Access to E-Learning 3.0 and the Distributed Web

Stephen Downes has once again written an excellent summary for the work we did last week on open educational resources.

He has tweeted:
Downes  @Downes

Friday’s #el30 newsletter is now available. el30.mooc.ca/archive/18/11_… If you are at all interested in the future of open educational resources, please do take the time to read the feature article.

I would support this. Here is the direct link to the feature article.

Feature Article E-Learning 3.0, Part 5 – Resources
stephen@downes.ca, Nov 25, 2018.

The task for this week was to create a content addressed resource. Although I found the Resources topic interesting, I failed to complete the task and discussed this in my last post. But, as I noted in the post, some of the course participants (those with more technical skills than me) have completed the task and found it quite straightforward.

Stephen himself completed the task declaring on Twitter:
Downes  @Downes

I hereby declare dat://502bdf152d00a35f9785f78d107b9037b5eca9354bcf593e7b4995f9be97a614/ (the NRC vision statement, illustrated by me) to be the first Content Addressable Resource for Education (CARE) #el30 @nrc

The irony of this has not escaped my notice. Since I did not have the skills to install the Interplanetary File System or Beaker Browser, I am not able to access or see this first Content Addressable Resource for Education (CARE) – or experience this example of the distributed web in action. Effectively, this open resource is closed to me.

This has made me think about how the distributed web will be introduced to the population at large. Presumably there will be a period of time when access will not be equal, and open will actually mean closed for a proportion of the population.

Before Stephen declared the NRC vision statement to be the first Content Addressable Resource for Education, I noticed that he asked, on Twitter, whether anyone could check it for him. Matthias Melcher responded.

Downes
@Downes

Anyone out there using Beaker Browser, could you test and see whether my first ‘Content Addressable Resource for Education’ (CARE) for #el30 is accessible? (Working form home with Bell’s tiny upload pipe) dat://502bdf152d00a35f9785f78d107b9037b5eca9354bcf593e7b4995f9be97a614/

Matthias Melcher @x28de
Replying to @Downes

Yes, I see a welcome and 6 slides.

Downes  @Downes

Perfect, that’s what you should see (as well as another six slides in french from the welcome page)

I am now wondering what I am missing by not seeing these six slides. It has reminded me that when I was teaching in HE, in one of my classes there was a visually impaired student. In order for this student to follow the class we were required to make special provision for her, e.g. provide handouts and copies of all slides and notes we distributed in extra large font.

It has occurred to me that the move to E-Learning 3.0 may need to make similar provision for those who do not have the technical skills to access the distributed web, i.e. alternative provision is made at least as a temporary measure.

Update 27-11-18

With a bit of gentle pushing from Stephen, I have now succeeded installing Beaker Browser (it really was quite straight-forward when I overcame the mental block). I have also viewed Stephen’s slides, and created my own site (see comment to Stephen below). I would need to know more html to get much further! Is a good knowledge of html considered an essential digital literacy?

Source of image 

Open Educational Resources and the Distributed Web

In this video, posted for the fifth week of the E-Learning 3.0 MOOC, Stephen Downes makes the case for open education. He claims that open education can change the world and is a kind of social literacy that can transform society, connect us across the globe, and enable each of us to believe we have the capacity to become an important person in society. Being open in such a society means being accepting of other people and being willing to share. It is about being in a conversation in a community.

Open educational resources in such a society are like the words in this conversation. We are forced to think about the words that are used; they can either block us or liberate us. Creating open educational resources is more than giving the resources we have created away for free. It also helps us to develop ourselves.

Of course there are challenges for education in taking this approach, in which it is expected that we will embrace the idea of open sharing of our resources and ourselves, and there have been, as you would expect, mistakes and failures. A criticism could be that it has made the rich richer and the poor poorer, but, as Stephen pointed out, the benefits to the poor can still be identified and it can make the poor richer more quickly. Another criticism that is often levelled at open education is that it has a colonising effect, propagating the voice of Western society, but Stephen also pointed out that if you create your own open educational resources, you can promote your own culture. Open online education, using open educational resources, can reach those who can’t access education in any other way. This is the promise of open education and open educational resources.

