Most OER that are publicly viewable are in fact not "freshly baked" but rather a snapshot of resource as it existed in the past. MIT's OCW for example are not what faculty are actually using in their current courses, merely content published earlier. This definitely creates a content centric model.
I'm hoping we'll eventually get to a freshly baked model of OER where we can see these resources live and in use. This will add an essential ingredient for us all - a chance to see how the OER performs.
At the risk of mixing metaphors Content-Centric OER are like buying cars from a lot without seeing them in use or taking them for a test drive. If we could see how teachers and students engage with OER, like Gina's example where everything is in the open, we get a much better sense of whether the OER is to our liking or not. Not seeing it in use is like not starting the engine. Who knew that that clunky looking OER was a wonder when students and faculty revved it up and took it out for spin? Who knew that the slick looking OER beside it looked good but didn't perform well? And isn't it amazing how a really good driver (and interesting passengers) can get the most out of an old vehicle and make that journey a joy?
I know from my own online teaching and learning experiences that its not the package of content that counts its what teachers and students do with it. Its the discussion, the assignments, the activities, the comments, the exploration, the eye-opener surprises, ... Those are what make the whole experience work.
Perhaps at some future time when we register for courses we'll be given options:
1. closed education with all learning happening privately with classmates behind password protected environments (or campus based classrooms)
2. open education with all learning happening publicly in open online systems viewable by all
Which would you choose?
Would they be priced differently?
Hi Paul, it has been a long time. I understand your argument for fully open and transparent education, but personal experience with adult learners from around the world tells me that it would not be welcomed. I say that because it is difficult to get most online learners to communicate their ideas and experiences to their cohort even when no one else is watching or listening. I also note that different cultures have difficulty communicating in public and a truly open forum would certainly inhibit them from responding in an honest manner.
In an open system I would suspect that most learners would not express their true feelings if they knew anyone could read them. Even in cohort learning, where individuals move through together, it takes a lot of time to build the trust necessary to communicate ones ideas or to openly challenge someone else's postings.
I can enviage a boss looking in on one of his employee's to see how he/she is responding in the course. Forgive me for the "big brother" fear, but I believe learners will be less inclined to exchange ideas, challenge others. It will stifle learning, not enhance learning.
Hi everyone - I'm pretty bummed that I'm just now getting into the discussion - we did a major Moodle upgrade at Royal Roads (I'm from the Centre for Teaching and Ed Techs there) in mid January that went pretty awry and took up most of my time and energy - trying now to get back on track while the bit marks fade.
Re the issue of making courses completely open, I agree with you Roger that learners would have concerns - but/and I think so would faculty. A few months back I was at a BC Campus session Scott facilitated in which a faculty member said she was hesitant to make her course materials open because of the scrutiny she would face from her peers. Having not just course materials but also a course facilitator's interactions with learners open to anyone could be pretty scary. I'm about to try to convince faculty at Royal Roads that sharing is a good thing, but I think I'll come across others with that same fear. One of the ways we're hoping to share more than just content is to provide the pedagogy behind the course's development when we share a course. It's not the same as seeing course activity, but at least it would give other course developers an idea of what was behind the decisions to use particular activities or ed techs.