The offering below represents my best effort to construct a learning assemblage for the Open
Educational Resources course. Structure here is a linear presentation of the various findings
that were to sequence together effortlessly into a “lesson.”
Prior to starting this project it seemed easy and then the purpose-confounding powers of the
this-suggests-that voice I hear on the net took over and into the rocks the project went.
A consideration of what this reveals:
Contextuality: Fitting these things together may be as hard as finding ones that fit within the
whole of the learning project—more time may go into linking the individual pieces to each
other than if the whole course was built form scratch. The mind of the collector makes
connective leaps that may not be meaningful when applied to a learning project that others
view and have to build sense from. [Part of this is my inexperience as a teacher and knowing
the difficulties in advance. Which is a learned skill? If so, is it learned by direct contact with
live students and how do I acquire valuable feedback “proofing” of context if my only
experience is through online instruction? Is teaching even a realm that can be done by
applying theory, or does it always rely directly of feedback? How can we be confident that
anything just broadcast out there accomplished its purpose? Because we think it’s cool and
This could turn into an unending discourse. Returning to the structure here:
First I started with the idea of researching student interaction and meaning building in an
online course space. That idea was too broad so the next proto-subject became a short lesson
on the Boreal Forest (just outside my door). This seemed easy and there was lots of
information though all of the “free” websites were structured the same. This class is no place
to cover new ground but after reading “Three Day Road” and “Through Black Spruce” by
Joseph Boyden or “Sacred Ecology” by Fikret Berkes it felt like something so big and rich
couldn’t fit into the smallness of a single assignment.
The final result below is an illustrated strategy of what I’ve taken from the class. Does it
illustrate or demonstrate an acceptable outcome? Don’t know.
My comments are in RED.
July 4, 2010
For 98827 Open Educational Resources
Welcome to CORE
Looks like a wonderful source of full lessons (objects?)
CORE—China Open Resource for Education--- is a non-profit organization. Her mission is to promote closer
interaction and open sharing of educational resources between Chinese and international universities, which CORE
envisions as the future of world education.
CORE is committed to providing Chinese universities with free and easy access to global open educational
Sent picture from my pictures to here via ms office ~ could be opened in PPT now
Open lesson plan From the Sophia project accessed from CORE http://www.core.org.cn/en/
by searching “forests” and picking a subject of interest. The course itself is interesting and it
also demonstrates an instructional design template that I found interesting.
Lab 6 - Global Patterns in Green Up and Green Down
100 points - This activity has been adapted from an activity developed through the GLOBE
project at SRI International.
1. Read through this handout, then print out the four worksheets.
2. Look carefully at the color visualizations of January and July vegetation vigor, and
Global land cover.
3. Cut out and assemble the flip books by cutting out each month; then, assemble the
months in order
4. Fill in the worksheets.
5. Answer the questions at the bottom of this sheet and turn in only the answers to
• The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) measures vegetation vigor.
NDVI is calculated from satellite data, thus allowing global coverage.
• Vegetation growth and decline follows the seasonal cycle with an annual “green up”
in the spring and summer and a “green down” (or senescence) in the fall and winter.
The cycle of greenup and greendown occurs within ecosystems at all scales. Large-
scale regional land covers show characteristic patterns that identify them (e.g., rain
forests nearly uniformly high, deserts nearly uniformly low, tundra has a rapid rise
that lasts only a short time, etc.).
• Vegetation Vigor in January and July
• Difference between January and July & Earth vegetation
• Student worksheet (4 pages)
Everyone experiences local changes in vegetation that occur in fall and spring. This activity
is designed to connect your local experiences of seasonal change in vegetation with global
patterns of change. These global patterns in vegetation growth and decline or “plant waves
of green up and green down” follow the annual climate cycle. As a result, what occurs in
the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is roughly reversed. Just as summer in the
Northern Hemisphere occurs during winter in the Southern Hemisphere, so Green-Up occurs
in the North while Green-Down occurs in the South.
This activity focuses on visualizations of vegetation vigor that were collected by satellites.
We have global coverage because the data was collected by satellite. The measure of
vegetation vigor is made in terms of a calculated quantity called Normalized Difference
Vegetation Index (discussed in lecture). NDVI provides a measure of how much sunlight is
being used by plants for photosynthesis. These values are unitless, since NDVI is calculated
as a ratio of absorbed light in the red wavelengths and reflected light in the near infrared
wavelengths. While the measurement does not provide a precise measure of vegetation and
is subject to several issues that compromise its consistency, it is very useful.
