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There are many aspects of openness that relate to education. Some of these are more well defined or more developed than others. Often people confuse elements, and they do overlap. So in understanding what openness is, and then the tensions within it I’m going to map it out first. Want to consider different aspects of openness in terms of different types of city and landscape. It’s like game of thrones, but with fewer deaths.
Open access – free and openly licensed access to published works. Particularly when these are publicly financed. A very well developed area of openness, one that nearly everyone in academia is aware of and has to engage with. National policies and funder policies. There are lots of areas of debate around the best ways to do it and the role of publishers. But open access has won as an argument really. And if the formal mandates don’t do it then sci-hub and icanhazpdf will
Open Educational Resources – these are more like a decent sized town. It could expand, it could stay as it is. Funding form the likes of Hewlett and JISC led to many good projects. These didn’t always survive beyond the initial funding. In North America projects like OpenStax and BC Campus providing open textbooks. Demonstrating big savings for students and as good if not improved student performance. Where textbook costs account for ¼ of degree cost this provides a strong motivation In Europe open textbooks less important – OpenLearn at OU has sustainable model, but JISC closed down JORUM. I run OER Hub – looked at 11 hypotheses around Oer and found good use by students thinking about study and those already in study. Plus educators use them for ideas and inspiration
Massive Open Onlien Courses – 2012 the year of the MOOC. Attracted lot of media attention and ventyre capital funding – will talk about this later. After initial excitement now facing difficult questions: do they bring in students? Do they democratise learning? Is this the best way to invest that money? They are reminiscent of the Chinese Ghost cities that have been built and await inhabitants. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t
This is a very broad term – whereas the other open approaches are movements often with funders, policies and specific technology, OEP is more about individuals. It relates to the ways that openness can influence the manner in which academics conduct their practice – teaching, research, public engagement etc. It is more nebulous and difficult to pin down. So it’s perhaos more like a market where people bring different wares than an infrastructure
Open data is allied with open access. Many mandates now stating research data to be released Opens up world of new research possibilities – Also questions around who owns data, learning analytics, student data Links into bigger picture of government data also
Open ed is just oen aspect of a much bigger openness movement which we can term open citizenship. Holding corporations to account, access to data, government records etc in a way not seen before
Nicole Allen and Jim Groom represent two, both equally valid approaches to open ed
Some are more stable eg OA others more fargile eg OER, like the much used ecosystem metaphor
While they meet different goals and have different communities, there are common elements to these open approaches:
Analogy of coloured sand – they may be in different proportions and different order but these are key elements
With MOOCs, Open Access, etc open education is not a niche interest and is flirting with the mainstream, like a band aboit to make it big
But there are very different challenges once you move from being a small community to mainstream. And this brings me onto the notion of a battle for open
Understand people don’t like militaristic language but the reasons why I’ve framed it as a battle are telling There is money involved There are core values Like war, the victors tell the history
Udacity has an exclusive relationship, so Georgia Tech cannot offer its own content elsewhere. Udacity can, however, offer that content to other learners outside of the Masters
Guelph trademarked OpenEd and then aggressively pursued others using it They have since backtracked largely as a result of the negative response, but that they should try is telling
Getting a double dip
Wellcome trust - 2012 – 2013, academics spent £3.88 million to publish articles in OA journals– of which £3.17M was paying for publications that Universities would then be charged again for (http://access.okfn.org/2014/03/24/scale-hybrid-journals-publishing/)
a technological fix is both possible and in existence; external forces will change, or disrupt, an existing sector; wholesale revolution is required the solution is provided by commerce.
Change happens very slowly, until it happens very quickly
Education is broken!
Education is ripe for
Outsiders with new
An irresistible narrative
“The failure of MOOCs to disrupt higher education has nothing to do with
the quality of the courses themselves, many of which are quite good and
getting better. Colleges are holding technology at bay because the only
thing MOOCs provide is access to world-class professors at an unbeatable
Revolution is demanded