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OER and Alternative Certification Models: Bridging Boundaries Between Formal and Informal Learning
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OER and Alternative Certification Models: Bridging Boundaries Between Formal and Informal Learning


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ISKME's presentation on our alternative credentialing research from the 2012 Open Education Conference.

ISKME's presentation on our alternative credentialing research from the 2012 Open Education Conference.

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  • 1. 10.16.12 OER and Alternative Certification Models: Bridging Boundaries Between Formal and Informal Learning Cynthia Jimes, Lisa McLaughlin ISKME 2012: Open Education Conference October 16-18, 2012 Vancouver, BC
  • 2. About This ProjectIn working with OER teacher champions, ISKME has been looking at how OERsupports alternative learning pathways for students. This work, funded by theWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is meant to help foster new strategies forhow existing open education resources can inform credit-earning pathways.Contributors to this project include:•Lisa Petrides•Cynthia Jimes•Lisa McLaughlin•Clare Middleton-Detzner•Rudy Rubio•Amee Evans Godwin
  • 3. The Education ContextSetting the stage for alternative models The rising costs of education Decreases in funding that reduce the number of classes available for students The need to better align workforce needs with the needs of students The demands of a service-based knowledge economy A demand from employers for a stronger focus on core competencies An increasing number of students for whom college becomes less affordable each year An increasing number of students demanding flexible class times to meet their varied learning needs and life contexts
  • 4. The Education Context, cont.Setting the stage for alternative models – what the literature says New technologies and web-based community spaces shifting the ways in which students and teachers access and interact with, and even create, new information and data An environment in which learning becomes more community-based, with no traditional start and end points Emerging modes of assessment as a means of recognizing informal learning and competency-based learning
  • 5. A Working DefinitionWhat we mean by OER and alternative certification models Support student learning through the use of OER or freely available content Offer courses or content bundled into topic or knowledge areas Guide learners as they build their knowledge through, for example, feedback mechanisms and increasingly challenging content Reward learners for mastery of content Have been publically launched and are currently available for learners
  • 6. The Questions We Asked What OER and open access-based pathway models exist and how do they work? How can these new pathway models best be categorized and understood? How are these models distinct from formal education pathways? What gaps do they fill? What gaps remain? What are the possible implications of these new models for teaching and learning? If these new models really took off, what would it mean for education as we know it?
  • 7. Approach Review of the literature to capture recent thinking on the factors driving the emergence of new learning pathways, and how they differ from traditional, formal education pathways (see list of references) Examination of OER and open access-based alternative pathway models to assess how they support and recognize learning through technology, content, pedagogical approach, and other factors Development of an analytical framework for assessing and categorizing the models that helps to answer our key study questions
  • 8. Mapping the Models: Big PictureAn early framework o Use OER  Use freely available content Learning Recognition of Achievement Model Degrees/Credit Certificates of Badges Completion Instructor Led o Open High School o OLI Carnegie Mellon o Open University UK  Udacity, edX o U of the People  Coursera, Venture  Sophia Lab o P2PU Self-guided or  ALISON  Codecademy Peer-Led Learning o Saylor  Khan AcademyNote: This framework is a work in progress, and is not intended as a comprehensive map of alternative pathway models. Itincludes 14 models from our analysis, selected as representatives for our study’s working definition of alternative pathwaymodels.
