Innovations in the Reuse of Electronic Learning Materials:
Enabling Communities of Practice
September 23, 2005 - 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
At the Open University Business School, Milton Keynes
· A broad and expanding spectrum of electronic learning materials is currently in use in universities, industry and other settings. These materials have the potential to transform education, but there are countless ways that reality may end up falling short of this potential. The aim of this conference is to identify a path toward a world in which the sharing of innovative learning materials is both commonplace and effective.
· We have the following goals, to:
o Identify Enablers and Barriers in the Reuse of Electronic Learning Materials
o Link Innovations in Reuse with Communities of Practice
· Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI)
· MIT Engineering Systems Learning Center (ESLC)
· UK Open University
· TU Delft
· This is the third in a series of conferences sponsored by CMI and ESLC. The first was on "Legal Issues in e-Learning," held in Cambridge, England, September 16, 2003. The second was on "New Frontiers in Electronic Learning Materials," held in Boston, Massachusetts, June 1, 2004,
Welcome, Overview and Expectations
KRN Welcome - William J. Nuttall, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
· This is the third in a series of workshops, with the first one centered on legal issues in e-learning and the second one focused on new frontiers in e-learning
Open University Welcome - Paul Clark - Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching
· Appreciation for the importance of the topic and introductions of the keynote speakers
Workshop Expectations - Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Sloan School of Management, MIT
· Review of the objectives, design and highlights from the first two workshops
Part I: Sponsoring a Systems Change in UK Higher Education
Keynote Address 1 - Liz Beaty, Director of Learning and Teaching at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
· Communities of practice are an important theme
o Communities of practice along side the technology makes sense as the theme for this third conference - it is very timely
o The focus at HEFCE is now on what we are terming "embedding" - appreciating the learning materials in context
o People are constantly pushing the frontier - both experts and young people - but the vast majority are in the middle who need to be focused on what is possible now and anticipated what is happening at the frontier
o Some of the communities are about experts in technology, others are about experts in pedagogy, and others are users in many fields
· It is all about connectivity
o Back at the OU in the early years there were communities associated with course design and communities associated with IET
o At the time people didn't like all the resources going to IET, though each faculty group did like their IET representative who was working with them
o A challenge to maintain the core expertise in IET around the new technology, but to also be embedded in the faculty community
o It should not be forced one way or another - the connections both ways are needed
o At the University of Coventry - experience with faculty, senior management and others all connected together in new innovation
o In learning and teaching, much of the focus is on quality and standards, as well as enhancement of innovation, which includes e-learning (which we may refer to as mobile learning or by other names in the years to come)
o We should not be thinking of e-learning as separate from other aspects of learning and teaching
o We have a great deal of resources, which need to be deployed further down - close to where the work is taking place
o People in higher education policy like hand-shaking moments, but our challenge is to support innovation that may or may not lend itself to such events
o The focus on e-learning at HEFCE covers all sectors in UK education
§ Oriented at different development levels
§ Connecting to hard to reach groups
§ Opening education partnerships
§ Promoting innovation and efficiency improvements
o Partnership linking JISC and HEA
§ JISC supports an e-learning research centre
§ Benchmarking project - fostering clubs of institutions in different sectors, as well as international benchmarks
§ Pathfinder projects
· Lessons from the past
o UK e-University
§ A large amount of funding that may have been too early in terms of timing - a disconnect
§ The results might be different now
o Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning (FDTL)
§ Did create communities of practice - did provide funds with a requirement of collaboration
§ A key lesson in the value of creating materials in collaboration with the community
o Computers in teaching initiative
o Teaching and Learning Technology Support Network (TLTSN)
§ Funding was for projects to develop materials for communities, but too often the materials sat on the shelf since it was not created with the community
§ If re-usable materials are very tiny they may be used, but beyond that involvement of the community is needed
o Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP)
o Overall lesson - to not foster innovation on the behalf of others, but to enable the educators to lead the innovation
· Current funding initiatives -- HEFCE
§ 74 Centres at 350 million GDP
o Strategic development fund
§ Life-long learning networks - with e-learning and connectivity
§ Important learning on cross-cultural teaching and learning
o e-Learning capital fund
§ 33 million GDP injection in institutions
o Strategic subjects
Keynote Address 2 - Derek Morrison, Acting Head of e-Learning at the Higher Education Academy
· Innovation, innovation but where's the change coming from?
o Consider how the drive towards reusability of learning materials and, more recently, reusable learning designs is underpinned by national strategies and bodies like JISC and the Higher Education Academy.
o Consider a few of the challenges to the concept of planned provision of reusable learning materials in a fast changing world of multiple choices, new technologies, and changing expectations.
· Drivers of change
o Despite the massive investments in what we currently know as e-learning there has been a paucity of joined up strategic thinking to guide how to best exploit the 'white hot heat' of new technologies for teaching and learning. . . until now!
· DfES 5 Year e-Strategy
o Published in March 2005
o Emphasis on the learner experience, the learner voice.
o Digital literacy
o Greater personalisation and choice, e.g. personal learning environments, quality e-tools, e-content, connectivity, repositories
o Commitment to leadership and staff development
o Effective partnerships (Academy, JISC, ALT, UCISA, Leadership Foundation, SEDA, SCONUL, BECTA )
o Supporting cross-sectoral progression, e.g. e-portfolios
o Support for internal and external online communities of practice
· HEFCE E-Learning Strategy
o Published in March 2005. It has 7 strands:
o Pedagogy, curriculum design and development
o Learning resources and networked learning
o Student support, progression & collaboration
o Strategic management, human resources & capacity development
o Research and evaluation
o Infrastructure and technical standards
o And very specific goals
§ With additional strategies for Scotland, Wales, etc.
