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A Grand Tour of OER Policy

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This study examines the relationship between policy and practice in the world of open education. It draws largely on the findings of other research projects and their openly licensed outputs (e.g. Creative Commons, POERUP) to map open education policies. In this presentation we will take the audience on a 'world tour' of OER policy, highlighting important case studies and scaffolding a participative discussion where members of the OER community can refine their understanding of the key issues.

Co-presented with Sara Frank Bristow (Salient Research) at OER14 (http://oer14.org/)

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A Grand Tour of OER Policy

  1. 1. A Grand Tour of OER Policy Dr. Rob Farrow The Open University Sara Frank Bristow Salient Research
  2. 2. Structure OER Research Hub Policy Research Milestones Tour of OER Policy Map Discussion
  3. 3. OER Research Hub oerresearchhub.org #oerrhub
  4. 4. • Research project at The Open University (UK) • Funded by William & Flora Hewlett Foundation for two years • Research team led by two professors • Tasked with building the most comprehensive picture of OER impact • Organised by 11 research hypotheses • Collaboration model works across different educational sectors • Research structured by hypothesis OER Research Hub oerresearchhub.org #oerrhub
  5. 5. • Research instruments applied consistently across collaborations: surveys, interview questions, focus groups, etc. • Supplemented by integration of secondary research • ‘Agile’ research, sprinting • Thematic and methodological cohesion provided by research hypotheses Research Process
  6. 6. OER Policy The OERRH hypothesis
  7. 7. Policy Hypothesis • Consolidatory phase for OER movement after years of investment and piloting • The need for an evidence base: advocacy, strategy, policymaking • Lack of robust evidence for OER impact • The evidence ‘problem’ in OER impact research • Isolated ‘pockets of innovation’ • Has OER piloting led to expected level of policy innovation? ‘OER use encourages institutions to change their policies’
  8. 8. Policy Hypothesis: Reporting What’s the latest?
  9. 9. Hypothesis Reporting
  10. 10. in service of The Open University Hypothesis J Reporting
  11. 11. in service of The Open University
  12. 12. OER Impact Map oermap.org
  13. 13. OER Impact Map: Maps oermap.org • Country Summary Map - evidence nodes organized by country • OER Project Map - OER initiatives and projects around the world • OER Evidence Map - all impact evidence is categorized according to the OER Research Hub hypotheses • OER Policy Map is the single largest curated collection of OER policies • OER Impact Map aggregates the other maps • Tweetmaps show a geographical summary of tweets for a particular Twitter hashtag. E.g. #oermap for outreach; #oerrhub for tracking project activity. • Maps by others
  14. 14. OER Impact Map: Maps oermap.org • Country Summary Map - evidence nodes organized by country • OER Project Map - OER initiatives and projects around the world • OER Evidence Map - all impact evidence is categorized according to the OER Research Hub hypotheses • OER Policy Map is the single largest curated collection of OER policies • OER Impact Map aggregates the other maps • Tweetmaps show a geographical summary of tweets for a particular Twitter hashtag. E.g. #oermap for outreach; #oerrhub for tracking project activity. • Maps by others
  15. 15. OER Policy Map oermap.org/policy-map/
  16. 16. Methodology OER Policy Map aggregates data from various places, including: • CC Open Policy Network • POERUP Wiki • SPARC ‘Policies and Projects’ • OER Advocacy email list Since there’s a lot of inaccurate data about OER policy, map data is hand curated to increase accuracy. Only current or existing policies are included – not those which have only been proposed. Data may be filtered according to scope/forum and/or educational sector. Policies need not result from pilots…
  17. 17. OER Policy Map uses custom Wordpress entries to aggregate data about policies in support of open education
  18. 18. L R N I Local/Institutional policies Regional policies National policies International policies
  19. 19. OER Policy Map Highlights
  20. 20. • Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) • UNESCO Forum on Open Courseware (2002) • UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) & Global OER Community (2005) • Cape Town Open Education Declaration (2007) • Dakar Declaration on OER (2009) • Commonwealth of Learning/UNESCO Guidelines on OER in HE (2011) • 2012 OER Paris Declaration International OER policy: milestones
  21. 21. in service of The Open University
  22. 22. National OER Policies (Europe) • Cyfrowa szkoła (Digital School, Poland) • Digital School, Greece • El Centro Nacional de Desarrollo Curricular en Sistemas no Propietarios (CeDeC) Spain • Finnish National OER Strategy • Flemish Ministry of Education and Training investment in OER • Fundacja Orange (Orange Academy, Poland) • JISC/HEA OER Programme
  23. 23. National OER Policies (Europe) • Nasjonal digital læringsarena / Norwegian National Digital Learning Arena • OER initiatives of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science • OER Policy in Romania • Wellcome Trust witholds grant payments for failure to publish openly • Wikiwijs Repository, The Netherlands
