Improved ? Learning

Dear Folks,

There seem to be popular calls for OER to not only deliver good quality of learning, but also improved quality. This is much like the definition of ‘open’ by Ross Paul (1993, p.116) who defined it as meaning more open than before or more open than alternatives. When we talk about quality OER, do we want to imply better quality than alternatives ?

Certainly Quality Improvement implies better than before https://oerquality.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/quality-not-static/

However, we could live with OER producing learning equivalent to that achieved without using OER eg by a teacher with a textbook. Indeed we could argue that OER producing weaker quality is acceptable. If the novelty and fun can improve uptake by those out-of-education or with school-phobia, then the achieved quality of learning can be ‘better than before‘. We cannot use a single set of quality guidelines over all contexts. Learning by its very nature is an individual highly-localised achievement, and quality must have context-based definitions for each local context.

That said, a full set of quality criteria will best cater to everyone – and each person can decide what works best in his or her own situation.

with all best wishes

paul

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What Role for ‘Trust’ in OER QA ?

Dear Folks,

Trust is predicated on personal prior experience.

Trust is a widely acclaimed desirable attribute for teamwork and efficiency in communication.

Trust has long been researched particularly in the business field. McAllister (1995) suggested that trust could be divided into affect-based trust and cognition-based trust. He was concerned with how corporate team members could work together efficiently and how inefficiency arose in the interactions with each other. It is well known that the cognitive factors (knowledge and skills) and affective factors (student satisfaction, interest etc) are relatively easy to assess by teachers. Besides Trust in the Cognitive Domain between the student and the course materials, trust that the content is accurate(see Kawachi & Sharma, 2012), and Trust in the Affective Domain for developing a community of learners, there should also be Trust in the other three Domains of Learning

Trust in the Metacognitive Domain would entail developing self-confidence and becoming an independent learner. Trust in the Environment Domain would involve the comfort and reassurance received from a familiar website, stable connectivity, and timely feedback from tutor and peers. Trust in the Management Domain would involve reliable backup technology, self-assurance in coping with the massive amounts of OER in a repository, or in own searching skills.

All these five areas of Trust could be incorporated into criteria for quality. But how can Authors build into OER these learner-subjective nebulous feelings of trust ?

Your ideas please to me kawachi@open-ed.net

paul

McAllister, D.J. (1995). Affect- and cognition-based trust as foundations for interpersonal cooperation in organizations. Academy of Management Journal 38 (1), 24-59.

Kawachi, P., & Sharma, R.C. (2012). The face-to-face teaching role in open and distance education in Asia. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 10 (2), 1-3. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from http://www.asianjde.org/2012v10.2.editorial.pdf

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get your Badge and Paper Certificate

Dear Folks,

More and more MOOC and OER are now offering a pretty Badge, some are offering e-Certificates on completion, and one (so far) offers a Badge for starting the MOOC – although to be fair this might be more small-scale Webinar than large-scale MOOC. Nevertheless we are seeing increasing use of these tokens. They are intended perhaps to encourage completion ? If employers recognise them, then the Badge and Paper serve a function. When employers have great difficulty to distinguish between an upper-second from Elite University and a first from Provincial University College, then these Badges indicating achieved skills can only be welcomed. Or do we need the employers to become better qualified ?

My concerns are that e-learning has not yet been rigorously shown by research to improve deep quality learning, and that we are resorting to extrinsic rewards …

The motivations to learn were divided “into two sub-types according to whether the student was directly interested in the content of the course or whether they were studying the course merely as a means to an end. These sub-types were labelled intrinsic and extrinsic, respectively” by Taylor in 1983, which form the basis of our understanding these days of the motivations to learn (Gibbs, Morgan, & Taylor, 1984, p.170). It looks awfully like we are focusing on extrinsic motivation, and not yet even trying to build in the pedagogy into OER to initiate the intrinsic motivations that bring about the desired deep long-lasting meaningful learning. How to initiate the intrinsic motivations to learn is well known (Kawachi, 2003), and OER / MOOC instructional design could be improved ~

All best wishes

paul

Gibbs, G., Morgan, A., & Taylor, E. (1984). The world of the learner. In F. Marton, D. Hounsell, & N.J. Entwistle (Eds.), The experience of learning, (pp. 165-188). Edinburgh :  Scottish Academic Press.

Kawachi, P. (2003). Initiating intrinsic motivation in online education : Review of the current state of the art. Interactive Learning Environments, Special Issue on Cognitive Skills Acquisition In Life-Long Learning, 11 (1) : 59-81.

Talyor, E. (1983). Orientations to study : A longitudinal interview investigation of students in two human studies degree courses at Surrey University. PhD Thesis. Guildford : University of Surrey.