· HEFCE Strategy - a Ten-Year Timespan
o Along with the other national strategies, the HEFCE strategy will be one of the key influences on our e-learning activities over the next decade.
§ A coherent strategy based on lessons learned in the past
o Responsibility for implementation falls to the whole sector. The Academy and JISC, however, have been tasked to exploit and develop their synergies to help the sector realise the strategy.
· HEFCE Strategy
o The HEFCE e-learning strategy has a timeframe of 10 years so we're not talking about everything happening tomorrow.
o Over a 10 year period we should expect to revisit and refine the strategy.
o Such refinement will be informed by the Academy/JISC Benchmarking and Pathfinder Programme.
· Sector Activities
o Additional HEFCE Funding from March 06 to support JISC to meet objectives of the strategies
o Network Infrastructure
o User Environments
o Repositories & Preservation
· Some of the Sector's Activities Related to Reuse
o Multitude of relevant JISC programmes, services, projects, e.g. CETIS (metadata & pedagogy SIGs), Collections, JORUM, RDN, Digital Repositories (CD-LOR), X4L (RELOAD), ELP (DeL)
o Academy Subject Centres (24 in total across UK)
§ Not just the tools, also studying the issues, affordances, constraints
§ RDN/SC Interoperability projects
§ Creation or aggregation of RLOs, e.g C-SAP's Statistical Methods, Social Work & Policy's Virtual Seminars
§ Repurpose TLTP materials, e.g GEES, Materials & Engineering
§ Scoping Studies/Case Studies, e.g. Music, English (inc LAMS), History, Medicine, GEES
§ Question Banks, e.g. Economics
o CETLs - 74 in England, 7 in NI, e.g. CETL in Reusable Learning Objects (London Metropolitan, Cambridge and Nottingham). 15 e-learning related.
o Accredited reusable staff development resources about e-learning (for PG Certificates and CPD) - JISC/Academy are funding consultancy phase (2005-2006). Implementation funding for 2006-2008 allocated.
o See also: Subject Centre Distributed e-Learning Strand Projects
§ www.heacademy.ac.uk/1877.htm or http://www.connect.ac.uk/ixbin/hixltp?page=projects (search = distributed e-learning)
o An example of distributed resources:
· Additional examples , including a CETL working with a Subject Centre - a process of collaboration among parts
· Challenges to the comfort zone?
o Technology as an innovative way of not changing
o Reusable content does not deep learning make
o Technological determinism?
o The reusability paradox?
o The ipod generation arises
o The impact of broadband and wireless networking
o Grass-roots standards and applications - IMS, SCORM, and new disruptive technologies
o Distributed, decentralized, self-organizing systems versus mega repositories
o User expectations and rights - what about student generated content
o The growing relevance of user generated/remixed content
· The reality is that we are still locked into the traditional, passive knowledge transfer model
· SCORM as a limited pedagogical model - not enough, for example, about collaborative learning
· Bloom's taxonomy extends through knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation - with progressively more integration and progressively harder to evaluate and assess
· A need to align:
o Resources, outcomes, assessment, activities - as well as surrounding environment
· The reusability paradox - materials are most effective in context, but reusability is best without context
· Anticipating the ipod generation and the web-based focus and the blogs and more
Panel Discussion: Goals and Aims for the use of Electronic Learning Materials
· Appreciation for the partners that we have had in our Centre
· A simple question - what is the most effective way to disseminate what we are doing - so that funds are not wasted
o There is no one best way to disseminate
o The real power is to begin within your institution and then use naturally arising events
o The web is a valuable resource
· The turbulent zone - what does this mean for the identity of the university? Is the university of life catching up with the formal university?
o This is not yet the case - consider the comfort of MIT in giving away content and still retaining its brand and its role
o Consider what can be decentralized, but the role of the degree or certificate will remain at the university
o A need to be more relaxed about the IPR issues
· This focuses on the top three categories in Bloom's pyramid
o But universities are not sufficiently focused on the higher layers - still based in the lower levels, which are the comfort zone
· There is a larger re-usability paradox - tension around collaboration and the competitive dynamics in higher education - pressures around the competitive status of the universities
o A focus with funding on collaboration - strong public support for that
o The real competitive advantage is around how many connections we can make
o Universities were first enabled by libraries that connected knowledge - now it is in the role of manager and arbiter of the conduits
· A concern with two addictions and one aversion
o Addiction to content and addiction to technology
o Aversion around reusable objects connected to pedagogy
o Thrilled to see people using the term pedagogy and think about teaching and learning
· Comment from JISC
o Very excited by what we have heard today
o As the digital repositories program manager our program is focused on pedagogy and on the higher levels of the pyramid
Part II: Current Practice (first of two parallel sessions)
Group A: James Aczel - moderater; Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, recorder
Additional comments from combined session:
· Additional contrast in projects driven top-down from funding sources and bottom-up from users - though all had elements of each
· Contrast in the degree to which the mission included user statistics and other research on use beyond the statistics
Group A: Additional Detail from Presentations
Dan Carchidi, MIT, Open CourseWare
Fall 1999 - Faculty committee appointed
Fall 2000 - "OpenCourseWare" concept recommended to MIT President Charles M. Vest
April 2001 - MIT OCW announced in The New York Times
Institutional Decision Making
· "OpenCourseWare looks counterintuitive in a market-driven world. But it really is consistent with what I believe is the best about MIT. It is innovative. It expresses our belief in the way education can be advanced - by constantly widening access to information and by inspiring others to participate."
