Category Archives: Education

OER13: reflections on Doug Belshaw’s keynote address

I should probably start with a disclaimer: I am a strong supporter of open practices, but I am not an activist. My reflections on Doug’s entertaining keynote should therefore be interpreted in that light.

Doug’s keynote at OER13 began with a discussion on types of ambiguity and trajectories. It’s not entirely clear why the audience would be keen to be exposed to this discussion, but it appears that the bottom line was that it is not possible to define “open” in a way that satisfies everybody and that OER belongs in the “creative ambiguity” area.

The focus then shifted to Open Badges (OB), including the rationale behind the Mozilla Foundation’s support of OB. We were taken through the ‘anatomy of a badge’. Not surprisingly, metadata was referred to several times. A badge, Doug argued, constitutes evidence, trusted credentials, somehow captured explicitly in the metadata associated with the badge. Badges, he said, prove things outside of your community: they are a form of recognition and a way of representing yourself and your facets. There’s more to one’s transcript than silo-based qualifications. Badges are explicit by nature and provide a means of ‘jailbreaking formal education systems’. They encourage learner sovereignty and allow non-traditional pathways, Doug argued.

The next part of the keynote focused on web literacy standards. The Mozilla Foundation aims to create a web-literate planet, a generation of ‘web makers’. For this purpose, Doug and others have been working towards a web literacy learning standard, built with the community: an open learning standard for web literacy. People should be able to ‘earn badges around the web’. The OB approach, in the presenter’s view, should be seen as a platform for innovation.

The concluding part of the presentation was about ‘changing the world for the better’. OER and associated OEP are on the cusp of shifting from creative to productive ambiguity. The ‘Learning Registry’ could be a platform for innovation.

I confess that I left the session with as many doubts about OB as I went in with, but perhaps with more concerns. Some of the audience’s questions at the end illustrated similar concerns, and elicited some worrying statements, such as ‘you can award a badge for anything’ and ‘awarding an OB for trying’. In this context, the usual questions about these approaches became evident once more: would you hire someone whose “evidence of achievement” is presented to you in the form of open badges? Does packing a badge with metadata mean that everyone can see (and rely on) what and who is behind it? Does a badge give evidence of any form of achievement or, more importantly, competence?

An example was given of a group of people who apparently ‘provide trusted credentials for the small things they do’. Really?

Explicitness, trust, openness, opportunity, innovation and value are key works associated with OB. Those words can be compared and contrasted with other terms, such as too easy to get, mean very little, prove nothing, unreliable, a distant second best, don’t change much. Although there was a lot of passion, no persuasive argument was made (assuming there is one) to address such queries and concerns with evidence or authority. Who underwrites that trust and those credentials? “The community” is not a valid response, I’m afraid.

In sum, I was far from convinced. Doug referred to his own PhD research several times during the presentation. Indeed he used it a lot in his discussion of theories of ambiguity. Would he be where he is today solely on the back of his open badges? Probably not.

Alejandro Armellini
4 April 2013
Ale.Armellini@northampton.ac.uk
http://www.northampton.ac.uk/people/ale.armellini

CoPILOT: supporting librarians in sharing their teaching material internationally #abs16- Nancy Graham & Jane Secker

#abs16

Abstract available at https://www.medev.ac.uk/oer13/16/view/

A number of presentations and conversations, both real and virtual, throughout the conference suggest there is an increasing emphasis on the role of libraries and librarians in OER (I was disappointed not to be able to attend Gema Bueno-de-la-Fuente’s session “Academic libraries and the OER movement: the need for awareness, understanding, and collaboration” as it coincided with my own lightning talk “Libraries, OA research and OER: towards symbiosis?“). and Nick Shockey, the closing keynote speaker also identified it as a major theme of the conference.

This was a workshop with Jane Secker and Nancy Graham who had hotfooted it from the LILAC conference in Manchester (Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference) and began with a little background from DELILA, an institutional project to adapt digital and information literacy (IL) resources to OERs and to make the material available though Institutional Repositories. It identified the potential for librarians to be key advocates for OER as well as identifying a range of challenges when adapting existing resources (e.g. issues around embedded third party content). DELILA also conducted a survey of academic librarians which indicated there was plenty of “closed” sharing happening with a willingness to share openly but an uncertainty of how to go about it – full report available from http://delilaopen.wordpress.com/il-oer-survey/

Librarians as advocates

Jane and Nancy asked us to brainstorm reasons for sharing IL resources, there were in fact several librarians present in the session and the main ones identified were that core material is relevant across institutions, making it well suited to reuse; information literacy concepts are core to all librarians (though it is useful to share different approaches to the same concept) and IL resources (and the act of creating/adapting) are also useful for new information professionals. The strength of the librarian network also make it ideal for OER which, as we have found throughout ukoer, is most effective when supported by a close-knit community.

