Financial issues regarding the sustainable production, dissemination, and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education are reviewed and proposed solutions critiqued. Use of OER produce demonstrable cost savings for students. Yet OER development continues to rely almost completely on government and philanthropic funding. This indicates that a mismatch exists between the financial interests of students and those of higher education institutions. Before OER will be broadly adopted, changes to government policy are required to align institutional objectives with faculty motivations and student needs.
The rapid growth in Internet technologies has led to a proliferation in the number of Open Educational Resources (OER), making the evaluation of OER quality a pressing need. In response, a number of rubrics have been developed to help guide the evaluation of OER quality; these, however, have had little accompanying evaluation of their utility or usability. This article presents a systematic review of 14 existing quality rubrics developed for OER evaluation. These quality rubrics are described and compared in terms of content, development processes, and application contexts, as well as, the kind of support they provide for users. Results from this research reveal a great diversity between these rubrics, providing users with a wide variety of options. Moreover, the widespread lack of rating scales, scoring guides, empirical testing, and iterative revisions for many of these rubrics raises reliability and validity concerns. Finally, rubrics implement varying amounts of user support, affecting their overall usability and educational utility.
Conducted in conjunction with an institute on open textbook adaptation, this study compares textbook evaluations from practicing K-12 classroom teachers (n = 30) on three different types of textbooks utilized in their contexts: copyright-restricted, open, and open/adapted. Copyright-restricted textbooks consisted of those textbooks already in use by the teachers in their classrooms prior to the institute, open textbooks included alternatives from CK-12 and OpenStax, and open/adapted consisted of open textbooks that the teachers devoted time to adapting to their individual needs. Results indicate that open/adapted textbooks were evaluated as having the highest quality, and that open textbooks were of higher quality than copyright-restricted textbooks. Though some factors of quality might be influenced by cost differences (e.g., timeliness and the ability to adopt updated textbooks), results reveal that open and open/adapted textbooks may do a better job of meeting the needs of K-12 teachers in a variety of ways that may not be captured through traditional approaches to quality assurance. This study marks an early step in exploring the quality of K-12 open educational resources (OER) and the use of practicing teachers as authentic evaluators of textbooks for their local contexts.
The aim of this mixed method study is to identify evaluation criteria for interactive e-books. To find answers for the research questions of the study, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a four-round Delphi study with a panel consisting of 30 experts. After that, a total of 20 interactive e-books were examined with heuristic inquiry methodology. In the final phase, the results of the Delphi technique and the heuristic inquiry results were integrated. As a result, four themes, 15 dimensions, and 37 criteria were developed for interactive e-books. Lastly, the results and their implications are discussed in this paper and suggestions for further research are presented.
The concept of the massive, open, online course (MOOC) is not new, but high-profile initiatives have moved MOOCs into the forefront of higher education news over the past few years. Members of institutions of higher education have mixed feelings about MOOCs, ranging from those who want to offer college credit for the successful completion of MOOCs to those who fear MOOCs are the end of the university as we know it. We set forth to investigate the quality of MOOCs by using the Quality Matters quality control framework. In this article, we present the results of our inquiry, with a specific focus on the implications the results have on day-to-day practice of designing online courses.
The idea of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has attracted a lot of media attention in the last couple of years. MOOCs have been used mostly as stand-alone online courses without credits. However, some researchers, teachers, colleges, and universities have attempted to utilize MOOCs in blended format in traditional classroom settings. This paper reviews some recent experiments in the context of current trends in MOOCs by examining methodologies utilized in blended MOOCs in a face-to-face environment. This paper further discusses the preliminary findings related to its effectiveness of learning outcomes and its impact on students and instructors in blended MOOCs format. The review of blended MOOCs in classrooms assists to form the emerging consensus on integrating MOOCs in conventional classroom settings, while highlighting potential opportunities and challenges one might face when implementing MOOCs in similar or entirely different contexts.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) came to prominence with Open Educational Resources Movement (OERM). It was based upon the idea of libre in removal of some permission barriers and gratis in removing the price barrier (Suber, 2008) in learning resources. In line with the theoretical underpinnings of OERM, MOOCs embody primary characteristics of connectivist pedagogy which are autonomy, diversity, openness, and community participation. However, in time, moving away from its original philosophical and pedagogical values, new variations of MOOCs have emerged and new MOOCs have become more market oriented and are aligned with instructivist, cognitive, and behaviourist pedagogy. In an attempt to empirically examine the change in underlying values of the MOOCs, a survey method was employed by using a Connectivist Learning Environment Assessment Tool which was developed in the scope of this research. The tool could be useful for formulating and justifying a conceptual framework that enables us to reify the connectivist pedagogy and assess connectivist underpinnings of a learning environment including MOOCs. This research aims to contribute to MOOC studies against the background of previous knowledge from the Open Education and Connectivist fields.
In China, microblogging is an extremely popular activity and is proving to be an effective mechanism to gauge perceptions about social phenomena. Between 2010 and 2015 Sina Weibo, China’s largest microblogging website, generated 95,015 postings from 62,074 users referencing the term massive open online courses (MOOCs), a method of online course delivery popularized in North America that has spread globally. Time series analyses revealed distinct patterns in the volume of postings during a four-year period, and subsequently by month, by week, and by the time of day. The volume of postings during the week, for example, peaked on Monday and declined daily to a low point on Saturday. Relative to maximizing learner engagement, the findings may provide insight to parties who deliver MOOCs to employ or test strategies on timing (i.e., time of year to offer/not offer a MOOC, time of week to release/not release new material, time of day to schedule/not schedule chat sessions). The paper also serves to demonstrate a mechanism to retrieve big data from social media sources, otherwise underutilized in educational research.
Canada’s important areas of expertise in open educational resources (OER) are beginning to be built upon or replicated more broadly in all education and training sectors. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art in OER initiatives and open higher education in general in Canada, providing insights into what is happening nationally and provincially. There are growing examples of OER initiatives from several Canadian institutions offering free courses to Canadians and international learners. National open education initiatives include the federal government's Open Data pilot project and the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada (CMEC) support for the Open Educational Resource Paris Declaration, as well as Creative Commons Canada. Regionally, the western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta are supporting OER as part of major open education initiatives.
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