Kundayi Masanzu’s Mail and Guardian opinion piece “Academics lose out to online study” raises a crucial question as lecturers prepare to move their modules online: “Moocs have opened up the floodgates of knowledge dissemination and, at the same time, exposed the importance of clarifying knowledge ownership within tertiary institutions.” What is the fairest balance between the sharing of learning content, and commercial publication? Prof Caroline Ncube of UCT provides a helpful response to the question.
Thinking about putting your teaching materials online? Want to go the OER route? This short video gives excellent how-to advice in animated form. Turning a Resource into an Open Educational Resource (OER).
OERs are “teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work” (2012 Paris OER Declaration).
Thanks to Anita Hiralaal of the School of Education for sharing this ICEL 2014 conference announcement. The International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL) is an excellent forum for sharing research in the e-learning field. ICEL 2013 was held at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and next year’s event is being held in Valparaiso, Chile at the Santa María Technical University on 26-27 June 2014. The Abstract submission deadline is 5 December 2013. See http://academic-conferences.org/icel/icel2014/icel14-call-papers.htm for details.
Amongst the keynote speakers in Chile next year are Susan Crichton, and CPUT academic, Eunice Ivala. At the 2012 ICEL in Hong Kong where I presented a paper, I was impressed by Susan Crichton’s research into the re-purposing of learning content material such as instructional videos, podcasts and simulations so as to have maximum benefit in an open-access (OER) environment. Crichton made a forceful case for the inclusion of appropriate and comprehensive metadata to guide the re-user community. She articulates this approach in her paper “A Content Design for Emerging Appropriate Technologies”, where she argues that a key element in a new model for the deployment of appropriate technologies in challenging contexts is the provision of a workflow that allows instructor autonomy. The ability to make changes and customise the materials on the fly has traditionally been locked by the original designer or proprietary package. By breaking down the content into re-usable bits, the model avoids the “cultural imperialism” of exporting the entire course as a ready-made item to an audience for whom it may not be appropriate. This theme was also addressed by Eunice Ivala in her paper “Digital Storytelling and Student Engagement”.