Bookmarked Moving beyond ‘solving’ problems as meaningful learning- a conference #ShrugCon by dave dave (

A conference about uncertainty which might also be about the left-overs after problem-solving.

Dave Cormier describes how, according to Herbert Simon, there are well-structured problems and the rest that is left over. Cormier explians why he prefers to focus on the “left overs”.

A well-structured problem almost never happens to me in real life. At work, as a parent, as a partner, as a citizen I am almost never in a position where I’m given a clear question that isn’t messy in some way, a process that I can follow, and a way for someone to say ‘yeah, you did that exactly right’. And when I am, I can mostly just use a GenAI tool to get there.

The things that are meaningful, to me, are about real life. They aren’t about chess, they aren’t about puzzles, they are about how each of us faces the uncertainty around us. With all these GenAI discussions swirling around I’m even more interested in how we learn when things are uncertain.

Moving beyond ‘solving’ problems as meaningful learning- a conference #ShrugCon by Dave Cormier

For me, this touches on Dan Meyer’s comments about ChatGPT-4o and mathematics:

This looks like success to many. To me it looks like someone has successfully diced an onion without understanding why we’re hosting the dinner party, what we hope our guests experience, or how we’re going to structure the evening.

We can focus students on larger ideas by asking other questions.

What is the question asking you to do?

What do you know about that?

What is special about this triangle?

What do you know about sine?

Source: ChatGPT-4o Will Be Great for Certain Math, Certain Thinking, and Certain Kids by Dan Meyer

Replied to Dave Cormier ( (Mastodon)

Does anyone have something they like to use to explain affordances. I’ve been working on it for weeks, but i’d love to send my keener students another perspective if i could

Dave, you might was to have a look at Ian Guest’s post on affordances  related to his PhD.
Liked What do I actually want from my PhD? by dave dave (

I’d like to complete the research that I’ve started in the PhD so far. I want to attach the cognition literature on ill-structured domains to how faculty learn to teach online. I think there’s a really interesting pattern there, and it seems to answer some questions I’ve had for years. I think there’s a story to be told that could help people see how the digital has changed whatever relationship they could have had to information and knowledge. Maybe it has made it clearer? I want to tell that story.

Replied to Designing school when students have the Teacher’s Copy by dave dave (

Design with care. Imagine activities that your students will enjoy. Build trust where you can. Be present, even in your assignments. Do longer term-style assignments where your formative feedback applies to their work. Talk to them about why you love what you know. Try to encourage them to care about what you know. Hold on.

Dave, I really enjoyed this reflection, in particular your point that right answers encourage cheating

If you give any question to a student that has a clear, definitive answer, you are tempting them to cheat.

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Sadly, Blackstone’s acquisition won’t be about improving people’s Spotify recommendation, because they are already doing that.
Liked How much ‘work’ should my online course be for me and my students? by dave dave (

Those 6 total work hours are going to work out to 90 hours of work over an average term of 15 weeks. (please note, the Carnegie unit wants that to be 120 hours, but we’re going to ignore that). We have 90 hours to work with over the term for a course. How do you want to break that down? It’s going to be drastically different for different courses and styles. But whatever you’re teaching, keep trying to think about it from the perspective of what a student is actually going TO DO.

Simple break down (not quite 90, yes i know)

Watch 3 hours of video* – 5 hours
Read stuff – 20 hours
Listen to me talk – 15 hours
Talk with other students in a group – 15 hours
Write reflections about group chat – 7.5 hours
Respond to other people’s reflections – 7.5 hours
Work on a term paper – 10 hours
Do weekly quiz – 3 hours
Write take home mid-term – 3 hours
Write take home final – 3 hours

Bookmarked Move to Online Learning: 12 Key Ideas by dave dave (

I got asked by a long time colleague if I was willing to do a post of all the things that I’ve learned in the last eight weeks about moving online. Not ’emergency teaching’ but actual lessons about people moving to teaching with the internet. I’ve worked with over 100 faculty at my own institution this past few months, taking them through a 1 week intensive course. I’ve also been in constant contact with folks from around the world both through my interviews on and in endless backchannels and side chats. Here’s what I got.