Land Cover Visualization
Many of your questions about why individual areas are high or low can be answered by
looking at the land cover visualization below. For example, compare the rain forests of
South America (the broadleaf evergreen class that is blue-green) and the Saharan desert in
Africa (a desert and scrubland class that is tan). The rain forests show high values (bright
green) year round while the desert shows low values (pale yellow) year round. Overall, the
difference can be explained by the type of ecosystem that occurs there. However, many
ecosystems are not constant across the year but change greatly.
Figure 2. Landcover Type
You can go here and “drive” a tractor to the next object. This is not strictly an OER (difficult to
tell by the terms exactly what the conditions are) so we will just borrow the tractor from:
About Tom Hutchings
Tom Hutchings is a creative partner of fonicLAB, a UK based audio post production
company. From his work as a sound designer, Tom has developed a keen interest in
providing high quality HD and surround sound library recordings for the next generation of
audio post production.
Tom's sound design credits include work on feature film productions for Universal, Warp X
and for BAFTA award winning UK director Shane Meadows.
And not leave and candy wrappers in the cab.
Search for Pro Quality Sound Effects and Loops
Register | Help
sound | my
Riding in a
A cautionary tale on the improper use of tools. Throughout my apprenticeship some version
of the wrench that broke with blood curdling results was used to persuade us from using an
informal breaker bar (steel pipe over the end of the wrench) to increase the leverage of the
wrench. We listened and carried a pipe hidden at the bottom of our tool boxes.
Recommended by Robert:
The template looked very useful and should have been used from the start on this project.
BCUDL-LOR Lesson Template with Prompts
You can use this Lesson Template to write your lesson off-line and then cut and paste to the
online form. Do NOT use any tables or html formatting because they interfere with the database.
When you are ready to enter the new lesson online, log on to the LOR using your password and
under Lessons on the left, click Create New. To edit an existing lesson, click the little pencil
icon next to its name. Only you can see your lesson until you decide to share it.
Here we have a nice report on the non-rational response to the marginalization experienced
by students working in the isolation of online courses. This is serious and can do damage to a
person’s willingness to participate by alienating them from the education they should have by
right. To be inattentive to this as an educator is unforgivable.
WARNING: at the time of access this thesis document was available as a free PDF download on
Google Scholar. Now the only version available is here:
There seems to be a bias towards non-intervention in the form of instructional guidance or
social interaction in the OER class just completed that’s hard to square with this handbook
being published by the same institution. If this is indeed a shared project then not providing
easy student interaction marginalizes a whole class of participants. It is not an overstatement
to say that this is the sort of performance that drives people away from education.
• The traditional role of education as planned enculturation is at odds with the view that
knowledge emerges “as human beings participate in the world” 86
Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning
86 Osberg, D., & Biesta, G. (2008). The emergent curriculum: Navigating a complex course between unguided learning and
planned enculturation. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(3), 313–328. doi: 10.1080/00220270701610746.
From conversations during these engagements, a set of concerns has emerged:
1. Educators express interest in improving their teaching and learning practices, particularly
emphasizing the need to improve engagement of learners (online or in-class).
2. While concerned about improving teaching and learning, educators generally resist:
a. Advanced pedagogical discussions that are not readily transferable to the online or face-to-
b. Technology-heavy hype and suggestions that the social element of learning can somehow be
replaced. (Page 4)
Even though technology enables greater learner control and autonomy, learners generally value social
contact and faculty guidance, especially when entering a new field or course of study96. A model of
learning is required that addresses the apparent dichotomy between faculty guidance and learner self-
direction. (page 32)
96 de Laat, M. (2006). Networked learning. Retrieved December 27, 2007, from http://www.e-learning.nl/files/dissertatie
From the Flickr openpad’s photostream page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/openpad/
Digital Scholarship Barriers
Barriers seem to be focused on institutional / technical and fear-of-change factors. How much
of the budget for professional development does techno-skilling draw away from people-
Good glossary tool ~ too much here to absorb.
The MERLOT repository is not only learning materials, but assignments, comments, personal
collections and Content Builder web pages, all designed to enhance the teaching experience of
an learning material. The learning materials are categorized into 14 different learning material
types. A large selection of materials in MERLOT also have assignments and comments attached
to them. It is also possible to add any material to a personal collection, to make organizing your
teaching materials for each of your courses.
MERLOT Learning Materials
The materials in MERLOT are categorized as follows: http://taste.merlot.org/learningmaterials.html
• Animation: Allows users to view the dynamic and visual representation of concepts, models,
processes, and/or phenomena in space or time. Users can control their pace and movement through
the material, but they cannot determine and/or influence the initial conditions or their outcomes/results.
• Assessment Tool: Assessment tools and activities for measuring outcomes.
