An open and closed case for educational resources
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Pecha kucha presentation delivered at Repository Fringe, 3 Sept. 2010. Argues that releasing learning materials as open educational resources can be a better way of solving some of the internal ...

Pecha kucha presentation delivered at Repository Fringe, 3 Sept. 2010. Argues that releasing learning materials as open educational resources can be a better way of solving some of the internal issues institutions face regarding managing teaching and learning materials.

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  • here is: An open and closed case for educational resources,And that’s who it’s by
  • I will be talking about open educational resources, oropen educational content, or open courseware, that is educational materials that have creative commons licences, so they can be taken and used by anyone for free.HEFCE have invested about £9 million in the UKOER programme managed by JISC and the HE Academy over the last two years.
  • But I’ll start with a story from four or five years ago. I was on the advisory group for a typical institutional learning object repository project. The approach they (and many others at the time) chose was a closed, inward-looking repository, providing access and services only within that institution. They were concerned about interoperability with their library systems, and worried a lot about metadata.
  • The project did not succeed. In the final advisory group meeting I was asked whether I could provide an example of a successful institutional learning object repository. I ummed and ahhed in an unconvincing way about the difficulty of knowing of the success of closed (almost secret) projects.But two days later it dawned on me that I should have said :...
  • MIT’s OpenCourseWare: .At the time that by far the most mature Open Educational Resource project, but now we have many other examples of institutions releasing OERs.What I want to do now is to suggest that this offers a better approach to managing digital educational materials than closed internal systems.
  • What problems were institutional learning object repositories trying to solve at that time:-they wanted to account for what educational content they had and where it was. -they wanted to promote reuse and sharing within the Institution-they wanted more effective and efficient use of resources
  • And why, in general, did this type of project fail:- There was a lack of buy-in all round There was a lack of motivation from staff to deposit There was a lack of awareness that the repository existedAlso, there was more focus on the repository and systems interoperability than on directly addressing the needs of their stakeholders.
  • Does an open approach address these challenges?Well, by providing access to your resources through the open web everyone will be able to access them, including your own staff and students. What’s more once these resource are on the open web they can be found using Google, which is how staff and students search.Which helps a lot with promoting reuse and sharing within the institution.
  • It is becoming apparent that there are good institution-level benefits from releasing OERs.For example the OU have traced a direct link from use of their OpenLearn website to course enrolment.In general terms, open content raises the profile of the institution and its courses on the web, providing an effective shop window for the institution’s teaching, in a way that a closed repository cannot.Open content also gives prospective students a better understanding of what is offered by an institution’s courses than a prospectus can, and so helps with recruitment and retention.
  • It is becoming apparent that there are good institution-level benefits from releasing OERs.For example the OU have traced a direct link from use of their OpenLearn website to course enrolment.In general terms, open content raises the profile of the institution and its courses on the web, providing an effective shop window for the institution’s teaching, in a way that a closed repository cannot.Open content also gives prospective students a better understanding of what is offered by an institution’s courses than a prospectus can, and so helps with recruitment and retention.
  • There is a growing feeling that material produced with public funds should be available to all members of the public, and that Universities should be of benefit to the wider community not just to those scholars who happen to work within the system.We would suggest that we are looking at a future where open educational resources should be seen as the default approach, and that a special case should need to be made for resources that a public institution such as a university wants to keep “private”.But for now the point we’re making is that social responsibility is a strong motivator for some individuals, institutions and funders.
  • There is a growing feeling that material produced with public funds should be available to all members of the public, and that Universities should be of benefit to the wider community not just to those scholars who happen to work within the system.We would suggest that we are looking at a future where open educational resources should be seen as the default approach, and that a special case should need to be made for resources that a public institution such as a university wants to keep “private”.But for now the point we’re making is that social responsibility is a strong motivator for some individuals, institutions and funders.
  • Releasing educational content openly on the web requires active management of intellectual property rights associated with the content used for teaching at the institution. This is something that institutions should be doing anyway but often fudge: they should address questions such as Who is responsible for ensuring there is no copyright violation? Who owns the teaching materials, the lecturer who wrote them or the institution? Who is allowed to use materials created by a member of staff who moves on to another institution? The process of applying open licences helps institutions address these issues, and other legal requirements such as responding to freedom of information requests relating to teaching materials (and they do happen).
  • Releasing educational content openly on the web requires active management of intellectual property rights associated with the content used for teaching at the institution. This is something that institutions should be doing anyway but often fudge: they should address questions such as Who is responsible for ensuring there is no copyright violation? Who owns the teaching materials, the lecturer who wrote them or the institution? Who is allowed to use materials created by a member of staff who moves on to another institution? The process of applying open licences helps institutions address these issues, and other legal requirements such as responding to freedom of information requests relating to teaching materials (and they do happen).
  • Authentication and authorization not a problem for open access.
  • Some (but not all) OER projects present material in the context in which they were delivered, i.e. arranged as courses.This may have some disadvantages, but it also has advantages over the way in which repositories are commonly used to store individual objects. That is...... The resource is self describing you don’t have to rely on metadata to convey information such as educational level, potential educational use.
  • Some (but not all) OER projects present material in the context in which they were delivered, i.e. arranged as courses.This may have some disadvantages, but it also has advantages over the way in which repositories are commonly used to store individual objects. That is...... The resource is self describing you don’t have to rely on metadata to convey information such as educational level, potential educational use.Most universities can describe their own courses in ways that make sense, but we struggle to agree controlled vocabularies that can be applied across the sector.
  • The other advantage of presenting the material as courses rather than disaggregated as individual objects is that the course will be more likely to be useful to learners.Of course the presentation of resources in the context of a course does not stop anyone from taking a single component resource and using in another context (but it’s very hard to go in the other direction).
  • In short just putting clearly licensed stuff on to the open web solvesmany problems.Only a few seconds left to discuss what is the best technology genre: repository or content management system or VLE or Web2 service. Within the UKOER programme all four approaches were used successfully.Some of these technologies are primarily designed for local management and presentation of resources rather than open dissemination; and vice versa.There’s no consensus as to how best to get material out on to the open web. But there is a discernable trend towards using a diversity of approaches, e.g. some UKOER projects used repositories to hold the material and push it to Web 2 services; others pulled material in the other direction.

