During today’s presentation I want to talk about the concept of open education and open educational resources. I also want to talk about being connected and how learning today is definitely open and connected.
In its simplest form, the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) describes any educational resources (including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning) that are openly available for use by educators and students, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or license fees.http://www.oerafrica.org/understandingoerWe find the term “Open” combined with so many other words, that it is probably a good idea to clarify up front that today I want to talk about open educational resources (OERs) as identified with a Creative Commons license and, secondly, open courses that can be used for teaching and learning. Because we only have a limited time, I will talk about finding and using these resources rather than producing them. And, hopefully, limiting our discussion to using identified resources will give us enough time to talk about what “open education” can really be. Because, I want to distinguish between the free online course with that we might call open education and the approach to learning that embraces a philosophy of openness. We’ll look at two different types of “open” courses that represent two very different styles of teaching and learning.
What’s out there? The quantity of resources that re available to use without any fees is growing exponentially every month. You have…Images VideosLecture seriesSimulatorsTutorialsCollectionsGamesText booksAnd the ones we’re talking about today have been shared by their authors with permissions…
An author can share a resource they have created or perhaps that they modified, customized or remixed somehow and they can simply put a Creative Commons license on it…indicating whether others can Reuse, Redistribute, Revise, or Remix…
The creative commons has six major licenses that are combinations of four conditions…Attribution (BY), requiring attribution to the original authorShare Alike (SA), allowing derivative works under the same or a similar license Non-Commercial (NC), requiring the work is not used for commercial purposes No Derivative (ND), allowing only the original work, without modificationAn author can go to the Creative Commons System and select what permissions he or she wants to assign to a creative work.The Creative Commons site produces a Creative Commons license for the work that has three parts:1.A deed that clearly states the licensing rights in plain English, 2. Legal code for the license, and 3. A digital license code.The digital code can be embedded into websites and search engines. Most major search engines can identify Creative commons licensing. For instance when you are doing a Google search, under the advance search feature, you can filter your search based on license type…This is very useful if you need a piece of music or a picture and you need to be sure you have permission to use it. CC doesn’t replace copyright laws but it is a way for authors or creators to extend common permissions for their work. And this is a really short introduction but I wanted to introduce it here because searching for OERs based on permissions is a great way to get started.
And then there are the courses. Full courses and full programs are now available from most of the really big universities…You can take courses from Yale, from MIT , or you can enroll in Harvard Medical School courses…These are all free if it is just the learning you are interested in…If you want the credential…that’s a different story.
And then there’s the big one…Massive Open Online CoursesTime magazine declared 2012 the year of the MOOC but the first self-described MOOC entitled “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge,” was offered in 2008 by Stephen Downeswho will be giving the keynote at this conference tomorrow, and George Siemens, who currently works at Athabasca University. I was one of the 2300 students who enrolled. Fast forward to 2012 when two Stanford professors offered a course called “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” and more than 160,000 students in 190 countries enrolled. Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig didn’t go back to classes at Standford. Theystarted Udacity, a website and platform on which hundreds of MOOCs from many colleges and universities are now offered. Similar sites like EdX (initiated by MIT and Harvard) and Coursera(which came out of Stanford but is really new new type of educational entity) all began in the last two years and offer massive online courses taught by famous faculty from a number of top-notch universities.MOOCs are significant…They are making a huge global impact…and in the past year, with offerings of thousands of these free online courses MOOCs have become the most important trend for education institutions, and individuals, to watch. The government of China has put together a team of translators tasked with translating Cousera MOOCs. MOOCs are open in that they are free to enroll in…but they may not be open in that philosophical sense I mentioned…
The first MOOC set up by Stephen Downes and George Siemans in 2008 came from the open educational movement and had Connectivist roots. As major universities and commercial institutions have joined the MOOC movement MOOCs changed enough to warrant a distinction between cMOOCs(‘connectivist’ MOOCs) holding true to principles of Connectivism and xMOOCs(‘instructivist’ MOOCs) that aren’t dissimilar to traditional classrooms where you listen to the lecture, read the reading…have the important guy on the screen. In cMOOCs the knowledge is distributed, the teaching and learning is dependent on participants making connections, and they focus on the contributions and the interactions of the participants.In xMOOCs you will find a very centralized (albeit stable) platform, a very linear curriculum and an academic focus.xMOOCs are instructionist-based courses …160,000 students in 190 countries all logged on and interested in artificial intelligence…it’s kind of a shame they were all listening to one guy from Stanford.You may not all be familiar with Connectivism, so I’d like to review some basic principles of the Connectivist learning theory because when we’re talking about open courses you need to understand what is meant by “open” and the theory of learning that behind those courses…What MIT means by open and what Stephen Downes means by open are two totally different things.
