Open Educational Resources Research
One facet of my work over the last few years has been around Open Educational Resources. Having made much use of others’ resources (whether OER or not) and trying to contribute many of my own before starting my MPhil, I could see the huge value in having shared, remixable, multi-media resources.
So I was delighted when I managed to get a job working on an OER project while at Cambridge (the ORBIT project). That project got me involved in Wikimedia UK, and some Wikipedia editing, it also set me up nicely for another contract at the OU on the EdFutures Wiki, creating OER around educational technology issues.
I have some questions (targets for research?) through some of this work, in no particular order (and not particularly exhaustive):
- How do people make sense of the decisions made in structuring OER when creating their own remix?
- How are talk pages, comments sections, and other forms of attached dialogue used in OER? (E.g. to co-construct, to share, to state knowledge?)
- How do we indicate adaptation (in the ORBIT project we used a template, git, etc. have versioning and branching as a core feature – but these aren’t widely used in non-code contexts?)
- How do people exhibit their expertise (and observe other’s expertise) through OER?
- What can paradata tell us about resources, and learning pathways
- What are the economic and pedagogic implications of instructors collaborating on ‘open remixable courses’ (massive or otherwise)?
- What impact does open v closed have on development of theory and research, e.g. reprinting costs of figures – which often illustrate theory or constructs – may restrict development of theory and derivatives of those figures
- Open source software, how do we develop openly and widely used, e.g. I continuously find very good partially finished software products, NVivo and Atlas.ti are both expensive but there is no good alternative, perhaps in part due to the imperative to submit grant requests for new projects rather than for projects extending earlier (open) work by other groups.
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