  • 9. Recognition of AchievementOverview of where the models fall For the models reviewed, three types of recognition emerged: 1) degrees or credit, 2) certificates, and 3) badges On the whole, the type of recognition offered is related to the model’s level of affiliation with a formal institution. Specifically, degrees are offered by models that are under the umbrella of formal institutions, certificates are offered by models that have partnerships with formal institutions, and badges are offered by grassroots models with limited or no ties to formal institutions
  • 10. Recognition of AchievementA move toward accredited learning pathways Although only four of the models offer accredited courses (OHSU, OU UK, Sophia, OLI), several other models are moving toward accreditation (U of the People, Saylor, P2PU, Codecademy) For two of models that currently offer accredited courses, learners are charged for enrolling in the credit-granting courses (Sophia, OLI); For one of the models, learners may be charged for receiving credit based on where they live, income, qualifications, course offered, etc. (OU UK) For those that are moving toward accreditation, new solutions are beginning to emerge, including Codecademy’s recent partnership with NYU to offer a programming course that may be later incorporated into NYU’s accredited curriculum
  • 11. Learning ModelAn emphasis on ‘learner-driven’ learning and content The majority of the models reviewed Examples: rely more upon self-guided or peer- Khan Academy: Learners navigate their own based activities to support student learning path by working through topics learning, with no or limited within a ‘knowledge map’ interaction with instructors Venture Lab, P2PU: Assignments and Most of the models that do rely projects are completed in groups more heavily on instructors to guide P2PU, U of the People, Coursera: Learners learning, also incorporate peer- provide feedback on their peers’ assignments based learning activities P2PU: Learner assignments are openly licensed and shared back with the P2PU A few models also support learners community, for others to use and reuse as content creators and curriculum developers
  • 12. Learning ModelUse of learner data to gauge and personalize learning Several models are collecting data Examples: about the ways learners are moving OHSU and Khan Academy: Collect learner data through and using content, and how on time spent on resources and topics, and on they are performing areas of weakness/proficiency. Data are shared with educators and learners to support learning These data are made accessible to instructors and learners, and are fed OLI: Collects student performance data through quizzes and assessments. Data are back into the overall learning model shared with educators to tailor classroom time to support the personalization of and content, and are used to provide feedback learning, through, e.g., changes to to students on areas of weakness content and to how learning is edX: Collects learner data about number of supported attempts at answering questions and resources used to solve them. Data are used to improve the development of course offerings
  • 13. Learning ModelA trend toward competencies and soft skills Several models offer courses that are Examples: aligned to the needs of specific fields and support learners in gaining core Udacity: Offers courses in mathematics, competencies needed to succeed in computer science, and technology to help learners transition into the tech field the workforce ALISON: Focuses on preparing learners for Two models plan to support learners specific professions (nursing, childcare), and in connecting with potential aims to help employers connect with learners employers upon completion of their who have demonstrated content mastery curriculum Codecademy: Has partnered with NYU to A few models are emphasizing the offer programming courses that help to build development of ‘soft skills’ students’ skills in “flexible thinking”, alongside coding
  • 14. What This All MeansKey implications that we see New, alternative pathway models are helping to bridge boundaries between formal and informal learning—through new modes of recognizing and supporting informal learning, and through partnerships with formal institutions As alternative models continue to gain legitimacy, they will likely play an increasing role in supporting (and even putting pressure on) formal institutions as they seek efficient, innovative solutions to meet needs of their stakeholders in the face of constrained budgets Alternative pathway models will need to remain flexible enough to respond to students and employers in terms of curriculum that emphasizes competencies, and that is recognized by employers The emphasis on personalized learning will be enhanced through learner data
  • 15. Discussion
