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What\'s Next for OER and Open Education [clear filter]
Thursday, November 3

2:15pm EDT

The Open Learning Initiative at 15: Successes, Lessons Learned and the Road Ahead for OLI.
Founded at Carnegie Mellon University with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Open Learning Initiative is a now fifteen-year-old open educational research project. Leveraging CMU's traditional strengths in technology, the learning sciences and cross-disciplinary collaborations, OLI was initially conceived as a science-based exploration of how the affordances of technology and lessons from learning science can be leveraged to demonstrably enact instruction for learners. Designed to simultaneously improve learning and facilitate learning research, OLI courseware has been widely recognized for Its role in supporting students and instructors, and for it's success in discovering and improving approaches to engineering learning. Since that founding, the use and creation of OER has been more than a simple element in the OLI approach; open has been foundational in OLI's mission and principles, and is essential part of OLI's vision for research, community and the continuous improvement of courses.

This session will reflect on these first 15 years, providing an overview of OLI's history, with a high level look at the OLI's approach, results and key successes; the session will also consider failures and lessons learned. Key themes in this retrospective include: specific challenges of open in higher education; economics and sustainability; discoveries; community development; and supporting tools and technologies. A key focus: the "ÖO' in OLI. How fully has OLI participated in and lived up to open education's vision and ideals? What has been the result of the interplay between OLI's open and scientific agendas?

After considering OLI's history, the session will then look ahead, discussing OLI's current state and projects and longer-term strategic goals and future plans. Key to these plans are contributions to the tools, technologies and infrastructure that will support the next generation of open education; a continued, thoughtful participation in open education; a more forceful leadership role at the intersection between OER, data and analytics; strong push in realizing OER potential to improve outcomes through continuous improvement; the ongoing role of open education in driving and benefiting from scientific discovery.

The remainder of the session will solicit reactions from the audience on lessons learned, future plans and points of intersection with trends and participants in open education.

avatar for Norman Bier

Norman Bier

Executive Director Simon Initiative; Director, Open Learning Initiative, Carnegie Mellon University
Norman Bier has spent his career at the intersection of learning and technology, working to expand access to and improve the quality of education. He is currently the Executive Director of the Simon Initiative and the Director of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon... Read More →

Thursday November 3, 2016 2:15pm - 2:40pm EDT

2:40pm EDT

Connecting Open Courses to Tuition-free College Credit
As part of its "Direct Credit" program, Saylor Academy has 22 courses recommended for 64 credits, with guaranteed acceptance by 16 partner schools and another 40+ schools accepting some credit. under the American Council on Education's "Alternative Credit Project". University partners have forged additional programs using their own in-house quality review processes that recognize dozens of additional Saylor Academy courses for credit. In 2016 alone, students will save hundreds of thousands of tuition dollars toward starting - and, perhaps more importantly, completing - their degrees.

While the world wondered aloud about the elusiveness of college credit for MOOCs and learned about several high-profile (and laudable) public-private partnerships that connect specific employers with specific universities, Saylor Academy has quietly been connecting informal open learning opportunities to formal degree programs without regard for where the students live or who they work for.

In this presentation, we will discuss several initiatives that share the common thread of earning college credit for open courses, bypassing barriers of cost, geography, and time. Specifically, we will tell of our Saylor Direct Credit program, which sees our OER-rich courses put under rigorous external reviews, improved by educators working with Saylor Academy, and redeployed for credit-seeking and recreational learners alike; we will tell of our work with the University of Memphis, whose faculty independently vetted and approved Saylor Academy courses to support degree completion for students whose financial situations had delayed graduation indefinitely; we will tell of our partnership with City Vision University and Qualifi to offer a $5,000 bachelor's degree; we will tell of our founding participation in the Alternative Credit Project, to which we have contributed 14 OER-based courses with guaranteed transfer to dozens of schools.

Together, these programs have so far saved students hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition. Students whose graduation dates were indefinitely postponed due to financial hardship have since earned their degrees thanks to tuition-free courses made possible by open educational resources.

