# Thoughts on quality

Discussion

## Vilimaka Foliaki

Some people say that too many cooks spoil the soup. I think this is true if the chef is either protective of his/her recipes or is not aware that there are other expert cooks in the kitchen who are willing to help him cook - at no charge!. Open authoring is a means of ensuring that the soup is adequately spiced up, healthy, and affordable to hungry dwellers. Open authoring ensures that quality learning materials are available and affordable.

One needs to ask him/herself this question: Why educate? What is the purpose of having an education? Getting rich from being educated is not the primary purpose of education. Education is about learning, and it's a pity that quality knowledge is being locked-up in copyrighted books and patents. A lot of quality knowledge is available only to those who least need it - the rich, famous, and 'powerful'. Open authoring is an opportunity to the bigger proportion of society who need to make the best use of the limited knowledge that they have. Being educated is about the ability to share knowledge freely.

But this 'open' nature of open authoring makes it vulnerable to all forms of abuse. To ensure quality learning content, we need 'content experts' to critique added contents. --VFoliaki 23:55, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing your perspective Vilimaka. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 13:05, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Benjamin, thanks for the feedback. I think that WE community can effectively collaborate to ensure that added contents are of good quality. Perhaps WE members can be assigned to certain WE projects to critique and comment on added contents. It should be noted that open-mindedness and the ability to view issues from multiple perspectives are important if WE is to have high quality content. --VFoliaki 08:07, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

## Kangwa

• An open authoring approach, i think, does not necessarily contribute highly to learning but it is an aid one can use to get messages across. it accords a chance to those that cannot afford formal learning. on the other hand, one needs to be careful with online resources as some of them are not authentic. Extra caution must be taken.
Thanks for sharing your opinion, Kangwa. In what ways do you take caution when using open educational resources (an open authoring approach)? And how do these strategies differ (if at all) when reading a peer-reviewed article or book (a closed authoring approach)? --Benjamin Stewart 02:34, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Kangwa, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 13:07, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Brendan Smith

• Experience with online universities shows that "Buyer beware" is as true in education as anywhere else. Also, the exerience of Wikipedia with fake professors indicates the importance of sources of information be assessed in some way. In the normal case the employeeing instituion checks an educator's creditientials and standard of work. Relying on peer referees is well and good but they may take some time to catch up with disreputable purveyors of low-quality "educational resources".
• Institutions that pay for top teachers/researchers will understandably want a return on their investment.  They will want the consumers of education to pay for the privilege of belonging to their learning community. But that is not to say that free resources should not be made available when the source institution is not depriving itself of income that makes the institution the educational authority that it is. More US universities are making making material available, though those who gain are not elegible for the universities' credentials. More school districts and education departments are also making resources available. I don't think we are going to see all educational resources made freely available by 2015.
• IIf there is a wealth of good quality resources made freely available the dross will be ignored, the reverse of the dictum "Bad money drives out good money".

--Bardo1000 12:28, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I agree with you, Brendan. Readers should beware! Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. Also, I would introduce yourself in your user page by including your first name...it makes your user page more personal. Just a suggestion. --Benjamin Stewart 13:11, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Mary Pringle

• I agree with Carol Gray--I have concerns about the quality of textbooks, too. They are often biased, contain inaccuracies, and quickly go out of date. I see open educational resources as having the potential for great improvement over traditional textbooks. Open educational resources could tap some of the world's most talented researchers and educators in the way that the open software development movement did. Here is a good video on what motivates people to contribute their time to such endeavours: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc
• Taking open software, Web protocols, and Wikipedia as models, I would say there have to be controls and standards. Otherwise those capable of producing the best materials will be discouraged from contributing. The question is, though, Whose standards are we applying to globally available resources? We have to be open to multiple culturally determined approaches. I'm not sure how this would work between language groups. It seems to me a multilingual repository produced under conditions that encouraged various culture and language groups to learn from one another would be ideal. Utopian I guess.

BTW, my contribution to this course would increase in quality with the introduction of a spell checker to the editor!

--Maryp 15:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing Mary! Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? As far as having a spell checker, I use Google Chrome which indicates automatically when I misspell a common work, much like Microsoft Word does when it underlines a word in red. You might try it out. --Benjamin Stewart 13:27, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Evan Naqiolevu

The following are brief responses to the questions:

• I do not not have strong reservations about the quality of educational resources being developed using an open authoring approach. It would certainly involve a collaborative team of like-minded people from all over the world who have the same drive and common desire to make resources available to people to use and rework. The quality of the resources and content would be validated by each member of the team. I enjoyed Mark Barton's response to any concerns about Wikis. I think it would an excellent way to gain recognition amongst people who share the same values about education.
• It really depends on the type of OER that is being developed or re-purposed.It could all have to do with project funding and research. I think at the end of the day, the resource should be shared since it is adapted from an existing OER. In case of developing resources with Wikis it certainly should be open, however as seen with the various types of Wikis they are closed in a sense to people with different interests. We have to sign up to belong to a particular community.
• Because it is an open educational resource there still needs to be a level of security to safe guard the content and reputation of contributors. I think a level of "trust" is created within the community as each collaborator validates each other and builds or edits the another person's edit.
Evan, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 13:31, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Michael Verhaart

• Quality of educational resources: From a practical view, using open authoring allows for continuous peer review. Content is continuously monitored for accuracy by the community, and changed by the community. This can be abused (such as when spam is added) but interestingly the community will often "fix" this when spotted.
• Closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education :Definitely open approaches. It adds a level of ownership for both the learning resource facilitor and learners, so learning becomes a shared rather than individual experience.
• Mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content: As in Scholarpedia, there has to be a person (or people) responsible for overseeing the wiki and individual wiki pages. Some pages need to remain editable by administrator level authors (such as pages for common templates).

