OER, UKOER, SCORE, TRUE, Martin Poulter


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Presentation at SCORE OER event 12 March 2010, Bristol by TRUE: Teaching Resources for Undergraduate Economics OER Project

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OER, UKOER, SCORE, TRUE, Martin Poulter

  1. 1. A Wiki-based approach to Open Educational Resources: TRUE Dr Martin Poulter, The Economics Network
  2. 2. Uses of OERs by economists <ul><li>Syllabi/module handbooks/ reading lists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal benchmarking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lecture slides/ handouts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Bread and butter” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idiosyncratic / new ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessment materials </li></ul>
  3. 3. Other resource types <ul><li>Classroom experiments </li></ul><ul><li>Data tables and graphs </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Jokes! </li></ul>
  4. 5. Wikipedia: the big gamble
  5. 6. The wiki balancing act <ul><li>Enough freedom for individual authors to express creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Enough structure to have a good end product </li></ul>
  6. 7. Strengths of the wiki approach <ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-hierarchical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural division of labour </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ownership (Personal and group) </li></ul><ul><li>Immediacy </li></ul>
  7. 8. Weaknesses of the wiki approach <ul><li>Unstructured content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inconsistency of style and navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duplication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User frustration </li></ul><ul><li>Initial skills hurdle </li></ul>
  8. 9. Academic tribes
  9. 10. Health Economics education <ul><li>Grew out of a research community </li></ul><ul><li>Initially run on PBWiki free wiki service </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly one academic, one techie </li></ul><ul><li>No formal budget </li></ul><ul><li>Yielded 59 learning resources </li></ul>
  10. 11. Health Economics education <ul><li>http://economicsnetwork.ac.uk/health </li></ul>
  11. 12. Co-opetition <ul><li>Appeal to co-operative ethos of academic community </li></ul><ul><li>And simultaneously to the competition between departments, schools of thought or courses </li></ul>
  12. 13. TRUE <ul><li>Teaching Resources for Undergraduate Economics </li></ul><ul><li>Fourteen subject wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Each led by a senior academic in that field </li></ul><ul><li>Personal visit to acquaint them with wiki software and issues </li></ul>
  13. 14. Call goes out… resources come in
  14. 15. Under the bonnet <ul><li>Drupal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free, open source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very customisable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sophisticated system of users and roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Document-based or data-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Download from Drupal.org </li></ul></ul><ul><li>JORUM.ac.uk </li></ul>
  15. 16. So far <ul><li>400 resources uploaded </li></ul><ul><li>Other materials linked </li></ul>
  16. 17. From an exam <ul><li>“ You will be matched with 4 other students. Tell me how much of a bonus you would like on the exam in percentage terms. Please write down a number between 0 and 100 (fractions permitted). </li></ul><ul><li>“ I will give the bonus to the student with the lowest request. Ties will be broken randomly.” </li></ul><ul><li>Todd Kaplan, Example exam for Markets, Games and Strategic Behaviour </li></ul>
  17. 18. From a syllabus <ul><li>“ You can sleep in class all you want. Be my guest. Really: I don’t mind. And bring any friend, parent, child, dog you want. No problem: no need to ask. But you cannot read, talk, eat, slouch insultingly [guys: listen up], pass notes, pick your nose, look bored ( being bored is another matter: these rules are about externals that hurt your classmates, demoralizing them and me), dress inappropriately, do homework, chew gum, come late, leave early, or more generally act like a high-schooler . […] Think of the class as a business meeting , with Deirdre as your boss.” </li></ul><ul><li>Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago, syllabus for Principles of Microeconomics </li></ul>
  18. 19. Lessons learned <ul><li>Need other community-building efforts in parallel with the wiki. </li></ul><ul><li>Foot-of-page comments: a mixed blessing, probably not worth having over all. </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps be more prescriptive: have a template site and publicity that co-ordinators work from? </li></ul>