MOOC-Studie: Video-Lektionen kurz, aktiv und persönlich gestalten

Interessante Ergebnisse einer aktuellen Studie mit Daten der edX MOOC-Plattform zum Thema Video-Vorlesungen und Micro-Lectures.
Die Autorin Debbie Morrison, selbst M.A. in Education and Human Development, listet  die erforschten Schlüsselfaktoren für die erfolgreiche Einbindung von Video-Segmenten in MOOCs auf. Sie gibt auch daraus abgeleitete praktische Tipps für Dozenten, eLearning-Spezialisten und Kursleiter für die Herstellung zukünftiger Videos, die dann hoffentlich die Massen (dafür steht das M in Moocs – Massive Open Online Courses) begeistern und zum Weiterlernen motivieren.
Zwei wichtige Ergebnisse der Studie vorab:

> Je kürzer die Videos, desto besser: Nach 6 Minuten sinkt die Aufmerksamkeit rapide
> Up close & personal: Den Studierenden gefallen die sogenannten „Talking Heads“ besser als abgefilmte Vorlesungen aus dem Hörsaal – obwohl die Dozenten das „Klassenzimmer-Feeling“ bevorzugen, haben die persönliche Ansprache aus nächster Nähe mehr Effekt und fördern den Lernprozess sowie das Engagement nachhaltig.

Hier der exzellente Artikel über die Studie:
>> MOOC Design Tips: Maximizing the Value of Video Lectures | online learning insights
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Another way to talk to machines: Jacking into the brain

Bill Diodato, Scientific American]

Photo: Bill Diodato, Scientific American

While people still have to gesture wildly in front of a giant computer display when they go with a human-machine interface á la Minority Report (see previous article), futurist Ray Kurzweil’s dream has been rather to jack directly into the brain (in order to upload it to the net to live forever, but that’s another story, called Singularity and all).

The Scientific American recently ran an article about the current research in neuro-technology regarding brain-machine interfaces. The first page is a little dragging, mentioning all the crazy ideas of science-fiction authors of the past 30 years, but the rest of the article is about current research programs like using the brain as an interface for prosthetics, steering through virtual worlds by mere thought or improving our memories with an artificial hippocampus. If you don’t have time skip to page 4 of the article. Full article on Scientific American: Jacking into the Brain – Is the Brain the Ultimate Computer Interface?

Although we appearently still don’t know jack about jacking into the brain and doing something really useful with it, there is the next best thing that you can order now (will be shipped to US addresses only by the end of the year for 299 US$): The EmotivEpoc headset taps your neurons from the outside and translates your intentions, facial expressions and emotions into commands for 3D games and virtual worlds. Their technology also lets you control a wheelchair just using mind control (video). Spooky, huh? And damn useful if it works. Here’s a video showing how it works with games.

 

No more typing lol (laugh out loud)

Mac support is planned but scheduled for later – „the market conditions dictate that Windows comes first“ is what Jonathan Geracifrom the Emotiv team told me in July. But they offer an open API set for developers so the range of supported games and virtual 3D platforms should be impressive.

Read more about the sensor-laden headset or order it now if you are living in Obama land at the Emotiv Website. (No chance for the rest of the world without US address yet)

Study shows: Social Media’s strategic role acknowledged and adopted in the US corporate world

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research recently conducted one of the first statistically significant, longitudinal studies on the usage of social media in corporations. The new study compares corporate adoption of social media between 2007 and 2008 by the Inc. 500, a list of the fastest-growing private U.S. companies compiled annually by Inc. Magazine.

Review Summary:

  • From familiarity to usage to importance, social media is expanding rapidly within the Inc. 500.
  • The bottom line is that the Inc. 500 continues to learn about social media at a very quick pace.
  • For the first time, growth in familiarity, adoption and importance to mission has been documented in a statistically significant, longitudinal study. If the Inc. 500 is embracing social media at this record pace, can the rest of corporate America be far behind?

