OER Beyond Voluntarism

At the 2014 Knewton Symposium David Wiley made the bold claim that "in the near future, 80 percent of textbooks would be replaced by OER content." This statement led to some interesting discussion about the Open Education Resources ecosystem.

It started with the article of Jose Ferreira. He argues that publishers have nothing to worry about, because OER has low production values, no instructional design and is not enterprise grade.  Offcourse David Wiley had to respond and did a very good job at it. According to David OER can beat publishers on both price and learning outcomes.

The next one in line was Michael Feldstein. In his respond he focused on the business model. According to Michael neither the OER advocates nor the textbook publishers have a working economic model right now:

"The textbook publishers were very successful for many years but have grown unsustainable cost structures which they can no longer prop up through appeals to high production values and enterprise support. But the OER advocates have not yet cracked the sales and marketing nut or proven out revenue models that enable them to do what is necessary to drive adoption at scale."

His conclusion to the question whether OER can "break the textbook industry", his answer is "it depends".

The last article of this discussion is of Brain Jacobs. He compares the development of the Open Source Software (OSS) Movement with OER. Nowadays, most of the OSS development is by commercial companies (like Red Hat, Google, Samsung), but it started with a foundation of voluntarism in the hacker community. He argues that the OER 'hackers' community does not have the depth and breadth of its OSS counterpart.

I agree with that. For most instructors, the textbook is a convenient package, without which the task of managing a class would be that much more laborious. They don't care about the costs of the book. Students are the victims of this. More and more students (or their parents) have problems with paying for all their textbooks.

Brain suggests a solution to get faculty to contribute to the OER ecosystem:

"A better way forward is to compensate the stakeholders -- faculty, copyright holders, and technologists, principally -- for their contributions to the OER ecosystem. This can be done by charging students nominally for the OER courses they take or as a modest institutional materials fee. When there are no longer meaningful costs associated with the underlying content, it becomes possible to compensate faculty for the extra work while radically reducing costs to students."

I agree with Brain's assessment of the different nature of voluntarism of OSS and OER. With TU Delft OpenCourseWare we have done compensated teachers from the start in 2007. The faculty that contribute their course content get a financial compensation for their extra work.

Altogether this is an interesting discussion and will help move the OER movement towards a bright future. I'm looking forward to discuss this at the OpenEd Conference in November.

Enrollments have started for OpenMoocs

Enrollments have started for OpenMoocs

In June I wrote about the OpenMOOCs of the Open Education Consortium. The enrollment of the first two MOOCs has started on edx.org:

  • Energy-The Technology You Must Know in the 21st Century
    A comprehensive introduction to existing and emerging energy technologies and their applications. (Taught in Mandarin)
    Starting 20 October 2014. You can enroll here.

  • The Biology of Water and Health - Part 1
    A uniquely interdisciplinary approach to critical water and water-related health challenges across the globe.
    Starting 4 November 2014. You can enroll here.

Leren centraal stellen in MOOCs #LWMOOCs

In de tweede week van Augustus nam ik deel aan de Learning with MOOCs workshop op de campus van MIT. Deze workshop is georganiseerd door Stanford en MIT en werd gesponsord door de Hewlett Foundation.

Het doel van de workshop was om alle verschillende soorten mensen die zich met MOOCs bezig houden bij elkaar te krijgen. Dus onderzoekers, beleidsmakers,  docenten en ondersteuners. Dat is goed gelukt, ondanks het wat vreemde uitnodigingsbeleid. De workshop was alleen open voor de mensen die iets ingestuurd hadden voor de Call for Papers. Dit stond dan nog los ervan of je paper was geaccepteerd. Totaal waren er zo’n 250 mensen, waarvan de meerderheid uit de VS.

Heel duidelijk had de organisatie gekozen voor een aantal keynotes die de kennisachterstand bij veel MOOC-ers kon vergroten op het gebied van (online) onderwijs, open onderwijs, onderzoek op het gebied van onderwijs. Hoewel sommige keynotes erg veel tekstuele slides hadden, waren het uitstekend gekozen sprekers.

Er waren voor mij vijf punten die ik uit deze workshop heb gehaald.

