Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education

Catherine Cronin
Catherine Croninopen educator, open researcher
Exploring Open Education;
Re-imagining Higher Education

Catherine Cronin
8th June 2012

                                Image   CC BY-NC 2.0 1D110
open education

institutions      students      educators

                 the future
Image CC BY-NC 2.0 owaie89

        “More change will happen
in education in the next ten years
    than in the past one hundred.”
                Stephen Heppell (2011)
Image CC BY 2.0 wikier
Image:   CC BY-NC 2.0 owaief89
Image CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 dmpop & theloushe
Image opensourceway


       250 universities
       20,000+ courses
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education
open education

institutions      students      educators

                 the future

Learner support


IT Online programmes, NUI Galway
 Software Engineering & Database Technologies

    Content                      Online materials

Learner support              Online discussion forum

 Assessment               assignments, projects,    final

 Accreditation              MSc, PG Diploma, CPD

Content        Most open
                  online education
                  (until recently)

Learner support



                                     CC BY-NC 2.0 JrandomF


        October   160,000 enrolled
       December   23,000 completed
                 Udacity           Coursera

               OCW Scholar           MITx


Open Education:
Advantages for Universities

Community (local, regional, national)
Potential students
Academic staff
Current students
open education

institutions      students      educators

                 the future
Image: opensourceway
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education

   Learning Network Size


                           SEMESTER 1   SEMESTER 2         SEMESTER 3     SEMESTER 4   SEMESTER 5   SEMESTER 6

“I don‟t think
education is about
centralized instruction
anymore; rather,
it is the process [of]
establishing oneself
as a node in a broad
network of distributed
– Joichi Ito (2011)

                          Image: CC BY-NC-SA

Social networking...
“Recently our class has begun to use more
social networking sites like Facebook and
tools like DropBox to share notes and keep
up to date with lectures. I found this to be a
great benefit in studying and managing my

Khan Academy...
“Strange putting a face to the voice of
my first year maths lecturer!
Khan Academy is possibly one of the
most useful sources for students
studying maths. The idea is simple, If you
don't understand the first time you
watch it... watch it again.”

“If a student is working on an
assignment and they don’t understand
something, who better to ask then to ask
the lecturer who set the assignment!

Twitter allows this question to be
posted instantly, the lecturer or indeed
another student would be very prompt
in their response.”

“Twitter       allows lecturers to instantly
share their ideas, websites or posts that they
have just discovered themselves with
students, instead of having to wait until the
next lecture.
...can also allow people who are not in the
class to engage in the classroom discussion.
Twitter lets the classroom open up and
engage to a world full of people with
experience and knowledge.”
Flickr CC images: cdessums, infidelic, sholeh!


 http://pinterest.com/pin/229472543483698287/   http://pinterest.com/pin/229472543483698345/


NOTE: additional videos available on the Be Very Afraid website: http://www.heppell.net/bva/
open education

institutions      students      educators

                 the future
I have been an active
blogger since
2006, and I often say
that becoming one
the best decision
I have ever made
in my academic life.
- Martin Weller (2012)


“In a
digital, networked, op
en world people
become less defined
by the institution to
which they belong and
more by the network
and online identity they
- Martin Weller (2012)
Image: corners311
open education

institutions      students      educators

                 the future

          THE FUTURE
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education
Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education
“Our concern as educators
when we inquire into the future
          should not be one of
           preparing ourselves
        for an inevitable future
             and attempting to
  „future-proof‟ our systems...
Instead, we should see
  the relationship between
  the future and education
as a reciprocal dialogue of
              and creation.”

                    Keri Facer (2011)
                    Learning Futures:
     Education, technology and social
       to the dialogue
Connect • Create • Be (open)
#1 Connect.

                                                                       Image CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Scott Wolf 46137
           Learning is social and connected.

@marloft     @pamelaaobrien   @catherinecronin   @saorog   @gravesle
#2 Create.
Create learning spaces which
facilitate active & authentic learning

                              Image CC BY-NC 2.0 chrysics
#3 Be.
Learn, share and be open.

                     Image: CC BY-NC-SA-ND 2.0 Martin Gommel
United Nations Photo (Flickr)
NUI Galway
The Irish Times
Burns Library, Boston College (Flickr)
The Labour Party (Flickr)
Irish Defence Forces (Flickr)
The White House (Flickr)
Library of Congress
Trocaire (Flickr)
Fanz (Flickr)
Lochinvar1 (Flickr)
Shavar Ross (Flickr)
Thank you!
 CC BY_NC 2.0 youngdoo

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Exploring Open Education; Re-imagining Higher Education

