Openness in Open Educational Resources and MOOCs: fact or fiction?
OER, MOOCs and the promise of
broadening access to education
Professor Gráinne Conole
Dr Rebecca Eynon (with Nabeel Gillani and
Part of the Breaking Boundaries
3 short presentations (Sarah, Gráinne, Rebecca)
Panel session and discussion
Openness in Open Educational
Resources and MOOCs: fact or
Sarah Porter, Academic Visitor,
Oxford Internet Institute
A compelling sociological, psychological, legal
and technological movement.
Source: Professor Terry Anderson
Open Educational Resources
Convergence of late 1990s trend in elearning for re-usable learning objects and
the openness movements
First major manifestation through MIT Open
Courseware Initiative – which spawned many
UKOER phase 1
How can institutions, individuals, consortia best release OER?
What do creators want to do with it?
Is it sustainable?
UKOER phase 2
How can we best encourage discovery and use of OER?
How can we extend and grow existing approaches to
What do users want to do with it?
Is this sustainable?
OER use case studies
OER use report
Student use of OER lit. review
UKOER phase 3, JISC Digitisation & Content…
Into The Wild ebook
OER Historical Perspective
Student attitudes to OER
Source: David Kernohan, Jisc
How can we use OER and related practices to meet identified strategic
and cultural needs? How can technology support these practices and
What does everyone want to do with it?
Is this sustainable?
Over 100 higher education institutions involved
Several thousand resources created and shared
openly (through Jorum.ac.uk)
Very wide range of subject areas included
Communities of practice created
Broadening access to education?
“while communities may encourage first steps into open
practices, they sometimes seem antithetical to the basic
philosophy of open release of resources. We found a
contradiction between the aim of the UKOER programme
to openly release OER and limited practices within some
communities, resulting in release of OER within bounded
communities. These contradictions present major barriers
to successful OER release.”
Falconer, I., Littlejohn, A, and McGill, L. in Reusing Open Resources,
Edited by Allison Littlejohn and Chris Pegler, Routledge, 2013
MOOCs are only being run by elite
institutions in order to market themselves
MOOC learners are all western males over
the age of 26
MOOCs aren't actually being used – hardly
anyone completes a whole MOOC
There are at least 8 million MOOC users worldwide
MOOC participants come from a wide range of
MOOC participants vary widely in age
Not all MOOCs are the same – demographics
can vary widely depending on the subject area,
level of study and approach taken
Completion rates vary widely and are up to 50%
in some cases
MOOCs broadening access?
ALISON – 'the original MOOC' – 600 courses
Providing 'essential, certified workplace skills'
(business, finance, languages, IT, soft skills)
Free content and support
Charged for course management, certification
Over 3 million users world-wide
Biggest growth is in India
There is no single MOOC model, content and
approaches vary and are developing constantly
We are just at the beginning of seeing what
MOOCs will offer – the rate of development
and growth is very fast e.g. 'blended' MOOCs,
accredited MOOCs, varied course length
We don't yet know enough about what
participants are 'getting' from MOOCs – but
we do know that they have varied motivation
and are engaging in a range of ways
A study from Stanford University's Learning Analytics group in 2013 identified four types of
MOOC participants represent a huge population
of online learners – with varied disciplines,
demographics, motivations and contexts
Networked technologies, data collection and
analysis tools and techniques provide a
significant opportunity to understand how the
learners are interacting with each other and
Significant potential to shape more inclusive,
flexible and learner-focused education
Alison.com (accessed 17/2/14)
Anderson, T. (2013) Openness, Online Universities, Moocs and Beyond at
http://www.slideshare.net/terrya/moo-cs-uoc-round-table-june-2013 (accessed 30/1/14)
Falconer, I., Littlejohn, A, and McGill, L. (2013) in Reusing Open Resources, Edited by Allison Littlejohn
and Chris Pegler, Routledge.
Harvard and MIT release working papers on open online courses at
https://www.edx.org/blog/harvard-mit-release-working-papers-open (accessed 17/2/14)
Huan, Li. MOOCs and higher education: concepts, models and trends (2013) at
Kizilcec, R.F., Piech, C., Schneider, E. (2013) Deconstructing Disengagement: Analyzing Learner
Subpopulations in Massive Open Online Courses at
http://www.stanford.edu/~cpiech/bio/papers/deconstructingDisengagement.pdf (accessed 30/1/14)
Times Higher Education (2014), MOOC completion rates below 7% at
UK OER programme at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/ukoer3.aspx (accessed 17/2/14)
UK OER Synthesis and Evaluation at https://oersynth.pbworks.com/ (accessed 17/2/14)