Ten eerste dat we de technologie van MOOCs nu redelijk goed op orde hebben en het nu tijd is om alle aandacht te richten op te begrijpen hoe we het best de lerenden kunnen ondersteunen in deze omgevingen. Hierbij moeten we vooral gebruik maken van alle beschikbare onderwijsonderzoeken die al vele jaren beschikbaar zijn. Een van de sprekers zei dit als volgt: “There is no L in MOOC, but there should be”. Belangrijk punt hierbij is dat het niet gaat om het vervangen van de docent, maar hoe we beter gebruik van technologie kunnen maken.

Het tweede punt is dat we van de MOOCs een volledige open cirkel moeten maken: open content, open platform, open data en open models voor analyseren van data. EdX is op dit punt goed op weg. Binnenkort wordt het nog eenvoudiger om een MOOC (en haar content) te voorzien van een open licentie. Deze uitbreiding is ontwikkeld door YES!Delft start-up Feedback Fruits.

Het derde punt is dat om te komen tot een topkwaliteit MOOC je een multi-disciplinair team nodig hebt met inhoudsdeskundige, onderwijskundigen, toetsexperts, multimediaspecialisten en onderzoekers.

Het vierde punt is dat we het gebied van onderzoek de vraag moeten omdraaien. Dus niet welke vragen kunnen we beantwoorden met deze data, maar welke data hebben wij nodig om onze vragen te beantwoorden. Of zoals Justin Reich van HarvardX zei van “Fishing in the Exhaust” naar  “Design Research in the Core”.  Hij gebruikt hierbij ook deze quote om de huidige situatie aan te geven: “We are lost, but we are making great time”.

Het vijfde punt is dat wij als TU Delft een goede keuze hebben gemaakt met het opzetten van de Extension School en de integratie van het ontwikkelen van MOOCs, Online & Blended onderwijs. Hierbij maken wij ook gebruik multidisciplaire teams voor de support en zitten de onderzoekers dicht  hierop.

Tijdens de workshop was er ook voldoende gelegenheid om de banden met andere instellingen aan te halen en kennis en expertise uit te wisselen.

Alle presentaties van de workshop staan (binenkort) online op de website http://www.moocworkshop.org/information/program/. Daarnaast vind je veel informatie op de twitterhashtag #LWMOOCs.

Dit artikel verscheen eerder op Scienceguide.

Andere artikelen over deze conferentie:

Learning with MOOCs workshop

This week I'm attending the Learning with MOOCs: A practitioner's workshop in Cambridge (MA, USA). The website describes this workshop as:

This workshop plans to bring together the educators, technologists, researchers, learning scientists, entrepreneurs, and funders of MOOCs to share their innovations, discuss the impact on education and to answer questions such as: How to best support students to learn in an online environment? How can MOOCs be successfully integrated with the traditional classroom experience? For which students and in what contexts are these courses most effective? What can we learn from the rich data streams generated by these platforms? How do we structure the learning activities to produce data streams that better support research?

Because not everyone can attend the conference, the conference is (partly) live streamed via MIT Webcast (time zone is US East Coast). Interesting is that it brings people together from all the different platforms.

For me it is also a good opportunity to catch up with the people at EdX and meet some friends from MIT. And we have some nice summer weather :-)

How Video Production Affects Student Engagement

This year edX gave researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) data on the second-by-second viewing habits of more than 100,000 learners perusing more than 6.9 million video sessions.

In a paper published this spring, the CSAIL team outlined some key findings on what online learners want from videos. These include:

  • Brevity (viewers generally tune out after six minutes)
  • Informality, with professors seated at a desk, not standing behind a podium
  • Lively visuals rather than static PowerPoint slides
  • Fast talkers (professors seen as the most engaging spoke at 254 words per minute)
  • More pauses, so viewers can soak in complex diagrams
  • Web-friendly lessons (existing videos broken into shorter chunks are less effective than ones crafted for online audiences)

The researcher created their own tool based on these research finding: LectureScape. LectureScape uses data on viewing behavior to present MOOC videos in a way that’s more intuitive, dynamic, and effective:

  • A timeline shows which parts other users have most frequently watched
  • An interactive transcript lets users enter keywords to find relevant segments
  • A mechanism automatically creates word clouds and summaries of individual sections, as well as the whole presentation
  • Content from popular slides automatically appears in the following slide, as users will likely want to refer back to that information

Interesting is that some of the features in LectureScape are similar to the tool of Feedback Fruits.