- Charles M. Vest, President Emeritus of MIT
Vision to Reality
June 2001 - Funding partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
September 2002 - MIT OCW pilot site with 50 courses
September 2003 - Official launch with 506 courses
April 2004 - 200 courses, bringing total to 701
September 2004 - 200 courses, bringing total to 915
April 2005 - 175 new courses, 25 updated courses, bringing total to 1100
Steady state goal would be 1,800 courses
What OCW is not
An MIT education
Intended to represent the interactive classroom environment
What OCW is
A Web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content
Open and available to the world
A permanent MIT activity
Implementation - course site highlights
Labs and Projects
Access by Country:
Visitors generally fit one of three user profiles:
§ Educators are 15.3% of all MIT OCW traffic; Students are 31.4%; Self-learners are 48.2%
66% of visitors hold a bachelor's or master's degree
Visitors most interested in courses in electrical engineering, business, physics, and mathematics
Use of materials
Links to additional universities with domains of expertise the complement MIT
Feedback from around the world - According to users, OpenCourseWare is:
" the Eighth Wonder of the World."
" the Big Bang of the Knowledge Universe."
" the greatest thing any institution of higher learning has ever done."
" one of the best things ever in history."
" like falling in love."
" the coolest thing on the Internet."
" worthy of the next Nobel Peace Prize."
Practical questions - Barriers
Course specificity - can we reuse the periodic table?
What is the social component to reuse? Can resources be reused fully without a clear understanding of the context in which they were created?
Concept of flash back and flash forward
Evaluating benefits. Visitors, hits, anecdotal information, but is social capital being enhanced?
Practical questions - Enablers
Freely available to reconfigure, translate and re-purpose
OCW courses feed back into the teaching and learning process. Flash back, flash forward.
Thank You! - Visit MIT OpenCourseWare online at http://ocw.mit.edu
Visit the "Opencourseware How To" site on the Web at http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/HowTo/index.htm
Focus on next steps in sharing at the level of individual learning objects rather than an orientation at a course at a time
John Leake, Cambridge, The DoITPoMS Project: an "embedded" resource?
v What is it?
Ψ "Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science"
Ψ Think of this as individual atoms that go into the bricks that make up something like OCW
v How did it come about?
Ψ collaborators in HEFCE FDTL3 Project 8/99
Ψ additional support from the UKCME
Ψ cooperation with MATTER
Focus on: What is it?
v Micrograph Library
Ψ over 800 micrographs with descriptions
v Teaching and Learning Packages (TLPs)
Ψ 22 on web, 10 in development
v No ipr restrictions for academic use
Some Lessons from Experience
v Personnel needed to create such resources
Ψ Skilled project staff in addition to academic staff
Ψ Summer vacation students - students helping to create resources provide ideas, rapid feedback and frank evaluation
v Some difficulties faced
Ψ Recruitment and retention of skilled project staff
Ψ Browser/platform variations
Ψ Restricted software availability on some institutional networks
v How were these difficulties overcome?
Ψ Not all have! Over some we have no control
v UKCME supporting work developing further TLPs
v Acquisition of further micrographs (from around the world)
v CMI (Cambridge-MIT Institute) project developing "Instructor Resource Modules"
How are resources being used?
v Academic Staff
Ψ demonstration/illustration in lectures
Ψ preparation for and use in supervisions (tutorials)
v Graduate Teaching Assistants
Ψ preparation for teaching in practicals
Ψ preparation for and use in supervisions (tutorials)
v Students in connection with
Ψ preparation for/revision of practicals
Ψ source of information for use with Question Sheets
What impact are we having?
v Greater awareness of web-based teaching resources generally:
Ψ amongst students, amongst graduate teaching assistants, amongst academic staff
v But is DoITPoMS yet "embedded"?
Encouraging wider take up
v What factors encourage take-up of such resources for students in other courses and institutions?
Ψ resources that are easy to incorporate - bite-size is better
Ψ that illustrate and augment, rather than sweep away
Ψ academic staff are given opportunities for hands-on experience - e.g. organise a workshop
Ψ colleagues from other institutions involved during development
v For other academics to take-up such resources
Ψ (i) what would they need to know:
Ψ what they wish to achieve!
Ψ what is available - should be readily located via Subject Centre, Google, Psigate, EEVL, ... (depending on discipline)
Ψ (ii) what would they need to do;
Ψ consider use within lectures
Ψ assess the infrastructure implications
Ψ devise suitable material to encourage students to work through the on-line resources regularly, e.g. question sheets, briefings for practicals
Factors influencing academic staff
v trust - in the content (and in the authors)
Ψ former often influenced by knowledge of latter
v technical quality
Ψ very important; students are accustomed to computer-based material of high technical quality
v ease of use - by staff; expected ease of use by students
Ψ standard layout
v in favour
Ψ recognition of current student expectations
Ψ time-commitment in incorporating "external" resources into lectures or practicals (vs the next RAE)
Ψ "I could do better, if only I had the time"
v critical mass
Ψ successful initiation is much more likely with more than one enthusiast based in the Department (vs central exhortation)
v high-level support
Ψ recognition - it's more than a spare-time activity!
Ψ provision of resources for implementation
v What has been particularly successful in our project?
Ψ Involvement of students and several academic staff
Ψ Employment of Project Officer with substantial (school) teaching experience and high-level computing skills
v What about the future?
Ψ Teaching resources, especially computer-based resources, soon grow tired; maintenance is essential; skilful staff input will continue to be required to provide TLC
Interest from other subject areas - most technical - broader applicability?
