Everyone, this is week ten, our final week, and I'm going to try to answer about six questions that were posted in the forum by you. I didn't include any of my own and mostly because I feel like at this point in the course I'd rather let your voices take over and that I try to be as responsive as I can to your interests and your concerns. This week we did population ecology or organizational ecology, and one of the top-rated questions on that was posted by Lottie, and it concerned generalism versus specialism. And she asked, which kind of firm do you feel more vulnerable in? Do you feel more vulnerable as an employee in a specialist firm or a generalist one, and why? And so, it's kind of interesting because it took an organizational ecology and related it to notions of job security. And the responses on the forum were quite varied. Some of you felt like the employee was more needed in a specialist firm, and this is perhaps kind of an extension of organizational ecology in some sense, that if you're in a specialist firm, they're usually smaller and perhaps your skills are more relevant to that type of function that was needed from that firm. Others of you felt like, look, your job is safer in a generalist firm since often specialists get merged and bought out, that with the diversification, like what Tiffany talked about, that you had greater security. So that's another angle. So on one hand you may be more needed in a specialist firm, but then job security may be less in a specialist because you could get bought out by a generalist, and a generalist might afford you security. Others of you, like Merta and the anonymous post and Desmond, said a job is harder in a generalist firm due to more competition. So today in many of the kind of niches and environments, we see quite a bit of competition between generalist firms. And because of this, there's quite a bit of turnover and it's more competition across them. Finally, others of you said it depends on the environment in a industry, and Cheryl was one of these. And I think that's kind of the population ecology argument, which is it all depends on the niche of the organization and its environment that's surrounding it. This is Carolina, her remark as well. This kind of is the general view, that it's environmentally determined. In a volatile environment of rapid changes, if it's job security, it's better to be in a generalist firm, according to organizational ecology. In a slowly changing environment, it might be better to be in a specialist firm. That may not mean that you're more valued. Some of you seem to assume that if you're in a generalist firm, that you yourself are a generalist in terms of how you do the work, and that may not be true. Same thing within a specialist firm, are you a specialist because you're in it? Maybe, but I can't help but think there's quite a bit of room for you to be different kinds of personnel within these firms. Plus I kind of feel like in a generalist firm you're able to transfer across divisions, potentially. So there's all kinds of features in here that make it a difficult question to answer. And I just don't think there's a good one that you can afford. I think the key thing is look at the environment, consider what kind of position you have, what role you're in, and then what kind of ecology within the firm as well as outside it might affect the job security that you have, or even how much your position is valued. Now at the end of that post, I noticed that Lottie switched to saying, maybe what I meant was small versus large firms. And actually that was a good point to make, because population ecologists often worry about the size of firms because it often confounds with generalist and specialist notions. That larger and smaller firms assume a lot of these kinds of behaviors. So they're constantly trying to discern which it is. Is it size or is it the specialist versus generalist kind of characteristic of firms that influences or has these kinds of contingencies in the environment? So that was a great observation by Lottie. The second question I wanted to address was one by Eugenia which said it doesn't really relate to the theories, but it's why do or don't students submit papers? And this is in response to my post last week, my screenside chat, where I talked about the course. And I think there's some obvious reasons. The main answers that people gave on this thread were I didn't have the time, it wasn't easy, I speak another language, it's a daunting task. Writing papers isn't usually something that people take up as a hobby, so I can understand that. And I think there's some things that still need to happen with peer grading and with these online kind of a paper format. Our goal in this course was to make this class, in terms of material provided and the kinds of checks on your reasoning, substantive. It wasn't watered down. And that if we could have afford a real experience with a real paper that we would try to see how far we could get on it. And there's certain things that kind of prevent it from as adequate or as of the same level that I get in my courses face to face, in a brick-and-mortar case. But I think those things will be overcome, and the things that kind of make it a struggle as to why maybe more people didn't do it was we still have plagiarism. There isn't much of it, but because you have to grade several papers, you see instances repeatedly, and that makes it seem like there's more of them than there are. It would be nice to have the plagiarism detection automated so we don't waste anyone's time having to deal with those papers, and I think that's clearly coming in the next wave. The other thing is to automate grammar checks. There's no reason we should be grading grammar per se, because Microsoft Word can do it automatically as well. So those kind of things could be done automatically with papers with immediate feedback. So they aren't something we have to focus on and makes the grading task easier. Plus also your assessment of how well you're doing could come back quicker. I think the other thing is that we might have to ask people to grade four papers next time, because it turns out that some people don't give feedback, and that diminishes the set that everybody gets, the amount of feedback. The other thing that I'd like to see is more written feedback, so the boxes where you put comments as being far more encouraged. And then the final feature is actually encouraging accurate grading. Right now it self-grades. But I think we could create an algorithm that if you are accurately grading relative to the median or by various estimates, because we have lots of papers in the corpus now that we could kind of automate this somewhat computationally, that that could be a means to kind of streamlining things and making it a more legitimate process. Other things that would be helpful, I think, that would open the window on papers would be allowing for multiple language groups. And so I think that's also on the way. It's not feasible for me to read more than a couple languages, or a few, but obviously that would appeal to a broader public. Also getting all the lectures translated and subtitled, even dubbed, that's feasible. There's all sorts of things we can try to do, and there's no limit depending on student interest and energy. My general hope with this course in the future is that maybe with these paper assignments, the reason it wasn't highly taken up is because it's not a high demand or a high need kind of requirement out there of the users. And that maybe if I create these incremental tracks, like basic, regular, then this advanced, that you can come back and take the course repeatedly. So one of the things I would encourage many of you out there who didn't do the advanced is come back next year and try it. We'll teach this again in the fall of 2013 with quite a bit of the same material obviously, because of how much effort it takes to provide it. But we'll try to add in this regular track where you have kind of essays that are much smaller and peer graded. And hopefully that'll be kind of you can come into this material more. I could even see all kinds of other things like an alumni group where you have expertise that develops within different sections, or industries even, where we focus the questions within those areas, and someone nicely recommended that. So there's all kinds of futures here that we could imagine and potentially implement, and I'm very excited to think about it. And any shortcoming like a paper that doesn't work as well is really fodder for thinking about new ways forward, and possibly for just learning from it. So actually I view it as kind of, look, we're gathering information and trying to improve. And your feedback and your responses are really something that we pay attention to, and hopefully find ways to implement and better ways in the future, okay?