Editor's Notes

  1. Open education (also called Open Online Education) means free and open access to resources in educationIt aims to eliminate or greatly lower barriers to use, extraction, and reuse of knowledgeIt is arguably the most significant trend in higher education today.
  2. Stephen Heppell quote
  3. For the past 600 years, universities and libraries have been repositories of books, and of knowledge.
  4. Growing importance of digital/open practices
  5. But with the growth of the internet/telecomms (particularly wireless & mobile) access to knowledge has been universalized.The major DISRUPTION occurs with thetransition from Closed Access to Open Access. There has been a huge growth in open education, and the wave of innovation is set to continue.This will change the role of universities.
  6. Open education (i.e. course materials created by universities and shared freely with the world via the internet) is only 10 years old...OER are 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 re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."
  7. In 2002, MIT became the 1st university to commit to making all its course materials (undergraduate & postgraduate) openly available online.They launched Open Courseware -- one year later, MIT had 511 courses online.3 years later, the OCW Consortium was formed: mission is to advance formal & informal learning through the worldwide sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials organized as courses.10 years later, there has been huge growth in OCW -- MIT alone has 2,100 courses online, over 20K in total. 250 members (none in Ireland).But there are many providers of open online education besides OCW...
  8. In addition to many, many universities which make open educational materials available, there is now a multitude of providers – universities and others, e.g. individually produced resources like the phenomenally popular Khan Academy videos and crowd-sourced resources like Wikipedia Merlot – a repository of peer-reviewed open educational resourcesSo, how do we assess courseware which is provided online?Our students, of course, have access to all of these, but require judgement in order to assess the provenance and quality of material which they find online. This is part of a growing appreciation of “Digital literacy”...
  9. I’ll look briefly at how HE institutions are moving to offer the full spectrum of education – content, learning support, assessment and accreditation – both online AND openly.
  10. Content is the easiest thing to scale... it is challenging to provide learning support & assessment/accreditation on a large, open scale.
  11. For example, in the IT Online programmes offered by NUI Galway (in conjunction with Regis University) since 2004…
  12. Content is the easiest thing to scale... it is challenging to provide learning support & assessment/accreditation on a large, open scale.
  13. This past academic year, 2011-12, has been the most dramatic year yet in the growth of open online education – particularly in moves to incorporate more learner support, assessment & accreditation.March – TED; July – Knowlabs email to AAAI; August – YouTube invitation (56K)October – 160K students enrolled in Introduction to AI, taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig.These includedsecondaryschool students, 3rd-level arts students,science teachers,retirees – as well as computer science and IT students, lecturers and professors – from 190 countries around the world. Content -- pre-recorded mini-lectures, filmed very simply Learner support – limited interactionwithin the course. However, students created Facebook discussion groups, virtual study sessions via Google+, Q&A site Aiqus and Reddit discussion boards. Students wrote plug-ins and apps to help navigate these resources. Real study groups emerged as well (e.g. 091 Labs). Assessment -- highly automated with in-frame quizzes (automatically graded) Accreditation -- 23,000 students completed the course; each received a Certificate of Accomplishment.
  14. Udacity(launched January) – Sebastian Thrun announced that he was leaving Stanford to launch new company Coursera (launched April) – platform for online courses from Stanford, Princeton, Michigan & PennOCW Scholar incorporates learner support (lecture videos + resources;Review videos; Homework problems with sample solutions; Links to supplemental online content; Self-Assessment tools, e.g. quizzes with solutions)MITx – completely online course (similar to Stanford/Udacity/Coursera offerings) – 1st course running now, Circuits & ElectronicsedX (launched May) MIT & Harvard investing $30M into nonprofit partnership – open source software learning platform.AnantAgarwal: opportunity presented in online education "the single biggest change in education since the printing press.” Features: self-paced learning, online discussion groups, wiki-based collaborative learning, assessment of learning & online labs.
  15. Community (local, regional, national) – increasing interest in and access to University, and to HE in generalGlobal – outreach to regions of the world where HE is not readily availablePotential students – recruitment; showcase for courses and the University  learning not a zero sum gameAcademic staff – curriculum development; research collaboration; more class time available for student discussion & participationCurrent students – additional support for courses; more class time available for discussion & participation; identification of potential coursesCollaboration – building networks with other institutions (e.g. Open CourseWare Consortium) & scope to provide international student experience to home-stay students by collaborating online with other institutionsReputation – increasing the international reputation of the university
  16. KEY!Our students already engage in a blend of formal and informal learning practices In her review of research on the use of educational technology in HE, Grainne Conole (2012)...(former Chair of E-Learning at theThe Open University – now Professor of Learning Innovation at Leicester University)found that HE students: technology-immersed use a variety of learning approaches…
  17. ... create their own personalised digital learning environments…
  18. AND use a mix of institution systems & open, cloud-based tools/services(Can leverage the best of each and mash them up into something completely new and different… create a learning network that is both private AND public, secure AND open, reliable AND flexible, integrated AND modular, and that is supportive of both teachers AND learners.)Ultimately, learning is a social experience, and our students are making use of both social media and OERs
  19. Not connected/limited by geography, space, time... but connected by our own ideas, passion, commitment via social media.
  20. Stephen Heppell, Chair in New Media Environments at Bournemouth University iswidely and fondly recognized leader in the fields of learning, new media and technology
  21. And what how lecturers are using these tools – open educational resources, ed tech, and social media?In her review of teaching practices by academic staff in HE, Conole found: Technologies not extensively used Lack of uptake of OER Little evidence of transformationChallenges & Opportunities…
  22. Digital identity
  23. Conventional academic publishing: research / author / submit / peer review / accept-reject-modify / publishShift to online journals  questions about sustainability & desirability of print-based model (e.g. time lag between finishing a paper & publication 6 months - 2 yrs)Advantages of Open Access Publishing: quicker publication higher citations, downloads, views, downloads CC license, i.e. author retains copyright alternative methods for communication/publication, e.g. blogs, podcasts, video, etc.
  24. With growing amounts of online educational content – everything from Khan Academy to entire courses from excellent universities – we cannot simply continue to rely on a teaching model which is predominantly delivery of lectures. If prospective students have access to quality content, on their mobile devices, wherever and whenever they want – why would they choose to come to NUI Galway? What do we provide?We can make class/contact time a compelling experience. Ultimately, learning is a social experience – so our goal should be to create learning environments in which students can interact with ideas, their fellow students and academic staff.  Active Learning