MOOC tasks week 3

Activity 9: Choosing a licence
Timing: 1 hour
For your blog content and other material you produce, consider which of the Creative Commons licences you would use, and justify your choice. You can post this in the forum or in your blog, remembering to use the tag #h817open.

Activity 10: Applying sustainability models
Timing: 3 hours
Read Wiley (2007), On the Sustainability of Open Educational Resource Initiatives in Higher Education .
Then look at the following open education initiatives, and for each one determine which of Wiley’s three models of sustainability you think they are operating:
Change MOOC
Consider the following:
Was the sustainability model for each OER initiative apparent?
Did Wiley’s models cover all approaches or did you think a different model was operating for one or more of them?
You can share these reflections in either the forum or in your blog.

Activity 11: The advantages and disadvantages of big and little OER
Timing: 3 hours
From the list below, either read the chapter or view the slidecast:
Weller (2011b), Public engagement as collateral damage (chapter).
Weller (2011a), Academic output as collateral damage (slidecast).
Write a blog post of less than 500 words on the benefits and drawbacks of big and little OER approaches. Remember to tag your post with #h817open.

3.6 Week 3 References
Common Craft (2013) Copyright and Creative Commons [online]. Available at video/ copyright-and-creative-commons (accessed 10 January 2013).
Geffrotin, Y. (2007) Creative Commons: Spectrum of Rights [online], slidecast. Available at gya/ creative-commons-spectrum-of-rights (accessed 12 November 2012).
Hales, A. and Lane, A. (undated) Creative Commons and The Open University, internal document, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Moller, E. (2005) The Case for Free Use: Reasons Not to Use a Creative Commons – NC License [online]. Available at Licenses/ NC (accessed 12 November 2012).
Weller, M. (2011a) Academic Output as Collateral Damage [online], slidecast. Available at mweller/ academic-output-as-collateral-damage (accessed 12 November 2012).
Weller, M. (2011b) ‘Public engagement as collateral damage’ in The Digital Scholar, London, Bloomsbury Academic. Also available online at view/ DigitalScholar_9781849666275/ chapter-ba-9781849666275-chapter-007.xmll (accessed 12 November 2012).
Weller, M. (2012) ‘The openness–creativity cycle in education’, Special issue on Open Educational Resources, JIME, Spring 2012 [online]. Available at jime/ article/ view/ 2012-02 (accessed 2 November 2012).
Wiley, D. (2007) On the Sustainability of Open Educational Resource Initiatives in Higher Education, Paris, OECD. Also available online at dataoecd/ 33/ 9/ 38645447.pdf

MOOC tasks week 2

Activity 5: The case for learning objects
Timing: 1 hour
Read Downes (2001), Learning objects: resources for distance education worldwide .

Note: Downes goes into detail on many aspects that are not necessary for this course. You do not need to read the article in detail – your aim is to gain an understanding of what learning objects were and why they were seen as important.

Activity 6: Criticisms of learning objects
Timing: 1 hour
Three criticisms of learning objects are given below: you should read/watch at least one of these:
David Wiley sets out what he terms the ‘reusability paradox ’.
Norman Friesen raises three objections to learning objects in this paper: Three objections to learning objects and e-learning standards .
In this 2009 video [Transcript] Brian Lamb describes his experience with learning objects, which addresses many of the reasons why they didn’t realise the aims that Downes and others envisaged for them. Brian Lamb also explains some of the problems he encountered.

Part of the problem of learning objects was that it often seemed alien to everyday practice, so that getting educators to share their content in learning object repositories proved to be a barrier. Unlike sharing research findings in published journals, or sharing teaching resources informally within an institution, there was no real incentive or established practice for sharing teaching material on this scale. And, as Brian Lamb points out, there was a tendency to over-engineer the systems required, with specific standards that had a language of their own.
You might reflect here on whether you have, or would, share teaching resources using the learning object approach. What do you think would be the main issues for educators and teachers?

Activity 7: Exploring OER issues
Timing: 5 hours
Last week you created a list of three priorities you determined for open education. This activity builds on that work, but is based on further research in the area of OER.
Read three articles of your choice from a suggested OER reading list on Cloudworks. (Some are quite lengthy reports so you may wish to read just parts of these, depending on time.)
Based on your reading, write a blog post of around 500 words, setting out what you perceive as the three key issues in OER, and how these are being addressed.
For instance, if you feel that accreditation of informal learning is a key issue then you should state why this is significant and link to some of the ways it is being addressed; for example through Mozilla badges or the Peer 2 Peer University .
Remember to tag your post with #h817open.
Look at the course blog and read the issues of other students. Comment on at least one other post.

Badge: Completing this activity will make you eligible for the OER understanding badge, as explained in Week 1. You will need to blog your solution to this activity, and then go to Cloudworks and the Apply for Badge page . (You will need to be registered and logged-in to Cloudworks for the Apply for Badge button to appear.) A member of the course team will then check the evidence, and issue the badge. Applying for a badge is entirely optional.