To date, open educational resources have been thought of as content (a product) which are stored on the web, often with creative commons licenses which may allow for free re-use and adaptation. But these resources have become increasingly locked down in content silos and behind paywalls. The distributed web, Web 3.0, is a kick-back against this. On the distributed web, new file-sharing systems, such as the Interplanetary File System (IPFS), do not rely on internet addresses to locate content. Instead they ‘use the hash of the data or content as an address, enabling the data to be distributed across the cloud’,  thus creating a content addressable resource. In the traditional model the server is in the middle (see image below), but in this new model, a network of servers is geographically distributed, meaning that when you click on a website you will get content from the local server;  it will be accessible from the nearest convenient source.

Source: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/07/introducing-the-d-web/ via From Repository to the Distributed Web 

Gradually, but definitely, we are moving towards a distributed web. But I suspect we are some way off fully realising the dream of the distributed web.  Cheryl Hodgkinson -Williams and Sukaina Walji, both from the University of Capetown, were Stephen’s guests this week.

Cheryl and Sukaina had their feet firmly on the ground as to what can realistically be achieved in the creation and sharing of OERs and the development of open educational practices at the present time. In conversation with Stephen they explored the topics of open educational resources and open practices, considered some of the challenges around re-use of OERs, and discussed the potential of new resource networks (like the distributed web) to address those challenges.

This was an interesting discussion. Cheryl and Sukaina shared information about the research project they have been working on, together with groups from across the global south, in which they have been investigating how OERs are being developed, shared and used, and also exploring new methods for distributing OERs using the distributed web. I appreciated their focus on process rather than product, i.e. on the practices surrounding the creation of OERS and the constraints associated with these practices. They were well aware of the differences between the ideological intent related to the creation of OERs and the practical steps needed to ensure an ethical approach. As Cheryl said they have to be pragmatic despite their intention to openly share their practice, process and product.

I also appreciated their recognition that many people, whilst able to create a resource, do not have the digital literacy skills to apply a CC license or upload the resource to a site or repository, nor the confidence to openly share their resource with the whole world. Cheryl asked, ‘At what point is something too difficult to get your head round?’ and went on to say that we need a really easy interface, that is more user-friendly. Technology needs to be an enabler. Technology on its own will not enable change.

These are important considerations in the further development of the distributed web. It is easy to see that something needs to be done to counter the tyranny of the centralized web and that the distributed web seems to be the way to go. As with all such developments, it will take time for these developments to become sufficiently user-friendly to be accessible to the average internet user.

Resources (provided by Stephen Downes for the E-Learning 3.0 MOOC)

Feature article on The Future of OER by Stephen Downeshttps://el30.mooc.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=68554 

The Learning Portal OER Toolkit
College Libraries Ontario, 2018/11/19
Have you heard about Open Educational Resources (OER) and want to know more? This module presents an overview of what they are, why they matter to post-secondary education, and how to get started on your OER journey.

OER World Map
2018/11/19
A couple years or so ago UNESCO launched an OER mapping project. It has now come to fruition. “Using local knowledge to describe the OER ecosystem, the OER World Map will visualize the world of OER and support a range of widgets and tools, including powerful statistical analysis.” Here’s the OER World Map blog.

Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources 
Stephen Downes, OECD, 2018/11/19
It “seems clear that the sustainability of OERs – in a fashion that renders then at once both affordable and usable – requires that we think of OERs as only part of a larger picture, one that includes volunteers and incentives, community and partnerships, co-production and sharing, distributed management and control.

Dimensions of open research: critical reflections on openness in the ROER4D project
Thomas William King, Cheryl-Ann Hodgkinson-Williams, Michelle Willmers, Sukaina Walji, Open Praxis, 2018/11/21
Using the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project as an example, this paper attempts to demonstrate the interrelation between ideological, legal, technical and operational openness; the resources that conducting Open Research requires; and the benefits of an iterative, strategic approach to one’s own Open Research practice

Introducing the Dweb
Dietrich Ayala, Mozilla, 2018/11/20
What’s the “D” in Dweb?! The “d” in “dweb” usually stands for either decentralized or distributed. A few examples of decentralized or distributed projects that became household names are Napster, BitTorrent and Bitcoin. Some of these new dweb projects are decentralizing identity and social networking. Some are building distributed services in or on top of the existing centralized web, and others are distributed application protocols or platforms.

