Posts Tagged ‘ocwconsortium’


The Short List for Open Education Week 2013

March 8, 2013

Open Education Week is a global celebration of open education and its impact on learning sponsored by the OpenCourseWare Consortium. There are are project showcases, resources, and live local and online events.

Starting Sunday, March 10 webinars and local events  are happening worldwide each day where you can learn the basics about open education or engage with experienced OER developers and practitioners.oewbanner-13  They are listed in GMT and will be recorded so you can listen later if they are not during your waking hours.

Here is the shortlist of best webinars to attend live for those in the Americas:  (Hope to see you online!)

Monday, 9:00 am (Pacific)  Designing OER with Diversity In Mind

Monday, 10:00 am (Pacific)  Driving Adoptions of OER Through Communities of Practice   with College Open Textbook grantees.

Monday, 10:30 am (Pacific) Khan Academy: Personalized learning experiences

Monday, 12:00 (Pacific) Using MERLOT to Find High Quality Open Educational Resources

Tuesday, 8:00 am (Pacific) Xpert Search Engine and the Xpert Image Attribution Service

Tuesday, 10:00 am (Pacific) Collaborative Boldly Confronts Licensing Issues

Wednesday, 9:00 am (Pacific) Open Policy Network: seeking community input

Wednesday, 12:00 noon (Pacific) How Community Colleges are Innovating with Open Educational Resources

Wednesday, 3:00 pm ( Pacific) P2PU: A Showcase of Open Peer Learning

Thursday, 11:00 am (Pacific), Validating the Learning Obtained through Open Educational Resources

Thursday, 1:00 pm (Pacific), OER and Alternative Certification Models: An Analysis Framework

Friday, 8:00 am (Pacific),  Re-thinking Developmental Education: Creating a STEM Bridge in the National STEM Consortium

Friday, 9:00 am (Pacific), Using OER to Reduce Student Costs and Improve Student Learning at College of the Canyons

Friday, 10:00 am (Pacific),  OpenStax College Textbooks: Remixable by Design

 Friday, 12:00 noon (Pacific),  An OER Editor for the Rest of Us


Dec 4th: OER Research on Student Impact and Faculty Satisfaction

November 19, 2012

Please join us Tuesday, December 4, 1:00 pm Eastern for a webinar on OER Research findings on student outcomes and faculty and student feedback. The Kaleidoscope project, a collaboration between six community colleges and two 4-year colleges, developed OER for eight General Education courses and will report on student learning outcomes and faculty satisfaction. Florida Virtual Campus has been administering surveys to both faculty and Pie chart on Document Pagestudents using open textbooks and open educational resources at their college and university campuses through their Open Access Textbook project and will share their findings from the last three years. Another Next Generation Learning Grant funded project Bridge-2-Success has worked with non-traditional students transitioning back to college or entering for the first time to improve college success. Working with Open University UK adapted open educational resources (OER) and online data gathering, they will share student outcome data from Anne Arundel and their 20 pilot colleges.

Dr. Robin Donaldson, Director of Open Access Textbooks and Project Manager of Orange Grove, Florida Virtual Campus Robin will give us an overview of the student and faculty survey feedback from 2010 and 2011 and will compare how data has changed over time.

Dr. Nassim Ebrahimi, Ann Arundel Community College Nassim will report on student learning outcomes finding from the Bridge-2-Success project at Ann Arundel and the 20 pilot community colleges that participated.

Kim Thanos, Lumen Learning. Kim will share differences in how students performed in classrooms using OER compared to those who continued to use publisher materials. She will also report on satisfaction among faculty participants.


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Iowa Chapter ACRL Conference 2012

June 13, 2012

On Friday May 25th I attended the annual conference of the Iowa Chapter of ACRL (For those non-librarians among you, ACRL is a professional association for academic librarians), so I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some librarian news on the OER front. While there were disappointingly no presentations related to openness, the keynote speaker, Michael Porter of Library Renewal, touched on many of the reasons why libraries are a natural fit as campus leaders or supporters of OER: we are dedicated to freedom of access to information to all people, we are often de facto campus experts on copyright issues, and we also typically march to our own drummer, creating services for our users when we see the need. So when I spread the word to my co-attendees, there was much interest in hearing more from me about CCCOER and OCW.

ACRL has been very supportive of Open Access in terms of scholarly publishing for many years. Their own journal, College & Research Libraries is open access as of April 2011, and before that their Scholarly Communications Initiative began in 2002 “with goals of creating increased access to scholarly information; fostering cost-effective alternative means of publishing, especially those that take advantage of electronic information technologies; and encouraging scholars to assert greater control over scholarly communications.” And here’s an Iowa connection: The University of Iowa Libraries has one of the best, up-to-date sites on Scholarly Publication that I’ve ever seen. It’s a wonderful place to keep up with this important issue.

So if you’re a fellow-librarian, keep spreading the word. And if you’re not, be sure to include your campus librarians in the dialogue about openness. You might be surprised how much they can add to the discussion!

– Kate Hess, Kirkwood Community College, Iowa City, Iowa


A Day at Open University, UK

April 24, 2012

I had the pleasure of attending a day of presentations and activities at the Open University, UK last Thursday as the closing of the annual Open Couseware Consortium Global Meeting in England.   Open University was founded over 40 years ago to provide open access to  higher education for those who wanted to earn a degree but lacked qualifications or could not attend in-person full-time due to jobs, family obligations, or disabilities.  Its enormous success lead to many other open universities throughout the world.   It continues to be a leader in distance education and we met some of their staff and faculty who make it all possible.

