examinations. The major five-year, multimillion dollar study that first caught my eye was the SCALE experiments on the campus of the University of Illinois where 30 courses from various disciplines were examined over a five year experiment.

Yes the SCALE experiments showed that some students got higher grades online, notably B students who became A students and C students who became A students. The online pedagogy tended to have no effect on D and F students --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois

Listen to Dan Stone’s audio about the SCALE Experiments --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000cpe/00start.htm

But keep in mind that in the SCALE experiments, the same instructor of a course was grading both the online and onsite sections of the same course. The reason was not likely to be that online sections were easier. The SCALE experiments collected a lot of data pointing to more intense communications with instructors and more efficient use of student’s time that is often wasted in going to classes.

The students in the experiment were full time on campus students, such that the confounding problems of having adult part-time students was not a factor in the SCALE experiments of online, asynchronous learning.

 

A Statement About Why the SCALE Experiments Were Funded
ALN = Asynchronous Learning
We are particularly interested in new outcomes that may be possible through ALN. Asynchronous computer networks have the potential to improve contact with faculty, perhaps making self-paced learning a realizable goal for some off- and on-campus students. For example, a motivated student could progress more rapidly toward a degree. Students who are motivated but find they cannot keep up the pace, may be able to slow down and take longer to complete a degree, and not just drop out in frustration. So we are interested in what impact ALN will have on outcomes such as time-to-degree and student retention. There are many opportunities where ALN may contribute to another outcome: lowering the cost of education, e.g., by naturally introducing new values for old measures such as student-faculty ratios. A different kind of outcome for learners who are juggling work and family responsibilities, would be to be able to earn a degree or certification at home. This latter is a special focus for us.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Program in
Learning Outside the Classroom at 
http://w3.scale.uiuc.edu/scale/
 

Another study that I love to point to was funded by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Read about when one of the Chronicle’s senior editors took a Governmental Accounting Course at the University of Phoenix during which the instructor of the course had not idea that Goldie Blumenstyk was assessing how difficult or how easy the course was for students in general. I think Goldie’s audio report of her experience is still available from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Goldie came away from the course exhausted.

The Chronicle's Goldie Blumenstyk has covered distance education for more than a decade, and during that time she's written stories about the economics of for-profit education, the ways that online institutions market themselves, and the demise of the 50-percent rule. About the only thing she hadn't done, it seemed, was to take a course from an online university. But this spring she finally took the plunge, and now she has completed a class in government and nonprofit accounting through the University of Phoenix. She shares tales from the cy ber-classroom -- and her final grade -- in a podcast with Paul Fain, a Chronicle reporter.
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2008 (Audio) --- http://chronicle.com/media/audio/v54/i40/cyber_classroom/

·         All course materials (including textbooks) online; No additional textbooks to purchase

·         $1,600 fee for the course and materials

·         Woman instructor with respectable academic credentials and experience in course content

·         Instructor had good communications with students and between students

·         Total of 14 quite dedicated online students in course, most of whom were mature with full-time day jobs

·         30% of grade from team projects

·         Many unassigned online helper tutorials that were not fully utilized by Goldie

·         Goldie earned a 92 (A-)

·         She gave a positive evaluation to the course and would gladly take other courses if she had the time

·         She considered the course to have a heavy workload

 

"U. of Phoenix Reports on Its Students' Academic Achievement," by Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 5, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/06/3115n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

 

The 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement, released November 13, 2006, for the first time offers a close look at distance education, offering provocative new data suggesting that e-learners report higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and academic challenge than their on-campus peers --- http://nsse.iub.edu/NSSE_2006_Annual_Report/index.cfm

"The Engaged E-Learner," by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, November 13, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/13/nsse

August 27, 2009 reply from Patricia Walters [patricia@DISCLOSUREANALYTICS.COM]

This email actually has a lot of related but seemingly unrelated questions. Thanks in advance.

Anyone know what type of compensation schools like the University of Phoenix offer to their instructors?

Is this compensation similar to adjunct compensation at most regular Universities?

My assumption is that full-time faculty compensation is comparable regardless of whether they teach on- or "off-" line but I could be mistaken.

Anyone know what the normal course load would be for an on-line instructor? (Amy?) Is is comparable to their colleagues in off-line classrooms?

As someone who spends much of her "free" time learning her avocations in workshops and off-line classes (even though youtube has good knitting videos), this is a whole new world for me.

The closest I've come to on-line teaching is collaborative review sessions for my exec students. I decided that these "in-between" calls and on-line sessions were essential if I was going to keep them on track during the month between in person classes. These sessions were actually more work for me than calling them into the classroom because all of the "lecture slides" had to be prepared "in good form" in advance.

Pat

August 27, 2009 message from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

Hi Pat,

I can respond to a couple of your questions:

>My assumption is that full-time faculty compensation is comparable regardless of whether they teach on- or "off-" line but I could be mistaken. 

>Anyone know what the normal course load would be for an on-line instructor?  (Amy?) Is is comparable to their colleagues in off-line classrooms?

I teach four sections of ACCT 5571, Taxation for Business Entities.  Three sections are in the summer and have between 85 and 105 students total.  We cap sections at 35 students.  I teach one section in the fall, and occasionally I have an overload for a FTF PhD seminar.  Our offload courses are paid at the same rate whether they are online of FTF.

