Build vs Create

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Rationale for "Build" rather than "Create"

My only strong reservation is around "Create" vs "Build" and it may suggest the need for a special section on (Learning) Design. Please consider the following.

I prefer "build" over "create" because:

  • This handbook is about "building" OER - the practical, step by step process.
    • "Create" conjures up an image of someone independently creating something out of nothing - or an artist alone creating a sculpture from a pure block of marble.
    • "Build" suggests groups of people cooperating to build a structure with some function (bridge, house, etc.) using available materials - coordinated concrete mixing, brick throwing, brick laying, painting, ....
  • The term "build" is associated with architecture - a creative process including aesthetic and functional design.
  • The field of software architecture and design has "built" on the field of architecture specifically in relation to architectural "patterns". See the work of Chris Alexander (specifically his influence on computer science) which inspired the seminal GoF book.
  • The OER movement was inspired by the software industry, specifically the pragmatic "open source" approach to software development whose success rests on sharing and collaboration.
  • While there have been some conversations about the parallels between "FLOSS" and "OER", there is still much to explore on various levels.
    • Collaborative development - commons based peer production (this has been discussed at length)
    • Agile software development methodologies applied to OER development
    • Pedagogical patterns - this one is of prime importance. The handbook might inspire research programmes on learning design in the connected world.
  • The "Use OER" section in the handbook could touch on elements of learning design - but at this stage only implicitly, through practical real world examples (e.g. learning4content, Teemu's course, Connexions and OCW examples).
    • Alternatively, we could add a (Learning) Design section (to flesh out the life cycle diagram).

So, for me, "Build" would be preferable for this pragmatic handbook, and in the interests of knowledge transfer and building across relevant disciplines: e.g. a consistent terminological base for the patterns concept spanning architecture, software design and architecture, OER design and blended learning patterns.

Creativity should indeed be an integral part of learning design and activity, but here we are concerned with "building" OER. Ktucker 10:14, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Hey Kim --
That's well argued and justified --- particularly the connections between OER and the software movement. The nuance of language fascinates me -- particularly across disciplinary boundaries.
Throwing my thoughts in on this one taking the target audience into account I think that "create" would be a better concept for a teaching audience than "build". Educators frequently emphasise the creative side of the "art and science" of teaching. While we build a content resource -- content never stands alone in an educational context. It's design and development involves thought and creativity concerning how the resource will be used in an educational setting.
This becomes particularly evident in materials designed for asynchronous learning because the author must create and embedded some of the creative dynamic of teaching within the OER.
When working on OERs -- a like to think that I'm creating rather than building -- but that comes from my "biases" and "indoctrination" as an educator. I think create will be a better fit for the audience.
Kim -- I admire your conviction -- but more importantly your passion for OER and the attention to detail that you are applying to this project.
Open transparent discourse is far better than edit wars -- or worse, a closed education resource!
BTW -- I've started a "style guide" page which is linked from the issue list to help with our consistency decisions.
Cheers, --Wayne Mackintosh 15:07, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
After thought
Thinking again about this, particularly after looking at straw dog diagrame of a life cycle representation -- I can see conceptual challenges with the learners using "Create" OER alone. If for example, I'm putting two existing OERs together to form a new work -- is more of a build than a creation. I'd like to suggest that we thinking about the concept of "Build or create" OER -- no preference intended by the order other than alphabetical <smile> --Wayne Mackintosh 19:28, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Wayne, we also need to decide re a (Learning) Design chapter - or do we keep it simple at this stage and work design into "Use OER" or "Compose OER"? Kim 19:44, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

For now - no separate section - Compose should include some suggestions as should Adapt, etc.