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Concerns on Video in OER

The Outcome and Impact from Video in OER

Dear Folks,

Video is used in many OER. Bates & Gallagher (1987) found that students transfer the notion of television-as-entertainment and while highly rating and satified with the experience, they achieved poor surface learning and low grades. After pre-teaching how video requires the student to take a questioning deep approach, their grades were improved.

Moreover the one-way mode has been criticised as inducing and promoting passive introversion in the student, leading to social estrangement in their local community where inter-personal communications thrive on body gestures – noted by Boyd (1989) in the early graduates from the UK Open University “becoming estranged from their native culture rather than being enabled to help its evolution“.

Perhaps a Study Guide or student-created video is the answer ?

paul

Bates, A., & Gallagher, M. (1987). Improving the educational effectiveness of television case-studies and documentaries. In O. Boyd-Barrett & P. Braham (Eds.), Media, knowledge and power. London : Croom Helm, & the Open University.

Boyd, G.M. (1989). The life-worlds of computer-mediated distance education. In R. Mason & A. Kaye (Eds.), Mindweave : Communication, computers and distance education, (pp. 225-227). Oxford : Pergamon Press.

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Creating Cityscape Intersecting Pathways of Multiple OER

Dear Folks,

Course design should incorporate a number of OER on different pathways to best suit each learner’s own choices and level. While Derntl, Parrish & Botturi (2010) simply entangle themselves in Figure 4 (p.197) trying to show a route from start to end with either zero, one, two, or three waystations, there are available platforms that we could utilise for the desirable complexity we want for OER pathways and interactive courses.

These multimedia platforms now available can be used to create interactive narratives with choices that appear depending on the user’s activity, eg inklewriter at http://www.inklestudios.com/inklewriter, varytale at http://varytale.com/books/ or storify at http://storify.com among others. If an end-user has difficulty in an interactive task, the text / platform can raise options for remedial study, or to other tasks or routes. The platform could perhaps host a whole course involving multiple intersecting pathways.

The inklewriter platform was the topic of a blog posting by Anastasia Salter yesterday, and I think the application of this technique to OER could be tremendous. What do you think ?

All best wishes

paul

Derntl, M., Parrish, P., & Botturi, I. (2010). Beauty and precision : Weaving complex educational technology projects with visual instructional design languages. International Journal on e-learning, 9 (2), 185-202. Retrieved February 3, 2013, from http://dbis.rwth-aachen.de/~derntl/papers/preprints/ijel2010-vidl-preprint.pdf

Salter, A. (2013). Choose your own classroom adventure with inklewriter. Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 February. Retrieved February 8, 2013, from http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/classroom-adventure-with-inklewriter/45873

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the need to ‘look good’

Dear Folks,

There is a need to not just be good quality, but be seen to be good quality in the eyes of those involved (internal face validity) and in the eyes of outsiders (external face validity). This point was the topic in the comments to a report by Libby Sander (2013) in the Chronicle yesterday raising questions over the right or qualification of non-college graduates to pass judgement on the quality of higher education. (It was taken one step further questioning the right or qualification of academics to pass judgement on the quality of non-college experience and learning – which of course has some impact on prior learning assessment and recognition : PLAR.) Where university graduates themselves find poor employability then internal as well as the external face validity of higher education is reported as lacking. This is worrying. I would suggest that external face validity is an important aspect to quality assurance and quality improvement, and indeed to future employability. The report finds that assessment of achieved learning should take centre stage in place of credit hours, and all this leaves the door open to reusing OER as the way forward ~

all best wishes

paul

Sander, L. (2013). Americans value higher education but question its quality, national survey finds. Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 February. Retrieved February 6, 2013, from http://chronicle.com/article/Americans-Value-Higher/137023

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The Need for Publishing Houses

Dear Folks,

I’m wondering about the function and need for OER to have institutional branding – whether this is achieved by an Elite University shield, by a nobel laureate author’s name, or by a Publishing Company logo. Branding serves to some great extent (with good external face validity) to authenticate or authoritise the content as being accurate, up-to-date and peer-reviewed. Such branding essentially certifies the OER as being fit-for-purpose. How else can we put into practice the set of checks and balances to assure the quality of OER ? We cannot rely on anonymous student end-user feedback. One suggestion is of course using WikiEducator and public Wiki-style team-produced OER. Putting all OER onto WikiOER or similar is certainly one way. However, the current OER creative pathway starts with a teacher in a local context modularising one teaching point, then sharing this with in-house colleagues, before disseminating to the world. Can we have another strand for OER creation that has the public involved from the outset or will the cold-reality of public openness put out the flames of desire in the innovator’s heart, and stifle creativity ?

How best to ensure accuracy in OER content ?

Your input here or to me kawachi@open-ed.net  much appreciated ~

all best wishes

paul

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