Beaker
2018/11/20
Beaker brings peer-to-peer publishing to the Web, turning the browser into a supercharged tool for sharing websites, files, apps, and more. Beaker adds support for a peer-to-peer protocol called Dat. It’s the Web you know and love, but instead of HTTP, websites and files are transported with Dat.

Inter Planetary File System
2018/11/20
IPFS is the Distributed Web, a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol to make the web faster, safer, and more open. Each file and all of the blocks within it are given a unique fingerprint called a cryptographic hash. When looking up files, you’re asking the network to find nodes storing the content behind a unique hash. Every file can be found by human-readable names using a decentralized naming system called IPNS.

A Social Justice Framework for Understanding Open Educational Resources and Practices in the Global South
Cheryl Ann Hodgkinson-Williams, Henry Trotter, Journal of Learning for Development, 2018/11/22
In this paper, we endeavour to move beyond social change and social inclusion to develop a framework to make apparent the relationship between social justice and the adoption of OER and OEP. Drawing on examples from the ROER4D project, we propose a slightly adapted version of Fraser’s (2005) social justice framework as a way to map how and under what circumstances the adoption of OER and OEP by students and/or educators may counter economic inequalities, cultural inequities and political exclusions in education.

Try Dat
Dat Project, 2018/11/22
This is try-dat, a tutorial that teaches you how to work with datasets using dat. In this tutorial you will play around with data versioning and syncing workflows, and play with some awesome tools to publish or share data over the peer-to-peer web.

A bit more about Dat… Core pieces of the web shape how we communicate and organize. However, these pieces are increasingly controlled by large monopolies. In building Dat, we envision a future of community-driven tools backed by nonprofit organizations.

#OpenEdMOOC – Final thoughts

(Source of Image – https://youtu.be/iHmHWVHmyfQ –  0.56)

Like Rebecca Heiser, I have been reflecting on the EdX Introduction to Open Education MOOC.

The title of the MOOC led me to expect a broad discussion about Open Education and in my first post about the MOOC, I wrote:

My hope is that it will offer a fresh perspective and rekindle the enthusiasm I had for open education in the early days of the first MOOC in 2008, but which I have found increasingly difficult to sustain in the last couple of years.

It turned out that my hope was not realised. The MOOC focused on Open Education Resources, which I think is just one aspect of open education, and I have to say the aspect that is of least interest to me since I work independently of an institution and no longer teach, so although I come up against some of the issues presented in the course materials, they do not have the impact on me that they might have on others. This was the syllabus for the course.

Week 1: Why Open Matters
Week 2: Copyright, The Public Domain, and The Commons
Week 3: The 5R Activities and the Creative Commons Licenses
Week 4: Creating, Finding, and Using OER
Week 5: Research on the Impact of OER Adoption
Week 6: The Next Battles for Openness: Data, Algorithms, and Competency Mapping

Disappointingly for me there was little discussion of open pedagogy or open teaching. But I did stick with the MOOC. I found the videos of discussions between George Siemens and David Wiley interesting, as were the videos by Norman Bier and other resources provided, and I was particularly grateful for the alternative thought-provoking perspective of Stephen Downes. Did I learn a lot? I don’t think so. I think this was because OER isn’t of huge interest to me, but also because there was minimal discussion between participants. But I don’t feel negative about the MOOC, just that it didn’t rekindle my early enthusiasm for open education.

Rebecca Heiser  has thrown down the gauntlet twice during the course and been largely ignored. First, at the end of the course she tweeted:

So will we get to see Open Analytics in #OpenEdMOOC? What were we clicking? What were our activity-levels? Hashtags generated? Most importantly what were our most discussed topics, was knowledge transferred? #OpenPL Did we form our own network? Will we continue the conversation?

I saw that Stephen Downes picked this up (I think in OLDaily), but otherwise no-one responded to these good and legitimate questions.

And then Rebecca tried again with a post reflecting on her experience of this MOOC.

I can’t help but be critical of the #OpenEdMOOC, Introduction to Open Education, hosted by edX. With as much excitement that was generated by the Open Community prior to the start of the MOOC, I feel that we were let down by Week 3 of the course. Here’s a recap of my critique by week…

This time she received a response (notably not from George or David) and a few comments.