Activity 8: An OER course
Timing: 8 hours
Imagine you are constructing a course in digital skills for an identified group of learners (e.g. undergraduates, new employees, teachers, mature learners, military personnel, etc.). It is a short, online course aimed at providing these learners with a set of resources for developing ‘digital skills’. It runs for five weeks, with a different subject each week, accounting for about six hours study per week.
Devise a broad outline of the topics to be covered every week. Don’t deliberate too much on this; it should be a coherent set of topics but you don’t actually have to deliver it.
Now see how much of your desired content could be accommodated by using OER repositories. Search the following repositories and make a quick evaluation for each week of your course of the type of content that is available.
Rice Connexions
You can use the following template for your evaluation. In the final column judge whether the resources are good, medium or bad in terms of suiting your needs.
Week Topic Resources Suitability (G/M/B)
Alternatively, you can input your evaluation into the form below.
Week 1
Activity 8: An OER course

Week 2
Activity 8: An OER course

Week 3
Activity 8: An OER course

Week 4
Activity 8: An OER course

Week 5
Activity 8: An OER course

Write a blog post, using your evaluation as the basis. Reflect upon whether the use of OER caused you to change what you wanted to teach, and what time saving (if any) would be gained by using OER.
Compare your evaluation with that of other students and comment in the forum on any differences.
A note on accessibility of OER repositories
Repositories often contain material from a wide variety of authors, and repositories take different approaches to ensuring the accessibility of these resources. Some make accessibility a requirement, while others offer guidelines. The accessibility of resources drawn from a wide range of authors is another factor in the use of OER that you should consider.

2.6 Week 2 References
Downes, S. (2001) ‘Learning objects: resources for distance education worldwide’, IRRODL, vol. 2, no. 1 [online], index.php/ irrodl/ article/ view/ 32/ 378 (accessed 6 November 2012).
Friesen, N. (2003) ‘Three objections to learning objects and e-learning standards’ in McGreal, R. (ed.) (2004) Online Education Using Learning Objects, London, Routledge, pp. 59–70. Draft available online at papers/ objections.html (accessed 6 November 2012).
Lamb, B. (2009) Who the hell is Brian Lamb? (video), Barry Dahl blog, 26 October [online], 2009/ 10/ 26/ who-the-hell-is-brian-lamb/ (accessed 6 November 2012).
Wiley, D. (2004) The Reusability Paradox, Connexions [online], content/ m11898/ 1.18/ (accessed 6 November 2012).

MOOC tasks week 1

Activity 1: Getting to know the open environment
Timing: 4 hours
Familiarise yourself with the open environment we are using for this open course by doing the following:
Look at the content of other units in the OpenLearn environment to get a feel for the navigation and the overall environment. You can explore any topic from the OpenLearn home page.
If you have not already done so, set up a blog, as mentioned above.
Register your blog with the course aggregator.
Post an introductory post to your blog, in which you explain why you’re studying this course and what your background is. Remember to tag it with #h817open (an explanation about tags can be found on Wikipedia ). The blog aggregator is not an OU-supported system, so it may take a day for your post to appear – please be patient. In the course we will also be using forums within the OpenLearn environment, so if you prefer you can use these instead of a blog.

Activity 2: Open education reading
Timing: 1 hour
Read Weller (2012), The openness–creativity cycle in education.
View Anderson (2009), Alt-C Keynote .

Activity 3: Representing open education
Timing: 4–6 hours
The two resources you’ve just read and viewed provide views on different aspects of what openness means in higher education.
Create a visual representation that defines openness in education by drawing on some of the concepts listed in Weller and Anderson (although it is not necessary to include all of them). You can use PowerPoint, an online tool such as Prezi or any other tool of your choice. You may like to share your tool of choice through the Week 1 forum so that others can decide what tool to use.
The key is to provide a representation that draws together the key concepts of openness as you perceive them. Save it in a form that is shareable, e.g. an image or an embeddable file from elsewhere (such as Flickr, Prezi, etc.).
Put your representation in a blog post, with a brief description of it. Remember to tag your post with the tag #h817open. Check that it appears in the course blog (it may take a while to appear).
If you have difficulty with visual representations, then you can alternatively create a representation in another medium, including text lists, or audio.

Activity 4: Identifying priorities for research
Timing: 3–4 hours
Imagine you are advising a funding organisation that wishes to promote activity and research in the area of open education.
Set out the three main priorities they should address, explaining each one and providing a justification for your list. Share this in the Week 1 forum and compare with priorities of others.
In this activity you are just expected to start thinking about these issues, and to use your own experience and intuition; you are not expected to research them in depth. You will build on this work during next week, and also for the assignment.
After sharing your list of priorities and examining (and hopefully commenting upon) those of two or three others, consider the following questions, which will give you some ideas as we move into the second week of the course:
Was there consensus about what were the key priorities?
Do you feel some issues would be more easily solved than others?
What would be effective ways to address some of the priorities listed?

1.6 Week 1 References
Anderson, T. (2009) Alt-C Keynote [online]. Available at terrya/ terry-anderson-alt-c-final (accessed 2 November 2012).
Weller, M. (2012) ‘The openness–creativity cycle in education’, Special issue on Open Educational Resources, JIME, Spring 2012 [online]. Available at jime/ article/ view/ 2012-02 (accessed 2 November 2012).

Problems accessing Open learn course pages

Is anyone else having problems accessing course pages today? Snowed in at home so settled down to do some of the pre-reading, but when I click on the links in welcome email I get Error message “invalid sams cookies” no problems yesterday so not sure what’s going on?

Testing tag

I’ve just enrolled on the OU Open Education MOOC and we’ve been asked to register our blogs. I set this one up accidentally ages ago while registering for a WP username (didn’t realise it would generate a blog automatically) but haven’t actually used it for anything though I have several other WP sites for different projects. Have decided to revive it for this course. Never used tags before as categories make more sense to me – but here goes, lets see if it gets picked up by the course blog aggregator….