Thursday, 24 April 2014

#OER #MOOC online learning papers from Open CourseWare conference

The Open Praxis special issue from the Open CourseWare Conferenence (OCW) 2014 that took place in Ljubliana, Slovenia is just published. This issue features a selection of papers. I gladly include the list of papers at the end of this blogpost, but first starting with an article and research that I found particularly useful.

The most interesting for my research and online learning interests was the one from Cohen, Omollo and Malicke which was an article on "a Framework to Integrate Public, Dynamic Metrics Into an OER Platform". The authors look at the usefulness of opening up meaningful analytics coming from shared Open Educational Resources (OER). I find this of interest, as it is part of something I want to investigate in relationship to peer/expert knowledge creation, MOOC, mobile learning. This paper provides an overview of what the university of Michigan, USA has done, but it can easily be rolled out to other educational and training institutes or organizations, even - in my view - to an international modus operandi.

The authors concluded with:
Metric-sharing is currency in relationships between OER-publishing-platforms and the faculty, staff, and students of universities and businesses who create OER. This is not the only benefit, but it has been a clear one for us: we are giving a population we have identified as a primary audience something they want. Our experience and user research confirm this.
The technical architecture an organization uses to host and reference OER is tied closely to the organization’s ability to share detailed usage data for its OER. Our use of the hierarchical structure of a Drupal-based platform allows us to easily provide metrics for individual courses or resources.
Metrics on a small scale are interesting, especially to their creators. Metrics can inform qualitative investigation, but they do not answer “why” questions (e.g. “why does this course have so many downloads compared to this other?”). To find analytics, metrics are necessary, but not sufficient.
Due to the structure by which OERbit platform stores metadata, Open.Michigan can group OER and its associated metrics in various ways. This positions Open.Michigan to progress from dynamic metrics to dynamic analytics in the future.
Much like seeing nodding and note-taking when you speak in front of an auditorium, seeing evidence of views, downloads, or comments where your OER are published is validation, evidence that there is some likelihood your effort provides real value to others. Having that evidence allows many to justify the additional effort it may take to openly license educational materials to supervisors and administrators. Open.Michigan’s sharing of individual OER metrics sustains development of open resources and allows an open education initiative, such as ours, to build strong relationships with its surrounding community and thus support the development and sharing of OER on a larger scale.

The above article matches in nicely with the OER and MOOC related article authored by Fernández and Webster (University of Madrid) which described "From OCW to MOOC: deployment of OERs in a MOOC, the experience of Universidad Carlos III in Madrid"

The emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is focusing all its attention on open education. There  is growing interest in creating MOOCs, which can be done by transferring OCW courses to MOOC format. However, a series of doubts arise regarding the pros and cons implied in this transformation. In this paper we discuss the conclusions derived from our experience at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid with a widely disseminated OCW course that was satisfactorily converted into a MOOC. This experience has allowed us to compare two different models of open education initially based on the same content. We also analyze the difficulties incurred in the transformation process and present strategies to successfully carry out this change.

Other articles featured in this Open Praxis issue:

Wikiwijs: An unexpected journey and the lessons learned towards OERPDF
Robert Schuwer, Karel Kreijns, Marjan Vermeulen91-102
Public Expenditure in Education in Latin America. Recommendations to Serve the Purposes of the Paris Open Educational Resources DeclarationPDF
Amalia Toledo Hernández, Carolina Botero, Luisa Guzmán103-113
The potential social, economic and environmental benefits of MOOCs: operational and historical comparisons with a massive ‘closed online’ coursePDF
Andy Lane, Sally Caird, Martin Weller115-123
Formalising informal learning: Assessment and accreditation challenges within disaggregated systemsPDF
Rory McGreal, Dianne Conrad, Angela Murphy, Gabi Witthaus, Wayne Mackintosh125-133
Scenarios for the Use of OpenCourseWare in the Context of Student MobilityPDF
Frederik Truyen, Stephanie Verbeken135-144
From OCW to MOOC: Deployment of OERs in a Massive Open Online Course. The Experience of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)PDF
José Vida Fernández, Susan Webster145-158
Crowd-sourcing (semantically) Structured Multilingual Educational Content (CoSMEC)PDF
Darya Tarasowa, Sören Auer, Ali Khalili, Jörg Unbehauen159-170
An Architecture based on Linked Data technologies for the Integration and reuse of OER in MOOCs ContextPDF
Nelson Piedra, Janneth Alexandra Chicaiza, Jorge López, Edmundo Tovar171-187
A Framework to Integrate Public, Dynamic Metrics Into an OER PlatformPDF
Jaclyn Zetta Cohen, Kathleen Ludewig Omollo, Dave Malicke189-197