Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Breaking down barriers: Open Educational Practices as an emerging academic literacy

A conference presentation with Jo Stroud and Javiera Atenas at Connected Learning in an Open World: Academic Practice and Technology conference, University of Greenwich; 8 July 2014. Links for our accompanying Prezi plus our speaking notes are below.

This paper considers barriers to the uptake of Open Educational Practices (OEP) and how these barriers might potentially be overcome. ‘Open education’ has become an increasingly important topic in TEL and wider educational debates, partly driven by the rapid emergence of MOOCs. Various activities, such as sharing of teaching resources, open access publishing, and delivery of free, online courses, are being promoted under the umbrella of ‘openness’, yet the majority of scholars do not appear to be embracing the concept wholeheartedly. Amidst dramatic changes to the current learning, teaching, and research landscape, academics are increasingly called upon to become ‘connected’, ‘digital’, and ‘open’ scholars, requiring engagement with a kaleidoscope of interconnected open social and digital practices. Potentially the most powerful and compelling argument for any version of ‘open education’ is the claim that academics should adopt Open Educational Practices (OEP). For example, Andrade et al. (2011) assert that “OER and OEP are changing learning scenarios” and that “the use of OER and the implementation of OEP lead to innovations in pedagogical terms”. OEP consist not only of creating and reusing OER, but also of other forms of transparency around academic practice, such as blogging, tweeting, presenting, and debating scholarly and pedagogic activities, in ways that promote reusability, revision, and collaboration (Ehlers, 2011; Jacobi & Woert, 2012). OEP are therefore tactics for increasing access to knowledge, developing and strengthening communities of practice, disseminating positive ways of working, leveraging high-quality existing resources, and promoting innovative pedagogies (Andrade et al., 2011). In spite of this, there appears to be a lack of engagement with OEP. It’s possible that these theoretical and practical benefits have not been widely understood by the academic community, but it also seems to be the case that real or perceived regulatory, technical, cultural, and skills barriers exist. In our presentation we will consider the nature of these barriers in greater detail and suggest potential strategies for their mitigation. 

Andrade, A., Ehlers, U.-D., Caine, A., Carneiro, R., & Conole, G. (2011). Beyond OER: Shifting Focus from Resources to Practices (pp. 1–191). Duisburg-Essen. Retrieved from http://www.oerasia.org/OERResources/8.pdf  
Ehlers, U., & Conole, G. (2010). Open Educational Practices : Unleashing the power of OER (pp. 1–9). Retrieved from http://efquel.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/OEP_Unleashing-the-power-of-OER.pdf  
Ehlers, U-D. (2011). From Open Educational Resources to open educational practices. eLearning Papers, (23), 1–8. Retrieved from http://www.elearningeuropa.info/nl/node/71328  
Jacobi, R., & Woert, N. van der. (2012). Trend Report on Open Educational Resources 2012. SURF, Utrecht. 

Prezi available: http://prezi.com/yenbduyyzsjy/greenwich-apt 
Slide notes available: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1kEmbPQKuvtIm9r84aTJ8raJnfEPJIw6WvrJdBguJe4s/edit?usp=sharing

Friday, 21 March 2014

Seminar review: Practical considerations of running a MOOC

The University of London’s (UoL) Centre for Distance Education (CDE) provides thought-provoking lunchtime seminars on topics of interest to learning technology practitioners and staff who teach or administer online courses. A recent well-attended seminar on the practicalities of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) included presentations on MOOCs in English Common Law (ECL) and Creative Programming (CP). 

Julie Voce, E-Learning Services Manager at Imperial College and I wrote up our notes of this event and they are available on the ALT Online Newsletter

Friday, 7 March 2014

Is it time for MOOCs to 'open up'?

A piece I co-wrote with Javiera Atenas is now live on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog: MOOCs must move beyond open enrolment and demonstrate a true commitment to reuse and long-term redistribution.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Literacies for open practice: open up and say OER?

A presentation at Bloomsbury TEL event on Digital Literacy for Teaching and Research, 19 February 2014, at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Media Cloud forecast: in-video quizzes and more

Recently the Bloomsbury Media Cloud User Group attended a presentation from MediaCore, the company who provide the platform and hosting that powers the service. There are some interesting developments in the pipeline.

In-video quiz prototype

  • It is good to see research and thought has gone into this. The goal is that it should be designed and prototyped in accordance with educational theory and research and user community engagement. Reference to literature arguing that in an educational setting, videos shouldn’t just be passively consumed – you want the students actively engaging.
  • They have also surveyed academics and technical staff regarding what they would want to do if there was a quizzing functionality. An interesting result was ‘discuss the responses in class’. Also teachers felt they would change the way they create videos if they had the quizzing functionality, so seen as having a strong pedagogical affordance.
  • Also reviewed literature on quizzes/MCQs. Creating good ‘distractors’ (plausible wrong answers) and provision of response-contingent feedback (i.e. tells you why you are right or wrong) both seen as key.
  • Design is also based on Bloom’s taxonomy with a view to enabling and encouraging teachers to consciously apply Bloom’s taxonomy in design of questions and feedback.
  • Questions can be textual or image-based.
  • Getting it working smoothly and making it easy to use is the priority. Integration with Moodle gradebook and similar via SCORM or other methods is further down the track, but the group generally felt this functionality will be more valuable for formative/reflective purposes anyway.

Now & next for the platform

  • We are now using the new player.
  • You can now embed whole collections (not from the Chooser in Moodle though).
  • They now have epub support (i.e. you can upload an epub file as the main media item).
  • Capture app already existed for iOS devices, and now exists for Android and Windows 8 (PC & tablet).
  • Snagit integration allows upload of Snagit screencapture videos directly to MediaCore but there is a bug that is not displaying all the collections (this is currently with TechSmith to resolve).
  • Plan for everything to be more responsive to device/screen size so it works and looks better.
  • Planned new ‘super embed’ will allow a bunch of functionality from the site (e.g. collections, attached docs, download main media item) to be accessible from the embeds.
  • User group members Javiera Atenas, Elizabeth Charles and Leo Havemann supplied recommendations regarding inclusion of licensing options (including the range of Creative Commons licences) and these will be incorporated into  the platform soon.
  • Sharing assets across more than one collection is known to be our current major issue.

    This post was originally written for the Bloomsbury Learning Environment Blog