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Constellation of Open (Utah Valley)


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Slides from a keynote presentation given at Utah Valley University's inaugural Open Education Symposium

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Constellation of Open (Utah Valley)

  1. 1. Constellations of Open Dr. Robert Farrow The Open University, UK OPEN EDUCATION RESEARCH HUB
  2. 2. I. Constellations of Open II. Findings from OER Hub III. Upcoming and Future Work
  3. 3. I. Constellations of Open II. Findings from OER Hub III. Upcoming and Future Work
  4. 4. I. Constellations of Open II. Findings from OER Hub III. Upcoming and Future Work
  5. 5. @philosopher1978 @oer_hub
  6. 6. I. Constellations of Open Forthcoming in Deimann, M. & Peters, S. (eds.) (2016). The Philosophy and Theory of Open Education. New York: Peter Lang Publishing
  7. 7. History of open education Peters and Deimann (2013) have demonstrated that the history of openness can be understood to stretch back before the institutionalization of education, even if the language of open was not always used. • Ancient knowledge transmission through apprenticeship • Guttenberg printing press (1450s) • Monastic tradition gave way to university institutions • Emergence of the public sphere (Habermas, 1962) and public university systems
  8. 8. History of open education By the 1960s the open education movement had begun to coalesce around the idea of disestablishing cultural, economic and institutional barriers to formal education. The Open University in the UK was founded in 1969 to widen access to higher education by disregarding the need for prior academic qualification, and using the communication technologies of the time to ‘open up’ campus education though a “teaching system to suit an individual working in a lighthouse off the coast of Scotland” (Daniel et al., 2008).
  9. 9. History of open education • Industrialisation brought the rise of popular literacy and establishment of public libraries and distance education • In the 20th century we have seen an extension of the belief that education is a right that can be extended to all • It is mistaken to see this as a linear historical progression: (Peters & Deimann, 2013:12) observe that “historical forms of openness caution us against assuming that particular configurations will prevail, or that social aspects should be assumed as desired by default”.
  10. 10. History of open education • Over the last decade – primarily in the form of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC) and Open Educational Resources (OER) – the open education movement has further expanded opportunities for education worldwide. • Yet as opportunities for accessing educational materials increases, so higher education (in the West, at least) has increasingly seemed to be in a crisis of funding shortfalls, massive student debt, and a lack of graduate employment. This has led some to ask whether open education is the saviour of traditional education, or the herald of its demise.
  11. 11. “Open approaches are featured in the mainstream media. Millions of people are enhancing their learning through open resources and open courses. Put bluntly, it looks as though openness has won. And yet you would be hard pressed to find any signs of celebration amongst those original advocates. They are despondent about the reinterpretation of openness to mean ‘free’ or ‘online’ without some of the reuse liberties they had envisaged. Concerns are expressed about the commercial interests that are now using openness as a marketing tool. Doubts are raised regarding the benefits of some open models for developing nations or learners who require support. At this very moment of victory it seems that the narrative around openness is being usurped by others, and the consequences of this may not be very open at all.” (Weller, 2014: 14)
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  13. 13. “Open Educational Practices (OEP) are the set of activities and support around the creation, use and repurposing of Open Educational Resources. It also includes the contextual settings within which these practices occur.” (Conole, 2011)
  14. 14.
  15. 15. • Contextualist, not essentialist • Defines itself against a status quo that restricts some activity: open lets you do X • Fundamentally oriented towards freedom • But what kind of freedom?
