Open Educational
Resources and Learning
Spaces
Josie Taylor, Professor of Learning Technology,
Director, Institute of Educ...
The Open University, UK
• Higher education needs to prepare itself to exist in a
more open future by embracing openness an...
OpenLearn at The Open University
• 2006 – William and Flora Hewlett foundation provided
us with funds to investigate shari...
OpenLearn
• Designed on a model analogous to the open source
software movement
• >11million unique visitors have used Open...
Studies by OLNet
• Patrick McAndrew and the OLNet team at the OU
• Analysis of user behaviour, targeting those who used
th...
Volunteer students
The volunteer students sought the content they wanted
to learn from, and they expected to work through ...
Social Learners
The social learners were less motivated to work through
the content. Rather, they seem to see learning as ...
What are these learners trying to
do?
• How might they frame those tasks?
• How will they know when they have succeeded? i...
Massive challenge for new
learners on a trajectory
Lots of other stops along the way...
What is this process?
• It is not just a process of skill acquisition
• These are profound developmental stages for the
in...
Digital Literacies
(Mary Lea & Sylvia Jones 2011)
• Learners bring a wealth of experience to bear – some
appropriate, some...
Improving our understanding of
student behaviour?
• ‘Rich accounts in the literature of students’ use of
technology’
• ‘No...
Building on 25 years of previous
studies
• Learning programming:
• Taylor, J., PROLOG project 1983-88
• Learning from mult...
Also building on ...
• Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education.New York: Free Press.
• Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in s...
Multimedia, Education and Narrative
Organisation (MENO) 1996 - 1997
• ESRC funded - Diana Laurillard, Lydia Plowman, Rose
...
Bruner’s use of narrative (1996)
• a connected sequence of events
• the representation of those events
• a mode of thought...
Bruner
'I have found it impossible to distinguish sharply what is a
narrative mode of thought and what is a narrative 'tex...
Definition of narrative in MENO
‘Narrative is a process of both discerning
and imposing structured meanings which
can be s...
Narrative guidance and construction
• Guidance (explicit/implicit)
–Offered by the teacher
–Offered by the multimedia syst...
3 versions of the Galapagos application
• Linear:
–students led through each sub-task in sequence.
Close to traditional na...
Narrative Guidance: Navigating Galapagos
Linear
RBL
GDL
Summary of studies learning
from digital resources
• Less experienced learners benefit from explicit
narrative support to ...
Support ‘Volunteer’ students
• Structure interfaces to optimise narrative construction
by learners
• Have experts providin...
Pask: Conversation Theory (1975)
o Conversation is the converse of control.
o Concepts are exchanged in a conversation and...
Members
feel some
connection
– they care
Contribute
when you
want
Space in which learning happens
Ecological approach (Jenkins 2004)
• interrelationship among all the different communication
technologies and
– the cultur...
Affinity Spaces: James Paul Gee (2009)
Gee’s distinctions
Formal education system
• Conservative
• Static
• Structures to sustain are
institutional
• Remain litt...
Support Social Learners
• Provide ‘affinity space’ for learning
• Ensure it is populated with a rich mix of people (look a...
What is the role of pedagogy?
….
…to guide media use, development and integration
1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's
Broadcast
course related
Television
Intera...
SocialLearn
• This work is at the heart of our SocialLearn project, an
affinity space optimised for learning
• Pilot runni...
Research questions
– What is required to establish a successful distributed
community of learners?
– What is required to e...
Control
• Who is in control?
• Does it matter?
–Who decides what is of value?
–Who decides what counts?
RIDE 2010 Keynote: Open Educational Resources and Learning Spaces: research questions
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RIDE 2010 Keynote: Open Educational Resources and Learning Spaces: research questions

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Research in Distance Education: impact on practice conference, 27 October 2010. Opening keynote by Dr Josie Taylor of the Open University: Open Educational Resources and Learning Spaces: research questions.

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RIDE 2010 Keynote: Open Educational Resources and Learning Spaces: research questions

  1. 1. Open Educational Resources and Learning Spaces Josie Taylor, Professor of Learning Technology, Director, Institute of Educational Technology The Open University
  2. 2. The Open University, UK • Higher education needs to prepare itself to exist in a more open future by embracing openness and the implications for change that it entails • These changes are likely to be profound • However, we don’t yet fully understand what they are, or what the impact on organisations or students is likely to be
  3. 3. OpenLearn at The Open University • 2006 – William and Flora Hewlett foundation provided us with funds to investigate sharing educational resources and more open approaches • Our definition of OER: “The open provision of educational resources, enabled by information and communication technologies, for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non-commercial purposes.” http://openlearn.open.ac.uk
  4. 4. OpenLearn • Designed on a model analogous to the open source software movement • >11million unique visitors have used OpenLearn since 2006 • Gradual build of user base
  5. 5. Studies by OLNet • Patrick McAndrew and the OLNet team at the OU • Analysis of user behaviour, targeting those who used the site more heavily, supported by follow-up interviews and monitoring of activities taking place with the open content • The results from one of these studies (n = 2,011) highlighted two distinct clusters of learners: "volunteer" students and "social" learners.
  6. 6. Volunteer students The volunteer students sought the content they wanted to learn from, and they expected to work through it. These learners were most interested in: – more content – tools for self-assessment – ways to reflect on their individual learning.
  7. 7. Social Learners The social learners were less motivated to work through the content. Rather, they seem to see learning as a way to meet people with shared interests. This cluster of learners ranked communication tools more highly and were more interested in advanced features on the website.
  8. 8. What are these learners trying to do? • How might they frame those tasks? • How will they know when they have succeeded? i.e. what ‘counts’ as success? • What will be the quality of the experience? • How can we best support them?
  9. 9. Massive challenge for new learners on a trajectory Lots of other stops along the way...
  10. 10. What is this process? • It is not just a process of skill acquisition • These are profound developmental stages for the individual • There are equally profound issues for the academy – what is a university for? • In a completely open world, who determines what is (or should be) of value? • Who holds the power to say ‘this is worthy’? Will that be determined by the employment market?
  11. 11. Digital Literacies (Mary Lea & Sylvia Jones 2011) • Learners bring a wealth of experience to bear – some appropriate, some not • Learners are engaged in meaning-making • Recognition of the central role of texts in construction of knowledge and practice of learning • Potential shifts of power between learners, communities and institutions • Role of the institution is critically important • Boundaries of ‘texts’ are more fluid and unstable than in previous times
  12. 12. Improving our understanding of student behaviour? • ‘Rich accounts in the literature of students’ use of technology’ • ‘No detailed or in depth examination of what students actually do in contexts when using different applications, or how meanings are being made from, and through, engagement with digital technology’ • ‘Recognition of the central nature of texts both in the construction of knowledge and the practice of learning’ Lea and Jones (2011)
  13. 13. Building on 25 years of previous studies • Learning programming: • Taylor, J., PROLOG project 1983-88 • Learning from multimedia: • Laurillard, D., Plowman, L., Taylor, J., Stratfold, M., The MENO project: Multimedia, Education and Narrative Organisation (1996 – 2000) • Mobile Learning: • Sharples, M., Taylor, J., McAndrew, P., Vavoula, G., MOBIlearn (2004 – 2008) Mobile Learning
  14. 14. Also building on ... • Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education.New York: Free Press. • Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: the development of higher psychological processes.Cambridge: Harvard University Press. • Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research.Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit. • Engeström, Y. (1996). Perspectives on activity theory.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • Bruner, J. (1996). The Culture of Education. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA
  15. 15. Multimedia, Education and Narrative Organisation (MENO) 1996 - 1997 • ESRC funded - Diana Laurillard, Lydia Plowman, Rose Luckin, Matthew Stratfold • Close observational study of learners using multimedia to learn about Darwinian theory (Galapagos) • Examining the impact of different interfaces on the same material • Young students (A-level/first year undergrad)
  16. 16. Bruner’s use of narrative (1996) • a connected sequence of events • the representation of those events • a mode of thought (‘a primary act of mind transferred to art from life’)
