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Archive for the 'ASCILITE Fishbowl Session' Category

chess-Public_Domain_image_from_Pixabay.jpgJoin us on Monday 27 Nov from 10.00-11.00 (AEST) and contribute to planning this Fishbowl.  Read on for more details, and then join us via Zoom

2017 is being celebrated as the International Year of Open, but what do we really have to celebrate in Australia?

Our team will be participating in a Fishbowl session at ASCILITE2017, held in Toowoomba, Australia.  The session encourages participants to reflect on the actual progress of openness in Australia.  

The tone of the Fishbowl is one of constructive critique, examining whether open education in particular has a robust enough following, and evidence of outcomes to become part of mainstream education.  In the lead up to the conference, we’ll be offering the different viewpoints of the initial session chairs, and inviting you to post comments that can be incorporated into our content - essentially we’re openly developing the structure of our Fishbowl (which are transparent by nature, of course).

The third post is from Dr Neil Martin, exploring the relationship between openness and institutional prestige.

Openness and OEP – a threat to institutional prestige?

The university has been around in more or less its current form since the Middle Ages (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zf384 ). Elite universities both old and new pride themselves on the quality of their students, research, and teaching and learning facilities. Traditional universities (e.g., Oxford) will consider their tradition of excellence and listed buildings as fundamental to their prestige whereas the best modern ones (e.g., National University of Singapore) will point to their cutting edge research and facilities as they solve the world’s grand challenges. As far as these organisations are concerned their prestige has been earned and they are justly rewarded through research grants, endowments, and positive media coverage of their ranking. Should they therefore potentially jeopardise their status through open approaches?

Openness represents both an opportunity and a threat:

  •   Shared learning materials may be judged and compared for quality – it allows us to “peep behind the curtain” which may be uncomfortable for some
  •   Open research does allow access to large datasets but also presents a potential threat to patents and enterprise initiatives. In addition, some open access journals are not considered to match the prestige of the university
  •   When open educational practice (OEP) is taken to extremes the very nature of the university as a provider of learning content is challenged. What is the value add of going to university when access to learning experiences can be provided elsewhere?

Unsurprisingly therefore, top universities have only dipped their toe into openness and open practice, for example through:

Openness and open educational practice, including the development of OERs, represents a risk paradigm and therefore elite universities in particular have remained cautious. It is these universities that often have direct access to the levers of power in education and perhaps do not see the widespread adoption of open practices as top of their priorities. In addition, many of these universities are not agile organisations with schools and research centres having a degree of autonomy. Such organisations within organisations will likely try to protect their own interests and are unlikely to adopt open practices unless tangible benefits are perceived.

Perhaps widespread adoption of openness has not yet happened because the benefits on offer are perceived to be add odds (or at least irrelevant) to the individual interests of and within universities - particularly elite universities. Perhaps therefore, newer and less prestigious universities need to continue to stake their claim within the open space and offer an alternative to traditional models.

So, what do you think?

Does openness and OEP represent a threat to institutional prestige?

What other concerns do you have?

Tell us your opinion on Twitter #OEPfishbowl or comment below.


This series of blog posts will introduce some of the barriers to the adoption of Open Educational Practice in Australia we have identified. We value your voice in these discussions - join us by tweeting your thoughts #OEPfishbowl or by attending our live Open Fishbowl at the 2017 ASCILITE Conference at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Campus on the 5th December 2017.

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book-stack-Public_Domain_Image_from_Pixabay.pngJoin us on Monday 27 Nov from 10.00-11.00 (AEST) and contribute to planning this Fishbowl.  Read on for more details, and then join us via Zoom

2017 is being celebrated as the International Year of Open, but what do we really have to celebrate in Australia?

Our team will be participating in a Fishbowl session at ASCILITE2017, held in Toowoomba, Australia.  The session encourages participants to reflect on the actual progress of openness in Australia.  The tone of the Fishbowl is one of constructive critique, examining whether open education in particular has a robust enough following, and evidence of outcomes to become part of mainstream education.  In the lead up to the conference, we’ll be offering the different viewpoints of the initial session chairs, and inviting you to post comments that can be incorporated into our content - essentially we’re openly developing the structure of our Fishbowl (which are transparent by nature, of course).

 

The second post is from Dr Tamara Heck, exploring attitudes to openness related to competitiveness.

Are learning resources are one's competitive advantage, should we make them open?

Open educational resources (OER) are resources of any kind - slides, books, articles, notes, code, a 12 week course - that can be retained, reused, revised, remixed and redistributed (the five “r’s” of OER). Creating open learning resources is fostered and supported by many Australian Higher Education Institutions. Just this week, USQ had its first workshop on “open textbooks” which was led by the Director of the Open Textbook Network Dr David Ernst from the University of Minnesota.

As USQ builds its capacity in this space, hundreds of other open textbooks have been developed from around the world .

Despite these developments and a greater awareness of OER, Australia has not yet fully exploited the affordances and opportunities of OER. One reason mentioned is competitiveness and job security.

