·Let’s start with: What are the alternatives to OER? That would point to one obstacle being simply awareness: “professors choose to adopt textbooks and rarely think about textbook prices in the process. The student is given a take it or leave it option”. Recent initiatives in the university arena to publish research as Openresearch have their root in the concern that publishers (with a profitability of some nearing 40%) overcharge , plus manage to charge universities through their libraries twice for work that universities themselves have produced and provided tro them have done, plus partially with taxpayer already) lead to initiatives to bypass publishers.
· What about student’ monetary needs? Similary to research publishers, publishing houses that serve the US higher education market as Not-OER providers have been under scrutiny also, for overcharging and doublecharging (textbook materials are produced by university teams, while production-costs ).
For a long time now, the increase in textbook prices has outpaced inflation (and even tuition inflation). Textbook prices are one factor in what has been lamented as an education system, that is too expensive, and too exclusive, during times when the American middle class has not seen an increase in wealth since 1988, the median wealth in the US has for the first time fallen behind other developed nations, student debts have mounted, students’ returns from gainful employment is down and the value of college education is becoming disputed – the fact that it surely is valuable compared with not going to college at all – a sign of a monopoly of universities and colleges on higher education that may not last . It already is under attack by potentially disruptive innovations. which include paying students that forego college a stipend (instead of tuition) to invest into an enterprise they found, MOOCs and their credentialing. There are also reactions to educaiotn being overpriced which are more favorable to Pierce: a preference student have shown to community college which offer is a better subsidized, and price-controlled education than other forms of higher ed, so much that access controls have been put in place in California. Other regulatory changes may also threaten the cozy advantage that community collegs havew enjoyed – so no reason to rest. Introducing OER can save students much as one-third on the cost of their college degree In return, student numbes will go up, course will materialized that before have not, and teachers will teach. Better still: Will students not be much better off with teacher-approved, -integrated OER than with the much more, easily overly radical alternative, relying on Moocs which – being little more than a textbook, a bit of artificial intelligence and peer-review – , favor those students – and thus, , rather than ringing in the democratization of education, might easily prove to be yet another way to shut out the disadvantaged . , at least for year 1 and 2, although the transition to university can be creeky, as I hav witnessed –
- However, Why have non-OER providers stayed in business so long, depite the internet being able to esily exchange text and images at least for over 2 decades now? How can we hope to replace what has allowed them to charge more and more?
- Some me be caused by an oligopoly: more glitz = more revenue, more cut – in spite off what students and educators really need? A marginal cost for
- In my field of teaching, the syllabus is a complex, interdependent progression of exercises and skills involving lexis, grammar and practice in 4 skills (reading, listening, speaking, writing), the design of which is not easily automated or made modular
· · a
· rigorous editing system: (fraught with difficulties here also, decreasing participation)
· Simple to edit . Including some media
· Segmentation into silos and complexity (requiring too much manual work by SMEs) -> tumbleweed meme
·It is very difficult to form “learning objects” to a syllabus:
- The term en vogue then was still “learning object”. Taken form oo programming, but even there, it is a broken promise: Building software out of “reusable” objects involves a lot more work and overhead than a child thinks when it plays with lego, and new coding paradigms and SDLC techniques are springing up all the time. And can the terminology (Encapsulation? Inheritance??) be applied to learning units (content?), which is much more complex than software objects, just like natural language is much more complex than a computer language.
- Pick and choose may sound like a pleasant activity for a course planner, but only up to a point. In past projects I participated in, when OER were in their infancy, the granularity was too high, very atomic, since we did not have higher units like class plans, chapters or even syllabi that we could fit with the program.
- I anticipated in the late 90s that the sharing economy would reach education when running a collaborative language learning links repository first for consortium of Canadian universities and then for my us universities a little over 10 years ago repository where teachers uploaded target culture links with, review assignments and students posted reviews. The scope was limited, and the integration into the syllabus remained a creative challenge.
- for others, like syllabi, which contain a lot of work and careful planning – while I know that many teachers mind sharing their syllabi fore exactly that reason -, does using shared resources save time compared with starting from scratch? Truly organizing a study program that uses a common syllabus for sections requires a lot of training of the teachers by the author of the syllabus.