Initial format of the micrograph library derived from medical applications
Interesting contrast with OCW - very narrow subject area and high granularity of learning objects
Tony Walton, OU, The Open University's Open Content Initiative - a brief overview
n In one sense, open sharing is not new to the OU
n Experience with sharing through television distribution
n Materials available for purchase at relatively low cost
What OU plans to do
n By next Spring launch a two year pilot project
n Over the two year period, develop an open content curriculum
n During the pilot, test out using different kinds of material in various formats
n Find out how effective open content delivery is with a variety of audiences
Why an open content initiative at the OU
n Technological and global forces are transforming the conditions of access to content
n These forces are impacting on the current intellectual property regime which is inevitably going to have to be reviewed
n Creativity and innovation may be dependent on the sharing of content
n Wish to participate in the growing open content provider community
Adding value - challenges for the OU
n Moving beyond providing content to the delivery of learning opportunities- learning management and community building
n Deploying content designed for distance learning
n Deploying content designed for e-learning
n Using open content to widen participation
Conditions for success
n Curriculum materials prove not to be central to the OU business model
n There is a sustainable model for on-going delivery which reinforces the core business
n There is success in delivering learning management as well as curriculum content
n It proves possible to reach audiences on a large scale
n There is success in widening participation
n There is a global impact
n Key questions around the role of faculty - engaging with users as well as contributing content
n Deploying content designed for e-learning
Erica McAteer, Strathclyde, Development experience with the AERS-TLRP Masters' modules
using the architecture and functionality of a 'Virtual Research Environment' developed across a wide network of UK research projects over the past three years, to provide a Virtual Learning Portal to web content and resource for postgraduate training in educational research.
Piloting this year within an MSc in Applied Educational Research, the web materials should be freely accessible for repurposing by the UK HE institutions for use in their own programmes of research training.
The Applied Educational Research Scheme:
3 substantive themed research networks
A fourth network dedicated to research
capacity building, developing:
a training programme of four core modules
· Educational research and enquiry
· Design strategies in educational research
· Data collection in educational research
· Data analysis in educational research
Plus 7 additional optional modules
· SAKAI open source software - not perfect, but it is what we are using for the VRE
· Pedagogies narrative, interactive, communicative, productive
· Learning content and practice
· Research case context, questions, instruments, findings, participants
· Tools and resources
· This is one way of thinking about resources and it also links to communities of practice
o Importance of stakeholder groups all convinced of their individual value
o As a community engaging across boundaries - peripherality, not marginality
Steve Rogers, Edinburgh, Experience with JORUM
JORUM is a JISC-funded collaborative venture in UK Higher and Further Education to collect and share learning and teaching materials, allowing their reuse and repurposing. JORUM stands as a national statement of the importance of creating interoperable, sustainable materials.
The service will be jointly run between the EDINA and MIMAS national data centres
Service in Development - JORUM Contributor and User
JORUM Contributor - allows colleges and universities to share learning and teaching materials with one another.
This will launch before JORUM User to build up content and will begin as soon as possible
JORUM User - provides access to the materials themselves.
Other areas of work: R&D - A new research and development strand will run in parallel with the JORUM service
Enabling Contributor and User Communities
Main focus is on building communities of sharing and using
Collaborative working and building relationships
Work with and support individuals & projects
Work with communities on building links
Work with agencies, HE Academy, RSCs, etc.
Mechanisms and tools for sharing skills and experience
Mechanisms to Build Communities
Any resource that supports L & T
Proposing funding for projects / resources
RSS feeds, views on JORUM, SRW, OAI etc
Personalisation of interfaces
Communities of practice
Profile Information & Promoting academic recognition
Contributor, user & institution profiles
Reviews, comments start ratings
Top - down (support from JISC)
Bottom - up (JORUM promotional strategy)
Information, support, tools and resources
service website (providing main service)
offering support services and documentation
toolkits, creating resources
impact studies, exemplars, articles, staff development materials etc
providing news and events information
Quality and reusability
specifications and standards compliance
licensing model to reflect user needs
licensing model may be expanded under R & D
high quality metadata
reviews, annotations, star ratings access statistics
high quality content
Managing cultural change & institution issues
Effective use of collaboration tools
Meeting requirements for all
Steve Rogers - JORUM Service in Development Coordinator
In trying to do everything is that a concern?
It is an issue in promotion, but not in the dates for the materials
Slippage in the dates for launch relate to the forms of the software in the system and the entry of initial materials
John Oates, OU, FOCUS: An adaptable resource for observation skills training
Two Introductory Slogans:
No reusability without usability!
No community of practice without practice!
This is not a PowerPoint presentation, but a direct presentation of the materials
Power of maximizing the use of video for training in observation skills in the teaching of psychology
Example of video of Bill Clinton on the challenge of counting blinks in a video - using the video to count events and time them, annotate them, replay them, etc.
Example of hyper text in order to make observations that can be trusted
Dissemination and use
Materials developed with BBC and used in various pilots with 500 students, 1,000 students, 3,000 students, and so on
Delivery into 53 UK higher education institutions
Extensive surveys on the use of pilot materials
Regional workshops to help people use the resources
Part II: Current Practice (Second of two parallel sessions)
Group B: William Nuttall, moderator; Betty Barrett - recorder
Group A: Additional Detail from Presentations
Ray Corrigan, OU, Evolving consequences of blocking the use of learning materials
· 2 stories - two monks one of whom copied the manuscript of the other. The copy called the child so "obviously" belonged to authors. Arguments offered that books have changed the way we approach knowledge and the knowledge should be hidden. People should not be prevented from making copies - the monk who copied acted for the good of society and no one was harmed. Court ruled against these arguments. Three years later a battle occurred in which 3,000 people were killed. Book forthcoming.
· 2002 security conference paper - student paper enjoined - students obliged to apologize for pointing out security holes. Builders of the platform immediately turned to lawyers to prevent the publication of issues.
· Platforms should be based on open standards.
· If we're not careful the elearning systems are already embedded and only now are the implications of that becoming apparent. i.e. no longer using Microsoft - there'll be the devil of a time removing or adding new systems.
· Providers now are ensuring use by threatening removal of use privilege. Yet, upgrades are not always effective. Accountants say this is a sunken cost and we've already spent the money so we needn't stay locked in.