  16. 16. Negative Liberty: the absence of (external) restrictions on activity; freedom from interference Positive Liberty: the capacity to act on the basis of one’s free will; implies rational agency, autonomy, active choice Distinction made by Fromm (1941) and Berlin (1958)
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  18. 18. Frankfurt School (Institut für Sozialforschung) • Founded in 1923 by a group of dissident intellectuals who rejected capitalism, fascism and communism • Critique of ideology; considers society in its historical specificity • Concerned with conditions of social change and emancipation • Strives to transcend classical Marxism by drawing on wider theoretical frameworks • Social science drawing on philosophy, psychoanlaysis, linguistics, economics, psychology, anthropology
  19. 19. • Links between educational technology & critical theory generally underexplored • Critical theories share an interest in the critique of oppressive or dominant economic and/or sociopolitical force • Feenberg (2002) suggests critical theory has been left out of the debate over technology • Critical theories of education should have normative-utopian dimensions (Nicholls & Allen-Brown, 1996) • Kellner (2003) advocates radical restructuring of educational systems • New ways of seeing, categorizing, mapping, connecting and relating theory to practice (Kellner, 2003) • Knowledge is fundamentally political and bound up with human interest: critical theories strive towards emancipatory forms of knowledge (Habermas, 1971) • Rejection of idealist, elitist and oppressive elements of pedagogy Openness & Critical Theory
  20. 20. Theodor Adorno borrowed from the cultural critic Walter Benjamin (1928) the idea that inaccessible truths become comprehensible through the ‘constellation’ [Konstellation]: the configuration of concepts, ideas, interpretations and historical patterns which insights into the uniqueness of the object of thought (in this case, openness) without necessitating the claim to have complete knowledge or understanding of it.
  21. 21. The object of thought becomes better understood in its particularity: “ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars” (Benjamin, 1985b:34). Through critical reflection the object of thought is ‘unlocked’ from its context: “as a constellation, theoretical thought circles around the concept it would like to unseal, hoping, that it may fly open like the lock of a well-guarded safe” (Adorno, 1973:163).
  22. 22. Characteristics of Constellation Method • Always reconstructive and historical • Begins with actually existing examples of practice • Intimately related to how language is used • Move beyond binary judgements (e.g. open or not?) • Anti-essentialist: “the constellation of moments is not to be reduced to a singular essence; what is inherent in that constellation is not an essence.” (Adorno, 1973:104) • Recognises historical contingency without over-simplification or relativism • Constellation does not prohibit possibility of other constellations, nor future re-interpretation • Reflective open practice
  23. 23. Other work relating to this strand • Deimann, M. & Farrow, R. (2013). Rethinking OER and their use: Open Education as Bildung. International Review of Online and Distance Learning 14(3). 42 • Farrow, R. (2015). Open education and critical pedagogy. Learning, Media and Technology. DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2016.1113991 • Farrow, R. (forthcoming 2016). Framework for an open ethics. Open Praxis
  24. 24. II. Open Education Research Hub Prof. Martin Weller Dr. Rob Farrow Dr. Bea de los Arcos Dr. Beck Pitt Natalie Egglestone
  25. 25. • Research project 2013-2015 at The Open University (UK) • Funded by William & Flora Hewlett Foundation • Tasked with building the most comprehensive picture of OER impact • Organised by eleven research hypotheses • Collaboration model works across different educational sectors • Global reach but with a USA focus • Openness in practice: methods, data, dissemination OER Research Hub 
  26. 26. Keyword Hypothesis Performance OER improve student performance/satisfaction Openness People use OER differently from other online materials Access OER widen participation in education Retention OER can help at-risk learners to finish their studies Reflection OER use leads educators to reflect on their practice Finance OER adoption brings financial benefits for students/institutions Indicators Informal learners use a variety of indicators when selecting OER Support Informal learners develop their own forms of study support Transition OER support informal learners in moving to formal study Policy OER use encourages institutions to change their policies Assessment Informal assessments motivate learners using OER
  27. 27. Project Co-PILOT
  28. 28. • Research instruments applied consistently across collaborations: surveys, interview questions, focus groups, etc. • Supplemented by integration of secondary research • ‘Agile’ research, sprinting • Thematic and methodological cohesion provided by research hypotheses Research Process
  29. 29. Geographical spread of research participation
  30. 30. Summary of key findings
