Monday, March 19, 2012

Open Teaching

David Wiley in a keynote on Open Education at Penn State University states that the idea that one can do the same things online as one can do in the classroom is ludacris.

Things are changing rapidly. From analogue to digital, from tethered to mobile, isolated to connected, generic to personal, from consuming media to designing media, and from closed to open. David argues that education falls behind in these changes.

Can education be more personal, just-in-time? Not just online, can it be for face-to-face education?
Research shows that students who listen to a pod-cast of a lecture perform better than those who attend the lecture. They can rewind, and speed up the lecture.

Why should education respond? The monopoly of (higher) ed is being challenged. The access to content is not limited to schools anymore. Asking support can be done online. Social life has expanded to the online realm. What about degrees? Perhaps that is the reason why students have to come to school. No, certain vocational credentials compete equal or better to college degrees. Everything universes provide, is being provided by someone else.

What about e-learning? Used to be advanced in 1995. Yes it is digital and mobile, but still old-fashioned on the other change factors mentioned above. Openness bridges the gap. Why? It facilitates access to content. Open licenses allows for personalisation. Sites like YouTube provide an outlet for creativity.

How can higher ed go about opening up then? Open 1.0: Currently some universities share open courseware. They are not very sustainable. It costs a lot.

The focus was on 'them'--sharing something with the world--with some benefits for the universities. Open 2.0 will focus on the 'us' first. And because they are open, there will be benefits for people out there.

Note: so that is how I benefit from this course!? 

Examples how to insert openness in the classroom (with mixed results):
- Public blogs instead of handing in assignments; success
- Syllabus in a wiki, open to change; none ever did it.

Note: Jonassen often would walk into the classroom, sitting down on the table and say 'so, what do you want to learn today?' While we joked about it over coffee, none ever stood up to suggest a topic or a lesson outline. 

- 'Sitcom script' in a wiki, to substitute for real time discussion from different perspectives; Students inserted characters.

Unintended things are often the most interesting.

What can we do to be even more open?
Course in Openness in education, in a classroom, and all materials and blogs openly available; students from other institutions registered as independent studies in their own schools and participated. And it was opened up to the world. 60 participants in total. While it seemed a daunting task, students start to self manage and respond to each others. The international perspectives were considered a benefit in this experience.

Note: Somehow I feel the interaction is lacking so far in the current version of a similar experiment. 

The foreigners asked what completing meant for them ... no credit from the university, but they got a certificate. People appreciate that, and some even list it in their resume.

How to create more student support without putting too much strain on the the professor? Wiley redesigned the course in the form of a Massive Open Online Game/Course. Different characters have different quests to develop expertise. The quests get more and more complicated, so that students must work together. For example students developed their own additional character.

What is in the future? Disaggregation (separating [something] in it's component parts).
New model university, for example Western Governors University uses a competency based model. They do not offer courses, only assessments. They do not care where you learned it; they don't care how you learned it. When you feel ready to take a test, you can come and do the test. Credentialing piece is pulled away from the content.

So, what is the value of keeping these things integrated?

In a blog in The Chronicle of Higher Education David Wiley defines open teaching as "freely allowing people outside the university to view course materials and informally participate in the course" and appeals to professors moral obligation to make their teaching efforts as broadly impactful as possible. 

The second part of the Open Teaching topic discusses Massive Open Online Courses aka MOOCs. 
Wikipedia defines them as: 

"[..] a course where the participants are distributed and course materials also are dispersed across the web. This is possible only if the course is open, and works significantly better if the course is large. The course is not a gathering, but rather a way of connecting distributed instructors and learners across a common topic or field of discourse."
A variety of examples of MOOCs and their predecessors are listed in the Dowes' MOOC Guide. It tries to show and a historic overview of MOOCs so far and elicit major design elements from them. Which is not exactly coming out yet. 

Note: perhaps for someone to analyse as part of their OpenEd Researcher badge...?

In their 2010 article, The MOOC Model for Digital PracticeMcAuley, Stewart, Siemens, and Cormier study the opportunities of MOOCs to develop the digital savvy citizens Canada will need to flourish in the digital age. They describe what a MOOC is, how it could model digital practice, how knowledge is created and how it might contribute to a digital economy. 

Question: How are these MOOCs different from previous Communities Of Practice?

No comments:

Post a Comment