Monday, October 2 2, 2012
OER and Mobile Learning
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Open Access and Public Policy
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
"Open and Closed" Getting the mix rigtht. Who gets to Decide??
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Integrating openness in course design
Friday, October 26, 2012
Sleeping with the Elephant - Leveraging AU's Position through Open Courseware
OER and Mobile Learning
Dr. Rory McGreal
Open Educational Resources (OER) constitute an important resource with the potential to facilitate the expansion of mobile learning worldwide. The flexibility, both technological and legal afforded by openly licensed content is an important pre-condition for supporting ubiquitous learning. Open standards support the deployment of learning objects as OER on a wide variety of different devices, whether mobile or stationary. The open license frees instructors and learners from concerns about how, when, where and how long the content, video, audio or application can be used. The relevance of OER is augmented by the exponential growth in online accessibility supported by the wide range of new mobile devices promising the possibility of learning anywhere at anytime by anyone. Mobile access is becoming a universal reality.
This growing trend toward mobile computing using the power of networks has opened the door for learners and teachers to access the world’s knowledge from almost anywhere, at anytime. The internet houses the world’s treasure of knowledge. In this context the role of OER in providing learners and teachers with learning content, applications, games etc. is becoming increasingly more relevant. The internet is the world’s intellectual commons and OER renders this knowledge accessible to all. The world’s knowledge is a public good that should be made available to everyone and now can be using mobile devices and the Internet.Watch recording
The OER university: A sustainable model for more affordable education futures
Dr. Wayne Mackintosh
Open education provides unprecedented opportunities for universities to provide more affordable access to post-secondary education for all students worldwide. OER is a sustainable and renewable resource.
The OER university (OERu) is an international innovation partnership of accredited education institutions which will provide free learning opportunities to all learners worldwide using courses based solely on OER with pathways to gain formal academic credit towards credible credentials. The OERu network is building a parallel learning universe which will serve learners who are currently excluded from the formal sector.
As a philanthropic collaboration, the OERu is designed to ensure a sustainable model for the mainstream adoption of open education approaches in the formal sector. Accredited institutions from five continents are collaborating on the development of this OER ecosystem. It is a smart model because: institutional participation does not require new money, recurrent costs will be recouped and savings generated through OERu course development will improve efficiencies of the mainstream delivery model.
Wayne Mackintosh, will share the history, current developments and future plans of this innovative international collaboration. The presentation will highlight the conceptual design of the OERu for sustainability and will illustrate the cost models which underpin this international network.
The OERu provides a viable solution for low risk, low cost but high impact strategy innovation for the mainstream adoption of open education approaches in higher education. OER is the means by which education at all levels can be more accessible, more affordable and more efficient.
Open Access and Public Policy
Dr. Frits Pannekoek
Governments are becoming increasingly aware of the power of open access and the power of the new technologies to liberate and massify learning. Three reactions are worth pondering: those of the learning industries, those of local government, those of international governments and those of post secondary learning institutions. The learning industries are look for new business models, and many will succeed by even more will flounder. Government are constantly worried about their existing constituences and the quality agenda, international government are worried about trade relations and post secondary collegial institutions are increasingly using ICT's for fiscal rather than pedagogical purposes.
"Open and Closed" Getting the mix right. Who gets to Decide??
Dr. Jon Dron
Dr. Terry Anderson
Dr. George Siemens
Despite the desirability of "Making Open the Default" as the theme of this year’s open access week, there are many reasons that can and should influence a person and an organization to restrict access to content. In this session we explore these reasons from theoretical, practical and pedagogical positions, noting that these decisions all revolve around issues of control. From a practical perspective, we note the need for more nuanced ways to control information than a simple choice of open or closed. We look two examples, the differentiated sharing allowed through permissions of networking systems such as Elgg, and the capacity to research rights as delineated in the various Creative Commons licences. From a theoretical perspective we note that capacity to make control decisions requires skill and authority, but helps build responsibility and ownership. From a pedagogical perspective we note value and challenges of opening works in computer forums, e-portfolios and resource sharing within and beyond the course.
Integrating openness in course design
Dr. Cindy Ives
Supporting the widespread availability of OER is a goal that Athabasca University (AU) has embraced through association with the Commonwealth of Learning and by becoming a charter member of the OER University. The use of OER in AU programs has strategic local implications.
While much of the potential value of OER is expressed as easier, less costly access to content, AU learning designers also focus on their potential as resources for learning activities. One reason for this strategy is the desire to address a traditional weakness of distance education – low learner persistence.