  31. 31. • 37.6% of educators (n=268) agree or strongly agree that OER use increases student satisfaction • 27.5% of educators (n=196) agree or strongly agree that OER use improves student grades • Impact appears to be greater for non-grade related aspects: - 36.2% (n=254) OER improves student engagement ✓ - 36.2% (n=254) OER promotes new ways of learning ✓ - 35.2% (n=256) OER increases student interest in subject ✓ - 35% (n=249) OER leads to student self-reliance ✓
  32. 32. Impact on teaching practice from OER use 6% 13% 14% 14% 16% 18% 19% 21% 22% 23% 3% 5% 1% 3% 4% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% I make use of a wider range of multimedia I reflect more on the way that I teach I have broadened my coverage of the curriculum I now use OER study to develop my teaching I have improved ICT skills I more frequently compare my own teaching with others I have a more up-to-date knowledge of my subject area I use a broader range of teaching and learning methods I collaborate more with colleagues I make more use of culturally diverse resources strongly agree– agree– neither agree nor disagree– disagree– strongly disagree– Impact of OER use on teaching practice (community college educators n=136)
  33. 33. • Responses from CA, TX, VA, FL, TN • Most respondents were experienced teachers with postgraduate degrees • A majority teach full-time and are involved in online instruction • Around half have adapted/used OER but only around 25% create or upload OER
  34. 34. Aggregation Inspiration
  35. 35. • 55.7% (n=370) of formal students agree or strongly agree that OER increases student satisfaction • Formal learners reported that increased interest in subject was the main outcome from using OER (60.1% n=398) • Others included increased experimentation (49.4% n=398) and gaining confidence (48.6% n=322) • For some cohorts (e.g. Saylor Academy) more than half of learners believed that they grew more confident, became interested in a wider range of subjects and felt their learning experiences improved
  36. 36. • learning experiences improved Textbook access
  37. 37. Access to high quality content Community building
  38. 38. 8.5% 8.6% 8.7% 11.5% 11.8% 12.3% 14.3% 15.2% 15.2% 15.4% 15.5% 17.1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% ... increases interest in the subjects taught ... builds confidence ... allows me to better accommodate learners' needs ... increases collaboration and/or peer-support ... increases enthusiasm for future study ... increases participation in class discussions ... increases satisfaction with the learning experience ... leads to improved student grades ... increases engagement with lesson content ... develops independence and self-reliance ... leads to interest in a wider range of subjects ... Increases experimentation with ways of learning Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree Perceptions of impact of OER on students (community college educators n=136)
  39. 39. 7.9% 10.8% 12.2% 18 % 23% 25.2% 25.9% 29.5% 32.4% 34.5% 37.4% 38.1% 38.8% 64.7% 69.8% Data sets Whole course Interactive games Infographics Audio podcasts Learning tools, instruments and plugins Lesson plans E-books Tutorials Elements of a course (e.g. a module/unit) Open textbooks Quizzes Lectures Images Videos Multimedia content is around twice as popular as other OER (including textbooks) Few reported using a whole course of OER, suggesting they cherry pick resources as needed Very few are using openly available data to teach OER Types Used (community college educators n=136)
  40. 40. 1% 2% 4% 5% 9% 11% 13% 17% 20% 26% 26% 32% 35% 43% 71% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% OER Repositories Used (community college educators n=136)
  41. 41. Strong evidence for savings when replacing textbooks with open versions Evidence for other forms of cost savings is less clear
  42. 42. Has your institution saved money through OER? yes 44% no 19% don't know 37% “OER resources are old-school, low-tech modules that are not peer-reviewed or nationally normed. There are some interesting tentative attempts at creativity but much of OER is cr*p.” “Students return for additional classes” “They don't like losing the revenue stream from the bookstore” “I know that some instructors are only using OER which provides substantial savings for our students.”
  43. 43. Have your students saved money through OER? yes 62% no 13% don't know 25% “Saving money is a big incentive for students and institutions.” “I still use publishers' textbooks in my classes. I use OER as supplements to the textbook.” “My students tell me and enrollment in my classes has continually increased over those of my peers.” “I developed an online textbook for the personal health class that I teach. This saves each of my students approximately $100.” “I know that some instructors are only using OER which provides substantial savings for our students.”
  44. 44. How important is open licensing (e.g. CC)? crucial 20% very important 34% somewhat important 19% neither important nor unimportant 22% not at all important 5% More than half feel that open licensing is crucial or very important, but far fewer actually practice it. This could indicate either 1) that educators are not confident about licensing their work or 2) they feel it is an avoidable addition to their workload.