Thus, two aspects seem particularly pertinent:

  • Educators give their knowledge and skills to teach students. One physical manifestation of this are the lecture notes, which can be as fulsome as a whole textbook.  The value of the lecturer is in their role of being an ‘expert curator’ and guide who can help navigate the disciplinary knowledge and provide feedback.  A commonly cited perception of OER is that educators are ‘giving away their intellectual property’ - and thus their ability to ‘compete’ in the higher education ‘marketplace’. To summarise: Concerns arise that OER may replace educators.
  • OER can mean more workload, that is not reflected in Faculty work allocation models, and not rewarded in the same way as research. Creating OER means that academics (most of them researcher and educator at the same time) will have less time to build on their reputation (publishing, grant writing). Creating OER is not valued in the same way; there are limited or no incentives to undertake their development.

These apprehensions  may be part of the reason why - despite much positive reception on OER - only a few educators are actually creating open resources.

The Goucher College Library in the United States also refers to sustainability issues: “Since OER creators generally do not receive any type of payment for their OER, there may be little incentive for them to update their OER or to ensure that it will continue to be available.” (http://libraryguides.goucher.edu/c.php?g=242548&p=1612887).  This concern also relates to perceptions of OER quality, and the challenge for some faster-evolving disciplines to access the most recent information.

 

So, what do you think?

Do you fear OER will replace you as educator?

What other concerns do you have?

How do you think creating OER should be rewarded and recognised to be more “attractive”?

 

Tell us you opinion on Twitter #OEPfishbowl or comment below.


This series of blog posts will introduce some of the barriers to the adoption of Open Educational Practice in Australia we have identified. We value your voice in these discussions - join us by tweeting your thoughts #OEPfishbowl or by attending our live Open Fishbowl at the 2017 ASCILITE Conference at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Campus on the 5th December 2017.

References

van Damme, D. (2017). Open educational resources: A catalyst for innovation in education. https://www.open-science-conference.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/vanDamme_Open-Educational-Resources-A-Catalyst-for-Innovation-in-Education-Berlin-Open-Science-Conference-22-March-2017.pdf.

 

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Join us on Monday 27 Nov from 10.00-11.00 (AEST) and contribute to planning this Fishbowl.  Read on for more details, and then join us via Zoom (https://usq.zoom.us/j/575665311). 

 

2017 is being celebrated as the International Year of Open, but what do we really have to celebrate in Australia?

Open_Shield_Public_Domain_image_from_Pixabay.pngOur team will be participating in a Fishbowl session at ASCILITE2017, held in Toowoomba, Australia.  The session encourages participants to reflect on the actual progress of openness in Australia.  The tone of the Fishbowl is one of constructive critique, examining whether open education in particular has a robust enough following, and evidence of outcomes to become part of mainstream education.  In the lead up to the conference, we’ll be offering the different viewpoints of the initial session chairs, and inviting you to post comments that can be incorporated into our content - essentially we’re openly developing the structure of our Fishbowl (which are transparent by nature, of course).

The first post is from Amelia Dowe, Learning Advisor, and Catherine Wattiaux, Manager (Copyright).

 Please leave your comments below.

Many parts of the world have integrated Open Educational Practice (OEP) into their learning environments with the proactive support of UNESCO, and a growing international movement. Funded schemes, networks of universities such as the Open Textbook Network, and the efforts of individual practitioners all support a growing evidence base of research and good practice. For example, many African countries are meeting the needs of their students using OEP, reusing and repurposing study materials for students who might not otherwise be able to access them. In our own context in Australia, OEP remains a fringe topic, particularly for many educators in Higher Education.  Whilst researchers have embraced open access publishing, and open access to published outcomes via institutional repositories, learning and teaching resources in higher ed have not enjoyed the same level of commitment; which is an interesting disconnect between two of the core roles of academic staff.  It would appear that significant barriers remain here to the widespread uptake of OEP.

Many educators use open educational resources (OER). However, a few create open resources for others. Reasons for that are:

  • Technical skills are missing - practitioners find it too complicated to create resources
  • OER are distributed - there is no ‘one single place’ to find OER, they are scattered in repositories globally
  • Guidelines are missing - practitioners are unsure of how to create OER, and if doing so aligns with their local policy
  • OER is not a priority -  people say creating OER is too time-consuming, and there is a lack of reward and recognition for engaging with OER

Currently, it can be said that everyone likes openness in education, but examples of practice are disconnected and isolated in the Australian environment.

Shop_Public_Domain_Image_from_Pixabay.jpgWhat do you think? Do you practice openness in your education? What do you think make open practices a default? Tell us on Twitter #OEPfishbowl or comment below.

This series of blog posts will introduce some of the barriers to the adoption of Open Educational Practice in Australia we have identified. We value your voice in these discussions - join us by tweeting your thoughts #OEPfishbowl or by attending our live Open Fishbowl at the 2017 ASCILITE Conference at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Campus on the 5th December 2017.

Read Full Post »