Saturday, July 30, 2016

Constructivism Faculty Training

The presentation on Training college faculty on Constrivism and the Global Learning Framework for eLearning Department of St Leo University, ST. Leo Fl.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

How Colonialism Migrates into Globalization - A Multimedia Lesson

A dear friend at Apple Computers asked me to SKPE the US Wayland Union Schools 10th grade on the human impact of Colonialism and how that migrates into Globalization.  The class multimedia lesson is an instructional design tool for students to explore links and learn more using global multimedia. It leverages concepts form UN SDGs and Youth for Human Rights. Download available on SlideShare.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

How can NGOs launch "Massive, Self-Sustainable Collaborative Learning" Programs?

This is a slightly extended version of Richard C Close sustainable education panel presentation that includes material that addresses questions received after the 10 minute panel presentation. This one of six panel UN HQ presentations from the session: Education for the Sustainable Inclusion of Displaced Populations: innovative civil society and multi- stakeholder solutions across continents
UN HQ Feb 11 2016 at 1:15pm in Conference Room E.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Data Analytics and Evaluating Faculty/Student Experience

I just finished reading, “Visualizing Knowledge Networks in Online Courses” by Brian Dashew of Columbia University. It is one of the clearest papers I have read on LMS web analytics as a tool to guide faculty on the dynamics of their online courses. In plain English, the purpose of online graphical analytics is as follows: When in front of a live class, we can tell how we are doing if the students are silent, bored to death or if the room is vibrant with discussion. Graphical web analytics allows us to see, at least at a superficial level, how our class is interacting. Online graphical models serve up visual patterns between students and faculty at a granular level. Graphic analytics enables faculty to see the patterns of their online classes when they are blind to the facial reactions and body language of their students.

My exploration of learning transformation examines the personal, cultural/experiential side of life in poverty and trauma. After 15-years of exploration, it lead to the development of the Global Learning Framework, Personal Learning Framework and Transformation Learning Framework. All of these frameworks manage the collaborative contextual flow around learning content in global/local formats. The question is how do personal frameworks play a role in contemporary online analytic models?

To be fair, detailed web analytics of a single curriculum and class are fairly closed systems (the lesson’s bubble) that are subject to great variances when transplanted into different cultures or personal experiences. It is in this issue that web analytics, or the analytics of human collaboration, may in the future, unfold the hidden mysteries of collaborative learning, and better yet, distributive intelligence. Perhaps the evidence of shared Memeplexs (Richard Dawkins) will yield their importance in this field of cognitive collaboration.

While immersed in Full Sail University’s highly collaborative graduate curriculum model, I wondered how different cultural environments impact the student’s experience and therefore the instructional design strategy. Evaluating online faculty suffers the same problems as evaluating classroom teachers, each year the class makeup varies enormously. One year may be smooth and the next year a class management nightmare. Even with the same content each semester, students create completely new sets of challenges, thereby altering the collaborative patterns of the course. This is as true for kindergarten as it is for evening classes. Each class has its unique cognitive personality that is shared between the students. One of the reasons standardized teacher evaluations are not fair.

In Africa, learning is a social process that Lindemen’s landmark book, “The meaning of adult education,” saw back in 1927 (Lindeman). His ideals on meaning and relevance were validated in my work with the Bridgeport, CT Rescue Mission’s homeless women. The moment I put two women to work on a PC, their production in writing their life stories and their confidence greatly accelerated the learning experience because of the technology. It is interesting to note that when students feel safe, collaboration accelerates; conversely an unsafe environment shuts learning down.

At Full Sail University, they used the RISE Model, because it yields a culture of positive critique in a creative process. Full Sail is a media school and for learning to work, the creative process must keep flowing. RISE also facilitated the stronger, more experienced students to be encouraged, and to help mentor other students who needed help in specific areas. RISE is a superior tool to enhance collaborative constructs. In addition, our pod of eighteen graduate students working through an extremely complex Masters in Instructional Design degree created a safe collaborative environment by launching a separate Google+ circle that blocked faculty from viewing student issues. In this renegade group, the circle would sometimes become more interactive than the classroom environment (outside of the eyes of an analytics tool). That group often freely discussed material contrary to the curriculum and offered collaborative technical support on Adobe’s very buggy overpriced Creative Suite.

