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. I also depart from Clark on the issue of the importance of cost savings to OER in the U.S.

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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. What if we focus on these practices as much as educational content in our conversations on open educational resources?

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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?

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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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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.


How to Crowdsource Quality Resources for Adult Learners

Digital Promise

This gap between the need and available educational services has prompted calls for innovative ways to improve access to quality educational resources. 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. The Need.

The Content Paradox

Improving Education Environments

The reusability paradox states that the context of an OER content ( at the time known as learning objects ) positively correlates to its educational efficacy (the more/better the context the more/better the efficacy), but at the same time has an inverse correlation to scalability (the more/better the context the less/worse the reuse). Reflections content David Wiley Kierkegaard MOOC OER Open postmodernism Reusability Paradox

Open all hours #EDEN15

Learning with 'e's

The synopsis reads: With the success of open access publishing, Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and open education practices, the open approach to education has moved from the periphery to the mainstream. As with the green movement, openness now has a market value and is subject to new tensions, such as venture capitalists funding MOOC companies. The dominant narrative now is that MOOCs are the technological solution and education is ripe for disruption.

One classic open education source to stop

Bryan Alexander , an open education resource dating back a while, will no longer make new content. Berkeley’s still making MOOCs. education and technology OER openFinancial 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.


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


SHEG also offers two other fabulous portals filled with resources to help classroom teachers and teacher librarians inquiry and historical analysis. Using resources from the Library of Congress, these 80 units cover both U.S. You may remember Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) for its groundbreaking and utterly depressing report, Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Online Civic Reasoning.

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


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.

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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). Open Education Resources are accessible courses available online which can be viewed by anyone. E-learning has seen a broad positive shift in the last couple of years.

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EdTech Acronyms Explained


CREATE – Collaboartion, Resources, Educate, Apps, Technology, Enriching. 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.

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Unlocking stackable global credentials

The Christensen Institute

As the demand for higher education dramatically accelerates, so also the supply of modular educational resources is increasing through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like Coursera and EdX, open educational resources (OER) like Khan Academy, and massive adaptive apps like Duolingo. In particular, there is a need for interoperability between these alternative educational providers like MOOCs and the traditional educational system.

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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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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. Resources for learning outside of universities are increasingly easy to find, curate, and of better quality.


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.

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


Kluge also pointed out that while moving online can be expensive for institutions it allows resources to be redistributed to “situations where more personalized interaction is necessary.”. So the resources go elsewhere, to situations where more personalized interaction is necessary. In other words, when institutions can identify costs early and then effectively allocate resources, the awards are evident. Even when tuition is free, attending college can be expensive.

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SXSWedu 2017: Ones to Watch and What to Know


Charisse Taylor , senior director of policy and implementation at NYC Department of Education, will share resources, templates and other activities aimed at helping educators create new CS programs that are “diverse by design.” Panelists will discuss how Samsung and Manor Independent School District have worked together to bring necessary resources to students and the community. It’s that time of year again.


The Content Paradox

Improving Education Environments

The reusability paradox states that the context of an OER content ( at the time known as learning objects ) positively correlates to its educational efficacy (the more/better the context the more/better the efficacy), but at the same time has an inverse correlation to scalability (the more/better the context the less/worse the reuse).

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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. Publishers can purchase these libraries to offer additional learning resources to their students.

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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. That meant open source software, open education resources, and open access in scholarly publication. Several participants pointed out limitations on faculty time which block creation and even adoption of OER.

the Golden Age of Education that never was

Improving Education Environments

I framed this in the context of edutainment, which took me down a whirlwind of Disney history, resulting in scholarship on the relationship between the learning objects/resources of the OER movement, edutainment, and the ‘free-as-in-beer’ resources one finds in Coursera/edX/ Republished from edutechnicalities.

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.


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 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

Our Twitter hashtag is #stemx13, and we have some resources for publicizing at [link]. Director, Online Professional Development Finding the Fun of It - Bernard De Koven From the CyberWorld to the RealWorld (Classroom) - Dahlia Shaewitz, Principal Research Analyst STEM Education and Social Activism: Creating a New South Bronx - Jessica Chung, Digital Learning Programs Associate 24/7 Math Support: Crowdsourcing Solutions and Crowdfunding Resources - Torrey Trust, Ph.D.


Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”). There’s more MOOC news down in the “labor and management” section below. This Edsurge article – “ OER is Growing at Religious Colleges , But Raises Unique Challenges” – strikes me as a little weird, considering the long relationship between open education (the conference, at the very least) and former BYU professor David Wiley.

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Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” Via Inside Higher Ed : “ New York Doubles Down on Open Educational Resources.” Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”). MOOCs are back in the headlines again. Via Edsurge : “The Second Wave of MOOC Hype Is Here, and It’s Online Degrees.” ” From the Google blog : “ Google Science Fair 2018 : Resources for educators to get ideas flowing.”


Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Online Education (The Once and Future “MOOC”). MOOCs for credit ! FutureLearn announced that two UK universities – the University of Leeds and the Open University – will offer MOOCs that will be accepted for college credit. For more on MOOCs for credit, see the “MOOCs” section above. This week: “ OpenStax Partners with panOpen to Expand OER Access.” Education Politics.


Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

Via Chalkbeat’s Colorado news desk : “$35 million for school safety will go toward training, but not hiring, of school resource officers.” Via Inside Higher Ed : “The governor of Virginia has approved a bill requiring all public higher education institutions in the state to take steps to adopt open educational resources – freely accessible and openly copyrighted educational materials.” Online Education (and the Once and Future “MOOC”).

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

” Online Education (The Once and Future “MOOC”). Here’s The Chronicle headline from then : “Professor Leaves a MOOC in Mid-Course in Dispute Over Teaching.”) ”) Great reporting this week from Steve Kolowich on the UC Irvine professor’s run-in with the MOOC machine: “After the Gold Rush: MOOCs, money, and the education of Richard McKenzie.” Education Politics.


Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education

The US Department of Education released its “ #GoOpenDistrict Launch Packet ,” encouraging schools to use OER. As Stephen Downes comments , “I find it interesting that they refer throughout to ‘ openly licensed educational materials ’ rather than ‘open educational resources’ – I wonder what the reasoning was behind that.” Online Education (The Once and Future “MOOC”). MOOCs losing their mojo?