First up, the three breakout sessions were presented in the main hall. Notes in detail for the research session are in part 6 of my notes, but I just wanted to note that the UKOU team used Compendium (http://compendium.open.ac.uk/software.html) very well to capture the discussion.
* How can OER change teaching and learning practices to support Deeper Learning?
Facilitators: Lisa Petrides, ISKME, and Bob Lenz, Envision Schools
Discussion focused on opportunities more than challenges. The definition of Deeper Learning resonated within the group for all sectors. It is a powerful message to engage teachers and leaders around professional development for educators, and OER can clearly support this.
* How can OER improve its value proposition for incumbents and for emerging models across sectors?
Facilitators: Wayne Mackintosh, OER Foundation, and Nick Punt, Inigral, Inc.
We have found the secret – only way to increase the price of our goods is to restrict access
There as a shift in thinking to the notion of OER as an ecosystem, and there is a need to diversify funding. How can we use OER to reduce cost/increase quality – and how can we use OER to generate new value?
Noted content was one component of the overall ecosystem, traditional distribution channels have been disrupted by OER so:
* there is the possibility of building a brand around knowledge and content (eg TeD)
* there is a service opportunity to facilitate the discovery and use of OER – off-the-shelf OER.
* people will buy free content – eg Amazon-like store (physical artefacts?) would also fix sharing issues.
* localisation services?
* crossing the chasm – needs to be cheaper (not necessarily free) but easier!
Keynote Address – Anya Kamenetz, Author and Staff Writer at Fast Company: DIY U (http://diyubook.com/)
: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education
(I’m trying to find a picture and background info for her for this post, but there is no licensing information on her blog! But see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anya_Kamenetz
for a summary of her background and ideological standpoint).
She noted a massive increase in the demand for HE, possibly outside of the capacity of the institutional system to provide it without significant structural change. She notes that costs to students of the current model are too high, and success rates are too low. Tuition fees in the US have risen substantially above inflation (same in the UK but for controlled reason). And students are disaffected with the relevance and content of current HE – they ask why are they here? (I facebook through my classes).
But – college is expensive, it doesn’t work (and there is not enough of it!)
The 60s student revolutions (“teach-ins” etc) had some effect, but replaced the image of students as the future of society with a (government-led) image of students and academics as dangerous radicals. But the irony is that that there is very little about the HE system that students and academics can disrupt.
Cost and access are the moral case for radical innovation. And technology can support this.
Three areas of study: Content, Socialization and Accreditation [I’m pretty sure @cgeith and I were talking about this on the table she was also on at dinner yesterday evening!
CONTENT: OER – though to note, do we want a playlist/itunes version of HE? Or do people want to get out and experience the “live” impact. (parallel with music industry). Reshaping education so we get maximum benefit from the “live” experience.
SOCIALISATION: peer2peer, faculty2student = personal learning networks. Example of StudyBlue setting up online study groups (http://www.studyblue.com/)
ACCREDITATION: the final frontier of openness. Publishing and building portfolios (eg http://www.behance.net/)
outside of traditional accreditation sources, peer recommendation and open to prospective employers. Other communities of practice could develop similar networks [DK comment: no – what if HE is about deeper learning skills that can’t be represented with artefacts, what if what we are assessing is not what is submitted?]. Also Brazen Careerist (http://www.brazencareerist.com/)
as purely employment based evidence to get past first job issue.
We still have the acceptance – attendance – accreditation – employment model in our heads, but this has never been the case for anything more than a tiny percentage of students – most get jobs despite of their degree not because of it.
A new model – OER + academic mentors + peer networks + interships = portfolio/evidence = employment. (and cycle repeats for further employment). More complex, but more accessible and more democratic.
DIY U – means we are delivering benefits in a learner centric fashion (it is cheaper, but this is not the main selling point).
When questioned on institutions offering accreditation to independent learners it was suggested that we could see others preparing students for institutional exams, but there could also be a model of “celebrity internships” where they could vouch for someone’s work as a (6 week) intern. But is this scalable?
There were also questions about networks developed whilst at an institution. How could this new model make them happen? Can social networks provide this? (especially as social networks don’t scale – twitter doesn’t scale!)
(this material licensed cc-by 2.5 (UK), these are my personal notes and all errors, omissions and unsafe opinions are my own)