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Trends in OER

The status and future possibilities

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MITE Team
13 February 2009

Thoughts about how the field has developed to date, what the status of OER is today, and where might it go in the near future.

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Patrick McAndrew
12:43am 4 March 2009


Christine Ngugi, James Woolliscroft and Rachel Wise join Vic Vuchic (David Goddy should be there as well but plane delayed).

Patrick McAndrew
1:02am 4 March 2009


James Woolliscroft first: describing move from sage on the stage and way OER can help change attitudes. Open approach such as feeding lectures out through iTunes suits current students.

Patrick McAndrew
1:03am 4 March 2009


Catherine Ngugi – OER principles very suited to challenges of Africa. However most OER initiatives are based in developed world, instead need to value the creative power of those in Africa.  While this does not mean that the existing resources should not be used – must move to opportunities for knowledge creation through producing. This will need alignment with strategic needs. OER movement offers a catalyst for change – power of sharing knowledge in all forms and all levels. Share experiences, challenges and solutions through community of practice.

Patrick McAndrew
1:03am 4 March 2009


Rachel Wise – a member of the NROC community. Looking at scope for educational reform for school system (K-12). Aim is greater success in students completing high school. Students needing “credit recovery” can use the post school resources from NROC. This led to a “tipping point” as OER tools and content then gave a foundation for a transformation of approach.

Patrick McAndrew
1:11am 4 March 2009


Q what got you started? RW: NROC and cash limitations. CN: chance to gain skills and improve curriculum. JW: Hope that in future faculty will be able to help learners in the context in which they are learning (especially for medicine).

Patrick McAndrew
1:16am 4 March 2009


Q What are the challenges to going open: JW: IP issues. How to stay current? How to have sustainable funding model? Fundamental change to what it means to be a professor – it means becoming a coach or assessor. Dan Atkins added – there is also variation across faculty with some seeing it as competition.

Patrick McAndrew
1:17am 4 March 2009


Q Have you considered assessment with OER rather than in curriculum. A (JW): OER one building block in transforming medical education. Assessment is another brick in doing this.

Patrick McAndrew
1:17am 4 March 2009


Q Are issues the same in Africa. A (CN) Same sensitivities, which are tackled through awareness workshops. Key question is what is in it for me – turned around to “what will you do with your content otherwise?” and look for working together to fill gaps.

Patrick McAndrew
1:17am 4 March 2009


Q NROC alignment to assessment – has this led to teachers as curriculum developers? A – NROC allows exploiting at learning object level. Means can help align various things including assessment. Need to break 8 year cycle around text books too limiting – need more fluid process for changing times.

Patrick McAndrew
1:20am 4 March 2009


Q: What are particular challenges for collaboration in African context? What helps? NC – Helps to work with existing structures. Challenge to balance established universities with just established (e.g Sudan Open University) working in difficult circumstance. Mixed languages but need expensive get togethers to form collaborative groups.

Patrick McAndrew
1:24am 4 March 2009


Q: What should Northern organisations do to form equal collaborations with South? CN – Important question to ensure that addressing real need rather than imagined need. Ask institutions what needed right from beginning.

Patrick McAndrew
1:27am 4 March 2009


Q: Has OER helped K-12 districts and states collaborate? RW – yes has helped groups collaborate with biggest change chance to address transition from secondary to post-secondary.

Patrick McAndrew
1:35am 4 March 2009


Q: Will new teachers have an awareness of how to exploit OER. Will there be requirement in the future  to spend 20% of time contributing back to the commons? NC – need to recognize and reward this time first. JW – where there is death there is hope! May need to wait for generational change. RW – resources to support change were starting to happen. New teachers need to realize that everything won’t be handed to them.

Patrick McAndrew
1:41am 4 March 2009


Q PBS base has been looking at media and though key issue was rights. But is it that value in OER is about process and change? RW – rights is an issue, but right that process is key.

Patrick McAndrew
1:43am 4 March 2009


Q: Any attempt to monitor and evaluate these initiatives to see impact? Is there research as part and parcel of OER? JW – must not be seduced by technology and newness. Must look at different things – but problem is that students are creative and so cannot do control trials. Anecdotally the vodcast is key – drift off during lecture but watch podcasts at 1-2x speed with attention. Not rigorous but over and over relayed. JW – not as rigorous as like but students in credit recovery are being successful. Used interviews to review dropouts (common factor lack of relationship with teachers). Social networking important to address. CN – too soon for impact analysis but research is built in from the start in looking at needs in Africa and assessing opportunities and concepts.

Patrick McAndrew
1:45am 4 March 2009


Q: Have funded OUUK and CMU for OLnet – more tomorrow.

Patrick McAndrew
2:03am 4 March 2009


Q: Education is more than a bag of books. OCW has become OER – do we need access to more than content, labs, people, resources beyond the written (e.g. wold wide telescope). CN – limited bandwidth restricts this. Need to avoid only working for future. Most powerful at the moment is the written, printed resource. RW – yes. Learning objects that are easy to find and easy to embed are needed. Use a repository to bring resources together.

Patrick McAndrew
2:03am 4 March 2009


Q: Relationships are changing (learner-learner, learner-teacher) with social media. Is the evidence that there are changes emerging in the field? JW – learning in context e.g. a team in medicine means move from link just to content.

Patrick McAndrew
2:07am 4 March 2009


Q: Do we need to offer support for students who use OER in high school? JW – the changing learner is a challenge for secondary – will soon be in post-secondary. Challenge is that some students have resources now in home environment and need to deal with that. Q: what about familiarity comfort crossing over to use same OER? JW – not yet there for most. GL - Some data now coming in through NROC and OCW-MIT.

Patrick McAndrew
2:07am 4 March 2009


Q: Economic problems will change education – are there opportunities and challenges for your work? CN – global recession hits everybody. But greater opportunity for OER than before. Free! And other costly alternatives may stop being  available? JW – “Too wonderful opportunity to waste” (Barack Obama aide) but may lead to retrenchment. Ubiquity v proprietary. JW – resources limited mean avoid large ticket items. Includes text book adoption and staff development. Want to reduce impact on learner. Instead opportunity to reevaluate professional development and resource adoption. CN – governments are source of funding in Africa – will change. E.g. other universities will use open university resources whether technically OER or not.

Gráinne Conole
10:46pm 4 March 2009


Thanks for the link - I found Catherine's talk yesteday really inspiring.

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