Download paper (PDF)

MOOC articles - June update

This month there were quiet some interesting articles that are interesting to read. Here a selection (in random order):

  • 5 Things Researchers Have Discovered About MOOCs
    In December 2013 a group of academics gathered during a Texas snowstorm and began the second phase of a discussion about massive open online courses. They were not terribly impressed by the hype the courses had received in the popular media, and they had set out to create a better body of literature about MOOCs—albeit a less sensational one.

  • Monetizing MOOCs – When Is it Right to Switch to Self-Serving Classes?
    this blog post explores why someone might want to pay for a MOOC. What can a student expect of a MOOC and is it really worth the time and/or money?

  • Can MOOCs lure international students to U.S. colleges and universities?
    Some online education advocates argue that MOOCs can lure international students to colleges and universities in the U.S. The University of Pennsylvania has developed a MOOC precisely for this purpose: a course titled “Applying to U.S. Universities.” And the State Department has woven online courses into its international education agenda, with the hope that MOOC-driven outreach programs will entice foreign students to study in the U.S.

  • Online learning at research-intensive universities needs a strategic approach
    Online learning has the potential to change teaching and learning at European universities profoundly. Recent trends have greatly accelerated the development of and investment in online learning, at research-intensive universities in particular.

  • ICDE: Ten useful reports on MOOCs and online education
    This digest of reports and papers published over the past year is provided to support the ongoing debate on MOOCs, Open Educational Resources and online education. A brief summary of the contents, dates of publication and extent are given.

  • The Supply and Demand of MOOCs Infographic
    MOOCs offer a flexible and free way to learn ICT skills, which are in high demand by employers. This infographic shows some of the key findings from a study published by the MOOCs for Web Talent Network.

  • Dissertation Roling Moe: The Evolution & Impact of the Massive Open Online Course
    This dissertation attempts to pinpoint the MOOC as a phenomenon and said phenomenon within how society views/ed education in 2014.

  • Coursera shifts focus from 'impact on learners' to 'reach of universities'
    Levin is signifying a change at Coursera, and he is not just a new CEO to manage the same business.

  • Christensen's Disruptive Innovation after the Lepore Critique
    Must innovation disrupt everything so that society might have new and better things?

  • Corporate learning redefined. Prepare for a revolution
    It’s a new age for learning & development. Online content, MOOCs, collaboration tools, and social media now fuel a training model where employees own their skills and experts share knowledge freely.

  • 8 Things You Should Know About MOOCs
    Before Harvard and MIT released data last month on their first 16 edX MOOCs, we already knew a few things: Millions of people register for massive open online courses, though far fewer receive certificates of completion. Most MOOC participants already have a college degree, even those outside the United States. But there was a lot we didn't know, especially about who took different types of MOOCs and how much of the course content they viewed. This information may be valuable to those looking to design and lead successful MOOCs. Here's what we've learned from this first data release covering more than half a million students.

  • MOOCs Won't Replace Business Schools — They'll Diversify Them
    Over the past few years, business school administrators — like other university officials — have been losing sleep over Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs), worrying that these low-cost digital alternatives will cannibalize their business model.

  • 11 Differences between a MOOC and an Online Course
    "A MOOC is a non-defined pedagogical format to organize learning /teaching/training on a specific topic in an informal, online, and collaborative way."

OpenMOOCs of the OE Consortium

The Open Education Consortium has become a member of edX, providing opportunities for our members to transform their existing OER and OCW into openly licensed MOOCs under the Open Education Consortium’s shingle on edX.

In the newsletter we have added some additional information:

Why Open MOOCs?

  • We heard from many members that they would like to try MOOCs, but haven’t had the opportunity, or don’t know where to start.
  • This provides us the opportunity to leverage existing OER and bring in the benefits of interaction and data collection offered by the edX platform.
  • We can build a diverse array of Open MOOCs that combine open content and open enrollment
  • The OEC OpenMOOC Committee recognized the benefit of having the exposure and audience of edX, which uses an open-source platform. 

