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OEP Scotland 19 March


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Keynote for Open Education Practices Scotland, 19 March 2015

Published in: Education
  • Useful presentation and questions. I suspect that we are more likely to consider, and design for, the privileged, because we are privileged. It's easy to believe that others are like us, and to assume that others share our interests, assumptions, and learning styles.
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OEP Scotland 19 March

  1. 1. OPEN EDUCATION: AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE Laura Czerniewicz 19 March 2015 @czernie
  3. 3. THIS TALK o The higher education environment o Tensions in the system o Digital and open content o Piracy o OER in Africa. Responses
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION o Promises of great changes in higher education
  5. 5. The future of higher education is open education! David Wiley 2008
  6. 6. The Internet changed the nature of networks by making them more inclusive and easy to participate in. Manuel Castells 1996.
  7. 7. INTRODUCTION o A complex reconfiguring post – traditional landscape
  8. 8. conventional flexible FORMAL SEMI-FORMAL NON-FORMAL Lectures Tutorials Course packs Short courses Summer school
  9. 9. conventional flexible FORMAL SEMI-FORMAL NON-FORMAL Lectures & tutorials Short courses Summer school Blended courses Online courses Professional development courses MOOC related variants
  10. 10. CHALLENGES IN THE SYSTEM o An austerity environment for HE globally and locally o Urgent local pressures • Access, success, redress, diversity
  11. 11. SOUTH AFRICAN HE CHALLENGES o Low participation high attrition system o Serious divides continue • Participation rates over 50% for white students, 13% for African students • White students twice as likely to graduate in 5 years • Only 5% of African youth succeed in any form of higher education o 1st year attrition • 40% of 1st year students leave HE Fisher G and Scott (2011) Letseka, M. and Maile, S. (2008
  12. 12. CHALLENGES IN THE SYSTEM o An unequal world • Scotland gini coefficient 31 • USA gini coefficient 45 • South Africa gini coefficient 63
  13. 13. INEQUALITY
  16. 16. TENSIONS IN THE SYSTEM Very simply, there are two prevailing social imaginaries about digital technologies .. The prevailing dominant imaginary in today’s information societies is market-led. In contrast, alternative imaginaries are best described as ‘open’ or commons-led. …. It is this conflict that leads to major problems for stakeholders in deciding which policies and strategies, or mix of policies and strategies, is most likely to facilitate progress towards more just and equitable information societies.
  17. 17. Shawn Carpenter CC BY-SA 2.0
  18. 18. o Higher Education is an extremely contested space in terms of • Who is setting the agenda • Who is paying and the implications of that • What role technology is playing o The open agenda is in danger of being appropriated
  19. 19. o The Internet has not lead to inclusivity • Contestation re net neutrality o Disaggregation has not necessarily lead to openness • Disaggregation has provided more opportunities for commodification of education o Open access is under threat
  20. 20. o Openness is being unevenly distributed – open for access but not open for participation o The developing world • continues to be regarded as a recipient and as a market in the reconfigured landscape o Inequities of costs in education persist • E.g., costs of books uneven across the world
  21. 21. o Absolute prices can be higher in the south than the north Liang 2009
  22. 22. o Consumers in the South have to commit significantly higher proportions of their income to consume these books Liang 2009
  23. 23. TENSIONS IN THE SYSTEM o Technology • Can enable open practices • Can close down in new ways
  24. 24. DIGITAL CONTENT o From products to services • From tangible to intangible • Customer loses control o From ownership to access/license o Intermediary - platforms • Services via an intermediary o Digital rights management constrains online access
  25. 25. Legal Digital Analogue Illegal Textbooks Some photocopying E-Textbooks Open Education Resources Photocopying Pirate sites File sharing ACCESS TO LEARNING CONTENT
  26. 26. Legal Digital Analogue Illegal Textbooks Some photocopying Proprietary Online resources Open Education Resources Photocopying Pirate sites File sharing ACCESS TO LEARNING CONTENT
  27. 27. Legal Digital Analogue Illegal Textbooks Some photocopying Proprietary Online resources Open Education Resources Photocopying Pirate sites File sharing ACCESS TO LEARNING CONTENT
  28. 28. OPEN EDUCATION o Open content • Compares to proprietary content o Be aware of the third option • Piracy cultures (Castells 2012) • An affective economy (Fleming 2012)
  29. 29. PIRACY AS A SOLUTION A very significant proportion of the population is building its mediation through alternative channels of obtaining content … the pirates are more often than not all of us Castells and Cordoso 2012
  30. 30. PIRACY AS THE ALTERNATIVE o Netherlands • 10 % of all ebooks on devices were actually paid for, most of the digital books pirated o UK • Up to 76 % of the 50 popular textbooks are used by students available as free pirated e- books Russia 92 percent of ebook readers obtained their books by illegally downloading the materials
  31. 31. A CASE STUDY Access to Learning Resources
  32. 32. SOUTH AFRICA CASE STUDY o Access to learning resources study • Largely first-year students • Media Studies, Health Sciences, Law o Survey of 1001 university students o 6 Focus Groups • 42 students
  33. 33. SA CASE STUDY Percentage of online resources downloaded from sources believed to be legal
  34. 34. SA CASE STUDY 14.70% 37.02% 17.84% 16.70% 1.58% 3.16% 1.12% 1.12% 5.41% 1.35% Acquisition of info (n 65) Easy access (n 164) Free (n 79) Financial reasons (n 74) Entertainment (n 7) Media acquisition (n 14) Reliable information (n 5) Reasons for illegal resources