The Open University logo

The Open University logo

We arrived at the beautiful modern campus in Milton-Keynes about 40 minutes by train north of London.   Most students take their courses online and do not attend in-person although advisement can be completed over the phone, email, or in-person if physically possible. Several of the buildings meet the European standards (BREEAM) for environmental sustainability and had many windows for natural light.   Professor Andy Lane, director of the Open Learn Initiative was our host for the day.

We heard from the Learning & Teaching Solutions team who actually build the highly interactive modules that compose the courses and the process they use for design. Their model has changed from warehouses of print materials twenty or more years ago to primarily online but with a new focus on modules maps and scaffolding to help students navigate the modules implemented in Moodle. In the last year they have been converting all interactive modules from Flash to HTML5 to fully support mobile learning.

Simon Buckingham-Shum from the Knowledge Media Labs talked about the different research projects at OU around technology and changes from the early days of radio/tv delivery to today’s delivery methods with support for synchronous and asynchronous online learning and assessment.  One promising technology is the intelligent formative assessment that analyzes students’ essays to make formative feedback more efficient and lower costs.   Another new initiative is social learning + open learn which combines a user’s existing social online identities with open learning content and includes special outreach to open university alumni.   Learning analytics is another area where open university is leading as they begin analyzing learner data including student registration, assessments, and feedback with automatic detection of deeper learning.

Next we heard about the effectiveness of the Learning Space project (originally funded by Hewlett Foundation) and how it became a tool for creating awareness and engaging potential students by letting the public interact with introductory openly licensed portions of modules to better understand what the courses are all about.   Up to 8% of visitors who visit learning spaces follow up on registering for an open university course.

Our mid-day speaker was the very dynamic, vice-chancellor Martin Bean, who finds education exciting in these times of shrinking budgets.  Seeing a strong interest in learning from the public, he believes that universities and colleges must make learning more meaningful in people’s daily lives by linking with popular media and making content available on the mobile web, iTunesU, as well as through the open university portal.   Content is being deprecated but teaching, learning, and pastoral care remain more important than ever at Open University(OU).

We enjoyed visiting the OU labs with Chris Pegler and other staff for an overview of how their modules are designed and verified for engagement, usability, accessibility, and mobility.   Demos of the eyeTracker software showed us the movement of a viewer’s eyes as they studied a web page indicating areas of greatest attraction.  We learned about usability and accessibility testing that records students performing tasks ensure that modules are easy-to-use and work with screen readers, alternate keyboard devices, and other assistive technology.

After lunch we learned about the important role of over 7000 tutors (associate lecturers) at Open University that are assigned to the 250,000 students as courses advisors and tutors.   Most of the student advisement is done over the phone or email on a weekly basis these days but in-person visits can be arranged if schedules allow it.

The director of library services engaged us in the how librarians can assist faculty and students with finding and evaluating open educational resources to enhance their modules and learning at lower costs. They have developed information literacy level frameworks for students at all levels up to masters’ program on open repositories, tagging data, licensing options, and technical considerations of production.   I plan to share more of this in a future posting.

The day ended with an overview of how OU gets feedback from its students both at the module level and annually to evaluate the effectiveness of it instructors, courses, and overall services to students.  Particular attention is paid to students who do not complete modules to understand the causes and try to re-engage them. Employability of students who have completed courses and degrees is a developing area as OU asks students and employers to evaluate their programs with respect to effectiveness in finding jobs and performing job skills.


Higher Ed Disruption at Mid-Pacific ICT Conference

January 10, 2012
Winter ICT Educator Conference January 5-6, 2012

Winter ICT Educator Conference January 5-6, 2012

Last week, I presented at the Mid-Pacific ICT (MPICT) Conference in San Francisco Open Education Revolution: From Open Access to Open Partcipation highlighting new participatory models in open education and hung out with fellow “geek” faculty from community colleges nationwide.  We celebrated the founding of the new California ICT Collaborative headed by Pierre Thierry of City College San Francisco.  Along with cataloguing ICT offerings statewide to increase efficiency, Olivia Herriford, associate director of MPICT announced the diversity toolkit to encourage non-traditional students to pursue credentials and degrees in ICT.

“Closing the Digital Gap” keynote from Gordon Synder, director of the National Center for Information and Communications Technologies at Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts reminded us of the accelerating speed of technology adoption and our need to push content out to our students. Mobile networks are growing faster than broadband access throughout underserved areas in North America and worldwide.   A study by Blackboard and Project Tomorrow found that 98% of U.S. students have access to some sort of smart phone. 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions were active in 2011 with 90% of worldwide population having some access versus only 2 billion with Internet access.  Smart phones sold exceeded PC units worldwide in 2010 and tablets are flooding the market.

Jim Gaston, associate director of Academic Technology, South Orange Community College District and lead for the Sherpa student guidance project issued a mandate for change in his “Higher Education Disruption” keynote. Leading us through numerous examples from other industries, he cited five common threads between higher education and the traditional music industry:  centralized control, lack of individualization, inflexible, rising costs, and perceived low ROI.  If a college education is simply becoming an expensive check-off, students will go elsewhere.   Mentioning Open Courseware offerings and skill-based badges as promising alternatives, he urged us to personalize education making it learner-centered, interactive, participatory, and mobile.  Educators can change lives for the better if we listen to students and focus on what makes their lives successful.

Keynotes and other archived presentations are available the California Community College’s CCC Confer project funded through the Chancellor’s office.


Happy 2012!

Una Daly, Community College Outreach Manager at the Open Courseware Consortium.


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