OER: Why they matter

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A presentation by Paul Maharg from April 2010 UKCLE York OER event. The presentation covers OERs and why they're important, case studies, examples and the UKCLE's OER platform: Simshare.

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OER: Why they matter

  1. 1. open educational resources (OER): why they matter karen barton patriciaPaul Maharg mckellar Glasgow Graduate School of Law paul maharg
  2. 2. preview… 1. OER – what are they? 2. Who develops them? 3. Why? 4. Problems to be overcome 5. simSHARE 6. Transformation of HE?
  3. 3. OER – what are they? 1. Learning content - full courses, course materials, content modules, learning objects, collections and journals 2. Tools - software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content including searching and organisation of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools and online learning communities. 3. Implementation resources - intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design principles and localisation of content.
  4. 4. other Open initiatives… • UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries (2002) • SSRN – Social Science Research Networks • Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (DASH) • Wikipedia • SourceForge • Open-source software, eg OpenOffice • Mozilla Foundation (Firefox, etc) • Open primary resources in law, eg AUSTLII, BAILII
  5. 5. Cape Town Open Education Declaration
  6. 6. 3 types of OER… • Institutional OpenCourseWare initiatives: eg MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Open University, etc • Disciplinary initiatives: eg HumBox, or disciplinary repositories • Pedagogic initiatives (simSHARE) • There are hundreds of examples of each category
  7. 7. institutional OER: Open University
  8. 8. disciplinary OER: HumBox Project
  9. 9. MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) Initiative • 2000: OpenCourseWare initiated • Goal: to make all primary course resources accessible on the web • 2002: launched 50-course pilot • 2009: 1,900 courses available free online
  10. 10. Extent of MIT OCW? • 86.8 M visits to OCW content as of Oct 09 • 791 courses translated and on 220 mirror sites globally • OCW materials are being widely distributed offline and through secondary channels. • 10 M course zip files have been downloaded off the site since July 2006, equivalent to 5,100 copies of the entire site • 3.7 M OCW video and audio files have been downloaded through iTunes U 2009 Program Evaluation Findings Summary http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/global/09_Eval_Summary.pdf
  11. 11. MIT audience for OCW?
  12. 12. How are the resources used?
  13. 13. under licence?
  14. 14. what do educators use it for? • 17% of educators coming to the site have reused content and 32% expect to do so in the future • 47% combine OCW materials with other content • 30% adapt course syllabi • 30% adapt assignments or exams 2009 Program Evaluation Findings Summary http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/global/09_Eval_Summary.pdf
  15. 15. why create OER? • Lowers the costs of educational materials for students • Fosters pedagogical innovation and relevance that avoids ‘teaching from the textbook’ • Gives faculty tools to gain control over learning content and delivery. • Share and remix learning materials for customized and localized use • Fast feedback loop on quality and relevance of learning materials => continual improvement and rapid development http://edtechpost.wikispaces.com/OER+Benefits
  16. 16. why create OER? • Philanthropic: Sharing and providing education to people all over the world, with special attention to those in third-world countries or without access to high- quality local education. • Strategic: Adapting educational practices to the changing world culture may increase viability of educational institutions. (Additional motivations exist here as well, but are perhaps more subtle or less overarching). • Pedagogic: The act of sharing may increase attention to quality; the act of adapting or remixing may increase quality; the utilization of new technologies may enhance educational engagement amongst learners. • Economic: Cost-savings to the institution by digitally archiving their own materials, and then sharing and reusing within the institution and amongst peers. http://mfeldstein.com/itoe-motivations-for-open-education/
  17. 17. why do OERs fail? OER Creators OER Community 1. Hubris 1.No community 2. Poor quality product 2.No embedded sense of a remix culture 3. No business plan 3.Other employment factors, eg 4. No sustainability plan management rules, block use of OER 5. Focus on product to detriment of 4.Community takes and doesn’t give community 6. A heroic leader (who gets promoted or fed up or too busy)
  18. 18. aims of the simSHARE project? • Collation of simulation resources which are repurposed as open educational content • Creation of guidelines for future publication of simulation projects • Help staff to use simulation more widely and effectively through staff development. • Create methodologies that will help staff to see more clearly how simulation OER can be interpreted and in particular how to: – Generate or re-purpose a simulation – Archive a simulation – Retrieve a simulation and analyse its component parts for educational value and purpose
  19. 19. project details • Funded in the by JISC & HEA through the subject centre – see http://www.jisc.ac.uk/oer for list of current projects • Core personnel: – Danielle Lysaght (Project Manager, UKCLE) – Julian Priddle, (Project Co-ordinator) – Sheila Skinner (Development Officer) – Gavin Maxwell (Web Developer) Academic advisors: Project partners: Karen Barton University of Glamorgan Karen Counsell University of Strathclyde Patricia McKellar University of Warwick Paul Maharg
  20. 20. my profile
  21. 21. future plans • Collation of as many interdisciplinary sims as we can get • We’re about to enter upload & then dissemination phases of project • simSHARE adds value to open-source SIMPLE, by disseminating SIMPLE blueprints as open resources • next step is to add further value to the Open sim environment by adding an open-source e-portfolio, eg Mahara.
  22. 22. 1. sustainability is not the main issue… 1. Simshare is not an organisation (Microsoft), it’s an ecosystem (Linux). 2. Like all Open ecosystems, it’s remarkably tolerant of failure 3. Cheap failure enables the creation of multiple possibilities 4. It best operates on a publish-then-filter model 5. This model requires very minimal infrastructure (Wikipedia vs Encarta)
  23. 23. … it’s the type of CoP we need … Re social capital, do we want – p.222 Thanx to Shirky, C. (2008) Here Comes Everybody, London, 1. Bonding capital? – Increase in trust & connections within a homogeneous group, eg a disciplinary group or even sub-group interested in sims – Relatively exclusive – People support each other’s worldviews 2. Bridging capital? – Increase in connections among heterogeneous groups, eg different disciplinary groups interested in sims – Relatively inclusive – Puts people at great risk of having good ideas…
  24. 24. … and how we go about achieving it. 1. Construe Simshare as ‘commons-based peer production’ (Benkler) 2. Bring together heterogeneous groups, ie use bridging capital 3. Build from the most local levels up, where there’s opportunity to host & bridge 4. Accept power law distribution of effort, sharing & use. 5. Reconceptualise OER not as harmonious sharing but as peer improvement and adaptation – sometimes with bittersweet results 6. Link research to practice; radicalise practice by using Simshare as a ZPD, a safe zone for experimentation

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