Learning Innovation, in collaboration with Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications, is hosting a series of events on open education throughout March and early April. The broad term, open education, refers to free and sharable content and practices in education. It includes open educational resources, open access, open data, and open pedagogy.
Sign up for one of the events in this series:
March 5, 12:30 pm -1:30 pm – Open Education Week webinar viewing with Learning Innovation (Bostock 024)
April 2 – Guest Speaker, Joe Karaganis of the Open Syllabus Project (details to follow)
Let’s take a look at these open practices to understand why each one is important to education.
Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials that are free to use and can be revised, remixed, reused, and redistributed. They can be any material used for teaching such as textbooks, syllabi, quizzes, simulations, or videos. Looking back on past Learning Innovation blog posts about open educational resources (OER), it is remarkable to see how far both the adoption, creation, and interest in OER has evolved.
OER are important because they remove barriers to access by eliminating the cost of purchasing materials. Many states have implemented open textbook initiatives across their university systems, such as Affordable Learning Georgia. These initiatives have saved students millions of dollars. Students also gained access to course texts they may not have purchased otherwise, improving their chance of success in the course.
Through their open license, OER also allow faculty to customize their course content to meet their teaching style and goals. Some faculty have even engaged their students in content creation for their course using an open educational resource as a starting point.
To get started with OER, join us for an Open Educational Resources 101 Workshop on March 26. If you’re already familiar with OER or want to learn more, join us on March 28 for a panel discussion by Duke and Furman faculty who participated in a grant offered from The Duke Endowment Libraries Collaboration Fund last year to evaluate OER for use in one of their courses.
Open access is the practice of providing free online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research including the right to use this research fully in the digital environment. Faculty who make their work open access expand their readership and increase the impact of their work. One of the most established open access publishers, PLOS ONE, has recently reached its ten-year mark and boasts having publications from Nobel laureates to early career researchers.
Part of Duke’s mission is putting knowledge in the service to society. To that end, Duke supports open access through its open access policy, and by providing funds to researchers who wish to publish in an open access journal. Librarians in the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications are available to assist faculty in making their research open access.
Like open access, open data advances discovery by removing financial or legal barriers to research data. This data is freely available online and can be copied, analyzed, or used with software. Open data has the power to grow the economy, and also promises to improve the integrity of scientific research through verification of results.
Many institutions are making their data open including local governments. Grant foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation now require all research they fund, including any underlying data sets, be made freely available through open access.
The Open Syllabus Project is an interesting example of how data sets can be mined for data that make an impact on society. This project, which has collected over 1 million syllabi, aims to promote broad explorations of teaching, publishing, and intellectual history by revealing intellectual judgements embedded in syllabi. Join us on April 2 as Joe Karaganis talks about the Open Syllabus Project and his new work on shadow libraries (event details to follow).
The definition of open pedagogy is inconsistent among open advocates. Some consider open pedagogy simply using open materials in your teaching or making your teaching practice open through sharing your lectures, slides or other materials through a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License.
David Wiley of Lumen Learning takes the definition a step further. He proposes that with open pedagogy, your teaching and learning practice is only possible within the context of free access and the 4R (revise, remix, reuse, redistribute) permissions associated with open educational resources. Wiley has some terrific examples of open pedagogy assignments on his site that demonstrate how students can create new content using OER that has lasting value, rather than the commonly seen “disposable assignment”.
The Opening Up Education events series begins next week with daily viewings of Open Education Week webinars hosted by Learning Innovation. We hope you will join us for one or more of these events that aim to communicate the value of open practices!