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Panel: International OER Policy: Sharing Goals and Objectives Across Countries

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Kathy Nicholson
2 April 2010

Extra content

Draft planning notes  - cross border sessions

Wayne Mackintosh
22:19 on 2 April 2010

Melissa from OSI leading panel.

Abel Caine from UNESCO. They convened the group in 2002 that used the term OER first. Susan D'Antoni led this and it remains key part of their agenda. 192 members with aim to help least developed members in particular. Building a platform for their own content classically released as books. Will focus on Journalism educators where they know the material released  by UNESCO has been repurposed. Plan to put out spec for a Foss system soon.

Catherine Ngugi OER Africa working with HE across Africa. Key to success that not seen as a sideline activity must be pat and parcel of Education system. Must address institutional policies: promotion, copyright and remuniration. Look at whether current policies support direction or need adaptation. Identify curricicukum and content gaps - see write up on OER Africa site. Vision is for vibrant and sustainable African education system. OER is a route to contribute.

David Kernohan of JISC. Leading UKOER programme of 29 projects across institutional, individual and subject. Lots of things happening so did not promote single solution - very diverse HE system. Allowed to develop model, but must work towards sustainable approach of release with matched funding to assist. Brought Senior Management on board. Also focus on release of existing content which meant had to face third party issues. Did not specify metadata, format, promotion of material, business model, location (though must register in JorumOpen). Collecting findings through evaluation synthesis and production of infokit. Launch and end of first round conference on 23rd July.

Ben Janssen from OUNL netherlands goverment  launched WikiWys at end of 2008. Followed on from funding textbooks across all schools, more cost effective to invest in open textbooks. Aim to increase access, effectiveness but also raise skills of educator. WikiWys also collated other digital material to provide a national umbrella for resources. Need to build up profile and get known with initial school focus. Issue of quality addressed by peer review, adoption groups arranged by subject, and cross connect with existing plitforms and systems. Use open source technologies. Support existing communities with aim by end of year to attract 10000 users per week.

Wayne Mackintosh from OER Foundation aim to foster sustainable open education, through wikieducator and training in OER for all who want it. Oernz established in New Zealand modelled on open source movement need to receive more than give. Using wikieducator platform to provide free training with monthly training sessions and teacher designed projects. Tried release funding but money is not key.

Carolina Rossini Brazil OER with law background to work with Brazil government. Started with distance education but crossed over to OER. Brazil key adoptor of FOSS and Creative Commons. Green paper released to work out how to move from projects with open intent to those that are OER. Intend to also address the 70% of children with special needs who are not in school in Brazil.

Question is there any economic research.
Answer (Ben) looked onto existing models but not suitable. Two methodologies in use based on Open Access and transport infrastructure. Appraisal at 4-5m euro cost 10-14m benefit. This has not been challenged but is not provable. Should be able to find a collaborative answer to thus and other quality issues.
David also had looked at value of open access as a model. Argued that fir each pound spent on JISC sector gets 29 pounds benefit. But did not use direct economic argument - report called good intentions considered the different models but was not used. Instead draw on public good argument of release of publicly funded content. We are paying for this anyway.

Question: emphasis is on content. Is this really what is offered by OER or is it the pedagogical model? Eg BLOSSOMS has transfered approaches to teaching as well as the content!
Answer yes the "how to use" is at least as important especially once some content exists. Training teachers is a part of the initiatives in Brazil. (David) need to share pedagogy but also need to be able to change the pedagogy around content.

Patrick McAndrew
10:42 on 10 April 2010

Embedded Content


Wayne Mackintosh
10:21pm 2 April 2010

System does not allow me to add links :-(. Cloudwordks thinks I'm spam. Lets try this method

Wayne Mackintosh
10:23pm 2 April 2010 (Edited 10:27am 10 April 2010)

System wont allow me to add links -- thinks I;m posting spam :-(

Here are the draft notes for the cross border sessions -- add the relavant url prefix --


Gráinne Conole
3:31am 4 April 2010

Hi Wayne

sorry about the filter - have whitelisted you now so you should be fine.


9:16am 5 April 2010

Hi Wayne,

Just catching up with where you're up to. I'm surprised no one seems to have spoken to the yale guys about being a bit inclusive. (streaming and all that) "Real time" OE seems to be one of those things for which academia seems to have a blind spot. Anyhow, it's late. But might be worth asking the question.

Especially with all the (OE) resources.

Richard Rowe
6:06pm 5 April 2010

Let me try to address the topic of this cloud:  sharing goals and objectives across countries.   I can speak directly to the Open Learning Exchange (OLE) model. 

OLE is helping establish a global network of country-based OLE Centers, committed to Quality Universal Basic Education by 2015.  We bring the leaders of this network together via teleconference monthly and come together face to face annually to share our strategies, successes and failures. 