  45. 45. • Most of the respondents have used some sort of OER, though only around a quarter create OER • Most report positive effects on their teaching practice as a result of OER use, particularly around peer collaboration and improved subject knowledge • A smaller proportion (but still in excess of 40%) feel that OER use directly leads to improved reflection on pedagogical practice • Positive effects were also identified for learners, especially around increased self- reliance, subject interest and experimentation • There were similar numbers who thought OER wasn’t making much of a difference and a core of what might be termed ‘anti-OER’ responses Community College Educators: Summary of Results
  46. 46. Community College Educators: Summary of Results • There were mixed views about whether OER was saving institutions money, but approximately 2/3 felt that students had saved money • Around 1/3 believe that OER is improving student attrition while around 1/2 believe it is not having an effect • There is a core of advocates who understand and actively promote OER; they adopt open educational practices and believe it leads to benefits • Only around half of OER creators have used open licensing
  47. 47. non-formal learners
  48. 48. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Under 15 15-18 19-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 Over 75 Saylor (n=2299) iTunesU (n=103) OpenLearn (n=725) Age profiles by repository (N=3127)
  49. 49. iTunesU channel users were much more likely to be younger and were mostly male. They are often in full time education and use OER on an informal basis outside of their formal studies to pursue interest in a wide range of subjects
  50. 50. Saylor Academy users are more likely to be in employment and already in possession of a degree. They tended to be middle aged and primarily motivated by professiona development.
  51. 51. OpenLearn users were more likely to be older, retired, and female, and had a higher proportion of users who were motivated mainly by personal interest (though 40% are in full time employment).
  52. 52. Patterns of OER repository use (N=2460) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Saylor (n=1802) iTunesU (n=104) OpenLearn (n=554)
  53. 53. • Data about prior qualification supports idea that OER mainly used by already educated • Most learners use a small number of repositories and indicate little awareness of OER as concept/method • Very high degree of satisfaction with OER across all repositories • However, this doesn’t necessarily equate to increased likelihood of formal study
  54. 54. Impact of OER repository on likelihood of future study Repository More likely to study formally Less likely to study formally Saylor (n=1858) 19.8% 19.9% OpenLearn (n=583) 31.4% 13.9% iTunesU (n=94) 23.4% 25.5%
  55. 55. Summary of General Findings • There was a high degree of satisfaction with OER across all types of user, with a large percentage willing to access further OER and to recommend them • However, OER brand recognition was weak compared with other popular resource sites, and finding appropriate OER was a major obstacle • Use of OER increases satisfaction and engagement with learning and is seen as saving students money • Users look for relevance, reputation and clear learning outcomes when selecting OER
  56. 56. Summary of General Findings • The use of OER is not confined to one or two disciplines, with all subjects well represented, and a range of formats are accessed, although video remains the most significant • The greatest benefits may not be cost savings and improved performance but recruitment and retention of students • A similarly under-reported benefit for educators is the manner in which OER cause them to reflect on their own practice, and to broaden their teaching approaches
  57. 57. Adaptation of open resources is high (79.4%) for all roles: This is higher than found in previous studies (e.g. Wiley, 2009) but more research is needed into adaptation behaviours (motivations, goals, techniques, evaluation, etc.) … can one adapt without altering?
  58. 58. OER Evidence Report 2014
  59. 59. OER Data Report 2013-2015
  60. 60.
  61. 61. III. Current and upcoming work … including ways to get involved
  62. 62.
  63. 63. Global Impact Summary Select country to zoom
  64. 64. in service of The Open University Flowmap changes according to country selected…
  65. 65. Impact Summary (USA) Node colour = sector Node border = polarity
  66. 66. in service of The Open University Positive Evidence Negative Evidence Uncategorized Evidence OER Evidence Map
  67. 67. OER Policy Map L R N I Local/Institutional policies Regional policies National policies International policies CC Open Policy Network POERUP SPARC
  68. 68. in service of The Open University OER Projects OER Project Map
  69. 69. in service of The Open University OER Impact Map
  70. 70. in service of The Open University OER Impact Map Combines other maps Supports filtering
  71. 71. Hypothesis Reporting
  72. 72. in service of The Open University Survey Data Explorer (prototype)
  73. 73. in service of The Open University Survey Data Explorer (prototype)
  74. 74. • Research into open education and strategies for building worldwide open education research capacity • Available for research & consultancy (short & long term) • Current projects include: Open Education Research Hub
  75. 75.
  76. 76. <Title>
  77. 77. The Opening Educational Practices in Scotland project aims to facilitate best practice in open education in Scotland. • the development of a peer support network • an online hub and awareness raising activities
  78. 78.
  79. 79.
  80. 80. Thanks for listening! @philosopher1978