I just finished reading a couple archive articles on online teaching from the Chronicle of Higher Education, one write who hated online teaching and another who loved it.  I am one who loves online teaching, but I miss being the “sage on the stage” on occasion.  But that’s because of my wants, not because I think it is a more effective way to teach.  There are ways to overcome every obstacle the negative article described, with perhaps time being the toughest one to handle. I have noticed, however, over the years that students use AIM, my chat tool of choice, to contact me less often, but instead work with other students online more often.  Perhaps my materials are becoming better over time, so there is less confusion.  I created my own online text with links to spreadsheets, videos, and self-tests incorporated in the modules. In addition, I create new homework sets every semester because I know my old ones are out there in cyberspace.  I do not charge any textbook fee because my modules are personal, incorporating pictures of grandchildren on occasion, and certainly humor here and there.  I really enjoy playing with technology, so teaching online gives me a chance to explore new ways of providing learning tools.

Perhaps the biggest advantage we have at UConn is that we have TAs for our MSA courses.  My TA was one of my top students, and he applied to become my TA after he earned his MSA.  He handles one of the 3 scheduled nights of office hours, works on the homework sets (either he writes them and I review them or vice versa), and he grades the three Excel projects after I run them through a grading macro. I generally go online at various times besides the scheduled office hours, which run from 7 to 10 three nights a week, with the deal that if anyone is online needing help we stay online to help.  Thursdays are my toughest days because I am frequently on until 11 or 11:30.  I also log on AIM when students set up a time they want to meet. 

My students meet at least once a week in a group chat session, and they post the chats on the group boards (or forums as some instructors call them)..  The most time consuming thing that I do is read the chats which sometimes go on for several hours, depending on how lengthy the homework quizzes are.  I create a summary of the week, using snippets of chat that made me laugh, cry, or go omg.  I do not use the student names, but as the semester goes on they try to figure out what will get captured in the summary of the week.  I also can figure out where students are having trouble when more than one group is struggling with an issue, and I can respond by revising the content module.  I also have boards that are dedicated to the content modules, the homework (quizzes), projects, and exams.  I praise students who find errors or confusing wording.  The course is very interactive.  At the end of the semester, I feel the same pangs of loss that I felt when my FTF classes ended.  In many ways, I know my online students better and many stay in touch.    

That was way more than you wanted to know, but I get carried away when I talk about online teaching.  And now I am going back to my vacation.  Today is the last day in an awesome week at Bar Harbor Maine in Acadia and Bristol Rhode Island in Colt State Park. 

Amy

UConn

Online education is now part of "fabric" of public universities, a new study finds. But teaching on the Web is a lot of work, and professors are not happy about lack of support from administrators.
"Going For Distance," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed,  August 31, 2009 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/31/survey

Online education is no longer a peripheral phenomenon at public universities, but many academic administrators are still treating it that way.

So says a comprehensive study released today by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and the Sloan National Commission on Online Learning, which gathered survey responses from more than 10,700 faculty members and 231 interviews with administrators, professors, and students at APLU institutions.

“I think it’s a call to action,” said Jack Wilson, president of the University of Massachusetts and chair of the Sloan online learning commission. “The leadership of universities has been trying to understand exactly how [online education] fits into their strategic plans, and what this shows is that faculty are ahead of the institutions in these online goals.”

According to the study, professors are open to teaching online courses (defined in the study as courses where at least 80 percent of the course is administered on the Web), but do not believe they are receiving adequate support from their bosses. On the whole, respondents to the faculty survey rated public universities “below average” in seven of eight categories related to online education, including support for online course development and delivery, protection of intellectual property, incentives for developing and delivering online courses, and consideration of online teaching activity in promotion and tenure decisions.

Still, more than a third of the faculty respondents had developed and taught an online course.

“The urban legend out there was that many faculty out there don’t want to participate” in online education, said Wilson. “Contrary to popular myths, faculty at all ages and levels are participating.”

Indeed, neither seniority nor tenure status held a significant bearing on whether a professor had ever developed or taught an online course. At the time the survey was administered, there were more professors with at least 20 years’ experience teaching an online course than professors with five years’ experience or less.

This despite the fact that developing and teaching a course online is more taxing than doing the same in a classroom -- according to the survey respondents, teaching online isn’t easy. “Faculty who get involved in online teaching have to be more reflective about their teaching,” Wilson said. Professors need to organize lecture notes and other materials with more care. They get more feedback from students. It’s more apparent when a student is falling behind and needs special attention.

Almost two-thirds of the faculty said it takes more effort to teach a course online than in a classroom, while 85 percent said more effort is required to develop one. While younger professors seem to have an easier time teaching online than older ones, more than half of respondents from the youngest faculty group agreed it was more time-consuming. Nearly 70 percent of all professors cited the extra effort necessary to develop Web courses as a crucial barrier to teaching online.

So if teaching an online course is a ton of work and support from administrators is lacking, why bother doing it? Most professors said they are motivated by their students’ need for flexible access to course materials, and a belief that the Web allows them to reach certain types of student more effectively.

“As a faculty member, when you’re teaching online, suddenly you have to be teaching 24/7,” said Samuel Smith, president emeritus of Washington State University. “…It’s more difficult, but the students get more contact.”

