Week 3 focused almost exclusively on OERs (Open Education Resources).
Mindmap of Week 3 contents
You can access the full sized mindmap at this link
Discussion of contents of week 3
The video titled “The 5R’s, CC, and Open Licensing (part 2)” is very explicit about how higher education educators make their choices regarding the textbooks they use. It’s so simple, it’s infuriating. If you have 7 minutes and want to understand the whole mechanics of the faculty-publisher industrial complex, all you need to learn is here. Publishers have effectively hijacked faculty into forcing students to buy books.
I found the video titled “The 5R’s, CC, and Open Licensing (part 3)“, to be extremely explicit about why OER is such an important issue in North America. (As i mentioned in my Week 1 post, in South America, the scenario is very different). If you can use textbook purchase as a prediction tool for success, it would seem that educators and educational institutions that are truly engaged with their students’ success would take measures to mitigate or eliminate that risk… unless someone is benefitting from the current situation and will take action to prevent the status quo from changing. Pretty awful and a shame if you ask me.
I’d be remiss if i didn’t comment on the Wikipedia mention that David Wiley does: OERs cannot work exactly like Wikipedia does. On Wikipedia, when you edit an article, you change the content for everyone. For classroom materials, the requirement is slightly different: instead of trying to write an authoritative content (the best description of knowledge at the current time), you might need to adapt it to your classroom’s needs.
On Wikipedia (and more generally the Wikimedia platform), you are always welcome to take the contents and edit them for the world to see, or you can take them and ReUse them for your own needs, so the possibility is there, but you can’t save the version you’ve created for your own needs on the platform.
On Wikipedia’s more OER-like sister projects, such as Wikiversity and Wikibooks, the expectation still is that a consensus can be arrived to, finalized in the present state of the contents. I don’t think this disqualifies the capabilities of those projects, but it does underline a different set of requirements. Interesting.
OER and the educational revolution
On David Wiley’s 50 minutes video, he makes a soft intro to OERs, and then fires away with impact studies on OER implementation. I was really impressed with the presentation, and the idea that OER can immediately benefit students, but also educators, and even the institutions (that’s right higher education institutions: you get fewer dropouts, and students can reinvest that saved money into more credits). It’s a win-win-win that cannot be rationally rejected.
It was interesting to learn that there is a research group on the topic of OER: http://openedgroup.org/review I’m guessing everyone’s invited if you care about student outcomes and improving educational systems.
Also of interest for faculty workers: @normanbier‘s reflection on how Creative Commons makes contents more simple to manage for Universities, faculty, as well as students.
While it’s somewhat shy in this week’s contents, it’s interesting that the educational revolution is slowly hinted at. In his talk, David Wiley describes how OERs enable new forms of teaching+Learning (“participation in the educational space”, if you will). He seems thrilled at the reaction of students as they engage in meaningful activities that they partake in and share for the world to benefit from, such as https://pm4id.org/ (this links counts as an additional free bonus for educators that are serious about their work).
I really really recommend you take the 50 minutes and watch that video if you need to understand Open Educational Resources.
The Lumen Platform
The plugs for the Lumen platform were intriguing enough that i need to do more research on it. In summary, it would seem to be a platform for professors to collaborate together on creating OERs, together with an LMS (open source, of course).
More from David Wiley
Here are a couple of David Wiley’s presentations (if you’ve made it this far in the post, you probably want to follow him on Slideshare):