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Monday, 28 May 2012

Activity Seven; Open Education Resources and Philosophies

A definition of Open Education practises according to Catherine Casserly, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation;

'Education and knowledge are public goods freely shared.... high quality educational content and tools freely available on the web, in all languages, useable and re-useable' ( C.Casserly, 2008

During the process of exploring this topic, I keep coming back to the sustainability phrase of reduce, reuse, recycle. That is what this concept seems to be in terms of having unlimited access to information that is monitored for accuracy, opportunity to edit, add to and improve in a collaborative way that reduces costs (publishing, paper) reuses and improves the content and recycles it out to the general public.

This creates challenges for the facilitator and learner by changing the traditional ways we teach and learn, providing opportunity to 'deepen the knowledge and create new ways of learning' (Casserly,2008) .  Time and space become more flexible and opportunity for accelerated learning processes may shorten course length.

Strategies I could use;

The wiki-educator tool forms the basis of our courses on the Travel and Tourism programme.

  • Improve ways of linking video's and ppts
  • Consistency and uniformity of content on the wiki, throughout each course
  • Build up a more extensive library of resources on the wiki
  • Embed a reflective framework within the course for the students to provide feedback on the learning process as they progress 
Why I believe OER and Philosophies are important;

The philosophy behind this concept is great in principle, providing free access to educational resources to as many people as possible World Wide and does move away from 'too many on the outside looking in'(Casserly,2008) provided 'all' have access to technology and the internet.  However I do believe that this creates as many barriers as it does in removing them, for instance;
  • The teacher/learner needs to be re-educated away from the traditional classroom structure
  • It needs to be used as educational resources/tools with the teacher as a guide
  • Requires some technological competence in order to ensure the learner remains engaged
  • Understanding the creative commons with attribution and ensuring our learners understand this
The vision for the future at Otago Polytechnic is certainly in the areas of implementing and developing  Open Learning and Online resources which will in turn change the face of how we deliver, where we deliver and with what!

Catherine M. Casserly, Ph,D. 2008.  The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
'Open Educational Resources: Unlocking knowledge to the Global Community.'

 {Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations}

1 comment:

  1. Well said Helen! Certainly to work in an open learning environment, students and teachers alike need to develop their digital information capability. Therefore, it is not just about digital literacy or technological competence, it is also about knowing what materials are needed, where to source them from, the ability to access them competently, and also to know if they are suitable for the purpose. It is also about being able to modify existing materials or to create new material and then being able to share it within a networked community. You have a excellent list of strategies for becoming 'more open' - what support or action do you consider is necessary to develop a higher level of digital information literacy in yourself and your students?

    Hint: You may be interested in reading the Executive Summary of the MoE project: Digital Information Literacy: Supported Development of Capability in Tertiary Environments