Tag Archives: oep

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

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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.

Libraries and the OER Community #abs30

Gema’s slides from her presentation

@gema_bueno presented on how librarians and libraries are involved in the OER Communities.

I’m not a librarian, so I tweeted to ask if any library has an OER policy. Obviously Nottingham has Open Nottingham, and Leeds has an OER policy, but I am not explicitly aware of a library with a commitment to OER as a policy (perhaps Open Michigan).

How well the classical librarian skill set suits OERs and OER promotion – and also assessing the quality of OERs. This could be seen as similar to books, but I assume lecturers do much of the book vetting and quality assurance.

Are librarians also the people to be promoting licenses and discussing copyright issues directly? Classically OER production might not involve librarians, and then librarians may be outside the OER loop.

Gemma suggested a structure for librarians to get involved – the slogan being “from containers to content to context” – suggesting librarians cataloging both their own institution and the world’s OERs – but would steps such as this need institutional, professional or national bodies to co-ordinate this work?

Digital Futures in Teacher Education – locating digital literacy practices in the open textbook #abs96

Anna Gruszczynska and Richard Pountney presented on the Digital Futures in Teacher Education project, the full story of which is told in the Open Textbook they developed. The open textbook they developed is WordPress-based and very attractive and friendly to use. The key to the open textbook is ‘the thinking space’ which allows for sections to be downloaded and added to. The intent is for both teachers-in-training as well as those providing education to teachers to make use of the textbook.
photo
The ‘meadow’ in the slide is a representation of digital literacy ideas which were being addressed during the project, reflecting the supportive and collaborative on digital literacies as part of teacher education reflected in the project. The meadow and the open textbook are OERs, and the project encourages sharing of the idea of creating open textbooks generally.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist, University of Leicester

Love is a stranger in an open car… to drive you toward OEP

I would like to encourage you to follow my SCORE colleague Alannah Fitzgerald’s blog covering her TOETOE project in open educational practice (OEP) in the area of English language teaching. Alannah will present at the OER13 conference with the title Stories from the Open Frontier of English Language Education Resources. Her post Love is a stranger discusses what drives people to investigate and begin to use and share open educational resources, and includes her own journey. Having recently seen some new drivers toward OEP in the medical and social work field — the need for hard-to-create video clips of patients coupled with the frustrations of locked-down networks in the public services — I can see the drivers question as a necessary tool for OEP practitioners to get to grips with.
Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow

Spotlight on Jorum

Jorum is the best-known UK repository of free and open educational resources (OER).  In the run-up to the OER13 conference, I had the chance to ask Jorum team members what they do over at Jorum, and why they are looking forward to the conference:

Paul Madley: I‘ve recently come on board at MIMAS where I’ll be principally developing the public-facing Jorum website, I look forward to working with colleagues from other institutions as we move forward, which is why I’m excited about meeting and talking with people at OER13.

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 07.52.52

Joy Hooper, Jorum Business Development Officer: I’ve just joined the Jorum team so this is my first OER conference. I’m looking forward to meeting up with practitioners who are using OERs within the teaching and learning programmes. I’m keen to hear about the highlights and the challenges faced by users and institutions. All the key themes have relevance for me but the third theme, ‘Expectation’, has particular relevance, given my new role. This conference provides an ideal opportunity for me to talk about the new ‘Powered by Jorum’ offerings, which are designed to enable institutions to enhance their own branded, tailored views onto their content in Jorum: in other words, we can help you to create your own OER service.

I’m Jackie Carter, Jorum director and OER13 conference co-chair. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the bridges being built between open communities. The OER community is a vibrant and learned group and OER13 is a great opportunity for us all – including the Jorum team – to reflect on how far we have come, as well as helping us to think about the direction we want to take next.

I am Anja Le Blanc, one of the new additions to Jorum of the last year. I am working as a technical developer on the Jorum repository. Over the last ten years I went to a good number of conferences in a wide diversity of academic fields and I enjoyed the variety of ‘personalities’ each of the conferences provided. I am looking forward to getting to know the OER community at OER13 and to learn and be inspired by their enthusiasm for education.

Siobhán Burke -My role at Jorum is to work with educators and learning technologists who want to use OER content and also help facilitate sharing their own OERs with Jorum. As this is my first OER conference, I am looking forward to meeting face to face with members of the OER community.

I am Sarah Currier, Jorum Service Manager, so I’m responsible for the successful delivery of Jorum’s services. I’m really looking forward to OER13 this year, because we have so much exciting news to share with the OER community. We have a Beta of our fabulous new search and reporting features: you can find OERs more easily, and you can get data about the use of your OERs. And we have developed a range of added value options for institutions and communities that want their own branded, tailored views onto their con tent in Jorum: in other words, we can help create your own OER service to your users, with access to Jorum’s collections included. I would love to talk to folk at OER13 about Jorum’s future, and about what you would like from Jorum. I am also co-presenting a paper on the JLeRN project, so you can also talk to me about paradata: information about the social sharing and usage of OERs.

Ben Ryan:  I am the Jorum Technical Manager responsible for the infrastructure, development and support of the Jorum platform and proto-service.   I am looking forward to discussing the recent Jorum developments and the future direction of features and functionality development and discussing the recent work on user interface and experience.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist, University of Leicester