It is also interesting to note how the dynamics changed when we went to the weekly instructor webinar. Professors that used the webinar time to present had small attendance. However, professors that used it to tap into open debate and student background would usually bleed over from one to two hour sessions (keep in mind these are non gradable moments, time for real learning). In many ways, we were hungry for the analog faculty’s views (opinions) and life experiences to enrich (give meaning) to the content in the lesson’s module.

This structure to the Full Sail experience seem to deliver layers of emotional context (an academic way of saying meaning): LMS content/blog > Google + group > Webinar collaboration> late night phone calls. Perhaps this all walks us into the space of Distributive Intelligence (Roy Pea). How do we do analytics in the cognitive space? We need to keep in mind that web analytics are a very small snap-shot in time and do not offer the transcendent variances flowing in the background of the actual collaborative experience. What this means is that I could design a highly interactive page turning a sexual harassment course for hospital MDs, whom must pass with 90% or greater to receive a pay check, and yet yield no significant changes in behavior toward the RNs. Analytics may tell us great detail about interaction without yielding hidden data on transformational perceptions/values. And yet analytics still has great value.

At SUNY Empire State, I took a series of adult learning graduate courses that were poorly developed. The professor’s culture was anti-Christian that clashed with the majority of students who were working in Christian learning centers. This created much conflict that was hidden from the faculty. You would think faculty that was familiar with Malcolm Knowles work would know better. The culture clash was so intimidating that webinars were often completely silent during professor questions. Students offered minimal, and highly filtered, responses to blogs out of fear that they might receive low grades or have their thesis rejected.

Variances in the cultural views of the instructor and the experiential frameworks of the students will yield different results each time a class is run with the identical course design. In K-12 using the identical Pearson Common Core curriculum, two different third grade classes in the same school will have great performance variances between them. One class can be easy to control and another a class management nightmare. Personalities, emotional makeups and even male/female ratio greatly transform the global and personal experience in the lesson. These are highly complex variances. I have taught in both high entitlement and poverty settings with similar content that always yielded dissimilar results. Two teachers using the same Common Core history textbook will have completely different outputs if one teacher is a Republican and the other a Democrat. The goal to achieve a Common Core in an uncommon world is delusional at best. Our challenge for analytics is to grasp the deeper human experience. Sometimes no link or response at all indicates a deeper form of transformation or that defiance is taking place. In other words, deep learning can take place when nothing is showing on the surface. Deep reflection may not create any visible link to track.

We would like to believe we can dissect culture, values, and personal experience out of the Instructional Design experience for predictable control group outcomes, however these beliefs can lead to delusional or disinformation in the research. The downside is we can fool ourselves that real transformation is taking place by designing in more collaborative interaction. The underlying truth we maybe forcing online collaboration on mechanical level that to the student is simply irrelevant, boring or forced compliance instruction. Perhaps the greatest learning experiences in school are exceeding messy, emotionally challenging, unpredictable and making measurement grading extremely difficult.     

Until we can honestly grasp the cultural, emotional and experiential framework of each individual and it’s distributive impact on the lesson, analytics of instructional design may be more like placing a wine glass on a door to Grand Central Station during rush hour and declaring, “A lot is going on here.” The truth is, many lonely people are sitting in boxcars and that have a lives that do not make much sense.

Learning web analytics can greatly enhance the faculty’s understanding of “what” is going on (or not going on) in their online classes. We just have to dig deeper as to “why” it is happening on the student’s experiential level.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Global Learning Framework Launch

After over 10 years of research the Global Learning Framework™ is being launched as a six part course outside of the authority of academia.

Back in 1998 when I was launching eLearning companies, ghost writing analysts papers on LMSs and running NYC technology center I had serious doubts about the theories and methods of Adult Learning and corporate learning technologies and methods. It was a time of the birth of network technology. Learning was no longer to be the trickle-down forced-indexed based drill-and-kill we were taught.  The human race had finally invented a way to for globally collaboration (learning) to take place in a way that completely bypassed corporate, academic and authoritarian structures.

As jumpstart speaker in the 1998 international eLearning conference I coined the phrase “Search Learning” that pointed out that the Web is not indexed like text a book and that both curriculum design and learning technology will have to change into a way humans naturally learn, collaboratively. This meant a massive investment in technical and strategic paradigms for the academic and learning industries, so it was simply ignored.