Geoff Cain commented:

This was pretty ironic for me. MOOCs are the only educational space where instructors and institutions are comfortable with the “Set It and Forget It” model of teaching. Despite everything that we have learned about what makes for a successful online class, all the rules change when it comes to MOOCs. As an instructor who has worked in developmental education and education support my whole life, that model seems like a huge step backwards.

This, and Rebecca and Lena Patterson’s comments, seems to me what we should have been discussing, i.e. some of the more difficult consequences of open education and the questions that remain unanswered.

Having participated in and completed a number of MOOCs, I was not surprised by the “Set It and Forget It” model of teaching that Geoff mentions. From the very first MOOC (CCK08) the idea has been that participants teach each other and take responsibility for doing this, because in a massive networked environment it is impossible for one person (the tutor) to interact with everything that is going on. But the complexity of this as a model for teaching and learning, and whether it is an effective model, has yet to be adequately researched.

Thank you to Rebecca for bravely raising these questions in an environment which is known to reward consensus and punish dissent!

#OpenedMOOC Week 6: The Triumph of the Immaterial

This is the final week of the #openedMOOC and my final post. Like Matthias Melcher I have surprised myself by reaching the end of this MOOC. When I first considered signing up, I thought the MOOC would be more about open education more broadly and discussions around open pedagogy, than about open educational resources. Also like Matthias I have not wanted to complete the MOOC tasks or meet the course objectives; instead I have followed my own interests.

Like some others – see the Twitter stream #openedMOOC – I have enjoyed the weekly videos of discussions between George Siemens and David Wiley, which succeeded in being very informative, and also Stephen Downes’ videos, because he always brings an alternative perspective.

Again this week, Merle Hearns has done a really good job of pulling together this week’s content in her blog,  so there is no need for me to repeat it. Merle discusses Norman Bier’s video, which is well worth watching and from which I made these brief notes:

For Norman Bier the future of OER will depend on how technology is used to collect and apply data, and provide better feedback for students and teachers. He tells us that our practice is already data driven and this should raise concerns for open education research, particularly if that research focusses on static content. He warns that there is no visibility on how data is being used and that it’s important for the OER movement to understand and explore the algorithms in analytic systems. Algorithms are not neutral and if we can’t avoid the biases of the developers getting into the systems then we need transparency to mediate this.

So having written all this you may be wondering why this post bears the title – The Triumph of the Immaterial.

The reason is that this is the title of a clay sculpture by ceramic artist Phoebe Cummings, who today won the BBC Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017, with this clay fountain:

Screenshot from BBC Radio 4 Website

And this photo by Laura Snoad gives us a close up of the detail of the work

In this video Phoebe talks about how her work is temporary – making the raw clay sculpture as a fountain means that the water will erode the clay over time.

And in this short video clip we can see the effect the fountain of water is having on the clay sculture

For source of video see: http://alreadyshared.com/explore/medias/1632069198719374070_1663972413

In hearing that this sculpture (a piece of work that will no longer exist when the created fountain erodes the raw clay) has won the prize, it occurred to me that this may inform David Wiley’s 5 Rs of open content. Phoebe Cummings has created a piece of work that she expects to be reused, reworked, remixed and redistributed. She created it to be ephemeral, to enact its own performance and to no longer exist after a period of time, in this case the time it takes for the fountain water to erode the clay.

Phoebe Cummings has a unique approach and way of thinking about materiality and ownership and I’m wondering whether she has anything to teach us about open education resources and copyright. Maybe the success of open education will depend more on how we think about issues such as copyright and ownership, rather than what we do about them.

Thanks to David Wiley and George Siemens for the MOOC, and to Stephen Downes and Norman Bier for their videos.

 

#openedMOOC: CC licenses

In a recent post I mentioned that I have the attribution, share alike, non-commercial creative commons license on my Flickr site. I also mentioned that I sometimes get contacted with a request for use of a photo – usually by a tourism agency wanting to advertise their holidays. I know they are going to make money from their holidays, but I have never yet refused.

This week for the very first time I paused before agreeing to a request for a photo. This is the photo – an environmental sculpture in Cumbria, UK, where I live.

 Andy Goldsworthy – Tilberthwaite  Touchstone Fold

And this is a photo of the sculpture in situ.