- Another project I participated in in the UK in 2008, to create a metadata schema for language learning “objects” to make them reusable and discoverable. A UK-wide work group sponsored by LLAS to gain JISC failed funding for creating a metadata schema for beginning to intermediate language learning. Local attempts to reuse existing metadata schema (general stumpf in the Vienna pre-world war library) only increased the complexity beyond usability. Disparate resources (Internet, In-house: offline resources: digital media; commercial materials that could not serve as, but were supposed to be mined for syllabi: Auralog) could barely be catalogued. Then their were multiple catalogues , and storage silos with differing capabilities (LMS (Blackboard), erepository (equella/LEarningEdge db).
- Technical difficulty/oversimplification in a rapidly evolving technical landscape:
- Is “open” not just an empty word? Innovation in the US technology field happens, and in spite of the rhetoric of openness directed against “dinosaurs” like is still Microsoft, is still happening in proprietary formats – and this is what the open products have to compete with. What is more impressive in artificial intelligence, but also more closed than Google’s and Facebook’s data silos and algorithms?
- How much do we need to dumb it down to stay open? Will a (any) browser play it? Without support of a server software? If not, who will maintain and innovate on the server-side?
- What non-trivial content formats are possible, what are the exchange format, cans we get them actually to work? (Scorm, LTI) . In 2000, I had high hopes for the exchange of quiz learning objects of varying (enthusiast teachers, publishers) between a few standard institutional LMS (Blackboard, WebCT allowed to load such content) – this has not taken off, in favor of the textbook publishers providing their own, superior online content distribution platforms: “This is because open content lacks the platforms that provide the type of differentiated learning experiences offered by MyLabs and MindTap. These platforms are big advantages for the major publishers and add perceived value to their content that open content groups cannot currently match”. And it is not downloading content in flashy forms, but also about learning analytics and how the – as discussed during a Pearson retreat last spring – could provide added value by gathering and analyzing and acting data on the data that individuals have entered, and link individuals.
- Even if you manage to get artificial intelligence into your OER, do you have hooks for teachers contributing, interacting with students based on easy accessibility of their data. “Blending” artificial (software ) and human (teacher, peer) intelligence, which makes the OER stronger. MOOCs have been mocked as mere non-paper textbooks. That is not quite correct ion the traditional textbook sense, thay are more than (paper) textbooks (only paper textbooks the user can freely reuse, hand down – lacking interactivity and intelligent feedback), they provide some form of intelligence: Artificial intelligence, that however is still primitive, black/white, false/correct. Integrating some automated textual evaluation is hard. Breaking down learning goals to assessments that a computer can handle (deliver and automatically grade), is very hard. Assessing not only a percentage, but the understanding of the student, where it is lacking and what would be done best next (personalized path, differentiated instruction) is hard. Moocs contain also an element of Human intelligence: Usually the student can exchange information – whatever it is worth – with other students if they move through the MOOC as a cohort. Some “teacher”/ “teaching assistant” feedback. That however is expensive, but also the selling point for higher education.
Sustainability in the long run: I remember my first automated broken link checkers in my learning links repository. While language learning links repository project was fun, while it lasted, already there I noticed some typical problems are fraught with : I have made a lot of materials available for public use, but for the earliest, the shared database infrastructure technology went down, and with it the learning materials Modern learning materials would need much more ongoing investment. Will it be upgraded, progress, improve, while managing change for the end user. Textbook publishers have learned to walk a fine line between upgrading their textbooks to keep them current and attractive, and not forcing teachers to relearn everything, and lose their past considerable investment into leanring to teach with a textbook.
- This glitch has bugged me once too often, so now I am writing myself a mental note:
- Root cause : Something turns the display of the Template Tab off.
- This error kept popping up for me on OneNote 2013, but I gather it is a classic.
- I should have just taken the error message seriously and literally: Could I do better than OneNote and find a page where OneNote says it cannot?
- First, to find out where I and OneNote are supposed to be looking for this page, go to File / Options/ Send To OneNote and check which “print to “location you have set.
- This one here looks obviously suspicious (and does not exist – one would wish still when this location goes out of scope this could be flagged with a more transparent warning):
- Change the location :
- to one that actually exists:
- or better maybe, for lack of a more transparent error checking if page goes out of scope, chose one of the other, hopefully more robust options: