Researching Open Education
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Researching Open Education

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A brief overview on open Education, the emergence of Open Courses, lessons learnt from Free / Libre Open Source Software Communities & some recent projects in this field at which we are working on.

A brief overview on open Education, the emergence of Open Courses, lessons learnt from Free / Libre Open Source Software Communities & some recent projects in this field at which we are working on.

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Researching Open Education Researching Open Education Presentation Transcript

  • Researching Open Education Understanding Open Education by drawing on the Open Source Case UNU-MERIT – CCG (Collaborative Creativity Group) Andreas Meiszner, Rüdiger Glott, Sulayman K. Sowe, Rhishab Ghosh, Kirsten Haaland, Gregor Bierhals
  • A brief overview on the changing landscape of education: what happened so far?
  • The recent past • Despite all of the potential the Web 2.0 provides higher education still has adapted very little in response to them with graduate education often not employing the power of new media in visionary or effective ways • Higher education structures are still largely ‘analogue’, ‘closed’, ‘tethered’, ‘isolated’, ‘generic’ and ‘made for consumption’ • This is in sharp contrast to the learning environments the Web 2.0 provides, which are ‘digital’, ‘open’, ‘mobile’, ‘connected’, ‘personal’ and ‘driven by participation’ Students are inside a classroom (tethered to a place), using textbooks and handouts (printed materials), they must pay tuition and register to attend (the experience is closed), talking during class or working with others outside of class is generally discouraged (each student is isolated though surrounded by peers), each student receives exactly the same instruction as each of her classmates (the information presented is generic), and students are students and do not participate in the teaching process (they are consumers). (Wiley 2006)
  • Learning as a finished and delivered product to be consumed
  • A myriad of closed systems
  • What happened further in between then and now? • A vast and constant move towards the use of online resources fostering a change from ‘analogue’ to ‘digital’ and from ‘tethered’ to ‘mobile’ ... • The remaining four desirable characteristics ‘open’, ‘connected’, ‘personal’ and ‘driven by participation’ are more and more addressed... • The start of the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement marked a tipping point towards ‘openness’ in the sense of ‘Open’ and ‘Free’... … Though the OER movement still follows very much the traditional models (static, made for consumption, teacher/learner separation, …)
  • The Open Educational Resource movement
  • So, where are we NOW? • Emergence of a further type of openness where formally enrolled students engage with their peers at the Web 2.0, • with more and more open course scenarios arising, • resulting to an ever blurring border between the formal and the informal, • where students from different institutions, free learners outside of formal education and practitioners come together. • The current emergence of Open Courses could mark a tipping point towards an educational commons... • What is needed now are supportive organizational models – and the Open Source Case could provide some insights for those!
  • The emergence of Free / Open Courses
  • The emergence of Free / Open Enterprize/Academic Educational offers
  • And where do we head from here?
  • The emergence of Free / Open Universities ?!?
  • Now, a step back – are there any lessons to be learnt from similar initiatives? – Open Course Scenarios versus Open Source Software Projects – analogies & deviations
  • Open Course Scenarios – drawing on the open source case • A greater range of inputs – not just from the educator, but from all contributors so the collective is the source of knowledge, not one individual • A more personalized learning experience – learners can gather the elements of knowledge they require – but skip what they know already. • Greater sharing of knowledge – in higher education much of the previous input is lost, whereas in FLOSS the dialogue, resources, and outputs remain as learning resources => CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT & EVOLUTIONARY GROWTH. • Peer production – active engagement in producing something with a set of peers is a powerful motivational and educational driving force. • Real activities – engaging in legitimate activities that are not restricted to an artificial university setting also provides valuable experience. • Peer support – a large support network provided voluntarily by peers in a collaborative manner nearly 24/7. • The sum is bigger than its parts – all the individual actions and activities add a value to the course from which future cohorts of students would gain.
  • Open course scenarios & Open Source: Analogies • A greater range of inputs – not just from the educator, but from all contributors so the collective is the source of knowledge, not one individual • A more personalized learning experience – learners can gather the elements of knowledge they require – but skip what they know already. • Greater sharing of knowledge – in higher education much of the previous input is lost, whereas in FLOSS the dialogue, resources, and outputs remain as learning resources => CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT & EVOLUTIONARY GROWTH. • Peer production – active engagement in producing something with a set of peers is a powerful motivational and educational driving force. • Real activities – engaging in legitimate activities that are not restricted to an artificial university setting also provides valuable experience. • Peer support – a large support network provided voluntarily by peers in a collaborative manner nearly 24/7. • The sum is bigger than its parts – all the individual actions and activities add a value to the course from which future cohorts of students would gain.