Andy Goldsworthy is a well known English environmental artist and sculptor, who has worked on many sheepfolds. See this list http://www.sheepfoldscumbria.co.uk/html/info/list.htm  

This was the request I received by email:

Hello Jenny,

I am currently acquisitioning photos for a new Smithsonian Museum on Main Street (museumonmainstreet.org) exhibit titled “Crossroads” about the last 100 year change of rural America. It’s going to travel to 180 communities across 30 states and will be on view from 2018-2025. We came across one of your photos.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennymackness/27171284715/in/photostream/#

We would love to use this photo for our exhibit. If you would like to proceed, would you mind letting me know how you would like this photo to be attributed/credit? I will also send a license agreement 

I was puzzled by this request. I didn’t know anything about the Smithsonian Museum, so I looked it up and found it was genuine, but I didn’t know why they wanted this photo, which didn’t seem to fit with their exhibition. So I replied:

Thank you for your email.

The license I have for all my photos is CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Could you let me know how you would be using this photo within the terms of this license.  I am a little puzzled as your exhibition is about rural America and this is the work of a well-known English Artist in rural England. How would it fit with your exhibition?

In principal I am happy for you to use the photo, but before agreeing would like a little more information.

I was concerned about how their use of a photo of Andy Goldsworthy’s work would affect him. Surely if they wanted to use a photo of his work, they should contact him.

In the event the museum decided not to use my photo, replying:

We have decided to not pursue this photograph anymore because of the outside range (as you pointed at, this art piece is in England).

Thank you for your time and I apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused.

For me this raises the interesting issue of whether the photo I took of Andy Goldsworthy’s work was indeed mine to put a license on.

#openedMOOC Week 5: Research on OER Impact and Effectiveness

Click on image for source

I have not done any research into OER Impact and Effectiveness and I don’t, in my career as a teacher, remember ever heavily relying on a textbook that students would have to buy. I do remember having to buy them myself during my own undergraduate studies, but that was back in the mid 60s. When I was teaching in Higher Education at the end of the 90s, early 2000, we would recommend textbooks which the students could buy if they wished, or could take out of the library (we tried to ensure multiple copies were in the library), but mostly we wrote our own materials and gave students hand-outs in the sessions. I must have written many text-books worth of hand-outs during my career. It never occurred to us at that time to share these online, but even if we had wanted to it would not have been possible, because all the materials we produced belonged to the institution. Of course, we also referred students to open online sites where they could explore further materials and dig deeper. So I haven’t had a lot of experience of this heavy reliance on expensive text books for teaching, although I have in my own research had difficulty accessing materials behind paywalls (see below).

It seems that at least in the US, there is this reliance on expensive textbooks and that explains the push for further research that David Wiley talks about in this week’s video. He tells us that whereas in the early days of this research the focus was on surveys and finding out what OERs were being used, and what happens when you use OERs, there is now a need for more nuanced research into what difference they make to student outcomes. According to David Wiley research into OER adoption is still at an early stage and there is need for further research into how OERs are produced and used, and how they are used in teaching.

Stephen Downes in his video for this week once more gets to the nub of the issue when he questions what we mean by impact and effectiveness. He tells us that research has shown that the medium makes no difference to student outcomes, i.e. it makes no difference whether the student learning environment is open or closed. The obvious difference that OERs will make to the student is cost.

As an aside here, from my own perspective, I doubt I would be a researcher if there weren’t OERs. I remember when we submitted our first paper on CCK08 learner experience in 2009, the reviewers criticised the number of blog posts we referenced. There were two reasons we referenced blog posts, 1. At that time there were no research papers on MOOCs to reference 2. Even if there had been, if they were in closed journals (and there were not many open access journals back then), as independent researchers we would not have been able to access them. I still have these issues, particularly in relation to books, which I often cannot afford; there are not enough open access e-books.

Returning to Stephen’s video and the point where I think he really nails it is in his discussion of what we mean by impact. He thinks, and I agree, that impact is more than grades, graduation and course completion. For him we should be looking at a person’s ability to:

  • Play a role in society
  • Live a happy and productive life
  • Be healthy
  • Engage in positive relationships with others
  • Live meaningfully
  • Have a valuable impact as seen through their own eyes and through the eyes of society

He asks how does using open content change any of these. If OERs are only used by the teacher then there won’t be much change. He says open is how you do things, open is when you share how you work with other people, open is when you take responsibility for ensuring that knowledge is carried forward into the next generation. This is the long-term impact of your value and worth in society. Stephen asks where is the research on this – we need research on how open resources help society.  This seems to me like the big picture and quite a challenge for research.