When open courses comprised of open resources are vetted and recommended for college credit, everybody wins - partner schools, formal and informal students, the public, and HEIs more generally. The programs that we have piloted can readily be replicated by additional colleges and universities for a low implementation cost and a strong reward in terms of student retention and completion rates. The work put into Saylor Academy open courses as a result of quality reviews pays dividends to the open community through our open-licensed syllabi, learning outcomes, and both curated and original content.

avatar for Sean Connor

Sean Connor

Director of Community Relations, Saylor Academy
Open online courses; LMS; marketing; business & institutional use cases for OER; community management; libraries; edtech; equity; college affordability; alternative credit options; alternative credentials.
avatar for Devon Ritter

Devon Ritter

Director of Education, Saylor Academy

Thursday November 3, 2016 2:40pm - 3:05pm EDT
Friday, November 4

10:30am EDT

The Future of Open and Online? Toward Peer-Led Collaborative Learning
One of the traditional models for peer learning involves a group of students gathering in the library or a coffee shop, pulling out their textbooks and class lecture notes, and helping each other consolidate their learning by looking up information in their books or notes and solving example problems (for math or science courses) together.

Today, in the age of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and other open and online courses that enroll tens of thousands of students, it would be nice to have a way of fostering the same kind of small, intimate study groups that exist in this traditional peer learning model. But how can we do this?

At UC Irvine, we have been developing a prototype for a web application that combines all of these activities - content search, real-time communication, and collaborative problem solving - into one system centered on our large topically indexed OpenChem video lectures . The application associates OER video and textual explanations with problems, solutions and even simulations. It allows peer groups to manage online study groups, and meet virtually for collaborative study sessions.


Students enter a search term and the system returns links to all lecture videos in the OpenChem library that address that topic. The system simultaneously returns associated text from an open source, such as UC Davis' ChemWiki or an OpenStax textbook, as well as selected relevant practice problems on which the students can work together online.


Students who wish to join study groups create accounts for themselves in the system. An advanced student who has been trained as a peer leader can then set up these groups and invite students to join. He/she can also use the system to initiate synchronous online study sessions that employ VOIP voice communications and a shared whiteboard for collaborative work.


The students log into their accounts when their study session is scheduled to begin and access the online conferencing feature. The peer leader guides their study, perhaps by using the search function to find relevant videos and text, and the students can use the shared whiteboard capability to work on practice problems together.

One of the advantages of this system is that the content is carefully curated so students can find answers through video and associated text more quickly than they could by searching through class notes or textbooks. Because the content is curated, only relevant and useful information is returned from the searches, which makes more effective use of students' study time by reducing the time needed to find answers and increasing the time available for collaborative problem solving.

Our presentation will provide more details about this peer learning application as well as encourage discussion on ways to bring massive learning contexts down to a human scale.


Stefano Stefan

University of California, Irvine

Friday November 4, 2016 10:30am - 10:55am EDT

10:55am EDT

Credits for MOOCs
Delft University of Technology started the Credit for MOOCs initiative to move the international recognizing of MOOCs forward. The alliance started with 7 universities: Rice University (US), University of British Columbia (Canada), EPFL in Lausanne (Switzerland), Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), University of Queensland and Australia National University (Australia). The alliance will extended with 3 more universities in the next couple of months.

The alliance starts with a 3 year pilot project in which each university offers around 10 MOOC for credits. Students of their own university and of the partner university can receive credit for the MOOCs. This can be seen as a virtual exchange program where not the students, but the exams travel. The first students can participate in January 2017.

The alliance is based on trust. If a university gives credit for a mooc for their own students, other should also give credit for it. For most of the MOOCs additional proctored assessment is necessary. The course team of the MOOC decided what additional assessment is necessary to give credit.

Within the alliance there is only transfer of credit, no money transfer. To make the transfer easier the alliance is setting up a coding system for the MOOCs: level, workload, type of assessment, etc.

avatar for Willem van Valkenburg

Willem van Valkenburg

President Open Education Consortium, Delft University of Technology
President of the Board of Open Education Consortium.

Friday November 4, 2016 10:55am - 11:20am EDT

11:30am EDT

The Open Research Agenda
The Open Education Research Hub (OER Hub) is an award-winning open education research group based at The Open University, UK. The Open Research Agenda is a global consultation exercise that has been taking place throughout 2016 and will reach its final presentation at Open Education. So far, contributions have been received from dozens of key stakeholders in the open education world and results presented at the Open Education Global 2016; OER16; CALRG Annual Conference 2016 and other international meetings and events. At the time of writing (Apr 2016) we have received contributions from 60 respondents across 17 countries (5 continents) but this is expected to significantly increase by the time of presentation.

One of the aims of this ongoing consultation is to understand how different stakeholders (advocates; educators; funders; managers; producers; policymakers; students) in different countries perceive the challenges and priorities for research into open education. Analysis of the existing results will be presented with key findings and talking points highlighted. The conference session will be divided between plenary presentation of key findings and moderated discussion involving delegates, who will be encouraged to contribute to the consultation. The session will be used to interrogate and validate existing results as well as generate new data about research priorities.

Key thematic findings that have already emerged include:

- Different research agendas for the Global North / Global South

- Understanding barriers to adoption

- Recognition of non-formal learning resulting from use of open resources

- Understanding OER policy through key implementation drivers

- Sustainability in the OER ecosystem

The consultation is also supported online through the project website and social media accounts, allowing contribution from those who cannot make the session in person but also allowing participants to connect with others who have taken part.

avatar for Robert Farrow

Robert Farrow

Senior Research Fellow, The Open University
Senior Research Fellow @openuniversity / Open Education through a philosophical lens / Projects: @oer_hub @gogn_oer / Cat: @tailz_of_terrorProject URLS:http://oerhub.net/https://oerworldmap.org/http://go-gn.net/http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/

Martin Weller

Open University

Friday November 4, 2016 11:30am - 11:55am EDT

1:15pm EDT

FutuOER: Designing the Next Generation of Open Education
What is the future of Open Education? This panel and audience discussion will explore possible visions of open education in 2036, using a series of broadly solicited papers as a starting point. These essays are available at http://futuOER.org — please review, comment and consider in preparation for this discussion.

The "open education" conversation of the last few years has been consumed with the hype of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the use of Open Textbooks and Open Educational Resources (OERs) as the savior for spiraling college costs. However, these discussions obscure an underlying opportunity for Open Education-one that is not driven by a vendor's interests nor governed by the constraints of higher education's traditional models--to focus on demonstrated learning and mastery for the betterment of oneself whether in formal or informal settings.

Combining longstanding approaches from instructional design, psychology and learning science with new affordances provided by advances in technology and data science afford us an opportunity to build the better mousetrap when combined with the core philosophy of the "open education movement." Recent conversations have focused around OER 2.0, but these are mired in the world of today-politics, limitations and hype-to really consider what a truly innovative and game changing innovation might be possible with Open Education. This panel discussion will explore what we believe is truly possible with the understanding, tools and resources at our disposal.

One of the strongest benefits of the "open" of today (whether they be traditional OER, MOOCs, Open Textbooks or anything open) is the scale at which educators, administrators and policy makers at a wide range of institutions are really beginning to pay attention to "Instructional Design 101" in the way they design and construct learning experiences. (Yes, they should have been doing this all along!) Whether they are driven by cost considerations, or the hype of MOOCs many faculty are looking at their courses with fresh eyes. In examining their instructional practice, more and more faculty find the need to rethink the way they've been teaching. This is an incredible opportunity to use open-educational resources, practice, pedagogy, data and more-to build a true next generation learning experience. What if we dare to dream? What does education look like in 20 years if we can side-step existing constraints, use a true open approach and leverage new scientific and pedagogical advances?

At the core of the matter are the following questions: What have we learned or do we know about how "open" can amplify effective learning experiences? And how do we realize these things in next generation of Open Education?

We begin with what we know includes things such as: competencies; learning outcomes; analytics; the power of scale; interactive, feedback loops; limitless formative assessment included in or linked to content; generative learning; linking digital with hands-on/physical; and so on. And continue with what's possible with creative integration and innovative approaches to open education.

avatar for Norman Bier

Norman Bier

Executive Director Simon Initiative; Director, Open Learning Initiative, Carnegie Mellon University
Norman Bier has spent his career at the intersection of learning and technology, working to expand access to and improve the quality of education. He is currently the Executive Director of the Simon Initiative and the Director of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon... Read More →

Una Daly

Director Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), Open Education Consortium
Una Daly is the Director of Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), a partner in Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative and the California Zero Textbook Cost Degree program. She also was OER Library Services Manager for the California Open Online... Read More →
avatar for Cable Green

Cable Green

Director of Open Education, Creative Commons
avatar for David Kernohan

David Kernohan

The Followers of the Apocalypse
avatar for Brandon Muramatsu

Brandon Muramatsu

Associate Director, Projects, MIT
avatar for Hal Plotkin

Hal Plotkin

Senior Open Policy Fellow, Creative Commons USA
Particularly interested in strategies for promoting institutional and instructor adoption of open educational resources.
avatar for Katsusuke Shigeta

Katsusuke Shigeta

Associate Professor, Hokkaido University, Japan
Associate Director at Center for Open Education, Hokkaido University. Open Education and Educational Technology
avatar for Kim Thanos

Kim Thanos

CEO, Lumen Learning
avatar for Willem van Valkenburg

Willem van Valkenburg

President Open Education Consortium, Delft University of Technology
President of the Board of Open Education Consortium.

Martin Weller

Open University

Friday November 4, 2016 1:15pm - 2:05pm EDT
Grand Ballroom

2:15pm EDT

Indie as Open: Decentralizing the University with Personal API's
What happens if we break student data out of the bowels of the institution, hand it back to students, and provide them with an API to moderate institutional access? It's a revolt against centralized, monetized, dehumanized data farming (our cultural paradigm?) - and it makes awareness of digital exploitation fundamental to the pedagogical mission of the university.

A Personal API creates a culture of openness, promoting digital literacy by revealing the structures of institutional data-gathering on the one hand and lending students and third party providers the documentation to create their own tools on the other. Sounds something like EdTech going Indie, going Open.

After meeting in March of 2016 at the #IndieEdTech weekend at Davidson College Kin, Phil, Olga, Adam, Erika, and Andrew connected around this two-fold mission of the Personal API. Kin Lane, the API Evangelist, and Adam Croom, Director of Digital Learning at the University of Oklahoma, will discuss the technological and ideological implications of using retainable, reusable, revisable, remixable, and redistributable API's. Andrew and Erika will offer student perspectives, showing that revealing the structure of the institution built for you can only do its job when students design the structures with you. Phil Windley, Enterprise Architect in the Office of the CIO at BYU, and Olga Belikov, a BYU Instructional Psychology and Technology graduate student, will outline BYU's implementation of complementary University and Personal API's.

This panel represents a reclamation of identity and power in education through decentralized data ownership and use.

avatar for Olga Belikov

Olga Belikov

Student, Brigham Young University

Andrew Rikard

Student, Class of '17, Davidson College

Friday November 4, 2016 2:15pm - 3:05pm EDT

3:15pm EDT

In the MOOD: Building the Creative Commons Certification
Deeply woven into successful open education and pedagogy is an understanding and practice of what Lumen Learning defines as the 5R Permissions - Retaining, Reusing, Revising, Remixing and Redistributing content and ideas. As one of the most visible ways to communicate these permissions, Creative Commons makes the 5Rs clear in the licensing of over a billion pieces of content.

But *understanding* Creative Commons-- as a content producer, as a content user, or as organizations supporting open practices-- is more than reciting a list of licenses. Therefore a new project has been underway to develop a Creative Commons Certification to provide organizations and individuals with a range of ways to demonstrate their knowledge and use of Creative Commons to place even more information into public spaces. It's value is in the focus on a certification of performed skills and principles, not just an examination of factual knowledge.

Openly sharing materials is a common value for the the Open Education community, and in this project we are pushing openness farther by sharing the process of design and develop of the Certification. We absolutely implore that this *not* to become a repeated acronym, but we share in this presentation how the project is an experiment in Massive Open OER Development.

