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SAT: Implementing an open educational system in a corporate setting - Opportunities and challenges (Michelle Bourgein)

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Dr Simon Ball
2 February 2014

Open education is considered to have the potential to provide educational opportunities to all (OECD, 2011, Yuan, 2008) but just making education open is not enough to ensure this potential is reached. (COL, 2011) Assessing the factors involved with implementing, managing and supporting such a system need to be considered to ensure quality and support teaching and learning (Murphy, 2012).
The advantages and challenges of freely sharing open educational content with in the higher educational sector has been widely discussed (OECD, 2011;, COL, 2011). However, these discussions have not satisfactorily looked at the incentives for corporate organisations to share their educational content with a wider audience nor have they looked at the issues associated with implementing a system to allow open and free access within a corporate setting.
This study focusses on identifying the benefits for an organization to share its educational offerings and considers the questions that need to be answered to ensure the successful implementation of a sustainable open learning system.
This project will look at the need for organisations to consider topics such as copyright, intellectual property rights and open access licences. It will also examine how the extended learner profile will need to be understood if learner satisfaction and retention is to be maximised (Folinsbee, 2008).
Data for the project will be collected from the following sources:
• Published research such as The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) (OECD, 2011) report called Giving Knowledge for Free and Guidelines developed by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) (COL, 2011). In addition, the project will make use of any company paid subscriptions to source information (e.g. Bersin reports)
• Results from a questionnaire will be used to assess interest and experience with open learning within an organization not currently delivering open education. Results will help gauge awareness of topics such as copyright issues and data protection etc. Discussions will be held with key personnel from different departments (HR, finance, marketing etc.) to identify potential issues of implementing an open learning system.
• Discussions will be held with other corporate organisations that have implemented open learning initiatives. This could be via online social networks or email or face to face meetings.
The project expects to find that corporate and educational sectors share many common incentives and challenges when implementing an open educational system but equally face a number of different issues relating to their own specific environments.
The project aims to deliver two main outputs intended for use by decision makers within corporate organisations:
1. a multimedia presentation intended to raise awareness and understanding of open education
2. guidelines to introduce, manage and support an open education system
Keywords: Open education, free access, shared educational content, customer education, implementation and open educational practice

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Avril sweeney
10:32pm 11 February 2014

Hi Michelle, your abstract is interesting.  I am interested to learn more. I have added your session as a favourite. Avril

Michelle Bourgein
1:45pm 13 February 2014

Thanks Avril, I think you and I are a couple of sessions apart on the Saturday so I will be there for your presentation too as I am looking forward to hearing about your presentation also.

Nicola Morris
9:58pm 14 February 2014

Your 2 talks look complimentary. Hoep yous goes well

Dr Simon Ball
7:41pm 15 February 2014

Following the live presentations, we asked each speaker to respond to questions posed by audience members. In the short time available, it was not possible to put all of the questions submitted to the speaker for a response. We asked all speakers if they would respond to the unanswered questions here on Cloudworks. Here are all of the questions asked during the session:

  • When working in private companies, how do you think the matter of intelletual property
    might inhibit openness?

  • does it depend on what material is shared

  • Even when there is an intranet system the teachers are wary to share lesson plans with unknown others. Our intranet system in Scotland has had varied success in ths area.

  • Do you think incentives are needed to encourage the business sector to participate?

  • Is part of the problem that copyright law is a bit confused in itself?

  • Did you idnetify any sorts of content that outside organisations, the community might be interested in?

  • do you think corporate environments are closed or open to OER adoption if so any particular reason why you think this? (regulations, compliance etc)

  • might this be good for work experience?
  • Sharing resources might attract attention to a commercial product. That might be a motivator.
  • Corporates may be averse to giving their competition any perceived advantage or assistance?

Clem WIlkinson
7:32am 18 February 2014

 Corporates may be averse to giving their competition any perceived advantage or assistance?

I believe there is a need for a lot of organisations to re-asses the content they possess and to give greater appreciation to the value of the context in which they use it.  "A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights" (Garvin 1993).  Those, and "Emotionally Intelligent Organisations" (Hind 2008) are something I appreciate and work towards.

Having being introduced to Creative Commons licences as part of MAODE I am now studying a (non-accredited) module on Copyright law with Harvard Law School. Over the first month I have found it to be both very interesting and informative; and it does appear that "copyright law is a bit confused in itself". More info at CopyrightX

Garvin D A (1993) Building a learning organization. Harvard Business Review, 71(4) EBSCOhost

Hind A (2008) From a talk given at the AAIA (Assessment and Improvement Association) conference. Newcastle (2007) In S. Clarke, Active Learning Through Formative Assessment. Hodder Murray.


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