In response to the challenges facing AU as it transforms the university and to the opportunities offered by open educational resources, an OER plan was developed. It captures AU’s strategic and operational approach – one that includes a series of workshops and community conversations designed for internal learning and capacity building across the university, and a series of showcase demonstrations of OER already developed and integrated into courses, with results from student and tutor feedback. These presentations share experience gained to date and stimulate ideas about how using OER in course design may improve productivity by reducing costs, speeding up development, and offering students opportunities for engagement with learning resources in ways that should keep them interested in their studies and focused on their learning.
The AU experience has shown that the shift from static proprietary content to dynamic learning environments populated by openly available learning resources needs to be approached as a systemic change with complex and often unanticipated ramifications. Like a brain developing new neural connections, the institution has to open new channels of communication among faculty, designers, developers and copyright officers. The focus shifts to evaluating the reliability of free resources and accepting a certain level of risk with respect to permanence. For externally produced OER that can be appropriated and repurposed, staff technical expertise needs to be fostered. In addition to basic quality of OER, features such as availability of base code, ease of repurposing, and appropriate Creative Commons licensing all must be considered.
Much Open Online Content (mooc)
Mr. Steve Schafer
There have been transformations in libraries in at least three areas over the past number of years. First, in the area of service there is a transformation from users coming to the library to a model of the library reaching out to users. Secondly, in the area of collection building there is a transformation from ownership to access. Thirdly, there is a transformation in the need for digitization and preservation of materials – including materials that may require digitization.
Steve Schafer’s session will focus on digital collections and will help answer two questions:
Sleeping with the Elephant – Leveraging AU’s Position through Open Courseware
Dr. Martin Connors
There has been an explosion of content in open (and not-so-open) forms in recent years, much of it highly relevant to Distance Education. It can be asserted that AU’s claim to fame is less the creation of content than the implementation expertise that we have. It is also possible that we are on a slippery slope as others obtain this expertise. We must not forget that we are uniquely disadvantaged in Canada by the (constitutionally unchangeable) lack of a federal role in education. Open content allows us to sidestep our difference from most providers (that they merely need to record lectures to create viable online course content). We can optimize such content for use in Distance Education. How this is done will be described with examples. From a strategic point of view, this may be our niche. However, as in any arrangement of sleeping with elephants, their decision to roll over could affect us very much. Tendencies of big players to fill the currently empty US public Distance Education space will be examined.
Contribution of AU's e-Lab initiative to Open Access and OER Development
Dr. Evelyn Ellerman
All universities have labs where research and teaching are conducted, where the physical tools of research and teaching are stored, where people get together to talk about their work and their ideas, and where the results of teaching and learning can be displayed.
Increasingly, traditional universities are constructing media labs where students can also gain practice in using the tools of digital research and learning. While such labs are generally physically situated in actual buildings and house row upon row of computers, they are also beginning to take on a virtual life.
The e-Lab at AU is one vision of what a university lab might be if it were entirely virtual. It is intended to serve many of the practical functions that physical labs have served in the past. But it is a way that AU is imagining the future by providing an online environment that encourages new understandings of teaching, learning, research and professional growth. The e-Lab offers e-Portfolio opportunities, a virtual tool cupboard, social media space, online workshops, and demonstrations of online research and student projects in such areas as mobile learning.
The e-Lab also challenges current notions of pedagogy, as well as relationships between the University and the wider community. How does open access affect notions of teaching and learning, especially in an asynchronous undergraduate environment? How open can a university be with the resources it has developed? What are the copyright and FOIP implications of an open access lab? How does a commitment to open access affect the University’s partnering organizations? These are issues that must be re-examined with every technological change, but that are particularly interesting in the open access environment.
Athabasca River Basin Research Institute Repository: Enhancing open access, education and research
Dr. Lisa Carter
Mr. Tony Tin
The Athabasca River Basin Research Institute (ARBRI) supports interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer of the Athabasca River Basin, an area of more than 159,000 km2 that is distinct by its watersheds, lands, resources and communities. Recognizing that information related to the Athabasca River Basin is dispersed and in many different forms, and is often difficult to locate, a comprehensive online repository collecting as much information on the Athabasca River Basin has been developed. At the heart of the ARBRI is the commitment to collect materials and resources related specifically to the Athabasca River Basin that can be freely accessible to researchers, government, industry stakeholders, and community members, both locally and globally. Using advances in online technologies, a comprehensive searchable and interactive digitized repository is in development, using a number of platforms, such as research and technical reports and manuscripts, maps, videos, and audio records. This presentation will describe some of the advances in the development of the Athabasca River Basin Research Institute (ARBRI) repository that enables open and free access to materials.
Open access is a movement towards open, public access to educational learning resources and scholarly research results.
Digital materials that can be re-used for teaching, learning, research and more, made available for free through open licenses, which allow uses of the materials that would not be easily permitted under copyright alone.
A draw for AU ball caps, T-shirts and USB hubs will follow the conclusion of each presentation. Everyone from Athabasca University and beyond is invited to participate.