How Open Educational Resources and Digital Technologies are Changing Higher Education

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A talk given at the biennial Technology Institute in Leavenworth, WA.

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  • We start with the Internet. Internet connectivity is virtually everywhere, and it provides the greatest distribution channel we have ever known.When we add digital content to the World Wide Web, we should be able to lower costs, increase access, and increase quality… right?
  • WRONG!
  • One example of this problem is our current academic publishing model.Higher Ed faculty write research articles for free. Other faculty review these submissions… also for free. Journals then publish and sell access to these articles back to institutions that created them. Subscriptions can cost $25,000 or more for EACH JOURNAL. As libraries are forced to scale back their offerings of academic journals we have a situation where a professor could write an article for a journal and then be unable to access it.
  • This is insane! So what is missing?
  • It turns out that copyright law hasn’t kept up with digital content and global connectivity. So even though the technology allows us to copy and share digital content in non-rivalrous ways, the default, “All Rights Reserved” copyright model requires users to request permission from copyright holders before using their content. Not very efficient or scalable for those who want to share their creative works.
  • We need a way to make sharing digital content easy, legal, and scalable. This is where open licensing comes in.
  • The old model isn’t working for us
  • We need to leverage open, digital technologies to lower costs AND better meet the needs of our students.
  • In 2010 the State Board approved the first “open” policy.
  • Through a match from the Gates Foundation and the State Legislature, the Open Course Library initiative was created. The goals of the Open Course Library are to:design and share 81 high enrollment, gatekeeper coursesImprove course completion ratesLower textbook costs for students (<$30)Provide new resources for faculty to use in their coursesFully engage our colleges in the global open educational resources discussion
  • How Open Educational Resources and Digital Technologies are Changing Higher Education