Key points for participation

  • Participating institutions and organizations must be OEC members.
  • Any MOOC developed must be developed from existing open content (available under Creative Commons licenses). This is not an opportunity to develop a MOOC from scratch. However, members can add to the open content to make it more MOOC-friendly, such as adding video, assessments, additional resources, etc.
  • MOOCs will appear on the edX site under our “shingle” (OECx). They will be listed as being offered by the authoring institution, and all credit for content goes to the authoring institution. 
  • All content must be openly licensed and marked with the applicable license. The content must also appear in a repository where it can be accessed – in other words, content will not be downloadable from the edX site, but rather it will be viewed on edX and available as open content from the authoring institutions through links posted on edX.
  • There is no cost to members to participate, though members have to devote resources to developing and facilitating the courses. 
  •  We are doing a pilot with 6 universities to offer courses this coming fall (Sept – Nov). The pilot courses will be in business or environmental/health disciplines.  The pilot will allow us to develop best practice guides and a better understanding of what it takes to create MOOCs from existing open content. Universities for the pilot phase have already been identified.
  • Following the pilot, there will be opportunities for more members to participate with courses in any discipline.

I think this is a great opportunity for all Consortium members.Not a member yet? Join today via our website.
This also strengthen the position of EdX in the truly open education world. I will be the board liason to the OpenMOOC Committee.

Workshop Open Education in Egypt

This week I was invited to introduce the participants of the 2nd International Conference on E-learning, organised by the Egyptian E-learning University, to the field of Open Education. This is one of the things you sometimes have to do as board member of the Open Education Consortium (it is a tough job ;-) ). It was a delight to visit Cairo, although it was only for 1,5 day.

About 50 people attended the 3-hour workshop. This were people from different universities in Egypt and some companies and NGOs. Most of the people were new to the field of Open Education. Below is the slide deck I used during the workshop:

 In the afternoon I had the opportunity to visit the pyramids of Giza. This is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was amazing to see such enormous construction of stones. Thanks to EELU for arranging this for me.

 

 

Meer vacatures op de TU Delft

Vanwege het opzetten van de Delft Extension School onstaan er ook vacatures in de bestaande organisatie. Er zijn er nu 4 posities beschikbaar:

  • Twee Onderwijsadviseurs/docententrainers met specialisatie E-Learning
    Er zijn op dit moment twee vacatures voor onderwijsadviseur/docenttrainer: voor de ene vacature ligt het accent op het ontwikkelen van virtuele leerromgevingen, het begeleiden van docenten in onderwijsprojecten, het geven van didactische trainingen op het gebied van E-learning (Online en Blended Learning) en het didactisch gebruik van digitale tools (ook ten behoeve van Blended Learning). De tweede vacature betreft meer projectcoördinatie (zoals het Grassrootsproject van TU Delft), het adviseren van opleidingen bij onderwijsvernieuwingen en het didactische trainen van docenten op het gebied van E-Learning.
    Meer informatie en solliciteren

  • Twee High Level ICTO Medewerkers
    De functie van High level ICTO medewerker biedt ambitieuze professionals die werkzaam willen zijn op het randgebied tussen onderwijsondersteuning en ICT alle mogelijkheden om zichzelf net zo hard te ontwikkelen als het vakgebied waarin hij of zij actief is. ICTO, DLO, Onderwijstechnologie: als hier je kracht ligt, dan is dit je kans! Je geeft invulling aan de Functioneel Beheerfunctie rond de applicaties Blackboard (Digitale leeromgeving), Maple TA (Digitaal toetsen), Scorion (Peer review) en een aantal kleinere applicaties die in gebruik zijn. Hierbij werk je samen met je directe collega’s binnen Onderwijs & Studentenzaken, maar ook met collega’s die werkzaam zijn bij ICT. Je onderhoudt nauwe contacten met onderwijskundigen, docenten en studenten over het gebruik en de functionaliteit van Blackboard en de andere ICTO applicaties binnen het onderwijs. Jouw taak is om de algemene wensen van bijvoorbeeld de Blackboard-gebruikers te vertalen naar eisen, wensen en randvoorwaarden voor verbeteringen. Je adviseert over wijzigingen in processen en fungeert als vraagbaak voor vraagstukken rond de ICTO applicaties.
    Meer informatie en solliciteren

Absoluut interessante functies op het gebied van ICT en onderwijs.

MOOC Research Initiative Reports Released

MOOC Research Initiative (MRI) is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of a set of investments intended to explore the potential of MOOCs to extend access to postsecondary credentials through more personalized, more affordable pathways.

28 projects were selected last year and now their reports are available. On the website www.moocresearch.com/reports you find all reports.

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