Learning4Content/Workshops/Face-to-Face schedule/L4C69/Workshop Report

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Mumbai OER Workshop-2011

A three day workshop on 'Open Educational Resources' was conducted by the Institute of Open and Distance Learning IDOL), University of Mumbai in collaboration with

a) Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) and

b) Acharya Narendra Dev College.

A total of 16 participants attended the workshop. The facilitators of the workshops were:

  1. Dr. Savithri Singh, Principal, Acharya Narendra Dev College
  2. Dr. Sarita Kumar, Associate professor, Acharya Narendra Dev College

The primary focus of the conference was to generate interest and create awareness about the availability of Open Educational Resources for expanding the foundations of education amongst academia. It was an attempt to blend open source soft skills with knowledge modules with the idea to expose educators to the importance of open access to learning opportunities by sharing knowledge and learning resources.

Program Schedule of the workshop

The program of the workshop consisted of XII sessions which included various talks, presentations and Hand-on Sessions.

The detailed workshop schedule can be seen by clicking here

Day One: February 24, 2011

Inaugural Session

The first day of the workshop started with the inaugural session. The session started with the lighting of lamp of knowledge which was followed by the song of University of Mumbai.

Dr. D. Harichandan,Director, IDOL, University of Mumbai addressed the gathering and welcomed all the invitees, members of organizing committee, delegates and the participants. He talked about the significance of organizing this workshop in today’s scenario and the need to spread awareness about Open Education.

The chief guest of the workshop, Professor Asha Kanwar, Vice President, Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada enthralled the gathering with her 'Inaugural Address' on Three Generations of Open Education: Future Implications. Professor Kanwar described the three generations of Open Education as follows:

  1. I Generation: Technology-based, e.g. print, radio, television
  2. II Generation: Web-based, e.g. Internet
  3. III Generations: OER-Knowledge as a public good, e.g. OER Commons, NPTEL, MERLOT

She also briefed that there is a need to re-figure the Iron Triangle made of access, quality and cost by using OER in order to increase the access and quality; and decrease the cost. She also informed that most of the Open Course Wares available on the sites are being used by students and there is a need to motivate teachers to access and use that in teaching-learning process. She described that the approach of COL to OER is to develop capacity, contents and connections between students-content-teachers.She also threw light upon the concepts of 'New Learner', 'Digital Natives' and 'Ultimate Learner', Finally she briefed about the way the students want be be taught and the role of teachers in mentoring students.

The 'Presidential Remarks' were given by Dr. Rajan M. Welukar, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, University of Mumbai. He talked about the significance of organizing this workshop in today’s scenario and the need to spread awareness about Open Education. He also briefed about the objectives of Mumbai University in using open source software and creating open educational content for all the courses in next five years. The importance of establishing the free culture movement in the academic world for the empowerment of the students and teachers was also discussed.

The session ended with the 'Vote of Thanks' by Dr. Hemlata Chari, Deputy Director, Institute of Open & Distance Learning,University of Mumbai.

Introductory Session

Dr. Savithri Singh, Principal Acharya Narendra Dev College, gave a talk on Overview of OER. She started her talk with the concerns regarding the immediate need for development of online materials both for the distance mode students as well as enrichment materials for the face-to-face mode. She said that with the rapid increase in online content, considerations of access to the materials are prime. She believed that content locked away behind passwords may make money for a few but the need of the hour is 'access to all'. Dr. Singh explained various platforms of Open Educational Resources (OER) and informed that Wikipedia led the world in creation of 'open education resources'. She emphasized that besides OER, it is important for us to adopt Free and Open Source software (FOSS) in our educational institutions as OER and FOSS constitute 'Free cultural works'. The talk discussed the importance of switching to this paradigm in our educational institutions and stressed on how it can contribute to the teaching-learning process.

Session I

The session I started with the acquaintance of the participants with the WikiEducator. Each participant registered and created his/her account in the WikiEducator followed by the User page. The participants were taught about how to

  1. develop profile and content in the user page,
  2. format and edit the content using various syntax using Wiki format
  3. link their pages to other pages in WikiEducator (Internal Link)
  4. link their pages to pages in the websites external to WikiEducator (External Link)
  5. use pipe links to display the text of a link to be different than the actual name of the page they are linking to.

Session II

In this session Professor Sasikumar, CDAC, Pune delivered a talk on Effective Use of OER in Course Development. He explained the concept of OER, its role in the open education and the advantages. He emphasized on to promote open educational resources that are freely available and those that convince the educationists in the country to use, reuse, adapt and share their collective wisdom for the benefit of every learner. He emphasized on the development of knowledge modules having the right content to take care of the aspirations of learners, address personalized needs, build connectivity and knowledge network amongst and within institutions of higher learning. He showed various sites where contents are present free and which can be used by educationists for non-commercial purposes.

Session III

The session I was continued and the participants were given Hands-on training on creating their user page, entering and formatting of the text in edit mode. At the end of the day, all participants were successful in making their user pages and became part of the growing community of WikiEducators. The incoming messages from different WikiEducator members were a big boost to the participants.