· Institution and used on inward facing site which isn't very useful.
Jenny Brakels & Ellen Sjoer, TU Delft, Systems perspectives on reuse and communities of practice
· Outcome of 2 years of research - based on 6 university consortium - 6 pilots - with evaluation and now future planning
· Used Scenario Planning - two axis of uncertainty - first shaping for the future and the accessibility of knowledge
· Second axis student driven vs Teacher driven model of education
· Shift today to more opportunity for student control - how do we use the new talents students are bringing with them or are teachers unwilling to participate in this scenario?
· Most challenging scenario - under construction scenario --give students control of their learning and teachers are but one of the experts
· Did a pilot to execute this scenario - drivers include preparing students for knowledge economy, let students control learning, and adjust education to student needs so more motivating process.
· Barriers to this under construction scenario - includes redefinition of roles of both teachers and student
· This is difficult to address with lecturers who fell they are the experts and now must take new role
· Adding metadata - this is not easy and takes skills that aren't always available
· Technical infrastructure must also be there
· Built an electronic site for delivery - so developed Etrax for use by students and lecturers, allows rating of resources by community, searchable, resources can be saved to own collection, and also upload your own resources. 15 different resource types are supported. For example for the students at Delft, big corporations are critical and are supported in this system.
· Public access is included on notes.
· Most challenging question is getting teachers to understand the new approach and role shift to student driven model.
Keir Thorpe, Southampton, 'Keep them away from my stash!': Persistent cultural obstacles to reuse
· Challenges - lack of academics at the conference
· Jealous protection of resources - no one else can use them and people are unwilling to share even within the department.
· Unwillingness to reuse - people prefer to write from scratch because their course is "special"
· Most put materials in context so we must not fear rewriting and issue to balance the value
· NO credit for reusing materials - you want something back. Very little sense that there are wider motives of benefit, i.e. institutional or societal
· Where does the material come from? Supply must almost come before demand. Often confused relationships with those who hold the repository - seen as servants, value not understood.
· For 7 years I was lecturer and wrote the lecture, delivered it and that's the end. Now different because lecturers feel they've lost the control.
· Are there incentives to do this? Money
· Academic desire to share might be greater than we know
·Concerns about security and uncertainty about job security for staff who fear revealing their knowledge and then being redundant.
· Enterprise education project - we're pay you to develop materials but we expect you to share. NO sharing, no money. This has blossomed now because people are willing to look and see and then play.
· Where are the COPs - the institution sees itself as entity but this may only be the official view whereas academics within the discipline are happy to function within the discipline
· Comfort article - for 5 years institutions are adapting to what the technology allows them to do rather than the other way around. If we're not careful we'll lose our opportunity to take charge.
· It is difficult to keep up with all that goes on in just the single institution much less across the full spectrum of universities. Different sets of networks are developing.
· Hartfordshire has a system called StudyNet that allows people to turn off access to their materials but few have used it.
Raquel Morales, Cambridge, Universities' Collaboration in elearning (UCeL): a model for a CoP
· UCeL funded in 2002 from UK universities to enhance collaboration to share resources more cost effectively
· A working definition of RLO
· Why are RLO reusable?
· Flexibility - can be joined in different ways and used differently by different teachers
· What are the problems that students have that can be addressed by technology. Must identify them first highlighting statistics and research method
· Stage 1 of process
o Content creation with multi-skilled and multistakeholder process. There will be ongoing peer review and quality assurance
o Will do this in one-day workshops using creative methods to gather collaborative answers
o COPs are very relevant because they are critical in how they select materials for their learning process
· Stage 2: RLO Development
o Distributed production with people in different institutions collaborating
o Second stage of peer review
o Staff development in one week courses with multiple universities to share tricks and ideas so people are better prepared
o Then use an evaluation
· Support includes F2F interaction to keep process going and support COPs
· Developer training course bring together people who may become COP but will work at own university
· Dissemination through conference and events - meetings of steering group will happen every two months at different universities
· RLOs are expensive and time consuming to make needs collaborative creation and sharing
· UCeL is COP
· Are you searching for new content or looking for intended reuse we are not to duplicate available resources
· Heavily dependent on systems but they are easily found browsers and tools that are being considered to allow as wide a use as possible
· What is the role of the HE sector in this process?
· What's the best way to improve the tools?
· Will this work for other subject areas?
· For CeTL we have moved to computing and higher education orientation so the model is highly generalizable to any topic
· Workshop process is quite generalizable - workshop was much more knowledge transfer and felt quite low level which has its place
· Key to reuse is being able to contextualize the materials for use with one's own students - is this being developed
· Go to webpage and look for GLO's - working to adapt the statistical methods and working on complex decision making procedures.
Sarah Currier, Strathclyde, Community dimensions of repositories
· In my experience we are talking the same stuff we raised in 2000 at conferences - need to move on to solutions from these issues.
· CD-LOR goes to May 2007 - partners and purpose to identify and analyze the factors that influence practical uptake and implementation of LO repositories
· Why isn't the dream coming true? Efforts out weigh possible advantages but researchers are working on approaches that start with communities and what they need to support teaching and learning.
· Investigating the needs and nature of the communities that coalesce around repositories - not metadata or interoperability
· Investigate learning communities and typologies of these communities as well as their priorities
· Producing structured guidelines to setting up and evaluating repositories according to community type; also use cases, case studies, recommendations of institutional managers; developing a feel for what is going on on the ground at the moment,
· This work will lead to focus and priorities as well as review.
