modularizing and disaggregating

At the COHERE 2019 conference, the informal theme this morning was on modularizing and disaggregating[^1] - breaking out of the traditional 4-year degree program, breaking away from the semester-long course, enabling access to content and resources and people outside of the traditional contexts. Dr. Reid opened the conference with a description of this shift, and in reframing how we as an institution think about online experiences - that they aren’t “less than” traditional face-to-face experiences. They can be liberating, enabling, enhancing, amplifying. Dr. Karen Willcox gave the opening keynote, describing projects she’s worked on through MIT in an effort to make sense of the complexities of programs and courses through mapping the curriculum. This is something we have a lot of experience with at the University of Calgary, having built a pretty powerful curriculum mapping application that is already being used across the university. Her application of network graph visualization looks like it provides an interesting interface to exploring the curriculum data once it’s been collected.

Dr. Willcox has been working on the disaggregation-and-contextualization thing for awhile, and has built the MIT Crosslinks OER browser tool to help identify OER for various topics.

Anyway. Lots to think about, in trying to provide tools and process to help make sense of things once they’ve been disaggregated from their original contexts. Some of this is flashbacks to the Learning Objects days. We just need a metadata specification to make things whole… [^1]: the unofficial-unofficial theme was basically folks from Alberta post-secondary institutions quietly freaking out about impending potentially-devastating budget cuts


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