Dave Cormier reflects upon the current crisis and his experiences associated with supporting online learning. In summary, he shares 12 ideas. This feels like a return to ideas discussed in the Rhizo MOOCS that content is actually people and community as curriculum. One point I particularly liked was the idea of ‘teacher presence’ and possibly writing a post correcting misconceptions.

You can easily write one post responding to all the posts on a given subject, highlighting themes and correcting misconceptions. Less duplication for you, and it still shows students that you’re involved.

Dave Cormier and Ashlyne O’Neil have also elaborated these ideas further in an online book that is designed to serve as a short course.

Bookmarked Online Learning Resources for people moving online in a hurry. by dave dave (

Before our Friday online teaching class I tweeted out a request for suggestions for the ONE THING that people would send someone if they were moving online for the first time.
If you were going to send someone ONE document/video about teaching online, what would it be? Looking for ‘further reading’ …

Dave CormierDave Cormier collates a range of go to resourcesrange of go to resources for teaching online.
RSVPed Interested in Attending What is education’s responsibility to society? An open, futures course

George Siemens and I are hosting a two week futures-style Open Course starting April 15th on the SSHRC challenge “Truth under Fire in a Post-Fact World,” and the question of how education should respond. You can sign up by joining this mailing list.

I really like the sound of this Dave, however I seem to say that far too often. I guess we will see.
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I too agreed Taylor Swift’s performance was good and that the banter provided by the medium is always insightful.

Some other great series are: La Blogothèque’s Take Away Shows and Triple J’s Like a Version.

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Did someone say … #Rhizo20

It makes me wonder what is pertinent in regards to rhizomatic learning in 2020? How has the context changed? Is ‘rhizomatic learning’ atemporal?

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Dave, I wrote a reflection a few years ago on your role, which I still think stands:

Coming back to Rhizomatic Learning, I am therefore left mulling over how Dave Cormier has successfully ‘managed the MOOC’. I must be honest that the word ‘manage’ may be slightly misleading, inferring incorrectly a sense of power and control, I think that instead what the course has done is instigate learning throughout. In some respect this has now been coordinated by everyone, although Dave has ‘set’ the tasks and facilitated the communications and conversations. However, as was demonstrated by +Mariana Funes‘ post, much was left to the community to continue the learning.

If I were to add anything, it would be your particular patience and persistence to tease ideas out.

As time has past, I often come back to my various experiences from the Rhizo MOOCs. In today’s day and age of impact and effect, I wonder what I carry on with me. I think it would be a certain softness and openness to difference and opportunity. Thinking back on some of my interactions I feel that there were times when I was so naively confident about some things. I think my participation was useful in not only informing me of differences and nuances, but also giving me the opportunity to learn some of these things through the act of doing.

Bookmarked Imagine if we didn’t know how to use books – notes on a digital practices framework by dave dave (

There are three streams to this model that eventually leads towards people being able to function as good online learning facilitators. The top stream is about all the sunshine and light about working with others on the internet. It’s advantages and pitfalls, ways in which to promote prosocial discourse. The middle stream is about pragmatics. The how’s of doing things, it starts out with simple guidelines and moves forward the technical realities of licensing, content production and tech using. The bottom stream is about the self. How to keep yourself safe, how to have a healthy relationship with the internet from a personal perspective.

Dave Cormier provides a framework for learning on the internet. This is divided into four movements:

  • Awareness
  • Learning online
  • Making within constraints
  • Teaching

I remember discussed the idea of digital literacy as a series of levels a few years ago. In more recent times, I have come to wonder if what matters is being informed and whatever that might mean for users. However, Doug Belshaw would probably argue that it is about an interaction of elements, rather than a linear progression.

Other interesting posts on this topic include Ian O’Byrne’s attack on the online disinformation war and Mike Caulfield’s four moves.

