Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
Open education and courseware is not a technology, but a way for institutions to collaborate by sharing their instructional materials and syllabi. Open education resources that can be used for self-study or by faculty who want to integrate them into their courses are also not new, but traditionally faculty and higher education institutions have valued self-created materials more, especially for upper division and graduate work. Recently, a new attitude has been emerging based on the recognition that there is little downside for an institution to put course materials online — and in the case of the elite institutions, to even use the act of placing the materials into the public domain to make the case that the experience of attending that university transcends the materials they use in their classes.
The practice of sharing materials is still limited to only a few institutions among the thousands that exist globally. The Open CourseWare Consortium, a group of institutions that commit to releasing at least ten courses online, counts just 150 organizations of higher education among its membership.
These materials are seen as very valuable, however, by many potential user groups, especially in the developing world. Although there are still hurdles to face in the form of intellectual property issues, copyright questions, and institutional policies, progress is being made, and the release of open education materials appears to be a growing trend. As new services are built around the educational materials, such as tools for review and recommendation, progress tracking, creation and posting, and communication, this trend will likely accelerate.
Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Expression
- The services and community tools that accompany open education content could enable the formation of communities of practice and scholarly interest groups.
- Open education resources can provide established and developing educational institutions with cost effective methods and resources for the creation, use, and reuse of educational materials.
- The use of open resources could free faculty to create custom teaching packages without the challenges of doing so that a traditional publisher would present.
- Otago Polytechnic maintains a wiki with online course materials in a variety of disciplines: http://wikieducator.org/Otago_Polytechnic
- CCLearn is a division of Creative Commons dedicated to supporting open learning and open educational resources: http://learn.creativecommons.org/
- The Open CourseWare Consortium encourages collaboration and sharing among its nearly 150 institutional members: http://www.ocwconsortium.org
- OER Commons provides a way to find and share open educational materials: http://www.oercommons.org
For Further Reading
Open Education Resources
This article describes open education resources (OER) and its relationship to open source.
Open Education Showcase: Initiatives in Australia
(iCommons.org, 17 June 2007.) This blog post discusses Free for Education initiatives.
Sandbox Discussion (July-August 2008)
Open education resources that can be used for self-study or by faculty who want to integrate them into their courses are becoming more available as more institutions adopt a model of outreach and collaboration. We are now starting to see services that are built around the educational materials themselves, including tools for review and recommendation, progress tracking, creation and posting, and communication. Open education resources are becoming more widely adopted, and increasing support for academic developers is leading to a proliferation of options in that arena. Although we still face hurdles in the form of intellectual property issues, copyright questions, and archaic institutional policy, progress is being made, and open education appears to be a growing trend.
Why is this topic relevant to teaching, learning or creative expression?
- Tiered participation: would someone kindly write an explanation of what this is? [RSS]
- Open Educational Resources provides established and developing educational institutions more cost effective methods and resources for the creation, use and reuse of educational media and resources
- Provides incentive for educational institutions to provide people better access to educational opportunities
- Promises to help disentangle educational institutions from content and software lock in, and publishers control over copy rights
- Aligns educational practices more closely with popular reference resources such as Wikipedia and other Wikimedia Foundation projects
- Introduces networked and open source economic models to educational practice (See Benkler's Wealth of Networks)
- In line with open business models evolving in corporate world (Wikinomics)
- Allows those with limited funding to access quality content (social justice)
- Gives creators of content potential for much wider exposure
- Contributes to collective building of knowledge
- Frees people of constraints in trying to restrict access to their authored content
- Places emphasis on services provided around content rather than just on the content itself
- Decreasing teacher workforce will lead to the use of expert content that students choose to use with school offering mentoring services
- Offers the possibility for students to become contributors so that they build learning objects that later cohorts use, edit, amend, and add to
- Shift students from being passive consumer of content to active contributors (open education does not only mean academics sharing)
- list your thoughts here [LJ]
Please list links to local or international projects that are experimenting with or implementing this technology.
- University of Technology Sydney: Open Courseware http://www.softwarepractice.org/courseware/ was setup for the release of software practice related course material under creative commons. Lian Loke is the current coordinator for the subjects released on this site (Lian.Loke@eng.uts.edu.au) [SA]
- The Omnium Project has been running for some years based at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. It crossed over as courseware and collaborative software (now open source). Many have reviewed it as being Web 2.0 before the term developed. http://omnium.net.au/
- UNSW media studies lectures in BlipTV [SA]
- The Fluid Project is building a library of user interface elements for use by programmers of educational open source software/open courseware [RSS]
- [http://wiki.creativecommons.org/University_of_Southern_Queensland_OpenCourseWare USQ: Open Courseware
- http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/ubcase.htm - National centre for case studies in science
Please provide links to any local or international reports, papers, or articles that either help define the topic, or that provide detailed information about it.
- InstitutionalRepositoriesCommunity-ANZ Google group- " A Community of Practice list for all Institutional Repository managers in Australian and New Zealand universities, regardless of software platform, location, project, or readiness... This is a single forum to inform, discuss, & share problems & ideas." requires request to join [AL]
Please add any other information that may be helpful to the staff as they write up this topic.
- The Open Education Consortium is a portal to content contributed by over 100 institutions
- add your idea or information here [LJ]