In addition to extending a collaboration with UNESCO that had begun with DELILA (and who are themselves very keen to explore synergies between OER and information literacy), a CoPILOT committee was formed in November 2012 with the remit to support UK librarians in sharing openly and to explore further how IL resources might work as OER. In addition there is a mailing list at il-oers@jiscmail.ac.uk and wiki at http://iloer.pbworks.com/.

Outputs of CoPILOT include 250+ members of the mailing list, 19 links posted to English, Spanish, German and French IL resources, a report, case study and post-project survey and a strategy for sharing IL OERs which is currently being finalised.

A final brainstorming session asked us to consider “How can we make this happen?” considering the pros/cons of using online communities and:

  • Building librarian OER advocacy role?
  • Online activities to encourage participation/contribution
  • Comms channels
  • Other Community of Practice functions
  • Face to face events
  • Support from international organisations

Notes drawn from the discussion include:

  • Good to have case studies of how materials were used, reused, adapted
  • Problem with engagement – email is more direct than visiting an online community
  • Time saving? Suggestion that this is perhaps a red herring and impact is crucial to sell to senior management (e.g. it will improve everyone’s teaching resources.)
  • Build in metrics of use and impacts (discussion of how difficult this can be; can be informed by the wider OER community and Jorum, for example, will very soon incorporate usage metrics – http://www.medev.ac.uk/oer13/114/view/)
  • Open practice and tracking OERs (DOIs, Webcite)
  • CoP – useful for people working at a distance. Hard to find time to devote to a CoP in day to day work.
  • Resources need to be at right level
  • Badges attached to using CoP

(Personally I am an advocate the immense value of open practice; no doubt preaching to the choir here but if you haven’t already, set up a blog and a twitter account and if you find, adapt, reuse IL – or any other OER – blog about it, post links on Twitter!)

I’m off to join il-oer@jiscmail.ac.uk

Notes from the facilitated discussion on the Experience theme, day 2

So, are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have.

So, are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have.

Many thanks to everyone who came and took part in the stimulating and wide ranging discussion in room B52 on the experience theme. Despite the room being a very formal lecture theatre we managed to have some interesting exchanges about how we might encourage academic practices amongst our colleagues (I hesitate to use the word open or transparent as I don’t think they reflect the direction the discussion took).

Special thanks to Professor Megan Quentin-Baxter for taking the following (almost) verbatim notes:

Problems and practice and the implications for practice.

I feel a bit like an interloper in the conference discipline – media department archaeology etc. – I don’t come from this world. Whatever this world is.

The questions that are here are about the world of educational development and practice.

Computers will be interesting when they disappear.

OP will be interesting when it disappears.

In accordance with what Pat was saying earlier on then.

I am sort of outside of this comunity as well. Twitter, copyright. We need more education. Not too frightened of it.

There is that kind of education for us and for our students. What should they be doing. What should we be doing.

Staff development and cpd. JIS legal has been doing very good stuff.

SH had been doing stuff like that in Ncl for the last 6 months or so. But you only get the people who know that there is a problem to be solved.

In my experience obstacle s is time. You need tie to take understand things. What it meants to be CC licenced. As authoritative as it comes and with good intentions. I edont have this time

Is it time or fear? Both but time is most important. I am working part time and I am at capacity. If you make it official then people don’t engage you have to make it part of everything else that you do.

Embed it in other activities such as other staff development. Julian I don’t know how you get through to the lone academic who has done it for years. Lots of other people out there. I am at a loss to know how to spread this wide. Nuanced to us. You have to kjnow a  lot. Enganced learning, open learning, you have to think differently. They don’t get it and link it over there because they don’t get it.

Anna – open educational practice. Same as when we tired to get people to use computers. Lots of things to learn. You have to make it ubiqiutious.

Sean if they are brilliant at what they do (staff) does it matter computer slide projector, engaging students.

How can students help? Students putting pressure on academics.

Getting students to engage has been important with oer was difficult but I am on Twitter and I tweet OERs to them they are rubbish at using Moodle but they are using resources. They are not very good at demanding – we have to tell them and they are interested but they are not proactive. I talk to students about what my role is at the beginning of the first year so that they know more about me.

Is it a lack of understanding of OERs? It is not the student’s job – students think that they are doing your work for you.

A quality issue if it doesn’t ?

Student will look at stuff again.

With the issues of OER there is a concept there is an empahsis on asking students to create their rown learning pathways. Homogenisation. Competitive environment.