Given the extra work, more than 60 percent of faculty see inadequate compensation as a barrier to the further development of online courses. “If these rates of participation among faculty are going to continue to grow, institutions will have do a better job acknowledging the additional time and effort on the part of the faculty member,” said Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group and the study’s lead researcher. For some, that might mean that their online work should figure into tenure and promotion decisions. For others, “acknowledgment” might equate to some extra cash in their paycheck.

This is not a new request -- nor is the fact that it takes longer to develop and administer a college course online a new revelation. The American Federation of Teachers report on guidelines for good practice in distance education acknowledges that it takes “anywhere from 66 to 500 percent longer” to prepare an online course than a face-to-face one, and “additional compensation should be provided to faculty to meet the extensive time commitments of distance education.” The report noted that only half of the faculty it surveyed reported receiving extra compensation. That was in 2000.

The authors of today's APLU study conclude by recommending that public universities not only institute policies that “acknowledge and recognize” professors’ online education efforts, but also work develop “mechanisms that effectively incorporate online learning into the fabric and missions of the institutions.”

“It’s now a factual statement that online learning is woven into the fabric of higher education,” Wilson said. “It has grown faster over the last six years than any other sector of higher education … and it will keep growing.”

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm


"Udacity Update:  A firsthand look at what it’s been like to take “Computer Science 101″ through the Internet higher-ed start-up," by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2012/03/21/udacity-update/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

It’s been a couple of weeks since my first post about the Udacity CS101 course, so here’s an update. Before that, let me mention this nice article in Wired about Udacity and its origins. That article sheds a little light on the questions I had earlier about Udacity’s business model.

So, Units 3 and 4 are now done with the CS101 course. The focus of Unit 3 was mostly on the concept of the list in Python, along with FOR loops and an emphasis on computer memory. Unit 4 was a bit of a left turn into a discussion of computer networks, with an emphasis on the basics of the Internet and the concepts of latency and bandwidth. So, just from this description, you can see one of the things I particularly like about CS101: It’s not just about Python. This is a class that is actually about computer science in general with Python as a tool for understanding it. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I find it easy to stick with CS101 when I’ve always ended up dropping previous attempts to learn Python. Context is a really good motivator. (The current Unit 5 is continuing this holistic trend by delving into algorithm analysis, which happens to be the same thing I’m teaching in my Discrete Structures class now.)

Unit 3 was rough. There were over 40 videos to watch, and two of the homework assignments that had to do with refining the fledgling web crawler program we are writing were just completely over my head. I also realized that I fall into the same trap as my students do: I procrastinate rather than budget my time. What I should have done was sit down for the first two evenings after the unit was released and plow through 20 videos at a time, then spend the remaining 5 days working on 1-2 homework problems a night. What I did was wait until 3 days before the homework was due to start on the videos. The good news is that I got 100% on all the homework I submitted. The bad news is that I only attempts 3/4 of the problems. So it was rough primarily because it reminds me that I’m just like any other student in terms of my tendency not to use time wisely. I’m hoping that can be converted into something positive.

Unit 4 was better. It was shorter, for one thing, and the material was new and interesting for me. “Learn more about computer networks” has been on my Someday/Maybe list for I don’t know how long, and I have finally actually learned more about them. The discussion of data structures was useful too, because I’m learning Python partially to write some software to help study columnar transposition ciphers, and the question of what’s the right data structure in Python to represent permutations of finite sets has come up with me before. As I mentioned before, having a specific project in mind when you learn something is a powerful way to stay engaged when learning it.

I’m slowly starting not to suck as a programmer, I think. I’m still a newbie, and my Discrete Structures students would probably crack up laughing at my attempts at coding. But when we had to write a program in Unit 3 to check the validity of a Sudoku problem — a “three gold star” problem, meaning extra-high difficulty level — and I managed to put together a procedure that works and does so in a nice, clean, organized way, I began to feel that this whole Udacity idea is actually working.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm


Question
What would Socrates say about our computerized and networked world?

"Empathy in the Virtual World," by G. Anthony Gorry, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 31, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Empathy-in-the-Virtual-World/48180/

We live increasingly "on the screen," deeply engaged with the patterns of light and energy upon which so much of modern life depends. At work we turn our backs to our coworkers, immersing ourselves in the flood of information engendered by countless computers. At the end of the workday, computers tag along with us in cellphones and music players. Still others, embedded in video displays, wait at home. They are all parts of an enormous electronic web woven on wires or only air. We marvel at what we can do with this technology. We turn less attention, however, to what the technology may be doing to us.

Recall Plato's allegory of the cave, in which Socrates tells of prisoners who are rigidly chained in a cave, facing a wall with a fire burning brightly behind them. Between the fire and the prisoners, people carry vessels, statues of animals made of wood and stone, and other things back and forth on a walkway. Held fast, the prisoners see only shadows on the wall and hear only echoes of the voices behind them. Mistaking these for reality, the prisoners vie with one another to name the shadowy shapes, and they judge one another by their facility for quickly recognizing the images.

