Day 1 - 4 Break out groups considering question 1 - What opportunities do OER offer for education from your perspective? Introduction by Gráinne - Video

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3 November 2010

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Please add your thoughts on this question here. We will post summary of the discussions from the breakouts in due course.

Gráinne Conole
10:55 on 8 November 2010

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Grainne's introduction to the purpose of the break-out sessions and question 1

Grainne's introduction to the purpose of the break-out sessions and question 1

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David Kernohan
11:34am 8 November 2010

I don't believe that education is a single process that can be defined or measured, and I don't think a model where a given intervention produces a given output is a useful model.

But those engaged in any form of education could use openly usable materials as:

  • spurs for discussion and debate (X says Y. do you agree? why?)
  • background material (X says Y because of Z, here's some more information about Z and how it affects Y)
  • alternate statements of core material information - reinforcement for revision or critical contradiction for deeper learning (X says Y because of Q, not Z?)
  • Core materials...

These, I realise, are more general statements of how learning material is used within education and I think that the current use of content within formal education is something that may need to be examined as a baseline to see what OER can add to the experience.

The obvious benefits to formal education are economic - both in terms of direct costs (OERs are free, textbooks and proprietary material costs ££) and - perhaps more tenuously - the indirect costs around time spend creating materials as against time spend sourcing and repurposing materials.

The first of these benefits is multiplied several times for informal learners (possibly the major beneficiaries of the OER movement).

And the benefits to systems or institutions of education are around marketing and recruitment, though here the "openness" of the materials is less important than their discovery... hence the growth of neo-OER like iTunesU.



Steven Verjans
12:14pm 8 November 2010 (Edited 12:21pm 8 November 2010)

Group 3: Opportunities

  • There is an enormous opportunity to screw up when you set up an OER initiative without considering the historic content and success criteria.
  • Context of OER is king, not the content (later corrected to: context is QUEEN, not content)
    • Reliability of resources (institutional, peer, ...)
    • Size of language group, culture of collaboration

Gráinne Conole
2:10pm 8 November 2010

Good points David - I think it is important that we not only identify the key benefits of OER across different learning contexts but also ensure that we communicate them clearly to relevant stakeholders - such as policy makers, institutional leaders, teachers and learners.

Gráinne Conole
2:10pm 8 November 2010

Agree totally Steven context is really really key

John Robertson
4:10pm 8 November 2010

To follow up breifly on David's comment - last week at OpenEd10, David Wiley gave a presentation on Concrete Pedagogical benefits of OER - which raised the question (as you're doing)-  what difference does open make? though he gave one example it mostly was an attempt to get thinking around this started; slide 8 in particular framed the question  - . The example present in a Utah high school was that Open meant that students could get their own copy of a book provided and annotate it rather than using one the school had to keep 'pristine' for 7 yrs. there was some debate as to whether this was intrinsic to open or to the cost - one conclusion in our discussion group was that to do cost at scale you almost need 'open'.

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