Weekly Web Harvest for 2020-10-11

  • Designing A Home Video Studio For Online Synchronous Teaching
    I ended up replying to a FB thing on this paper with this . . .

    The paper ends up being kind of interesting compared to the clickbait article which mainly irritated me.
    “I have heard my colleagues say our competition is Netflix, TikTok, YouTube, and similar platforms. I disagree. Our competition is our own teaching, reimagined in a world of TED Talks and high-quality talking head productions (like Frontline, 60 Minutes, etc.). ”
    I agree educators aren’t competing with pure entertainment options (there are some larger questions about the creation of educational games etc. but that’s major complexity). Comparing educator-created content to various types of educational media makes sense to me but the difference in this case is audience and intent. If it’s synchronous the differentiator is really how well you take advantage of live interaction options with students. In either case the difference is how you customize things based on the fact that you know your students and what they need. You aren’t blindly creating for everyone or for an abstract demographic compilation (Southern Females from 18-25) but for individuals that you can interact with and know things about.
    He says some other things that I wonder about.
    “When we design online asynchronous courses for MITx, our major goals are scalability and clarity.
    We are trying to remove unnecessary ambiguity that, to a certain extent, we often keep in our on-campus courses because it promotes critical thinking and shared learning. I believe online asynchronous classes strive to achieve minimal sufficiency where the minimally sufficient bar is
    quite high, while on-campus synchronous courses promote profound comprehension.”
    There’s some stuff with OBS that I think would work well for certain people. If anyone wants to go down that path, I’d be interested in it. I’ve got some people I know playing with it and that includes one VCU Arts faculty member.
    It would seem now is the time to figure out some of this stuff for VCU. I think we can help develop some answers to major problems and point towards some possible hardware/software patterns that’ll make people (students and faculty) happy and create better media and interactions.

  • Full article: Data Organization in Spreadsheets
    his article offers practical recommendations for organizing spreadsheet data to reduce errors and ease later analyses. The basic principles are: be consistent, write dates like YYYY-MM-DD, do not leave any cells empty, put just one thing in a cell, organize the data as a single rectangle (with subjects as rows and variables as columns, and with a single header row), create a data dictionary, do not include calculations in the raw data files, do not use font color or highlighting as data, choose good names for things, make backups, use data validation to avoid data entry errors, and save the data in plain text files.