This work is being done openly with opportunities for public input at every step, it's being built on an ecosystem of open licensed educational resources already developed, and is designed in a way for institutions in many sectors, not just education, to remix to best serve their needs. We will be sharing as many things that go wrong as well as what works.

At the core a Creative Commons Master Certificate defines the general body of knowledge and skills needed to master the use of Creative Commons. Being certified will show a broad and deep understanding of all things Creative Commons and demonstrated by practices and work openly visible in the world.

Our work is using and influenced by the software development process of GitHub, where what we are building is (a) visible as we build it; (b) open to participation by anyone interested; (c ) created in a manner here it ultimately can be remixed for different organizations, cultures, and locations.

In fact the certificates are being built as "forks" of the Master Certificate, for specific sectors of individuals and organizations that have expressed interest of adding components that are more specific to their work.. The first ones being developed address the needs for showing understanding and application of Creative Commons in Higher Education, Government, and Libraries.

This presentation will provide more than a summary of the collaborative development and work team structure in the first third of the project (to be completed in September 2017); we are going to have the audience get right into the MOOD with us and contribute to the project.

avatar for Paul Stacey

Paul Stacey

Associate Director of Global Learning, Creative Commons
Co-author, with Sarah Pearson, of Kickstarter funded book “Made With Creative Commons". Institute for Open Leadership mentor and facilitator. Creative Commons certificate program lead. Keen interest in role of the commons in the future economy. Bare feet, ocean kayaking, and ping... Read More →

Friday November 4, 2016 3:15pm - 3:40pm EDT

3:15pm EDT

OER scholarship in review: The thematic past and possible future of OER research
"Open" has received increased attention and investment from educators over the past decade. One such investment has led to the proliferation of open educational resources (OER). Generally, open educational resources are considered to be, "teaching and learning materials that provide users with (1) free and unfettered access and (2) 5R legal permissions to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them, that can be used to replace traditional expensive learning resources (such as textbooks)" (http://openedgroup.org/review).

As the field of open education has emerged, the number of available resources has grown exponentially to include a wide variety of instructional materials such as free alternatives to traditional textbooks like those published by OpenStax (http://www.openstaxcollege.org), historical publications and artifacts made available in the public domain, open source multimedia and information sources (such as TED Talks or Khan Academy), and open access academic journal articles. Creative Commons, the prominent open licensing organization, found that application of their open licenses grew from 800 million materials in 2014 to over one billion by the end of 2015 (Creative Commons, 2015). The future of educational resources online is increasingly open.

Given the rising costs associated with post-secondary education, it is unsurprising that OER have seen such rapid growth and development. Colleges and universities that move toward OER will likely assure student access to materials from the first day of class as well as a significant cost savings. As is often the case with any new movement, much of the evidence that currently exists about such OER benefits is anecdotal. Empirical evaluation is needed to determine if and how these resources compare to their monetized counterparts and to validate long-term strategies for lowering costs while improving learning outcomes for students.

One of the best ways to comprehensively legitimize OER is by reviewing and contributing peer-reviewed research about these resources. Given the novelty of the subject matter, the pool of peer-reviewed and published research is a small one. By examining the types of studies that have taken place and the research questions that have been answered thus far, however, certain themes and possibilities may construct a publication-rich path forward for those of us investigating OER. This presentation details the results of a study in which we evaluated the current state of peer-reviewed, OER-focused research by way of the following considerations:

1. What peer-reviewed literature exists about OER?
2. How might we best classify these publications?
3. What are the trends have emerged in OER scholarship over time?
4. How might we describe the current state of OER literature?
5. What future implications and opportunities exist for OER researchers? ξ

By highlighting what the field already knows and publishes about OER, this presentation employs data-driven speculation about the types of OER research studies that will most benefit the future of "open."

avatar for Alesha Baker

Alesha Baker

Oklahoma State University

Deanna Cozart

Coordinator of Open Educational Resources, The University of Georgia
avatar for Jonathan Lashley

Jonathan Lashley

Senior Instructional Technologist, Boise State University

Friday November 4, 2016 3:15pm - 3:40pm EDT