    1. 1. How Open Educational Resources & Digital TechnologiesAre Changing Higher Education<br />Tom Caswell<br />Open Education Policy Associate<br />WA State Board for Community & Technical Colleges<br />2011 Technology Institute<br />September 20, 2011<br />
    2. 2. Iron Triangle<br />“In the view of many college and university presidents, the three main factors in higher education—cost, quality, and access—exist in what we call an iron triangle. These factors are linked in an unbreakable reciprocal relationship, such that any change in one will inevitably impact the others.”<br /> - Public Agenda research on opinions of higher education presidents<br />Source: The Iron Triangle: College Presidents Talk About Costs, Access, and Quality, Public Agenda, October 2008.<br />
    3. 3. Iron Triangle<br />Quality vs. Cost vs. Access <br />The “Iron Triangle” suggests institutions are constrained in their ability to adapt.<br />Access<br />Cost<br />Quality<br />
    4. 4. Affordances of Digital Content<br />Vs.<br />Rivalrous vs. Non-Rivalrous Resources<br />
    5. 5. How do we currently attempt to harness digital networked technologies?<br />
    6. 6. Global Trends<br />Internet + Digital Content = <br />Lower Cost<br />Greater Access <br />Greater Quality<br />Right? <br />
    7. 7. Global Trends<br />Internet + Digital Content = <br />Lower Cost<br />Greater Access <br />Greater Quality<br />WRONG!<br />
    8. 8. We have a problem<br />
    9. 9. Current Academic Publishing Model<br />Text<br />Source: http://righttoresearch.org<br />
    10. 10. Current Academic Publishing Model<br />Source: http://righttoresearch.org<br />
    11. 11. ©<br />
    12. 12.
    13. 13. Making the Case for “Open”<br />Internet + Digital Content + Open License= Lower CostGreater AccessGreater Quality<br />
    14. 14. Making the Case for “Open”<br />Open Educational Resources (OER)<br />US Dept. of Ed. Definition:<br />Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or repurposing by others.<br />
    15. 15. Making the Case for “Open”<br />Why is “Open” Important in Education?<br />Efficiency: Build on existing investments<br />Affordability: Students can’t afford textbooks<br />Quality: We tend to do our best work when we know our peers can see it<br />Self-interest: Increased faculty exposure, reputation, and opportunities<br />
    16. 16.
    17. 17. What is Creative Commons?<br />A simple, standardizedway to grant copyright permissions to yourcreative work.<br />
    18. 18. Share Alike<br />Attribution<br />Non-Commercial<br />No Derivative Works<br />Step 1: Choose License Conditions<br />http://creativecommons.org/choose<br />18<br />
    19. 19. Step 2: Receive License<br />19<br />
    20. 20. Each CC license comes in 3 formats:<br />
    21. 21. 400 million open resources so far<br />
    22. 22. Higher Ed<br />
    23. 23. Meanwhile, back at the textbook ranch…<br />
    24. 24. Textbook Affordability<br />
    25. 25. Textbook Affordability<br />The high cost of textbooks has reduced Washington citizens’ access to higher education.Full-time students spend over $1,000 on textbooks every year. <br />College Board Report: Trends in College Pricing (2007)<br />
    26. 26. Student Advocacy<br />WA CTC Student Voice Academy<br /> Top issue three years running:<br /> CUTTING TEXTBOOK COSTS<br />
    27. 27. Textbook Affordability<br />SBCTC Example:<br />English Composition I<br /> 50,000+ enrollments / year<br />x $100 textbook =<br />$5+ Million every year<br />
    28. 28. Textbook Affordability<br />The current Higher Education textbook market is estimated at $8.2 billion, and is expected to reach over $9 billion by 2014.<br />Total market size based on Eduventures Textbook Market Study <br />and the National Association of College Stores, 2009.<br />
    29. 29. The Old Economics (Rivalrous)<br />Print, warehouse, and ship a new book for every student<br />
    30. 30. The New Economics (Non-Rivalrous)<br />Upload one copy, and everyone uses it simultaneously<br />Making copies, storage, distribution of digital stuff = “Free”<br />
    31. 31. http://techplan.sbctc.edu<br />“We will cultivate the culture and <br />practice of using and contributing to <br />open educational resources.”<br />
    32. 32. WA Legislation<br />SSHB1025<br />Faculty consider the least costly practices in assigning course materials, such as adopting the least expensive edition available, adopting free, open textbooks when available, and working with college librarians to put together collections of free online web and library resources, when educational content is comparable as determined by the faculty…<br />
    33. 33. WA Legislation<br />SSHB1946 – two big ideas – share technology and share content.<br />(v) Methods and open licensing options for effectively sharing digital content including but not limited to: Open courseware, open textbooks, open journals, and open learning objects…<br />
    34. 34. State Board “Open” Policy<br />All digital software, educational resources and knowledge produced through competitive grants, offered through and/or managed by the SBCTC, will carry a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). <br />
    35. 35. Open Education<br />Open Course Library Goals<br />Design and share 81 high enrollment, gatekeeper courses<br />Improve course completion rates<br />Lower textbook costs for students (<$30)<br />Provide new resources for faculty to use in their courses<br />Fully engage our colleges in the global open educational resources discussion. <br />
    36. 36. Open Course Library<br />Phase 1: 42 courses<br />Available October 31, 2011 at http://opencourselibrary.org<br />Phase 2 : 39 courses<br />Available Spring 2013<br />
    37. 37. Open Course Library<br />81 courses built by our own faculty<br />Define learning objectives<br />Use existing, quality OER<br />Fill in gaps with their own content<br />
    38. 38. Open Course Library<br />81 courses = 411,133 enrollments / year<br />Potential Impact: $41M+ in textbook costs / year <br />If adopted by 25% of the sections in the system (faculty decision), savings to students will be $7.2M / year. <br />Completions rates may also increase when all students can afford course materials<br />
    39. 39. Next Steps: Open Course Library<br />Driving Open Course Library Course Adoptions<br />Regional conferences and workshops<br />New faculty trainings <br />Building open sharing into existing teaching workflows and technologies<br />Lecture capture<br />Next LMS will have “open sharing” feature<br />
    40. 40. Next Steps: Open Learning Initiative <br />What would happen to the quality of curriculum if digital content was shared and course (re)design was data driven?<br />How can we use technologies and shared content to significantly increase completion rates?<br />
    41. 41. Next Steps: Open Learning Initiative <br />Carnegie Research Results:<br />OLI students completed course in half the time with half the number of in-person meetings<br />Accelerated learning study (Statistics): 33% more content, learning gain in standardized test 13% OLI vs 2% in traditional face-to-face class<br />OLI Online vs. traditional: OLI 99% completion rate vs 41% completion rate traditional<br />Lovett, M., Meyer, O., & Thille, C. (2008).  The Open Learning Initiative: Measuring the effectiveness <br />of the OLI statistics course in accelerating student learning. Journal of Interactive Media in Education.<br />
    42. 42. Next Steps: Open Learning Initiative <br />Piloting OLIin our colleges<br />Train faculty in our CTCs to use OLI<br />Faculty teach with OLI for 3 quarters<br />Examine completion rates<br />
    43. 43. WA Education Master Plan<br />Educate More Citizens<br />Raise educational attainment to create prosperity, opportunity <br />Policy Goal: Increase the total number of degrees and certificates…<br />By 2018, raise mid-level degrees and certificates to 36,200 annually, an increase of 9,400 degrees annually.<br />
    44. 44. More? Better? Faster?<br />How does OER help teach more students and teach them better?<br />Non-rivalrous, scalable, searchable<br />Allows students to preview and review<br />Paves the way for lifelong learning<br />Can be customized, translated, improved<br />Data feedback loops are useless without the ability to change the content <br />
    45. 45. NEW HE Models are En Route<br />
    46. 46. What if…<br />What if all publicly funded educational content was open access? <br />What kind of efficiencies could higher education yield? <br />Simple idea: public access to publicly funded educational materials. <br />
    47. 47. OnlyONE Thing Matters:<br />Efficient use of public funds to increase student success and access to quality educational materials. <br />Everything else (including all existing business models) is secondary.<br />
    48. 48. Conclusion:<br />We can break the “Iron Triangle” IF we:<br />Ask “what is best for students?”<br />Openly license and share our educational and scientific resources<br />Explore more affordable, scalable models for higher education using digital, networked, open technologies<br />
    49. 49. Tom CaswellOpen Education Policy Associate, <br />State Board for Community & Technical Colleges<br />tcaswell@sbctc.edu<br />http://opencourselibrary.org<br />Slides at: http://slideshare.net/tom4cam<br />

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