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Friday, January 04, 2008

2008 Predictions: The Pressure is On!


Stephen Downes has upped the ante on predictions for 2008 by creating a report card on predictions of 2007. Here is his post. Half an Hour: Last Year's eLearn Magazine Predictions If you want to see most of the blogs referenced, see Darren Draper's Bloggers Make Better Predictions.

I am within him for most of the grades but the one thing that bothers me a little is that he graded himself and, subsequently provided himself with the second highest grade. I am uncomfortable with Stephen grading himself. I think he should have submitted the grades for the other bloggers and then let the blogosphere grade his prediction. It is like, as a professor, I grade my students and then completed my own faculty evaluation giving myself high, but not too high a ranking.

But I do thank him for the time and effort and it has made me more careful with my 2008 prediction which will be released soon. I tried to be more specific. In fact, I am predicting the emergence of something like a corporate YouTube. A site that does for videos of small training pieces what TeacherTube did for videos for education.

Also, I think once you start grading activities, you tend to suck the "fun" right out of them. So is it really a good idea to grade the predictions of the blogosphere, how do people feel who gave a prediction in 2007 for fun and then, a year later, unbeknownst to them, they get a D based on criteria that appeared retroactively.

Or is the argument made that since you made a "public" prediction, you are now open to any and all critiques. Not sure.
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3 comments:

Darren Draper said...

Karl,

You make a great point here. I am reminded of the student(s) that turns in an arbitrary assignment, class notes, or other material to the teacher that doesn't normally correct and/or grade such items.

Nevertheless, while the grading might feel harsh, hopefully the entire process has been educational (after all, shouldn't that be the purpose of assigning any grade)? In reading that you've changed your predicting practices based upon Stephen's grading, I think we can all agree that learning has taken place.

Finally, I do think you've hit the nail on the head in your last paragraph: once you choose to make a public prediction, your prediction has become fair game for constructive criticism.

Downes said...

> I think he should have submitted the grades for the other bloggers and then let the blogosphere grade his prediction.

I have done exactly that. By posting the entire scorecard on my blog, I have made public my opinion, and anybody can offer their criticisms or alternative scores.

That nobody has done so is hardly my fault.

If you don't think I deserved an A- (especially when compared to the other pundits) then you should say so. Show your reasoning, please, as I have shown mine.

Downes said...

> how do people feel who gave a prediction in 2007 for fun and then, a year later, unbeknownst to them, they get a D based on criteria that appeared retroactively.

I think that if you don't know what the criteria are, you should get out of the prediction game.

For the record, here's the criteria (as any student of astrology can recite):

1. You have to actually predict something.

2. The prediction should be novel - that is, it should register a change, a surprise, or something unexpected.

3. The thing you predict has to actually happen.

Finally, if you make a prediction in January, you ought to be accountable in December. I tried to keep the article light, and not very serious. But I also want it to be the case that people gain a reputation, not merely for predicting, but also for being good at it.