Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Biggest Testing Scandal of All

By Diane Ravitch


“Pearson has a contract with the state of Texas for five years that is worth close to $500 million.


“That ought to bring gold-plated service and products to the children of Texas, right?




“Pearson is advertising for test graders in Texas on craigslist!


“The graders need only a bachelor’s degree, and they will be paid $12 an hour.

They will be “trained,” of course, but think of it. Their snap decisions will decide the fate of students, teachers, and schools. If they aren’t that good at what they do, children will fail, teachers will be fired, and schools will be closed. Because of decisions made by a temp worker.”


Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

For a decade education has been driven top down by corporate testing influences.   Mistake.  Time to take it all back. Not likely with 500 million dollar contracts out there (with the margin maximized by hiring CraigsList asssors).

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Providing Feedback | Researched-Based Strategies | Focus on Effectiveness

Providing the right kind of feedback to students can make a significant difference in their achievement. There are two key considerations. First, feedback that improves learning is responsive to specific aspects of student work, such as test or homework answers, and provides specific and related suggestions. There needs to be a strong link between the teacher comment and the student’s answer, and it must be instructive. This kind of feedback extends the opportunity to teach by alleviating misunderstanding and reinforcing learning. Second, the feedback must be timely. If students receive feedback no more than a day after a test or homework assignment has been turned in, it will increase the window of opportunity for learning. Feedback is a research-based strategy that teachers, and students, can practice to improve their success.

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

It’s my practice to provide personalized evaluation comments to everyone of my online students every week.  I also post to the discussion threads, but only to advance the discussion and stir thought. I want the students to own the discussion, and have a backchannle connection with me via the gradebook.

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Organic Search Remains King In B2B (Infographic) | Business 2 Community

If you are looking for marketing advice, you don’t need to look very far. There are literally hundreds of marketing blogs, websites and platform vendors who

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

Quality content, propery tagged, and presented on the Internet is the key.  Anytime there’s a chance for reader comment and interaction with an audience; sieze it! 

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Teaching with Online Collaboration Tools: U-M Faculty Examples | CRLT

This page features innovative uses of online collaboration tools (OCTs) for teaching and course management. You can browse the full list or use the search criteria to find the examples most relevant to you. Click on any title for a full description or use the Links to watch short videos of faculty describing their teaching strategies and see examples. For a summary of practical recommendations for effectively implementing OCTs in one’s teaching, see CRLT’s Occasional Paper No. 31: Teaching in the Cloud: Leveraging Online Collaboration Tools to Enhance Student Engagement.

Dennis T OConnor‘s insight:

Here’s a database of research articles and videos curated by the University of Michigan about learning and teaching.  Solid resource! 

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