Last year we met in Kathmandu, Nepal,  This year (11-15 October) the OLE General Assembly will be in Kigali, Rwanda.  The theme this year is:  What Works? Exploring Scalable Approaches to Quality Universal Basic Education with Marginalized Children.  

OLE is eager to engage as many organizations as possible that are committed to participating in achieving the UN's Mellennium Goal #2.   You can reach us at info!


8:55am 6 April 2010

Thanks Richard,

Let me link to OLE 's team, so we know who's who. Also note the "technical architecture" doc. Pg 3. System architecture diagram. Question? Where is the (real time) Communications system diagram that overlays on this one?

Wayne will mention to you that I'm just trying to encourage a more inclusive approach in this "sharing of goals and objectives" between 'silos' ; monthly teleconferences between 'leaders',and an annual F2F being the old norm. Opening up the conferences = streaming, recording, repositoring and linking the workshops to an interactive space like this would be a welcome change.

Perhaps you'd like to talk to wayne about your secretariat(s) sharing some tools like these ones,  and wikieducator of course. I suppose you wouldn't like to use/add to Wayne's draft notes would you?

Richard Rowe
12:33pm 6 April 2010

I agree about opening up these kinds of events.  One of our challenges is that many of our OLE Centers have spotty Internet connections (Ghana, Rwanda, Nepal).  In time these will improve but for now it is a challenge.  

Also, my experience is that most of these people are quite busy and, despite the lure of having these discussions "available" they are rarely actually used asynchronously. 

Does anyone have a different experience? 

David Kernohan
8:59pm 7 April 2010

Hiya -

On topic - I find a (well-managed) twitter trend a great way of following events I am not at, and discovering events I wish I was at. Live streaming is always nice, though my preference is for recordings made available after the event as mp3s or what-have-you, so I can listen to them at my convenience and recommend them to others.

Off-topic - hello! I'm one of the speakers on this panel, and if anyone would like to read some more about UKOER, please have a look at . I look forward to meeting everyone, and if anyone is currently in terminal F of Philadelphia airport come and say hello!

7:58am 9 April 2010


During the conversations there, would you ask the guys at UKOU whatever happened to msg? This was a little widget that firstly would tell you who was reading this page, and see where they were (via google maps) then click for a chat, than click for a talk, then click for a conference. It didn't progress of course because it needed a number of unis working on it. They couldn't work on it because they didn't scope the project broadly enough and share resources.

If they had the communications tools, perhaps they might have had a chance. But that's the problem isn't it? Everyone is so busy spending money on airfares and hotels (and travel time) to attend events, which are rarely used to include the less fortunate, that we never get the chance to find better ways to share resources and achieve objectives. Catch 22 eh? (OK, I'm jealous:)

5:58pm 9 April 2010

Why do we have to have these debates about pedagogy VS. content;  platforms VS. content, platforms VS pedagogy?  In our work with earthquake science in the emergency education field, great science is necessary for great teaching.   Hands-on science inquiry methods (shake tables, popsicle structures) are based upon locally vetted science.  The best that OER can be is, in fact, integrated.  That's what makes it particularly special.

Patrick McAndrew
2:49am 10 April 2010 (Edited 10:23am 10 April 2010)

@fenton-jones I think the MSG software remains available for download and use via - it was removed from OpenLearn for a mix of reasons including: the model of use depended on need for synchronous communication about content and that happened rarely for the open material (main reason), plus it made the system feel slower to the user, and the developer moved on. The idea remains good and the code should be in a fairly good state too - other models for using open material or for discussion may well turn out to be more appropriate uses.

Giota Alevizou
9:12am 10 April 2010

@Fred. I like your idea about OER being integrated, esp. in the context of particular communities of practice. I added a link to the emergency education at the teachers' without borders website (links tab on the right hand side). Please feel free to add more, if you have something more, if you have something more specific.

3:58pm 12 April 2010

Thanks for the update on msg patrick and the notes on the conference, and to Giota's mention of OER's being in the context of COPs. I think the OU got the sync communications "model" right with msg. I do understand the slow down effect = the drain on OU's server. It certainly did. But I thunk that's only because the context it was put in was too small = around the open content (for one lone uni). I'm sure Little Alex saw its potential, before he moved on.

I see msg more for COP's like the one you've reported on here. You have to report because "they" don't use the tools to open the conversation, in real time, ever. OER is just 'content' to "them". To see the comms model more clearly, I thunk, you have to put msg in a global perspective, get a few NREN's to collaborate, and work though how it might support global COP's. After 5 years, it's about time "they" told the network engineers what "their" global groups want.

And the NREN's? The conversations at terena sound promising. I'm with fred (too). But can you tell me where I can find an org called learners without borders? Or is this place just for teachers?

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