  35. 35. SA CASE STUDY 3.60% 16.21% 16.21% 3.60%6.75% 9.45% 12.16% 2.30% 4.96% 15.31% 9.45% (n 8) Miscellaneous download sites (n 36 DC++ (nn 36) (n 8) Megaupload (n 15) Piratebay (n 21) Torrents (n 27) Students (n 5) Friends (n 11) Uncertain if source was illegal (n 34 Doesn't download illegally (n 21) Illegal resources
  36. 36. SA CASE STUDY Everyone has engaged in piracy Everyone copies... I am a pirate We don’t have much to say. Because we all pirate
  37. 37. SA CASE STUDY It’s about access to education: It is huge! It just seems, morally, if anything, we should have that stuff available It is ridiculous [what we pay for books] when you consider what you are paying for university
  38. 38. SA CASE STUDY Is it unethical to want to be educated or is it unethical to charge so much [for books]?.. To have to pay that amount when you can't afford it? Even though in my head I know it’s wrong, it’s just a technical thing. Substantively speaking, it’s the right thing to do I am not worried about the consequences of illegal downloading. Worried about graduating.
  39. 39. SA CASE STUDY ….plagiarism, you’re lying but I mean, copying a textbook, you’re not trying to harm anybody… it’s your education With plagiarism, it’s more like, ‘this is mine’, claiming this is your own and that’s why it’s a scarier [than copying or downloading material]
  40. 40. These resources and tools being so expensive makes it only accessible to a certain group of people…everything should be open education resources (MS) Open access is awesome. It’s like Google Scholar, and you can get it for free access (HS)
  41. 41. OPEN EDUCATION exists in an extremely contested and complex environment
  43. 43. OER offer possibilities for Africa as per South America or South East Asia “Pull" factors • reduce time and associated costs of resource development, • increase currency (up-to-dateness) of materials, • localise (language, examples) materials “Push" factors • contributing local knowledge that has not been widely circulated to date due to the expense of printed materials • possibly producing materials more cheaply than in the US/Europe because of lower salaries Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams, PI, ROER4D
  44. 44. Most universities and most academics in Africa do not have the luxury to invest time and resources into anything, simply on the basis that it is ‘a good thing to do’ … If the use of OER will ‘solve’ an existing problem – e.g. lack of relevant or appropriate materials – then it becomes a no-brainer. Catherine Ngugi, Director, OER Africa
  45. 45. We have unique cases/data to make available as OERs taking our interesting material to the rest of the world By contributing with OERs, we contribute to animal health beyond our borders Many countries in Africa with preciously few resources (money, expertise, staff, etc). It make perfect sense to rather use/remix existing OERs than to produce them ourselves Linda VanRyneveld, Director: Teaching and Learning Faculty of Veterinary Science, University Pretoria
  46. 46. Free online courses are not going to change education in Africa, not because of access or sophistication issues or even context issues… but rather because education in Africa and South Africa is a means to an end – the qualification helps to get you a job which puts food on the table Until we can get verifiable accreditation right for free online courses I don’t think there will be much traction – on the other hand if institutions can invest in adapting the free online courses material and using it as a formal offering then savings in development and design can be allocated to other resources Kerry de Hart, OER Coordinator, UNISA
  47. 47. Initially people seem a bit sceptical about OER because of the gains of copyright, and thus knowledge seen as commodity. In Africa with huge percentage of poverty and inequity, many are not able to access knowledge because they can’t afford it. However, I grew up in a communal African setting where almost everything is shared. Our folklore which was narrated with so much love and sense of duty by my grandparents and dad were rich and impactful. The advent of "civilization' triggered production of knowledge in print and in a bid to make economic gain, that knowledge was hoarded and access to knowledge was now meant for the highest bidder. I am enthusiastic about OER because I want to trigger a discourse on the need to harness African culture of communal living and sharing for OER. Dr. Jane-Frances Agbu Head , OER-MOOC Unit, National Open University of Nigeria
  48. 48. DRIVERS FOR OPEN IN AFRICA How different are they from elsewhere?
  49. 49. AFRICAN OPEN PROJECTS o Respond to local and global challenges in innovative ways
  54. 54. CONCLUSION Innovation in vexation and contestation Work together globally to reclaim the open agenda
  55. 55. THANK YOU
  56. 56. REFERENCES o Castells, M. (1996). The Rise of the Network Society. Malden, MA; Oxford,, Blackwell. o Castells, M. C., G (2012). "Editorial Introduction to Piracy Cultures." International Journal of Communication 6: 826–833. o Czerniewicz, L. D., A. and J. W. Small, S. (2014). "Developing world MOOCs: A curriculum view of the MOOC landscape." Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, and Emerging Pedagogies (JOGLTEP) 2(3). o Fleming, D. (2012). " Poisoning the Affective Economy of RW Culture: Re-Mapping the Agents " International Journal of Communication 6: 669–688. o Fisher, G. and I. Scott (2011). The Role of Higher Education in Closing the Skills Gap in South Africa’, World Bank. o Letseka, M. and S. Maile (2008). High University drop-out rates: a threat to South Africa’s future, HSRC. o Liang, L. (2011). Piracy, Creativity and Infrastructure: Rethinking Access to Culture. The global flow of information : legal, social, and cultural perspectives. R. K. Subramanian, E. New York, New York University Press: 54 -89. o Wiley, D. and J. Hilton (2009). "Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education." The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning. o o