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This is an open invitation to all educators in Asia and those others who have an interest in Asian education to become a part of our community. The ideals of the community are enshrined within the context of the Cape Town Declaration on Open Education and that is “everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint”.

This community is sector blind and welcomes participation of all those associated with education from basic and primary education to life long learning.

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OER Asia Publications


Open Educational Resources: An Asian Perspective

2015.10.10 11:56:57

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-online-courses-to-take-2013-9?IR=T&op=1 (Sep. 27, 2013 by )

Online courses, and massively open online courses (MOOCs) in particular, are quickly moving from a novelty to the mainstream.Leading colleges, graduate schools, and companies are investing significant resources into free education.

There are now hundreds of free courses available online, which can vary significantly in quality. That makes it essential to pick the right course.  

Business Insider reported 15 MOOCs courses which are highly recommended. 

Click here to read full article. 

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2015.09.04 08:06:39

By Brian Gallagher, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way Worldwide


This year's United Nations Education for All report revealed that countries have made tremendous progress in providing primary education; yet only a third of the countries reached the global education goals set at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Education Forum in 2000.

Take, for instance, the countries in sub-Saharan Africa -- a region with one of the largest increases in access to universal primary education. Primary school enrollment rose in 17 countries at least 20 percentage points from 59 percent in 1999 to 79 percent in 2012.



Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-gallagher/shaping-a-post2015-global-education-agenda-_b_7109612.html

Coyright: Copyright ©2015 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.

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2015.07.29 03:32:29

Mengunjungi objek wisata gunung bromo memang sangat mengasikan terutama apabila menggunakan paket wisata yang murah, berikut ini saya akan membagikan tips berwisata kakawasan gunung bromo dengan menggunakan paket wisata yang bisa anda pesan melalui internet.

Tips Berkunjung Ke Bromo Dengan Menggunakan Paket Wisata

Biasanya paket wisata yang disediakan di untuk mengunjungi gunung bromo menjadi satu dengan paket liburan ke wisata batu malang. karena lokasi wisata bromo dan kota batu yang berdekatan, sehingga kebanyakan orang memesan secara bersama - sama antara paket wisata batu dan juga paket wisata bromo.

Untuk dapat memesan paket wisata bromo anda bisa menggunakan media internet, sehingga anda dapat dengan mudah mencari informasi penyedia paket wisata dengan menggunakan internet. beberapa orang kadang bingung untuk menentukan penyedia paket wisata mana yang cocok untuk dipesan.

Untuk memesan paket wisata di internet usahakan dengan memilih domain yang resmi, bisa itu dot com atau dot net, karena dengan memesan kesitus resmi maka anda dapat menilai bahwa penyedia paket wisata tersebut memang sangat serius dalam menawarkan paket wisata ke bromo

mencari harga yang murah juga sangat diperluakan. itulah tips berkunjung ke gunung bromo, semoga ulasan diatas bisa bermanfaat untuk anda.

  wisata | batu | bromo | gunung bromo
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2015.07.27 10:39:53

Generating new knowledge is a relatively straightforward concept compared with the more unknown territory of getting knowledge to those that might need it. To ensure knowledge is useful, relationships must be built: two-way, long-term, trusting relationships between researchers and the people who need the new knowledge we are generating. Mark Reed and Anna Evelyshare their top five principles for effective knowledge exchange.

Name an impact from research that hasn’t involved knowledge exchange. If like us, you can’t think of one, then it follows that if we want to have an impact, we have to become great at knowledge exchange. But what does effective knowledge exchange look like, and how can we get good at it? Three years ago, we set out to document the sorts of knowledge exchange being done across the UK, to find out what works. Our findings were published this week in Journal of Environmental Management, and in this blog, we’ll share with you five key principles that emerged from our work, as well as lots of handy tips for knowledge exchange, in the words of the people we interviewed.

There are three reasons people commonly give for not getting their research to the people who might be able to use it. First, people don’t think they’ve got the skills or tools they need to engage effectively with stakeholders. Second, even if they know what to do, people don’t have the confidence they need to get their ideas out there. Third, people are under the (often wrong) impression that engaging effectively with stakeholders is time consuming and not of central importance to their research. We hope that with the rising importance of ‘impact’ in assessing research excellence in the UK, this third concern is becoming less important as engagement efforts are increasingly rewarded. But what are the skills and tools you need to make an impact?

Figure 2

The circle above shows the themes about effective knowledge exchange that emerged from our analysis of interview transcripts. It shows how they map onto the five principles in the table below. Each of these themes are summarised in greater detail here, based on the words of those we interviewed.

As researchers, we’re already in the business of generating new knowledge; it’s what we signed up for. But for that new knowledge to actually reach the decision-makers who might use it, they need to: 1) find out; and 2) understand the importance to them of what we’ve discovered. Traditionally, we’ve focused on how we can best make information about our research available and accessible. But even if we tailor information about our research really effectively to different audiences, they still have to actually learn from it, and appreciate its relevance to them, before it can become useful knowledge. Very often, that requires a significant level of active engagement, more than just disseminating information. To ensure this is useful knowledge, and has impact for those who need it, relationships must be built: two-way, long-term, trusting relationships between researchers and the people who need the new knowledge we are generating.

As researchers have begun moving towards increasing impact, and building relationships to do so, we often hear great ideas and case studies about engaging with the people who might use our research from other researchers. Those ideas tend to range from the obvious (but we can’t believe we didn’t think of doing them already), to innovative, unusual ideas (that we can’t believe more people have heard of). For us, it was time to look at these ideas more systematically. We wanted to find out what researchers across the UK were doing, to improve our own practice, and of course so we could share them with you. We published the findings of our research this week (open access, of course), and we’d like to share our top five principles for effective knowledge exchange with you here. And, of course, in the spirit of knowledge exchange, if you’ve got ideas you’d like to add to this, please comment on this blog and share them with us.

Table 1: Summary of principles for effective knowledge exchange including illustrative quotes from researchers and research users.

Principle 1: Design


Know what you want to achieve with your knowledge exchange and design knowledge exchange into environmental management research from the outset


  • Set goals for knowledge exchange from the outset
  • Devise a knowledge exchange and communications strategy
  • Build in flexibility to knowledge exchange plans so they can respond to changing user needs and priorities
  • Allocate skilled staff and financial resources to knowledge exchange

Principle 2: Represent


Systematically represent research user knowledge needs and priorities:


  • Systematically identify likely users of your research and other relevant stakeholders
  • Embed key stakeholders in your research
  • Consider the ethical implications of engaging with different stakeholders

Principle 3. Engage


Build long-term, trusting relationships based on two-way dialogue between researchers and stakeholders and co-generate new knowledge about environmental management together


  • Engage in two-way dialogue as equals with the likely users of your research
  • Build long-term relationships with the users of your research
  • Work with knowledge brokers
  • Employ a professional facilitator for workshops with research users
  • Understand what will motivate research users to get involved in your research
  • Create opportunities for informal interaction and learning between researchers and stakeholders
  • Work with stakeholders to interpret the implications of your work for policy and practice, and co-design communication products

Principle 4. Impact


Focus on delivering tangible results as soon as possible that will be valued by as many of your stakeholders as possible


  • Identify quick wins where tangible impacts can be delivered as early as possible in the research process, to reward and keep likely users of research engaged with the research process
  • Get your timing right

Principle 5. Reflect & Sustain


Monitor and reflect on your knowledge exchange, so you can learn and refine your practice, and consider how to sustain a legacy of knowledge exchange beyond project funding


  • Regularly reflect with your research team and key stakeholders on how effective your knowledge exchange is
  • Learn from your peers and share good practice
  • Identify what knowledge exchange needs to continue after research funding has ceased and consider how to sustain this in the longer-term

You can read more about each of these themes in our new journal article in the Journal of Environmental Management.


Full journal can be downloaded from here. The journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) License.

Source: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/07/07/how-can-your-research-have-more-impact-5-key-principles-tips/

Copyright: Creative Commons LicenceThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise stated.

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2015.07.17 16:13:19

These are the central arguments of the Paris Message, entitled “Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education for the Future We Want”.

15 clear points call for for governments, higher education leaders, academic staff and students to take action now. In addition, a call is made for international cooperation on online, open and flexible systems to monitor take up, to promote north-south-south collaboration and to prepare for specific initiatives on quality summits, doctoral student collaboration and strengthened research and development.

The Paris Message has been issued by the Global High Level Policy Forum, organized by UNESCO in partnership with ICDE, held in Paris in June 2015. Over 150 participants – leading policy-makers, experts, senior management and stakeholders from higher education from all regions and more than 55 countries around the world - agreed to carry this message forward to their home countries and regions.


The need for a massive increase in quality higher education capacity

The number of students enrolled in higher education is forecast to rise to over 414 million in 2030, a four-fold increase since the turn of the century. “The global education community has a new point of departure to respond to the scale and urgency of demand for accessible, affordable and quality higher education,” says the Paris Message. Open and flexible education represents a core range of strategies within a variety of contexts, utilising media and information and communication technologies (ICT), to contribute to meeting this growing demand, while ensuring equity, access, and quality learning outcomes.

Teaching, research and innovation are critical to the mission of higher education institutions. The suggested United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 proposes “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030”. Online, open and flexible education systems provide capacity for higher education, supported by robust quality assurance and regulation, to provide routes for student success delivering large-scale and cost-effective pathways for certificates, diplomas, degrees, and higher level qualifications, and a range of non-formal learning activities such as massive open online courses (MOOCs).

“An essential component of the global response”

The recent World Education Forum, WEF, in Incheon acknowledged in its conclusionsthe importance of “flexible learning pathways as well as the recognition, validation and accreditation of knowledge, skills and competencies acquired through non-formal and informal education; and the use of information and communication technologies”. The Qingdao International Conference on ICT and Post-2015 Education, building on the WEF, set an ambitious agenda for the use of ICT, including mobile learning and open and online solutions, “to strengthen education systems, knowledge dissemination, information access, quality and effective learning, and more efficient service provision”.

The Paris Message goes further, being more specific and action oriented, arguing that online, open and flexible programmes represent an essential component of the global response:

“There is no time to lose. Now is the time for action."

If you care for the future of education, please help us by forwarding the Paris Message to colleagues, management and policy makers in your country and region.

 The Paris Message

The way ahead: opportunities and actions

The next step is to suggest actions for regional agendas to develop the theme ‘Higher education for the sustainable future we want. The way ahead for Online, Open and Flexible learning: Opportunities and Actions.’

This will be addressed at a High Level Policy Forum in Pretoria, South Africa, on 17 October 2015, organised by ICDE in partnership with UNESCO, the Commonwealth of Learning and the Open Education Consortium.

High Level Policy Forum in Pretoria

16 July 2015


Source: ICDE

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2015.07.05 07:38:27

Sarah Goodier presented at the 2nd International Conference of the African Virtual University, Nairobi, Kenya.

‪#‎curation‬ ‪#‎evaluation‬ ‪#‎UFE‬, ‪#‎OpenResearch‬ ‪#‎ROER4D‬

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Website: http://roer4d.org

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2015.07.01 00:40:59

Wayne Mackintosh is the Director of the Open Education Resource Foundation(OERF), an international non-profit organisation based in Dunedin. The OERF aims to promote the development and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) as a sustainable and renewable resource. Wayne also holds the UNESCO/COL/ICDE Chair in OER based at Otago Polytechnic and the Foundation.

I caught up with Wayne and began by asking about how he entered the world of Open Educational Resources.

“I spent the majority of my academic career working in open distance learning, including the University of South Africa, the biggest provider of distance learning in Africa. In 2002, I moved to New Zealand to help set up a distance and flexible learning centre at the University of Auckland. The idea behind the centre was to promote collaboration in elearning.”

What was the state of open education in 2001?

“It’s important to point out that ‘open education’ is an umbrella term. When we talk about open education, we’re talking about not only open educational resources, but also open source software, open governance, open policy.

“But in 2001, open education was virtually unheard of, and there was very little happening in terms of OER development. The concept itself wasn’t coined until a conference hosted by UNESCO in 2002. This is ironic, of course, as teaching is all about sharing knowledge freely — it’s fundamental to what teachers do.

“In those days, we focused on the development and adoption of open source software, as this was considered the best way to introduce the concept of open education to the tertiary sector in New Zealand. Thanks to significant investment in that area from the government of the day, we were able to assist with the development of the open source learning management system Moodle.

“Partly as a result of that work, New Zealand has the highest rates of adoption of Moodle in the world.”

How did OER develop over the decade?

“For the first decade, the focus of the movement  was on advocacy — just getting the message out and educating folks about open education. As the advocacy efforts developed, the donor community began to fund OER development. The William and Flora Hewitt Foundation in particular has funded a number of the OER projects, including projects like the open courseware initiative from MIT.

“We’re seeing the fruits of some of that early development now, with the adoption of open policy for major projects like the $2billion TAACCCT fund for educational resources for community colleges.”

What happened after leaving the University of Auckland? How did you get from there to the OERF?

“After the University of Auckland, I moved to represent New Zealand at theCommonwealth of Learning, based in Vancouver, where my work focused on the adoption of open educational practices and open source software in education.

“After leaving the COL, I moved to set up the Open Education Resource Foundation. After looking around the world, I saw that the only higher education institution with an open policy for educational resources was Otago Polytechnic — which is how the OERF came to be based in New Zealand.

“Happily, the Council of Otago Polytechnic were brave and forward-thinking enough to take us on.”

What does the OERF do?

“The OERF has two flagship initiatives. The first is Wikieducator, which is a platform for the global education community to share and edit educational resources with 58,000 registered account holders.

“The second is the OERu, which is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to providing truly free and open education, including open courses using only open educational resources.

“The mission of the OERu is to develop a sustainable ecosystem of open educational resources. All partner institutions commit to produce two free courses based entirely on OER, providing free access to all learners. Assessment services are then provided on a cost-recovery model. This model enables us to reduce the costs of tuition to the learner to as little as 20% of current costs.”

What’s next? What does the future of OER look like?

“There’s still a long way to go. From my perspective, OER is inevitable — no model of knowledge production can match the efficiency of OER. The real challenge, though, is how long it takes for institutions to develop a culture of sharing. Working for cultural change within traditional and conservative institutions — as higher education institutions tend to be — takes time.

“It’s important that we keep working to develop skills within the tertiary sector. This is still relatively little knowledge or expertise in OER, and this will need to change in order to make OER development and use mainstream.

“From a policy level, we need a stronger commitment from central government and tertiary education institutions to ensure that all educational resources produced by publicly funded institutions are made openly available. People often ask about the ‘sustainability’ of OER. It’s not rocket science: we already fund the production of open educational resources. We just need to make sure the resources that are already produced within universities are made available as OER using Creative Commons licences.”

What should New Zealand tertiary education institutions do?

“It’s essential that institutions pass policies to support the development and use of OER. This is going to take some time. One of the difficulties in working the tertiary sector is that institutions are competitive with each other. We say that if institutions are worried about competition, they should join the OERu. As I said earlier, our open model enables us to reduce the costs of tuition to the learner to 20% of costs at existing mainstream institutions. The OERu is the new competition.”

Matt McGregor is the Public Lead at Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand.


Source: http://nzcommons.org.nz/project/nzs-open-education-resource-foundation/

Copyright: this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand Licence.

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2015.07.01 00:32:18

Posted by  On May 07, 2015

Will MOOCs help you in your job search? We think it does. In a recent report by Duke University, about 73% of the organisations surveyed viewed MOOCs very positively with respect to their potential influence on hiring decisions for job applicants who had taken job-related MOOCs.

