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Modes and models of production of OERs: The missing link to wider adoption


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Presented at OER15 in Cardiff.

Abstract: Much of the talk about OERs concerns their adoption and use. However, without proper consideration of the different models for their production, it is possible that a OERs will never become available at a volume and quality that makes their adoption a real possibility for institutions looking at a market where cost is only one of the considerations.

The typical model is that of an individual content creator (or possibly an institution) who decides to share her materials. However, this rarely leads to sustainable and readily reusable materials. A more likely result is for these materials to languish unused in one of the many repositories. We need to consider alternatives to this and make them explicit when talking about OERs. Luckily, there are several successful models that have worked and can be adopted for OERs.

This paper will consider three models of successful open content creation that should be more widely considered and supported by funders.

1) Wikipedia is perhaps the best known example of large-scale creation of open content. However, the way through which it is created and maintained is often confused with ‘crowd effects’. In fact, Wikipedia became successful because its creators are anything but a crowd, but are instead loosely organised into editorial groups with meritocratic responsibilities.

2) Code sprints (books sprints) provide a model for creating large amounts of documentation in short focused working sessions with experts gathered in one space. They have been extremely successful in both creating open source software and documentation for the software.

3) Fan Fiction is another area of content creation where free (although mostly not freely licensed) content is made available at a large scale. While mostly following the lone-creator model, Fan Fiction communities have largely resolved the editorial process through a system of alpha and beta readers as well as a network of reviewers who make content discoverable for others.

These models can co-exist and combined with one another. This paper will explore how existing OER projects could benefit from these models and present examples of where it has already happened.

Published in: Education
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Modes and models of production of OERs: The missing link to wider adoption

  1. 1. Modes and models of production of OERs: The missing link to wider adoption Dominik Lukes @TechCzech -
  2. 2. Attribution-ShareAlike
  3. 3. Questions / comments @TechCzech
  4. 4. When did you last use an OER?
  5. 5. When did you last produce an OER?
  6. 6. Why, how, who for?
  7. 7. Most produced OERs?
  8. 8. Photos? Sounds? Short videos?
  9. 9. Why?
  10. 10. Easy to produce, modify, reuse!
  11. 11. Typical end-user question about OER?
  12. 12. Is it really free? Is it any good? How much work will it take to use?
  13. 13. Typical OER answer…
  14. 14. It is openly licensed. It is as good as it is. Community/Contribution…
  15. 15. What we need is…
  16. 16. Materials that are high quality, reliable, respectable, easy to reuse, free/cheap, …
  17. 17. …openly licensed!
  18. 18. How are OERs produced?
  19. 19. The lone hero model of OER production
  20. 20. Individual (well-meaning) creator makes their materials available…
  21. 21. …on an individual website, institutional website, shared repository.
  22. 22. Quality is guaranteed by crowd curation in the style of Amazon.
  23. 23. Results
  24. 24. OERs are hard to…
  25. 25. Find Modify Integrate Build on Trust
  26. 26. Crowd is NOT enough!
  27. 27. Crowd is NOT what it seems!
  28. 28. Questions / comments @TechCzech
  29. 29. Better models of creation, curation?
  30. 30. 1. Wikipedia model 2. Code sprint model 3. Fan-fiction model
  31. 31. Wikipedia model
  32. 32. Wikipedia myth: Ant accretion
  33. 33. Wikipedia reality: Focused editorial communities
  34. 34. Similarly to academic journals, OERs need editorial communities identifying needs, gaps and providing work.
  35. 35. Code sprint model
  36. 36. Code sprints > Book sprints
  37. 37. From idea to book in 7 days!
  38. 38. 4-10 people get together for a week, outline work, do focused writing, edit each others work, publish results.
  39. 39. There are at least 2 Open Source tools
  40. 40. Other inspiration from Open Source software development: Versioning/Releases Branches Maintainers Patches Issue queues
  41. 41. Fanfiction
  42. 42. How does Twighlight Fanfiction become a popular book?
  43. 43. Alpha/Beta readers Reviewers Theorists
  44. 44. The Fanfiction ecosystem produces edited novel- length works, properly categorised, reviewed, with interaction between reader/writer.
  45. 45. You don’t need publishers to produce high quality work meeting the needs of the audience!
  46. 46. Questions / comments @TechCzech
  47. 47. What can you do about it?
  48. 48. Funders
  49. 49. Require online e-pub books Fund Wikipedia editathons Fund topic book sprint series Fund editorial groups
  50. 50. Universities
  51. 51. Accept OER editorial work toward degrees (more than Wikipedia editing in a course) Start Open publishing houses with Open production workflows
  52. 52. Schools
  53. 53. Form OER production and maintaining collectives Accept OER engagement as CPD
  54. 54. OER Theorists
  55. 55. Redefine success of OERs by actual usability by teachers and students not by license and availability.
  56. 56. Quality is relative to use / value, not to looking like old-style published works
  57. 57. Image credits
  58. 58. Lone hero by JD Hancock CC BY Crowd by Guilhem Vellut CC BY Ant hill by Martin LaBar CC BY NC 77 Wikipedians by Sage Ross CC BY SA 59 Book sprint CC BY-SA 2.0 _Hyde_and_Alan_Toner_at_Collaborative_Futures_Book _Sprint,_January_2010.jpg
  59. 59. Thank you @TechCzech