oer impact: towards an evidence base

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The open education movement has achieved much in the last decade, but there remains wide acknowledgement that the impact of OER has yet to be fully understood. A suggested approach is to address this through collective approaches that collate information and present them back in an integrated way. This has some appeal, particularly in the way it matches to ideals of openness, but needs to be implemented with care. In this presentation I critically evaluate attempts that have been made to support communication and collaboration through mapping OER. After endorsing the basic rationale for mapping evidence surrounding OER implementation I review two examples of where this has been attempted. The Open Learning Network (OLnet) Evidence Hub used the concept of Contested Collective Intelligence to inform a discourse-centric social-semantic web application that could structure the discourses of the OER community. I provide a short critique of this approach which focuses on the data model and the metadata requirements made upon users. I go on to consider the UNESCO OER Mapping Project which set out some quite specific protocols for metadata (despite never getting beyond the prototype stage). The value of a mapping approach is defended at the same time as noting that different audience will likely have very different needs in terms of evidence. A rationale for a new, improved evidence hub is provided along with a number of design considerations and a proposal for future development. I conclude with a brief presentation of the new Evidence Hub being developed as part of the OER Research Hub (OERRH) project. I describe the ways in which our evidence model tries to overcome some of the issues which were manifest in these earlier projects, a range of different data sources, the importance of data visualization, and account for how different types of evidence might be flexibly accommodated. The final part of the session will be given over to group discussion about the idea of mapping the OER evidence base and what the OER community might want from such services.


  • 1. OER Impact: Towards an Evidence Base Dr. Robert Farrow, The Open University #oerrhub / @oer_hub

2. Evidence of OER Impact Background Rationale Design Implementation Data Visualization Future Iteration Call for Evidence / Feedback 3. Background 4. About me Philosopher & Educational Technologist Based at the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) Open University UK Research Associate (OER Research Hub) http://flavors.me/philosopher1978 Twitter @philosopher1978About The Open University Europes largest distance learning university Access: foremost provider to mature, disabled and working students A world leader in technology-enhanced pedagogy Head of the FutureLearn MOOC consortium 5. About the Project Funded by William & Flora Hewlett Foundation for two years Two professors lead four researchers among a team of ten Tasked with building the most comprehensive picture of OER impact Organised by a set of research hypotheses Working across different educational sectors Collaboration model Global reach but with a USA focus http://oerresearchhub.org 6. Collaboration Model 7. Collaboration Model 8. Rationale: Why Evidence of OER Impact? 9. Filtering data according to sector, hypothesis & polarityFramework for comparing disparate evidence typesEffective evidencebased decisionmaking and advocacyCollaborative research, analysis & disseminationOpenness in action: openly licensed research instruments, data 10. Research Hypotheses Keyword Performance Openness AccessHypothesis OER improve student performance/satisfaction People use OER differently from other online materials OER widen participation in educationRetentionOER can help at-risk learners to finish their studiesReflectionOER use leads educators to reflect on their practiceFinanceOER adoption brings financial benefits for students/institutionsIndicatorsInformal learners use a variety of indicators when selecting OERSupportInformal learners develop their own forms of study supportTransitionOER support informal learners in moving to formal studyPolicyOER use encourages institutions to change their policiesAssessmentInformal assessments motivate learners using OER 11. Methodological ChallengesIncommensurabilityGranularity 12. Previous Initiatives 13. UNESCO Mapping Project (2012) http://unescochair.athabascau.ca/oer-mapping-exercise Mapping to raise awareness of OER Tracking complexity, identifying major players & actions Community building, communication and advocacy Localised data with centralised quality control OLnet Evidence Hub (2011-2012) http://ci.olnet.org/ Explore and debate key challenges for OER movement Collective intelligence: raise questions, propose solutions Sharing relevant web resources 14. OLnet Evidence Hub Data Model 15. Designing a new evidence model 16. Metadata specificationMapping locationsEncouraging contributionUI / AccessibilityDiverse, fragmentary evidenceFiltering / navigationPolarity (+ve/-ve)DesignK.I.S.S. 17. Information Architecture 18. Title TextCopy Text / HTML Supports embedding of multimedia contentHypothesis Polarity Location SectorCitation Association of evidence with hypothesis Evidence is either +ve/-ve in relation to a hypothesis Geotagging / GPS School (K12) / College / HE / Informal Academic citation Hyperlink / URL 19. YouTube Interview Case StudyInstitute Metrics Academic Papers Case StudyAnecdotesSurvey DataEvidence FLOW 20. Implementation 21. Technical Development http://oerresearchhub.org/2013/10/04/building-an-evidence-hub-plugin-for-wordpress/ Popular OS platform Easy to customize Over 27,000 existing pluginsWordpressCustomization CSV importer Location plugin JSON Project code available on GitHub Easy to link, share and engageOpenness 22. tinyurl.com/oerimpact 23. Sample Entries 24. Flexible Granular Support comments, sharing Citations field 25. Visualizing the Data 26. Sankey Diagrams track the flow of evidence 27. Global Evidence Map 28. See summaries by country with click-through to evidence 29. Detailed map view 30. Explore Projects 31. Filter evidence (College evidence in USA) 32. Summaries of evidence gathered for each hypothesis 33. Future Iteration 34. Explore Survey DataPolicy MapMachine curationAPI Integration: SurveyMonkey, Google, etc.Data VisualizationsHuman curation bookmarkletData mashups using open dataExporting data sets under open licenseArgumentation analysis 35. Call for Evidence / Feedback 36. We want your feedback! and your data! 37. Thanks for listening! oerresearchhub.orgrob.farrow@open.ac.uk @philosopher1978


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