In 2004, George Siemens proposed Connectivism as a new learning theory that took into account the realities of a connected, digital world, and the massive amount of information we deal with daily. Siemens tried to address some of the trends he saw in learning.We aren’t preparing learners for one life long career anymore…Especially in IT we work with the reality that we’re training students for jobs that don’t exist yet.Formal education no longer comprises the majority of our learning. Learning now occurs in a variety of ways – through communities of practice, through personal networks, and through completion of work-related tasks.Learning and work related activities are no longer separate. In many situations, they are the same.Technology is altering our brains….The organization and the individual are both learning organismsWe are off loading knowledge to devices…(Do you know your friend’s phone number or do you have it on speed dial?)Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where
The principles of connectivist learning include that…
So many of these ring true…they reflect a new reality and identify new skills we all need…The capacity to know moreThe value of diverse opinionsThe ability to see connectionsThe reality of knowledge constantly being stored in databases and devices like smart phonesThe fact of “information climates” changing what we need to knowIn order to keep learning we are going to have to be connected and stay connected.
So, in the same way we can differentiate between xMOOCs and cMOOCs, I am differentiating between X-type “open education” which are all of those courses and resources that have no fees, tuitions, or royalties attached and C-type “open education” that is a philosophy of teaching and learning that acknowledges that in order to learn we must be connected and engaged and contributing to a learning network.
My original title for this slide was “What NSCC brings to the table…” Community College values focus on the learner and on connections and NSCC does Community College very well and…
"...community colleges are situated best among all institutions of higher education to open education to the lifelong, autonomous learner.”I’ve visited and worked in Community Colleges in Malaysia, China, Ghana, Vietnam and Canada and I believe Sean Michael Morris is correct. Community Colleges are more responsive; Community Colleges get that learning can happen without a credential...that learning isn’t something should remove your life and your community and your family for four years…Learning isn’t just for 10 or 20 or 30 percent of the population…We all have to keep learning because Knowledge is doubling every 12 months, soon to be every 12 hours!.Community Colleges like NSCC, where we are focused on what students can do ….where we understand lifelong learning …where we have prior learning assessment and recognition policies… and open door policies…and the supports required for open door policies…really have the key building blocks already in place.
So with a philosophy of open education (the type that Stephen Downes will no doubt be talking about tomorrow) and proper use and policies regarding open resources NSCC can tap into OERS and MOOCs to enhance learning for both our staff and our students.
As a Community College we want to use open resources to improve teaching and the learning environmentbut the onus is on us to understand the pros and cons of “free resources”Let’s take a look….
Free textbooks and resources…Accessfromanywhere in the world at any timeRemixing, revising, and reusing means so much more than reading and absorbing. Open content licenses that encourage activity and creation by students can make a significant contribution to creating more effective learning environments.Access to information in multiple formats means one student may opt to watch a video can while another chooses to read the information MostOERs are meant to be customized and/or integrating into a uniquelearning experience.All things being equal, collaboration will improve quality..AndOERs provide an excellent way for alumni to stay connected to the institution and continue with a program of lifelong learning.Adapted from http://libguides.umuc.edu/content.php?pid=98930&sid=742401
The rate at which new resources are being developed means it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to provide a comprehensive list so you need a few skills and strategies to find OER resources. I have included lists of OER search engines, repositories and directory sites as well as some listings of upcoming MOOCs on the final slides of this presentation.Anyone can create and license resources. So there is no quality guarantees and so resources may not be relevant, accurate or up to date. A lot of OER material is created to stand alone and be used by the self-directed learner. If you have students using these outside of a classroom environment, they may miss out on discussion and feedback. Again, new skills are required on the part of both the student and the instructor to ensure this doesn’t happen.Language barriers…I can speak to this. So many instructors and students in Vietnam are interested in courses available on Coursera and EdX…Do you think a Nursing Instructor from the Mekong Delta wouldn’t be interested in a course offered by Harvard Medical school? But these courses are in English…Although efforts are being made to make OERs available in multiple languages, many are only available in English, limiting their usefulness to non-English speakers. Some students may have trouble using some OERs if they have a slow or erratic internet connection. Some resources may require software that students don’t have and that they may not be able to afford. But considering the array of resources we’re talking about…technology issues are not major.And finally, there is no longer any one authority …no publisher…no agency responsible to verify, test, and maintain OERs. We are the prosumers…the producers and the consumers…so the authority for what is valid knowledge and what we need to learn lies with us as does the responsibility for finding the right materials to use, and for using them to support effective education.And if you agree then you have to see the value of building a learning network to help us make those decisions.
