Using design research to solve OERu problems

Re: Using design research to solve OERu problems

by simon fenton-jones -
Number of replies: 0

OK, We'll take this EDR approach. (Can't say I'm particularly happy with it, as it limits the conversation to the education business, but ....)


I'll just point to this history of the modern education industry. And you can enroll in the course if you think it's of interest.


We have two problems to overcome here. The primary one, from my perspective, is that we have passionate individuals within an institution, within an National R&E network, who are attempting to develop Global "collaboration hubs". They have little understanding of how networks are constructed, so usually, when they get a F2F conference together, they find it very difficult to include others as the kind of tools which they dream about would require them to approach their National network engineers on a coordinated basis.

To illustrate the challenges from their National network manager's perspective, I'll just point to the last meeting of some of the network managers who run R&E networks in Europe.

So, as far as design is concerned, we have the OER perspective. (i.e. the content people), and the NREN perspective (i.e. the infrastructure people). One group rarely talks to the other. That's why I produced this video back a few years ago. (Warning. I'm a bad teacher)

As I've always said to my terena mates, it's a bit useless engineers trying to design a house; that's an architect's/OERer's job. And they can't design a global collaborative hub without understanding (at least) a little about how IP networks are constructed. (the basis of which is the concept of having the same resources & bandwidth -between users - when they log on to their institutional network, and these days, outside their institutional networks). For OER, all they know is the web - the bit that sits on top of the Internet.

The other challenge in design comes back to trying to remember a world where people weren't drowning in content. e.g. we have lots of OER initiatives, all working in their hubs, with a few spokes, and ultimately, when it comes to marketing, they (their promotional people) need to collaborate. Another web site is about as useless as .....

I don't have a degree in Marketing. I just have 30 years experience, and would never employ a graduate in any of the businesses I've started and sold, primarily because they will have had their imaginations ruined by outdated theories, and academic practices.(not another thesis!)

So, as far as busying oneself around building credentials for jobs that no longer exist. I would tend to be designing a new marketing concept for inter-OER initiatives. Eventually, that will revolve around the idea of collaborating, and not competing with one another. There's no course for it either, yet :)

BTW. You might be interested in this graphic,  as this same discussion is going on in the "open governance" space. We seem to have the same problem in the Open Education space. No one invites the users to co-design. (every project starts at Stage 4).