Social Media And US Business Familiarity, Usage And Adoption: A Research Study Of The Inc. 500 – Robin Good’s Latest News »

Endlich: Eingebaute Lippensynchronisation in Second Life

Was die Kommunikation in virtuellen 3D-Welten angeht, vor allem in der Zusammenarbeit mit anderen, ist die fehlende gewohnte nonverbale Kommunikation immer noch ein großes Manko. In Second Life gab es dafür zwar bereits schon lange (kommerzielle) Zusatzprogramme, die z.B. zum getippten Textchat oder auch Voicechat passende Mundbewegungen erzeugen (auch typische vorgefertigte Gesten/Mimikabläufe für Situationen aller Art und sogar animierte Sculpty-Gesichter), aber gerade für Neueinsteiger, sogenannte Noobs, ist es immer wieder mühsam, sich solche Add-Ons zusammen zu suchen (abgesehen von den Zusatzkosten). Über SLtalk bin ich jetzt darauf aufmerksam geworden, dass die Lippensynchronisation bereits im aktuellen Second Life Test-Viewer (Version 1.20.14) eingebaut ist. Man muss es zunächst aktivieren (Advanced Menü mithilfe Shift-Alt-Cmd-D einblenden, dann Character/Enable lip sync Beta auswählen), doch ich gehe davon aus, dass dies in Zukunft voreingestellt ist. Und so sieht es aus:


Automatische Lippenbewegungen während des Voicechats in Second Life (leider nicht wirklich synchron).

Wenn man das kombiniert mit Mimik-/Eye-Tracking Lösungen, die langsam immer günstiger werden, wird die Unterstützung von internationalen Arbeitsgruppen, Meetings und anderen Formen der Zusammenarbeit durch virtuelle Welten immer realistischer für die Teilnehmer.

Hier ein paar Beispiele von Entwicklungen, die in der Richtung gemacht werden:
http://www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk/projects/eyegaze.html
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=UUeqrYEzNi4
http://gazeinteraction.blogspot.com/2008/07/eye-tracking-using-webcamera.html

Und auch der ganze Körpereinsatz ist bereits in der deutschen Forschung in Arbeit: Junge Forscher des Deutschen Forschungszentrums für Künstliche Intelligenz Saarbrücken surften mit dem Nintendo Wii-Balanceboard bereits durch Google Earth und Second Life und hielten dies auf YouTube fest.

The Daedalus Project: Our Virtual Bodies, Ourselves?

The Daedalus Project: Our Virtual Bodies, Ourselves?

(via naki)

The survey results suggest that we tend to be just like optimized selves and the real world stereotypes hold in virtual worlds as well: women are socializing, graceful explorers and men are over-achieving sociopaths…ah well 🙂

From the survey: “(…) much of avatar choice seems to revolve around mirroring; taller people prefer taller avatars, older people prefer older avatars, male players prefer more masculine characters, and female players prefer more feminine characters (…)”

Why asking for help is easier than you think and actually helps others to live longer

I just found this interesting bit on the PsyBlog: “Ask for help, but don’t ask for too much”. People notoriously underestimated how likely others were to help them by as much as 100%. The reasons are our difficulty to think like another person (egocentric bias) and the social pressure the other person is put under.

There are two very practical messages coming out of this research:

1. If you want help, just ask. People are much more likely to help than you think, especially if the request is relatively small. Most people take pleasure in helping others out from time-to-time.

2. Make it easy for others to say no. The other side of the coin is that most of us don’t realise just how hard it is to say no to a request for help. Other people feel much more pressure to say yes to our requests than we realise. If the help you need is likely to be burdensome then think about ways of making it easier to say no.

I’d like to add more interesting facts:

  • other studies have shown that helping actually makes people feel better than being helped
  • older adults helping others are healthier and live longer

In fact studies by the Institute for Social Research (ISR) from 2002 showed that older people reduce their risk of dying by nearly 60 % compared to peers who provide neither practical help nor emotional support to relatives, neighbors or friends.

Well – to me those studies suggest two things:

  • If you’re young and clueless or just in a bad spot do ask for help. It’s not only that your problem will most likely be solved because others usually say yes, but at the same time you help another person to feel better and live longer
  • you might learn something (from asking) that you, once you get older, can use to help others – extending your own lifetime and improving your health significantly.

What more could we ask for?