Replied to What does success look like? card-playing edition by dave dave (

I’m left thinking about how I can do better with my own kids in encouraging intrinsic motivation. I want them to want to play cards with me because we have fun together when we do it.

It’s the same kind of intrinsic motivation that I want from the education system. So much of our system is defined and constrained by how we measure success. So often we default to the easy measurement, to the convenient measurement, and lose our way altogether. It may be that the way we model learning as teachers is the only real learning that happens in the classroom. I should pay more attention to my grandpa.

Dave, this all makes me think about mastery learning. For many, this is seen as the solution to students having control and ownership of their learning journey. The problem as I see it is that the roads of success are usually somebody else’s road with somebody else’s vision for tomorrow. This is something you touched on in your post on assessment when you talk about ‘compliance’:

There have been lots of innovation and encouragements. They are, for the most part, directed at trying to get lots of people to ‘work’. They intend to measure the compliance of our students. Is our goal about compliance? Or, as it says in basically every strategic plan in education in the world, are we trying to support independent, creative citizens?

I am left wondering what happens if our children do not even want to play cards at all? Or learn an instrument? Or any other activity. Maybe the answer is enforcing independence where:

Students create and assess their own learning. In this scenario, the learner is facilitator and assessor. Where they create their own narratives, their own successes, their own continual feedback.

Once rhizo always rhizo!

Liked Connecting assessment goals to our education practices – a historical perspective by dave dave (

Grading is good at ‘encouraging people’ to do complicated tasks that are often represented by memorization, obedience and linear thinking. If those are our actual goals. If our goals are complex and include things like creativity… we’re looking to support intrinsic motivation. Grades don’t support intrinsic motivation.

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An interesting conversation that reminds me of a post I wrote a few years ago reflecting on presentations as well as Presentation Zen
Replied to Who is going to help build a pro-social web? by dave dave (

Please participate. Do it well. Put your values on the internet. Our society is literally being shaped by the internet right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. We are all watching the web we’re building. The web is us. Help build a good one.

I feel like I find myself in both camps Dave. I have been critical of way spaces and devices. However, I still participate, just differently.

I am not sure what the ‘answer’ to the current situation is. I like your hopeful suggestion. For me it is about participating on my own terms, whether this be via webmentions or in a shared space that allows for more ownership, such as a social media space using Edublogs. I am not sure if this is the positive participation you are thinking about. I am mindful that this may not be for everyone, but it at least moves to something other.

Replied to The impact of conformity in education by dave dave (

Social media is not a thing that needs to be fixed. People connecting with people is a thing. Jerks are a thing. Jerks are not a digital problem. Jerks are a real-world problem that has been around for a long time. We need to get past the digital and fix our real-world jerk problem. And, as we go along, we have to think about how our systems help create those jerks.

Really interesting post Dave. I have been thinking a lot about Twitter lately. Like Stewart Riddle, I have concerns about you describe as the ‘rise of the jerks’. Yet, as you touch upon, there are still good people able to connect on Twitter. For some the answer is owning your own domain, while for others it is decentralised networks. However, Ian Guest challenged me with three questions:

  1. What would happen (for you) if Twitter’s ‘fail whale’ reappeared tomorrow and suddenly Twitter was gone?
  2. What if you deactivated your original account and started afresh? Knowing what you know and bearing in mind what you wrote in this post, how would you do things differently, if at all? Is ‘making Twitter great again’ within your capacity?
  3. If Twitter is broken beyond repair and neither Mastodon nor quite cut it, if you had the wherewithall, what would you design as a replacement? What would it need to have or be able to do?

Along with your focus on working with people and problems, you have left me wondering what next. I wonder if post-digital is a time of ‘informed consent‘? Or maybe George Seimens suggests it is about ‘being’ skills?? Or maybe the ‘answer’ is having this conversation in the first place? Surely it is only through conversation that we are able to throw off the yoke of digital dogma? I feel that this is what Douglas Rushkoff’s book Team Human attempts.