Chat log for LAK11 Weekly Check In

Feb 11, 2011


00:17 - Stephen Downes 

I'm going to buy George a set of headphones he can use for these courses 

00:19 - ConnectIrmeli 

At last here. Been busy with startups IRL :) 

00:31 - Stephen Downes 

echo echo echo echo... 

01:10 - Gillian 

@George: DOn't worry.  Sound no worse here than it was with Stephen earlier (full of holes!) 

01:22 - George Siemens 

or not 

02:16 - Stephen Downes 


02:25 - Tanya Elias 

the wonderful world of academia! 

05:56 - Wolfgang (NL) 

Complete understanding of an individual is upholding stigmata. Can't escape e.g. to another institution when you're unhappy with your teacher or boss. Your data will be there before you. 

06:10 - Stephen Downes 


06:10 - George Siemens 

@Wolfgang - exactly! 

06:24 - Stephen Downes 

agreed with Dave (to be clear) 

06:25 - Gillian 

Is there a privacy issue here that is akin to FB concerns?  Why should students trust edu sites more than FB? 

06:44 - dave cormier 


06:48 - dave cormier 

there isn't really a who 

06:50 - dave cormier 


07:03 - Chris - Denver, Co 

LMS's are really first time that individual actions in a class are tracked on a constant basis. 

07:18 - Gillian 

@Dave: OK... ? 

08:01 - dave cormier 

@Gillian they shouldn't no. 

08:14 - dave cormier 

@gillian though they currently trust universities... 

08:23 - Gillian 

@Chris-Denver: First time in LMS is not necessarily first time in work/academic learning.... 

08:25 - Chris - Denver, Co 

But there is a temptation to implement Contiuous improvement to any system that can be measured. Problem is that this is typically quantitatively focused and misses qualitative variables. 

09:16 - George Siemens 

with Bonnie? 

09:22 - George Siemens 

cause then I'll read it 

09:26 - George Siemens 

she's a good writer 

09:28 - George Siemens 

and nice 

09:40 - George Siemens 


09:43 - George Siemens 

good point Dave 

09:55 - Tanya Elias 

@ chris had that conversation yesterday.  Found myself explaining that qualitative data is no more subjective than quantitative 

10:53 - George Siemens 

admit it dave, it is a value judgement 

10:57 - Chris - Denver, Co 


11:03 - Gillian 

Is there another issue here when talking about 'our students'?  When talking about under-18s, there may be a point.  Adults are perhaps peers with different foci? 

11:05 - Stephen Downes 

I'll make it a value judgement 

11:21 - Tanya Elias 

Are you saying we don't care? :( 

11:46 - dave cormier 

@Tanya who doesn't care? 

11:56 - dave cormier 

transparency is awesome. 

12:01 - Tanya Elias 

people working in corporate world 

12:38 - dave cormier 

@tanya you can care. but the corporate agenda, by legal contract, forces a focus on profit sharing to shareholders. 

12:40 - Wolfgang (NL) 

@George that is absolutely correct. 

12:45 - dave cormier 

@tanya it's difficult to get around that. 

13:26 - Wolfgang (NL) 

That's where it becomes a new corset to individual learning. 

14:17 - Wolfgang (NL) 

Just another form of institutional/governmental assessment 

14:43 - dave cormier 


14:48 - Tanya Elias 


14:49 - dave cormier 

did you want to follow up that point? 

14:59 - Gillian 

@tanya  If you were replying to my comment: not sure of the problem.  I'm not 'commercial' not 'academic' .  Adults are adults and if engaged in lifelong learnig they shift in and out of the two realms. 

15:16 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Dashboard example from Linda Baer's session: 

15:36 - dave cormier 

I'm not sure i trust my position now that george has agreed with it 

15:45 - ljp 1 

students and standards 

15:45 - Chris - Denver, Co 


16:17 - George Siemens 


16:29 - George Siemens 


16:39 - ljp 1 

Students and Standards my contribution to the literature -- what schools do to meet achievement objectives. 

16:57 - George Siemens 

17:31 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Almost all the colleges I talk to are looking for analytics that focus on Student Success and Retention. It hopes of generating a predictive model and an ealry alert system. 

17:44 - Chris - Denver, Co 


18:22 - Gillian 

@Chhris - precisely - and worryingly. Compliance, not edu and research. 

18:33 - Tanya Elias 

being data-driven is not neccessarily bad, just different 

18:52 - Francisco Reis 


18:52 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Especially with all the new Dept of Education focus on justifying your budget. 

