"Best" individual assignments?



Who picked the 20 individual assignments that are listed as "best" under DNLE #1—and using what criteria?


Last modified Mon, 4 Mar, 2013 at 9:36

Marc's comment: "At last it

Marc's comment:

"At last it felt sometimes as we are something like a problem for V labs business model. Whatever."


I can totally understand your frustration, Marc. A month ago, before I volunteered to join this "core" team, I suspected there was red tape behind the lag time. Now that I'm waist deep (from different angles, not just this website), I am feeling it too.


Everyone on the core team,

Not much we can do or say about the bureaucracy of things, as in reality, we are NOT "IN" Stanford. VLab people ARE.

But seriously, I don't really care for the politics, and I'm sure none of us are either. I speak for myself here... I'm in this for the "learning". As Stefan said in his G+ post, "I'm growing increasingly tired of hypothesizing folks who don't actively teach themselves". So, my personal objective in all of this IS TO TEACH MYSELF, and I intend to pursue that, with or without the Stanford/VLab cooperation.

Don't get me wrong. Our Stanford and VLab connections are pretty amazing and open people. In fact, in comparison to my past experiences, these guys are by far more transparent and open to ideas than anyone else I've worked with.

However, we do need to realize the REALITY of things.

Stanford and VLab HAVE a business model. We (alumni) were never part of the equation. The fact that the playing field changed mid-way during the DNLE course (-ie- that learner autonomy gave rise to a core group with strong goals that went beyond the actual course), is probably a NEW animal that the Stanford and VLab people never thought of.

To me, the key solution is... what can WE do WITHIN our scope of power WITHOUT needing to rely on these people? We DO have autonomy, you know. We DON'T have to keep waiting for their blessing.

PS. FYI, remember the FOE MOOC that burned and crashed? Well, the community that was left hanging... some of them went off and made up their own learning space. I say, hats off to them!

Hi Don, the criteria I used

Hi Don,

the criteria I used are only the user votes. So these are the highest voted assignments in descending order. At last we got no information about any "official" criteria. During the planning phase for these pages, I provided a first incomplete approach for a detailed rubric to identify te best of the best from the assignments, but I never received a feedback for additional development .

All the best


Best work or most friends?


While I know that you had to use the only criterion available to produce what was asked of you... I am less-than-comfortable putting forth projects as "best" based to a great extent on the size of the author's social network.

For the final projects, there was a formal procedure in place to select "best" (though, I think, still flawed). For the individual projects, there was none and I can see no valid way to correlate "likes" with quality. IMHO, these should not be labeled "Best of the Best." Maybe call them "Sample Projects," "Most-liked Projects," or just list only the final projects.

What do you folks think?


(non)access to database

Marc and Don,

I totally agree... the list is "flawed". My gut instinct would be to study the actual content of the projects to make a "realistic" assessment. The hard way (impossible way, actually) to make such an assessment, would be to go through the projects one by one manually. The smart way (also impossible, actually) would be to analyze the analytics of the VLab LMS.... The reason I say that the latter is also impossible, is because we simply can't get our hands on that...

FYI, I tried my best to get a copy of whatever data VLAb compiled, but to no avail. The following is an excerpt from one of the email dialogs I've had:

"....unfortunately even Paul and I do not have access to this data. L Venture Lab has only recently “dumped” the data from the course with Stanford’s Vice Provost of Online Learning. At that office, there is a staff member that is in the process of coding a way to make this database (as well as data from other Stanford MOOCs) query-able, though it is not there yet. Maintaining MOOC data within the VPOL—rather than with MOOC Instructors—is the process that Stanford has set in place to help protect MOOC students’ privacy and anonymity. The combination of developing and carrying out processes to ensure protections plus building a way for us to even query this data has meant a long timeline, and there is nothing that Paul and I can do at the moment besides wait. I am not sure at the moment, once the database is query-able, what the access levels and policies will be. Like you, we understand the potential value of analytics from MOOCs like DNLE—the technology and wide student audience means that we can capture a lot of information not easily quantifiable in traditional, small-size face-to-face classes. I am just as interested as you to get my hands dirty, but I guess we’ll just have to be patient."

what to do...what to do?


Realizing that no site can be all things to all people, I am trying to figure out what is signal here and what is noise.

I find myself wondering about the usefulness of the listing of individual projects. They were useful, in the doing of them as part of the class. I am not sure that the list is useful.

I suggest that we keep the compendium of final projects and the top-10 (11) list, and simply eliminate all of the lists of individual assignments.

What say you all?


Competiting sites

In my opinion it is not at last a problem of competiting platforms. Only a very short time after we start to develop these pages, people from venture labs gain access here. And only hours later we've heard about venture labs plans to show things similar to what we've planned here ... think about that what ever you like, I don't like it. It is as counterproductive as possible. At last it felt sometimes as we are something like a problem for V labs business modell.


Fact is, that after the last software update at venture labs, it is not possible to search the team project systematically, because there are only two possibillities left:

  1. Searching by random
  2. Last viewed

That makes it nearly impossible to go through the assignments looking for the really best. I really miss the Open from the MOOC, it is hiding behind digital walls.

Ten week after DNLE #1 ends and we are standing around, in fact with empty hands.

agree about open

Marc, I agree about the real problems resulting from the way that the course was not built to be open from the start. I'm not really particpating a lot here since I'm kind of frustrated by the whole thing, but I have to agree that I see problems I never would have anticipated - I'm not the kind of person who would even be tempted to design and offer a MOOC, but if I were to do so, I now realize way more than I did before how important it is to address these issues about data, community space, etc. etc. from the start, along with lots of opportunites DURING the class to discuss how those strategies are working. At least if/when DNLE Is offered again, there will be an opportunity to do things differently... but I'm also not so sure that would really happen. I will certainly have a lot of questions that I would ask at the beginning of a new round of DNLE that I just really did not think to ask at the beginning of the first round.

But, of course, that is how learning works! :-)

Disclaimer about ranking

Dear all,

I suggest to include a disclaimer about the voting system for picking the top 20 of all assignments...


Best, Carsten


Carsten (and all),

I've added a disclaimer as suggested by Carsten. It is on the DNLE#1 page.


Good idea


That's a pretty GOOD idea.

I'm not comfortable with the whole voting thing either.

I'll draft something up and check with the others.

Would you have any suggestions on the wording?


Top-Voted Assignments

Hi Roz,

I guess the way you formed the heading for the top-voted projects is fair and clear...


"Top-voted Projects"


Best, Carsten

RE: Top Voted Assignments


I cannot take credit for that. The original site administrators were Laura Gibbs, Marc Schnau, Anne Lewis and Sudarshan. It was only later that I came on board, and a bit after, Arnold came on board, but Laura stepped down. I believe Marc and Sudarshan too have stepped back for a bit.

FYI, the timing of this website was a bit off at the beginning, and unfortunately, that took a toll on the site management. At present, I am just monitoring it for  minimal upkeep, until the Stanford team are ready to launch DNLE 2.0.

I'm glad some of us are still actively coming in here though. It will be good for later, when the new DNLE 2.0 cohort comes on board, as there are plans for us alumni to play a meaningful role in the DNLE 2.0 if we choose to re-enroll.

Do keep posted, and if you have time, drop by the G+ space too. FYI, there are more of us active in that than in here.


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