Chris Pegler, OU, Inhibitors and enablers to reuse
· Useful integrative 'stuff" to sum up
· Spotted some academics in the room
· Technical barriers and beyond (which may cover the entrenched barriers that were here during the paper era)
· Things have changed - no cow gum to cut and paste
· Faster and easier to get objects now
· Copyright is now an acknowledged problem but there are some solutions
· First a simple definition:
"a learning object is a digital piece of learning material that addresses a clearly identifiable
topic or learning outcome and has the potential to be reused in different contexts." (Weller, Pegler and Mason)
· LO are the ultimate in reusable materials because is not technical barriers that keep us from reuse
· Non-technical barriers
o quality issues - if it were good I might use it
o The brackets are in the wrong place from where I 'd put - we want to slightly adapt the materials
o Values and context are different than mine
o I don't share - why should I?
o It takes time and I don't want my competitors to have it
o Academic work should be original
o The time argument didn't work because the fun learning for instructors was the making things from our research
o It won't work it's not good enough.
o Creating a whole is better than creating a patched together piece.
o I'm not sure what I'm doing but I can defend it in context
o Technical solution can help to some extent but education in the key.
· Communities to support reuse.
· The PROWE project- personal online repositories in a WIKI environment
· Reusable materials and staff development
· If a member of staff doesn't have a sense of interest - it becomes boring, etc.
· We all have reused others materials - filtered and remixed and then the listeners will use it again in the future.
· The academic can inject the individual spin and enrich the object.
· What do academics think they are getting out of reuse? The original and creative might not be the best line
· The assumption that enforcement is unconditional and those who want to reuse should be allowed to - reuse escalates after it gets started
· Sharable objects get reused in ways the authors didn't expect
· Repurposing is now perhaps a better word
· Once you get over competitive problems (12 institutions collaborating in some way) - one thing is getting people to use the materials and this brings some guilt about letting people down by reusing their materials.
· Can't we learn from other sectors i.e. the role of the teachers
o i.e. Delivery vs writing the text
o new academics find a challenge to get started
· Sense of ownership and creativity is also something that students want to do - think about the sense of ownership of students as well they must be involved and in charge.
· Many exciting new repository projects underway in the UK and globally as well as new collaborations happening all over the world.
· Some thoughts on communities:
o The nature of community drives us of repository. Members have different roles, status and responsibilities.
o Resources provide complex additions to the problem - who has control will impact trust and democratization
o Recent notes: add slide
oOrganizations are not controllable
Part III: Full Group Discussions
What do we want to achieve (patterns of use, culture change, etc)?
· A question on who is the "we"? Administrators, practitioners, students, society, industry, government . . .
· These are all the stakeholders in education
· Is what we want to achieve system wide or is our goal just individual cases of re-use?
· A challenge in defining what a learning object is - one goal would be to have sufficient clarity to enable reuse
· From the perspective as a researcher on informal learning a key goal is including people who don't normally have access to learning materials
· A goal would be to ensure credit for sharing
· From multiple perspectives in our group we see the goal as quality artifacts to support learning, which are perpetual (preservation) for repurposing and can be used with a range of technologies
· The bottom line is better education - this needs to be stated since the focus on learning objects and metadata may dominate the focus
o Learning objects without use are of little use
o The aim is education and beyond that to enhancing the educational experience
o Do not underestimate the informal learning that happens when people go to the internet on their own
· A concern with the lack of dynamism - persistent archives are useful, but there will always be new forms of learning materials that will raise new educational considerations
· The new approaches might yield better learning and might yield lower cost, but unlikely to simultaneously yield better learning and lower cost
o Better learning requires better teaching - the learning materials need to be Trojan horse to bring new teaching methods
· Accessible resources in everyday life is key if we focus on lifelong learning
· Better learning
· Better use of resources
· Engagement of educators and students
· Social inclusion
What are the constraints, inhibitors and challenges?
· Old paradigms - people approaching education in ways that they always have (example of electronic cash machines originally being set up with bank hours for access to them)
· Funding models - at the department level
o Incentives in individual departments to innovate in teaching (quotas and other factors in the way departmental funding is allocated)
o Subject silos in universities
o Issues around the role of staff in posting materials
o Importance of initiative that comes from the faculty - if it is imposed it is a barrier
· Funding models - at the institutional level
o Communities of practice may be spanning across institutional boundaries
· Issues of students
o Some are very critical of traditional lectures and some really do want lectures
o Some are just focused on what do I need to do to pass this test
· The architecture of the technology
o Proprietary vendors locking universities in with specific platforms
· Legal issues
o IP Lawyers live in a different world than real people
o Managing the tension between the importance of broad use and the importance of protecting authored work
· Issues of incentives and perception
o Rewards focused on research (which is more broadly sharable and the incentives support that)
o Materials need to be kept up to date and that is not supported - funding is at least needed for this
o Attitudes around publicly visible learning materials - materials may not be as polished as research products
o Well-run systems of sharing that are built in to the way we operate might then be less of a barrier - but the issues of quality and review are a key barrier
· It takes groups of people - academics and others with many areas of expertise to produce good quality materials - which is a whole support system
How do we make it happen?
· Build effective support systems
o Universities need to invent a new form of post for people who look after these developments - much is by academic staff and project mangers in addition to their regular roles (caution that this could also be a constraint depending on how they enact the role)
o Reward systems able to take into account impact and reward
· Manage expectations when seeking funds - we can promise more than can be delivered - we should focus on what is realistic and feasible
o We are not managing the complexity of all this very well - just focusing on component parts rather than systems as a whole
· Forming/fostering/sustaining communities of practice
o Recognize that a group working in the area of exchange is not a community of practice, but can be enabled to become one
o There need not be polar extremes between emergent communities and intentionally formed communities - one common consideration of both models involves sustaining communities of process (including bringing new people in, etc.)