A sorry scene, we say—a pale imitation of what life should be, a cruel punishment. We do not need philosophers or scientists to tell us that without social interaction, we would not be human. But what has the prisoners' plight to do with us? We are not in chains. We have many face-to-face engagements with others. And the centuries between that cave and the present have seen monumental developments in human consciousness: the emergence of language and imagination, and the invention of tools of communication that have enabled rhapsodes, scribes, and novelists to thrust us into lives real and invented. Today digital technology extends that reach, making possible ever-beguiling fabrications for entertainment and escape. It has put us at the gate of a magical garden crowded with many others who, from the flickers on a screen, clamor for our attention and concern.

If Socrates could wander the halls of our workplaces or visit our homes, he would be amazed by the advance of our multimedia computers over the primitive technology of his cave with its statues and firelight. Technology, however, never bestows its bounty freely, and Socrates might make us a bit uncomfortable with questions about the role that machines play in modern life: Do they bind us in subtle ways? Are they drawing us into such intimacy that life on the screen will soon replace the face-to-face community as the primary setting for social interaction? If so, at what cost?

I fear that we will pay for our entry into the magical garden of cyberspace with a loss of empathy—that our devotion to ephemeral images will diminish our readiness to care for those around us. We might hope, of course, for an increase in understanding, tolerance, and perhaps even empathy as technology makes more permeable the boundaries that presently divide communities and nations. Such benefits would surely be a boon to our troubled world. But as technology exposes us to the pain and suffering of so many others, it might also numb our emotions, distance us from our fellow humans, and attenuate our empathetic responses to their misfortunes. In our life on the screen, we might know more and more about others and care less and less about them.

What is the source of our feelings for others—the "pity for the sorrowful, anguish for the miserable, joy for the successful" that Adam Smith called fellow feeling? Perhaps it is simply in our nature to respond emotionally to those around us. Indeed, our emotional responses arise swiftly and unbidden, particularly in the presence of those bearing the weight of injury, loss, fear, or despair. We might, therefore, expect our natural sympathy and compassion to be impervious to corrosion by modern life. Yet for every heartwarming account of compassion, aid, and sacrifice, the daily news offers a story of indifference, hatred, or abuse that illuminates a second aspect of our nature: a willingness to advance our individual interests at others' expense.

Evolutionary theory and neuroscience both seem to confirm the view of those who attribute humans' compassionate acts to strict social controls —including laws, mores, teachings, and taboos—that alone keep our brutish self-interest in check. If that is so, then changes in the way we interact, and particularly the loss of those social controls, could undermine our caring for one another. Natural selection shaped the brains and behavior of our primate forebears to serve both self and others. By grouping, they could better meet environmental challenges and promote their reproductive success. Individuals still cared most for their own prospects and those of their kin, but increasing social integration demanded care for the interests of the community. Natural selection, therefore, favored primates that could sense the intentions and needs of others of their kind. In time, they became sensitive to the emotions and behavior of others. Our ancestors responded instinctively to body language—not only gross actions, but the twitch of an eye, tremor of a hand, tensing of a leg, and the dilation of a pupil, all subtle indicators of the intent of the brain within the body observed. Thus primates could forge alliances, exchange favors, achieve status, and even deceive. Those who were particularly skilled in "working the crowd" gained added advantages for themselves and their offspring. Because of those advantages, primate sociability became a powerful adjunct to a fierce focus on self.

Genetic adaptations to the demands of that long-ago time still influence our culture, and ancient emotional centers in our brains affect many of our social interactions. But the emergence of imagination set us on the path to what J.K. Rowling characterized as understanding without having experienced, to thinking ourselves into other people's minds and places. One hundred years ago, Joseph Conrad noted that there is a permanently enduring part of our being "which is not dependent on wisdom … which is a gift and not an acquisition." The artist speaks to that part of us, for through it, "one may perchance attain to such clearness of sincerity that at last the presented vision of regret or pity, of terror or mirth, shall awaken in the hearts of the beholders that feeling of unavoidable solidarity; of the solidarity in mysterious origin, in toil, in joy, in hope, in uncertain fate, which binds men to each other and all mankind to the visible world."

For hundreds of years, novels have engaged our empathetic faculties with the lives of imagined others. We learn to read through practice, shaping our brains to accommodate the linearity and fixity of text. Literacy repays that effort by introducing us to a multitude of fictional others whose lives can entertain and edify us. Today, as our brains acclimate to digital technology, a computer screen is increasingly our window to the world. Technology crowds our lives with others' experiences, each claiming a bit of our attention and concern. Some readers of novels say that by introducing us to fictional others, stories make us more sensitive to the feelings of real people. With its jumble of streaming video, elaborate games, social networks, news reports, fiction, and gossip, cyberspace could coax us to greater regard for the unfortunate and oppressed. The widespread grief that followed the death of Princess Diana is a vivid example of the power of technology's Muses to extend the reach of another's mythical life into our own. As digital technology increases its hold on our imaginations, perhaps it will do what novels are said to do: make us a more compassionate, "nicer" species.

Hesiod observed that the Muses have the power to make false things seem true. That, of course, is how they sustain fiction. Today's technology offers new ways to engage our imaginations. Movies, television advertising, and pictures in magazines depict tantalizing, unreal worlds that offer us, if we will suspend our disbelief, what Sontag called "knowledge at bargain prices—a semblance of knowledge, a semblance of wisdom." Even when we know that what we see cannot be, the falsity of our experience may not reduce our empathetic response, which is more automatic than considered. Our brains, seeking stimulation rather than knowledge, may find more engagement in a montage of simulated joys and agonies than in the lives of real people and events.

