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Collaborative Remixing and Reuse of Open Educational Resources - CHI 2013 Paper Presentation

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Presentation given at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems ( CHI ) 2013 conference: http://chi2013.acm.org/

Building Open Bridges: Collaborative Remixing and Reuse of Open Educational Resources across organisations

Tim Coughlan (University of Nottingham, UK)
Rebecca Pitt & Patrick McAndrew (The Open University, UK)

Paper available from: http://oro.open.ac.uk/36473/

Published in: Education, Technology
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Collaborative Remixing and Reuse of Open Educational Resources - CHI 2013 Paper Presentation

  1. 1. Building Open BridgesCollaborative Remixing and Reuse of OpenEducational Resources across OrganisationsTim CoughlanHorizon Digital Economy ResearchUniversity of Nottingham, UKtim.coughlan@nottingham.ac.uk@t1mcRebecca Pitt & Patrick McAndrewInstitute of Educational TechnologyThe Open University, UKpatrick.mcandrew@open.ac.uk, r.e.pitt@open.ac.uk@BeckPitt , @openpad
  2. 2. Overview• Open Educational Resources (OER)• What practices emerge in using OER across educationalorganisations?• The Bridge to Success Initiative– Motivations and Benefits– Observed Practices• Discussion Points– Perceptions of Open Collaboration– Issues Raised
  3. 3. Open Educational ResourcesOpen Educational Resources are teaching,learning or research materials that are in thepublic domain or released with an intellectualproperty license that allows for free use,adaptation, and distribution(UNESCO)
  4. 4. • Demand for education rapidly increasing worldwide• Costs rising in many countries• Lifelong learning expected• So OER has the potential for huge impact– Lowering costs– Establishing or raising standards(Atkins et al. 2007)Open Educational Resources
  5. 5. • Online courses, multimedia, interactivedemonstrations, e-textbooks, lecture videos• Large-scale sharing of materials– MIT Open CourseWare since 2002– Open University OpenLearn– Apple iTunesUOpen Educational Resources
  6. 6. Open Educational Practices• The use of OER is poorly understood or supportedbeyond simple sharing.• Practices need to be developed to fulfil potential.(Conole, 2011)• Reuse is too often conceived as construction withOER as Lego bricks.• Openness should support more fine-grainedmodification and creativity - remixing content tobe appropriate for particular audiences.(Wiley, 2009)
  7. 7. A Case Study: Bridge to Success
  8. 8. Bridge to Success• Aim: Improve support fortransition to, and completionof US college education• Proven introductory onlinecourses for higher educationin the UK are shared as OER• Remixed for a US audience• Encourage and support reuse
  9. 9. Organisations Involved• USA– Large College– Public University– Private Research University• UK– Original Authoring University• Others involved along the way
  10. 10. Understanding Bridge to Success• Research embedded into the initiative to:– Identify best practices– Evaluate the impact of the OER• Interviews with project team pre, mid and post remixing• Reviewed communications, documentation, meeting notes• Visits to organisations who are reusing the materials• Interviews and surveys with educators and learners
  11. 11. Motivations and Benefits
  12. 12. Common Issues Faced• Shared issues faced as educators across cultures• Math(s) is key in college completion and advanced study. Butstudents in all countries struggle to reach competency“something that is independent of any particular cultureis…human behaviour and human attitudes towards mathematics”“There are similarities between the situation in the US and theUK, in that we’ve got a lot of people who are frightened ofmaths, think they can’t do it…but the approach to teaching mathsin the two countries is quite different”
  13. 13. Empowerment• Ability to develop and use resources to fit, without largeinitial buy-in from the organisation• OER as a mechanism for provoking changes to practicewithin the organisation“We were teaching from textbooks, we don’t have our ownmaterials”… (until now)“I’m really hoping that it does change some policy”
  14. 14. Learning from Each Other• Through remixing and reuse– Adapted course development from across the organisations– Opening up of internal systems and training each other“the whole philosophy for Open is that you can share solutions, you can share strategies,and I am seeing that happen”“initially we were so intent on just making sure that we had a solution… But we’ve learntso much along the way that…has really made this a very rich, rewarding experience”• Serendipitously“I’ve spoken to two teachers today, who have blind students in theirclassrooms…studying science. Now that is key to a project that I’m working on”
  15. 15. Remixing the OER
  16. 16. Courses and Effort1 Content Expert (US)1 Editor (US)UK-based ProductionTeam10+ Content Experts2 EditorsUS / UK ProductionTeam3 Months 9 Months