By 2003 I shifted my attention to the NGO world of developing transformational lessons of US Homeless Women and African groups. By 2010 an analysis of Adult Learning Theory left me stunned with substandard research filled self-justifying syntax, inexcusable poor research and generalizations that demand a Scientology like faith that came from the popular published professors of major academic institutions. Leading Institution professor were making tidy sums with research that would of gotten them fired in any of my client companies. Brookfield 1995 paper “Storming the Citadel – Reading Theory Critically” address the problems in academic learning theory however it does not cover the dire consequences of academia delivering graduates with so little moral fabric. Graduates that can fleece counties of trillions, war for oil fields, and 100,000 suicides over GMO small farm deals.

While the academic bubble continued these self-justify theories of transformation and “Relativeness” an entirely separate world in the streets using the ideas of Malcolm Knowles, Pablo Frieri and John Dewey with educators / volunteers were doing the real transformational work with literacy and life skills programs. In the streets, personal and cultural frameworks were not “relative” they were the driving motivational tools for personal development. Character development was far more important than workforce competence development. Concurrent to elites theory lectures movies such as “Freedom Writers” and “Precious” show the public what it takes for real transform needs to take place. I have replicated the methods of these movies with remarkable results. I refer this work in the Global Learning Framework course lessons.

Yet quietly tucked away is the research for Yale Baby Lab that definitively illustrates the toddler from birth understand right from wrong, values and how every piece of content is wrapped in context.

Of course while all of this is taking place by 2007 the entire world wired itself together in a Global learning collaborative experience that could care less of anything to do with academia. With no assessment or test Google served up massive content within personal context. Here the tables were completely turned, it was the content that was rated and not the learner. With US and African academic yield and a combined unemployment, or under-employment a cry for re thinking academic theory and methods is urgently now.

In the streets educators knew that common core in uncommon core was nothing more that academia as an industry. The truth was that the people of the world were well on the way evolving the Collaborative Core. We as strategic and instruction designers had better adopt to integrating our lessons into this world no matter how out of control is seems. Tragically the APA religionist pushes the replicating of mistaken theory of the past on graduate students who are forced to create thesis of religions agreement to finish a $50,000 sheepskin. The rivers of the world’s knowledge are waiting to burst through the gateways of smart boards and smart phones in every teen’s pocket.

The human race figured out how to learn collaboratively on a global bases the same way we learned in caves and mentored our young in the fields.  African learning is social, and perhaps that is hard for the authoritarian to control. Ironically it was in 1927 when Lindeman flagged the flawed subject learning curriculum should be experiential learning and reminded us the “Learning is a Social” experience.

1.    We need a Global Learning Framework that clearly defines how we learn tribally/collaboratively that any system designer, teacher or mentor can hang a lesson on that is 100% relevant to the learner.
2.    We need Personal Learning Framework that clearly defines how we take in the world, figure it out and create. We need a personal Learning Framework that embraces personal character development along with cultural and personal values, not sanitize them out. These methods must enrich the human experience in a way Blooms and other academic taxonomies deny. The human experience is not Dr. Spock world of pure intellect in denial of human emotion. Here is where clarity is needed on how context is more important than content and how we do curriculum design, something and teen with smart phone knows.
3.    We need a Transformation Learning Framework that is not for elite Ph.D. in Ivy League schools but for the people of the world who must be provided with the experience necessary to lift them selves out of trauma and poverty.

Finally we need theory to be united with methods that anyone can understand and use at any level of society. Theory and method needs to define how we personally change the global experience while at the same time the world changes us. Dewey’ democracy in learning is so spot on that the world of drill and kills is dead.

It is intentional that I launch the Global Learning Framework outside of the authoritarian academic religious institution. While I do own the copyright and trade make of names we truly open it to the field of research and people in the trenches doing the real work. Over the coming week I will publish five more lessons along with the curriculum that I used in testing the methods Africa, US schools and US urban poor. All papers are readily available without charge on, SlideShare and our Global Learning Framework Community.

More information and the complete course will be located at:

Global Learning Framework, Micro Learning Paths Personal Learning Framework and Transformation Learning Framework and the trademark and copyright of Richard C. Close 2010 -2014