Weekend Reading: No Answers Edition

fireworksWe might as well go into the long weekend with a bit of comedy, and so I’ll point here to the Coursera professor email that Aaron Bady released on Twitter last night. Jonathan Rees has worked out the exact right take here: The problem isn’t anything the professor said, it’s that the e-mail concedes that the xMOOC business model depends on freezing these courses in time: develop once, then regurgitate it over and over again.

That’s not exactly surprising news, but it’s useful to see an ostensibly disruptive innovation turn, in Rees’s analysis, into yellowed lecturer’s notes.

On to this week’s links . . .

Programming note: ProfHacker will not publish on the 4th or 5th, though we’ll be around for Brian’s Open Thread Wednesday. Have a great weekend!

  • Remember the study about marshmallows and deferred gratification as the key to success? Turns out it wasn’t really about deferred gratification. It was about trust (via Gerry Canavan): While the original marshmallow experiment concluded that the children’s ability to wait for a second treat indicated an innate ability to exhibit self control, the Rochester study indicated that the ability to resist temptation was more of a rational decision based on the expected probability of receiving the reward.
  • If Inbox Zero sounds too daunting as an e-mail strategy, perhaps give Yesterbox a try: Your “to do” list each day is simply yesterday’s email inbox (hence, “Yesterbox”). The great thing about this is when you get up in the morning, you know exactly how many emails you have to get through, there’s a sense of progress as you process each email from yesterday and remove it from your inbox, and there’s actually a point when you have zero emails left to process from yesterday.
  • Jonathan Bailey explains “The Problem with False Creative Commons Licenses”: The issue is that for a person to put a work under a CC license, or any license, they have to be the owner of the copyright in that work. The problem is that more and more work is passed around online by people other than the copyright holder, often without permission and they often place the works they post under a CC license, regardless of whether or not they have the right to do so.
  • Robin Wharton unpacks the relationship between “Digital Humanities, Copyright Law, and the Literary”: As a practical matter, preservation within the academy of traditional aesthetic and functional distinctions between literary objects and literary scholarship, between technological innovation and artistic creation, between composition and critique, will facilitate the continued preservation of those same distinctions within US copyright law. That in turn will mean that, under the law at least, all objects of study will not be available in the same way to the same kinds of activities. Perhaps that is a good thing.
  • Eric Barker offers three studies that suggest reflective writing is a useful way to “reduce worry and keep staying positive”: Staying positive isn’t always easy but more and more research is showing that just a little writing can make a big difference.

This week’s video is a short movie called We Are Makers, by a small group at Abilene Christian University:

We Are Makers from Learning Studio on Vimeo.

Photo “Fireworks” by Flickr user Ronan O’Donohoe / Creative Commons licensed BY-2.0

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