Verhaart I am agree with you especially the third one.--Mverhaart 12:14, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Hello Michael. So it's your belief that an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit is essential? And that the community itself is unable to sustain works of high merit on its own, correct? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 13:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Deb Stewart

Quality of educational resources: My attitude is changing in this regard. I have been very sceptical in the past, however I am beginning to trust the quality of open authoring materials as I become more familiar with them, and appreciate the power of editing by people who are commited to quality. I know that when i work collaboratively with peers face to face, our output is invariably of better quality than what any one individual could produce. It makes sense then, that this same benefit is likely to result from open-authoring.

Closed or open authoring approach: I have a sense that open authoring approaches may be more vulnerable to sabotage, however in principle it is this approach that I believe provides the best opportunities for true collaboration and affords voice for all.

Quality of content: When I used a wiki as a collaborative learning approach in a course I ran recently, I initially adopted the role of 'Quality Watchdog' however over time contributors took on more and more of this responsibility themselves. Maybe having an external reviewer would have been a useful option.

This activity has provided great food for thought and taken to sites I didn't even know existed.

--Debznz 12:17, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

You say, My attitude is changing... which I can relate to. My change in attitude relates to how I now approach peer-reviewed work. Becoming a critical reader of open authoring has changed my perspective on how I read anything these days. --Benjamin Stewart 02:41, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the quality of content, Deb, do you think that WE should have a dedicated committee (made up of Wikieducators) that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the WE community itself (all Wikieducators) can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 13:52, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Mamun

My views on the questions above go here ....1. Quality Open Resources are significant developments in distance learning. In some cases review is essential. 2. It adds value both to the facilitator and the learner. 3. There should be a controlling authority so that piracy can not be done while using open edu. resources. mamun

Should this "controlling authority" be a WE (internal) committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or should it be some external committee? --Benjamin Stewart 13:54, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Certainly external committee under the supervision of WE. Mamun

## Anirban Ghosh

High quality of Open education resources can be developed by open authoring approach. It is possible to edit one's contribution by other expert from all over the world. But to produce a qualitative OER there must be some system of final revision, otherwise non-expert person may also comment on one's work.

Hello Anirban. So it's your belief that an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit is essential? And that the community itself is unable to sustain works of high merit on its own, correct? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 13:57, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Alfredo Castañeda

My views on the questions above go here ....

1. I've not any concern about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach. In fact, an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials, mainly because the content is improved by each member of the team. The different points of view, educational path, etc. of each member enrich the discussion (and the consensus). Content is continuously monitored by authors and the community, and changed by them. This can be abused but the community has easy and open tools (also legal tools) to fix it in a fast way.
1. Closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education: Definitely open approaches. Collaboration and sharing adds a level of ownership for authors and learners, so learning (of each other) becomes a shared rather than individual experience.
1. Mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content: revision, overview and updating policies by a "corp" of administrators. A "kharma" mechanism.
Alfredo, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 14:39, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Olufemi Olubodun

I share some of the opinions from contributions here especially about the quality of educational resources developed by open authoring approach. The shift in academic papers today is that your paper as an academics will gain more recognition when it is not a single author. The idea behind this is that when more than one person is working on a paper participative efforts will most likely help improve the quality of the final product. A single author paper will not benefit from this in that it is only a 'one eye' product, issues are probably not seen from multiple perspective. I think it is in the same spirit that open education resources should be viewed. When contribution is coming from many direction ideas will come in multiple that could help fine tune the final product. The input of people from different backgrounds will likely add value to it as issues are viewed from different perspective. I like open resources for the development of learning resources. Education is essentially not a money making venture at least you cannot compare it with oil and gas, financial or communication industry where the main driver is monetary gains. If closed resources are used it will likely impact negatively on accessibility and will further take knowledge from already impoverished people who could not access education.I do not think the society will be better for it. The best mechanism is for resources to remain open for improvement, encourage contributory efforts and community participation. --Ojolubodun 16:34, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Olufemi, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:40, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Claudio Sturla

There is concern about quality but it can be revised for other people. But there is some good intention in man. Specially in men who teach. I utilice Wikipedia for the most complex of the technical issues and it is a treasure. Free and enormus. Time will correct any bias because everyone has the right to speak.

Best Regards

--Claudio47 17:02, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Claudio, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:41, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## C.Koltzenburg

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

My concerns are about the quality of resources that are created by using a *closed* authoring approach, really. An open authoring approach may contribute to high quality learning materials if enough people can be attracted to an open authoring project who know about the responsibility of sharing knowledge, are knowledgeable and up-to-date in the fields which they wish to contribute to, who like posing questions, and maybe also: who are open-minded enough to agree that someone else may know better.