• Assignment: Activities designed to be used as a task for a student to complete. Could be based on a
learning object in MERLOT.
• Case Study: Illustrates a concept or problem by using an example that can be explored in depth.
• Collection: Any collection of learning materials such as web sites or subject specific applets.
• Development Tool: Any tool used for development of web sites, learning objects, or anything used to
• Drill and Practice: Requires users to respond repeatedly to questions or stimuli presented in a variety
of sequences. Users practice on their own, at their own pace, to develop their ability to reliably perform
and demonstrate the target knowledge and skills.
• Learning Object Repository: A searchable database of at least 100 online resources that is available
on the Internet and whose search result displays an ordered hit list of items with a minimum of title
metadata. What is not a LOR: a webpage with a list of links.
• Online Course: A material that is designed to be used in an online course.
• Open Journal - Article: A journal or article in a journal that can be submitted to MERLOT.
• Open Textbook: An openly-licensed textbook offered online by its author(s). The open license sets open
textbooks apart from traditional textbooks by allowing users to read online, download, or print the book at no
• Presentation: Any material intended for use in support of in-class lectures/presentations. Lecture
notes, audio visual materials, and presentation graphics such as PowerPoint slide shows that do not
stand alone are examples.
• Quiz/Test: Any assessment device intended to serve as a test or quiz.
• Reference Material: Material with no specific instructional objectives and similar to that found in the
reference area of a library. Subject specific directories to other sites, texts, or general information are
• Simulation: Approximates a real or imaginary experience where users' actions affect their outcomes.
Users determine and input initial conditions that generate output that is different from and changed by
the initial conditions.
• Social Networking Tool: A site that allows users to communicate with others, create bookmark
collections, share notices and get connected with others.
• Tutorial: Users navigate through electronic workbooks designed to meet stated learning objectives,
structured to impart specific concepts or skills, and organized sequentially to integrate conceptual
presentation, demonstration, practice and testing.
• Workshop and Training Material: Materials best used in a workshop or tutorial for the purpose of
teaching others about learning and teaching online.entation, demonstration, practice, and testing.
The learning materials in MERLOT are organized into discipline "communities".
2.0 Acceptable Use
MERLOT is a free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. MERLOT
is built on the collaboration of its partners, community members, registered members, and users. In that spirit,
MERLOT allows access to its site and the materials therein for personal and non-commercial uses as set forth
in this policy. Links to online learning materials are catalogued in MERLOT, along with other items such as
peer reviews and assignments. MERLOT is committed to improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning
by expanding access to high quality teaching and learning materials that can be easily incorporated into faculty-
By using MERLOT, you agree to the terms of MERLOT’S AUP and promise to use any content found on the
MERLOT website, whether in whole or in part, for personal, non-commercial, and educational purposes only as
described in this policy. You also agree to comply with prevailing United States laws regarding copyright and
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. http://taste.merlot.org/acceptableuserpolicy.html
Opening Up Education
Revolutionizing Education through Innovation: Can Openness Transform Teaching and
Catherine M. Casserly and Marshall S. Smith
However, open access is not the only feature of OER that distinguishes
it from other content on the Web accessible by search engines or from
behind a wall that requires status or permission or resources to penetrate.
Fully open educational resources provide a license that grants permission
to users not only to read the material but also to download, modify, and
post it for reuse. Users are empowered to change the materials to meet
their own needs. They can mix and remix. The capacity and right to
reuse materials is an important step in providing users all over the world
the opportunity to actively participate in the open education resources
teaching and learning processes. It creates the opportunity for the localization
of the materials, where users tailor materials according to their
language and culture, and for personalization, where materials can be
adapted and modifi ed for individual learners. Reuse also makes possible
continuous cycles of improvement of educational materials as users
quickly provide critical reactions and evaluations to developers of the
quality and effectiveness of the materials. These fast feedback loops of
users and developers create an environment for the improvement of
content similar to the environment of open source software.
Similar to CORE in China
The National Repository of Online Courses
Available Courses http://www.montereyinstitute.org/nroc/nrocdemos.html
NROC course content is an Open Educational Resource (OER) and is available at no cost
for individual use here at our website. If your organization would like to integrate NROC
content into your institutional curriculum, please contact us for information about NROC
Network membership at email@example.com.
Supported by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Below banner from Non-Majors Biology : http://www.montereyinstitute.org/courses/Non-
Struggling to find a focus for this assignment:
Began with an outline for my chosen subject dealing with human interaction in online
learning. Having done a lot of research on this it appeared sufficient material was already on
file and I could just dash off a sample learning whatever (the term “object” seems too strict).