In the movie theater, for example, watching the Titanic slowly sink, we suffer with its desperate passengers and fear for their fate. We know the images we see are an amalgamation of the real and artificial. But our brains care little about the way technology weds fact and fiction; we care about the experience, not analysis, and for a few minutes, the sinking is real.

Of course, artists have drawn us into imaginative worlds for thousands of years. But when their performances were finished, their books read, or their movies seen, we returned to our everyday lives—and to our friends and neighbors. Now digital technology is erasing the boundary between the magic and the mundane. Computers give us not only a diversion or a lesson, but a fantastic life in which we can indulge our interests with the click of a link, where we can be any place at any time, where we can be who we want to be.

Technology is replacing the traditional social structures of the face-to-face community with more-fluid electronic arenas for gossip, preening, and posturing. Facebook and MySpace members "strut their stuff" with embellished self-descriptions and accumulations of "friends" from far and wide. Those affectations would mean little if we were not so sensitive to trappings of rank, so irresistibly drawn to judge and categorize others. Repeated encounters with those who present themselves as a blend of the actual and the fantasized alter our expectations of trustworthiness and reciprocity. Absent the accountability of face-to-face interaction, there seems little need to adhere to social conventions of the past. Users are free to invent themselves without regard for the concerns or needs of others.

John Updike said the Internet is chewing up books, casting fragments adrift on an electronic flood. We might say the same of lives; technology is cutting out pieces and offering them isolated from their natural context. Just as a dismembered novel loses accountability and intimacy, so too does a person who appears only in fragments. Other people's experiences are reduced to grist for the mill of our emotions, where our inclinations, histories, prejudices, and aesthetic preferences grind them to our liking. With technology as a remote control, we can tune in the emotional stimulation we crave and tune out what we find unpleasant or disturbing. As we shuttle from e-mail to hyperlinks to phone calls, we may find little time or inclination to uncover real suffering in the chaotic mix of the actual and the invented.

A century ago, in "The Machine Stops," E.M. Forster envisioned a time when a powerful Machine would mediate all experience. His Machine had woven an electronic garment that "had seemed heavenly at first." Over time, however, technology had imprisoned humanity in an electronic cave where the body had become "white pap, the home of ideas as colorless, last sloshy stirrings of a spirit that had grasped the stars." The sudden failure of the Machine doomed its dependents, who knew no other life but that on the screen.

Continued in article

We are indeed getting smarter. Further, it has been suggested that the data deluge now available via the Internet makes the scientific method obsolete and reduces enormously our dependence on models versus the real, measurable world.
"Yes, the Web Is Changing Your Brain," by Kim Solez, Internet Evolution, March 12, 2009 ---
http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=567&doc_id=173469&

 

 

 

 


The University of Phoenix, a network of colleges run by the Apollo Group, is drawing attention from regulators as well as Wall Street investors. 

"Can For-Profit Schools Pass an Ethics Test?" by Eryn Brown, The New York Times, December 12, 2004 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/12/business/yourmoney/12school.html?oref=login 

Over the last few years, the Apollo Group has watched its profile rise - mostly for the right reasons. It has expanded its University of Phoenix to 158 campuses, providing professional and technical degrees to working adults from Salem, Ore., to Guaynabo, P.R. Enrollment has doubled, to 255,600 students, in just the last four years. The market capitalization of the company, which earns a profit, has surged 374 percent over the same period.

But these days, the Apollo Group, based in Phoenix, may be gaining notice of a less desirable kind. In September, it agreed to pay the federal Department of Education $9.8 million to settle charges that its recruiting practices violated Title IV of the Higher Education Act, which regulates how almost $70 billion of federal grants, loans and work-study programs are distributed to students at colleges and universities each year.

A Department of Education report asserted that the school based its recruiters' pay on the numbers of students they brought in, and punished underperforming recruiters by isolating them in glass-walled rooms and threatening to fire them if they failed to meet management goals. Enrollment-based incentives and punishments are sometimes illegal under federal law.

Terri Bishop, a spokeswoman for Apollo, denied any wrongdoing by the company. "We were not required to change our compensation practices, because we were not found guilty of the allegations," she said.

Recently, a number of for-profit colleges have faced inquiries, lawsuits and other actions calling into question the way they pursue federal funds.

In the last year, the Career Education Corporation of Hoffman Estates, Ill., has faced lawsuits, from shareholders and students, contending that, among other things, its colleges have inflated enrollment numbers. The company, which said it considered the suits groundless, acknowledged that it was under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. It declined to say what the federal officials were investigating. The Justice Department and S.E.C. declined to discuss this or any other active investigation.

In February, F.B.I. agents raided 10 campuses run by ITT Educational Services of Carmel, Ind., looking for similar problems; the company has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

A routine government audit in December 2003 of student aid programs at Bryman College in San Jose, Calif., part of Corinthian Colleges, found that it was too slow to return federal aid to the government after students withdrew from school, and it incorrectly calculated how much it owed the government and did not keep proper records, said a department spokeswoman, Jane Glickman.