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

With open authoring approaches being available, closed authoring approaches will have a hard time convincing me because for education I do not see any merits in closed authoring approaches any more. This may hold true for any resource, really, since, where do learning and education begin and end? Learning opportunities are everywhere, so, frankly, seen in this light, I do not even know why make the range smaller by saying "learning resources for use in education" - only?

• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

Get enough people involved who: ... see my answer to question one above. How can we get them involved? Donald Pink thinks it is: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose - maybe this even holds true for people in almost all cultures - provided there are enough other daily resources to live on.

• thank you for these questions, it is the first time I really thought about the issues you are pointing to

:-) C.Koltzenburg 17:59, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:43, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
thank you for this question to almost everyone, here's my take: I do not believe in any individual or group/committee "independence" in this respect, let the community members themselves decide, and if they decide for asking "latercomers" in to take a look at things, this is also the community's decision :-) C.Koltzenburg 05:21, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

• "Re: the notion that there is a quality problem with open science, isn't it a large assumption that quality is any higher in proprietary science?" posted by Alex, 4h 52m ago http://oss2010.backchan.nl/meetings/view/205, C.Koltzenburg 05:21, 30 July 2010 (UTC) (: For a fascinating discussion of the perils of disciplinary standards-setting and independence, please read Feyerabend, Paul. Against Method, where he discusses the need for disciplinary openness. He uses the Copernican turn in astronomy as a major example.Jrradney 18:36, 30 July 2010 (UTC))

## Tabisa

-Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
I think people can just post material of poor quality

-In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
I think it is good for group discussions and peer reviews but not for all educational resources

What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
It will need reviewing by a subject expert

Hello Tabisa. So do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? How would the notion of a "subject expert" work within an open authoring approach? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 14:45, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Justin Chisenga

• I am not an expert in the subject matter under discussion. However, I am of the view that education resources developed using open learning approaches are of high quality. I have usewd several resources, and therefore, I do not have any concerns.
• Open authoring approaches should be used in developing educational materials. This is because they make the materials to be easily accessible and thus making it easier for others to enhance or improve on them. In the final analysis this, further, contributes to the quality of the materials. It is more like an open peer review process.
• Open review and discussion is one way of ensuring the quality of educational content developed in a wiki environment.

--Chisenga 20:05, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Justin, Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Raewyn MacCormick

Open authoring approaches and may impact the quality of content but it is a positive method of adding sound educational materials. Other members can help to monitor the quality by constant review.

It is a great way to share ideas, monitor others ideas and to learn new skills.

It is difficult to participate well when only learning and still not understanding the concepts. However it is always good to be given the opportunity to share educational materials and to comment on them.

Hi Raewyn. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 14:47, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Petrea Redmond

Quality of educational resources: As in all things technological there are +'s and -'s. In terms of uses for educational purposes I belive the positives outweigh the negatives. Especially in a country like Australia where geographical distance is an issue and often the only way to participate is through online avenues. I love the fact that a wiki can be edited by anyone and the it can be reused with different participants. I also love the fact the we can go back to previous versions (if someone does the wrong thing). I'm hoping that my community (my class) will self regulate in terms of authenticity of content etc.

Closed or open authoring approaches: Both have their uses. For me it depends on the audience and outcomes required.

Quality of content We need to think beyond content (we can find that in many spaces: esp if it is static content) and look at the presentation of the content and what we require the learners to do with the content.

Hello Petrea...borrowing is the name of the game! I agree with you in that it's more about how we interact with the content than the content itself. Good point! Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 14:49, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

* Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

As a general rule, I would say that I do not have any major concerns about the quality of educational resources using the open authoring approach, as long as the community involved in the development of the resources is active and involved. As instructors and researchers, we should all be comfortable with collaboration in our work, and the development of learning materials seems like one area in which an open collaborative approach will improve quality of resources. Having worked in a team-teaching as well as an individual lecturer environment, I can confidently state that the materials developed in concert with my colleagues were always of a better quality in terms of the structure and pedagogical basis of the materials.

* In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

Ideally, open authoring approaches would be best for the development of learning resources as that makes them available for the widest possible group of students without concern for excessive cost or availability. However, I can understand how some developers may feel a proprietary interest in maintaining their hold on their materials, especially in the current climate of most learning institutions around the world, where academic staff feel under threat if they cannot "prove" they are indispensible.

* What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

The most effective method, to my mind, for assuring quality is an active, dedicated community of educators with a desire to share their knowledge with others. However, a system of peer review might be a good starting point for developing quality content in wikis.

--Tbgladman 23:40, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Tehmina. So, you believe that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? And should this committee be internal (e.g., within WE) or external (e.g., outside the WE community)? And you do not believe that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:52, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Maria

1. Open authoring does work but if deemed educational, they should support the provincial or national curricula. Developers should keep the end user in mind as that will impact upon the language or images used.

2. Either approach can be used depending upon the nature of the project. For example, curricula undergoes a rigorous development and review process to ensure quality,and consistency. A "closed" author process is better suited in this types of situations. An open one works well with resources especially if they can be easily updated.

3. Rubrics, examples for both developers and users and inviting feedback from subject area specialists, are ways to ensure the quality of materials.--Ria 20:50, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Maria. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:53, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Jane

1. As posted by Bardo 1000 above, there is always the 'buyer beware'aspect of any information posted on the web. However having said that, there is no incentive for anyone to post misleading or incorrect information as this is a gathering of experts keen to share their information and expertise to assist others. I would probably look to verify anything that I was unsure about and the discussion element with other members makes that a very easy process.