  17. 17. Envisaging the Audience• Extensive work to identify and elaborate on the envisaged audience.• Do not expect a tutor to be available, it is a bonus if they are.• Maintaining consistency is essential, so changes create overheads.the “important angle… (to view the process from) …is as the student who isseeing it for the first time, and that is critical in maintaining the instructionalintegrity,…consistency both in tone and in the actual instructional processes”“you know the fact that it’s difficult to ‘get’ maths online, and you know…(creating the right materials) takes time to do”
  18. 18. Collaboration in Remixing• Individuals had difficulty in distinguishing culturaldifference from other’s beliefs in best practice• Team decision making approaches emerge“It was a right, if two people object, their names are on thisproject… it’s not going to be suitable”
  19. 19. Changes Made in Remixing
  20. 20. Changes Made in Remixing
  21. 21. Changes in Size and Unit StructureBefore:54,000 wordsAfter:45,000 words- 9,000
  22. 22. Changes in Size and Unit StructureBefore:82,000 wordsAfter:92,000 words+ 10,000
  23. 23. Changes in Size and Unit StructureBefore:82,000 wordsAfter:92,000 words+ 20,000
  24. 24. Adaptive Remixing• Efficiently make the resource suitable to theenvisaged audience• Judgments made as to whether contextualdifferences were problematic• If in doubt about content, just remove it
  25. 25. Creative Remixing• Taking existing work and building on it• Creating and integrating multimedia & interactivecontent• More time consuming than expected• Concerns for ‘exuberance’ in integrating externalresources – potentially detrimental to quality andout of the team’s control.
  26. 26. Reusing the OER
  27. 27. Reuse• 16+ US-based organisations have used the materialsin less than a year– Colleges– Distance learning organisations– Charity initiatives for the long-term unemployed and ‘atrisk’ parents drop-in centre• 8000+ unique visitors• 1100+ registered users• Evidence of positive impact across contexts
  28. 28. Contextualisation• Organisations found diverse ways to utilise the OERin their context– Provide to newly enrolled students to fill the gap beforethe begin classes– Identify struggling students through data and present thisas an alternative approach to improve skills• Support needed for sharing these innovativepractices and evaluating success
  29. 29. Wrapping• Not changing the resource itself• Educators often combine various resources in teaching• Different styles of use and support needs• Success where combined with initiatives for improving accessand skills with technology• Support needed for individual ‘wrapping’ of parts of OER withdirections for learners
  30. 30. Discussion Points
  31. 31. Expectations of Open Collaboration• Numerous individuals• Voluntary effort• Largely independent work• Spontaneous actions(e.g.Yamauchi et al. 2000)
  32. 32. Openness Evolving
  33. 33. Evolution of Open Collaboration• Around 45% of those involved in Open Sourcesoftware projects are paid by companies to be(Crowston et al. 2012)• Open Hardware projects are generally undertaken bysmall groups, and well planned in advance, because ofthe nature of the product(Mellis and Buechley, 2012)
  34. 34. So…• Openness is increasingly intertwined with otherorganisational models and practices• Open collaboration varies from our originalexpectations across domains and cultures
  35. 35. OpennessAcross Organisations• Openness legitimises new ways of working in and acrosseducational organisations• New practices of taking ownership emerge– Individuals and organisations put their name on it– OER becomes ‘our’ resource as individuals work on it– OER can empower: Changing a lot with little cost• Maintaining some control in the open– Consistency and continuity of materials seen as essentialin remixing– Use of external resources and large or loose collaborationsseen as problematic
  36. 36. Tensions in Conceptions of theAudience• Collaborative remixing involved developing a strong,shared perception of the intended audience• But openness leads to valuable reuse emerging incircumstances distinct from these originalexpectations.• Contextualisation and wrapping occur in response,but systems and practices are immature.
  37. 37. Open Collaboration…but not as we know it• OER is an example of the evolving nature ofpractices around openness– In domains with different cultures and outcomes– As it interacts with organisational processes and demands• Creative and adaptive remixing, contextualisationand wrapping require further support– Balancing ownership and control with openness– Maintaining continuity and consistency– Varied use contexts lead to creativity in reuse
  38. 38. Thanks!The Bridge to Success initiative was funded by Educause. Further researchwas supported by RCUK, via Horizon Digital Economy ResearchTim CoughlanHorizon Digital Economy ResearchUniversity of Nottingham, UKtim.coughlan@nottingham.ac.uk@t1mcRebecca Pitt & Patrick McAndrewInstitute of Educational TechnologyThe Open University, UKpatrick.mcandrew@open.ac.uk, r.e.pitt@open.ac.uk@BeckPitt , @openpadCreative Commons images courtesy of bdesham and mag3737

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