This is extremely good news for MOOC learners. Even though the report insists on the importance levied on traditional degrees and credentials, MOOCs are now perceived as an indication of the learner’s motivation and intention to grow.

James Caan, Serial Entrepreneur, in an article on LinkedIn, articulates that every employer looks for the following traits in a potential employee: Ambition, Initiative, Commitment, and Personality. Going by his words, a successful MOOC learner stands to gain an edge over competition in a job hunt.

This is because unless you are ambitious, you would not have the quest to learn and further your knowledge. The more you learn and the more credentials you earn through learning, the more it portrays you as an ambitious and self-motivated person.


Not to mention that taking an MOOC feeds your insatiable desire to keep yourself updated in your chosen field of study.

When it comes to learning courses via MOOCs platforms, you are not answerable to anyone but yourself. Since MOOCs offer plenty of flexibility in terms of course completion, assessments and the level of participation, your successful completion of a MOOC implies you need no supervision when it comes to your work. And that you are capable of starting and completing a task on your own.

This is something that employers consider a desirable trait not just in their employees but for business in general. As a self-starter, you will set a great example in your organization.

Your ability to successfully complete courses via MOOC without compulsion or supervision speaks volumes about your commitment and sense of responsibility.It proves that you are open to going the extra mile to meet professional goals.Your dedication to a job steers you to the top of your career ladder.Employers would be interested in your profile for your ambitious initiative to learn something that demands your complete dedication.

Go learn an MOOC and show it off on your CV with élan!

Good Luck!


This content is brought to you by Study Lounge at Monkey Baba

Courtesy: https://goo.gl/8ttkWI & https://goo.gl/zFkDQ8; Image: http://goo.gl/1qJVhy


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2015.06.03 12:46:37

By Gurumurthy Kasinathan· May 27, 2015



In this blog, Gurumurthy Kasinathan, the Director of IT for Change and ROER4D Sub-Project 5 Lead Researcher, focuses on the open content – open software link. Open infrastructure (open hardware) and open connectivity (‘net neutrality’) are not discussed here, though these are also key components.

I participated in the 2nd workshop of ROER4D in Banff, Canada on 20 – 21 April, which was followed by the Open Education Global Conference, from 22-24 April. While I made a presentation of the work of my organisation, IT for Change on our work with Karnataka Government High School teachers “collaborative creation of OER” through the “KOER” (Karnataka Open Educational Resources) project, this blog is more a reflection of a dilemma I have been having since I began working with the idea of OER from the Paris world conference on OER (June 2012).

The power of OER really comes from the digital nature of information. While printed materials can be replicated only at a cost, and the marginal costs of production do not decline dramatically, digital materials have almost nil marginal costs. Replication costs are trivial. Secondly, modifying and sharing printed material is a complex and non trivial task, while using modern powerful text editors to edit/revise/re-mix content in a document is technically quite simple. Not only can text can be easily edited using a ‘track change’ feature which allows multiple people to edit the same document and retain their ‘signature’, it can be shared back with the original author to decide what revisions to accept. Not only can text can be modified, images and links can be manipulated to revise and enhance digital documents, tasks not easily performable in the pre-digital era.

It is thus the nature of the digital that allows the idea of OER to be born and thrive.

However, OER are one part of the digital environment. OER are ‘content’, while ‘connectivity’ and ‘code’ are the other components of the digital environment, other than the ‘physical layer’ which is the hardware. Code here, stands for the software applications, which allow the creation and modification of digital content. Software applications are the brick and mortar of the digital environment and being digital themselves, can be shared at nil marginal costs and modified as well.

That OER have the potential to benefit society is really obvious, free sharing and enriching of information can certainly benefit all. However, an open digital ‘content’ environment, from a principle perspective cannot exist in a ‘closed code’ (proprietary software applications) environment. Software applications are the digital tools with which we create, revise and share digital content.

As I see it, the efforts to promote an ‘open content’ environment through OER is necessarily aligned with the efforts to promote a ‘free and open source software’ (FOSS) environment. In fact, the latter is a foundation for the former; without tools, there can be no outputs.

However, I find that the OER proponents rarely discuss this link, even imperative. “OER” normally are created using proprietary applications and in proprietary file formats (the popular Microsoft Office documents formats – .doc, .xls and .ppt are all proprietary). To my mind, this is an oxymoron!

It is true that there are application areas where we may not have robust FOSS applications, and the use of proprietary applications may become inevitable (such as complex qualitative research). This therefore may not be able to be seen as a binary – either we use only FOSS or only proprietary software, but as a spectrum of open – closed. Prof Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams shared this notion in the ROER4D workshop, where we keep moving towards more and more free and open environments.

Open – Closed spectrum

Openness score
                      Fully Closed                                                                         Fully Open

The more open one digital component is, the more it can support the others being open. Apart from the philosophical/ principled aspect mentioned earlier, this is also true from a pragmatic point of view. A FOSS environment enables the use of a variety of tools and creates an ‘application rich’ environment. In the KOER project, high school teachers use a wide variety of FOSS digital tools to create a variety of resources, such as:

  1. Text editors like LibreOffice writer to create and edit text documents.
  2. Image editors like GIMP to create and edit image documents
  3. Audio editors like Audacity to create and edit audio documents
  4. Video editors like recordmydesktop to create and Openshot to create and and edit video documents
  5. Concept mapping tools like FreeMind to create and edit concept maps
  6. PDF manipulation tools like PDFShuffler to manipulate PDF documents
  7. Educational applications such as GeogebraMarblePhet to create resources in different subjects (mathematics, geography, science respectively)

These resources are also shared on (freeware) platforms tools such as Google groups, Google photos and free platforms like Slideshare, Wiki and YouTube.

In a constrained environment of closed software, which is what we usually see (computer with Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Adobe Acrobat PDF reader), the user limits his/her imagination to the functionalities of these applications (‘What is it that I can do with the tools I have’), whereas in the FOSS environment, teachers often proceed from ‘What is it that I want to do, and what tool will I need for this task’, and search for the tool either in the Ubuntu Software centre repository in their desktop, or on the Web. Teachers have shared tools that they have discovered/identified with peers on their virtual forums.

My request to my fellow OER advocates is to broaden their efforts towards a ‘free and open digital environment’ in which the platforms, connectivity, tools and content are all available for all of us to use, retain, re-use, revise and re-distribute. And this is something I have found sorely missing in OER conferences/ events, including the Open Education Global Conference. I hope OER advocates will bring in advocacy for FOSS tools as a part of their work and their own practice as well!

*The original quote reads “The end is inherent in the means” by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi


Source: http://roer4d.org/1570

Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 South Africa License.

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2015.06.03 12:31:51

Openness in higher education: Open Educational Resources


Glenda Cox, Lead researcher for Sub-Project 4, shares her workshop presentation 'Openness in higher education: Open Educational Resources'- an overview of OER‬ for academics in Higher Education.

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2015.06.03 11:20:42

The insight report of World Economic Forum on The Global Information Technology Report 2015: ICTs for Inclusive Growth.

Four important messages emerge from the 2015 edition:

  1. The ICT revolution holds the potential of transforming economies and societies and of addressing some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.
  2. This ICT revolution is well under way in some parts of the world.
  3. The ICT revolution has not so far reached large parts of the planet.
  4. Digital divides exist within countries.

Read full report here.

For other information and website, please visit to: http://reports.weforum.org/global-information-technology-report-2015/

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2015.05.21 14:34:45

Open Educational Resources (OER) for Teacher Education:  Adapting and Utilizing OER from TESS-India

About this course


All over the world, including India, there is an aspiration that every student should be actively engaged in their learning. Achieving this aspiration demands highly skilled teachers and quality teacher education. 
This course introduces teacher educators to Open Educational Resources – freely available learning materials that can be adapted for use in particular contexts.  The course explores how you can use OER in the design and delivery of your teacher education programmes to help you bring about the transformation of classroom teaching and learning.   Throughout the course there will be a particular focus on the OER generated by TESS- India. These innovative multi-lingual text and video OER (www.tess-india.edu.in) aim to support teachers in developing participatory approaches through modelling links between theory and practice in classroom activities.   You will explore the values and pedagogy underpinning teacher education OER from TESS-India and other repositories and learn how you can adapt and incorporate these OER for your own contexts and students. 
Through participation in the course you will develop skills in locating, adapting and producing OER. Collaboration and the co-creation of OER will be key themes; you will be introduced to ways of working and open practices that you will be able to take forward into your professional working.  Through the course you may also form and strengthen your professional support network of fellow teacher educators. 
The course is designed primarily for teacher educators working in the Indian context in both pre-service and in-service education with primary and secondary school teachers in formal and informal programmes. However it has significant application for teacher educators globally. 


What you'll learn

  • How to recognise and model active, learner-centred teaching approaches
  • How to use OER (Open Educational Resources) to plan and enact activities that promote/ teacher professional learning and pedagogic change
  • How to give and respond to feedback aimed at enabling practice focussed learning and pedagogic change
  • How to select and use OER to meet your own professional learning needs?   

Meet the instructors



Reviews powered by CourseTalk - Find and review the best online courses and MOOCs

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2015.05.11 19:42:25


John Hilton III is one of the leading researchers in the area of efficacy of open educational resources (which includes open textbooks). Recently, John has been gathering empirical research on the efficacy of open educational resources compared to traditional publishers resources and publishing the studies at theOpen Education Group website.

On May 5th, the Right to Research Coalition sponsored a webinar with John where he presented some of the findings comparing the use of open resources with closed resources.

Here are the slides from the presentation, and the archive of his webcast is below.

The “big picture” takeaway from John’s presentation came in a slide he shared early on (see above). The aggregate result of eight different studies he examined shows that 85% of students who use free open resources in a class do as well or slightly better than students using traditional publishers textbooks. Students performing as well or even slightly better while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in textbook costs is an important finding. However, a John notes, this is just eight studies and there needs to be more research done to be able to see if this result can be replicated in other cases. But still, it does beg the question that if students are doing as well or even slightly better in classes that use free open resources, then how come we still are asking them to spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks when the outcomes are the same?

Here is the presentation.


Source: http://open.bccampus.ca/2015/05/05/effectiveness-of-open-educational-resources/


Creative Commons License

 This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons
 Attribution 4.0 International License

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2015.05.11 19:16:54

Did you consider to export your open textbooka into EPUB format?

Lets read more about EPUB in the following link.



#oer #opentextbooks #EPUB

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2015.05.04 08:17:22

This PowerPoint was prepared by  Ramesh C Sharma (Commonwealth of Learning, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia).

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2015.05.04 07:58:22


Teachers in the 21st century are facing new challenges as a result of the expanding possibilities of ICT integration in every aspect of the school milieu. Studies have shown the potential of teacher professional development (TPD) that is tailored to local conditions as well as global components and takes advantage of mutual support among teachers, as well as modeling of effective practices. This paper will synthesize some key issues and challenges for TPD in the ICT-saturated 21st century. Based on this synthesis, it will suggest a conceptual model for identifying and evaluating TPD practices using ICT as a lever for educational change and innovation. It will also include suggestions for more effectively linking research to practice and will lay out possible research agendas, as a meansof facilitating evidence-based decisions and policies.


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2015.04.25 09:49:33

Source: http://conference.oeconsortium.org/2015/presentations/

88x31-2  Content on conference.oeconsortium.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Nelson Piedra, Janneth Chicaiza, Edmundo Tovar and Jorge Lopez-Vargas 
Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, UTPL, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, UTPL
A Framework for improving the effectiveness of the Openness in OER Repositories and Open Educational Datasets
Brian Jacobs 
A Sustainable Model For Open Content Courseware
Satoshi Yamawaki 
Castalia Co., Ltd.
Continuous learning with OER
Jure Cuhalev 
Open Education Consortium
Current trends in Mobile Web and what it means for Open Educational Resources
Steve Welch, Mary Lou Forward, Mark Surman 
IEEE, Open Education Consortium, Mozilla Foundation
MOOC+: Engaging the public in virtual panel discussions
Deepak Prasad, Rajneel Totaram and Tsuyoshi Usagawa 
Kumamoto University, University of the South Pacific, Kumamoto University
Open Digital Textbooks Analytics System: Work-In-Progress
Stephen Downes 
National Research Council Canada
Open Learning and the Personal Learning Environment
Dr Gilbert Paquette 
Research Chair for Instructional and Cognitive Engineering (CICE)
Opening up MOOCs for OER management on the Web of linked data
Davor Orlic 
Knowledge 4 All Foundation Ltd
OpeningupSlovenia – National research and innovation environment for Open Education
Emily Rodgers 
University of Michigan School of Information
Reframing Entrepreneurial Education: Engaged and Open
Edmundo Tovar and Cristina Stefanelli 
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, SOFIA Consulting
Training Entrepreneurship through an Open Educational Practice. The StartUp model
Allyn Radford and Jane Fahey 
Universities for the Future; Disruption; and the role of Open Education
Jan Neumann and Dr. Robert Farrow 
hbz / graphthinking GmbH
User-stories for the OER World Map
Susan Huggins and Peter Smith 
Open College at Kaplan University, Kaplan University
Using ‘open’ to create a new, innovative future higher education model
Sukaina Walji 
University of Cape Town
‘Open, ready and agile’: Developing a communications strategy for the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) in the Global South

Evidence of Impact

Paul Bacsich, Felix Ostrowski, Rob Farrow, Tel Amiel and Dan Wilton 
Sero Consulting Ltd, hbz, The Open University UK, University of Campinas, Athabasca University
Conceptual issues in mapping OER
Michelle Willmers 
University of Cape Town
Content promotion and visibility: A social media experiment
Danielle Paradis 
Royal Roads University
Exploration of Open Textbooks through Educator’s Lived Experiences
Paul Bacsich 
Sero Consulting Ltd
Mapping OER using Semantic Wiki and Semantic Maps
Gary Matkin 
University of California, Irvine
MOOC Research: What Can We Do with Big Data?
Martin Weller, Bea de Los Arcos, Beck Pitt and Rob Farrow 
Open University, UK
OER Research findings
Anne Boyer and Clara Danon 
Université de Lorraine France, MENESR/DGESIP/MNES
Ten years of OER policy in France: impact and outcomes
Meirani Harsasi and Minrohayati 
Universitas Terbuka
The quality of OER in a distance education institution: a study of students’ perspective
Edmundo Tovar and Marco Kalz 
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Open University, Netherlands
Who is taking European MOOCs and why? A large-scale, cross provider data collection about participants of European Open Online Courses