§ Success in appreciating the importance of sustaining as a focus
§ This might be thought of as intervening in communities - though it could be constructive non-the-less
o A completely new community of practice is likely to fail, but working with an existing community that could benefit from repositories and exchange is likely to be a winner
§ There are examples of interventions that started from scratch - TE3 project (a science and enterprise centre set up in 2000) - began from scratch with competition (copyright issues and others) among stakeholders - August 2003 initiative in which consultant spoke to key partner members, which led to a project specification document that addressed the IP and other issues - money tight to agreement to the master document and institutional match funding - initially 4 projects and now 30 projects
§ What is key is the shared goal - whether there is an intentional intervention or not
o There are real tensions in existing communities around technical standards, operational practices, and other matters - it takes ongoing attention
o Question as to how large a community should be in order to declare success
o There is confusion about how we are using the term "communities of practice"
Part IV: Summary and Next Steps:
Preliminary Findings: Survey of CMI Teaching Materials
· Caution that these are preliminary findings from ongoing research
· Respondent demographics
o Approximately 71 total respondents to electronically delivered survey of those who have taught in CMI classes
o 89%* of respondents identified themselves as teachers, lecturers, or academic authors
o 73% of respondents identified themselves as male
o 27% of respondents identified themselves as female
o 93% were teaching post graduates
· Highly utilized activities and materials
o 98% report using power point or other presentational software
o 97% report using face-to-face lectures
o 91% report using face-to-face discussions
o 86% report using books and printed materials
o 80% report using online materials
o 60% report doing some collaboration
· Reports of what is never done
o 77% report never using interactive software
o 80% report never using field trips
o 81% report never using video lectures
o 88% report never using audio materials
o 93% report never using computer games
o 97% report never using blogging
o 99% report never using instant messaging
· Reported sources of teaching materials
o 99% report developing their own materials
o 88% report adapting from their own previously developed materials
o 81% report never photocopying without permission
o 79% report never adapting materials previously developed by a professional association
o 77%report never adapting materials developed by a friend outside CMI or their organization
o 73% report some adaptation of materials freely available on the web
o 71% report never purchasing materials commercially
· Most valued features of materials
o 100% have some desire for materials that present the topic clearly
o 98% have some desire for materials that provide good examples
o 95% have some desire for materials that are completely accurate
o 93% have some desire for materials that encourage discussion
o 93% have some desire for materials that help students question their existing knowledge
· Patterns of sharing
o 92% report some sharing within their own organization
o 57% report some sharing outside CMI and their own organization
o 86% report never sharing commercially
o 75% report never sharing with a professional group
o 69% report never sharing freely on the web
· Willingness to share
o 85% are somewhat willing to share within their own organization
o 77% are less willing to share with CMI colleagues
o 75% are less willing to share freely on the web
o 69% are less willing to those outside CMI and their organization
o 55% are less willing to share commercially
· Perceived disadvantages
o The four most highly rated concerns about sharing were:
§ 38% were highly concerned over loss of intellectual property
§ 30% were highly concerned that sharing was time consuming
§ 27% worried that they would infringe on the copyright of other people
§ 19% were not convinced of the advantages for themselves of sharing
· Perceived advantages:
o The most highly rated reasons to share were:
§ 80% said that sharing can help to improve teaching by ensuring quality materials are available to all teachers
§ 78% said that sharing can provide feedback to help improve one's own practice
§ 77% said that sharing can help avoid the cost of reinventing the wheel and so reduce costs
§ 74% said that sharing can help minimise barriers to knowledge and creativity
· Composite lecturer
o Respondents are mostly male teachers or lecturers over 30 years of age, who lecture using power point slides and most generally develop their own materials.
o While these teachers sometimes collaborate they rarely use role plays, field trips, or video lectures and almost never use blogs, instant messaging, or asynchronous text-based conferencing. Almost 25% said they never use e-mail in teaching.
o Are there lessons that we can draw from this profile?
o Caution about sharing with people in own organization may reflect concerns that students will end up seeing the same material twice
o This spans all CMI MPhils - are there differences by area of teaching/background?
o Are there cohorts of respondents that have common profiles
The Politics of Reuse - Martin Oliver, London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education
· What is the problem?
o Reuse of materials is about curriculum development
o An under-studied practice
o Necessity of understanding the practice you want to intervene in
o This talk: providing a cultural context for reuse
· The politics of curriculum design
o Curriculum design is not (usually) rational
o People don't design courses from scratch
o Usually a bricolage of scrapped modules, personal research resources, existing practice
o People reuse whole courses - especially junior staff who inherit introductory modules
o but reuse isn't 'reuse'; it's self-expression
o (in fact, detailed resources were unhelpful - harder to use than to re-create)
· It's a style thing
o The politics of reading lists (an area of constant reuse)
§ Show who we align ourselves with (key figures, mentors, colleagues)
§ Differentiate ourselves from others (competition; niche)
§ Show we are 'proper' academics (we've read the right things)
· Curriculum is a personal thing
o Our sense-making of this field (What is it about? What's important in it?)
o Pedagogy as an expression of personal beliefs
§ Pedagogy as a performance (where students interact), not just an enacted plan
o A belief in the importance of enthusiasm, personal relationships (to ideas, to people)
· It's nothing personal
o Contrast this with dominant discourses
o Reuse is about efficiency (economics)
o Dearing report: academics are materials producers, not teachers
o It is about 'reinventing the wheel', if you don't it means that you don't understand your subject
§ Auto and bike racers spend millions on reinventing wheels
o Pedagogy as script that can be run in LAMS
· Or maybe it is!
o Increasingly common for pedagogy to be a managerial concern
§ De-professionalisation of the academic
o Patronising tone of writing associated with the area
§ "Too often instructional designers leave these important what-to-teach decisions to so-called subject-matter-experts (SMEs)." (Merrill, 2001)
o Team-based approach to development
§ No longer an academic's right: who has taken over this part of their jobs? (Technologists?)
o How surprising are responses like Noble's?
