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UPCEA 2011 Annual Conference


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This presentation will describe how institutions are effectively using and supporting open Web sites and how such sites intersect with clear trends in higher education. Among the benefits described …

This presentation will describe how institutions are effectively using and supporting open Web sites and how such sites intersect with clear trends in higher education. Among the benefits described will be the use of OCW/OER to attract students, serve current students and supplement their learning, support faculty in both course authoring and delivery, facilitate accountability and aid continuous improvement, advance institutional recognition and reputation, support the public service role of institutions, disseminate the results of research and thereby attract research funding, serve as a repository for a wide range of digital assets, serve learning communities of all types, and enhance international service and reputation.

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  • The development of the OpenCourseWare(OCW) and Open Educational Resource (OER) movements over the last three years indicates that major universities around the world are already or will soon become producers and publishers of OCW and OER and that these efforts will become permanent features of organizational life in these institutions. Continuing educators will gain institutional credibility by initiating open Web sites. The institutional case for OCW/OER is strong and multifaceted. This presentation will describe how institutions are effectively using and supporting open Websites and how such sites intersect with clear trends in higher education. Among the benefits described will be the use of OCW/OER to attract students, serve current students and supplement their learning, support faculty in both course authoring and delivery, facilitate accountability and aid continuous improvement, advance institutional recognition and reputation, support the public service role of institutions, disseminate the results of research and thereby attract research funding, serve as a repository for a wide range of digital assets, serve learning communities of all types, and enhance international service and reputation. To download this complete presentation, please visit:
  • MIT’s establishment of the first institutional-sponsored OCW Web site set the standard and direction for institutional sites around the world. Its initial reasons for establishing the site remain as sound now as they were in the beginning. Charles Vest, then president of MIT, lists five reasons for MIT’s pioneering effort to “give away all its course materials via the Internet” (Vest, 2004):To advance education and widen accessTo provide greater opportunity for MIT faculty to see and reuse each other’s workTo create a good record of materialsTo increase contact with alumniTo help MIT students become better prepared
  • A well developed OCW Web site has tremendous potential for showing the world the quality and extent of what an institution has to offer. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the founder of institutionalized OCW sites, averages over 1 million unique visits per month to its site, over 56% of which come from overseas. 58% of MIT faculty say that OCW has enhanced the reputation of their departments.
  • Following MIT’s initiative,hundreds of institutions around the world have recognized the power of OCW and have not only joined the OpenCourseWareConsortium (OCWC) but have contributed to the growing store of open courses in many languages. Collectively, OCWC members have published materials from more than 13,000 courses in 20 languages.
  • The experience of the last four years has added substance to the case that can be made for institutional involvement in the OER/OCW movements. This experience has supported and reaffirmed all of the early objectives for higher educational institutions to become actively involved in sponsoring and publishing OER/OCW and, in addition, presented new examples of the benefits that institutions can derive from such involvement. As these new uses emerge, so does the justification for the financial support of them, support that results in revenue generation, cost savings, and service improvements that are so compelling as to demand funding and support from institutional leaders. This list builds the case for institutional support of OER/OCW which will be described in the following slides.
  • There is no more compelling a case to be made for OER/OCW than its ability to serve the core instructional mission of the institution. Charles Vest, in 2004 describes why MIT chose to give its materials away for free and lists two of his five reasons under this category—to provide MIT faculty the opportunity to view each other’s work and to help MIT students be better prepared. In fact, these two reasons are clearly manifested in the MIT experience and in the experience of other universities, some of which have taken an even more active role than MIT. For instance, UC Berkeley has created an infrastructure whereby course lectures are automatically recorded and then posted to iTunes U, available for viewing by students in the course soon after the lecture is complete. Individual students and study groups can review lectures as they prepare for exams. This same service can also serve students who miss a class and, in one case at a major university facing a classroom shortage, an alternative delivery system to the classroom. New York University (NYU) recently video captured lectures in ten courses, added learning assets to them and placed them online in an open format for its fall 2010 term. The professors teaching the courses used the time gained in not having to deliver the lecture for one-on-one interactions. Of course, these examples could be provided by the institution without offering the material in an open format. The advantage of the NYU and UC Berkeley models is that they utilize a free, publically available distribution site (YouTube EDU or iTunes U). These sites are easily accessible by students from anywhere and can remain in place along with later versions of the same course beyond the current term, serving as a continuing reference for subsequent students. And the institution gains the benefits of wide-spread exposure to its instructional product.
