The Fans, Fanboys, and Fanatics of OER

Doug Levin

and I am merely a fan – not a fanboy – of open educational resources (OER).** Others surely see me as some sort of OER fanatic. After all, I’ve advocated for federal support for the development, use, and adaptation of OER (see, e.g. , the May 5 Education Week story by Sean Cavanagh, “ ‘Open Educational Resources’ Promoted in U.S. So, if these are the actions of someone who is an OER fan, what stops me short of claiming fanboy status?

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Self as OER


When we look at common definitions of Open Educational Resources or OERs (e.g., OER Commons , The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ) it is clear that there is tendency to equate open educational resources to open educational materials and tools , such as course materials in text, audio, or video format, open textbooks, and educational software. Profession #oer16 OER open scholarship openness self as OER vulnerability

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If We Talked About the Internet Like We Talk About OER: The Cost Trap and Inclusive Access

Iterating Toward Openness

The inclusive access model’s goal of reducing the cost of textbooks apparently reminded the article’s author of OER, because she includes some discussion of OER toward the end of the article. However, like many others outside the immediate OER community, this author seems unaware that there is anything more to OER than “free textbooks” that – just like the inclusive access model – make education more affordable.

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George Siemens and David Wiley Join Forces for a MOOC About Open Education


Since the New York Times named 2012 the year of massive open online courses (MOOCs), millions have flocked to platforms offering them such as edX and Coursera. The six-week long MOOC will touch on topics including open educational resources (OER), open pedagogy and practice, open knowledge and open research. I spoke with Siemens and Wiley about their upcoming course to get a few answers before the MOOC launches. Ekowo: Why this MOOC? It’s because they’re MOOCs.


MOOCs: The Prestige Factor (2012)

Buried in the public responses to the news about MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and OER initiatives from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Penn, Princeton and others is a deceptively important assumption. The excitement about MOOCs from Princeton and others is that it gives the public access to materials that are otherwise available to a privileged few. However, the “authenticity” of MOOC’s may actually conflict with the broader social and educational objectives that MOOCs serve.


The Role of Open Educational Resources (OER) in Making Education Available to All

A Principal's Reflections

I recently had the honor of traveling to the MIT campus in Boston and participating in a panel discussion on Open Education Resources (OER) at The Sixth Conference of MIT''s Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC) with three illustrious advocates of these open resources: Nicole Allen, Philipp Schmidt, and panel moderator Steve Carson. Open educational resources” (OER) here refers to the many free learning resources now populating the Worldwide Web.

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A true gift from SHEG: DIY digital literacy assessments and tools for historical thinking


You may remember Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) for its groundbreaking and utterly depressing report, Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Online Civic Reasoning. In the November 2016 Executive Summary , the researchers shared: When thousands of students respond to dozens of tasks there are endless variations. That was certainly the case in our experience.

One classic open education source to stop

Bryan Alexander

Berkeley’s still making MOOCs. education and technology OER , an open education resource dating back a while, will no longer make new content. Financial pressures. Berkeley will keep on doing lecture capture, just not for the rest of us : We will no longer make recorded lecture videos available to the public. We will make recorded lecture videos available to enrolled students via CalCentral and bCourses.


An Index Of Online Courses For Teachers: Summer 2015

TeachThought - Learn better.

TESS101x: Enhancing Teacher Education Through OER. Locating, Creating, Licensing and Utilizing OERs. IOC Athlete MOOC via Independent. College Readiness Math MOOC. iTDI Summer School MOOC For English Teachers. eLearning Higher Ed moocs pdAn Index Of Online Courses For Teachers: Summer 2015. by Class Central. EDUCATION & TEACHING (29). Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Web 2.0 Tools. University of Houston System via Coursera.

Recent & Upcoming Conversations on Open & Networked Learning


The #OpenLearning17 MOOC has just ended, but the resources and blogposts live on , and the Creative Commons Global Summit is just starting. Critiques of OER and Open Education. How is OER learning from, and contributing to other open activities, e.g. open science, open source, open data, open access etc? Profession OEP OER open education open educational practices open pedagogy


Innovation In E-learning In The Last 10 Years


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). MOOC is not a new concept in the e-learning industry. Many prestigious universities such as Harvard offers MOOC at minimal or no cost. MOOC also offers group collaboration and feedback through online evaluation. Open Education Resources (OER). A good example of this would be the usage of OERs by Sky Customer Service to train their employees. E-learning has seen a broad positive shift in the last couple of years.

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Contribute a Short Video for #OpenEdMOOC

Iterating Toward Openness

As you may have heard, my fellow rabble-rouser George Siemens and I are doing a MOOC on open education that launches later this month on edX. Yes, this MOOC actually is open – all the content will be viewable outside the edX platform and downloadable under open licenses so as to be fully 5R-able, yes, you can fully participate in the course for free, and. Week 4: Creating, Finding and Using OERs. Week 5: Research on OER Impact and Effectiveness.

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EdTech Acronyms Explained


MOOC – Massively Open Online Course (an online course which has video lectures, problem solving activities, texts and an online community of fellow learners). OER – Open Educational Resource (this can be any online materials that are free to use). The amount of new acronyms in the educational technology world is staggering… and often overwhelming for educators. In fact, this list will be up to date for a few hours and then more acronyms and terms will come along!