Claude Laflamme and Nathan Friess 
University of Calgary / Lyryx Learning, Lyryx Learning
A funding and sustainability model for OER
Sarah Goodier and Laura Czerniewicz 
Centre for Higher Education Development, University of Cape Town
A Look at Open Access in South Africa: a case study of researchers publishing practices: an analysis of the top 20 journals (both open access and propriety at one university)
Sarah Goodier and Laura Czerniewicz 
University of Cape Town
A Look at Open Access in South Africa: a case study of researchers publishing practices: an analysis of the top 20 journals (both open access and propriety at one university)
Boyoung Chae and Mark Jenkins 
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
A Qualitative Investigation into Washington Community and Technical College Faculty’s Use and Needs in Open Educational Resources
Mohan Menon 
Wawasan Open University
Adoption of Policy and Practice of OER: A Case of Wawasan Open University, Malaysia
Nicole Allen, ML Forward, Cable Green  Collaborative, Coordinated Strategy for OER Implementation
Una Daly, James Glapa-Grossklag, Barbara Illowsky, Phillip Davis, Quill West and Richard Sebastian 
Open Education Consortium, Canyons College, De Anza College, Cuyahoga Community College, Delmar College
Community College Panel: Promoting Student Success through Open Education
Derek Moore and Dominique Wooldridge 
Wits University
Creating a community of practice to drive OER materials production and address the costs of learning materials in South Africa
Vladimir Tikhomirov and Natalia Dneprovskaya 
Moscow State University of Economics, Statistics and Informatics
Development of strategy for smart University
Marc Singer and David Porter 
Thomas Edison State College, Simon Fraser University
Exploring the process of using OER to build transnationally accredited courses within the OERu partner network – an activity theory perspective
Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams 
University of Cape Town
Grappling with the concepts of “impact” and “openness” in relation to OER: Current developments in the ROER4D Project
Cable Green, Paul Stacey and Nicole Allen 
Creative Commons, Creative Commons, SPARC
Institute for Open Leadership
Don Olcott Jr, Rory McGreal and Carina Bossu 
Charles Sturt University, Athabasca University, University of Tasmania
Kangaroo Musings and Academic Doublespeak: Getting the ‘Jump’ on Institutionalizing OER through a New Faculty-Student Synergy
Paul Stacey 
Creative Commons
Large Scale OER – A National Framework
Marcela Penaloza 
OER strategies and best practices as success factors in Open Access initiatives in higher education
Marcela Penaloza 
OER strategies and best practices as success factors in Open Access initiatives in higher education
Paul Stacey 
Creative Commons
Open Business Models
Nicole Allen and Jan Gondol 
SPARC, Ministry of Interior Slovak Republic
Open Government Partnership as a platform for advancing open education policy
Serpil Kocdar and Cengiz Hakan Aydin 
Anadolu University
Quality Assurance and Accreditation of MOOCs: Current Issues and Future Trends
Ya-Hui Tang, Ming-Yi Lin, Yu-Zuo Lin and Hsu-Tien Wan 
Taipei Medical University
Suggestions for MOOCs platforms from the Course Managers’ point of view — the experience of Taipei Medical University
Colin de La Higuera and Camila Morais Canellas 
Université de Nantes
Teacher’s Time is Valuable
Kim Lynch and Greg Rathert 
Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Textbooks Can be Affordable?? Getting Faculty in the Game
Alex Van der Merwe 
Durban University of Technology
The attitudes of high school teachers to open education resources: A case study of selected South African schools
Barbara Illowsky Phd and Mark Santee 
De Anza College, WebAssign
The maturing OER ecosystem: partners, expansion, and critical questions
David Ernst 
University of Minnesota
The Open Textbook Network: Collectively Helping Institutions and Faculty Overcome Barriers to Adoption of Open Textbooks
Martijn Ouwehand 
TU Delft
TU Delft Online Learning: (Open) licensing MOOCs
Thomas Carey, Alan Davis, Salvador Ferreras and David Porter 
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Using OER to Support Institutional Strategic Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Scholarship
Andy Lane  Who knows how and who shares what: open education practices as an inclusive social innovation


Leigh-Anne Perryman and John Lesperance 
The Open University, Commonwealth of Learning / Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth
Collaborating across borders: OER use and open educational practices within the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth
Pilar Saenz, Alid Armando Mera Mosquera, Blanca Elsa Beltrán Quinayás, Edy Yaneth Martínez Torres, Nidia Lucía Girón Bucheli and Yoli Marcela Hernández Pino 
Fundacion Karisma, Higher Teacher Training School of Popayán
Create and Recreate the City Through Experiences with OER
Pilar Saenz, Lady Clementine Castro and Yoli Marcela Hernández Pino 
Fundacion Karisma, Educational Institution Limbania Velasco, Fundacion Karisma
Creative Commons Licenses: A Bridge to Connect Art and Citizenship Education by Using ICT
Phillip Davis 
Educating the Masses through MOOCs
Willem Van Valkenburg  Everything you want to know about MOOCs
Cable Green 
Creative Commons
K12 OER Collaborative
Leigh-Anne Perryman and Tony Coughlan 
The Open University, UK
Learning from the innovative open practices of three international health projects outside academia
Mihajela Crnko 
Jozef Stefan Institute
MyMachine, Engage Learners from Kindergarten to Industries
Jorge León Martínez and Edith Tapia Rangel 
Open Educational Resources: Experiences at UNAM
Cable Green, Paul Stacey, Nicole Allen, Alek Tarkowski and Lorna Campbell 
Creative Commons, Creative Commons, SPARC, Centrum Cyfrowe
Open Policy Network: Launched!
Eva Méndez and Susan Webster 
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Peer reviewed courses in OpenCourseWare at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid: towards a P2P assessment system for OERs
Patricia Hogan, Breanne Carlson and Christopher Kirk 
Northern Michigan University
Showcasing: Open Educational Practices’ Models Using Open Educational Resources
Covadonga Rodrigo and Miguel Angel Marqueta 
UNED - Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia
Social Accessibility Action to Improve Quality of user-generated video and Develop OER Collections for All
Norazah Nordin, Mohamed Amin Embi and Helmi Norman 
The Malaysia Massive Open Online Courses Initiative: User Acceptance of a MOOC course in the South East Asian Context

Pedagogy & Design

Nelson Piedra, Janneth Chicaiza, Edmundo Tovar and Jorge Lopez-Vargas 
Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, UTPL, Universidad Polit�cnica de Madrid, UTPL
An approach for Filtering of Open Educational Resources to foster Entrepreneurship
Brenda Mallinson and Greig Krull 
Saide; Rhodes University, Saide
An OER Online Course Remixing Experience.
Carina Bossu and Wendy Fountain 
University of Tasmania
Capacity-building for the adoption of OEP in higher education
Mike Keppell and Xiang Ren 
Australian Digital Future Institution, University of Southern Queensland, University of Southern Queensland
Design Options for Open Learning with Formal Credentialing
Uthman Alturki 
King Saud University
Factors Affecting the Use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) From the Viewpoint of Learners in Saudi Arabia
Una Daly 
Open Education Consortium
Faculty Motivation and Reflection on Open Textbook Adoptions
Tel Amiel and Tiago Soares 
UNICAMP, University of São Paulo
Free or open? Investigating intellectual property rights and openness for OER repositories in Latin America
Covadonga Rodrigo and Francisco Iniesto 
UNED - Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia
Holistic Vision for Creating Accessible Services based on MOOCs
Yasira Waqar 
Virtual University of Pakistan
Instructional Design of OER Produced/Contextualized for Pakistan
Domi Enders 
Open Assembly
Knowledge Co-Creation with OER: Unleashing the Creative Power of Open
Nikolaos Floratos, Anna Espasa and Teresa Guasch 
Open University of Catalunia
Recommendations on Formative Assessment and Feedback Practices for stronger engagement in MOOCs
Steven Weiland 
Michigan State University
The Lecture Revisited: Open Educational Resources and Digital Lessons in Teaching
Colin Elliott and Elaine Fabbro 
Athabasca University
The Open Library at AU
Heather Ross, Ryan Banow and Jay Wilson 
University of Saskatchewan
Truly Open Courses on the Canadian Prairies
Karnedi Karnedi 
Universitas Terbuka
Web-Based Learning: Research and Innovation in Translation Learning Resources
Jess Mitchell and Michelle D'Souza 
Inclusive Design Research Centre OCAD University
[Action Lab] Inclusive design of OERs using co-design

ROER4D & GO-GN Research

Francisco Iniesto 
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)
A bridge between accessibility and MOOCs: an adaptative model for developing new services for people with special needs
Nicolai van der Woert 
Health Academy, Radboudumc, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Designing ecosystems for open education in healthcare
Dr. Patricia Arinto  Desktop review of OER policies, project and research in the Global South (ROER4D)
Sarah Goodier  Developing an evaluation strategy to gain insights into a multi-national project (ROER4D)
Prof Mohandas Menon, B. Phalachandra, Jasmine Emmanuel 
Presented by: Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams 
Wawasan Open University, Penang, Malaysia
Exploring OER for Course Development: The case of a postgraduate Research in Education course in Malaysia and India (ROER4D)
Batbold Zagdragchaa  Exploring the cultural historical factors that influence OER adoption and use in Mongolia’s higher education sector (ROER4D)
María del Pilar Saenz, Ulises Hernandez Pino, and Yoli Marcela Hernández 
Karisma Foundation (Colombia)
From copyright restriction to the possibilities of using Creative Commons licenses in primary and secondary education in Colombia: Preliminary findings of the coKREA project (ROER4D)
Henry Trotter 
Research Capacity Building
Harmonising Research between South and North: Results from ROER4D’s Question Harmonisation Experiment (ROER4D)
Igor Lesko 
Open University of Netherlands
Impact of International Organizations on Governmental OER Policies
Gino Fransman 
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Negotiating Social and Digital Literacies Through Encounters with OER at NMMU: Starting Point: Towards Advocating for Open at NMMU
Judith Pete 
Tangaza University College of Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Open Education Resources (OER) Differentiation in Africa (Kenya, Ghana and South Africa)
Gurumurthy Kasinathan & Ranjani Ranganathan 
IT for Change
Open Educational Resources – a method of Teacher Professional Development (ROER4D)
Nikolaos Floratos 
Open University of Catalonia
Recommendations on Formative Assessment and Feedback Practices for stronger engagement in MOOCs
Werner Westermann  Research in progress: Use of OER in developing the logical-mathematical, literacy, science and critical thinking skills of first year higher education students (ROER4D)
Glenda Cox 
University of Cape Town
Research into the social and cultural acceptability of OER in South Africa (ROER4D)
Jose Dutra de Oliveira Neto  Survey Instrument Validity: Validation of a survey instrument to understand current and potential users of Open Education Resources (OER) in the Global South (ROER4D)
Ramesh C. Sharma, Atul Thakur, Meenu Sharma and Sanjaya Mishra  Teachers’ Perception of Open Educational Resources: Data Collection through Workshops (ROER4D)

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2015.04.25 09:33:49

Nelson Piedra, Janneth Chicaiza, Edmundo Tovar and Jorge Lopez-Vargas 

Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, UTPL, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, UTPL

One of the two fundamental concepts related to OER is “the ability to freely adapt and re-use existing pieces of knowledge”. Discovering and re-use of educational resources by both individuals and organizations may have significant creative and economic benefit for educational environment. To facilitate discovering, combining, reusing, integration or adaptation of OER, a key condition is to improve the metadata interoperability between different collections of open material. In this paper, a framework for assessing the effectiveness of the openness in OER Repositories based on Semantic Linked Open Data guidelines is presented. Based on the principles for opening of Open Data, an OER initiative should be considered open if it is made public in a way that observance with the guides: completeness, primary, timeliness, ease of access to digital resources and metadata, metadata documented, metadata in Standard and machine readability Formats, universal Participation, formats non-proprietaries, ensures interoperability between different collections of OER using open licenses both a human-readable description and computer-readable metadata, and persistence. Also, this study advocates the use of Linked Data technologies as an enabler for the development of the next generation of Open Educational Resources, allowing the separation of semantics from syntax, the improvement of discoverability and access, and the use of common vocabularies.

Aims and target groups

The main project objective is the establishment of a set of criteria for evaluating openness of OER collections to ensure the quality of the contents.

The project target groups are administrators, educators, students and self-learners with an interest in OER, without any restriction in terms of sector, school, higher education and vocational education, in terms of users’ age or professional role.

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2015.04.17 07:45:24

By Javiera Atenas (University College London) & Leo Havemann (Birkbeck, University of London)

Quality in open contexts

In a trajectory that did not simply begin from MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), via Open Educational Resources (OER), and latterly arrive at a promised land of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), a plethora of institutions, organisations and individuals have attempted through various and numerous interventions to ‘open up’ the education landscape to a wider range of travellers, inhabitants and tourists. And in a way, the question of quality has always dogged open education’s steps. Would open universities attract ‘quality’ students? Would open resources and courses be of good enough quality, and how could we be sure? Open, it seemed, might pose a threat to quality, or at least place a question mark over it. Yet, as openness has gained traction, it has also been suggested that quality might be bolstered and supported through the wisdom of crowds.

One of the problems faced by advocates of open education is a widespread perception of that commercially published materials are quality materials, and that unpublished, open materials may not be. Some may even suspect open resources are simply those which are ‘not good enough to publish’. For an alternative perspective it is worth considering the case of Wikipedia, one of the world’s most used websites, which can indeed be seen as a vast open educational resource. Wikipedia has certainly had its detractors in academia, on the basis that anyone can write and edit Wikipedia articles. This suspicion persists, in the face of academic studies that suggest the overall accuracy of Wikipedia is about as good as that of published encyclopaedias, while at the same time it provides a vastly wider coverage of topics, and in spite of evidence that shows ‘abuse’ (maliciously updating articles with false information) is usually very rapidly corrected[i].

Of course, the success of Wikipedia cannot be said to prove that content that is made available freely will be of high quality. Yet it does suggest that it is pertinent to ask whether and how the adoption of open practices can be leveraged in order to improve the quality of open education.


Open Educational Practices: Collaborating towards quality

Open Educational Practices (OEP) are activities which aim at inclusiveness and gratuity, and support and promote the use, creation and development of open content[ii]. For us, the concept of OEP must embrace, but not be limited to, work done in relation to OER. Instead we envision OEP as consisting of a kaleidoscope of teaching, learning and research related practices, acting within and upon a field of open and closed components, leading towards the opening of access to knowledge and education, while working openly in a spirit of collaboration, transparency and shared endeavour.[iii]

To put it another way, practices occurring within the kaleidoscope certainly include working with various kinds of open components: developing, sharing, reusing, or remixing some form of open content. This might simply be an individual Open Educational Resource (OER), or a collection of them packaged up asOpenCourseWare (OCW), or an Open Textbook (OTB). It might involve developing or delivering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), or the use of Open Data (OD) as a learning resource for student research. OEP also includes the question of what you do with resources: OER, OTB or OD can be deposited in platforms known asRepositories of Open Educational Resources (ROER) which (should) support academics searching, retrieving and evaluating these materials.

Beyond these open components, there is realm of collaborative, networked activities such as blogging, tweeting, and presenting about teaching practices, pedagogic questions, learning designs, evaluation of resources, and the like, which are no less key. All of these elements can be interconnected to create instances that support technology-enhanced learning.

So with this notion of OEP in mind, we see parallels with Martin Weller’s concept of digital scholarship, about which he notes, “scholars are being asked to share the teaching materials they produce, to publish in open access journals, to network with others in social media, and to reuse OER.”[iv] With Weller we agree that these attributes represent the beginnings of a possible paradigm shift in the way academics think about scholarly outputs and teaching resources. But whileanalogue to digital represents a great enabler of such a shift, its key axis might instead be viewed as closed to open. This shift is to be welcomed but in our view, is far from inevitable. While there is evidence to say this is already occurring, academic staff cannot be expected simply to “naturally” develop and harness these abilities.

According to our analysis of academics views on quality development of OER and ROER[v], ensuring that educators can adopt the use and produce of these resources, it is necessary to comply with some basic quality criteria, for example:

  • Use open source software when creating OER to allow modification
  • Provide relevant pedagogical information (aims, objectives, level)
  • Clearly attribute the authorship of the resources
  • Specify the Creative Commons Licenses for each resource
  • Support the development of OER in multiple languages
  • Follow accessibility guidelines for developing inclusive resources

 For educators needing to assess the quality of existing OER, JISC[vi] has recommended that the accuracy of the resources, the reputation of the author and author’s institution, the standards of technical production, the resource’s accessibility and its fitness for purpose should be considered. However, it is less clear how and by whom this evaluation process can be performed. It is here that we believe communities, with the help of suitable, purpose-built repositories, can play a vital role.