  • The open textbook movement comes into play here also as the distinction between textbooks and Web-based and digitized materials of all types begin to blur. Universities are seeking to provide students with the material needed for their courses in cost effective ways. In 2009, University of California’s (UC) chair and vice chair of the academic senate wrote an “open letter” to the UC faculty saying “now it’s our turn to cut the cost of textbooks for our students.” One way they suggest for cutting such costs is to “try to identify open resources textbooks (OER) or other published material that is freely available in digital form.”
  • Recent studies by MIT indicate that 79 percent of entering freshman report that they visited the MIT OCW site before deciding to attend MIT. Frequently their parents also visited the site. Seeing “how MIT does it” makes sense as part of the decision-making process.  
  • The University of California, Irvine (UCI) placed a series of public health seminars on its OCW Web site, and professor of public health Oladele Ogunseitan reports that “applications at the undergraduate level and the graduate level have all increased over the past year.” Also at UCI, the continuing education unit of the University reports that traffic from its OCW site ( is one of the largest sources of referral traffic to its catalog site. It uses its OCW Web site to capture leads for its online courses and programs and as a demonstration site for those who want to understand what kind of experience they will have in an UCI online course.
  • OCW allows faculty to see the work of other faculty members. Another institution-wide example of aiding course authoring can be seen at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Monterrey, Mexico, with its project known as the “knowledge hub.” To search the knowledge hub, visit Temoa is a knowledge hub that provides a catalog of Open Educational Resources (OER) to support the education community. Individual and teams of faculty members have created their own course materials, reviewed open material from other universities, and categorized the material by university course number in a repository ready for the use of both students and faculty. This institutionally sponsored project promises to drive down the time, effort and cost of developing institutional courses by harvesting vetted material from other institutions while making their own material available to others.
  • In the U.S., the regional accrediting bodies are requiring that desired student outcomes (DSOs) be articulated for each degree program as a whole and for each course. The metrics, preferably external metrics, must be adopted for the measurement of those outcomes and the results of those metrics must be translated into action that improves the university’s educational product. Similar regulations are beginning to be promulgated in Europe partly as a result of the Bologna Process. But the calls for accountability go beyond educational organizations. A recent law passed in the state of Texas, HB2504, requires institutions to post a public Web site for every undergraduate course taught for credit by public institutions (except medical and dental schools). Included in the posting must be the course syllabus, departmental budget (if available) and the curriculum vitae of each regular instructor. The information must be easily accessible to the public no later than seven days after the academic term begins, must be updated as appropriate, and must be maintained for two years. While this is an extreme example, the trend is toward more openness in the instructional function.
  • OCW allows everyone to see how any particular professor expects to achieve the learning outcomes for a course, to see the design of the course, and to make judgments about both the content (level and extent) of the course and the pedagogical methods used. For the first time, we now have visible demonstrations of how institutions can offer their prospective students (their customers) a clear view of an important part of the product offered for sale—something that campus visits or recruitment literature cannot adequately disclose. Although there is more to a university experience than content and pedagogy, and not all the richness of a pedagogical approach can be displayed in OCW, the trend is clear. In the current environment which explicitly demands accountability and disclosure, it is not a giant leap to predict that some degree of openness as expressed in OCW will quickly make its way into accreditation requirements.
  • In addition to rigorous standards, increased accountability, and transparency, accrediting agencies are demanding processes for continuous improvement. This chart illustrates one conception of the continuous improvement process. One of the premises of the online learning movement is that the investment in the production of learning/teaching materials can be captured and leveraged through re-use and (as we will see) continuous improvement. So a core technology of any serious and large scale technology-assisted learning organization is a content management system.What is content: it is really anything that can be digitally recorded and filed. For our purposes, of course, we are concentrating on content that will be used in the teaching/learning process. Examples: printed materials, video and audio recordings, charts, simulations, PowerPoint slides.Any content management system must include the capacity to manage the intellectual property rights of contributors to the system. This is known as digital rights management (DRM).Again, for our purposes, any content management system must serve the course authoring system in an efficient manner. The content management system should be capable of accepting and managing content from a wide variety of sources, not only from an internal content management system, but also from any digital material created by instructors, from the huge inventory of open material now available and also from material owned and controlled by others, including the University.The content management system should be able to handle almost any digitized material, text of course, but also video, audio, PowerPoint, flash files, and any combination. By “handle” I mean not only be able to file, but also find and manipulate.Following this logic, a course (or any “learning object”) can be produced from the content in the content management system with the course authoring tool.Students can then take the course. As they proceed through the course, their use of course material and particularly their successin achieving learning objectives, can be collected and analyzed.The data can then be used to modify the content (learning object) to improve it for the next offering.