2. Personally, I like the open authoring aspect as it invites a much broader breadth and perspective. In addition, as membership of a wiki is usually confined to those with a common interest, there is less liklihood of mis-information being provided and endorsed, it would be more likely queried and dismissed very quickly.

3. To ensure quality content an overseeing group, administrator and/or an invited group of 'experts' in the particular area.

--Sjwbaker 01:41, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Jane, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:54, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Robyn Terrey

My second attempt! 1. Concerns re quality of ed. resources developed using open authoring approaches: My main concern, as mentioned by others, would be the possibility of "dodgy" and incorrect information being included. However, the other side to that of course is that with many authors there is the benefit of editing and correcting so that hopefully and ideally, the end product would be good and true and of high quality. Another issue that may arise is that a project could perhaps be open ended if there were too many authors with continual editing occurring. There would need to be someone that is deemed responsible for declaring it done and judging it to be of good and true quality. 2. Yes I do believe that open authoring approaches should be used in developing learning resources for use in education - particularly in my line of work - literacy instructional materials development and in developing and updating current resources that we use in teaching our courses. Open authoring provides the opportunity for more ideas, for keeping up with trends and practices, for providing for cultural, learning styles and other differences so that the resources are hopefully acceptable and appropriate for wider audiences. 3. Mechanisms to ensure quality of ed. content developed in wiki environments: As mentioned in 1. there would need to be a person or two who are deemed as the final judges as to quality and quantity of content. Perhaps too, depending on the materials being developed, a limit on the number of participating authors, and perhaps too a definite time limit stated. --RobTer 02:12, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Robyn, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:55, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Carol Gray

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

I do have some concerns, but I also have concerns about inacurracies and bias in textbooks too.
* In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

I think there are times and places for both approaches, depending on the context and intended audience.
* What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

Peer review can be useful, although it has the drawback of occurring after publication.

--Csgray 02:28, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Carol. What "drawbacks" are there in peer review? Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:56, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Jeannette Dyet

Concerns about the quality of resources developed using open authoring?

No real concerns about the quality of the resources as it is "horses for courses" - what I may think is a quality resources may be absolute rubbish to someone else.  I think the quality of a resource is related to its use and the results it produces for students rather than the method by which it has been developed.

Openor closed authoring for educational resources?

Depends on whether you think that one of key ways cultural hegemony is achieved is through schooling and the educational resources that are employed.  I think that this is the case and think that anything the broadens the range of resources available to teachers has the potential to make education relevant to a greater number/wider range of students.

Mechanisms to assure quality?

Possibly feedback from users of the resources in the form of a rating system or descriptive narrative that includes the context in which the resource has been found to be useful.

--Jeannette 03:53, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Speaking of quality, has anyone else checked/edited their posting, multiple times?  And I bet there are still mistakes in mine :-)

Hello Jeannette, and yes, I am constantly finding (not all I'm sure) and fixing mistakes that I published to WE...just check the history of this page as an example! Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 14:59, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Natalie Isaac

In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

This should only be used when the sources used or the information provided is validated by a specified authority in the field or area of interest. The open authoring approach must allow for some accountablity as it realtes to what is published as vaild and reliable information. There should be allowances for the contribution of those who desire to share their thoughts or knowledge,but this needs to also be substantiated by authorities in the field or areas of interest.21st July 2010.

Natalie, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 15:00, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Isla Taufalele

No expert but open authoring is useful when there is encouragement for learners to question and critique rather than accepting at face value.Here learners are willing to investigate truths for themselves rather than through the eyes of others.There are difficulties around determining authenticity of work with open authoring to which I have no solutions as the communities are very large. 22 July 2010.

Hi Isla, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 15:00, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Keryn Pratt

Initial thoughts late on a dreary Thursday afernoon . . .

Concerns about quality?  I think this depends on how ‘open authored’ an approach is, and who the authors are, and how well known this is – many of which concerns I have about traditional authoring approaches also, and which relate to notions of thinking critically about material in general. I think what open authoring has done is create a long overdue debate around the uptake of information, and the need to be critical in doing this, which applies not only to open authoring, but to all information. In terms of educational resources specifically . . . surely these should be evaluated by the potential user in terms of what they want to use them for? A great resource can be created by anyone. My only concern would be that sometimes too many cooks can spoil the broth – a resource developed by a large group can try to please everyone, and end up pleasing no-one.
Closed or open for developing resources? I’m a big fan of not re-inventing the wheel – so in general I would say lets go for open authoring – with the caution regarding having too many people involved.