After that, the Department of Education required Corinthian, which is based in Santa Ana, Calif., to give its own money to students and then seek reimbursement from the government. The requirement was lifted on Sept. 22, but the Corinthian Web site says the S.E.C. opened an investigation on Sept. 16 into its "projections, financial performance and communications with securities analysts and investors during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2004."

Such scrutiny may portend tough times for what has been a high-flying, profitable industry. According to Department of Education statistics, for-profit post-secondary schools, including those that grant degrees and those that do not, enrolled 765,701 students in the fall of 2001, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available. That is almost 30 percent more than the 589,600 they enrolled in 1996.

The schools say they offer practical career training in a time when job stability has vanished for many people. The Career College Association, an industry trade group in Washington, reports that 70 percent of the students at for-profit colleges are the first in their families to go to college. David Longanecker, a Department of Education official in the Clinton administration who is now the executive director of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, a research group in Boulder, Colo., said for-profit colleges like the University of Phoenix "are emerging as an important part of the educational system."

For-profit education companies also had the best run of any group on Wall Street from 2000 to 2003, said Howard Block, an analyst at Banc of America Securities in San Francisco, which does not have a financial interest in Apollo, Career Education, Corinthian Colleges, or ITT Educational Services, though the bank has advised some of those companies. Over all, he noted, publicly traded postsecondary-education stocks rose 460 percent over that period, compared with a 24 percent loss for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index.


One of my students, Sophia Mena, at http://www.resnet.trinity.edu/users/smena/learning.htm wrote the following:

The first thing that came to mind when I first started researching the Virtual Classroom is how professors monitor if students are doing their own work. In the Traditional Classroom a professor can easily detect if a person is cheating on their test, but how can they monitor that if someone is taking a test by way of a computer?   It seems very easy for someone to cheat in an asynchronous learning environment. To find out more about computer ethics you can visit:

Computer Ethics - Cyberethics:
http://www.siu.edu/departments/coba/mgmt/iswnet/isethics/index.htm

IEEE Code of Ethics: http://www.ieee.org/committee/ethics

In the 1900s it was common for students to take tests in the presence of the village vicar who then certified that all conditions placed upon taking an examination were followed.  Some conditions are easily met with existing technologies such as timing the examination and webcams and microphones that allow the examiners to view and hear the student from most any distance around the world.   Newer technologies such as retinal scanners are emerging to verify that the student taking the examination is truly the student who is authorized to take the examination. 

Nevertheless, there are enormous problems with ethics and academic standards in ALN.  For example, monitoring students on chat lines becomes expensive and intrusive.  Most ALN courses assume that the email messages and chat line messages from a student are genuine without monitoring those messages with the same scrutiny that is given to course examinations.

In some ways investigating suspected plagiarism is easier on the web.   Unhappily, I have discovered several instances where my students lifted parts of their work (in two cases the entire paper) from sources that were not cited.  Finding these instances of plagiarism was much easier in their web documents due to the ability to search for suspected phrases in web search engines. 

Plagiarism has always been and will always be a problem in education and research.  The problem is exacerbated by computing technologies due to the ease of selecting all or part of a document and clicking on (Edit, Copy) and (Edit, Paste).  Culprits do not even have to type the text.  If they cleverly use the technologies, phrases can be easily modified so it becomes more difficult to discover that the passage was first lifted and then modified so as to escape detection.

One problem with emerging speech recognition technologies is that spoken words (e.g., in a lecture or a session at a conference) can be recorded and digitized automatically such that text that has never appeared in print is created by speech recognition software.  How easy it becomes to beat the speaker in putting that speaker's presentation into printed text. Faculty clinging to traditional lectures and classroom case discussions may not even be aware that whatever went on in their classrooms is now available at hidden sites on the web at either a public or a private web site.  Those infamous "fraternity files" have never been so rich as they will become with speech recognition technologies.


"Catching Cheaters with Their Own Computers:  Anti-cheating hardware could keep online game players honest," MIT's Technology Review, July 3, 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19005/?a=f .

Researchers at Intel are working on a system that could make it much harder to cheat at online games. Unlike current software-based anti-cheating technology, Intel's Fair Online Gaming System would be built into a player's computer, in a combination of hardware, firmware, and software.

Since the early days of video games, players have cheated. Some players tried altering the game's programming, for example, to give themselves benefits such as infinite lives or infinite ammunition. When large groups of people began playing shared games online, these cheats--which seemed harmless in single-player games--became a cause for concern, especially since many of them allow players to make devastating attacks on others.

Too many cheaters in an online game can destroy the group atmosphere that makes online gaming fun, says Mia Consalvo, an associate professor at Ohio University who researches cheating in video games. Although game developers and third-party specialists are always working to combat cheaters, the problem has continued. Some cheaters simply want to wield more power, while others are lured by prize money offered in tournaments.

Gamers can opt to play on servers that block those who haven't installed anti-cheating software. Such software scans a player's computer and alerts other players if it detects cheats. But anti-cheating software can only catch cheats once they become known: like antivirus software, it works by scanning for things that look like known cheats, and the list of cheats requires constant updating.

Intel's researchers say that their system would work without needing updates. By watching at the hardware level for cheating strategies, the system should be able to detect current and future cheats, says Intel research scientist Travis Schluessler.

