Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources

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Stephen Downes presentation to OECD, malmo, Sweden, February 7, 2005

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  • thanq its very nice together with helpful to me in thinking about invention comes along with think of in which.... really good function.... tanq for this.....
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Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources

  1. 1. Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources Stephen Downes National Research Council Canada February 7, 2005
  2. 2. <ul><li>OERs… </li></ul><ul><li>Intended to be open, shared </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage value of research </li></ul><ul><li>Expose it to widest audience </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize impact of investment </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Resources… </li></ul><ul><li>Includes courses, content, courseware, learning objects </li></ul><ul><li>Not just learning materials, but aids, supports, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Not just digital, include people, various media, programs, collaborations, partnerships… </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Sustainable… </li></ul><ul><li>Costs exist and may be significant </li></ul><ul><li>Is measured from provider perspective… but providers vary </li></ul><ul><li>More than just cost – we need to consider usability, durability, accessibility, effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate objectives: free as in freedom </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Open… </li></ul><ul><li>vs. commercial resources? No… </li></ul><ul><li>Implies no cost to consumers </li></ul><ul><li>Includes not only access, but reuse, even modification </li></ul><ul><li>Still: does not necessarily mean without constraints </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Funding Models (1) </li></ul><ul><li>Note how ‘sustainable’ varies </li></ul><ul><li>Endowment (eg., Stanford E of P) </li></ul><ul><li>Membershio (eg. Sakai) </li></ul><ul><li>Donations (eg. Wikipedia, Apache) </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion (eg. MySQL, SuSe) </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Funding Models (2) </li></ul><ul><li>Contributor Pay (eg. PLoS) </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsorship (eg., Stanford iTunes) </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional (eg., OCW) </li></ul><ul><li>Government (eg., SchoolNet) </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships (eg., MUN and Brazilian university) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Technical </li></ul><ul><li>Driven by financial, other considerations, eg. Learning objects </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Free Use’ vs ‘Adapt and Localize’ </li></ul><ul><li>Access and usability – eg., browse, search, data-mining </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on ‘open’ – eg., federations </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Content Models </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Sustainable’ often means ‘localizable’ and tantemount to ‘reusable’ </li></ul><ul><li>Hence, requires integration – which in turn requires semantic similarity </li></ul><ul><li>Questions of licensing, etc. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Provider / Consumer </li></ul><ul><li>Content may reflect values of the provider – cultural imperialism </li></ul><ul><li>Shift in emphasis toward collaborative development </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing in all directions, north and south </li></ul><ul><li>Hence, need to think of OERs with respect to the community that uses them </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional: hiring of professional staff to design and produce OERs </li></ul><ul><li>Question of cost, use of volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>This raises the question of motives (and again changes ‘sustainable’) </li></ul><ul><li>Non-financial incentives </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Volunteer Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Community model – emphasis on individual members (eg. OSS) </li></ul><ul><li>Emergent model – emphasis on process (eg., Slashdot, eBay) </li></ul><ul><li>Producer-consumer model vs co-producer moder – Web 2.0 </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional – design, use, evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Quality: peer review? MERLOT </li></ul><ul><li>Rethink the idea of ‘producing’ </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralize, disaggregate </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘use’ of a resource constitutes the ‘production’ of a new resource </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Sustainable OERs… </li></ul><ul><li>Content only the beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Consideration of the community essential </li></ul><ul><li>Entails not just a mechanism but a model of production, use, distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Existing structures (centralized, financially oriented, hierarchical) are often barriers to OERs </li></ul><ul><li>We feel this in our communities </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Barriers… </li></ul><ul><li>Who gets funded (indiv. vs inst.) </li></ul><ul><li>Scale of funding (large vs. small) </li></ul><ul><li>Type of project (producer, centralized) </li></ul><ul><li>Overhead (eg., licensing) </li></ul><ul><li>Justification, quality (= overhead) </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow view of ‘sustainable’ (= money, = commercial?) </li></ul><ul><li>Access / control </li></ul>
  16. 16. http://www.downes.ca

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