Repositories and OER quality

While learning resources can be found scattered throughout the web, there appears to be a consensus in the open education community that dedicated platforms (e.g repositories) are needed in order to optimally support the life cycle of OER sharing, retrieval and use. Our work on ROER takes as its point of departure the notion that purpose-built repositories are not simply there to host content: they must create added value for discoverability, for use and repurposing, and ultimately support quality enhancement. For this reason we undertook a literature review[vii] through which we aimed to discover what OER scholars consider the most important features one would wish to see in repositories.

Drawing from our review of the literature, we would argue that the ethos underlying the creation of repositories of OER can be said to comprise four key themes:Search, Share, Reuse, and Collaborate as the purpose of ROER is to support searching for content in a structured way, sharing their own resources, reusing existing materials, creating new ones through adapting or translating, and collaborating with others by interacting, commenting upon, reviewing and promoting resources. However, our analysis found that currently, ROER do not always facilitate access to and/or retrieval of the resources.[viii]

Therefore ROER should include certain technical and social characteristics in their platforms aiming at facilitate the access and reuse of the resources[ix] including:

  • User evaluation tools
  • Multilingual navigation
  • Social media sharing tools
  • Access to the source code or original file
  • Guidelines to understand and apply Creative Commons Licenses
  • Pedagogic description of the resources in their metadata
  • Provision of open source software to facilitate adaptation and modification.


Assuring openness in MOOCs

The openness of MOOCs has at times been open to debate, as many of the commercial MOOC platforms include strict content usage policies that make the content and the data (though often produced by publicly funded universities) restricted under all rights reserved licensing. MOOCs, in order to be fully open, should provide or reuse open content such as open licensed images, OER, open access research papers and Open Datasets, and thereby ensure that the course and materials are open to later reuse and remixing, rather than simply open registration.

We suggest[x] it is desirable to open up MOOCs using three possible strategies

  • Opening individual resources as OER depositing them in ROER, so images, audiovisual materials and assessment carefully describing its aims and objectives, key information and syndicating the authorship.
  • Opening up packages of content that can be downloaded from ROER so resources can be recontextualised in other courses.
  • Transforming entire MOOCs into OpenCourseWare (OCW) so people can make use of them for self paced learning and reuse the contents of the courses.

We consider that when MOOCs have been produced by universities they should include the opening up of the MOOC resources as a necessary part of the process rather than an add-on. This would allow high quality content to be made accessible for members of the general public as well as retrievable for reuse by educators and learners at any time. Universities should therefore, prior to signing contracts, consider whether any restrictive terms and conditions are imposed by their platform provider which actually present a barrier to their open education aims.[xi]


Open Data as OER 

Open Data produced at scientific, research and governmental level has become an invaluable resource not only for other researchers, scholars and for the general public, but for academics and students, as it provides high quality information that can be reproduced, analysed and used for educators across the globe to improve the numeracy and research skills of students alongside deeping in the knowledge and understanding of their subject areas.

The Open Definition includes the concept of universal participation and interoperability in regards OD[xii], so to make participation universal, students need to take advantage of the use of OD by being provided with it in different teaching and learning activities. We consider that as scientific/research data is mostly provided by universities, higher education can now embrace research-based learning models, making use of OD to develop and improve critical thinking and research skills amongst students, as they can learn from researchers based in their own university and country but also internationally[xiii].

With the use of OD, while individual students can benefit, collaborative skills can also be developed. Moreover, students can work across disciplines, improving their literacy, numeracy and professional skills by collaborating with other students, researchers and academics. Collaboration in analysing real research conducted in their universities and elsewhere might strengthen students understanding of good research practices, facilitating independent research, and developing teamwork critical and analysis skills.

We suggest that open datasets used as OER for research or scenario based learning activities are also stored and shared including the contextual information regarding use through ROER. Through these platforms the OD and related activity will be searchable and retrievable and can be assessed and evaluated by the users to ensure quality regarding its teaching and learning value.



Drawing from our research[xiv] academics refer as barriers for adopting OER and ROER their lack of training, language barriers and technological challenges as barriers. These problems are not exclusive to OER and OEP, but also equally affect to MOOCs, OCW and OD, therefore collaboration is key to overcome these challenges and barriers, not only to evaluate the resources or to improve the platforms but to support and train other users in using and creating open content.

Openness, by its collaborative nature, favours crowdsourcing of quality assurance by encouraging users to be not only contributors but also critical reviewers, improving resources and usability.  To ensure that quality is assured in education, is necessary to promote OEP, as these practices are associated with a variety of benefits: Efficiency through reuse or repurposing and widening access to information and knowledge by generating a positive culture of openness, sharing, and collaboration.

However, we consider that significant barriers continue to hinder the takeup of OEP. Although a simple lack of awareness of open resources and practices is often assumed, this could be masking quite tangible regulatory, cultural, skills-based and technical challenges. Institutional policies on openness are rarely actually prohibitive, but might simply be unclear, unnecessarily restrictive, or missing altogether. Similarly, the cultural context in which resource creators work, and the teachers and students skills gaps (literacy, language, numeracy, technical) can difficult adopting these practices, therefore, even with the requisite skills, open educators can be hampered by the available technologies.

Quality assurance needs to be inclusive and accessible, by engaging with the communities of practice as critical partners to evaluate the quality of the resources - from the quality of content, to the quality of the object and its usability - this can be understood as crowdsourcing quality enhancement. Regarding accessibility, the design of OER and ROER needs to consider all the potential users, following accessibility guidelines in order to consciously include people with learning disabilities but also, to include those who have less access to powerful computer systems in the developing world, so including users as evaluators can ensure accessibility. 

In order for the sharing and reuse of openly licensed resources to become adopted as a mainstream educational practice, it is necessary to consider how technical infrastructure underpins such activity and how it can further support and enhance OEP. Collaboration to enable crowd mechanisms for quality assurance are key, as collectively assessing quality might improve the current models enabling trust mechanisms amongst educators and scholars.

Ensuring quality of resources through OEP might lead to efficiency gains for teachers as academics might spend less time a) browsing for resources b) preparing materials c) supporting students with different learning needs and styles, as collaboratively enhancing quality of the resources and facilitating access to high quality content that has been approved or validated by other educators and which can easily adapted to used across cultures and disciplines may allow academics to spend more time preparing their classes and communicating more effectively with their students.

[i] Wikipedia (2015). Reliability of Wikipedia.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia

[ii] The ICDE’s open educational practices definition can be found at:http://www.icde.org/en/resources/open_educational_practices/

[iii] Havemann, L., Stroud, J., & Atenas, J. (2014). Breaking down barriers: Open Educational Practices as an emerging academic literacy. Academic Practice and Technology Conference, University of Greenwich, 5 July.

[iv] Weller, M. (2011). The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved fromhttp://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781849666275

[v] Atenas, J., Havemann, L., & Priego, E. (2014). Opening teaching landscapes: The importance of quality assurance in the delivery of open educational resources. Open Praxis, 6(1), 29–43. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.6.1.81

[vii] Atenas, J., & Havemann, L. (2014). Questions of quality in repositories of open educational resources: a literature review. Research in Learning Technology, 22. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.20889

[viii] Atenas, J., & Havemann, L. (2013). Quality assurance in the open: an evaluation of OER repositories. INNOQUAL-International Journal for Innovation and Quality in Learning, 1(2), 22–34. Retrieved fromhttp://papers.efquel.org/index.php/innoqual/article/view/30/12

[ix] Atenas, J., & Havemann, L. (2013). A vision of Quality in Repositories of Open Educational Resources. In Y. Punie, Christine Redecker, & J. Castaño (Eds.), OPEN EDUCATION 2030. JRC-IPTS CALL FOR VISION PAPERS. PART III: HIGHER EDUCATION (pp. 54–59). European Commission Joint Research Centre Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. Retrieved fromhttp://is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pages/EAP/documents/All_OE2030_HE_v 4_author revised_OK.pdf 

[x] Havemann, L., & Atenas, J. (2014). MOOCs must move beyond open enrolment and demonstrate a true commitment to reuse and long-term redistribution. LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog. Retrieved fromhttp://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/03/07/is-it-time-for-moocs-to-open-up/

[xi] Atenas, J. (2015). Model for democratisation of the contents hosted in MOOCs.RUSC. Universities And Knowledge Society Journal, 12(1), 3-14. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v12i1.2031

[xii] Open Definition http://opendefinition.org

[xiii] Atenas, J., Havemann, L., & Priego, E. (2015). The 21st Century’s raw material: using open data as open educational resources. Open Education Working Group Blog. Retrieved from http://education.okfn.org/the-21st-centurys-raw-material-using-open-data-as-open-educational-resources/

[xiv] Atenas, J., & Havemann, L. (2013). A vision of quality in repositories of open educational resources. Open Education 2030. Contribution to the JRC-IPTS Call for Vision Papers. Part III: Higher Education, 54–59.

Copyright: Creative Commons LicenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Source: http://openeducationeuropa.eu/en/blogs/crowdsourcing-quality-or-why-openness-matters

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2015.04.09 10:27:49

Slides from @oeconsortium webinar on "#OER authoring & delivery platforms".

  • Courseload - delivery platform
  • Pressbooks - authoring tool
  • Open Assembly - delivery platform



The growing adoption of open educational resources (OER) has identified the need for easy-to-use authoring platforms for the development and delivery of openly licensed digital content. Please join the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) for this free, open webinar on authoring platforms that support faculty authoring and adaption of open educational resources and institutional delivery of these resources.

Our speakers will share platforms used by faculty to develop open textbooks and also a delivery platform for making openly licensed digital content easily accessible for faculty and students.

  • Date: Wednesday, April 8
  • Time: 10 am PST; 1:00 pm EST

Featured speakers:

  • Clint Lalonde, Open Education Manager, BCcampus
  • Judy Einstein, VP Business Development and Etienne Pelaprat, User Experience Researcher, Courseload Inc.

Participant Login Information:

No pre-registration is necessary.  Please use the link below on the day of the webinar to login and listen.

Web login:


Dial-in if needed:  1-913-312-3202 (passcode: 103110)

Posted by: Una Daly, Director of Curriculum Design & College Outreach, OEC Consortium, email:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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2015.03.31 08:39:57


 The Internet and Online Pedagogy

 Articles should be submitted by 30 November 2015 

 Articles will be published in Issue 13, Vol. 3 (July 2016)


The Internet attracts our attention because we find it an effective way of doing many different things. This effectiveness is constantly put to the test in many aspects of life, such as politics, administration, health, consumerism, business, work, music, gaming and the construction of language. In the same way as in these social areas, talking about education today without mentioning the Internet is practically impossible; in fact, the absence of the Internet is much more obvious. However, the Internet is not simply a set of effective tools. The Internet implies unique ways of thinking, doing and feeling, which we draw on to contemplate and represent classic processes in a mediated, global and networked way. The Internet does not invent education, and it may not be more effective for learning, but it does help us think about educational matters from a different angle.

There is a long, diverse and rich pedagogical tradition in education but, as far as the Internet is concerned, the discipline is currently under construction. In this process, however, the pedagogical task cannot be whittled down to identifying only the most suitable Web application or Internet tool because this would reduce pedagogical reflection to the search for answers to the question of what we should learn with. The Internet is an educational environment and not just a source of didactic material, and it raises many questions. The meaning of pedagogical reflection as regards the Internet is behind the issue of which educational function can be added to the technological system created by it, and not simply the other way round.

Therefore, while the Internet offers thousands of applications to learn something, pedagogy seeks something more constant in this technological development: to understand and construct a series of principles and models in order to make the most of the social and cultural conditions that online teaching and learning imply. Discussing online pedagogical matters is not only about knowing which Internet tool we are going to use, but also why we are going to use it and how it – along with other variables – changes our way of understanding the educational space, sequencing issues, educational agents, the relationship with the curriculum, methodology and knowledge production, among other aspects. For all of these reasons, the ultimate goal of pedagogical knowledge is not to impose a technological tool on education, but instead to offer a framework of educational representation on the Internet. Educational matters on the Internet represent a pedagogical challenge.

That is why, together with a broad and sophisticated group of technological solutions on the Internet, pedagogical endeavours to systematise visions and validate experiences are being identified; these are renewing the way of conceiving educational matters in online learning environments. It is not simply a matter of didactic concern or ways of teaching online, but of an integral vision or a worldview of how our way of understanding education and, by extension,

social and cultural dynamics on the Internet is changing. In other words, the pedagogical task is to give educational meaning to the Internet.

Pedagogy and pedagogical thinking, with invaluable support from the various disciplines already concerned with the Internet, reside in the ability to articulate and offer new ways of educational representation. Besides interdisciplinary matters, this construction is not a mechanical path that consists in shifting old pedagogy onto the Internet; nor is it something that can be done at the same speed as the construction of technology. The pedagogical task is to identify a series of educational problems that can open up debate, clarify issues and refine didactic methodologies through educational research. This is the principal interest of this call for papers.

Why simply talk of the Internet in education when it is possible to talk of online pedagogy?


Subject areas

We are seeking contributions that enable reflection and provide research results on the Special Section topic from all disciplines concerned with educational matters around the world.

Specifically, the thematic areas of the Special Section are:

Essays on or situational reviews of topics such as:

  • Society, pedagogy and e-learning
  • The challenges for pedagogy as an educational discipline in Internet times
  • Epistemological problems surrounding knowledge and e-learning

Research works:

  • Evaluation of emerging pedagogical models on the Internet
  • Analysis of pedagogical discourse about the Internet
  • Impact of new Internet disciplines on didactic proposals
  • Review of the scientific literature on pedagogy and the Internet
  • Special educational needs and online models
  • Technological offering and educational needs
  • Online pedagogy and culture in the classroom
  • Pedagogical challenges of online assessment
  • E-learning and identity


Guest editors

Begoña Gros holds a doctorate in Pedagogy from the University of Barcelona (UB), Spain, and is a lecturer at that university. From 2007 to 2011, she was vice-rector for Research and Innovation at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Spain. She is currently a principal researcher within the “Learning Environments and Materials” group. Her areas of research are digital technologies and learning, and especially topics related to innovation, learning environment design and e-learning. She has participated in and coordinated research at national and international levels. She is a member of the Scientific Boards of several national and international journals (International Journal of Web-based Communities, Educational Research and Development, Comunicación y Educación, RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, etc.).

Terry Anderson holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology, specialising in Digital Educational Applications, from the University of Calgary, Canada, and is a lecturer at Athabasca University – Canada’s Open University. He is the editor emeritus of The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and director of the Canadian Initiative for Distance Education (CIDER). His area of research is the use of social technology in distance-education learning. He has given various lectures around the world on the educational impact of the Internet, he manages and participates in several scientific research projects, and he is a Board member of several top-ranking scientific journals.

Cristóbal Suárez holds a doctorate in Education in Virtual Training Processes from the University of Salamanca (USAL), Spain, and is a lecturer in the Department of Didactics and School Organisation at the University of Valencia (UV), Spain. He has been the coordinator of SCOPEO, the Virtual Training Observatory, at USAL, and the coordinator of virtual pedagogical management at several universities. He currently participates in research projects on education, the Internet and learning at national and international levels, he is the associate editor of the journal Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia (RIED), and his articles have been published in research journals on the topics of educational development and the Internet, and especially on pedagogical innovation, cooperative online learning, digital educational culture and e-learning designs.

We strongly recommend checking the journal’s author guidelines before submitting an article. Please, remember to specify that it is for the SPECIAL SECTION PEDAGOGY.


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2015.03.10 08:26:13

Annual Open Education Week - March 9-13, 2015

The annual Open Education Week (http://www.openeducationweek.org/) starts on Monday, March 9 with the theme The World Wants to Learn.  Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide. Open Education Week highlights open education efforts from around the world and provides an opportunity for educators, administrators, policy makers and learners to gain a greater understanding of open educational practices and impacts.  

“Open Education plays an increasingly important role in the future of education around the world”, says Mary Lou Forward, Executive Director of the Open Education Consortium. “Faculty are looking for better ways to engage their students, learners are looking for just-in-time support for their studies, individuals are looking for educational opportunities to support their careers, and educational systems are looking for increased efficiency and efficacy. Open Education plays a role in all of these goals.”
Open Education Week (March 9-13, 2015) is a global event that seeks to raise awareness of free and open sharing in education and the benefits they bring to teachers and learners. Coordinated by the Open Education Consortium, the 4th Open Education Week will feature events and showcase projects, resources, and ideas from around the world that demonstrate open education in practice.

Please check OEW website throughout the week for latest information on events. Join in the celebration of open education with hundreds of thousands around the world and help make the 4th annual Open Education Week a huge success. For more information about Open Education Week, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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2015.03.08 10:58:40

Prepared by Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Wawasan Open University, Penang, Malaysia for ROER4D.

An overview about OER in Malaysia, also included some background of the higher educations in Malaysia, ICT in higher education, legal environment for OER, universities and institutions involved in OER movements, research and publications on OER.

Click here to download the report.

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2015.02.06 09:02:39

The OER Research Hub, based at the UK’s Open University, is researching the global impact of open educational resources (OER) on learners and teachers and is focusing on India as a case study. They are using surveys to gather evidence about the use and impact of OER in India and would really value your participation in this research by completing one of the surveys below. 

Survey for students:

Survey for educators/teachers:

Survey for people who are not in formal education, and are not educators:

There is also a blog post from Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman 

Comments 1Hits: 1445  

2015.01.21 00:37:43

Posted 20 Jan 2015 by Don Watkins

Image by : 


I first met Stephen O’Connor, a fifth grade public school teacher at Wells Central School, at the New York State Association for Computers and Technology in Education Conference in 2007. I don’t recall the exact subject of his presentation, but I came away from his presentation with some new information that helped me implement Moodle in my classroom. He pointed me in the direction of a good hosting company that allowed me to work on Moodle, Drupal, and Wordpress development, which I was most interested in at the time.

At another of his presentations, I came away with a wealth of information about licensing content and the differences between Copyright and Creative Commons. I’ve been following Steve on Twitter for a long time, and he continues to be a great source of learning about open educational resources.


Steve teaches at an elementary, public school on a tiny hamlet in the Adirondack region of New York state. He attended the University of Rochester as an undergraduate and majored in history and East Asian Studies. He later attended Nazareth College obtaining an M.S. in Education. His contribution to open source is in the area of open educational resources (OER).

"In the past, I have gotten paid to work around OER," O'Connor said. "A couple times I got work finding and curating OER centered around certain topics. Another time, I got funding to create an openly licensed P2PU class in multimedia."

Lately the majority of his work in open content has centered around EngageNY, where he's created math and English language arts modules for implementation in his fifth grade classroom.

"I make multimedia presentations to deliver the lessons, screencasts to support parents and students with homework, and a some other ancillary materials. To me, it just made sense to share freely, so I created ccss5.com as a platform for sharing these materials," he said. "While I have not been compensated for this work, I have gotten work as a consultant/presenter for a district trying to implement the EngageNY Math Modules. I hope to find more opportunities to do similar work in the future. I also hope that my body of work leads to funding opportunities so I can extend what I have done in fifth grade to other grade levels."

When I asked Steven why he worked in OER, he said, "I feel that an education is a basic human right; therefore, by creating educational resources and giving them away, you are removing an obstacle to attaining an education. I also feel that the textbook industry has not served us well with quality materials, and I feel they have exploited schools financially."

I asked Steven what it is about OER that invites his continued involvement. And, he says, "While I am sometimes disappointed by the lack of feedback that I receive, I know that hundreds of teachers are using my resources. That means my work benefits thousands of children." I asked him how he got interested in open educational content in the first place, and he responds:

"My interest in OER stemmed from my work with the open source social networking platform Elgg. I also benefitted from open licensed, server-based software such as WordPress and Joomla. K12 Handheld’s owner, Karen Fasimpaur, brought OER to my attention, saying that she was dedicating her efforts in that area. Around the time I began conversing about OER with Karen, I started reading the work of Larry Lessig, one of the founders of Creative Commons. His advocacy for a culture of sharing struck a chord, especially because I benefited from openly licensed software. About the same time, I became familiar with the work of Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody. His writing solidified notions I already had about spending one's time creating, rather than consuming, content.”

When asked what he sees as the greatest need in open content today he, he responds enthusiastically:

"A lot of OER has been disjointed, particularly in mathematics, a field that demands coherence. This has recently changed with New York State Education Department’s bold entry into openly licensed curriculum with the EngageNY mathematics and English language arts modules. I think making and sharing derivative materials based upon the modules will result in open educational resources that will really be used. Many of those involved with OER get the sense that their resources are not being utilized. I think the modules have changed this, so this is a good area to direct resources.” 

He continues, "I was recently contacted by New York State Education Department regarding my work with the mathematics modules. In the course of the discussion, I was told that I was doing exactly what they hoped would be done with the modules, but I was the only one they knew who was doing it. I think those funding OER creation would be wise to harness the widespread use of the modules all around the country."

When I asked Steve how he licenses his content, he says, "Since most of my current work is making derivative materials from the EngageNY Modules and they are licensed CC BY-NC-SA, I must license anything I make from them the same way. I have come to prefer CC-BY myself."

Copyright: Creative Commons License

Resource: https://opensource.com/education/15/1/interview-stephen-oconnor-ny-state-education-department

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2015.01.15 23:20:52


Humans are fundamentally social. There are a number of ways we might attempt to prove this claim. We might argue that the highest compliment someone can be paid is to be called a “true friend.” We might argue that the noblest of all emotions is love. We might argue that the single most important technological achievements in history are the creations of communications technologies such as speech, writing, printing, and the internet. Conversely, we might argue that society’s most severe nonlethal punishment is “solitary confinement.”

The power of each of these examples derives from relationships between people. You are a friend to someone else. You love someone else. You communicate with someone else. You are punished by being prevented from interacting with anyone else.

PBS summarizes simply, “All of us need other people in order to be well and thrive. We feel better just being around other people. And we need close relationships in order to be happy.”

Our learning is also social. Michael Feldstein recently described findings of a Gallup poll on education and wellbeing:

Gallup backs up and asks the question, “What kind of education is more likely to promote wellbeing?” They surveyed a number of college graduates in various age groups and with various measured levels of wellbeing, asking them to reflect back on their college experiences. What they didn’t find is in some ways as important as what they did find. They found no correlation between whether you went to a public or private, selective or non-selective school and whether you achieved high levels of overall wellbeing. It doesn’t matter, on average, whether you go to Harvard University or Podunk College. It doesn’t matter whether your school scored well in the U.S. News and World Report rankings… What factors did matter? What moved the needle? Odds of thriving in all five areas of Gallup’s wellbeing index were:

1.7 times higher if “My professors at [College] cared about me as a person”
1.7 times higher if “I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams”
1.5 times higher if “I had at least one professor at [College] who made me excited about learning”

Again, the institution type didn’t matter (except for students who went to for-profit private colleges, only 4% of which were found to be thriving on all five measures of wellbeing). It really comes down to feeling connected to your school work and your teachers.

So feeling like your professors actually care matters? Apparently it matters a lot. Who knew?

A number of learning theorists and pedagogues have written about the social nature of learning. Perhaps most famous among these is Vygotsky and his notion of the more capable peer who supports a learner as she grows within her continually expanding zone of proximal development. Without devolving into a full-on literature review, together with Vygotsky we should mention Leontev, Luria, and particularly Werstch. John Dewey and John Seely Brown are of particular note, along with Lave and Wenger. By even starting to make the list I leave out more people than I can possibly include. Suffice it to say, much has been written on the social nature of learning.

My eventual critiques of learning objects were inspired largely by these and other thinkers talking about the social nature of learning. For example, my 2003 critique of attempts at automating education via learning objects still applies to today’s attempts to automate education via MOOCs and other means.

Many individuals and institutions pursue learning objects research with the goal of enabling anytime, anywhere learning through computer-automated assembly of learning objects personalized for individual learners (e.g., Martinez, 2003; Hodgins, 2000; IEEE/LTSC, 2001; ADL, 2003). The potential cost savings of automating instructional design are obvious. But while the model of one learner interacting with one computer matches very well with the 1970s view of computer-based instruction, an isolationist approach is at odds with what learning theorists are increasingly emphasizing – the importance of collaboration (e.g., Nelson, 1999), cooperative learning (Johnson & Johnson, 1997; Slavin, 1990), communities of learners (Brown, 1994), social negotiation (Driscoll, 1994), and apprenticeship (Rogoff, 1990) in learning. While a collection of quality content is a necessary condition for facilitating learning, it is not sufficient. If good content were enough to support learning, and human interaction were unnecessary, libraries would never have evolved into universities. (emphasis in original)

Beyond the seemingly endless proliferation of words by learning theorists and pedagogues lies empirical evidence. In his groundbreaking book Visible Learning, John Hattie provides a meta-analysis of over 800 meta-analyses, comparing the impacts on learning of 138 teacher, curriculum, school, and other influences as reported across thousands of empirical studies that met a quality threshold.

In what has to be my favorite Appendix ever Hattie lists these influences, rank ordered by the size of their impact on learning (with impact expressed in standardized effect sizes). He finds that one of the largest effects on learning, 11th of 138 overall, and the 3rd highest influence of teachers on learning, is the teacher-student relationship. He comments,

“Developing relationships requires skills by the teacher – such as the skills of listening, empathy, caring, and having positive regard for others…. Teachers should learn to facilitate students’ development by demonstrating that they care for the learning of each student as a person and empathizing with students.” (p. 118-119)

We could say more, but the point of a meta-meta-analysis is that Hattie’s 0.72 effect size summarizes the empirical evidence for us. Human relationships matter in education. When teachers know and care about their students, it makes a big difference.

With the pile of philosophical, conceptual, and empirical evidence showing the social nature of learning and the importance of human relationships (particularly the relationship between teacher and student) in learning and wellbeing, why are we working so hard to automate away any opportunity for these relationships to exist?

Teachers and faculty certainly aren’t demanding a future where teaching becomes a kind of solitary confinement attenuated only by a wispy virtual tether to their students. Students who learn less and are less happy when these relationships aren’t there, aren’t asking for it. Not even employers want this future, as they demonstrate by talking continuously about how important interpersonal and other social skills are in those they want to hire.

The only people who benefit from eliminating human relationships from learning are those who both (1) would benefit from “scaling” formal educational opportunities and (2) see teachers as a bottleneck in the scaling process. It’s a terrible shame, because there absolutely must be ways to “scale” education that preserve the opportunity for genuine human relationships of care to develop between teachers and students. If ed tech advocates, software developers, researchers, and others were putting as much time and effort into finding processes and building tools that support the creation and nurturing of these relationships as they’ve spent trying to eliminate those relationships, I think we could solve the problem.

But wait, I can hear you’re saying, isn’t this blog supposed to be about open? What does all this touchy feely relationship stuff have to do with open? Glad you asked. I was just getting to that.

As I’ve said many times, education is sharing. If you haven’t heard the refrain recently, you can listen to it again here:



While education is sharing, it’s good to be clear about what education is not. Education is not authoring. Education is not publishing. That is to say, education is more than recording a video and posting it to YouTube, even though such a video might be useful in supporting someone’s learning. (Learning is what a person does for themselves. Education is what someone else does to help you learn.)

If faculty aren’t sharing what they know with students, they aren’t educating. If they’re not sharing feedback with students – both critical and encouraging – they aren’t educating. And if they aren’t sharing something of themselves with students, they aren’t educating. And it’s this last bit, the notion of faculty sharing something of themselves with students, that gets us into the realm of the kind of relationships that make an immediate impact on student learning and make a long-term impact on students’ lives.

And herein lies, what is for me, a newly emerging connection to open. As I said above, the core ethic of open is sharing. But it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that all the work we do in “open” education is work directed toward figuring out how to share more completely and more effectively – figuring out how to be more generous, as I say in the video above. The open licenses that underpin so much of what we do in open education are nothing more than utilitarian legal machinery that makes it easy for us to share in a world of copyright run amok. While some people almost fetishize them, open licenses are nothing more than an instrumental means to the actual end of making sharing easier.

I’m still developing my own thinking around this, but I want to think out loud for a few paragraphs. The tiny constellation of potentially copyrightable works is not the whole universe of open – not by a long shot. The ethic of open applies to other areas of life as well. We can share encouragement, share acceptance, share care and concern and empathy. Just because we don’t need to rely on licenses in order to share joys and sorrows doesn’t mean that this kind of sharing is outside the bounds of being open. In fact, perhaps the degree to which we invite anyone and everyone into the circle of our care and concern is the degree to which we are true to the deeper ethic of open.

Sharing a digital resource – something which you can do automatically, at no cost to you, without paying any attention to it happening, and without suffering any loss of access to the resource you shared – is the simplest and easiest form of open. There may be an opportunity cost, but there’s very little or no real cost. Openly licensing and sharing digital content is a form of being open that we definitely need to encourage and support, but surely placing an open license on a piece of digital content, like a photograph, is not the pinnacle of being open. It’s the point of departure, not the destination.

Perhaps the deeper ethic of open has to do with more comprehensive sharing – a sharing that includes, in addition to digital resources, resources which are infinitely more dear and precious. Things like our attention, time, care, talents, and devotion. If that is true, then when understood in the context of open education, the deeper ethic of open also points directly toward human relationships.

…and that is the connection I want to make.

  • Authoring and publishing are helpful, but insufficient on their own to rise up to the level of what deserves to be called education. We’re not being true to the deeper ethic of education until we are sharing something of ourselves with students and building those genuine relationships that are transformative for learners.
  • Applying open licenses to copyrightable works is terrific, but insufficient on its own to rise up to the level of what deserves to be called “being open.” To be true to the deeper ethic of open we must be generous and open-hearted, feeling a sense of love, care, and responsibility for all humanity.

Both education and openness, in their deepest and truest senses, seem to converge on relationships of generosity and care between human beings. I think that’s important. It has implications for the future of open education, which to be true to both “open” and “education” needs significantly more intellectual and financial investment in understanding how to enable and support the development of these relationships of generosity and care.

Now that’s worth getting out of bed in the morning for.

Copyright: This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution license at http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3732

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2015.01.13 00:30:57


Open Access and Open Educational Resources are important issues for the future of education even or especially in Higher Education. This contribution introduces a project on a textbook done collaboratively by more than 200 participants. 

