Open Educational Resources + Social Software


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Presentation from the CNIE conference at Banff, April 2008. Overviews Open educational Resources and (briefly) the role of social software in expanding use, and produser construction

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Open Educational Resources + Social Software

  1. 1. Open Educational Resources Plus Social Software: Threat or Opportunity for Distance Education Programming? Terry Anderson, Ph.D. Canada Research Chair in Distance Education [email_address]
  2. 2. Vision + Affordance <ul><li>“ At the heart of the open educational resources movement is the simple and powerful idea that; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the world’s knowledge is a public good in general </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the World Wide Web in particular provides an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse that knowledge.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hewlett Foundation Smith, & Casserly. The promise of open educational resources. Change 38(5): 8–17, 2006 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. OER Defined: <ul><li>“ open provision of educational resources enabled by information and communication technologies, for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non-commercial purposes. Includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UNESCO 2008 . </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Types of OERs <ul><li>Learning objects, units, textbooks, scholarly articles IRRODL.ORG </li></ul><ul><li>Courses, programs full curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Tools, FOSS, </li></ul>
  5. 5. Issues of Granularity <ul><li>OER comes in many sizes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diagrams, photos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Articles (Open access publications) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Games, simulations, activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Units of learning (IMS LD) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Units and courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Programs </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. OER’s are Open (Mostly) <ul><li>Meaning they can be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Augmented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Edited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggregated and Mashups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reformatted </li></ul></ul>See Scott Leslie’s 10 minute video at
  7. 7. 4 R’s of Functionality of OERs <ul><li>Reuse - Use the work just exactly as you found it. </li></ul><ul><li>Rework - Alter or transform the work so that it better meets your needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Remix - Combine the (verbatim or altered) work with other works to better meet your needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Redistribute - Share the verbatim work, the reworked work, or the remixed work with others. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dave Wiley </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. OER as Motivator <ul><li> Goal of developing together a universal educational resource available for the whole of humanity… hope that this open resource for the future mobilizes the whole of the worldwide community of educators”. UNESCO 2002 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Hundreds of thousands of OER available today
  10. 10. Rationale for Open University’s Development of Open Learn <ul><li>Opportunity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The risk of doing nothing when technology and globalization issues need to be addressed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A testbed for new technology and new ways of working </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>way to work with external funders who share similar aims and ideals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A chance to learn how to draw on the world as a resource. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brand Promotion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A route for outreach beyond our student body </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstration of the quality of Open University materials in new regions. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Ownership and Licensing <ul><li>Familiar problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who owns resource - educators or the institution? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inflated expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OER’s are not journal articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Articles are not “reworked” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is attribution critical? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What defines commercial exploitation? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 4 Ownership Models <ul><li>Institutional ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Default under most ‘work for hire’ law </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shared institutional and Academic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often unworkable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tragedy of the anti-commons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individual (academic ownership) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rights of succession? Multiple authors? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Produsage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assume that each producer does not enforce their rights, all can treat product as a private good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(copyleft, public domain) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Funding Models (from Downes , 2007 ) <ul><li>Endowment model (Hewlett Foundation) </li></ul><ul><li>Membership Model - Merlot </li></ul><ul><li>Donation - Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Producer contribution - Publishers dream! </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsorship - Itunes University </li></ul><ul><li>Government funding </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Creative Commons License ‘Some Rights Reserved’ <ul><li>Attribution? </li></ul><ul><li>Derivatives? </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Use? </li></ul>Get Creative Flash Intro
  15. 15. Major Problems with OER <ul><li>Little take up by conventional teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Too little reward and recognition for authors </li></ul><ul><li>Too few learners actually engage with the content </li></ul><ul><li>Business case </li></ul><ul><li>Too few teachers remix and repost content </li></ul>Solution?? Vibrant communities of Produsers??
  16. 16. Open Learn Example <ul><li>402 educational units </li></ul>402 units
  17. 18. Social Software <ul><li>Tools that allow users to get to know each other, produce artifacts, share information and generate knowledge together. </li></ul>Learners Teachers Social Software OER
  18. 19. The Political Economy of Peer Production Michael Bauwens <ul><li>“ produce use-value through the free cooperation of producers who have access to distributed capital </li></ul><ul><li>a 'third mode of production' different from for-profit or public production by state-owned enterprises. </li></ul><ul><li>Its product is not exchange value for a market, but use-value for a community of users. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Prod-Users - From production to produsage - Axel Bruns 2008 <ul><li>Users become active participants in the production of artifacts: </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open source movement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizen journalism (blogs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immersive worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distributed creativity - music, video, Flickr </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Produsage Principles <ul><li>Community-Based –the community as a whole can contribute more than a closed team of producers. </li></ul><ul><li>Fluid Heterarcy – produsers participate as is appropriate to their personal skills, interests, and knowledge, and may form loose sub-groups to focus on specific issues, topics, or problems </li></ul><ul><li>Unfinished Artifacts –projects are continually under development, and therefore always unfinished; their development follows evolutionary, iterative, palimpsestic paths. </li></ul><ul><li>Common Property, Individual Rewards – contributors permit (non-commercial) community use, adaptation, and further development of their intellectual property, and are rewarded by the status capital they gain through this process </li></ul>
  21. 22. Over to you <ul><li>Do you use OER products in your teaching programs? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you created an OER product and provided it for use by others? </li></ul><ul><li>Why don’t your colleagues use OER resources at your school? </li></ul><ul><li>Will students use OER and avoid using your programs? </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Commonwealth of Learning this summer and will be called - Education For A Digital World: Advice, Guidelines And Effective Practice From Around The Globe. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Will Educators and Learners Produse? <ul><li>Social software affords, but “build it and they shall come” rarely works </li></ul><ul><li>Is recognition by peers enough reward for educators? </li></ul><ul><li>Will students use OERs with accreditation? </li></ul>
  24. 25. Further Exploration <ul><li>A Rice University Connexions Moodle course on OER at </li></ul>
  25. 26. Cider example <ul><li>Workspace, discussion forums, RSS alerts, research spaces, Ciderpedia </li></ul><ul><li>Over 1,000 members, but all resources lack critical mass </li></ul>
  26. 27. Over to you <ul><li>Have you used or contributed to an OER? </li></ul><ul><li>Will social software use provide the incentive for use and contribution to OERs </li></ul>