Students are paying a lot of money (England, international). Client relationship. We had the issue recently of providing moducless

Have we managed to embody exciting new pedagogies in oers/moocs?

Spreading open practice – danger that evangelism can lose critical faculty

Where is open? What is open? Less about pedagogy and more about learning

Cant provide models because it would make it too easy for students to complete the assignment. Reluctance because students have travelled that path.

Networking – people. Research

Hang out in the same places. We know this. There is no obvious way of marking ourselves out. Pages that you create on resources. I am an open academy. Some Badges. – Not a lot of ways to identify

Signed up a year ago (OER pledge) a paper and nothing has happened.

We have to go with everything that has happened. Showcase of use of something for a year institution recolonizing by some … no factors need to be

Some kind That is what we have to change for the students to create the context. Pedagogy. Some desire if you took x student and tll them the outcomes that have have to achieve and then the evidence that they have to produce.

If we take away the open, leaving changes in practices. What makes good practice. Better practice. I started out when everything fro the OU was in print. Programmes on the BBC. What happened before it was recorded. Correspondence. Difficult to say that the students viewed that time as better or worse than it is now. Technologies are available and used .

Online conferencing in1988. 2005 before the policy that all courses should have some sort of online presence. How long it takes for change to happen.

The question from me about where the openness is helpful is that people in the OU and across the sector. How do you inculcate the sharing part of practice.

You have to get that activity recognised.

Recognise that type of activity. You have to have a recognition and reward system. MOOCs. Might make us look good. Books as MOOCS but you share books.

Transparency. Always using things in different ways. Very open about what they want to do. The technowizz is not transparent. Transparency with colleagues. Try to sell the benefits of saving time by being transparent. For the students to sell it to them. This looks flashy and weird it might not work. Students might be talking about

Why am I paying for this? Massive transformation – in our old world we had control but we are now in the situation where what we produe might be duplicated 1000 times. You can’t build value systems around.

The opne agenda is getting from that old situation to a new situation. If you tell people that they can only get that info from that place that one place then they will find answers elsewhere. Drop in the ocean. How it makes you think about being in a teaching sigutaiont. Terrible basis for going forward.

MQB noted the look on the face of Vice Chancellors  who were lensing forward thinking well if all knowledge is on line then what is the role of the university? One conclusion was that we would have to teach our academics to teach.

Growth in the content agenda.  Bookshops libraries. Chalkboards. Taking down the notes and transcribing them. I

There has been more emphasis on the creation of resources rather than the creation of learning experiences.

Using content and rich media. One animation, cost of multiple animations and economies of scale. What is best use of funding. Why redraw something if you can use the original.

Quality of resources, quality of lecturers. Are we prepared to keep paying 100times more for something. Universities .

Changing perceptions of student.

Fragmented practices.

Top down directives are needed.

Early days for us including elearning.

Change of universities.

Not as fast as what goes on around it.

Promoting open practices with the UK PSRB/subject associations in medicine #abs46

Claire Cunningham of ASME presenting the "Promoting Open Approaches' project

Claire Cunningham of ASME presenting the “Promoting Open Approaches’ project

The ‘Promoting open practices’ project, led by ASME (the Association for the Study of Medical Education), is examining the policies, practices and processes in several organisations (including ASME, the General Medical Council, and the Wellcome Trust) with the intention of adopting open approaches and sharing good practice through the development of individual case studies.

Victor Oatway shared the common Issues they found amongst the organisations: limited knowledge, some had never heard of CC, it’s not easy to consistently identify the owners of materials, educators not knowing how the materials can be used (comparing paper, hardcopy, electronic versions of douments). Often, the print version of a document had different information than the online electronic document. Takedown policies were rarely posted on sites. Even those working on the project found themselves asking “Is this document even from ASME?” But on the plus side, there was an enthusiasm to make resources available, and a desire amongst staff to make changes, together. New staff training is seen as the way forward, toward the project goal of creating overall open policy for the members.

Having recently seen for myself some of the difficulties navigating locked-down medical online networks and resources, I’m beginning to see that sheer convenience is probably the most significant driver toward openness in the medical field particularly.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow, University of Leicester

The role of openess in educational innovation, universities in tsunami of changes #OER13 #absOEII #abs127

Wodecki started his presentation on The role of openess in educational innovation, universities in tsunami of changes, to present th concept of open and openess, with some slides with different aspects of openess,

IMG_1321[1]

He stated that open and openess have a wide range of meanings and vary in different cultures and contexts, he ended up with teh discussion on coding and the open Mozilla Badge movement.