· What makes academics change?
o JISC-funded study into interventions into e-learning
o Rhona Sharpe's framework:
o Usability/adaptability (be known, available and in our language)
o Contextualisation (be relevant, adaptable)
o Professional learning (reconstruct meanings)
o Work with existing communities
o Support the process of learning design
o Helping them work through it, not working through it for them
· What are the implications?
o Designing schemes for academics won't work
§ Designing them with them might
o The idea of reuse is a threat to their professional identity
§ Work with people whose identity is developing (might include some new lecturers), or who are bored with who they are (might include some very senior lecturers)
§ These are not 'cultural barriers' to be removed or broken down; this is someone's sense of self
o A re-interpretation of the re-use problem
§ Academics constantly re-use things
§ Why do we think they have a problem finding things to use?
§ Why do some articles get re-used when some course materials don't?
§ An empirical question leading to appreciation
o Rationality isn't enough
§ Ignoring the politics is political: it can signal a lack of respect for others' priorities (intended or not)
· I am totally in agreement with this presentation - the e-learning community is very closed
o We had a recent meeting entitled, "putting the academics back in control of e-learning" and over 30 people showed up - we were besieged and they had not come before - they said that it was hard to find the time, but they were very interested
· Concern that re-use was taking away unique intellectual content and might be taking away their job
o The fear of being replaced by lecture notes on line - if you can be, you should be!
· Focus on what is visible and countable in a repository without attention to the intangibles
· This relates to book co-authored by Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld on "Valuable Disconnects in Organizational Learning Systems" (Oxford University Press, 2005)
Content, communication and communities: What can we use and reuse?
Dr. Andrew Ravenscroft, Deputy Director & Principal Research Fellow, Learning Technology Research Institute (LTRI), London Metropolitan University
Overview of Talk
· reflect on findings and insights from recent relevant projects within the "Learning interaction and networked communities" theme at LTRI
· 1 EC funded project in networked CoP for school-based e-learning (STARScience)
· 1 JISC funded Case Studies in e-learning practice project
· 2 JISC funded e-tools projects in digital 'dialogue games' (AcademicTalk & Interloc)
· summarise key insights
· Creation of teacher space to share lesson plans and other ways to wrap pedagogy and community around the learning resources
· STARScience findings and insights
o Use & reuse required Pedagogical Practice (lesson plans, tips, case studies etc.) and supportive CoP (e.g. via CMC tools and reviewing options) to 'wrap around' provision of learning resources
o Developed small and local CoP (14 - 20)
§ intensive activity from local 'animateurs'
§ f2f contact essential, especially during early stages
o Adoption was a very challenging problem! Key inhibitors (esp. UK)
§ access and time
§ motivation and reward
§ security and trust (liked other teachers 'rough & ready' materials)
o UK - More than enough innovative resources available but teaching practitioners often:
§ Found it difficult to establish 'exactly' what they wanted - when they wanted it or didn't know what to do with available resources
§ generally 'fed up' with being 'bombarded' with possible resources without any 'know how' or 'training' about what to do with them
· Case studies on innovative e-learning practice
o Six "Case Studies in innovative e-learning practice" commissioned by JISC
§ UK HE, FE, ACL
§ innovations at learning activity level (i.e. not whole courses or modules), e.g. Learning objects, Dialogue Game tool, CAPD using videoconference
o Findings about successful innovations:
1. addressed clear teaching-learning problem or opportunity (or both) whilst advancing practice within realistic limits
2. technology was essentially a 'glue' or 'catalyst' for human-human teaching learning processes
3. improved the interactive, communicative and social dimensions of learning within quite rigid organisational and cultural contexts.
· Reusable Dialogue Games
o Working within the 'Open Source' vision for learning technology:
o development according to UK JISC ELF (E-Learning Framework)
o Innovative e-learning tools that are reusable, adaptable and interoperable with other tools and applications
o follows conventions for Open Standards and developed within the Open Source community (e.g. software on Sourceforge)
· Dialogue Games "on the fly"
o Successful use and reuse involves linking Interaction and tool design to pedagogical activity design
· Direct collaboration between developers and users
§ Design at (at least) three levels
· Tool design (software)
· Learning interaction (dialogue game)
· (broader) Learning activity (linking game to pedagogical context)
· also consider organisational practices and philosophies
§ Practically, means 'tuning' tool use (i.e. interaction) and activity design to context of use
o Reusing & adapting:
§ operation of the e-learning tool
§ learning activity design
§ Interestingly, content is selected locally or even referred to 'on the fly'
o 'Use' before 'Reuse'
§ evidence and experience of successful integration (i.e. use) and value of resources will promote reuse (not just technological provision)
= important role for evaluation and research
o What do we want to reuse? Content, Tools or Pedagogical Processes
§ Ensembles of these concepts working in harmony will lead to innovative use and reuse of learning resources - this is what brings the content to life
· Two quotes impressed me:
o No reuse without use
o No reusability without usability
· Throughout today it has become clear that there is not a one-size fits all answer - it depends on context, curriculum, views on re-use in a community, and so on
o Communities of practice are around sharing of practices that can improve educational delivery - which will have many different answers
· It may seem obvious but the role of being a mediator at a fulcrum point between communities is where many of us sit - keeping the lines of communication open is critical
o Connects to the concept of a "boundary spanners"
o Issue of a spanner in the works!
o Learning technologist rephrased at a conference as lunaticologists
o A need to send the postcards home periodically to report on how we are doing
· We can't forget the enthusiasm that comes with learning and with what we each do in our areas of expertise - this can energize everything that we do
· At a recent conference we surfaced the important notion that interest is at the periphery
· Remember - a fire burns hottest at its edges