In 2011, I gave a presentation on 21 Century Literacies in Dar esSallam at the 6th International eLearning Africa conference. I had only 15 minutes so I didn’t bring up Connectivism but I did point out that it is us (all of us networked together) who now hold the authority to create and distribute new knowledge. That job can’t be done by an individual anymore. Wikipedia has 77,000 active contributors and 1,430 administrators. By 2011, Flickr was hosting over 200 million Creative Commons licensed photosTed talks has passed a billion views and has over 950 talks translated into Vietnamese by a group of 54 volunteer translators. We need to be connected. We need to work together. When I finished my presentation lots of people came up to talk and two people asked the same question: “Do you know Stephen and George?” I did indeed know who they were talking about. Stephen Downes and George Siemens, along with Dave Cormier from the University of PEI are the poster boys for a new approach to learning that is absolutely open and social and global and radically different than packaged instruction. I’m honored to be participating in a conference that has StephnDownes as a speaker and I’ll certainly be watching the keynote tomorrow.
The last five slides in this presentation are a resource for finding OER and MOOCs. I believe the presentation will be posted so that you can download it and use these at your leisure.
Open and Connected
Open and Connected
Open Access Week, 2013
• DEFINE OPEN
• DEFINE CONNECTED
• DEFINE A LEARNING SOCIETY
Massive Open Online…
Two Types of MOOCs…
Two Types of Education
Credit: Martin Weller
Trends in Learning
• Many learners will move into a variety of different, possibly
unrelated fields over the course of their lifetime.
• Informal learning is a significant aspect of our learning
• Learning is a continual process, lasting for a lifetime..
• Technology is altering (rewiring) our brains.
• The organization and the individual are both learning
• Many of the processes previously handled by learning
theories (especially in cognitive information processing) can
now be off-loaded to, or supported by, technology.
• Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with knowwhere
1. Learning and knowledge rest in diversity of
2. Learning is a process of connecting
3. Learning may reside in non-human
4. Capacity to know more is more critical than
what is currently known
5. Nurturing and maintaining connections is
needed to facilitate continual learning.
6. The ability to see connections (between
fields, ideas, and concepts) is a core skill.
7. Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge)
is the intent of all connectivist learning
8. Decision-making is itself a learning process.
The right answer today, may be wrong
tomorrow due to changes in the information
Open Education – Type C
Really open education is more than just
free programs or resources.
Open education seeks to remove all
unnecessary barriers to learning while
aiming to provide students with a
reasonable chance of success in an
education and training system centered on
their specific needs.
What does that look like?
• Responsiveness to learners and
• An open door policy
• Prior learning assessment and recognition
• Portfolio based assessment
• Student support centers
• Competency-based curriculum
"...community colleges are situated
best among all institutions of higher
education to open education to the
lifelong, autonomous learner."
Sean Michael Morris
A Manifesto for Community Colleges,
Lifelong Learning, and Autodidacts
Openly licensed educational materials have
tremendous potential to contribute to
improving the quality and effectiveness of
They can be used to improve the teaching
and learning environment while reducing
costs to the institution and to the student.
Scalability (160,000 students!)
Active learning (remix, revise, reuse)
Quick customization and improvement
Support for lifelong learning
• No centralized control
• Quality and maintenance issues
• Impact on human interaction (teacher to
student, student to student)
• Language barriers
• Technology issues
• Lack of a central authority
Towards a Learning Society…
The future is connected and collaborative.
"Whereas in the past learning was competitive, coercive
and paternalistic, the new ethic of learning is
collaborative, global and universal.
It is collaborative in that learners need to work with each
other. It is global in the sense that every society has a
contribution to make and a responsibility to each other.
And it is universal because every part of a society must
invest in learning and participate."
The Learning Society, Cisco Systems, 2010
Where do I find OERs?
Specialized OER search engines:
– Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange
– Creative Commons Search
– Open Courseware Consortium
Where do I find OERs?
Locate a suitable OER repository:
– MedEd PORTAL(medical focus).
– MIT OCW
– China Open Resources for Education (CORE)
– AgEcon (agricultural focus)
Where do I find OERs?
Use OER directory sites:
– OER Commons
– Commonwealth of Learning
– OER Africa
Where do I find MOOCs?
– MOOC List
– 625 Free MOOCs from Great Universities
A list of upcoming connectivist MOOCs
– Connectivist MOOCs
A list of lists…
OER Africa. Understanding OER. http://www.oerafrica.org/understandingoer
Creative Commons. How can I license my work? http://creativecommons.org/
Creative Commons. What is OER? http://wiki.creativecommons.org/What_is_OER
Cisco Systems. 2010.The Learning Society. http://www.cisco.com/web/about/citizenship/socioeconomic/docs/LearningSociety_WhitePaper.pdf
NY Times. 2012. The Year of the MOOC.
Schilling, David. 2013. Knowledge Doubling Every 12 Months Soon to be Every 12 Hours.
Siemens, George. 2004. Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital
Weller, Martin. Understanding OERS in 10 Videos.