From a technical background the Open Journal Systems is used to assist and manage the whole scientific publishing process. Furthermore a plugin for the system has been developed to open the access to the content to any other third party application like mobile applications. In spite of a fully Open Education System numerous chapters appeared on different platforms because of the nature of openness and the possibility of republishing.

This research study aims to address the problem of unnecessary multiplication of learning objects. The report concluded that much more awareness is needed towards sustainability and reliability.

Click here for full report.


#oer #OJS #openjournalsystems

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2015.01.09 00:28:30

OPENPediatrics (OP), a free online education and best practice-sharing community for pediatric clinicians worldwide, has launched a new library of openly licensed medical animations and illustrations, making them available for non-commercial educational use.

Click at the image below to visit the multimedia library.

openpediatrics frontpage

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2015.01.04 20:08:16



A FREE four-week long online workshop for anyone interested in open textbooks. This workshop includes BOTH asynchronous activities and synchronous webinars each week. This course will take about 4-5 hours each week to complete.


January 12 – February 6, 2015


The workshop is asynchronous so you can participate any time. We will schedule one synchronous session each week featuring a special guest. The time for each synchronous session will vary from week to week. However, these will be recorded so you can access them later.

  1. Week 1 (January 12-16): What is Open? What is an Open Textbook?
  2. Week 2 (January 19-23): Creative Commons Licenses
  3. Week 3 (January 26-30): Institutional Readiness
  4. Week 4 (February 2-6): Find, Evaluate and Modify Open Textbooks

These sessions will be facilitated by the B.C. Open Textbook Project team: Clint Lalonde, Amanda Coolidge and Lauri Aesoph

Who should participate?

  • Do you have questions about open textbooks?
  • Are you interested in providing students with quality resources to support their learning?
  • Are you curious about what is involved in adopting an open textbook?
  • Do you have expertise to share?

If your answer is yes or maybe to one or more of these questions, then participate by registering below.


Sign up for the course. We’ll be sending out more information to all course registrants about how the course works, including details about how to log in to the course, in the first week of January, 2015.



For more information

Please email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Find us on Twitter: @BCcampus and Facebook, #AdoptOTB.

A workshop poster (8.5″ x 11″, PDF format) available to download, print and share.

Be a part of our research project on open textbooks

Do Open Educational Resources make a difference in the classroom? An online survey developed by BCcampus and U.K.-based OER Research Hub is being used to collect data to quantify the efficacy of OER.  Learn more.


Logo attribution: P2Pu logo used under a CC-BY-SA license

Source: http://ht.ly/GjFBY
Copyright: Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License










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2014.12.20 09:49:19

Slides show about how museums and related cultural heritage institutions are using Creative Commons to:

(a) Share their digital collections 
(b) Share collection records 
(c) Engage users and artists, thereby tapping into new communities of stakeholders 

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2014.12.11 17:47:41

First published in The Souvenir, FICCI Higher Education Summit 2014

Viplav Baxi makes the case that MOOCs have arrived in India. Now is the time to reflect on what pitfalls we should avoid and how we can fully leverage them in the Indian context.

The past few years have seen the rapid growth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). This emergence has been particularly interesting to follow in India, where we seem to have discovered online learning on a massive scale. Indians account for about 10% of the registrations in MOOCs from the top MOOC providers.

MOOCs actually originated out of a new theory of learning called Connectivism proposed by George Siemens in 2005. The first MOOC (the term itself was coined by Dave Cormier) was organized in 2008 by George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Hailed as a disruptive model of education, the earliest MOOCs (also called cMOOCs or Connectivist MOOCs) offered a whole new way of teaching and learning.

Much later, in 2011-12, top universities in the USA jumped on to the MOOC bandwagon, lending it worldwide credibility and fame. The reasons behind the quick adoption of these MOOCs was the fact that anyone could learn (or get certified), for free or a small fee, from some of the top universities and top professors in the world. Large investments by private capital and university foundations shaped popular perception about the revolutionary potential of these MOOCs. Also universities viewed them as extending the reach and brand of the University. Open Courseware had existed for a very long time, but the shape and form of these MOOCs was far more accessible and exciting.

MOOCs have now progressed from being higher education-only to school, teacher and vocational education. The top 3 MOOC providers now service about 20 million students worldwide, about 5 times the open and distance learning enrolments in India. MOOCs have also taken over imagination at policy levels, with the Indian Government proposing SWAYAM as the open MOOC platform for India.

However, there remain significant challenges with the MOOC model.

Firstly, the pedagogy behind these MOOCs needs a rethink. The type of MOOCs that have gained worldwide popularity since 2011, adopted the title “MOOC” but ignored the rich underlying Connectivist origins. They merely extended traditional online, instructivist Web Based Training (WBT) and Instructor Led Training (ILT) methods to a massive audience, earning them the term xMOOCs, the “x” standing for “eXtension”.

WBTs and ILTs were designed as eLearning equivalents to reduce training delivery costs and standardize instruction for large scale corporate training. But nearly everyone realizes that this type of eLearning is not scalable because it is designed for learner stereotypes, does not account for real world diversity and in general, predates and ignores the entire social learning revolution.

Both for WBTs/ILTs and xMOOCs, the model is largely teacher (and/or instructional designer) led and content-driven. It not based upon socially negotiated & distributed learning, the hallmark of the Connectivist MOOCs. This is why it is perhaps more appropriate to call them XBTs (or “massive” extensions of WBTs and ILTs) rather than think of them as a variant of the original MOOC approach.

The XBTs augment the traditional systems, giving importance to institutional pedigree, clearly defined institutional structures & processes (such as courses, terms and exams) and certification mechanisms.

The Connectivist MOOCs are very open, emphasize sense-making, operate in a distributed fashion, legitimize learners at the periphery (legitimate peripheral participation or “lurking”) and do not impose the strict conformance to traditional notions of course, exam and certification. For them, learning is the process of making connections and knowledge is the network, which means that the competency and capability to learn critically determines the learning itself. This is the central theme behind heutagogy – the study of self-determined learning – that, unlike pedagogy and andragogy, marks a significant move away from traditional teacher-centred learning.

It will be critical for MOOC providers to evaluate the Connectivist approach as we move ahead, if we are to build meaningful massive open online learning courses and platforms.

Secondly, engagement and retention are key aspects of the learning experience that the MOOCs, in general, have not been able to address effectively. The long tail of learning, which is that a really large number of learners end up not completing the MOOC or remain at low levels of engagement, is nothing new. It is just that the massive nature of MOOCs amplifies some of these known issues.

It is here that the MOOC providers need to spend a lot of time experimenting with techniques such as gamification, badges, adaptive learning and learning analytics. The Connectivist model relies on learners to build capability for their own learning, something that is the desired endgame for any educational system. By increasing learner capability to learn in the digital medium, cMOOCs can potentially flatten the long tail. The traditional XBT model can only reinforce and amplify it.

The third challenge is in establishing sustenance & growth models, whether MOOC providers are for-profit or not for-profit. So far, providers have looked at monetization/cost recovery through various methods such as charging institutions or teachers for MOOC development; charging potential employers; platform provision; training & support; charging students for blended (online plus offline) learning, mentoring/coaching, special finishing school programs and certification.

For example, Coursera now has about 10 mn students and is supposedly making USD 1 mn a month from its verified certificate courses that cost between USD 30 and USD 100. However, even though these models do not appear to have garnered explosive acceptance from a retail student perspective since they are not really integrated into formally recognized certifications, the hope seems to be to acquire large enough numbers to translate into sustainable and/or profitable ventures.

An interesting comparison for XBT providers are the formal open and distance learning systems, where regulated degrees & certificate programs drive enrolments and fees & endowments drive the income. The UK Open University in 2012-13, earned more than GBP 200 mn as fee income (about 60% of which were supported by student tuition loans) from over 200,000 students. The Indira Gandhi National Open University in India, has an annual enrolment of about 500,000 students (in 2012 annual enrolment was 465,000 students), but the fee per course would be a fraction of the fee charged by the UKOU. Of course, the XBT providers are looking at multiples of these figures as they go about targeting a global audience.

The fourth challenge lies with a weak private/non-profit investment climate for MOOCs in India. Significant public effort and money has and is being spent across various pioneering Government initiatives to build open education resources (OERs), MOOCs and MOOC platforms. These can be leveraged by anyone under a very permissive OER policy, which even allows commercial use. However, barely any private investment is flowing into leveraging these resources.

Innovations and investments are required in multiple areas such as awareness generation, access to technology and communications, capability development, content development (including multilingual), pedagogy, development/enhancement of MOOC platforms, collecting and managing learner progress and performance data to improve the learning experience, as well as areas like gamification, Virtual LABs and other forms of technology augmented learning. These innovations and investments should directly impact our education system in terms of improved access, improved learning outcomes and higher employability.

To summarize, MOOCs have arrived, but if we do not deal with these core challenges of MOOCs, we will end up having a dysfunctional system. To avoid later disappointment, stakeholders must reorganize and focus on how to avoid the pitfalls of the current wave of MOOCs.

Copyright: Creative Commons License

Resource: http://learnos.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/moocs-have-arrivedwhat-next/

#edcmooc Cuppa Mooc by Cikgu Brian, on Flickr

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by Cikgu Brian

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2014.12.11 09:28:23

Below capture some presentation slides and keynote videos during Open Education 2014. 

Evolving Towards Open in a Relatively Closed Institution
click here for presentation slides and full narrative here.


#oer, #opened2014

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2014.12.08 01:42:34

Dr. Kurt Gramoll, Robert Hughes Centennial Professor of Engineering, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering,  has been voted both Most Outstanding and Most Challenging Professor by the AME students.  Dr. Gramoll has created his own textbooks and course materials and shares them openly with faculty and students.  As Director of the Engineering Media Lab, he has developed both the content and the delivery platform for  eCourses, designed to support educational content for six basic engineering courses.  His ebooks have been adopted by over twenty faculty to support their courses, both at OU and other universities.  

  • Courses: 
    • AME 2113 Static
    • AME 2533 Dynamics
    • AME 3143 Solid Mechanics
    • AME 3153 Fluid Mechanics



The following is a brief conversation about developing alternative textbooks for teaching. 

Stacy Zemke: Why did you decide to switch to or try out an open textbook solution for your course?

Dr. Gramoll: An electronic-based textbook was developed and integrated into my courses so that animations, simulations and audio could be used in the learning process. Cost savings for students was a nice side benefit. My courses generally have 50-70 students. This is a cost savings to students of over $10,000 per course, or $50,000 per year (four courses year). 

SZ:  What is the open textbook source or sources you are using for your class?

DG:  A complete web-based eBook was developed for all four classes listed above. The book replaces four separate textbooks. The print books are still recommended, but not required. It is up to the student to purchase any print material. All homework problems are accessed through the course web site where the eBook is located.

SZ: What was your process for selecting/creating this open book?

DG:  The development process is based on what is needed to teach the course. The full process is rather involved, but includes outlines, case studies, HTML coding, simulation programming, animation creation, audio recording, server programming, and testing.

SZ:  What are/were the challenges in changing to the open textbook – is it similar to adopting a new “traditional’ textbook for a course – or are there other challenges?

DG:  The biggest challenge was the developing process and time required. When I started electronic media, there were no open source eBooks for the topics I teach, so I had to write my own.

SZ:  How have your students responded to this open textbook?

DG:  They have been very positive. The two main comments are, 1) it is available at anytime and anyplace, and 2) the cost savings is great (over $200 per student per course). They would like more examples and practice problems.

SZ: Will you continue to use this current open solution?

DG: Yes.

SZ: Would you consider using an open source for other courses that you teach?

DG: Yes, but would prefer to develop my own.

SZ:  What advice do you have for other faculty?

DG: I would encourage some, but not all, to consider developing open course material for others to use. Like printed textbooks, open source material must be created by faculty, not committees or graduate students. It takes time, but it is a wonderful service to our students and society.


Image from Wesley Fryar

Copyright: Creative Commons License

Source: http://guides.ou.edu/c.php?g=113945&p=740133

#opentextbook, #oer, #engineering, #kurtgramoll

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2014.12.06 07:46:27

This article was presented by Gráinne Conole, Giles Pepler, Paul Bacsich, Brenda Padilla and Terese Bird. It provides a review of the policy perspectives on Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and draws in particular on the findings from two EU-funded projects: OPAL and POERUP.

  • The OPAL initiative focused on identifying the practices around OER in terms of how they were created and repurposed.
  • POERUP explored the ways in which Governments stimulate the uptake of OER and MOOCs.

The aim was to enable OER and MOOC stakeholders to make informed strategic decisions to promote the use of OER and MOOCs.

It also draws on the findings of the OpenCred project, which focused on recognition of informal and non-formal learning.

Finally it contextualises these projects in terms of a number of related projects and initiatives concerned with OER and MOOCs.

The chapter concludes by discussing the policy implications of OER and MOOCs.


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2014.12.06 07:41:48

Open courseware experts announced plans to publish the 5R Open Course Design Framework, a set of guidelines and best practices for developing courses using open educational resources (OER).

The framework, which will be freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC BY), encourages educators to capitalize on the unique rights associated with open content also known as the 5Rs: the ability Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute content for educational purposes.


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2014.11.22 08:17:08

 OER Research Hub recently had published the OER Evidence Report 2013-2014, this report provides a focus for research, designed to give answers to the overall question ‘What is the impact of OER on learning and teaching practices?’ and identify the particular influence of openness. 

This report is the collaboration of OERRH with projects across four education sectors (K12, college, higher education and informal) extending a network of research with shared methods and shared results. 

The project combines:

  • Targeted research collaboration with high profile OER projects
  • A programme of international fellowship
  • Global networking and expertise in OER implementation and evaluation
  • A hub for research data and excellence in practice

This report is an interim review of evidence recorded against the key hypotheses that focus the research of the OER Research Hub project.

Please click here to read the report.

Resource: http://oerresearchhub.org/2014/11/19/oer-evidence-report-2013-2014/
Copyright: CC-by

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2014.11.22 08:10:52

Here is the Robert Farrow's slides which he presented during Open Education 2014 on Ethics, openness and the future of education. If you are interested in this subject, you can check out OERRH Ethics Manual and the section on ethics (week 2) of OER Research Hub's Open Research course.

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2014.11.17 06:43:02

Policy favorable to OER is a critical component of the entire open education movement. OER policies currently exist at many levels: international, national, regional, local, and institutional. You can explore various OER policies around the world on the OER Policy Map maintained by the OER Research Hub. Creative Commons also maintains a list of proposed and adopted OER policies that is well-worth your perusal. As I have traveled hither and yon these past few months meeting with Hewlett grantees and others involved and interested in OER, the policy issue has continually surfaced as an important theme. These conversations have caused me to think more deeply about the role of policy in accomplishing Hewlett’s goal of mainstreaming OER.

Dr. Vance Randall, an expert in both education policy and educating about education policy (and former advisor to Senator Orrin Hatch) argues that policy is nearly always created to a solve a particular problem or set of problems. From this perspective, the best way to understand an existing policy is to identify the problem(s) it was created to solve (not always an easy task). In advocating for OER-related policies, we should be very clear about the problem the particular policy would solve. What’s more, we should recognize that OER policy can solve different problems at different policy levels. Using the “policy/problem/solution” concept as a framework, here is my current thinking (limited as it may be) about OER policy at the international, national, and institutional levels*. For each level, I provide the problems that I think are most easily solved by OER policy, problems I think are less likely to be solved, and my current vision for a “dream” policy. I am very open to feedback about my views on OER policy and hope that others will contribute to the conversation here.