19:01 - George Siemens 

wow, I spoke many words 

19:08 - Gillian 

@Tanya - agree on difference.  Just need the translation mechanism!! :) 

19:13 - Stephen Downes 

not sure I agree 

19:23 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Worry that we'll start seeing an attempt to apply NCLB to Higher Ed. :( 

19:35 - George Siemens 

analytics are the first enterprise-level tool for education - more substantial than the impact of LMS 

19:40 - Stephen Downes 

He said analytics will have a bigger inpact on education than ERP and LMS 

19:41 - Gillian 

@Chris NCLB??? 

19:45 - Tanya Elias 

but so does traditional currciculum development 

19:48 - Chris - Denver, Co 

No Child Left Behind 

19:57 - George Siemens 

@Stephen - sorry - analytics will be more like an ERP than an LMS 

20:01 - Gillian 

@Chris Ahh!! :) 

20:08 - Stephen Downes 


20:15 - Stephen Downes 

ERP = ? 

20:51 - Stephen Downes 

It _will_ be used for naferious purposes 

20:52 - Finn 

enterprise resource planning 

21:10 - George Siemens 

@stephen - I'm thinking of higher ed companies - such as sunGard 

21:39 - Gillian 

@Chris - As long as HE sticks to Outcomes, not Obejectives, there's hope! 

21:41 - George Siemens 

i.e. enterprise level planning systems 

22:04 - Chris - Denver, Co 

ERP typically is an aggregation of HR, scheduling/ project management, process improvement, and fiscal applications into one program. 

22:12 - dave cormier 

it might be... it might also lead to the firing of all the curriculum developers 

22:18 - Chris - Denver, Co 


22:32 - Stephen Downes 

I wonder if analytics does to education what SEO has already done to media... 

22:35 - Stephen Downes 


22:44 - Gillian 

@chris @Dave  LoL  !! 

22:45 - dave cormier 

@stephen that's a nice example 

23:00 - dave cormier 

the change hasn't been all bad... but it sure has been profound 

23:23 - Stephen Downes 

SEO "can turn into a “eroin drip”or publishers: “hey had this really good content at the beginning, but they realize the more S.E.O. they do, the more money they make, and the pressure really pushes down the quality on their sites.” 

23:24 - kae 1 

Okay so what should educators start doing concerning analytics? 

23:32 - ljp 1 

the problem is using the analytics for assessment purposes.  i.e. you need to be in the top quartile of posters to pass forces posts. 

23:43 - Stephen Downes 

I've seen this already in edublogging 

23:48 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Worry that we'll start seeing Colleges desparate for founding starting to sell student data to internet marketers. Can just see banner ads in my LMS.. /cringe :) 

23:48 - dave cormier 

When i was arguing with the 'connectivism hater' in wikipedia the other day he said "when i search for connectivism, all i find is @downes blog posts..." 

24:36 - Gillian 

@ljp1 Think you have a point there.  Much more useful to start at the base 

24:37 - Wolfgang (NL) 

I guess the analytics companies like BB need to justify a substantial investment by the HE institutions. 

25:06 - Chris - Denver, Co 

yes, a lot of administrators are looking at how analytics can be used to assist in managing their adjuncts (typically 60% to 75% of faculty). 

26:06 - Chris - Denver, Co 

yes, or system level 

26:17 - George Siemens 

exactly Dave 

26:19 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Most people involved is IT not faculty 

26:26 - Stephen Downes 


26:30 - Chris - Denver, Co 


26:30 - kae 1 

@ Dave - it goes to the RFP committee which is made up of adminstrators 

26:31 - George Siemens 

that's the problem - i.e. who is selling and who in higher ed is buying 

26:43 - George Siemens 

that gives us a real sense of where analytics are... 

26:56 - Gillian 

@Chris-Denver  Managing adjuncts is one thing.  Managing to enable social capital is somewhat different.  Guess you agree  ? 

26:57 - Francisco Reis 

IT may also be faculty! In the future that will increase, I think. 

27:08 - Chris - Denver, Co 

In my experience, the administrators buy and faculty are forced to adapt. 

27:16 - kae 1 

IT gets to take look at it months before any quick tour of LMS is given to educators. 

27:19 - Chris - Denver, Co 

as are students (forced to adapt) 

27:27 - George Siemens 

or simply adopting Knewton 

27:35 - George Siemens 

disaster capitalism anyone? 

27:45 - Stephen Downes 

That's ok, I'll make the negative claim about senior management 

27:52 - Gillian 

@Chris - Denver Yes - you ahve a real point that LMSs descend from on high on staff and students 

28:58 - kae 1 

so same pattern for analytics unless educators take it upon themself to get involved 

28:58 - Chris - Denver, Co 

@Gillian I am very interested in seeing what analytics can do to help students stay engaged and connected to their classmates. So build social aspects / community is sorely needed set of skills. :) 

29:52 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Can Analytics help Business of Education align with Purpose of Education :) 

29:54 - Gillian 

@Chris - Denver.  Agree.  Am working empirically - no stats anywhere!  Just working towards it... 