For example, the system would go after input-based cheats, in which a hacker feeds the game different information than he enters through the keyboard and mouse. A cheater playing a shooting game might use an input-based cheat known as an aimbot, for example, to point his guns automatically, leaving him free to fire rapidly, and with deadly accuracy. Schluessler says that the Fair Online Gaming system's chip set would catch an aimbot by receiving and comparing data streams from the player's keyboard and mouse with data streams from what the game processes. The system would recognize that the information wasn't the same and alert administrators to the cheat. In tests, Schluessler says, the system ran without slowing the play of a game.

In addition to input-based cheats, Schluessler says that the system would go after network-data cheats that extract hidden information from a game's network, such as the location of other players, and display it to the cheater. Intel's system would also target cheats that attempt to disable anti-cheating software. Schluessler says the goal isn't to replace anti-cheating software but to strengthen and augment it.

Tony Ray, president of Even Balance, which makes the anti-cheating software PunkBuster, says this type of system could go a long way toward addressing continuing problems with cheaters. "There are a couple of things that can only be done properly with hardware," he says. "These are things we expend considerable effort in addressing with software ... Having real-time hardware verification that PunkBuster has not been compromised in memory after loading would go a long way toward thwarting even the best private hack authors."

Continued in article


Concerns About Information Overload

"Immersed In Too Much Information, We Can Sometimes Miss The Big Picture," by Dave Pell, NPR, August 11, 2010 ---
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2010/08/11/129127690/too-much-information-can-sometimes-mean-we-miss-the-big-picture

Even in the era of Facebook, this was not a face I expected to see.

A few weeks ago, I might have argued that it’s almost impossible to shock members of Generation TMI. I would have been wrong. I was shocked by a recent Time cover that featured a photo of Aisha, an 18 year-old Afghan woman who had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban.

My first reaction was to look away from the photo. My second was frustration toward the Time editors who decided to run the image. But after some reflection, I realized that in order to understand and form an opinion about the Taliban and the broader issues in Afghanistan, it was an image I needed to see. As a fellow human being — especially one living in an environment where my iPhone coverage is considered a critical issue — isn’t taking a long, hard look at this photo the very least I owe Aisha?

[Time Cover Picture of an Afghan woman with her nose chopped off]

Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel explained his decision to run the cover shot:

Bad things do happen to people, and it is part of our job to confront and explain them. In the end, I felt that the image is a window into the reality of what is happening — and what can happen — in a war that affects and involves all of us. I would rather confront readers with the Taliban’s treatment of women than ignore it.

While thinking about this issue and its relationship to social media, I reached out to the cadre of folks who often advise and assist me before I press the publish button.

None of them had seen the image.

This is in part a statement on the significance (or lack thereof) of magazine covers in today’s media.

I could imagine folks missing even an image this arresting in the past. But who would've thought we could collectively avert our eyes in an age when random videos can get millions of views and we all know about a Jet Blue flight attendant's creative slide to retirement within a few hours of it happening.

But that these folks — all of them heavily plugged-in —  missed this portrait of Aisha is also a statement on how we can collectively repress data that we don’t want to think about. Even though we are immersed in shared words and images, it’s still pretty easy to miss the big picture.

In his New Yorker piece, Letting Go, Atul Gawande laments the fact that doctors and patients have extremely poor communication when it comes to the difficult topic of end-of-life care.

Two-thirds of the terminal-cancer patients in the Coping with Cancer study reported having had no discussion with their doctors about their goals for end-of-life care, despite being, on average, just four months from death.

Although we find ourselves as travelers in the age of over sharing, it turns out we remain quite adept at avoiding the really tough topics.

Google’s Eric Schmidt recently stated that every two days we create as much information as we did from the beginning of civilization through 2003. Perhaps the sheer bulk of data makes it easier to suppress that information which we find overly unpleasant. Who’s got time for a victim in Afghanistan or end-of-life issues with all these Tweets coming in?

Between reality TV, 24-hour news, and the constant hammering of the stream, I am less likely to tackle seriously uncomfortable topics. I can bury myself in a mountain of incoming information. And if my stream is any indication, I’m not alone. For me, repression used to be a one man show. Now I am part of a broader movement — mass avoidance through social media.

Eric Schmidt followed up his comment about the piles of information being created with this: “I spend most of my time assuming the world is not ready for the technology revolution that will be happening to them soon.”

But in reality, we’re a lot more ready for the technology revolution than we are for Aisha.

Jensen Comment
With 500 million people using just one social network (Facebook) plus the millions of others on other social networks and addicted (like me) to blogs, there is most certainly information overload. In fact, one of the services I provide to accounting educators is to distill a vast amount of news to find accounting tidbits that I think will be on interest to accounting educators. But with so many social networks I cannot begin to cover the waterfront and don't even try on Facebook. I also only cover a microscopic part of Twitter where I have only a few selected sources that mostly are like me --- distilling the ocean of information for accounting tidbits.

What I discovered in the AAA Annual Meetings in San Francisco is that there are top-name accounting educators and researchers who are lurkers on the AECM. At least a dozen of them revealed to me for the first time that they've been lurking for years. We can't seem to motivate them to share their expertise with us on the AECM or the AAA Commons. I suspect that one of the main reasons is that they fear having to take too much time engaging in threads that they either commence or join on the AECM or AAA Commons. They are extremely paranoid about their time commitments.