  17. 17. Bruner 'I have found it impossible to distinguish sharply what is a narrative mode of thought and what is a narrative 'text' or discourse.' Bruner, Culture of Education, 1996
  18. 18. Definition of narrative in MENO ‘Narrative is a process of both discerning and imposing structured meanings which can be shared and articulated’ Lydia Plowman, Diana Laurillard, Matthew Stratfold, Rose Luckin, Josie Taylor (1998/99)
  19. 19. Narrative guidance and construction • Guidance (explicit/implicit) –Offered by the teacher –Offered by the multimedia system –Offered by other materials –Offered by the interface • Construction (explicit/implicit) –A process brought to task by learner –Needs to be carefully scaffolded
  20. 20. 3 versions of the Galapagos application • Linear: –students led through each sub-task in sequence. Close to traditional narrative in film/TV • Resource Based: –offers no guidance, closest equivalent being an encyclopaedia • Guided Discovery: –offers guidance in breaking down the task, but narrative line not as strong as Linear version
  21. 21. Narrative Guidance: Navigating Galapagos Linear RBL GDL
  22. 22. Summary of studies learning from digital resources • Less experienced learners benefit from explicit narrative support to assist in process of narrative construction, which can be effected through interface design • Leaving (even quite experienced) learners to drive their own learning resulted in incomplete coverage of all the necessary material • Need to explicitly support the development of this literacy
  23. 23. Support ‘Volunteer’ students • Structure interfaces to optimise narrative construction by learners • Have experts providing services, offering narrative guidance • Provide some explicit pathways through materials, with options to branch and return • Provide implicit support embedded in the interface that influence learners implicitly
  24. 24. Pask: Conversation Theory (1975) o Conversation is the converse of control. o Concepts are exchanged in a conversation and often some public concept is shared … o ‘But may just as well lead to enrichment by divergence (of our personal concepts) as to convergence...' (1987) o Cybernetic view of conversation: participant might be a computer or a person (or anything else)
  25. 25. Members feel some connection – they care Contribute when you want Space in which learning happens
  26. 26. Ecological approach (Jenkins 2004) • interrelationship among all the different communication technologies and – the cultural communities that grow up around them – the activities they support. • Interactivity is a property of the technology, while participation is a property of culture.
  27. 27. Affinity Spaces: James Paul Gee (2009)
  28. 28. Gee’s distinctions Formal education system • Conservative • Static • Structures to sustain are institutional • Remain little changed over long periods of time • Communities are bureaucratic and often national • Does not allow for easy movement in and out Informal affinity space • Experimental • Innovative • Structures to sustain are provisional • Can respond to short-term needs and temporary interests • Communities are ad hoc and localised • Allows for easy moves in and out of informal learning communities
  29. 29. Support Social Learners • Provide ‘affinity space’ for learning • Ensure it is populated with a rich mix of people (look at the ecology of the community to make it sustainable) • Optimise conversations between peers • Optimise conversations between learners and experts • Allow people to come and go easily
  30. 30. What is the role of pedagogy?
  31. 31. …. …to guide media use, development and integration 1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's Broadcast course related Television Interactive Print media Broadcast course related Radio Tutors f2f/phone/ post Broadcast course related Television Interactive Videocassette Broadcast course related Radio Interactive Audiocassette Interactive Print media Interactive Videocassette Interactive Audiocassette Interactive integrated Multimedia Print media Outreach TV A/V digital media social media Web 2.0 Support media conferencing/ email Tutors f2f/phone/ post Tutors f2f/phone/ post Support media conferencing/ email Non course related TV (outreach) Internet/ Web 1.0 On-line and postal delivery Interactive integrated Multimedia Disk-based media and postal delivery Support media conferencing/ email Broadcast and postal delivery Broadcast and postal delivery Print media Tutors f2f/phone/ post Web 3.0 and beyond Virtual Worlds Mobile technology
  32. 32. SocialLearn • This work is at the heart of our SocialLearn project, an affinity space optimised for learning • Pilot running from November 10 – Mar 11 with staff in the area of professional development (~ 11k staff potentially)
  33. 33. Research questions – What is required to establish a successful distributed community of learners? – What is required to ensure sustainability of learning communities, and to support their growth? – How can the community determine and agree ‘what counts’ as learning and how it should be ‘counted’ and ‘accounted’ for? – How are leaders identified, and supported in these communities?
  34. 34. Control • Who is in control? • Does it matter? –Who decides what is of value? –Who decides what counts?

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