  • Open course scenarios & Open Source: Deviations • A greater range of inputs – not just from the educator, but from all contributors so the collective is the source of knowledge, not one individual • A more personalized learning experience – learners can gather the elements of knowledge they require – but skip what they know already. • Greater sharing of knowledge – in higher education much of the previous input is lost, whereas in FLOSS the dialogue, resources, and outputs remain as learning resources => CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT & EVOLUTIONARY GROWTH. • Peer production – active engagement in producing something with a set of peers is a powerful motivational and educational driving force. • Real activities – engaging in legitimate activities that are not restricted to an artificial university setting also provides valuable experience. • Peer support – a large support network provided voluntarily by peers in a collaborative manner nearly 24/7. • The sum is bigger than its parts – all the individual actions and activities add a value to the course from which future cohorts of students would gain.
  • Traditional educational characteristics that might be preserved ● Educator input – to provide students with guidance and support. ● Structure – learners approaching a new subject area value a certain level of structure and focus offered. ● Learning objectives – to set out for students what they should be able to learn through the experience. ● Assessment – some form of formal assessment and the possibility to obtain a degree or certification ● Face2face interaction with others – students as well as educators.
  • Some Open Questions: • How to allow for a continuity and evolutionary growth of learning resources, spaces and tools, communities involved (internal and / or external ones), or the transactive group memory? • How to keep learning resources (initial ones as well as those leveraged into the course by the students), artifacts created by students and underlying discourse within a context and structure that would allow future cohorts of students to re-experience, build on and improve what others did? • How to easily allow for a ‘re-seeding’ and to organize, formalize and generalize the created knowledge, including structures and processes? • What are the motivational aspects to participate at free / open courses, apart from desire to learn on the one end and degrees on the other? After all, education is today often about “getting a degree” - so how do free / open courses fit into this (if no degree or certificate is issued to “free learners”???) • How to finance free / open course scenarios – which are the supportive revenue models? Learning for free and assessment & certificates/degrees against payment and/or “in kind contributions” such as peer support? Which are legal implications to overcome? How must systems change?
  • Research on Open Education @UNU-MERIT CCG
  • Research on Open Education 2006 – 2008 FLOSSCom project One of the first attempts to map the open source landscape and related research from an educational point of view, with a focus on: I - Identifying factors that contribute to successful knowledge construction in informal learning communities, such as the Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) communities. II - Analyzing the effectiveness of a FLOSS-like learning community in a formal educational setting. III - Providing case studies, scenarios and guidelines for teachers and decision-makers.
  • Research on Open Education 2007 – 2009 NetGeners.Net project ● Piloting of an experimental prototype learning environment aimed at supporting a hybrid approach to Software Engineering ● Joint research project with Aristotle University, Greece ● Fundament of the openSE project
  • Research on Open Education 2009 – 2011 openSE Project The openSE project aims to: • Set up an Open Educational Framework for Software Engineering bringing together academia, formally enrolled students, fellow students, free learners outside of formal education and open source practitioners and enterprises. • Systematically combine formal and informal learning within an unfettered informal learning environment. • Stimulate participatory learning experiences and foster practical ‘hands-on’ sessions where learning activities and output become a learning resource itself. • Enable current and future learners to benefit continuously and fully from others' achievements, regardless where these achievements have been made. • Develop and pilot new revenue models, including e.g. free / open course models with assessment and certification options against fees
  • Research on Open Education 2009 – 2012 openED 2.0 project OpenEd 2.0: Designing for participatory learning in open educational environments. The project's overall objectives are to: ● Develop experimental approaches for participatory learning and teaching within open educational environments ● Implement and test those approaches by means of 3 consecutive pilots to promote continuity, community building and evolutionary growth ● Develop a sustainability framework and revenue models, to be implemented and tested alongside the pilots, to assure financial self-sustainability for such scenarios ● Analyze the results & benchmark them against initial assumptions ● Evaluate the project, disseminate outcomes and take the results further to the wider community
  • Research on Open Education 2010 – 2011 African openSE link through ict@innovation project ● Currently under development ● Will provide openSE link to African AVOIR partner universities and local SME's ● Further piloting of sustainability models, including revenue schemes. ● Supported by the German government funding agency InWent
  • Thank you for your attention! Prepared by: Andreas Meiszner For further information mail to: meiszner@merit.unu.edu