Open Educational Resources – I

OER – Wikipedia

Historical Significance

  1. Coined at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on Open Courseware
  2. Open Content coined by David Wiley in 1998, with similarities to the free/open software movements.
  3. global OER sparked by MIT OpenCourseWare

Key Points

  1. Defined as: “teaching, learning and research materials in any media, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions”
  2. Include courses, course materials modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software and other tools, materials, techniques
  3. Tensions
    1. Nature of the resources – some definitions only cover digital resources, while others do not (do videos need to be streaming? etc.)
    2. Source of the resource – Some require a resource to be produced for educational specifically, while others include any that might be used for learning
    3. Level of openness – most require resources to be in the public domain, others include resources with special rights for education or that exclude commercial uses.
    4. Quantifying uses of OER
  4. Commonalities
    1. use, reuse, repurposing, modification
    2. free use for teachers and learners
    3. encompass all types of digital media
  5. Need to be expanded beyond current communities of interest, especially into more nations
    1. altruistic motives questioned
      1. if we are altruistic should we be doing more beyond our sphere? It seems like most people create something they’ll use and then share it. Is taking into account making something that can be more easily adapted enough? Is it imperialistic to make something for use in Africa if you are from the US as well?
        1. You have to balance being easily adaptable and being relevant to your own students.
        2. You can be very neutral, but you’ll also be very boring. Students have a longer attention span for things that are more casual.
        3. In many developing countries people don’t have the ability to change things so you might as well be giving them copyrighted materials.
    2. accused of imperialism

Questions for Discussion

  1. Are the benefits localized at those creating the resources as Downes suggests?
  2. Is charging for certifications inherently not open?
    1. Maybe content is open but mentoring and assessment could be charged for.
    2. There is human capitol involved in the curation of open courseware

Supplemental Resources

Other

UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries

Historical Significance

  1. The meeting where “Open Educational Resources” was invented

Key Points

  1. Intro
    1. Access to knowledge won’t be enough, it will need to be organized and in context to be useful.
    2. It is anticipated that universities in developing countries will repurpose material to fit their local and pedagogical contexts.
  2. Open Courseware
    1. Provides educational resources for college and university faculties to adapt in according with their own requirements
    2. Includes technology to support, open meaningful access and use of the courseware
    3. Includes at a minimum the course description, syllabus, calendar and at lead one of the following
      1. lecture notes
      2. demonstrations, simulations illustrations, learning objects
      3. reading materials
      4. assessments
      5. projects
    4. Does not normally provide direct open learning support for students.
  3. Questions for groups
    1. What infrastructure requirements must be met in order to make open courseware globally viable?
      1. Technology
        1. software sustainability – need to have a variety of tools with few integration problems. Contents should be easily modified to meet the needs of accessibility and different languages.
        2. Connectivity – a wide range of delivery modes should be available for contexts with bandwidth problems
        3. Standards
      2. Organization
      3. Policy
    2. What policies – institutional, national, or regulatory – are necessary to remove barriers to the success of open courseware? What practical feasible, initial steps should be considered?
      1. Open courseware is useful for developing countries
      2. Issues to consider
        1. Intellectual property
        2. institutional commitment
        3. institutional policy structure
        4. cultural and educational exchange: policies and practices.
        5. Issues surrounding the export and import of educational material
      3. Development of standards and norms
      4. New processes required
        1. internationalize the MIT initiative
        2. defining reciprocal responsibilities of participants
        3. establishing a structure involving MIT and other institutions to apply and evaluate the program.
      5. Criteria for assessment
      6. Roles for UNESCO and other international organizations
        1. disseminate information about open courseware
        2. assist with establishing quality norms
        3. assist in capacity building
        4. facilitate collaboration
    3. What recommendations are needed to promote international cooperation in open courseware?
      1. Concept definition – users need to know objectives, outcomes, prerequisites, where the course came from and when it was last offered.
      2. Dissemination, adaptation, evaluation and use of materials – global index system to organize open courseware.
      3. Procedures – free use, used locally. It should be adapted and returned to the index in its adapted form.
      4. Collaboration, validations, international validation, UNESCO
      5. Sharing experience – a feedback loop, improve training and sustainability.
  4. External resources are not new, but they need more, and more access to the internet, computers etc.
    1. Some universities only have enough computers for faculty and graduate students, or are limited even for those groups
    2. Languages are a problem, as some multilingual universities are bogged down by trying to provide information all necessary languages.
    3. Some are not prepared culturally or do not have the infrastructure for enough computer access.

Questions for Discussion

Supplemental Resources

Other

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration (2007)

Historical Significance

  1. Currently 2727 signatories from all over the world
  2. Stake in the ground about sharing things funded by taxpayers

Key Points

  1. Purposes of OER
    1. Make materials accessible in ares with low funding
    2. Nourish a participatory learning, creating and sharing culture needed in rapidly changing societies.
    3. Facilitate collaborative, flexible learning that empowers teachers to benefit from one another.
  2. Strategies for increasing the reach
    1. educators and learners – actively participate
      1. creating, using adapting and improving open educational resources
      2. building education around collaboration, discover and knowledge creating
      3. Making OER a priority
    2. OER
      1. Release resources openly
      2. Publish in formats that facilitate use and editing and are as accessible as possible.
    3.  Open Educational Policy
      1. Policy makers should make open education a priority – taxpayer funded resources should be open
        1. taxpayers pay for it to be created, so they should have access to it.
      2. accreditation and adoption should give preference to OER
      3. resources repositories should highlight OER

Questions for Discussion

Supplemental Resources

Other

A Review of the OER Movement: Achievements, Challenges and New Opportunities

Historical Significance

  1. In the 1990s focus on technology in education was generally on computer and internet access.

Key Points

  1. Goals
    1. to create a culture of learning, or learning ecosystem which will prepare people to thrive in a rapidly evolving, knowledge-based world.
    2. Open Participatory Learning Infrastructure (OPLI) – to build a culture of learning
  2. Enablers
    1. Open source code, multimedia content and the community to support them
    2. Growth of participatory systems architecture
    3. Improvement in the performance of ICT
    4. Increasing availability of rich media, virtual environments, gaming
    5. Emerging deeper basic insights into human learning (individual and community)
  3. OPLI
    1. Should be fostered, not built.
    2. Vision: each university and other type of learning center will be reflective, evaluative, and their findings captured and shared.
    3. Functional attributes: Extensible
    4. remixable
    5. repurposable – easy to move between platforms
    6. service-oriented
    7. multi-lingual
    8. incremental and architecturally light
    9. interchange on demand
    10. human-centered and socio-technical in nature
    11. support a spectrum of openness
    12. support collaborative learning
    13. highly and smartly instrumented.

Questions for Discussion

Supplemental Resources

Other

Other Class

  1. People learn better when they are engaging in 5R activities
    1. Using 5R activities in classes is known as ‘open pedagogy’
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