…finding, studying and sharing materials related to transparency in online education
In this interview and answering about what he meant when he argue that transparency improves quality in online education, Professor Paulsen tell us that transparency is important specially because of tree positive effects on quality:
• Preventive quality improvement - obtained essentially by the access to others works and from the others to our own;
• Constructive quality improvement - come from the learning from others when accessing to their work;
• Reactive quality improvement – obtained by the feedback that others give us when they access our work;
Another positive aspect is that with transparency the low quality of courses or the teachers work, do not have very much chances of survival.
Asked about his believes about the propriety of transparency on promoting cooperation in online education, Professor Paulsen explained that it is s much easier to cooperate when we know the work of others.
Furthermore, he thinks that transparency is also fundamental in social networking because “the starting point is the individual or personal which does not happens with discussion forums. Having a personal page and profile that can be modified and developed, one can always being an individual and a member of a community.“In other words, actions within a social networking site are transparent. This creates a kind of indirect or passive form of communication and sharing.”
Replying to the question “Have you publish other recent articles on transparency in on-line education?” Paulsen enumerate some of his last publications and referred some interesting experiences with students.
In order to be even more “transparent” about transparency, Paulsen underlines that “it’s not only information provided by instructors that could be transparent”
As an example he pointed the Universidade Aberta’s where: “all the students have public blogs where you can read the annotated bibliographies and see the learning objects they develop for the course”
In his opinion it’s precisely this “extreme transparency of work-in-progress allows that the students to get feedback not only from their classmates, but from everybody on the internet as a part of their learning experience.” Even in more elementary levels and mostly in the case of families that live abroad, transparency can also be very useful and give very good results.
Paulsen believes also that transparency could improve quality even in evaluation what is underlined when he sates that “ relevant information should be available to the various user groups so that they can learn from the results and understand that they are members of a larger learning community” .
This can be confirmed in the work of NKI where writtings that: Students could see a report showing qualitative statistics of interest to students in their course." underlines that "Teachers could see the same report as the students with additional teacher information from certain parts of the questionnaire or from data related to other courses." and also assigning some importance to the presence of the administrative staff he says that they could see comparative reports showing responses from all user groups and questionnaires. This could also for example be used to identify teachers who receive excellent evaluations or courses that receive worrying evaluations. ”
Pausen nevertheless refers one weekness in these evaluation systems dispite the “NKI quality barometer” when he wrights that “they are not meant for continuous evaluation”, meaning that these types of evaluation should be used only scarcely.
In a kind of conclusion Paulsen remember that an ethical and moral challenge is present to find the right balance between transparency and privacy.