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Good Intentions: improving the evidence base in support of sharing learning materials


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Keynote presentation at Open Educational Repositories – Share, Improve, Reuse, Intrallect Conference 2009.

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Good Intentions: improving the evidence base in support of sharing learning materials

  1. 1. Good Intentions: improving the evidence base in support of sharing learning materials Lou McGill Sarah Currier Charles Duncan Peter Douglas Open educational repositories: share, improve, reuse Thursday 26th March 2009
  2. 2. Resource producer
  3. 3. Primary consumer
  4. 4. Resource
  5. 5. Resource Supplier
  6. 6. Resource consumer
  7. 7. Resource sharing
  8. 8. Resource exchange
  9. 9. Repurposed resource
  10. 10. Context of use/re-purposing
  11. 11. Learning materials <ul><li>'sharing' implies intent – letting others use something of value that you have created or own (invested in) </li></ul><ul><li>could share openly or with specific groups </li></ul><ul><li>'exchange' – parties offer/share some resource for mutual benefit </li></ul><ul><li>re-use/re-purposing imply sharing but this may not always be a conscious intent </li></ul>
  12. 12. Intent <ul><li>Whilst sharing and exchange are processes (either conscious or not) it is the intent behind the various initiatives, activities and services that are important... </li></ul><ul><li>is sharing learning resources really feasible – why has it been so hard to do? </li></ul>
  13. 13. The problem <ul><li>Millions (£) spent on creating learning content over more than a decade </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability has advanced enormously over the same period </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers related to IPR have been identified and largely overcome (for example Creative Commons) </li></ul><ul><li>Yet there is no single compelling business case for sharing resources </li></ul>
  14. 14. Conflicting views? <ul><li>“ there is little tradition or articulated desire for sharing learning materials in the sector in the ways made possible by these technologies ” TrustDR report, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>70% of respondents to a 2006 survey re-purposed resources created by others CD-LOR Personal Resource Management Strategies Review </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Improving the evidence base in support of sharing learning materials </li></ul><ul><li>June – December 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by </li></ul>Objective
  16. 16. Research Study <ul><li>Desk research and interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Symposium on Implementing National Learning Resources Repositories </li></ul><ul><li>Collating and analysing business models </li></ul><ul><li>Development of business cases for a variety of business models </li></ul>
  17. 17. Early thoughts <ul><li>Sharing is not just about using formal repositories </li></ul><ul><li>Learning resources interpreted broadly </li></ul><ul><li>Business terminology not particularly relevant to learning & teaching practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>We do need to understand the 'business' in terms of knowing our market and 'consumers' </li></ul>
  18. 18. Business models and cases <ul><li>Service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Various infrastructures that exist to support sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a mechanism to illustrate various aspects of an existing service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an articulation of the benefits of such a model </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. The paths we take <ul><li>Business models that exist now reflect the history of our work to encourage sharing of learning resources... </li></ul><ul><li>Report offers an account of this history... </li></ul>
  20. 20. In-depth Case Studies <ul><li>OpenLearn, UK, Open University </li></ul><ul><li>Jorum, UK, National Repository </li></ul><ul><li>NDLR, Ireland, National Repository </li></ul><ul><li>COLEG, Scotland, FE National Repository </li></ul><ul><li>IRISS Learning Exchange, Scotland, Social Work </li></ul><ul><li>IVIMEDS, International, Medicine </li></ul><ul><li>SURF WBL, UK, Cross-institutional </li></ul><ul><li>CELLS, Scotland, Cross-institutional, Life Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>EdShare, Southampton, UK, single institution </li></ul>
  21. 21. Open Sharing Models Studied <ul><li>OpenLearn, UK </li></ul><ul><li>JorumOpen, UK </li></ul><ul><li>MIT OCW, US </li></ul><ul><li>NZ OER, New Zealand </li></ul><ul><li>Merlot, International </li></ul><ul><li>OER Commons, International </li></ul><ul><li>Connexions, Rice University US </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Hub, Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>BC Campus, Canada </li></ul>
  22. 22. Historical Models Studied <ul><li>SeSDL, National, Scotland </li></ul><ul><li>HLSI, Regional, England </li></ul><ul><li>IVINURS, International , Nursing </li></ul><ul><li>JORUM+, National, UK </li></ul><ul><li>Stòr Cùram , National, Scotland, Social Work </li></ul>
  23. 23. Business model template <ul><li>A template was developed to enable the articulation of a wide range of existing business models for sharing learning resources. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to identify common elements and key decision points </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to highlight key points of connection between factors, decision making points, opportunities and stresses/restrictions. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Business model template
  25. 25. Finance models
  26. 26. Service models
  27. 27. Supplier/consumer models
  28. 28. Issues affecting models
  29. 29. Business Models <ul><li>Subject-based sharing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities of practice; shared curriculum </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open Sharing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No barriers; open access; open licences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutional sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Informal sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Media-focussed sharing </li></ul>