International OER Policy

Policy at the international level related to OER is most likely to be useful in solving the OER awareness problem and the sustainable OER development problem. Awareness of OER is very low throughout the world. International OER policy established by IGOs like the European Commission, UNESCO, OECD, and the World Bank can do much to help solve the awareness problem by being committed to discussing the role of OER in solving broader educational issues at member state gatherings. IGOs that provide funding to member states could also require open licensing of materials produced with those funds. Non-funding IGOs could encourage their member states to adopt national-level policies that require open licensing of all materials produced with public funding. It seems less likely to me that international OER policy can as effectively or directly solve other problems related to OER, including adoption, discoverability/interoperability, and effective Open Educational Practice (OEP) at the classroom level.

A “dream” international OER policy would require member states of each of the respective IGOs to openly license all materials produced with public funds, as a condition of membership.

National OER Policy

Depending on the nation, national OER policies may help solve the sustainable OER development problem by requiring open licensing on materials produced with public funds. National policies could also solve the OER efficacy problem by providing funding for research related to OER and OEP. In democratic, decentralized states like the US, national OER policies are less likely to be effective at tackling the adoption and discoverability/interoperability problems.

A “dream” national OER policy would require all education materials produced with public funding (including all materials produced on-the-clock by faculty and teachers at publically funded institutions and schools) to be openly licensed and shared in a national repository that requires appropriate metadata tagging to increase discoverability.

Institutional OER Policy

Institutional OER policies could help solve nearly every problem related to OER mainstreaming. Institutional OER polices could help solve the OER awareness problem by requiring faculty and teachers to receive professional development related to OER. Institutional policies could also solve the OER development problem by requiring investment in faculty and teacher time to review, adopt, and adapt existing OER (and create new open materials when there are gaps). Institutional policies could solve the adoption problem in higher education by requiring faculty to use OER by default and only use propriety materials when adequate justification exists. In K-12, institutional polices at the school district level could require curricular review boards to give priority to open content and justify use of proprietary content (I suppose regional policies at the state level could do this as well, but it is much less politically viable in the US). Institutional policies could help solve the discoverability/interoperability problems by requiring that all newly created open content carry appropriate metadata, be shared via the national repository (if  my national “dream” policy were in place), and require investment in professional development related to effective strategies for finding OER (i.e. “How to Use Google Advanced Search”). Finally, institutional OER policies could solve the OER efficacy problem by encouraging and supporting in-house research on OEP.

A “dream” institutional OER policy in higher education would require faculty to adopt openly licensed content by default, and only allow adoption of proprietary materials if justifiable. A “dream” institutional OER policy in K-12 would require curricular review boards to give priority to open content and only allow adoption of proprietary content in extreme cases (if at all).

A final word about implementation: A policy means nothing if it is not implemented with fidelity. The best “dream” policy in the world is a pile of garbage if the solution it provides is not actually implemented. We need to be spending more time on encouraging implementation of existing OER policies while we are advocating for new ones. As a rule, I believe international policies are much more difficult to implement with fidelity than national policies. I also believe that national policies are much more difficult to implement than institutional policies.

My views on policy implementation, taken together with my argument about institutional OER policies, should leave no one surprised at my current thinking on the OER Policy space: In addition to advocating for policies at the international, national, and regional levels, we should be more intensely investing our energy and advocacy in pushing for solid OER policies at the institutional level – at colleges, universities, and school districts.

I give an important reminder here that the posts on my blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This post simply represents my current, jet-lagged thinking on OER policy. I welcome and encourage feedback from the field on this issue. I absolutely reserve the right to keep an open mind and change my views. Typing this also reminds me of one of my favorite lyrics by one of the greatest bands in the world:

A man came up to me and said:
“I’d like to change your mind
“By hitting it with a rock,” he said,
“Though I am not unkind.”

Let the kindly rock throwing begin.

*I have chosen not to address regional/local policies in this post, not because I feel they are unimportant, but because I see them as an extension of national policies or a reflection of institutional policies, especially in the United States. If someone has an argument for the uniqueness of local/regional OER policies in terms of solving key OER problems, I would love to hear it. I suspect there are some good cases to be made.

Resource: http://tjbliss.org/musings-on-oer-policy/
Copyright: Creative Commons License

Comments 0Hits: 505  

2014.11.06 07:42:59

This paper introduces the OpenupEd Quality Label, a quality assurance process for MOOCs that has emerged from the quality assurance of e-learning in distance education. It is a self-assessment and review quality assurance process for the new European OpenupEd portal (www.openuped.eu) for MOOCs (massive open online courses). This process is focused on benchmark statements that seek to capture good practice, both at the level of the institution and at the level of individual courses. The benchmark statements for MOOCs are derived from benchmarks produced by the E xcellence e-learning quality projects (E-xcellencelabel.eadtu.eu/). A process of self-assessment and review is intended to encourage quality enhancement, captured in an action plan.

View and download from here: http://papers.efquel.org/index.php/innoqual/article/view/160/45

This paper is an Open Access article, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. 

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2014.11.03 08:55:36

The Education Ministry of Malaysia had annouced that OpenLearning.com is the official MOOC platfrom for all institutions of higher education in Malaysia. The first stage of the initiative launched on September 18th with four MOOCs:

  • ICT Competency led by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS);
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship led by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM);
  • Kesepaduan & Hubungan Etnik di Malaysia (Ethnic Relations) led by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM); and
  • Tamadun Islam dan Tamadun Asia (Islamic Civilisation & Asian Civilisation) led by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Over 20,000 students from all twenty universities have joined the MOOCs. For further lauching details, please visit: https://www.openlearning.com/blog/OpenlearningComSelectedAsMalaysiaSNationalMoocPlatform

The Malaysia MOOC portal: https://www.openlearning.com/malaysiamoocs

Comments 0Hits: 4943  

2014.10.31 07:43:37

Copyright: CCBy

When the Open Textbook Project started two years ago, librarians were identified as one of the important stakeholder groups with essential skills and insights to support faculty in finding and adopting quality open educational resources (OER).


BCcampus began a conversation with some interested librarians, and within a year convened an OER Librarians group committed to advocating OER in their institutions. That conversation culminated in an event this week at Douglas College giving librarians ideas, tools, and motivation for continuing to raise awareness in BC post-secondary institutions. Here are just four of the take-aways (from four of the speakers) from that gathering.

1. Librarians can assist faculty in working through the Creative Commons licensing process (Todd Mundle)

Todd Mundle is the University librarian for Kwantlen Polytechnic University. In his talk, he pointed out: “Faculty don’t have a lot experience with the Creative Commons process, and they look to librarians for answers to questions like: what’s going to be happening with my materials? What about my copyright?”

Librarians can help with those questions, and also help acquire resources, gain access and raise awareness of OER, engage with faculty and advocate for OER use. “We do have critical analysis skills as librarians,” he said.

Todd Mundle also told the group about the OER Librarians project to construct guides for use in institutions.

2. Librarians can help construct the unique messages – the elevator speeches – that are going to persuade decision makers (Quill West)

Quill West, the Washington librarian who spoke to the BCcampus Open Textbook summit last spring, once again delivered an engaging presentation to a B.C. audience. “What leadership in Open Education looks like – that’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time,” she said.

She started off with a TED talk by Derek Sivers: “How to start a movement,” in which he pointed out the real “leader” is actually the first follower of the “lone nut dancing with his shirt off.”

“Lots of people in post-secondary education feel like ‘lone nuts’ in advocating OER, but you’re not alone. Mixed nuts are better!” she said.

Ms. West’s main advice was to listen to faculty, students, and administrators, to find out what their concerns and needs are. Then, “construct the elevator speeches that address the issues in YOUR institution.” For instance, using the term “OER” for an audience not already aware of OER is a non-starter. Her project at Tacoma Community College was called “Liberate $250K” to drive home the message that open textbooks save students money, and provide more equitable access to education.

3. Librarians are embedded in their institutions in a unique way (Mary Burgess)

“Librarians are seen as the go-to resource by everyone in a post-secondary institution,” said Mary Burgess, BCcampus Acting Executive Director. “For instance: cataloguing and version control of the resources in our open textbook collection will become a challenge as the collection grows – and that’s something librarians could help with.”


4. Librarians can be a highly motivated, agile resource for textbook authors (Clint Lalonde)

When Clint Lalonde from BCcampus first organized a “textbook sprint” to create an open Geography text in four days, there was no librarian on the sprint team. At the urging of Erin Fields at UBC, Jon Strang was brought on board, and it made a huge difference in the outcome of the sprint.

“He had specialized knowledge in copyright,” Mr. Lalonde told the group. “He did a lot to get us Creative Commons-licensed materials. He got on the phone and persuaded many people to release resources under CC license. If he couldn’t, he would find other resources that were comparable. Not only that, but he kept a record of all the permissions we got over the four-day sprint.”

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2014.10.30 10:20:09

There are lots of learning tools online which are good for teaching and learning. These tools helped the educators and learners in making presentations, online discussions, organising materials, audio visual editing, social media applications etc, most of them are free to use, what you need to do is register yourself!

Here are some ideas where you can get some relevant tools for your teaching and learning:

  • edshelf:  A discovery engine of websites, mobile apps, desktop programs, and electronic products for teaching and learning which are rated and reviewed by parents and educators . You can browse the tools by categories, subjects, age or platforms.
  • AASL (American Association of School Librarians) has a list of best apps for teaching and learning which provides new technology resources for schools and their collaborators. The Best Apps for Teaching and Learning is a recognition honoring apps of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the AASL's standards for the 21st-century learner. The best websites for teaching and learning foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.
  • The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2014 has been compiled by Jane Hart from the votes of 1,038 learning professionals from 61 countries worldwide and published on 22 September 2014. It is the results of the 8th Annual Learning Tools Survey.
  • Educational Technology and Mobile Learning which is operated by a team of dedicated teachers located in Canada provides a platform where educators community can have access to the best curated edtech content. In this website, you can have the reviews of educational web tools and mobile apps, app suggestions, educational infographics, posters, guides,  video tutorials, and tips on integrating technology into education.
  • eLearning Industry is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning industry. At eLearning Industry you will find the best collection of eLearning articles, eLearning concepts, eLearning software, and eLearning resources.
  • Merlot II (Multimedia educational resource for learning and online teaching) is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community.

Comments 0Hits: 1088  

2014.10.30 09:08:44

Paperity is the first multi-disciplinary aggregator of peer-reviewed Open Access journals and papers, "gold" and "hybrid". It:

  • gives readers easy and unconstrained access to thousands of journals from hundreds of disciplines, in one central location;

  • helps authors reach their target audience and disseminate discoveries more efficiently;

  • raises exposure of journals, helps editors and publishers boost readership and encourage new submissions.

Paperity is the way towards more efficient scholarly communication in all research fields, from Sciences, Technology, Medicine, through Social Sciences, to Humanities and Arts. Their ultimate goal is to aggregate 100% of Open Access literature, published in any place around the world, in any field of research. They hope that journals will support their mission, for the benefit of readers and all scholarly community, who need easy access to literature very much.

Paperity website: http://paperity.org/

Comments 0Hits: 1112  

2014.10.25 07:31:34


Title Scottish Open Education declaration
Publication Type Policy
Corporate Authors CetisSQAJisc RSC ScotlandALT Scotland SIG, & Open Scotland
Publisher Open Scotland initiative
Place Published Edinburgh, UK
Year of Publication 2014
Date Published 06/2014

One of the primary deliverables we agreed to produce following the Open Scotland Summit held in Edinburgh last year, was a declaration supporting open education in Scotland based on the UNESCO Paris OER Declaration. There was general agreement that the Paris Declaration was a “good thing” however many participants felt it was too focused on OER and that a Scottish declaration should encompass open education more widely. The result is the Scottish Open Education Declaration, a draft statement adapted from the Paris OER Declaration.

In order to coincide with Open Education Week, the first draft of the Scottish Open Education Declaration has been shared online using the CommentPress application to enable all members of the community to add comments and feedback. We invite all those with an interest in open education in Scotland to comment on and contribute to this draft and to encourage their colleagues to join the debate.


In addition to adapting the Paris OER Declaration, colleagues at the Open Scotland Summit also suggested that it would be beneficial to develop a grid of the Declaration’s statements, which stakeholders could fill in to provide contextualisation and evidence of the statements in action. This will be the next step forward, but first we would encourage the community to contribute to shaping the draft declaration so we can reach a consensus on open education principles that will benefit all sectors of Scottish education.

Keywords further educationhigher educationOER policyParis declaration
URL http://declaration.openscot.net/

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0)


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2014.10.11 11:09:05

This article is comprehensively explained the background, Open Author platform, metadata profile system and how OER Commons works.

Resource: http://lornamcampbell.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/lrmi-implementation-case-study-iskme-oer-commons/






LRMI Implementation Case Study: ISKME OER Commons





Co-authors & Project Team:   Michelle Brennan, OER Information Services Manager; Lisa Petrides, CEO ISKME.

oer_commons_square_smallerISKME’s OER Commons offers a comprehensive infrastructure and suite of services for educators globally, including groups of curriculum specialists, administrators, content providers, teachers, librarians, and technology and resource decision-makers who seek to implement high quality and adaptable curriculum through the use, evaluation, and improvement of open educational resources (OER).

Launched in 2007, OER Commons serves as a digital library and collaboration platform for content providers and emerging open education practitioners at all levels. Engaging with over 500 OER content providers from around the world, ISKME provides the open scaffolding necessary for knowledge sharing and access to teaching and learning materials, strategies, and curricula online. The site has over 35,000 registered users, 55,000 resources, and millions of visitors from 193 countries.


ISKME first created OER Commons in 2007 as a digital library and content hub to support OER discoverability, use, and reuse. Together with OER content providers and educators, OER Commons aggregates content collections, enriches resource metadata, and curates and organizes rich metadata to support the use and reuse of collections. Resources cover all subject areas and levels of education. OER Commons resources span a wide range of formats including html, ebooks, pdf, video, audio, games, courses, lesson plans, lectures notes, and search tools to enable users to find resources for different contexts of use.

The OER Commons platform today features Open Author, an inclusively designed authoring and remixing environment to support the creation and adaptation of media-rich OER, hosted locally on the platform. The authoring environment produces OER that are accessible using a broad range of assistive technology devices such as screen readers. Open Author resources can be downloaded as PDF or SCORM, or as a “teaching bundle”, a zip file containing PDF and media components. The OER Commons infrastructure also supports the evaluation and improvement of quality OER with embedded Common Core State Standards (CCSS) alignment tool and Achieve OER Rubric tool and EQuIP Rubricevaluation tool, developed by several states partnered with Achieve to support collaborative review of CCSS-aligned content, as well as the ability to align content to the Next Generation Science Standards.

oer_commons_search results_2

OER Commons resource page

The system uses the Django Python framework, which powers OER Commons Platform and Learning Registry application. OER Commons authored content uses Creative Commons licenses, while aggregated resource collections from around the web contain a wider array of applied licenses. OER Commons displays all licensing data in a clear and concise way, making licensing information accessible to all users, regardless of previous experience with OER content.

OER Commons uses an internal metadata profile based on modified LOM, which includes additional fields added to support different projects and initiatives e.g. CELT, A11y and LRMI. As an early adopter of the LRMI specifications, ISKME has mapped all 55,000 OER Commons resources to LRMI-compliant metadata. LRMI and A11y markup is included in the HTML of resources so it can be found by search engines and other applications operating on top of the OER Commons platform. Metadata can be exported as HTML or XML. OER Commons metadata does not use the exact terminology of LRMI, but a mapping has been created from the internal metadata schema to LRMI.  The alignmentObject is used to align to NGSS and Common Core state standards. Some Schema.org properties are also used.

