More of the world's elite universities are joining the rush to offer "massive open online courses" that are broadening access to higher education. But some experts question how much so-called MOOCs can help students trying to earn college degrees.
As the profile of MOOCs have increased so the demands and requirements placed on creating one have multiplied. But with the help of some great people at the OU (it's been great to work with people who want to help rather than just repeating "no") we are finally ready to roll.
Yes, now you can enrol on the MOOC, which starts officially on March 16th. There is some set-up work that can be done and you'll be registered to go then when it's all live.
Robert Farrow's insight:
If you're interested in openness in education you should consider taking part in this forthcoming MOOC
One of the advantages of having being involved with JISC for a number of years (as a project and a service) is the opportunity to reflect on some activities that we've been involved in for some time. We thought it would be interesting to take the long view of some of our involvement with OER, XCRI, Learning Environments and reflect on what has worked and why, and where we think these activities are going next.
This first story looks at the development of the Open Educational Resources area. Lou McGill talked to Phil Barker and Lorna Campbell about how the OER field has evolved in the last ten years.
The purpose of this handbook is to help you use, create, and share "open educational resources" (OER). Digital technologies, combined with the enablers of our networked society, provide teachers, lecturers and trainers with new and exciting opportunities to rediscover and implement a core value of education, namely to share knowledge freely.
Key TakeawaysOpen educational resources made a dramatic appearance with the 2002 debut of MIT's Open Courseware initiative.In the roughly 10 years since, OERs have not noticeably disrupted the traditional business model of higher education or affected daily teaching approaches at most institutions.Four major hurdles seem the likeliest hindrances to adoption of OERs: discoverability, quality control, bridging the last mile, and acquisition.OERs could unify and advance the essentially disconnected developments in digital textbooks and MOOCs by establishing a global enterprise learning content management system.
Robert Farrow's insight:
What are barriers to widespread OER adoption? According to Kortemayer, they are discoverability, quality control and content management...
This post aims to add the category of badge functions to other badge taxonomies like the one by Carla Casilli. It argues that the essential function of badging is to recognise or accredit learning; that assessment is probably supported; that badging is likely to improve motivation; and that there is a potential for evaulating and researching learning through badges. The extent to which motivation is supported seems to be the most contentious issue, though it's not clear whether the author thinks the value of badges stands or falls with this.
"The issue of copyright was invisible to the students but it had defined their experience. The ability to download various file formats was essential to the seat-license process but it was only possible because Creative Commons freed the content from its traditional moorings. We were able to track downloads because students were allowed to freely download the content. They were able to store it on the device or devices of their choice and they were allowed to keep it. This level of flexibility and accessibility provided students with unlimited access their textbooks. This feature also changed the value proposition. Since students now had permanent access to content, the value was in the information and not in the textbook as a commodity. This flexibility will potentially create more value as more students and faculty shift towards low-cost, accessible digital content."
Open Educational Resources (OER) are seen as a solution to the dire lack of access to quality education across the world, especially in Africa. Activity surrounding open licensing and open access to education content has increased exponentially since the term OER was coined in 2001, catalysed by strong advocates for open resource sharing, especially in Africa. However, a host of issues remain open for debate. How relevant are OER that have not been locally contextualised? Do OER solve the issues of making resources accessible to learners in remote, poorly connected areas? Can access to OER really contribute to quality learning? And how should governments develop OER policies?
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