#openedmooc participants have responded to this week’s resources in different ways.

Matthias Melcher has questioned what we mean by research effectiveness in his blog post for this week.

Geoff Cain also reminds us to not forget the role of Connectivism and the role of history in open education (See also  Martin Weller’s recent post. Katy Jordan has done some amazing work in relation to this. I wish I had her technical skills!).

Merle Hearns  has done a great job of commenting on this video A review of the Effectiveness & Perceptions of Open Educational Resources as Compared to Textbooks  and further discusses Martin Weller’s paper The openness-creativity cycle in education as well as sharing her own work.

Benjamin Stewart keeps plugging away asking for a more critical perspective, both in his tweets, e.g. https://twitter.com/bnleez/status/924735752336039936 and in his blog.

For more blog posts see the course site

Finally there are some great resources provided this week, which I have copied here for future reference. These are links to publication lists. For anyone doing research into OER, they would be a great help.

#openedMOOC Week 3: The 5Rs, CC, and open Licensing

 This image is a screenshot taken from a YouTube video – https://youtu.be/x3CY6RR4uns

I have been working independently, i.e. not in an educational institution, for the past 12 years, so my take on this week’s content of Week 3 of the openedMOOC is probably not typical.

Much of the discussion is about the re-use capabilities of open educational resources (OER). Stephen Downes has pointed out that this discussion pre-supposes that you have access to the OER in the first place, and we know that quite often the resource is only accessible if you pay for it. On a personal note, I am currently trying to decide whether to pay for a  research paper a colleague and I are working on to be openly accessible in the journal we think is the best fit for the work! That could be a whole discussion in its own right.

But I have worked in a Higher Education institution and in schools in the past, so the issues being discussed this week feel familiar and, for those currently working in these environments, the course provides helpful resources to make sense of the difficulties associated with ownership of the materials produced when working for an institution. (See Week 3 in http://linkresearchlab.org/openedmooc/ ).

David Wiley has pointed out that the cost of textbooks in the US prohibits access for many students or causes them to drop out. Ideally students would not be required to invest in expensive textbooks, but instead use OER, which they can download, own and to which they can apply his 5R set of activities, which are:

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Source of information: David Wiley – http://opencontent.org/definition/

However, he points out that it is not possible to apply these 5Rs to resources you do not own, such as a textbook. So what is the incentive for University lecturers and teachers to create their own OER? What would be the incentive to write a textbook and then make it openly accessible, free and re-usable in terms of the 5Rs? At many institutions, this would require a cultural change and depend on the roles that lecturers play and the type of students that the institution attracts. If a lecturer’s role is to teach adequately, bring in funding and raise the prestige of the institution through high quality research publications, and if the institution serves upper middle class students, then there is little incentive to spend large amounts of your own time creating OER. There is much more incentive for lecturers in institutions where the students will struggle to pay for their education.

On top of this ownership of OER can be complicated and may not be worth the hassle for lecturers. Norman Bier acknowledges that it’s difficult to know who owns the work if a large team has worked on it (See https://youtu.be/o6FWfFPpPeY ). He advises that if you work in an institution and are keen to promote the use of OER, then you should look up your institution’s IP policies and ask yourself (and others) the following questions:

  • Are traditional rights still being protected at your institution?
  • How do online materials factor in?
  • Is your institution making investments in building better course materials?
  • How are faculty being ensured the right to continue to use the materials they have authored?
  • How is your institution ensuring that educators and learners can make continued use of resources?
  • What happens at your institution if multiple educators and development teams want to expand on and improve materials especially over and expanded time period, e.g. years?
  • How can an open approach simplify these concerns while also making a larger contribution to the commons?

David Wiley suggests that we need to pull together pockets of individual practice and collaborate on the creation of OER which could then be further developed by future teams of collaborators. This would reduce the workload for individual lecturers and also mean that lecturers don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel. Of course, collaboration in itself is a sophisticated skill that doesn’t come easily to everyone.

I did wonder, whilst going through all the materials for this week, how much time David and George spent on creating these resources and how they managed to persuade edX to allow them to host them on an independent site. What’s in it for edX? And indeed what’s in it for them?