The Open Education Week webinars that we hosted yesterday and today (event details in my earlier post) were absolutely bursting with exciting thoughts and interesting exchanges of ideas. I’m going to try to capture a highlight from each of the nine presentations in one sentence below:
Grainne Conole (link to slides) spoke about linking research to policy and practice. A key message for me was that open, participatory and social media can provide mechanisms for us to share and discuss teaching and research ideas in new ways.
Vasi Doncheva (Link to slides) gave further concrete information about how her institution, Northtec Polytechnic in New Zealand, is planning to offer accreditation to students on the basis of OER study, and spoke about the anticipated return on investment for Northtec in terms of staff development and resources gained through collaboration with other institutions.
I (Gabi Witthaus) (link to slides) shared some insights from my TOUCANS research, including some evidence from interviews with OERu anchor partners that the participating institutions are fairly confident that the business model of offering low-cost assessment and accreditation services to self-study students is likely to be successful and self-sustaining.
Anthony Camilleri (link to slides) discussed the importance of all stakeholders engaged in Open Educational Practices (OEP) working together to create an integrated, seamless set of services and resources that makes sense to learners, employers and the senior leadership of our institutions. He gave some examples of how this is beginning to happen within Europe.
George Siemens (Link to slides to be added) exhorted us all to be public scholars, and clarified that what he meant was not “experts” broadcasting our knowledge for the world’s passive consumption, but scholars grappling with issues and collaboratively constructing knowledge in the open.
Sandra Wills (Link to slides) talked about what participation in the OERu means for the University of Wollongong in Australia, which offers blended learning to students on campus, rather than distance learning. (But not before first making us all jealous by showing pictures of beautiful Wollongong beaches…)
Patrick McAndrew (Link to slides) then introduced the concept of “big OER”, giving examples of a range of open courses and open platforms (such as the OERu, MITx, and OpenLearn at the Open University in the UK) that enabled learners to receive guidance and structure as they worked through a set of learning materials.
Martin Weller (Link to slides) concluded the final webinar by “standing up for little OER”, noting that “little OER” are more easily remixed and reused, as well as more easily distributable by individual authors, and that “big OER” can appear rigid to learners, imposing a series of topics and a sequence of learning that is not necessarily aligned to learners’ needs.
The breadth of content and openness of the class is enough to make any online education junkie salivate. The class’s RSS feeds host audio-recorded lectures, class assignments and special discussions. Worth’s Fall course attracted over 10,000 visitors to its website from 1,632 cities in 107 countries and the Winter course is available as an iPhone App. Lectures from the course have been downloaded thousands of times on iTunes…
…Worth’s two experimental classes Photography and Narrative (#PHONAR) and Picturing the Body (#PICBOD) are free, online undergraduate curricula and they’re entirely open. Both courses directly address the radical transformations in the media economy. For example, the course catalog reads: The role of photographer (mode of information) as supplier to old media (mode of distribution) no longer exists – that link has been broken. We recognise [sic] instead the need to redefine the role of the contemporary photographer as publisher.
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