The full OER Commons metadata profile is available for collection providers to download. In addition, ISKME provides ametadata sample template for providers to build and export their metadata for inclusion in OER Commons.



Sample of LRMI and Schema.org markup from OER Commons

OER Commons features a number of different metadata workflows:

  1. Content can be submitted to OER Commons by collection providers and cataloguers who work directly with the OER Commons digital librarian. Collection providers send a CSV file to a metadata technician who reviews the data, normalises it, and uploads it in bulk.
  2. Individual users can upload content and metadata via a web form. All resources and metadata are reviewed before submission.
  3. The content authoring tool also allows users to create metadata. Some metadata is computed e.g. licensing, as many people are not familiar with different variations of open licenses. The system walks them through the licensing process step by step and computes the appropriate license based on their response.
  4. Users can interact with resources once they have been catalogued and have had basic metadata added. Free text can be added by users which then becomes keywords and resources can be aligned with a range of standards including Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and other specialized standards.

Metadata is kept consistent internally by digital librarians to ensure all works well within the application to support search and discovery. OER Commons is committed to maintaining a rich metadata ecosystem with robust checks and balances to ensure high quality metadata.

Metadata that is shared with the Learning Registry is largely in the form of Dublin Core, though some LRMI andSchema.org properties are also used. All resources that have been evaluated using the Achieve OER Rubrics are shared with the Learning Registry.  These rubrics help users determine the quality of OERs and the degree to which they align with Common Core State Standards. When uploading to the Learning Registry, LRMI and Schema.org markup is taken from the internal metadata schema and mapped across to Dublin Core. Getting resources back from the Learning Registry has proven to be problematic due to the difficulty of filtering resources.

ISKME brings its OER Commons infrastructure and tools to address organizations’ curriculum needs and facilitate team workflows in customized areas of the site. Network Hubs are a key component of ISKME’s comprehensive solutions for hosting and indexing content and facilitating collaboration and collection development for a specific audience. In terms of future developments, OER Commons continues to build tools to additional alignment standards, e.g. National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, as well as modified state-specific Common Core standards.

Microsites are comprehensive solutions for hosting and indexing content for a specific audience, and can be located at subdomains of oercommons.org, or be distinguished by a customizable URL at the domain level. Microsites contain all features available on the main site, but house their own collections as well as special curated collections of the full OER Commons database of resources. Microsites on OER Commons can be structured as one or more “network hubs”, in which a single microsite is the organizing umbrella for a number of sub-collections or networks. Within a microsite, resources are presented in the context of customized taxonomies and our digital librarians work hand in hand with partners and content providers to identify, categorize, and describe relevant content.

Additionally, ISKME serves as a thought leader around content and metadata interoperability, is a launch partner for the Learning Registry, serves on the LMRI Advisory Board, and leads a project for the US Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) on the creation of cloud-based learner profiles for accessibility. ISKME is part of the GLOBE consortia of repositories from around the world that seeks to build common ways to share and federate educational resources and metadata.

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2014.10.04 09:10:51

The Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), realised the need for
professional development of teachers, has developed this professional development programme
on OER-based eLearning to promote the use of OER in educational institutions.

The programme has been developed as part of the institutional capacity building for
OER-based eLearning at Wawasan Open University (WOU), Penang. Faculty members
of WOU and several other institutions in Asia have contributed to the development of the
contents. The modules are learning outcomes of the participants in three workshops
supported by CEMCA.

The five modules are:

Module 1: Concept and Practices of Open Education
Module 2: Designing Learning Experiences for OER-based eLearning
Module 3: Searching and Evaluation of OER Materials
Module 4: Licensing and Copyright
Module 5: Integrating OER in eLearning

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2014.09.29 09:20:18

Journal of Learning for Development Vol 1, No 3 (2014)


Table of Contents

Research Articles

E-Learning and Development: Lessons from Multi-Disciplinary Capacity Strengthening HTML EPUB
Suresh Chandra Babu  
Developing and Piloting Interactive Physics Experiments for Secondary Schools in Tanzania HTML EPUB
Vidate Cyril Msoka, Joel Samson Mtebe, Mussa M Kissaka, Ellen Charles Kalinga  

Reports from the Field

Harnessing OER to Drive Systemic Educational Change in Secondary Schooling HTML EPUB
Neil Butcher, Sarah Hoosen, Andrew Moore  
Continuity Education in Emergency and Conflict Situations: The Case For Using Open, Distance and Flexible Learning HTML EPUB
Charlotte Creed, Roslyn Louise Morpeth  
Assessing E-Learning Readiness at the Kenya Technical Teachers College HTML EPUB
Robert Alfred Okinda  


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2014.09.29 08:27:43

Tony Bates had shared his experiences writing an open textbook using Pressbook. He had discussed the pros and cons of Pressbook, the challenges of using it and some ideas about limitation of Wordpress.

Resource: http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/09/26/writing-an-open-textbook-a-mid-term-report-on-the-technology/


Writing an open textbook: a mid-term report on the technology


Open textbooks free 2

I’m about half-way through writing my open textbook, ‘Teaching in a Digital Age.’ I’ve done about five and a half chapters, and I would like to share my views on the underlying technology that I am using, because, while it does the job reasonably well, we are clearly in the Version 1.0 stage of software development, from an author’s perspective. I believe there is a major opportunity to develop a software authoring framework that fully exploits the open characteristics of a textbook, but we are not there yet.


I’m writing this book more or less on my own, although I do have some support from an instructional designer and I’m anticipating getting some help with marketing once the book is complete. I’m also getting a lot of useful feedback, because I am publishing as the book is being developed (the first five chapters are already available here) and also publishing excerpts in this blog.

My main technical support is coming from BCcampus, which is managing a large open textbook project on behalf of the British Columbia provincial government. My book is not directly related to the provincial government-funded project, which at this stage is focused primarily on converting existing print textbooks to open, online versions. However, as the project advances, more open textbooks will need to be written from scratch. (For more on the BCcampus open textbook project project, see here.)

BCcampus has taken an ‘off-the-shelf’ open source authoring software ‘shell’ called Pressbooks, which in itself is based on WordPress. BCcampus has made some further adaptations to Pressbooks for the open textbooks that BCcampus is helping to develop. I have used the BCcampus version of Pressbooks to create my own textbook. However, anyone can use Pressbooks for free, if they wish to write an openly published book.

What I am trying to do

My goals are two-fold:

  • to openly publish a textbook on teaching in a digital age, aimed at teachers, instructors and faculty.
  • to explore ways to incorporate best teaching practice and an open education philosophy within the design of the book.

This is a report on where I’ve got to so far in authoring the book, using the Pressbooks/BCcampus template, and in particular on what I’m finding regarding the potential and limitations of the software for authoring an open textbook.

What works

It is extremely easy to start authoring with Pressbooks. After you log in to the Pressbooks main page, you can easily set up an account which is password protected. Once you have an account, you will be assigned a url which will take you to your admin page, from where you can author your book.

Anyone who has used WordPress for blogging will have no difficulty whatsoever in getting started in Pressbooks. If you already have a structure for the book in your mind, and know what you want to write, you can be writing within less than ten minutes of signing up with Pressbooks. You can also open accounts for others, such as co-authors, an editor, or an instructional designer, with password-protected access to the editing part.

Pressbooks allows you to work in private or to publish each chapter or section when ready. You can ‘export’ , in several versions, such as ePub, pdf or html, for free downloading. BCcampus is also making available, at cost, printed versions of their textbooks. The ‘exported’ version looks clean and replicates almost exactly the edited version, with embedded urls, diagrams, headings and indentation. The variety of exported formats enables use of the textbooks on various mobile devices and tablets. If the recommended technological structure is followed when writing and editing, the reader can easily navigate through the book in a variety of ways.

Thus, for basic book writing and publishing, Pressbooks is easy to use, comprehensive in the devices it can be used on, and pleasant to read.


From the perspective however of an open textbook, I found the following challenges:

Lack of interactivity

Those of you used to using a learning management system are likely to be frustrated by the lack in Pressbooks of common features found within an LMS, such as ways to provide feedback on exercises, places where readers/students can add their own contributions, or places where monitored and edited discussions can take place. Thus some of the key opportunities to make a book more interactive and open are currently not available, without going outside the Pressbooks environment. There are two reasons for this.

1. Pressbooks was originally designed for supporting fiction writers, and as such works perfectly for them (providing they can manage to write easily in WordPress). If you want a straight read through a book, it is perfect, but this is not what you necessarily want with an educational textbook.

2. BCcampus has added some useful features, such as widgets that allow you to insert text boxes for learning objectives, student exercises, and key take-aways, but has had to disable the comment feature because the textbooks are likely to be used by many instructors with different classes. BCcampus is rightly worried that it would be confusing and overwhelming for multiple instructors if students across all the classes shared the same comment boxes. However, as an author, I want to integrate both the activities and the student responses to the activities, and above all I want comments and feedback on what I’ve written.

There are in fact really several distinct stages or uses of an open textbook:

  • book creation (which I am going through now), where feedback is needed by the author. At this stage, the comment feature is really essential. Ideally, it should be at the end of each chapter and part.
  • response from individual readers once the book is completed. I’m already getting these, as I’m publishing as I go. At least in the early days, feedback is again essential, and it would be quite manageable for the author to monitor the comments at this stage. However, over time, adoption by instructors, accumulated spam, and repetitious comments may lead the author to want to disable this feature.
  • adoption as part of a course. At this stage the comment feature needs to be disabled (or cleared), and replaced probably by a course web site, wiki or discussion forum linked specifically to a particular instructor and their course.

What I’d really like is a widget where I can just drop in a comment box in the right place, and the ability as an author to open, clear or disable it, as well as monitoring and where necessary editing it. It could be switched to open or private.

I have also explored some possible open source discussion forums or wikis, and computer-based test services, but these would have to sit outside the textbook, and I haven’t found a satisfactory service yet (although I haven’t looked very hard – suggestions welcome.)

The technological structure of the book

Unlike many online books that you will find on Kindle or iPads, Pressbooks does not output in discrete pages. The way it manages the structure of the book to enable fluent navigation by the reader is not immediately transparent to an author writing a book.

The two key features are Parts and Chapters. I assumed (incorrectly) that Parts were sub-units or sections of Chapters. This suited me, as I’m expecting a diverse audience with a wide range of prior knowledge. I assumed that many would not want to read a whole chapter on say design models, but may have a particular interest in some of the models and not in others. However, I made the basic mistake of not reading the BCcampus Authors’ Manual carefully before starting (and when I did read it, I did not understand it.) What I hadn’t realised was that Chapters link to Parts and the Parts are not intended to have much, if any, content.

Parts are really an introduction to the substance, a kind of organiser for the actual following content, which take place in the Chapters. Think of a novel: Part 1: 1969, Chapter 1: Boy meets girl. However, I rushed off and wrote Parts like sections of a chapter then cut and pasted each Part into a Chapter. I got half-way through writing the book before realising this was a mistake, thanks to a very helpful recent meeting with staff from BCcampus.

So I have ended up using a Part like an advance organiser for a chapter, and the Chapter feature for each section of a ‘Part’. This works well now, the navigation is much better, and it avoids the reader having to scroll down through an 8,000 word chapter. Some ‘Chapters’ in Pressbooks terminology are only a couple of paragraphs long and I have renamed them sections, with the Part containing the Chapter name. I also use the Part to state the purpose of the Chapter, what is covered in the chapter, and the key takeaways.

However, as you can see, the Pressbooks terminology of Parts and Chapters is really misleading. Worse, I spent two whole days cutting and repasting content I had already written in order to get the content into the right technological structure required by the software.

No mark-up facility

Unlike Word, an editor or a co-author cannot mark up drafts in Pressbooks (or WordPress for that matter – if there is a plug-in for this, please let me know.) This makes co-production of a book and getting feedback much more frustrating, especially as there is no comment feature.

If you are writing a co-edited or co-authored book, this is a major limitation, and a better strategy might be to initially edit in Google Docs or Word, then transfer everything when finished into Pressbooks or another publishing software shell. Even then, this is not a good solution because of the high risk of losing material during the transfer – and in any case, when is an open textbook ever finished? It should be a work in continuous updating.

Even for a single author, though, the inability to mark up drafts in Pressbooks is a considerable nuisance, especially if the comment feature is disabled. Not only my instructional designer, but also several readers who are following the development of the book, are copying sections from the Pressbook version into Word, marking up suggested corrections in Word, sending me the Word document, which I then go through then make any necessary changes in the Pressbooks version.

What is needed of course is a mark-up plug-in for WordPress, which would have much wider value than just open textbook authoring.

Limitations of WordPress

Some of these limitations are also limitations of writing and editing in WordPress. The feature for creating tables is so difficult to use that it is essentially useless. Some of the formatting doesn’t transfer when cutting and pasting to another screen page (which I have to do often), such as text alignment. I spend an enormous amount of time scrolling up to the top of the page, looking for the toolbox menu, to add urls, italics, lists, or indents, sometimes accidentally transferring out of the editing page and thus losing some of the more recent writing. (Apparently, in the new version of WordPress 4, the scrolling issue to get to the toolbar will be resolved – the toolbar will stay at the top of the screen, however far down you scroll).

However, I am spending far too much time on editing and not enough on creative writing. Editing is always a time-consuming but necessary activity when writing, but I really could do without technology frustrations when editing.


Pressbooks is a workable solution for writing an open textbook, but it works best if you want just a simple read through by the reader, in the manner of a traditional textbook. If though you want to make it more interactive, and open to comment, criticisms and substantive contributions from other people, then the current Pressbooks software is very limiting.

Pressbooks is a classic case of taking a new medium and merely transferring the format and structure of a previously existing medium. Although this is probably an essential and useful first step, what is really required is a complete re-design that fully exploits the characteristics or affordances of the new medium. For this to happen, though, a partnership between software engineers, potential authors and instructional designers is needed. However, there is a great opportunity here for creating truly innovative open source software for supporting open textbooks, if anyone has the time and resources to do this.

Authors such as myself also need to work out the difference (if any) between an open textbook and a learning management system. There are real difficulties in making everything in a course open, mainly because of hacking, spam and other external nuisances that can seriously disrupt a serious, engaged educational experience. The same applies to blogs and open textbooks. If the comment feature is too open it becomes overwhelmed with hacking and spam (I’m clearing about 50 bot-generated messages a day from my blog comment box – I don’t want to also have to spend this time keeping the comments on an open textbook under control.)

However, even accepting that an open textbook is not a substitute for an LMS, authors need to think carefully how the textbook can best be integrated or adopted within a course. Sample activities, suggestions for model answers, etc., can all be included. Above all, though, authors need to be clear when writing as to what will be done within the technological limitations of the textbook, what is best done outside the textbook, and how best to integrate these two elements.

I have to say I haven’t worked this out yet. It’s still a work in progress.

Over to you

As you can see, I am somewhat bumbling my way through the technology side of the writing, learning mainly through experience, although BCcampus has been more than helpful. I’d really like to hear though from other open textbook authors: is your experience similar or very different and if so why? Have you used different authoring software and how did that go?

Also, on the technology side, I’m still very open to other technology solutions, so long as they can be seamlessly integrated with Pressbooks. I have gone too far now to move to another software solution. But any suggestions welcome.

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