Then up pops the first question: what does this mess of downloads and suggestive ideas
represent? In small pieces as they were collected off the internet they all seemed related and
how hard can it be to take a pile of related notions and sequence them into a beginning,
middle and endish thing that has any meaning that can be called learning?
Presumably, were I an experienced teacher, there might have been an alarm moment when it
was obvious that raw quantity and inspirational connectivity were active and exciting but
weren’t going to spontaneously produce meaning.
Plan B was to construct an outline on something I knew about and was confident could find
material on at the last moment. The immediate barrier to this the things I know either aren’t
listed on the web or (again) don’t constitute a comprehensive and sequenced front-to-back,
top-to-bottom blob of knowledge. Could be it’s all applied knowledge and without a place to
apply it, (like a machine to fix or a bit of carpentry) it won’t come out. A lesson is too abstract
without a context and the context called “an assignment” has never jumped up and grabbed
So where does this go? As someone who always starts a painting too big and paints off the
side of the canvas it might be that I can collect things, categorize them by suggestive
connections but can’t get past 3 blocks high before things fall down? Might be why I’m in the
research department and not Instructional Design. Or it could be just my first lesson attempt
and starting by having to populate the lesson with OER objects is way harder than it looks?
How do you build a web of context resilient enough to contain so many disparate pieces?
Maybe you need a base in conflict resolution to make these things cooperate?
Useful overviews of various theories of communication
University of Twente http://www.utwente.nl/en
Interpersonal Communication and Relations | Organizational Communication | Mass Media | Communication and
Information Technology | Communication Processes | Health Communication | Language Theories and Linguistics |
Media, Culture and Society | Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing and Consumer Behavior
LANGUAGE EXPECTANCY THEORY
effects of linguistic variations on persuasive messages
History and Orientation
Brooks (1970) provided a spark to begin developing the Language Expectancy Theory. He had expectations
about what a source might or might not say in persuasive messages. Burgoon, Jones and Stewart (1975)
added the impact of linguistic strategies. They claimed that strategic linguistic choices can be significant
predictors of persuasive success. In 1995 Burgoon provided a detailed version of the formulation of the
Language Expectancy Theory.
Core Assumptions and Statements
Language Expectancy Theory is a formalized model about message strategies and attitude and behavior
change. Message strategies include verbal aggressions like fear appeal, explicit opinions and language
intensity which are more combat. Language Expectancy Theory assumes that language is a rule-governed
system and people develop expectations concerning the language or message strategies employed by others
in persuasive attempts (Burgoon, 1995). Expectations are a function of cultural and sociological norms and
preferences arising from cultural values and societal standards or ideals for competent communication.
Language Expectancy Theory assumes that changes in the direction desired by an actor occur when positive
violations of expectancies occur. Positive violations occur (a) when the enacted behavior is better or more
preferred than that which was expected in the situation. Change occurs because enacted behavior is outside
the bandwidth in a positive direction, and such behavior prompts attitude or behavioral change (Burgoon,
Positive violations occur (b) when negatively evaluated sources conform more closely than expected to cultural
values or situational norms. This can result in overly positive evaluation of the source and change promoted by
the actor (Burgoon, 1995).
Negative violations, resulting from language choices that lie outside socially acceptable behavior in a negative
direction, produce no attitude or behavior change in receivers.
Open Course to look at. How did they do it?
MOOC or Mega-Connectivism Course
George Siemens on Jul 28th 2008 http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/connectivism/?p=53
Two separate individuals – Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander – have named our upcoming course as
a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). As far as names go, it works for me. We currently have 1200
signed up. As a side note – I post numbers of enrollment to obviously provide a sense of how many
have expressed interest, but also to document progress for subsequent publications. This blog will
serve as field notes.
Last night, in my time zone at least, a group of us got together and discussed the challenges and
dynamics of running an large open course (the recording is now available). Our conversation was
largely focused on the theoretical aspect of the course: the motivation for offering it, logistics of
interaction, challenges expected, what we hope the course will achieve, etc. Even though our meeting
ran 70+minutes, we only scratched the surface of what needed to be addressed. We decided to have
another online discussion sometime in mid-August.
This first comment on the blog page expresses what I’ve been thinking about OER’s as a
continuous unfolding of learning without rest stops for consideration, valuation and
attaching meaning. You can’t step into the same river twice but you can stand back and
consider the river. Ask it questions, compare it to others and appreciate it “riverness”. Why
is it that knowledge has become so ethereal and valued only in its brief novelty? Does the
new disprove the old? What exists in the ever fluid now that won’t soon be then—what did
we miss? Did anyone take notes?