  • An OER/OCW Web site immediately pays dividends in terms of recognition at the institutional, school, department, center and individual faculty levels. The impressive statistics of the use of MIT OCW clearly enhanced MIT’s already strong image and recognition. But there are more such examples, including the experience of UCI, which was the first campus in the UC system and the first west coast university to join the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC).
  • While there are many possible expressions of an institution’s commitment and ability to draw positive effects from openness, the establishment of an institutional open Web site is the most effective way of creating institutional value. UCI’s OCW site features contributions from 66 UCI faculty members,over 50 full open courses, 120 video lectures, 1,000 learning assets and is consistently ranked alongside MIT, Johns Hopkins, and other major institutions within the top ten U.S. OCW Web sites. The existence of an OCW Web site enables the institution to regularly and with little cost provide contributions to the public welfare, attracting positive stories in the news media.
  • UC Irvine has a regular protocol for republishing material posted on the UCI OCW site to other open sites including YouTube Edu, iTunes U,Merlot, and Connexions. We also publish course links on Facebook, Twitter, and This multiple site exposure increases search engine visibility,driving up coursetraffic to our site.
  • Similar to the MIT experience, UCI is drawing views to its OCW site from around the world.
  • The reputation aspects of OCW do not stop at the institutional level. Individual faculty members can also gain very high recognition for their efforts. For instance, Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University has drawn more 11,000,000 views to his video describing Web 2.0 since its launch in December of 2007.
  • Public and media relations can go a long way in the building an institution’s leadership position in open education. Several UCI faculty members have been featured in the mainstream news media for their contributions to OCW. UCI Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Michael Dennin was featured in the New York Times on April 16, 2010 for his award winning “Science of Superheroes” course.
  • OER and OCW support the ability of the university to serve the public. While this purpose was an underlying impulse of MIT’s pioneering project, the expression of its OCW did not directly address specific public service efforts. But the large mass of material ultimately produced by MIT naturally put pressure on it to adapt the material for deserving audiences. The most ambitious effort is MIT’s Highlights for High School project, an effort to provide a “lens” on the mass of MIT material in science and mathematics that might be useful to high school teachers and students (
  • Another example is UCI’s OER material designed specifically to help California’s K-12 teachers prepare for the state’s examinations in order to teach science and mathematics. Funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Boeing Company, UCI’s effort continues to serve thousands of teachers and receives more visits than any other collection of courses on the UCI OCW site ( UCI’s CSET courses continue to be the some of the most visited courses on its site with over 30,000 visits. Many teachers attribute their success in passing the CSET exams to our preparatory courses.
  • For research universities, an open site can become a powerful competitive advantage in gaining research funding. All federal agencies and many foundations now emphasize and reward sound plans for getting the results of research funding into practical use as quickly as possible. Sometimes, the creation of high-quality learning materials for use by institutions and individuals is the best mechanism for dissemination, with the greatest impact.
  • Every large university has many initiatives that call for dissemination of parts of the knowledge base created and maintained by it. Sometimes the need for dissemination is internal, such as the sharing of learning materials among colleagues even when they are in the same department or located close by. But most universities continually produce material useful to the public. For instance, universities often produce learning objects useful to the K-12 educational segment. Even when they can find funding to produce or publish the material, delivery methods remain cumbersome and expensive. The main issue is not so much OER production as its disposition. An institutionally sponsored OER/OCW Web site is a convenient “default” repository, but one that also automatically serves as a low cost publication and dissemination mechanism. With the establishment of an open Web site there is immediately a place for much of the production of the university.
  • The emergence of learning communities is being stimulated by OER/OCW. The existence of high-quality learning materials available for free, anyplace, anytime has naturally led people to seek some form of valid learning assessment and certification. But there are several more serious efforts at encouraging this kind of learning. For instance Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is organized to help learners connect with subject experts in a temporary learning community, but the effort is searching for ways to legitimize the learning accomplished. The University of the People hopes to gain accreditation for the learning experiences it organizes around courses purchased by other universities. (Abramson, 2010). OpenLearn, an initiative of the Open University (OU) of the UK “is working toward creating a truly interactive and collaborative learning experience.” OU students can meet up in chat rooms to discuss their lessons and the university is working on what will be the educational equivalent of Facebook to allow users to create profiles, find, and communicate with others studying similar material. (Aujla and Terris, 2009). Some instructors are opening their online courses to the world, joining the open teaching movement and spawning the term “Massive Open Online Course” (MOOC).  (Parry, 29 August 2010).