  • 16. ReferencesAtkins, D. E., Brown, J. S., Hammond, A. L. (2007, February). “A Review Fain, P. (2012, June 15). “Making It Count.” Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: from: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities.” The William earning-college-credit-moocs-through-prior-learning-assessment and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Fini, A. (2009, November). “The Technological Dimension of a MassiveAzevedo, A. (2012, October 8). “New York U. Turns to Free Site to Help Open Online Course: The Case of the CCK08 Course Tools.” The Teach Computer Programming.” The Wired Campus. Retrieved International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10 from: (5). u-turns-to-free-site-to-help-teach-computer-programming/40372 Choitz, V. and Prince, H. (2008, April). “Flexible Learning Options forBrown, J. S. and Adler, R. P. (2008, January/February ). “Minds on Fire: Adult Students.” FutureWorks and Jobs for the Future. Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0.” EDUCAUSE Gannes, L. (2012, April 18). “Stanford Professors Launch Coursera with Review, 43 (1), 16-32. $16M From Kleiner Perkins and NEA.” All Things Digital. RetrievedCandy, P. (2004). “Linking thinking: Self-directed learning in the digital from: age.” Retrieved from: launch-coursera-with-16m-from-kleiner-perkins-and-nea/ thinking-self-directed-learning-in-the-digital-age/ Green, K. (1996). “Nontraditional Education: Alternative ways to EarnChandler, L.A. (2000, March). “Traditional and Progressive Schools: Your Credentials.” Occupational Outlook Quarterly, 40(2), 22-35. Identifying Two Models of Educational Practice.” Catholic Hu, D. (2011, November 2). “How Khan Academy is using Machine Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, 3(3), 293-305. Learning to Assess Student Mastery.” Retrieved from :http://david-Cook, V. (2012). “Learning Everywhere, All the Time.” The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin. 78(3), 48-51. learning-to-assess-student-mastery.htmlCormier, D. (2008). “Rhizomatic Education: Community as Jahnke, I., Bergstrom, P., Lindwall, K., Marell-Olssom, E., Olsson, A., Curriculum.” Innovate: Journal of Online Education. 4(5). Paulsson, F., and Vinnervik, P. (2012). “Understanding, ReflectingCormier, D. and Siemens, G. (2010, July/August). “Through the Open and Designing Learning Spaces of Tomorrow.” In I. Arnedillo Door: Open Courses as Research, Learning, and Engagement.” Sánchez & P. Isaías (Eds.). Proceedings of IADIS Mobile Learning EDUCAUSE Review. 45(4), 30-39. 2012. Berlin, pp. 147-156.Edwards, R. and Clarke, J. (2002). “Flexible Learning, Spatiality, and Identity.” Studies in Continuing Education, 24 (2), 153-165.Fain, P. (2012, May 7). “College Credit without College.” Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from: 05/07/prior-learning-assessment-catches-quietly
  • 17. References, cont.Johnson, W.L., Rickel, J.W., and Lester J.C. (2000). “Animated Sadigh, D., Seshia, S. A., Gupta, M. (2012, October). “Automating pedagogical agents: face-to-face interaction in interactive learning Exercise Generation: A Step towards Meeting the MOOC Challenge environments.” Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 11, 47- for Embedded Systems.” In P. Marwedel, J. Jackson, and K. G. Rick 78. Available at: (Eds.), Proceedings WESE 2012. Paper presented at 2012 Workshop AIED00-animated_pedagogical.pdf on Embedded Systems Education, Tampere, Finland, October 1,Johnston, T. (2012, September/October). “Stanford For All.” Stanford 2012. Magazine. Retrieved from: Salsbury, M. (2011, October 19). “Four Challenges of Online Education.” Ecology of Education. Retrieved from: article_id=55991 http:/, D. (2012, June). “What we’re learning from online education.” Segal. T. (2012, September 4). “Rethinking the Learning Experience: TED Talks. Retrieved Part V.” Huffington Post. Retrieved from: from: http:/ ng_from_online_education.html technology_b_1852715.htmlKop, R., and Hill, A. (2008, October). “Connectivism: Learning theory of Smith, S. (Host). (2012). Keyboard College [Podcast]. The Tomorrow’s the future or vestige of the past?” International Review of Research College Series. American RadioWorks. Retrieved from: in Open and Distance Learning, 9 (3). Retrieved from: college/keyboard-college/Martin, F. ((2012, August). “Will Massive Open Online Courses Change Stacey, N. G. (Ed.). (1999).Competence Without Credentials. Darby, PA: How We Teach?” Communications of the ACM, 55 (8), 26-28. Diane Publishing Company.McAuley, A., Stewart, B., Siemens, G., and Cormier, D. (2010). “The Walling, J. (2010, November 22). “Evolving from an Education Pipeline MOOC Model for Digital Practice.” Retrieved from to an Education Swirl.” Completion Matters Blog. Retrieved from: Packard, R. (2009, September 1). “Rethinking the Traditional School education-pipeline-%E2%80%9Ceducation-swirl%E2%80%9D Model.” District Administration. Retrieved from: Young, J.R. (2012, January 8). “’Badges’ Earned Online Pose Challenges to Traditional College Diplomas.” Chronicle of Higher Education. traditional-school-model Retrieved from: Pose/130241/
  • 18. Cynthia Jimescynthia@iskme.orgLisa McLaughlinlisa@iskme.orgInstitute for the Study of KnowledgeManagement in EducationHalf Moon Bay, California