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A hub for research data and OER excellence in practice
Randy Schekman says his lab will no longer send papers to Nature, Cell and Science as they distort scientific process
Carl Straumsheim reports on a meeting of more than than 200 scholars from institutions all over the world have gathered here at a conference hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington to hear preliminary results from the MOOC Research Initiative, a grant program founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by Athabasca University in Canada. Grantees, who received between $10,000 and $25,000 to examine how MOOCs can be used to change higher education, will compile their findings in a forthcoming edition of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/12/06/mooc-research-conference-confirms-commonly-held-beliefs-about-medium#ixzz2mnB9oL00 ;Inside Higher Ed
Open educational resources provide a free digital alternative to traditional books. Boundless, a startup that’s two and a half years old, offers students an easier way to find and access these materials. Boundless has organized free digital resources aligned to popular textbooks in 21 common subjects. Students just have to look up the ISBN of their assigned book, and instead of paying $100-$200 they pay $19.99 to access equivalent material plus interactive study aids like flashcards and quizzes from their tablet, smartphone and laptop. Two million students use the platform each month, at the high school and college level.
The Council of the European Union, comprised of Ministers of member states, debated last week on the topic "Open Educational Resources and digital learning." The debate was held during the meeting ...
Creative Commons provides copyright licenses to help standardize and simplify the sharing of scientific content and other creative works. PLOS applies the Creative Commons attribution license to all published works, and Creative Commons licenses are essential for Open Access publications. The long-awaited version 4.0 of the Creative Commons licenses was released last week. This release provided a perfect opportunity to ask Puneet Kishor from Creative Commons a few questions.
If 2012 was, as The New York Times decreed, the year of the MOOC, 2013 might be described as the year of the anti-MOOC as we slid down that Gartner Hype Cycle from the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” and into the “Trough of Disillusionment.” For what it’s worth,Gartner pegged MOOCs at the peak back in July, while the Horizon Report says they’re still on the horizon. Nevertheless the head of edX appeared on the Colbert Report this year, and the word “MOOC” entered the Oxford Online Dictionary – so whether you think those are indications of peak or trough or both or neither, it seems the idea of free online university education has hit the mainstream.
In the United States—where public universities are hurting for funds, tuition and debt levels are growing, and graduation rates are stagnant—debate has focused on whether MOOCs represent a necessary innovation or the deplorable cheapening of elite university education. The question is: Could the hybrid, small-group model that’s evolving abroad also provide a needed alternative for underserved American students?
Six summary recommendations for the advancement of OEP for adult learning in Europe:1. Recognise that ‘learning’ takes place everywhere2. Extend the range of people and organisations who produce and use resources3. Think of OER more broadly than as content4. Promote awareness of open licensing and its implications5. Improve the usability of OER6. Plan for sustained change
A very solid report.
The state of American higher education is dire. College is expensive, and the limp job market makes two decades of student debt a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to a middle-class future. But imagine the alternative.
The First Unisa International ODL Conference 2012
This is a recording of George at the First Unisa International ODL Conference 2012 giving a 1.5 hour workshop about, in a nutshell, what MOOCs are and what they mean educationally.
As part of the SCOAP3 publishing initiative, 10 journals in high-energy physics will offer unrestricted access to their peer-reviewed articles, starting January 1.
Preliminary results of a study of 16 massive open online courses offered through the University of Pennsylvania show that only a small percentage of people who start the courses finish them—and that, on average, only half of those who register for the courses even watch the first lecture.
Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are the latest effort to harness information technology for higher education. While they are still in a nascent stage of development, many in academe are enthusiastic about their potential to be an inexpensive way of delivering an education to vast audiences.
Yet one aspect of the MOOC movement has not been fully analyzed: who controls the knowledge. MOOCs are largely an American-led effort, and the majority of the courses available so far come from universities in the United States or other Western countries. Universities and educators in less-developed regions of the world are climbing onto the MOOC bandwagon, but it is likely that they will be using the technology, pedagogical ideas, and probably significant parts of the content developed elsewhere. In this way, the online courses threaten to exacerbate the worldwide influence of Western academe, bolstering its higher-education hegemony.
Interview with Mary Y. Lee, Associate Provost, Tufts University, the United States
This week I’m participating in a conversation about badges over on the Department of Education’s LINCS website. I believe badges are potentially a key piece of infrastructure necessary to support truly open, distributed learning, but I’m frequently disappointed by the level of thoughtfulness of the discourse around badges. There’s much to learn about badges by looking to the history of other technologies, as I’ve tried to point out in my answers to the first two question prompts.
Dr. Jhangiani took an existing open textbook and did exactly what we hoped an instructor would do; revise it to meet his needs and then release it back to the commons under an open license for others to use and reuse.
Interview with Donna Gaudet, Head of Mathematics Department, SCC, the United States conducted by: Derek Moore, Instructional Designer at eLSI, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Today, open educational resources (OER) offer hope for substituting expensive content with that which is digital and free. But, in an age of 2.0 millennial learners, are there possibilities beyond cost reduction? This is a question we pondered in spring 2010, when the Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) Business Division urgently approached the two of us (faculty librarians Sheila Afnan-Manns and Kandice Mickelsen) seeking a "free" solution for a summer early-start program with no textbook budget. Although turnaround time prevented us from addressing that initial request, it inspired us to create an information-literacy-driven approach that took OER beyond common notions of content replacement to a student-driven pedagogy that has considerable potential for saving students money and increasing their engagement with learning.
United States Senators Dick Durban and Al Franken (above) have introduced legislation into the US Senate called The Affordable College Textbook Act. SPARC has a good post on the proposed legislati...
The Internet is transforming the $14 billion U.S. textbook industry.
In developing nations, massive open online courses mostly end up educating the well-off, research reveals.