30:32 - Chris - Denver, Co 

I don't find them scary, but then I do a lot of work with businesses and internet marketing, SEO, and Analytics. 

30:33 - kae 1 

I agree administrators think that they can help. 

31:16 - Chris - Denver, Co 

I'm seeing a lot of focus on Data driven decision making. I worry that everyone will focus on the data trends and not look for innovation. 

31:25 - Stephen Downes 

Why is it OK for institutions to collect all this personal data, to the point even of keylogging, while it is not OK for Facebook to do it? 

31:46 - Wolfgang (NL) 

We're talking about corporate systems only here, but as more teaching is outsourced to Web 2.0 tools these only capture part of the learning. 

31:47 - Chris - Denver, Co 

@Stephen because students have not thought about this. 

32:02 - Stephen Downes 

It's not students' jobs to think about this 

32:14 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Most students I work with have no clue that I can see when they log on. When I have to bring it up, they get freaked! 

32:20 - dave cormier 

@stephen i'm very trustworthy! i have a business card! trust me. 

32:24 - Chris - Denver, Co 


32:29 - Stephen Downes 

I have no doubt they get freaked 

32:36 - Gillian 

@Stepen No idea but it 'should' be a big issue.  What's to stop a uni selling mu burger-buying rate to my insurance company?  (Nightmare but incidental to here!) 

32:56 - Richard Olsen 

@downes we go through their proxy servers, ISPs collect information about us 

33:22 - Stephen Downes 

I know 

33:54 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Colleges already market their student data. Think sports sponsors :) 

34:29 - Stephen Downes 

I'm sure I could market the data from my website to LMS companies 

34:34 - Tanya Elias 

unfocused. that is the the issue 

34:48 - Chris - Denver, Co 

At our college, they worked with a credit card company to develop a college debit card that has student financial deposits put onto it. They did this to save money by not cutting checks. 

35:00 - Wolfgang (NL) 

biggest danger is where else data goes, ad companies, etc. 

35:02 - Gillian 

@stephen ANd the downside would be??? 

35:41 - Chris - Denver, Co 

The benefit is that analytics may give us more information regarding customizing instruction based on student needs and performance. 

35:43 - Mary McEwen 

do you mean the "Downes-side" :-) 

35:47 - Stephen Downes 

the downside, I think, is that I would then begin tailoring my content to improve the data from the website 

35:58 - dave cormier 

@mary nice :) 

36:10 - Gillian 

@Mary - Yes, I smiled :) 

36:26 - Gillian 

@Stephen Yes - and trust. 

36:53 - Stephen Downes 


37:22 - dave cormier 

oh. and i think analytics can be really interesting. 

37:25 - dave cormier 

and want to use it 

38:06 - Stephen Downes 

I'm even nervous about looking up and/or listing the most read posts on my website 

38:11 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Social mapping of LMS interaction would really help instructors easily identify students that falling through the cracks. 

38:17 - Stephen Downes 

In a certain sense, I don't *want* to know what was popular 

38:18 - dave cormier 

have to go now... :( this is a bad time... have a great weekend everyone 

38:22 - kae 1 

Then maybe it's time to have the discussion - find out what analytics are available at your school, show analytics in the dept and faculty meetings and as suggested by Mary bring analytics into the classroom and show students how to use it. 

38:25 - dave cormier 

must get kids 

38:32 - Stephen Downes 

Because then I'll start writing for popularity, rather than content 

38:48 - dave cormier 

@downes you've always been a diva (parting shot!) 

38:55 - Stephen Downes 

yeah that's me 

38:57 - Stephen Downes 


39:12 - George Siemens 

Microsoft Azure 

39:18 - George Siemens 


40:59 - Stephen Downes 

I wonder whether we'll get 'analytics hacks' - where people produce analytic trails in order to improve responses from companies, but are actually misrepresentative... 

41:21 - Wolfgang (NL) 

@stephen great idea 

41:28 - Chris - Denver, Co 

41:30 - Gillian 

@downes Is that predictive? 

41:33 - Ken Powell 

@stephen You can bet on it... 

