THU: Sharing Ideas for OU Live Digital Teaching Materials We have the tools and ideas, how do we implement sharing? (Marshal B. Anderson)
Cloud created by:
Dr Simon Ball
5 February 2014
The Open University is making more and more use of OU Live as an important part of its blended learning approach to creating accessible and flexible courses. That puts it in the vanguard of synchronous learning system users world-wide and, like other institutions, it faces a journey into this new and exciting territory with a limited fund of expertise and research simply because it is all so new.
Associate lecturers (ALs) are the people who take the OU's materials and turn them into a practical learning experience for students. For many ALs this process had involved designing on-line tutorials delivered via OU Live since 2008 which means there is a growing fund of experience being built up at a speed which the institution simply can not absorb and process into formal professional development programmes. However, the existing network of forums, wikis and other shared digital spaces, whilst still in a state of some flux, affords the associate lecturer community the means with which to short-circuit that formal process. The question is; how can we make best use of this resource?
This presentation will draw on both published research and first-hand experiences to show some of the barriers to the informal collaborative development of digital learning materials by Open University tutors using OU Live. It will show an example of the meta-process involved when two good ideas connect and produce an outcome that benefits an exponentially larger group of tutors and students as well as giving rise to many new potential tools and materials. It will also identify the major barriers to this kind of co-operation.
The presentation addresses some of the challenges faced by associate lecturers, staff tutors and course teams when trying to get the most out of the huge pool of talent that associate lecturers represent. It looks at the extent to which technology is a problem and addresses the softer barriers which include ALs' levels of confidence in their own work, their comfort zones in terms of using materials created by other ALs rather than 'official' materials produced by a course team, the loss of ownership of materials they have created, their reluctance to mash-up materials and the problem of 'content-creep'.
These issues have been chosen because they are the ones that are most within the ALs purview to change. With each issue mitigated, ALs will benefit from the practical sharing of ideas which can lead to a substantial reduction in their workload by avoiding the huge duplication of effort materials development can entail, but more than this, the crowd-sourcing of innovation can improve the university's ability to recruit and retain students; more than ever, the core issue affecting everyone.
This is a post-conference version on Slideshare to fulfil part 4 of the EMA but also to let anyone using it as an excample get at it more convineintly than via OU Live.
18:27 on 28 February 2014