At Thomas Edison State College, we have taken one of the courses that seemed to be partly developed and, in consultation with the original developers, we have been working on completing it so that we could develop an assessment that our students could use for credit. I worry that we will come up with a completed program of study that leads to the BGS degree but will have no actual path for students to follow to pursue that degree.
I'm very excited by TESC's efforts in taking Unisa's Critical Reasoning 2012 prototype nomination, adding value to the course structure and design and developing an assessment for your students. This is another excellent example of the potential efficiencies of the OERu model.
I suppose hindsight is a more accurate science, but I think there are a few valuable lessons we can draw from this inititative as we progress.
- It would have been helpful if the course material redesign was conducted openly. My understanding is that TESC will host the course materials on Google Sites (which is fine for TESC) but restricts effective reuse by others. During the early phases it may have been possible to script an early version for more flexible reuse. Not sure what technologies you used for development.
- I appreciate that it would not have been feasible to develop the summative assessment openly for obvious reasons.
- The OER Foundation will not be able to host the resultant course materials using proprietary technology. So extra time and effort will be needed to convert the course into open formats.
- Unisa is a Sakai campus, so it will be hard for them to integrate the course within their own learning management system for their students.
- Unisa and the OERF are keen to have a micro format version of this course - was the course structured in way to enable delivery in micro format?
I offer this thoughts - -not as criticisms, but reflections on how we can improve OERu operations and effectiveness.
For the future, I think we have a very exciting opportunity to host an OERu open online version (in micro format) of this course with parallel versions being available for full-fee registered students at the respective institutions studying in parallel with the free OERu learners. I think this would be a very powerful prototype for the network to explore.
Keen to hear your thoughts on these ideas.
Wayne--Actually, I am not the person to ask about the course design platform. We use Moodle Rooms for course delivery, but we have designed a cloud-based, "platform-independent" process for development that allows course materials to be delivered via any kind of device, including tablets and even smart phones. My understanding is that we can share course materials with any LMS. I will try to obtain the details so that our partners might have some more information about it.
I'd appreciate that -- Feel free to invite your tech person to respond in this forum.
Wayne--here is what I received from Steve Phillips in my office, who has been working with a team to finish the Critical Reasoning course:
All of the course materials will be available in Word .doc format, so they can be easily remixed, reused, and uploaded to any LMS. At the bottom of every page will be a download button (identical to the way we set up our open PLA100/200 courses). The Google Site shell only exists to provide students (and our staff) with a more attractive and polished way of looking at the course.
In terms of micro-courses, while our course was not designed this way (and as far as I can tell, neither was the UNISA course), there is enough of a thematic link between modules 1&2, and 3&4 to make two micro courses, and module 5 could be expanded to essentially a mini English composition course.
Thanks for getting back to us - I appreciate that.
That's a clever way to use Google Sites to provide a navigation shell for a collection of course documents to provide a more attractive and polished way of looking at the course.
The OERu course snapshot is not that far removed from the approach you are using. In stead of documents we use individual wiki pages (which can be downloaded in open document format or pdf.) The course snapshot provides the navigation, look and feel with the advantages of a CSS framework for responsive design. We have the added advantage of a detailed edit history for collborative / distributed authoring and the ability to target specific instances for the snapshot. The wiki also provides a good way to manage the metadata of openly licensed images.
Yes, with access to the Word documents we will be able to automate getting a draft into the wiki. We will need to have a think about images, in particular the metadata for openly licensed images embedded in the course resources.
Correct, when the Unisa course was first nominated, we were not thinking about micro-courses. But that's my point - if the OER development was conducted openly -- we would have had the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of a micro-format and potentially have avoided duplication of effort ;-).
No worries - design is an iterative process and we are all learning with each new iteration of the OERu courseware.
Looking forward to seeing the open version of the Critical Reasoning course. This will be a major edition to the OERu collection.