  • Through participation in the OER/OCW movements, institutions become automatic members of a powerful but informal international club and thereby gain international visibility. To remain on the sidelines of OER/OCW risks exclusion from the club or may necessitate a scramble to get in when opportunity knocks. Even an internationally recognized institution such as MIT benefits from this international association. In fact, 58% of MIT faculty believe that the MIT OCW Web site has improved its international reputation. Many national governments, including the U.S., with now a somewhat diminished initiative to foster open education for the community colleges, are adopting OER/OCW as part of a national education strategy. Indeed, the African Virtual University is focused on institutional sharing of resources through an open exchange. With such powerful patrons, universities should prepare themselves for what is inevitable—calls for sharing their instructional materials with the world. The interaction among international partners has already stimulated innovation and excitement. Those features will accelerate the movements further in the very near future.
  • Fundraising for higher education has never been more important and will eventually include raising funds to support the teaching mission of the university. OCW has quickly, inexpensively and visibly demonstrated the teaching excellence of an institution’s faculty in highly targeted ways. For instance, an open course featuring a lecture by an eminent faculty member in religious studies might show potential donors what their investment would benefit. Short of taking potential donors into the classroom, few tactics work as well as OCW to feature the educational services at the heart of the university.
  • Here is a brief list of some actions you can take to gain institutional and faculty support of an OCW Web site.
  • Here is a screen capture of UCI’s OCW site.  Note that it is graphically appealing with clear and intuitive “navigational” features such as the list at the top showing “collections”, courses, etc.
  • By clicking on “courses,” visitors get a list of all the UCI Schools which serves as a rough index of subjects covered.  This allows for the logical involvement of the schools that must support this effort.
  • When a visitor clicks on a particular course from this list, the viewer is connected to a “landing page” with, again, clear instructions and information including a big green button prompting the user to “Begin Course.”
  • The more faculty that contribute to the site, the more embedded the site will become at your institution.  Student use of the site is also an important measure. Creating the possibility of using OCW material in regular classes is a great way to feature the value of OCW. This slide shows a screen capture of a feature story on UCI’s OCW that appeared on Monday, March 28th, on the home page of the UC Irvine Web site. For a link to the complete story, visit
  • Virtually any unit on campus, academic or administrative, can benefit from an OCW Web site. Attracting the use of the OCW site by strategically selected allies is an important way to gain institutional recognition of the site. Libraries, teaching/learning technology centers, and information technology operations are among those units most likely to feel threatened by OCW. Showing them how OCW can help them is effective in reducing institutional resistance. Aiding development efforts say, by providing free demonstrations of high quality instruction for potential donors, puts OCW at the heart of any university—generating funding. In addition to serving students and faculty in the teaching and learning process, OCW can serve the individual needs of schools and departments. Among those needs, particularly in research universities, is the desire to disseminate the results of research in a forum designed to aid the effective teaching of the new results. Creating user-friendly means of interacting with the OCW site is necessary to keep OCW maintenance costs down.
  • The best way to get attention for an OCW site is to make sure it has a lot of interesting and useful material in it.  Fortunately, such material is more and more available and usually it is relatively inexpensive to acquire and post.  Once posted there are ways to republish institutional OER on public utility sites such as YouTube EDU and iTunes U.  Video capture of lectures is relatively inexpensive and a readily available source.
  • Helping a faculty memberpost material useful for students and for deserving audiences creates the possibility for a valuable demonstration of the value of OCW/OEWR.  The faculty member can then become an advocate and others can see the results easily.  Doing the same kind of demonstration of something useful to a deserving external audience is also highly valuable.
  • While it may take some work, getting the press and the media to feature a story on how the University is helping the community by providing a valuable free service is a natural and continuing story that should be pushed. 