Day Two: February 25, 2011

Session IV

The session started with the discussion regarding the work done on the earlier day. A few queries regarding the internal, external and piped links raised by the participants were solved by the facilitators. The participants created Infobox Personal on their user pages and filled up their personal information. Subsequently, the facilitators explained the uploading of images and formation of image gallery on their pages. The participants were very enthusiastic to uploaded images of themselves and their families.

Session V

Dr. Savithri Singh delivered a talk on Web Licenses and Open Access in this session. She started her talk with the definition of Open Paradigms and discussed the different degrees of freedom in free software. She explained about the various licenses under which the work can be published and discussed about the copyright and copyleft. She informed that the GNU General Public License (GNU-GPL or simply GPL) is the most widely used first copy left license specifically free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman. She told that copyright is a set of exclusive rights granted by the law of a jurisdiction to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work; while under copyleft an author may give his/her permission to the person to reproduce, adapt or distribute the work. Subsequently, she described the concepts of Public Domain, Fair Use, Moral Rights and Publicity Rights. In the end, Dr. Singh briefed about the Creative Commons licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works and differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. The four major conditions of the Creative Commons; Attribution, Non-commercial, No derivative works and Share-alike were explained.

Session VI

In this session, the participants were taught about the uploading of power point presentations, audios and video files on the web. They also learned about the use of

  1. various features in Wiki toolbar
  2. rich editor in development of content
  3. different font sizes.

The participants practiced on these features and used them on their pages to enrich the material. They also learned how to create sub-pages to develop content and link them to their main page.

Session VII

In this session, Dr. Sarita Kumar explained the Open educational resources (OER) as freely available resources and informed that they can range from complete courses to a single diagram. She emphasized that while the potential of OER to improve teaching and learning is widely recognized, their effective use is still not meeting the expected level. The talk showcased the few success stories of OER in various fields such as Colleges (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Open Health, Tufts University, NPTEL), Organizations (Merlot, Open Courseware Consortium, Open Source Education Foundation, AUV-OER), Encyclopedias (Wikipedia, Citizendium), Online Collections (Project Gutenberg,Mobipocket, Flickr), Software (Open Office), Operating systems (Linux), Browsers (Mozilla Firefox), Education (WikiEducator, Webmedcentral, Khan Academy) and Individuals (Eduframe). In the end, she showed the educational contents uploaded on the site and briefed the participants about the various online collaborative projects across the countries.

Session VIII

The hands-on session was continued and the participants were taught to use

  1. history feature to access past versions of the created page
  2. revert back feature to reverse the changes and modifications in the page
  3. discussion/talk feature to chat discuss and send messages
  4. pedagogical templates to enrich the content

The participants practiced on these features and used each feature in their content.

Day Three: February 26, 2011

Session IX

The third day of the workshop started with the talk of Dr. Samir, IIT Bombay. He informed the participants about the Project OSCAR initiated by IIT, Mumbai and sponsored by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. He told that Project OSCAR was conceptualized by Prof Sridhar Iyer, at IIT Bombay. He is the overall coordinator (Principal Investigator) of this project and Mrs. C. Vijaylakshmi at IIT Bombay is a co-investigator of this project and manages the implementation of the various front-end and back-end systems.

He further explained that the main goal of Project OSCAR (Open Source Courseware Animations Repository) is to create a large repository of web-based, interactive animations for teaching various concepts and technologies. This could be useful not only for classroom teaching but also for enabling independent-learning and distance education. He informed that the team of Project OSCAR has developed animations on certain concepts of Physics and Chemistry at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels and is in the process of developing on more concepts and subjects. All the material developed in this project are Open Source Courseware and permission is granted for download/use/modification/distribution of this material, for non-commercial purposes. The animations and courseware developed are periodically consolidated and published on a CD, for distribution to interested colleges/organizations. He further informed that the animations are released under the Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 India license.

Session X

The next session was dedicated to explain how to

  1. Create tables using tool bar
  2. Give colours to the text and different sections
  3. Upload PDF files
  4. Use OOo Converter to upload .doc and other files in Wiki without formatting

Also the participants were shown the Navigation and community portal. They learned about the use of Help and WikiEducator tutorials present online. They observed a long list of Ongoing active projects on WikiEducator and were very excited to learn that they can be a part of any of these projects.

Session XI

As exercises are integral part of any educational content, this session was particularly designed for the development of different kinds of online exercises in the educational content prepared by the participants. The various exercises explained to the participants were:

  1. Multiple Choice Questions - Type I
  2. Multiple Choice Questions - Type II
  3. Fill in the Blanks

A few MCQs and other questions were prepared by the participants and added to their pages.

The participants also learned about various pedagogical templates, such as objectives, activity, assignments, web resources, case study, work in progress. They used these templates in the contents prepared by them.

Session XII (Presentations and Valedictory)

Each participant presented his/her work in front of the organizers, facilitators and all the participants.One of the participants Ms. Sally Enos gave the vote of thanks to all the participants and facilitators. The workshop was formally closed with a valedictory address by Professor Harichandan and the distribution of certificates to each participant.