41:47 - Stephen Downes 

Well I imagine it already exists to some extent today 

41:50 - Chris - Denver, Co 

42:20 - Stephen Downes 

People will pay to fix a dent in their car with cash rather than have it show up in the system and get reported to the insurance company 

42:36 - Mary McEwen 

@Stephen -- but we can also use that (fake data) to our advantage by using data simulations of learning analytics to train (analysts) and test (curriculum, design) 

43:03 - Wolfgang (NL) 

faking data with twitter bots seemingly works 

43:11 - Stephen Downes 

In the U.S., where you have to pay money for health insurance, I can imagine people buying cigarettes offline, and offering to purchase exercise gear for their neighbours, in exchange for cash 

43:35 - Stephen Downes 

People tailor their Facebook personas 

43:46 - Mary McEwen 

@Stephen -- whole new niche markets. 

44:09 - Gillian 

@Mary  Even more problematic for learning design is the time lag?  Instruction programs need to eb fairly stable to make it all work??? 

44:31 - Stephen Downes 

We had some mandatory training recently, I simply paged through the courses so they'd show up (not quickly, I'd hit a page, do something else, etc) & I'd get credit for having 'taken' the course 

45:17 - kae 1 

I think this info may be fed to academic advisors and student retention specialists who then contact. 

45:22 - Stephen Downes 

People buy 'vanity subscriptions' to magazines they never read - 'Fortune' and 'the Economist' probably couldn't exist without them 

45:28 - Ken Powell 

@stephen Great idea for a cottage industry; analytics data creation.  :-) 

45:28 - Mary McEwen 

@Gillian --depends, how about A/B testing? 

45:40 - Gillian 

@stephen  Yhat's a huge improvement - I used to put a child/weight on the mouse while I coooked supper just to make sure the system recognised next stage in course... 

45:41 - kae 1 

right now many early alert system rely on faculty reporting 

46:25 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Also worried about Department of Education selecting analytics to measure education. Issue of what are the "correct" analytics v. analytics for analytics sake. 

46:28 - Stephen Downes 

Meanwhile I use my own analytics to subvert the system... 

46:50 - Therese Weel 

The fact that hour online activities ca be monitored is a given - how is that information used and interpreted? 

47:02 - Stephen Downes 

When I am asked for a postal code, for example, I invent postal codes, to break the tracking, but also to track where the spam messages come from 

47:06 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Educational Optimization :) 

47:16 - Wolfgang (NL) 

Saying something positive: analytics have great potential for self reflection. 

47:22 - Mary McEwen 

I would think that we could develop models to detect "fake data" as well. 

47:41 - kae 1 

spending time on the students who are D, F and W not on getting the C students to become B and A students. 

47:43 - Gillian 

@Stephen - Am not sure where I live in Albany ;) 

47:56 - George Siemens 


48:13 - Stephen Downes 

Oh I remember doing those calls when I was a tutor for Athabasca - if I didn't get an assignment in the mail I was supposed to call - it hardly ever worked 

48:34 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Most issues will occure when we get to benchmarking performance based on analytics. 

49:30 - kae 1 

Actually last week made those calls 2 weeks ago based on "no-show" and think you need advisors or student services people. 

49:36 - Sandra 

Maybe it's the learning style of the tutor - who wouldn't appreciate such a call themselves 

49:43 - Chris - Denver, Co 

Education and businesses cannot help but peg themselves to industry averages on performance measures. 

50:02 - Ken Powell 

Analytics is yet another tool; providing the tool doesn't ensure it will be used well or wisely. Just like desktop publishing... 

50:26 - Tanya Elias 

@Ken exactly 

51:13 - Wolfgang (NL) 

Interesting how the discussion slipped into concerns rather than into benefits. I wonder whether ad companies etc using analytics also have these sort of concerns and discussions? 

51:43 - Therese Weel 

I'd like analytics that suggest what question to ask next. 

51:44 - Chris - Denver, Co 

I don't think analytics will be on most educators or students minds, until administrators start tying analytics into performance measures like pay or funding. 

52:14 - Stephen Downes 


52:15 - Chris - Denver, Co 

lol that is when the "Egyptian" style uprisings will occur. :) 

52:19 - Gillian 

@George I like the distinction bewteen the two factors: personal and LMS/admin.  Biggest issue for me is that people find ever more ways to be individual and that really messes up LMSs.... 

52:44 - Stephen Downes 

YAY! No homework... 

52:52 - Wolfgang (NL) 


52:59 - George Siemens 

53:12 - Gillian 

Great - time to catch up! 

53:23 - Chris - Denver, Co 

lol what could be better, chocolate, flowers, wine and analytics. :) 

54:11 - Gillian 

@Chris_Denver - Select three from four??? 

54:48 - Wolfgang (NL) 

Looking forward! 

54:53 - Francisco Reis 


54:54 - Chris - Denver, Co 

@Gillian. Select all and then you and significant other can discuss metrics and benchmarking. :) 

54:59 - Gillian 

Thank you all! 

55:01 - Stephen Downes 

bye George & Tanya 

55:06 - Wolfgang (NL)