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The Winners and Filmstrips of An (Almost) Decade in Education Technology


MOOCs. OER and open books. Three types of edtech joined the “filmstrip” category in this decade: Learning Management Systems , MOOC s, and digital badges. Two that shine are OER/open books and learning analytics.


More on the Cost Trap and Inclusive Access

Iterating Toward Openness

Back in 2012 – 2013] I was impressed (like many others I’m sure) with how Wiley was able to frame the cost-savings argument around open textbooks to build broader interest for OERs. ” For reasons I have outlined countless times (relating to the pedagogical innovation only possible in the context of permission to engage in the 5R activities), I believe OER adoption is a critically important means to achieving this end. I fear it is OER wanting it both ways.

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Do it yourself education

Learning with 'e's

There is no mention for example of the New Zealand based OER University (or its founder Wayne McIntosh) and the ground breaking work they are doing to transform open educational practices in higher education. What Kamenetz does do well however, is to highlight the significance of Massively Online Open Courses (MOOCs), suggesting that they may yet play a part in breaking the hold of the traditional, ivy league universities on mass higher education.

How to Crowdsource Quality Resources for Adult Learners

Digital Promise

We at Designers for Learning responded to this call by inviting instructional designers, developers, and adult educators to join a crowdsourcing effort to develop free open educational resources (OER) for adults with low math and literacy skills. We conceived of this crowdsourced design project as part of a massive open online course (MOOC) on Canvas Network and sought out an all volunteer team of designers, facilitators, and subject matter experts to help us. The Need.

10Q: Martin Weller - the battle for open

Learning with 'e's

blogs, social media, learning objects, OERs, MOOCs, etc in this period. I think many MOOCs (and MOOC providers) will struggle to find a sustainable financial model in their current guise. We will see them adapted and modified, but what the MOOC interest has done is raise the profile of open education and elearning in general, so increasingly universities and governments will look to this as a model. 5) What is your response to the criticism of MOOCs (e.g.


It’s 2020: Have Digital Learning Innovations Trends Changed?


The primary trends identified by the team were: adaptive learning, open education resources (OER), gamification and game-based learning, MOOCs, LMS and interoperability, mobile devices, and design.

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Production Value in Online Higher Education

University brass was not typically aware of these OER practices, despite its potential significance. Soon after, MOOCs (a la Coursera and Udacity) arrived and took the potential impact of freely distributed instructional content on reputation to a whole new level, quickly establishing these online courses as a very public platform for inter-institutional competition. Son of MOOC.


Online Classes Get a Missing Piece: Teamwork


Often in online courses students disappear and drop,” says Barbara Illowsky, dean of basic skills and online educational resources (OER) and a professor of mathematics and statistics at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. “I’m MOOCs get social. Carolyn Rosé, an assistant professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, has been exploring ways to add social engagement to MOOCs since 2013.


Art, Science, and the Role of Data in Education

Iterating Toward Openness

One of these days, after I’ve retired, I’m going to write a radically restructured, OER-based freshman music theory course, based on research I did early in my career and what I’ve learned about good teaching since then. A course that implements the relevant learning science but is completely missing a relationship with a caring faculty member (looking at you, MOOCs) is going to fall short of its potential. I was a music major as an undergraduate.

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Network technology, disruptive innovation and the future of higher education

Mark Smithers

I considered issues around MOOCs and then other disruptors which may, in fact, have more impact such as OER, open badges and social professional reputation. Network technology, disruptive innovation and the future from Mark Smithers. This is the invited presentation that I gave at the launch of the SAFFIRE project at the University of Canberra on Monday 18 March, 2013. I was asked by @JonPowles to be provocative and I think I was suitably so.

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The design and future of open education: Curtis Bonk on Future Trends Forum

Bryan Alexander

Curt began by describing the use of MOOCs for faculty and staff development, with examples such as a University of London effort. In fact, open MOOCs can work for any population, esp. I asked how open learning works for non-professionals, citing research showing many MOOC users are already professionals and/or academics. However, most people remain unaware of OER. Bonk mentions more MOOC research he did, available at this site.


Can Online Programs and Digital Tools Help Students Spend Less Money? #DLNchat


Faculty and administrators at #DLNchat repeatedly shared about successfully saving students money through the use of OER. Morrison estimated that American Public University has saved its undergraduates as much as $5,000 per student over the course of their degree by utilizing OER. Jill Buban put it this way, “Schools using prior learning assessment models can have a big opportunity to reduce money with MOOCs and other alternative credits.”

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New Resource on Open Access, Pedagogy, Learning


There are chapters that argue for the quality of OER resources, for the utility of Open Pedagogy, and for the transformational potential of these approaches and resources. Sponsored by the AAC&U , it is “a connectivist MOOC” around open learning. The concept of “Open,” particularly when it comes to Open Access, is something that we’ve written a lot about here at Profhacker.