  • If you’re interested in starting an institutional OCW Web site and joining the OpenCourseWare Consortium, please contact the consortium’s executive director:Mary Lou ForwardExecutive DirectorOCW
  • To download this presentation, please visit:
  • Transcript

    • 1. Why You Should Immediately Create anOpenCourseWare Web Site at Your Institution By Gary. W. Matkin, Ph.D., Dean Continuing Education, Distance Learning and Summer Session University of California, Irvine University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Annual Conference April 6-9, 2011
    • 2. MIT and the Early InstitutionalCase5 Reasons MIT Beganits OCW Initiative1. To advance education and widen access2. To provide greater opportunity for MIT faculty to see and reuse each other’s work3. To create a good record of materials4. To increase contact with alumni5. To help MIT students become better prepared
    • 3. The Global Impact of OCW on Institutional Reputation & VisibilitySince its launch in 2002, MIT’s OCW has received108million visits by 77 million visitors
    • 4. Institutionally Sponsored OCW &OER Are Part of a World-WideMovement
    • 5. The Expanded Institutional Case1. Serve current students (supports teaching and learning)2. Attract new students3. Support faculty in both course authoring and delivery4. Facilitate accountability and aid continuous improvement5. Advance institutional recognition and reputation6. Support the public service role of institutions7. Disseminate the results of research and thereby attract research funding8. Serve as a repository for a wide range of digital assets9. Serve learning communities of all types10. Enhance international service and reputation
    • 6. OCW Serves Current Students
    • 7. OCW Serves Current Students
    • 8. OCW Attracts Students
    • 9. OCW Attracts StudentsUC Irvine Public Health “Collection,”Video Featuring Oladele Ogunseitan , UCI Professor of Public Health
    • 10. OCW Supports Faculty
    • 11. OCW Stimulates & Facilitates Accountability & Continuous ImprovementH.B. No. 2504: Section 51.974.“Each institution of higher education,other than a medical and dental unit,shall make available to the public onthe institution’s Internet website thefollowing information for eachundergraduate classroom courseoffered for credit by the institution.”
    • 12. OCW Stimulates & FacilitatesAccountability & ContinuousImprovement
    • 13. OCW Stimulates & Facilitates Accountability &Continuous Improvement Content Management System Course Continuous Authoring Tool Improvement Digital Learning Rights Assessment Management Data
    • 14. OCW Advances InstitutionalRecognition & Reputation
    • 15. OCW Advances InstitutionalRecognition & ReputationAn Institutional OCW Web Site is the Most Focused Expression ofOpenness
    • 16. OCW Advances InstitutionalRecognition & ReputationUCI OCW is Republished on Other Open Sites Thereby Increasing Traffic
    • 17. OCW Advances InstitutionalRecognition & ReputationUCI’s OCW Web Site Attracts Viewers from Around the World Since its launch in November 2006, UCI’s OCW Web site has received 450,000 visits from 370,000 visitors 53% of 450,000 visits were from internationals, from 200 countries around the world U.S. Internation 47% al 53%
    • 18. OCW Advances InstitutionalRecognition & Reputation
    • 19. OCW Advances InstitutionalRecognition & Reputation
    • 20. OCW Supports an Institution’s PublicService Role
    • 21. OCW Supports an Institution’s PublicService Role
    • 22. OCW Provides a ResearchDissemination Mechanism
    • 23. OCW Creates a Default Repositorywith a Purpose
    • 24. OCW Serves LearningCommunities
    • 25. OCW Helps Institutions GainInternational Visibility
    • 26. OCW and Fundraising
    • 27. Gaining Institutional and FacultySupport for OCW Create a Web site that you can be proud of Focus on helping students and faculty — get them involved Leverage and support existing units Build an inventory — spread it around Create “micro” demonstrations — publicize them Get media attention — both internal and external
    • 28. Be Proud of Your OCW Web Site
    • 29. Be Proud of Your OCW Web Site
    • 30. Be Proud of Your OCW Web Site
    • 31. Help Students and Faculty
    • 32. Leverage and Support Existing Units Library Teaching/Learning technology centers Development offices Schools and departments Research Information technology operations
    • 33. Build an Inventory
    • 34. Create Micro Demonstrations
    • 35. Get External Attention
    • 36. Join the OCW Consortium TodayFor more information about the OCW Consortiumand to start building your OCW Web site, pleasecontact:Mary Lou ForwardExecutive DirectorOpenCourseWare Consortiummlforwar@ocwconsortium.orgOr visit the OCW Consortium Web site at:
    • 37. Questions?
    • 38. Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D.Dean, Continuing Education, Distance Learning and SummerSessionUniversity of California, IrvineEmail: gmatkin@uci.eduTelephone: 949.824.8825On the Web: this Presentation at: