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Explorations of five kinds of openness in an online course

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Doug Clow
14 June 2011

Paper at CALRG 11 by James Aczel, Simon Cross, Doug Clow, Patrick McAndrew, Pascale Hardy, Andreas Meiszner

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Liveblog notes:

James starts.

Many recent developments in open learning - vibrant ecosystem of open learning: does that happen, and are these sustainable?

Background of many open educational courses, and services - quote from David Wiley.

Theoretical background: Andreas Meiszner PhD framework - OER are one element of Open Education, embed within an overall Open Educational Service - largely independent of institutions, self-organised, flexible roles. Open participation, open outputs. Artefacts and captured learning enable others to re-experience them later.

OpenED 2.0 project - EU Lifelong Learning Programme. Based on Joomla.

Created an open course - OER-based, Web 2.0, open participation:

Focus on Business and Management Competencies in Web 2.0 World - based on OU's H809 and EEDE materials. Facilitation infrastructure - chat, facilitators - see if can be provided within community or by third-party tuition. Private virtual tuition. Face-to-face teaching of classes in Tanzania.

RQs around how it develops, the learning, cross-cultural issues, sustainability.

Over to Simon:

Comprehensive data capture strategy combining several methodologies. Site forums, website visits, IRC chat sessions, learning reflection forms. PLus interviews, surveys, learning design analysis.

Multi-national context raises interesting issues for indicators and measures - translaiton conversations with Greek assessors of quality in student learning. UK more emphasis on feedback; Greek more on emphasis on participation by learners.

Numbers - 490 registrations, 7 facilitators, 111 activities uploaded (part of the assignments).

A lot of interest from Africa, partly due to impact of publicity. Much interest there, but shrinks substantially by weight of accessing the site.

Contrasting experience of participants. Learner reflection forms really useful for this; also end of course survey. One theme - online group interaction valued.

Also issue around sustaining study. Low threshold to drop in, or to drop out. Fall off over time of intensity of engagement.

Interesting questions about role of the tutors. Also tensions in the design process.

Jon: You do have definite times - the course runs on a definite schedule - OU sense of presentation

James: People can study this at any time. But quite a lot of activities are group activities so hard to do if noone else around. Mostly activity-based. Have pre-defined periods of time so learner knows there'll be other learners and a facilitator, might encourage you to submit. Good question! Have best of both worlds. Will community carry on with these after the funding ceases? Less clear.

James: We have self-certification. The system knows you've submitted something, but not what's there, but will print off a certificate to say you've submitted it. UNU-MERIT have their logo attached to it. Hope could be more formally assessed - we have criteria around them. Will see what happens.

Simon: Peer assessment. None in first round. 3 of 66 were peer-assessed, was 'this looks great'. But from survey, 7 of 13 agreed with 'Do you feel you have had sufficient support and feedback from the assignment'. So are getting it, but not happening in what we label/assign for peer assessment.

James: The quality varies, from a page which looked like Wikipedia to something quite sophisticated and rich and clearly original.

Doug Clow
13:22 on 14 June 2011

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