Saturday, 19 September 2015

Moving ...

I've been on blogger for years but I'm going to have a go posting with a homegrown blog machine thing.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Does CME for Physicians improve Patient Health Outcomes?

The Impact of CME on Physician Performance and Patient Health Outcomes: An Updated Synthesis of Systematic Reviews

"(1) CME does improve physician performance and patient health outcomes, and (2) CME has a more reliably positive impact on physician performance than on patient health outcomes. The 8 systematic reviews support previous research showing CME activities that are more interactive, use more methods, involve multiple exposures, are longer, and are focused on outcomes that are considered important by physicians lead to more positive outcomes."

This review reinforces confidence in good design principles of interactivity, multiple delivery methods, multiple exposures, over longer periods, and on important topics.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

12 Dimensions of MOOCs

GrĂ¡inne Conole wrote about an analytical approach to Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) design in 2014 called A 12-Dimensional Classification Schema for MOOCs.

The dimensions are as follows:

Open How open the MOOC is
Massive The scale of the MOOC/Number of participants
Diversity The diversity of the participants
Use of multimedia The amount and variety of multimedia
Degree of communication The forms of communication
Degree of collaboration The forms of collaboration
Amount of reflection The extent to which reflection is encouraged
Learning pathway The nature of the learning pathway (from learner centred to highly structured)
Quality Assurance The form of quality assurance
Certification Whether any form of accreditation is possible
Formal learning Link into formal educational offerings
Autonomy The degree of learner autonomy

In her report she analyses a number of MOOCs over recent years using low / medium / high for each of the dimensions. "I would argue that at a glance this classification framework gives a far better indication of the nature of each MOOC than the simple classification as xMOOCs and cMOOCs."

I think it is also a useful classification for exploring the purpose of design features of any particular online course especially where platform constraints are being compared.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Passive tolerance? Yes please!

So this week we had

'Britain to end what he termed "passive" tolerance of extremism' David Cameron seeks new powers to combat extremism in Britain (NY Times)

'ending what he said was a culture of "passive tolerance"'
David Cameron to unveil measures against extremism. (FT)

'"conclusively turn the page" on passive tolerance of extremist views'
David Cameron revives moves for tough action against non-violent extremists to target radicalisation. (Independent)

and in 2011 we had

'Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism'
State multiculturalism has failed, says David Cameron. BBC

This is what annoys me.

You have a belief that extremism should be punished but the most effective counter-argument is that a thing called 'passive tolerance' exists, is a force for good, and would be harmed by such a belief. So, instead of trying to better understand the social science you diminish it; you use its name in your announcements and frame it as a bad thing so that journalists and voters are misled.

Now when we hear about 'passive tolerance' we remember our well-spoken leader telling us it was bad.

No it's not.

"Passive tolerance is probably not a concept many people have yet heard of. Let's hope that changes, because "passive tolerance" is the most hopeful bit of academic social psychology research to emerge in a long time. It is the idea that simply living in an area of high diversity rubs off on you, making you more tolerant of ethnic diversity." Madeleine Bunting. Guardian March 2014.

We should work to prevent the causes of extremism in the first place not punish it which will simply encourage it.
There's probably a very good word for the rhetorical technique used - like equivocation - but I'm not sure - I'd need some journalist friend to tell me that. :-)

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Learning Management Systems are like a minivan or a bus or best avoided?

LMS Is The Minivan of Education (and other thoughts from #LILI15) by Stephen Downes.

Pierre Louis and the "numerical method"

The French doctor who analysed the use of blood letting in pneumonia and settled the argument about whether it was helpful or harmful.

Numbers trump even the most strongly voiced opinions.

Pre-clinical med school MOOC?

This US piece talks about disrupting medical school education and decreasing physician training costs with a national MOOC for the basic sciences. The most depressing part is the scale of junior doctor debt and how utterly distorts career choices away from primary care and improving health to increased specialization and the focus on treatment.