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Issues of Quality in OER (K-12 Focus)

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Kathy Nicholson
2 April 2010

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Richard Rowe
5:59pm 5 April 2010


This is a key issue that deserves exploration.  There are multiple challenges in k-12:

1) Definition of Quality.  Who defines "quality"?   It is tempting to define quality from a pedagogical framework.  "Constructivism" is a common such framework.  However governments, usually their Ministries of Education have their own definition of quality which may be quite different. 

2) Measuring Quality.  One can never measure "quality" directly; we use proxies that can be used as approximates of what we are interested in.  Typically the "achievment examination" becomes the proxy even though it is recognized as an incomplete and often misleading indicator.  

3) Transitioning.  How does one persuade those who control the setting of quality k-12 standards to move from the typically narrow measures of quality (reading and arithematic) to a more comprehensive system of assessment?   In Massachusetts, the MCAS stands for "Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System."  In fact, it is anything but that, focusing on traditional measures of literacy and numeracy. 

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