  30. 30. Lifecycle <ul><li>Early experiments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognition of problems: IPR, culture, practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology: interoperability, metadata </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Growing and changing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Landscape has changed significantly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding: sustainability, adaptability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maturing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong business cases </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Business cases <ul><li>a mechanism to help people decide which business model/s to adopt as appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>a process where they would automatically generate a context specific business case to support funding requests </li></ul><ul><li>encourages an approach which starts with the needs (required benefits) not a preferred model </li></ul><ul><li>no one model fits all and often a combination of models may be appropriate depending on the context </li></ul><ul><li>Helps to prioritise benefits and recognise that by making some business model choices certain benefits are more difficult to achieve </li></ul><ul><li>to support a dialogue within institutions by identifying what benefits the institution and wider community already enjoy from existing sharing activities. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Benefit levels <ul><li>Benefit for the global community (13) </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit for the national community (13) </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit for the educational institution (15) </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit for individual teachers, tutors and learning support staff (8) </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit for individual learners, students (11) </li></ul>
  33. 33. Impact of business cases <ul><li>Significant impact </li></ul><ul><li>Some impact </li></ul><ul><li>Possible with right conditions </li></ul><ul><li>No impact </li></ul>
  34. 34. General benefits to global community Open CoP Subject-based Institutional National Informal Supporting subject-discipline communities to share Encourages innovation and experimentation Shares expertise and resources between developed and developing countries Supports re-use and re-purposing Supports community input to metadata through tagging, notes, reviews Supports effective retrieval through professionally created metadata Ensures trust through appropriate licensing
  35. 35. Business cases - Global Case Subject Open Supporting subject-based communities to share   Encourages innovation and experimentation  Shares expertise and resources between developed and developing countries  Supporting re-use and re-purposing   Supporting continued development of standards and interoperability   Supporting continued development of tools for sharing and exchange   Supporting sharing and reuse of individual assets   Helps develop critical mass of materials in particular subject areas   Supporting ease of access through search engines such as Google 
  36. 36. Business cases - National Case Subject Open Cost efficiencies   Decrease in duplication   Supports cross-institutional sharing   Provides access to non-educational bodies such as employers, professional bodies, trade unions, etc  Supports a broad vision of sharing across the country  Promotes the concept of lifelong learning  Supports shared curricula  Supports discovery of most used/highest quality resources   Supports the notion that educational institutions should leverage taxpayers money by allowing free sharing and reuse of resources  Mitigates the cost of keeping resources closed  Mitigates the risk of doing nothing in a rapidly changing environment  Supports sustained long-term sharing 
  37. 37. Business cases - Institutional Case Subject Open Increased transparency and quality of learning materials   Encourages high quality learning and teaching resources   Supports modular course development   Maintaining and building institution’s reputation - globally  Attracting new staff and students to institutions – recruitment tool for students and prospective employers  Shares expertise efficiently within institutions  Supports the altruistic notion that sharing knowledge is in line with academic traditions and a good thing to do  Likely to encourage review of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment  Enhancing connections with external stakeholders by making resources visible 
  38. 38. Business cases - Teachers Case Subject Open Increased personal recognition   Supports sharing of knowledge and teaching practice  Encourages improvement in teaching practice   Supports immediate one-off instances of sharing   Supports attribution  Encourages multi-disciplinary collaboration and sharing  Supports CPD and offers evidence of this 
  39. 39. Business cases - Learners Case Subject Open Easy and free access to learning material for learners  Increased access options for students enrolled on courses (particularly remote students)  Easily accessed through student-owned technologies  Increased access for non-traditional learners (widening participation)  Likely to encourage self-regulated and independent learning  Likely to increase demand for flexible learning opportunities  Likely to increase demand for assessment and recognition of competencies gained outside formal learning settings  Likely to encourage peer support, mentorship and ambassadorial programmes 
  40. 40. National sharing scenario <ul><li>Reflects government ideals of widening participation, encouraging effective utilisation of publicly funded collections of resources, promoting cross institutional collaboration, encouraging re-use and re-purposing and supporting lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>Obviously a national approach would be required to facilitate these benefits but combining this with an open approach (on a national scale) could add many benefits, particularly if this meant open to learners as well as those supporting learning and teaching. A CoP approach could support sustainability, and a subject-based approach would also support the development of a critical mass in different subject areas. A possible model to support this scenario would be an open national repository with access by students, possibly opened wider than the UK with subject based community support mechanisms to encourage sharing of practice, deposit of materials and re-use/re-purposing. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Conclusions <ul><li>Report referred to in recent JISC OER call </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Toolkit for institutions building business cases </li></ul><ul><li>Consider “intent” – know your objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise that these may change through the lifecycle of any repository </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt, modify, sustain </li></ul>
  42. 42. Good intentions <ul><li>The vision of a world where teachers in HE, FE and WBL/CPD would share and re-purpose their learning materials, using the Web as a medium, with the support of interoperability standards, and repository platforms utilising those standards has been with us for many years. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite our best efforts and good intentions we've not always moved forward as fast as we would have liked. And now we find that after all that work and, sometimes painful, experience our world has changed. </li></ul><ul><li>The evidence suggests that the landscape of policy, technology, and learning and teaching practice may have changed sufficiently for us to realise the vision. </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>Good intentions report and business cases available at </li></ul>