Mechanisms to assure quality. I think having clear objectives at the start - although room for these to change, or perhaps for places whether changes can branch to - and a small group overseeing it – small so that decisions can be made, and consistency in terms of structure and format – which make it much easier for users – can be achieved. Also, openness and honesty in terms of who is doing what and why.--Keryn 05:23, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Keryn. When you say, a small group overseeing it, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:02, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Klaus Reich

Lots of interesting thoughts on quality have already been stated above therefore I'd like to focus on another aspect of quality often missing (especially in educational resources): e-accessibility (in addition it is one of the topics I am personally interested in ;-)

1. One of the eminent disadvantages of an open authoring approach is that many people may add/develop educational content or set up an instructional design that does not take into account accessibilty issues. Above all there is a lack of awareness and knowledge on how to set up ICT based learning accordingly. One could argue that the more people collaborate on open educational resources the more needs of different people are reflected in the products/processes developed. This argument (Universal Design/Design for All) would favour an open authoring approach.
2. Mechanisms that can be adopted: Apply the Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG), e.g. for wikis, in order to make the process of content authoring more accessible for people with special needs. On the other hand the ATAG provides guidelines for authoring tools to assist in the development of accessible contents, e.g. ask for alternative texts when inserting images). I presume that people being in favour of an open educational approach might also be in favour of open standards and technologies like the technical standards developed by the World Wide Web consortium, i.e. HTML, SVG, SMIL, CSS, XML, etc. These technologies have built in support for accessibility. Overall use an appropriate language (easy to read) and follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for webbased learning materials.
3. Besides accessibility issues I personally think that the context I am working in, the topic I would like to address and maybe the infrastructure available influence the choice for/against an open authoring approach, e.g. I might be in need of providing learning materials in a very short amount of time - in general this should be difficult by applying an open auhoring approach. However, when I would like to have a common basis on a certain topic or might reflect also different points of view I would certainly opt for an open authoring process.

In addition it might be interesting for my students as well to see their learning materials / process being developed ;-) --Klausr 07:13, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Some people do this already (example). --Daniel Mietchen 11:37, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Klaus, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:04, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Marinda van Rooyen

Quoting from Wikipedia is highly discouraged at our university. I found however that it is the first place I visit to find information. One can see from an article, whether it is a good resource or not, by just looking at the bibliography at the end of the article. This is also a good starting point, because from there I can visit the resources used by the author of the article. The fact that the comments at the top of each article also tells you whether the resource is reliable or not, helps a lot. So I think open authoring is great. It allows a number of people to contribute. I think more opinions leads to better learning. --Vrooyen 07:21, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Marinda, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:05, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Austin Bond

Concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach?

No, I'm not concerned about quality that is a consequence of open authoring. In my view, the so-called "quality" of educational delivery of many of our universities is a myth that is perpetuated (and believed) by academics. They do this mainly because the really WANT to believe it's true, and if no-one sees or challenges their work, then maybe they can continue to believe their own rhetoric. So opening up authoring is the best way of dispelling these myths and improving the quality of education as many educationists add their own contribution to the item in question.

In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education?

As I've stated above, I think open authoring is the ony way for the quality of education to improve.

What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

What mechanisms are adopted to assure the quality of educational content in closed environments? None (other than student feedback). By making content open and transparent to all, there is at least some assurance that materials will be regularly updated, refined etc.

--Austin.bond 08:00, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Austin, Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:23, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Alan Grant

I like the theory of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach.  I think that there are potential quality issues, but that's part of the responsibility of being an educator and looking critically at what you choose to use with your students.  There is plenty of rubbish that is offline or 'real world' too - it's not just an online issue.  At least any poor material you find online in open source is going to be free and you can opt to ignore it or improve it.  Potentially there is the opportunity for resources to be continually refined by peers, which can only be a good thing - particularly if you can access earlier versions to compare them.  My major concern to date has been that I can't find what I want online anyway.  hopefully as WikiEducator's bank of resources continues to build, this will occur less often.

Personally, I've never had any problem sharing resources I've developed.  The advantage of open authoring is that you can share with a pile of people who feel the same way.  Of course there is the need to bcome familiar with using a wiki to post resources - if the process is too difficult or frustrating then 99 times out of 100 I just won't bother.  Hopefully this tutorial will aid this.

My inexperience with open source resources is so limited I can't really make any fair comment about quality control.  Hopefully the people who use the resources will 'put them back' in a better state than when they found them.

--Alan Grant 09:17, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Allan. You say that you can't make a fair comment about quality control, but based on what you know right now, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? Just curious as to your opinion on the matter and you know you can always change your mind later (smile). --Benjamin Stewart 15:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Alex Tait

Firstly, just wanted to say that I am mighty pleased to have figured out how to add my name to this discussion. And it only had me stumped for 1 minutes.

My only concern regarding quality when using an open authoring approach centre on the need to be regularly in touch with the resources to check how they are going. As anyone can edit them any time there still needs to be some control retained by the developer of the resources to ensure they are not edited off on a tangent.

I think an open authoring environment should definately be used in the development of learning materials to make the whole process a bit more efficient and to be able to draw on the subject matter expertise of multiple people. The fact that wikis record a history of the editing that has taken place is also particularly useful in my environment (workplace learning as opposed to formal education) - I am often asked to document the feedback received during development of resources. Wikieducator does this task for me and shows me whose feedback it was, when they contributed it and what it was.

I think templates or examples of 'best practice' are highly useful in monitoring quality particularly where their success can be justified.

--Alex Tait 08:36, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Only one minute...good for you, Alex. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:12, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Carol Cooper-Taylor

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

The ability to have the combined minds of the world working on a project is hugely powerful and intellectually fantastic. Given that the group can monitor, correct and improve any information there should be no problems. Spam happens but if the community is active enough this will be picked up. Any users who abuses the process can be locked out.

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

I am in favour of open authoring approaches in general. Many institutions of course are not in favour of this approach and this can limit what staff are able to do.

• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

The power of the community to correct and improve information! :) Carolct 08:44, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Carol. So you do not believe that an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit is necessary, correct? And you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? Are there any strategies or techniques required in order to main quality assurance? --Benjamin Stewart 15:15, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Karolina Grodecka

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

Without concerning about the quality of OER, I just want to add to what has been written above that, people who are involved in OER creation and development are in most cases pasionate about education and teaching and they see great potential in sharing knowledge. Thus their work is an effect of passion and has to be done at highest level. Transparency of the creation process and visibility of materials also requires being care of quality. Collaboartion of different people make the OPER creating and the final product as well, more open-minded, presenting different view points.

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

Definitely open. This is our own educational heritage. We use text and materials from previous decade to prepare own, so how much easier it would be with common agreement on open authoring approach.

Karonlina, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 15:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Benjamin - ok let's try this signature. I tried to use the icon you mentioned but there was no link with my name. I used [[User: | ]] and that helped. option --Karolina
Karolina, pressing the button puts something like --~~~~ into your edit window. If you then press "Save page", this will be converted automatically into your signature (you can also see this via the "Show Preview" button). I will now do this. --Daniel Mietchen 13:01, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

## Leila Boyle

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

I'm in two minds about this. Some of what I've seen is really poor quality in both content and presentation. My view on poor quality is heavily influenced by seeing bad grammar and/or syntax (I can be a bit harsh and judgemental that way). However, if you're interested in whatever it is you're viewing, then you can take action to fix the poor quality aspects both in content and presentation. Things like referencing can alleviate some of the quality content concerns just like academic publishing in journals and books. I think I've now talked myself into the position of not being concerned as long as I judge each OER on its merits, much like I already do with wikis such as WikiPedia anyway!

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

Perhaps this depends on the individual who starts the process off? If someone is open to collaboration they should go the open authoring route whereas if they are more of a controlling person they may be more comfortable with the closed approach.

• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
• Trustworthy references as mentioned above.
• Maybe some sort of ranking/scoring system by users and/or experts. Can WikiEducator take a role here, perhaps?

--Leila Boyle 10:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Leila, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:17, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Jenni Hallett

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns?  I sometimes have concerns as I read through a variety of sources because at times limited information is included or resources are incomplete.  I think my concern is with the initial development of the resource, it could be developed by someone with limited knowledge and as a result be of low quality.  I seem to see that these just remain there and add confusion.  No one is really going to bother to fix them up.  I don't have much experience, but would think from wikipedia that the good resources are not at too much risk of being altered permanently by others.  If changes are made, people tend to pick up on that and correct it. If the resource is good to begin with, other people may be more likely to further improve it because they are actually going to use the resource.
• If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?  Can be higher quality because others can step in and complete or improve a resource, if a large number of contributors are maintained.  You can have lots of people from all over the world adding ideas and this could lead to a fantastic collaborative effort.  If I was going to contribute in an open authoring approach, I'd be really trying to create a high quality resource because it is going to be available for anyone to see it.
• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?  The idea of open approaches is of interest to me because of the hope that it could give more equitable access to educational resources.  It seems like a good idea, but I think I'll be thinking more about that as this course continues.  There may be times that it is more appropriate to use closed approaches.  I'm still not sure about the copyright issues.  There are things I use with a class and it is OK to use them for non-commercial educational use, but I don't think you can then put them on WikiEducator?  Or can you if you acknowledge the source?
•  What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments? Not really sure what would work, but think you do need some experts checking the content/
Hi Jenni, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 15:18, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Sue Davis

Do you have concerns about the quality of ed resources developed using an open authoring approach? I suppose that there are concerns about this approach in terms of quality. However if the resources are developed by a group of people the 'quality' check might be built in to the process.

In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view? I don't see this as an all-or-none proposition. I can see more benefit to the open authoring approach as it offers opportunity for collaboration with colleagues and likely a better product. Personally I enjoy sharing material, ideas, approaches, resources and I have learned a lot through others. I believe the end product would be better with the open approach. However, there may be times when I want to create on my own. I may have a purpose in mind that is clear and I may want to narrow my focus. Too many authors might muddle my objective. I need to learn more before I can give a definitive answer to this question.

What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments? Perhaps having subject matter experts check the content. Perhaps having a rubric for quality? I am really not sure.

--Suedavis 12:42, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I like to idea of a rubric, Sue! Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:21, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Daniel Mietchen

Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
Provided that spam is controlled for (e.g. by requiring registration and/ or CAPTCHAs), I have no more concerns about resources developed in the open than I have about those developed behind closed doors — rather on the contrary. In either case, the key is a clear link from the contributions to some measure of relevant expertise of the contributors. In closed systems, this is hard to achieve in a convincing way, and ghostwriting seems to be part of the game. In open environments, there are several ways to achieve this clear link: One would be by using real names and providing a biography with relevant background information (e.g. links to papers published, or courses taught), such that reputation can be imported from existing contexts. The other could be (ideally subject-specific) karma systems that compute on-site reputation on the basis of contributions to the site (e.g. in terms of how much of a contributor's wiki edits persists over a given period of time).
Open authoring provides more opportunities for review by educators, members of the potential target audiences, and any other interested party. This way, errors or inconsistencies can be pointed out early on, and suggestions incorporated while the project develops. And if the resource in question is open according to the Open Definition (which most traditionally authored resources are not), then it can be entirely or partially reused elsewhere, even with modifications. This foundation of reusable material will liberate creative energy to concentrate on improving existing resources rather than recreating them under a different brand.
In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
Open ones should definitely be in — they allow for better quality control, for quicker update cycles, for better integration with related resources, and for more opportunities to build on and improve them. This does not exclude closed approaches, which may well be more efficient when precisely circumscribed topics are to be covered by experts in that very field.
What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
As already stated in response to the first question, a key component to achieve this is by requiring contributors to register under their real names and to provide a publicly accessible summary of their relavant expertise, e.g. by way of a short biography on the wiki user page. If this is coupled with targeted involvement of experts (e.g. for fact checking, or for weighting the importance of different aspects of a topic), then the project stands good chances of delivering quality content. I actually co-authored a contribution to OKCon 2010 on that topic, entitled Collaborative Structuring of Knowledge by Experts and the Public. It focuses on Citizendium, a wiki that has implemented the mechanisms outlined above and is on a good track in terms of delivered quality, albeit less so in terms of quantity. The problem with this approach is that expert attention is a rare good on the web, and that most experts are hesitant to contribute to collaborative environments if those contributions do not count for their career advancement. Educational resources are in a better position here than general knowledge resources, since teaching forms a considerable part of the duties of many experts around the world, and the success of WikiEducator testifies to that. I personally think the two approaches can be combined, i.e. learning and teaching can take place effectively in environments like Citizendium's Eduzendium in which students work on wiki articles for course credit.

--Daniel Mietchen 14:24, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Daniel. The Citizendium project looks very interesting. In the Fundamental policies concerning community governance (Section III), how much of an influence are "subject area experts" in determining the level of quality of one's work? Who determines whether one is an expert or not, and are experts typically part of the Citizendium community or are they external? By the way, I like to idea of separation of powers between constables and editors...does this process work well? --Benjamin Stewart 15:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Things are much in flow over there right now, with a Charter being worked out to formalize the fundamentals. As of now, anyone considering themselves to have expertise in one or more of their Workgroups can apply for Editorship therein, and a group of experienced users then checks whether the necessary criteria are being met (details). Typically, Editorship in a Workgroup (e.g. Engineering) is given to anyone with a PhD in any (engineering) subfield thereof, or with relevant professional experience outside academia. The influence is most palpable in the Approval process, in which Editors "approve" a certain version of an article, which is then turned into a stable version, while editing can continue in a draft version until re-approval. Other than approval, the guidance includes anything related to the content of non-approved articles in their Workgroups — e.g. the ordering of sections, the selection of references and external links, or specific phrasings. This means that any user can edit these drafts in any way they wish, but if disputes on content matters arise, decisions are made by way of Editor rulings rather than community consensus. This works fine in areas where expertise can be defined and assessed easily, but causes problems otherwise, typically on fringe subjects. Separation of powers is a core principle, but difficult with low numbers of active users. External experts are welcome to provide feedback (and this has happened on occasion) but as outlined above, there is little incentive for them to do so (they often reject requests to review scholarly manuscripts too, especially if they receive many of them), and it is usually the (few) internal experts who take on this role. I would really like to see this model grow in popularity, so as to have a testing ground for coupling crowd sourcing with expert involvement in educational contexts. And the more I look around here at WikiEducator, the more I see potential for the two projects to collaborate. --Daniel Mietchen 12:30, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
As an active Citizendium author, I'd like to speak to your question as well, Benjamin. I agree with Daniel's analysis completely. From my point of view, when Citizendium works, it works splendidly; when there is trouble, it is the sort of trouble that inevitably arises when intelligent, opinionated people work together: ego, personality, unwillingness to yield to another's expertise. Citizendium is attempting to institute rules (which end up being 'guidelines', but that's another story) to address the sorts of issues that come up. One interesting example: the Biology editors wanted all species articles to be titled by their scientific names. It came down to an almost even (and maybe predictable) split, with scientists on one side and non-scientists on t'other. The discussions were cordial, but I think wearying for all concerned! Conflict management is really important in all these projects, to keep arguments from going past the point of diminished returns, so that people don't end up saying 'yes' simply because they have been worn down, or saying 'no' because they have become too deeply rooted in their arguments.
To answer your last question: the separation of powers has been critical. Does it work well? It's still bumpy, and being worked out via the Charter, but without the constables, things would have broken down ages ago.
Tallong 21:39, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

## Nisha Singh

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
It is generally felt that the open authorng tools are inferior to the closed ones but this is not the case . open refers to the source code and thus gives the freedom to the developers or the worker to make changes accordinf to the need. Therefore, they are more suited to develop educational softwares as in education learning has to be contextualised . The only concern i have is as open initiatives are dependent on the motivation and will of the developers its regulation is difficult to implement.
• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
As discussd above i strongly feel that open authoring tools should be used for developing the learning resourcesfor use in education. not only it helps in contextualisation of learning but it saves on the cost of software in educational institutuions. Besides this another important fact is that the students can have a continuity in learning in school and home as these softwares can be used in home as well..
• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
Two levels of assurance can be used . one is at the level of the developer so that only quality work is uploaded. The quality of work should be the main criteria and not the lure of quantity of work. Another step is to invite peer review before really finalising the work. collaboration is the way where many brains are coming together to work and is surely a way to assure quality of educational content.