  24. 24. in service of The Open University Scottish Open Education Declaration Open Scotland is a a voluntary cross sector initiative led by Cetis, SQA, Jisc RSC Scotland and the ALT Scotland SIG, which aims to raise awareness of open education, encourage the sharing of OER, and promote the development of open policy and practice. The Scottish Open Education Declaration calls on the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Further and Higher Education Institutions to endorse the following principles: • Promote access to learning through open educational resources • Support the adoption of open licenses • Foster strategic open education alliances • Support the development of user-friendly tools and technologies • Promote adoption of OER policy R Regional policies
  25. 25. in service of The Open University Wales Open Education Declaration of Intent This document drafted by the Vice-Chancellors of Higher Education Wales represents their collective agreement: to ensure that any designated teaching and learning material released under open licence can be adapted and redistributed without cost or restriction. Further language supports the use of Open Educational Resources (OER), "encouraging the introduction of open educational practice into every part of the university." R Regional policies In Europe policies tend to be either institutional, national or international (EU, UNESCO, etc.)
  26. 26. OER Policy in North America In North America there are more ‘regional’ policies – decisions are made at the state and district level.
  27. 27. North America Canada • BC Open Textbooks Project (2012)* • MOU between Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan (2014)* • 19 Canadian institutional policies listed in ROAR (2014) United States • National Education Technology Plan (NETP) (2010)* • Department of Labor (TAACCCT) Grant Program (2009) • K-12: state, district, and school-based policies *Are these actually ‘policies’? To discuss later
  28. 28. United States: K-12 overview K-12 education devolved to individual states • Discrete policy environments, different barriers • Role of key individuals and funding • Common Core curriculum stimulates interest, funding Generally speaking… • Most K-12 state ‘policies’ still removing barriers to usage • Some state-led pilots/ initiatives progress without formal ‘policies’ • No one is succeeding without funding • No one is succeeding without an ‘OER champion’
  29. 29. Prominent US K-12 OER Utah • Administrative rule (R277-111) enables CC-BY sharing (2009) • Pilot (Open High School) + Policy (R277-111) + Champion (Wiley) + Funding (Hewlett/state) = Open Textbooks in all high schools this year ($5 each) Washington State • Legislation (HB2337) establishes/funds K-12 open course library (2013) • Pilots (many) + Policy (HB2337) + Champions (Green/Carlye/Nelson) + Funding (state) = • …too soon to tell
  30. 30. Other state-level US K-12 OER Policies removing barriers to creation/uptake • Maine requires information clearinghouse on online/open resources use, LD569 (2011) • Virginia permits instructors to openly license materials, HB1941 (2009) • W. Virginia permits open materials to be considered for curriculum SB631 (2010) • Texas allows inclusion of OER on list of approved instructional materials HB2488 (2009) • Minnesota requires a catalog of publicly available digital learning content, Chap. 273 (2012) Initiatives driving creation/uptake • California launches Free Digital Textbook Initiative to spur open textbook creation (2009) • New York releases RFP for curriculum modules which must be released CC-BY (2011) • Idaho vets, categorizes, ensures access to, and encourages use of OER (2012) • Illinois is building ISLE IOER platform for accessing interoperable OER (2013)
  31. 31. South America and Asia South America • OER-Brazil: initiative (2008) but functions to stimulate others • São Paulo, Brazil (municipal government): CC-BY (2011) Asia • Chinese Quality Open Course Project (2011) • Indonesia Higher Education Law
  32. 32. • AUSGoal – Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework • OER commons for New Zealand Schools • Kenya National OER Policy • South African White Paper for Post-School Education and Training National OER Policies (Rest of World)
  33. 33. No time to discuss at length but we can observe the following: • Policies for institutional archiving of OER (examples) • Policies that support open access • Publicly funded = openly licensed? • Statements of support that arguably fall short of policies • Policies that make no specific recommendation in light of OER (e.g. improve access to technology) – are these OER policies? Local/Institutional Policies
  34. 34. Reframing the hypothesis…?
  35. 35. General Conclusions
  36. 36. Reflections • There is little uniformity in the ways that policies come into being, though challenges are more uniform • There are many more examples of pilots not leading to policy change but these are harder to evidence • Policy and practice (pilots) often proceed hand in hand, each impacting the other • Attempting to taxonomize policies challenges the underlying assumptions: e.g. what is a policy? Must it mandate something? Must it be written as law? • How are decisions made in practice - do policies matter? • Is the ambiguity around OER policy a help or a hindrance? • ‘Direct’ vs ‘indirect’ policy support for OER • ‘Removing barriers’ vs ‘Driving OER’
  37. 37. Talking Points What’s next for OER policy?
  38. 38. Talking Points What would an ideal OER policy look like in your institution?
  39. 39. Talking Points Policies: top-down or bottom-up?
  40. 40. Talking Points What’s missing from the map?
  41. 41. Talking Points What does success look like for OER?
  42. 42. We want to put you on the map! So let us know about OER policy and impact in your institution Request an account to contribute and vote
  43. 43. Join us in building understanding of open education
  44. 44. Thanks for listening! oerresearchhub.org oermap.org rob.farrow@open.ac.uk / @philosopher1978 sara@salientresearch.net / @salientresearch
  45. 45. in service of The Open University