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OCWC Global 2011: Evaluating the Open Michigan initiative

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Patrick McAndrew
6 May 2011

An evaluation of the impact of the open work at Michigan. Evaluation started in 2010 drawing on models of evaluatin at: Tufts OpenCourseWare, Free to Learn, MIT OpenCourseWare, Oford's Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning.

Looking at whether the measures meet the vision of Open.Michigan + goals http://tiny.url/openmichigan to produce measurable activities and evaluation objectives. Increased use of analytics but actually also move platforms so need to be careful to gather all data. Now using OERbit platform that helps draw things together. Analytics can show breakdown but need surveys to understand in greater detail.

Main area of activity is health - with fairly broad involvement across university but not at all levels. Even so 40% of faculty & 75% of students had not heard of OCW. Survey went to the whole university - though low response from non-faculty staff. 

Results: sharing is happening. Syllabus tends to be downloaded more and more. Adapting is lower than view/download (but data actually shows reasonable percentage - up to 20% for some categories). 

Emerging themes:

  • Communication/awareness
  • Copyright clarification
  • Define terms (avoid OER!)
  • Why and how to use/create
  • How to improve OER
  • Cultural shifts

Aim to now develop a comprehensive communication plan across the universit - with some more formality to reach the leadership.

Resources are online including questions - http://tiny.url/omevaluation - intend to add an OERbit module that will help people understand what is happening to the content.


  • Intend to investigate further through focus groups what is happening in "Adaptation"
  • Some parts of survey for everyone - other bits for those who were engaged
  • Difficulty of defining terms - need greater awareness

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