Perhaps this is part of the overall information overload syndrome. It takes some time to lurk over tidbit nuggets, but it takes an even greater amount of time to engage in conversations about those nuggets.

When you think about it, information overload is probably a job saver for educators. Our students would be totally lost amongst the trees of the forests if educators were not handing out Google-type satellite maps of hidden mazes in each forest. The problem for us is that the forests are becoming so immense in size and so overlapping between disciplines that map construction is becoming more and more difficult.

Roles of ListServs, Blogs, and Social Networks ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on data visualization (no chopped off noses) are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm


"Information Overload Is Nothing New From the Roman Empire to the BlackBerry jam," by Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2010 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704476104575439913190836560.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t

It's high summer and we're all out there seeing each other. We're not hidden away in our homes and offices as we are in winter's cold. We're part of a crowd—on the street, in the park, on the boardwalk, on the top deck of the ferry to Saltaire. And we can see in some new or clearer ways how technology is changing us.

For one thing, it is changing our posture. People who used to walk along the avenues of New York staring alertly ahead, or looking up, now walk along with their heads down, shoulders slumped, checking their email and text messages. They're not watching where they're going, and frequently bump into each other. I'm told this is called a BlackBerry jam.

A lot of people seem here but not here. They're pecking away on a piece of plastic; they've withdrawn from the immediate reality around them and set up temporary camp in a reality that exists in their heads. It involves their own music, their own conversation, whether written or oral. This contributes to the new obliviousness, to the young woman who steps off the curb unaware that the police car with blaring siren is barreling down the street.

In the street café, as soon as they've ordered, people scroll down for their email. Everyone who constantly checks is looking for different things. They are looking for connection, information. They are attempting to alleviate anxiety: "If I know what's going on I can master it." They are making plans. But mostly, one way or another, I think they are looking for a love pellet. I thought of you. How are you? This will make you laugh. Don't break this chain. FYI, because you're part of the team, the endeavor, the group, my life. Meet your new nephew—here's the sonogram. You will like this YouTube clip. You will like this joke. You are alive.

We are surrounded by screens. Much of their impact is benign, but not all. This summer I turned a number of times—every time I did, a chapter seemed to speak specifically to something on my mind—to the calm and profound "Hamlet's BlackBerry" by William Powers. It is a book whose subject is how to build a good life in the digital age.

Mr. Powers is not against the screens around us. We use digital devices "to nurture relationships, to feed our emotional, social, and spiritual hungers, to think creatively and express ourselves." At their best they produce moments that make life worth living. "If you've written an e-mail straight from the heart, watched a video that you couldn't stop thinking about, or read an online essay that changed how you think about the world, you know this is true." But he has real reservations about what digital devices are at their worst—an addiction to distraction, a way not of connecting but disconnecting.

In a chapter on Seneca, he finds timeless advice.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca was born at the time of Christ in Cordoba, Spain, an outpost of the Roman Empire. His father was an official in the Roman government, and Seneca followed his footsteps, becoming a Roman senator and, later, adviser to Nero in the early (and more successful) days of his reign. Seneca was a gifted manager and bureaucrat, but he is remembered today because he was an inveterate letter writer, and his correspondence contained thoughts, insights and convictions that revealed him to be a serious philosopher.

Seneca thought the great job of philosophy was to offer people practical advice on how to live more deeply and constructively. He came of age in a time of tumult; the Rome he lived in was being transformed by a new connectedness. An empire that stretched over millions of square miles was being connected by new roads, a civil service, an extensive postal system. And there was the rise of written communication. Writing, says Mr. Powers, was a huge part of the everyday lives of literate Romans: "Postal deliveries were important events, as urgently monitored as e-mail is today." Seneca himself wrote of his neighbors hurrying "from all directions" to meet the latest mail boats from Egypt.

As written language began to drive things, Mr. Powers says, "the busy Roman was constantly navigating crowds—not just the physical ones that filled the streets and amphitheaters but the virtual crowd of the larger empire and the torrents of information it produced."

Seneca, at the center of it all, struggled with the information glut, and with something else. He became acutely conscious of "the danger of allowing others—not just friends and colleagues, but the masses—to exert too much influence on one's thinking." The more connected a society becomes, the greater the chance an individual can become a creature, or even slave, of that connectedness.

"You ask me what you should consider it particularly important to avoid," one of Seneca's letters begins. "My answer is this: a mass crowd. It is something to which you cannot entrust yourself without risk. . . . I never come back home with quite the same moral character I went out with; something or other becomes unsettled where I had achieved internal peace."

Seneca's advice: Cultivate self-sufficiency and autonomy. Trust your own instincts and ideas. You can thrive in the crowd if you are not dependent on it.

But this is not easy.

Everyone Seneca knew was busy and important, rushing about with what he called "the restless energy of the hunted mind." Some traveled to flee their worries and burdens but found, as the old joke says, "No matter where I go, there I am." Stress is portable. Seneca: "The man who spends his time choosing one resort after another in a hunt for peace and quiet, will in every place he visits find something to prevent him from relaxing."

Even in Seneca's time, Mr. Powers notes, "the busy, crowd-induced state of mind had gone mobile." "Today we ask, 'Does this hotel have Wi-Fi?'"

And there was the way peop