Bhagesh Sachania

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Bhagesh Sachania

  1. 1. A Wiki-based approach to Open Educational Resources: TRUE Bhagesh Sachania The Economics Network 1
  2. 2. Our Constituents 2
  3. 3. Uses of OERs by economists • Syllabi/module handbooks/ reading lists – Informal benchmarking • Lecture slides/ handouts – “Bread and butter” – Idiosyncratic / new ideas – Alternative perspectives • Assessment materials 3
  4. 4. Other resource types • Classroom experiments • Data tables and graphs • Case studies • Jokes! 4
  5. 5. Strengths of the wiki approach • Ownership (Personal and group) • Collaboration – Non-hierarchical – Natural division of labour • Immediacy 5
  6. 6. Weaknesses of the wiki approach • Unstructured content – Inconsistency of style and navigation – Duplication • User frustration • Initial skills hurdle 6
  7. 7. The wiki balancing act • Enough freedom for individual authors to express creativity • Enough structure to have a good end product 7
  8. 8. Academic tribes 8
  9. 9. Health Economics education • Grew out of a research community • Initially run on PBWiki free wiki service • Mostly one academic, one techie • No formal budget • Yielded 59 learning resources • http://economicsnetwork.ac.uk/health 9
  10. 10. Co-opetition • Appeal to co-operative ethos of academic community • And simultaneously to the competition between departments, schools of thought or courses 10
  11. 11. TRUE • Teaching Resources for Undergraduate Economics • Fourteen subject wikis • Each led by a senior academic in that field • Personal visit to acquaint them with wiki software and issues 11
  12. 12. Call goes out… resources come in 12
  13. 13. Under the bonnet • Drupal – Free, open source – Very customisable – Sophisticated system of users and roles – Download from Drupal.org • JORUM.ac.uk 13
  14. 14. So far • 400 resources uploaded • Other materials linked 14
  15. 15. From a syllabus “You can sleep in class all you want. Be my guest. Really: I don’t mind. And bring any friend, parent, child, dog you want. No problem: no need to ask. But you cannot read, talk, eat, slouch insultingly [guys: listen up], pass notes, pick your nose, look bored (being bored is another matter: these rules are about externals that hurt your classmates, demoralizing them and me), dress inappropriately, do homework, chew gum, come late, leave early, or more generally act like a high-schooler. […] Think of the class as a business meeting, with Deirdre as your boss.” • Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago, syllabus for Principles of Microeconomics 15
  16. 16. Lessons learned • Perhaps be more prescriptive: have a template site and publicity that co- ordinators work from? • Foot-of-page comments: a mixed blessing, probably not worth having over all. 16
  17. 17. The future • Integrate wikis with database- driven external links • Unified shop-front for UK OERs, other OERs and other resources, tailored to an specific academic community. 17

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