1. Lorna Costantini Jul 28th 2008 at 01:01 pm 1
As I listen and muse on the conversations evolving, I know what I am looking for in this course is a
charted way to make the unorganized become organized. I see a concerted effort to make sense of
learning in an environment that has no beginning and no end point. A place where everyone is an
expert and still doesn’t know enough. I am very appreciative of everyone’s efforts and can attest that
the process of watching the process evolve is an educational experience in itself.
To here a year later—can there be a class modeled after this ongoing course? Watching
others learn as a form of learning? This becomes a process in time but watched from out of
time in the sense of being after “then” though unimportant when after? Or is this getting
too philosophical? Anyway, seems I was wrong to see no value in a focus on nowness
above. The judgement I made was on the assumption becoming or emerging has no sense
of its past or disrespects its past when in fact it is built of the past but is too busy becoming
to pause and look back.
Archive for July, 2009
Continuing attempt to destabilize courses
George Siemens on Jul 29th 2009 http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/connectivism/?m=200907
CCK08 was an attempt to destabilize the concept of a course.
A course does not need to be confined to a particular set of students, with one (or even two)
instructors. A course is essentially a path through a particular area of information. The path is
generally formed before learners arrive, which means many learners will find parts redundant or
irrelevant. A learner’s existing knowledge and motivation are the two biggest factors in determining
their success. When we prepackage curriculum as a course, we largely overlook this vital aspect…
Alberta-North has more than
85 Community Access Points located
across Alberta and the Northwest
Territories. Each Community Access Point
is managed by a Community Access Point
Coordinator to assist you with your
distance education needs.
Ask your Coordinator for more details
about careers, educational planning,
funding and scholarships, programs and
courses, admissions, schedules, distance
education and more.
We provide computers, Internet and
education technologies for you to use. If
you’re new to using these types of
technologies, there’s no need to worry,
we’re here to help!
We’ll help you contact counsellors for
career, financial and educational
planning, schedule placement tests, and
also assist you in developing skills such as
time management, research, computer
basics and exam preparation.
Many courses require supervised tests.
We provide quiet space and supervision
for your exams.
Select from print or online reference
resources, online catalogues and
specialized databases from the libraries
of the seven Alberta-North partners.
[Lac La Biche here]
Access the best website resources
available for information and tutorials on
life, work and study topics.
This map gives a sense of the area
served by the few post-secondary
institutions in the north. Imagine what
it’s like as a student in each one of these
• Lowers costs to students
• Potential publicity
• Contribution to a community
• Method of collaboration
• Helpful to future educators
• Potentially beneficial to developing nations
• Avoids ‘vendor lock-in’ or a situation in which you have to use one company's products.
Disadvantages to OER
• Varying degrees of time commitment
• Teachers sometimes not rewarded by the system for their efforts
• Starting large projects can be difficult
• Some projects require startup resources
• Quality varies
• May not meet accessibility requirements for persons with disabilities
• Need to check accuracy before use
• May need a high degree of customisation (called localisation in the OER community)
• Technical requirements vary and some require you to use a particular software
• Requires varying degrees of continual financial support
• Licensing and obtaining copyright clearance can be difficult
• Some institutions may be concerned about ‘giving it away’.
accessed 17 April 2008) [Old fashioned internal link: LOOK FOR THIS LINK FOR
THE NEX PAGE! : Image courtesy of Chaos in June ]
Constructing online learning can indeed seem rather daunting. How should we go about it? Let
us look at some research.
Image courtesy of Chaos in June
Open Educational Resources offer some great benefits and opportunities over completely in-
house development and/or the purchase of "closed" (traditionally copyrighted) resources:
• OER provide freedom of access for both yourself and others.
• Because you can freely adapt them, OER encourage pedagogical innovation.
• Because OER are available free of charge, using them can lower costs to students and
• You and your organization may benefit from potential publicity.
• When you share OER, you are contributing to the global education community.
• When you share OER, you open a new method of collaborating with your students and
• Your OER may be helpful to future educators.
• Your OER may be beneficial to undeserved individuals in the developed and developing
• Using OER puts you in control and avoids "vendor lock-in" or a situation in which you
can only use one company's products.
• OER are represented in standard formats that can be edited and manipulated with free
software for a wide variety of reasons including file conversion for access on different
media (e.g., on paper, CD/DVD, via mobile devices, in multimedia presentations), re-
purposing for various language and educational levels, etc.
However, when embarking on an OER project, be it a small scale attempt to use OER in a
course, or a large scale institutional initiative to create and share OER, there are many
things to consider:
• As with Free, Libre and Open Source Software
(FLOSS), volunteer contributions are significant,
often by a diversity of people with limited time and