An open and closed case for educational resources Presentation Transcript

  • 1. 1
    An open and closed case for educational resources
    Phil Barker
    R John Robertson
    Lorna M Campbell
  • 2. OER: Open educational resources
    2
    Image by opensourceway, licence cc-by-sa
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4371000818/
  • 3. The closed way
    3
    Image by draco2008 licence cc-by
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/draco2008/2727199209/
  • 4. 4
    Image by Lorna M Campbell
  • 5. MIT OCW
    5
    Image by MIT OCW licence cc-by-sa
    http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/aeronautics-and-astronautics/
  • 6. Managing digital educational materials
    6
    Image by (nutmeg) licence cc-by
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/absolutely_loverly/2348473585/
  • 7. And why did they fail?
    7
    Image by my_new_wintercoat licence cc-by-nc-sa
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/my_new_wintercoat/415138363/
  • 8. Does an open approach address these challenges?
    Image by University of Adelaide licence cc-by
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_university_of_adelaide/969267722/
  • 9. Institutional buy-in
    Image by Tony Eccles licence cc-by-nc-sa
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonytoo/3659947093/
  • 10. 10
    Image by Monica Bargmann licence cc-by-sa
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_mistress/1304655401/
  • 11. Social responsibility
    “Our mission has always been to be open to people, places, methods and ideas and OpenLearn allows us to extend these values into the 21st century.
    Professor David Vincent, The Open University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor
    11

  • 12. Social responsibility
    “it must be open to those outside the academic community to question what is being taught and to what level in our universities
    UK Information Tribunal ruling on FoI request to release course material
    12

  • 13. Legalities
    Content removed due to licensing issues
    13
  • 14. Image by Steve Harris licence cc-by-nc
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steveharris/3328419931/
  • 15. Some things become simpler
    15
    Image by takacsi75 ilcencecc-by http://www.flickr.com/photos/13519089@N03/1380483002/
  • 16. Self description or metadata?
    16
    Image by saltatempo licence cc-by-nc http://www.flickr.com/photos/saltatempo/323462998/
  • 17. From MIT OCW Licence cc-by-nc-sa
    http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/aeronautics-and-astronautics/16-01-unified-engineering-i-ii-iii-iv-fall-2005-spring-2006/
  • 18. 18
    Image by Julio Aguilar icence cc-by-nc-sa http://www.flickr.com/photos/madth3/2628192654/
  • 19. Get stuff on to the open web
    19
    Image from
    Opening Up Education
    Edited by Toru Iiyoshi and MS Vijay Kumar
    MIT Press, ©2008.
  • 20. http://www.cetis.ac.uk
    http://www.slideshare.net/philb
    @PhilBarker phil.barker@hw.ac.uk
    @kavubob robert.robertson@strath.ac.uk
    @LornaMCambell lmc@STRATH.AC.UK
    Except where stated for third party images