Technology and Casey Green on campus: Future Trends Forum #3, notes and full recording

Bryan Alexander

Community colleges are much more interested in OER than other sectors. For example, MOOCs are still weak on completion and learning, but evolving. On February 25th Casey Green and I met online for the third Future Trends Forum. We explored campus technology and faculty attitudes towards digital materials. Here is the full recording and my notes.

SXSWedu 2017: Ones to Watch and What to Know


Lessons Learned: MOOCs & Online Education in LATAM : Adrian Catalan (Innovation Lab Lead at Universidad Galileo) and Stephanie Falla (New Media Department Director at UFM) share insights they’ve gleaned as MOOC creators and course managers, and “why it is important to keep moving the MOOCs train and the journey to turn talent into skills in [Latin America].” It’s that time of year again.


Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”). A call to rebrand MOOCs , from Edsurge. The Chronicle of Higher Education on the latest report from the Babson Survey Research Group on OER adoption: “Use of Free Textbooks Is Rising, but Barriers Remain.” (National) Education Politics. The GOP passed their tax plan. Various education-related updates – via The New York Times : “How the Republican Tax Plan Uses School Savings to Hurt States.”

Education Technology and the Promise of 'Free' and 'Open'

Hack Education

The Rebranding of MOOCs. Remember 2012 , “ The Year of the MOOC? Remember in 2012 when the media wrote about MOOCs with such frenzy, parroting all these marketing claims and more and predicting that MOOCs were poised to “ end the era of expensive higher education ”? Along the way, most of the predictions and promises have been broken: Attending a MOOC now often costs money ; receiving a certificate certainly costs money. of courses use OER.


Can US Higher Education Publishers Leverage a Subscription Model

Kitaboo on EdTech

But how do they compete with resources like MOOCs and OERs that have made high quality course content from respected university professors available for free? When students started migrating towards used textbooks, rentals, MOOCs and OER due to the high prices of printed textbooks, it affected the revenues of traditional book publishers. The overall cost of higher education has been continuously increasing, as is evident by the rise in the textbook prices.

Storms over liberal education: notes on the 2016 AAC&U conference

Bryan Alexander

I hoped to move on from there to what I called “approaches”, ways of using tech that didn’t depend on a specific platform – i.e., gaming and gamification, blended learning, distance learning, MOOCs, mobile, and digital literacy. Several participants pointed out limitations on faculty time which block creation and even adoption of OER. Last week I participated in the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2016 conference.

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” It’s being positioned here as the first time Congress has funded open textbooks, but it’s not the federal government’s first commitment to OER. Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”). Via Inside Higher Ed : “Analysis of Georgia Tech ’s MOOC-inspired online master’s in computer science suggests that institutions can successfully deliver high-quality, low-cost degrees to students at scale.”

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Online Education (The Once and Future “MOOC”). ” “Aftermath of the MOOC wars: Can commercial vendors support creative higher education ?” through-MOOCs program launched, its College of Business says it is seeing the contours of a model it can use to promote the university abroad, enroll previously untapped groups of students and attract corporate partners.” Via Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill : “About That Cengage OER Survey.”


Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”). Via Edsurge : “Campus Support for OER is Growing, Survey Finds.” Each week, I gather a wide variety of links to education and education technology articles. All this feeds the review I write each December on the stories we are told about the future of education. I’m starting on that project soon, and my god, this all looks so grim. National) Education Politics.

Education Technology and the Power of Platforms

Hack Education

” And I wondered at the time if that would be the outcome for MOOCs. 2012, you will recall, was “ the year of the MOOC.”) ” MOOCs looked – for a short while, at least – like they were going to pivot to become LMSes. ” (Amazon Inspire is the company’s OER platform.)

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”). ” Via Edsurge : “5 Ways MOOC -Based Degrees Are Different From Other Online Degrees.” ” Not listed: other online degrees simply aren’t hyped the way MOOCs are. “ FutureLearn Looking To Raise £40m, Announces a MOOC-based BA,” says Class Central. Edsurge covers OpenEd : “Beyond Free Materials: OER Advocates Push For Inclusiveness in Teaching Practices.”


Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC” The University of Iceland has joined edX. The business of OER. (National) Education Politics. “ The Republican War on College ,” by The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson. “ Tax bill reflects rift between many Republicans and higher education,” The Washington Post reports. And perhaps it’s not just higher ed.

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOCMOOCs are dead , according to Udacity ’s VP. ” Never one to let a good MOOC story pass them by, Edsurge repeats the story. “MOOCs Are ”Dead.“ Also via Edsurge : “ MIT Moves Beyond the MOOC to Court Companies, Professional Learners.” million in crowdfunding for its MOOC platform. Someone should inform them that MOOCs are dead.


STEMxCon - Today Is the Final Deadline for Proposals; Great Keynotes + Sessions; Need Volunteers!

The Learning Revolution Has Begun

Smith, Director of Programs Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for STEM - Revolutionary or Evolutionary? The end of the day today is the final deadline to get in a proposal to speak at next week''s free and online 2013 Global STEMx Education Conference ( , September 19 - 21. This is a great opportunity to share your work or ideas! We have an absolutely terrific lineup of keynote speakers.