Furthermore he argued that open means:

  • I can enter
  • Everyone can enter
  • Diverse and tolerant
  • I can change it , I can influence it
  • They are listening
  • I can use it in many ways and places
  • It is free
  • It is online
  • It is informal
  • It has many meanings and many levels

Wodecki continued in the same way with the concept of innovation, and stated that innovation means improvement that works and new stakeholders with adds real value. He argued that a tsunami is on its way in education and especially higher education, Society is faceing an elderly population and that consumption and technology spreads faster today. Thus the role of universities are changing adn disruption is high. Universities have to concern more on lifelong learning, lead the change and to be more practical due to openess and innovation. Steps to be taken are to work on best practice, take the stakeholders perspective, advanced cases (OER, MOOC), guidlines for going open and the recommendation is that policy makers should support it. He argued that universities has to lead that change and listen to the market and stakeholders. Stakeholders as students, academics, international networks and companies. Feasibility studies and external market analises is of most importance. Change leaders may be crucial in the development processes.

What leeds to the success?

  • Quality
  • Flexibility of study programmes
  • Participation in EU programme
  • Modern infrastructure
  • Listening to the market
  • Well-equipped labs
  • Social and professional regional embedding
  • Student professor relationship
  • International aspect
  • Frequent travelling, especiallu for decision makers
  • Teach fundamentals

Do ICT matters?

Wodecki argues that  ICT really matters as development with ICT runs faster, cheaper, richer, wider. Steps which has to be taken are to work on best practice, to take the stakeholders perspectives, to work with advanced cases (OER, MOOC) and guidelines for universities to go open and to be innovative. It is strongly recommended that policy makers should support the openess development. The development can be illustrated in the image as below.

It is argued that universities has to  lead the changes to go open. With open edcuation more students will be involved. More students will  give

  • more inspiration
  • different perspectives
  • more diversity, more culture, religion, lifestyles
  • must adopt teaching methods
  • better feedback
  • can experiment
  • more needs, I learn that one method can´t satisfy everybody
  • creative meltdown
  • more talent to hount
  • more better students

In summary universities need efficient organizational interfaces with the external world. Otherwise…

This blog Ebba Ossiannilsson, Lund University, Sweden, @EbbaOssian

Reaching out with OER: the public-facing open scholar and the benevolent academy #abs11

Leigh-Ann Perryman and Tony Coughlan presented an engaging look at the notion of a public-facing open scholar, an academic with digital skills and open practice, joining in with a community in order to share knowledge, materials, and be a general help.

Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman shows some examples of public-facing scholars (but are they open scholars?)

Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman shows some examples of public-facing scholars (but are they open scholars?)

In 2012 Tony began collating open material for the voluntary sector and distributing them on the Facebook page CYP Media. But this seemed limited, and he began to look deeper into this issue. He found a very active online child welfare community which had been operating since 2003 on a completely anonymous basis. He spent time reading until he felt he could understand their needs and he shared open resources which could meet some of those needs. Using a framework for understanding community, he found that this community’s ‘creative capability’ was already very well developed and he helped best by joining in the conversation and himself learning how they discovered resources already. Tony learnt about many new sources of information he hadn’t known, from group members. He also found that the anonymity created a level playing field.

Among the implications of this case study: being a public-facing open scholar is likely to take a lot of time. Listening to needs includes learning about culture and interaction modes. A public-facing open scholar may need to explain how resources relate to community needs.

Leigh-Anne and Tony concluded that public-facing open scholars have the potential to extend the benefical impact of OER, to prompt institutions to release new OER to meet the needs of people outside HE, and to help communities. BUT: are academies benevolent enough to let them do these things?

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow

#abs94 Making OER available on multiple platforms (U-Now, iBooks, eBooks)

Andy Beggan presented this paper from the University of Nottingham, which described OpenNottingham’s adventures in eBooks. The work came out of the PARiS project, which created 10 x 10 credit modules with 5 converted to eBooks.

Most of the staff involved had never worked with OER before. Existing third party OER was reused wherever possible.

The focus groups were very positive about the work, and staff and students changed their practice as a result.

The team used iBookAuthor to lay out the content. The publishing process was straightforward, as was licensing the work. The eBooks themselves are fairly slick and of a high standard aesthetically, and available both in the Apple store and as ePubs.

As far as eBooks are concerned there was a range of student views on their usefulness. 5 eBooks were released as free downloads, cc licensed images were sued to deliver enhanced presentations and ePub and other formats  versions were created to ensure availability across platforms and distributors.

Conversion to ePub had widened access to OERs. iBooks most popular downloaded format. Comparative focus groups will yield more data. Next steps – NOOCs via Moodle, which will give a better understanding of the usage of the eBooks.