--nisha :-) 17:17, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Nisha. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Do you think that the peer-review process should include an independent and external committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:52, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Hello Benjamin. Thanks for your response. I think the goal should be that the community should be able to develop and sustain the work of high quality but it will be difficult to achieve at one go. Therefore, we must start by including independent and external committes to start with to ensure and maintain certain level of merit in open authored works but slowly it should give way to internalising the respect and maintainance of merit within the community and then at individual level. This will be like we start with external forces of discipline and then aspire and work for attainment of internalisation of discipline. --nisha :-) 18:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nisha. --Benjamin Stewart 19:07, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Nisha, I agree with a lot of your ideas and wonder how we can benefit from the speed and accessibility of open access resources without compromising quality of writing and degree of explicitness, such as the approporiate contexts for particular resources. Some form of regulation will be necessary and appears to be operating in Wikipedia. I think that collaboration achieves a higher level of learning as people clarify their thoughts for others and multiple perspectives are considered. The opportunities now offered, as in WE, are so unique that we probably can't see all the implications at this stage. But what happens to all the substandard material out there? Is some sot of global disposal possible? --Alison.kirkness 22:08, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Graham Stott

Open authoring seems to work well when the resource is presenting facts or part of a negotiated project, but it can be inefficient (try going online to solve an IT problem: even in a tech forum there can be lots of people are insisting that they know the answer when they actually don't), and it doesn't suit the ditribution of knowledge that is not expressed in bullet points. I don't want others editing something I've worked years on. Criticism and challenges are welcome--but I want to be able to make the changes. So far I'm not convinced that open authorship is helpful other than in exceptional situations.

--Aardvarkpal 18:57, 22 July 2010 (UTC)


## Bill McMullen

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach?
- I am a big fan of open authoring although I still review open work with a critical eye...an eye that should likely also be applied to content created through closed authoring.  At NAIT we spend a great deal of time educating our students on information literacy...and reviewing all open and closed authoring material for accuracy. From WikiAnswers... the latin root of education is "to bring out." It makes sense that open authoring reflects true education as it brings out new ideas.

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
-I'm a fan of open approaches. Living and working in remote Aboriginal communities for years taught me that the indigenous belief of sharing what you have makes us all stronger. That said, there is always a conflict  between generating  and pure education. As with most education institutions, we need to generate dollars to pay our expenses (in our case over \$300 million CDN per year), and there is a need to sell resources, to earn revenue to stay in business. And, There is also some among us who still feel that open approaches are not at the same level of quality as closed and thus are not as good as something from one expert.  We need to recognize the challenges in order to overcome them.

• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
-Ensure the content is easy to access, edit,and update in a supportive (and supported) environment.  We must also continue to advertise the benefits to colleagues, and to our students.--Bmcmulle 19:11, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Bill. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:53, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Stacey R.

In short, I think we must always read with caution. With more content available, we must also be careful to educate students on how to effectively navigate through online resources.

I agree Stacey. What strategies work for you when educating students on how to effectively navigate the web? By the way, you might consider including your signature when posting comments so others can find your user page.

## Derek Chirnside

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

Hmm. Yes and No. Personally, I take time to develop ideas and resources, I like using bits I find, I'm happy to work with stuff and 'move it on' towards being more useable. So, resources being out there in an open world in a not quite there state benefit from being out there, and we just need to know as best as we can what is what. What I do think we need is good peer review processes. I favour first self review: ie putting things out there with our opinion on how far on they are towards 'done'

The issue is NOT simple. Poor quality stuff is different to unfinished and we need both por quality and unfnished stuff to create good stuff in a open way, and I can live with this provided I can tell easly what is what and find stuff easily. Not trivial!!

This has ben aired in a recent wikieducator thread, the exact postings I could not locate. But here is one similar thread: Post on Review Quality etc

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

Both. Closed meaning you develop things to the first stage inside a nice safe and secure environment. Then open it up. BUT, what about about peer review, feedback, missing vital things? For this reason, openness should be built in.

• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

Later, maybe.

## Aleta

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach?
About the quality, none at at. It's the mechanisms for assuring quality that are at issue. We want to avoid Wikipedia's 'drive by editing' free for all but still encourage participation. It can be done.
• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
Do you mean 'open to the public' or 'open to all users of the wiki'? I'm in favour of 'open', discussions and peer review are healthy. However, it is not helpful to give disruptive folks from the outside the ability to mess things up.
• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
Courtesy, open-mindedness and tact in cooperative editing should go without saying, but in practice, I think that unfortunately rules or guidelines are in order. Explain major edits, don't change spelling variants without good cause, that sort of thing.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Aleta! I would recommend that you add your signature when posting so others can visit your user page (10th icon from the toolbar above - it looks like how a medical doctor might sign a prescription). It's a great networking strategy...but don't tell anyone! For example, I will include my signature with the hopes that you will now go to my user page --Benjamin Stewart 02:22, 23 July 2010 (UTC) Did it work?
Aleta says this: Hi Benjamin, thanks for the encouragement. I'll try to remember to sign. I'll also go see if I actually put anything on my userpage, if people are going to be visiting! Tallong 21:44, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

## Benjamin Stewart

I have no concerns about the open authoring approach because it forces me to be a critical thinker. It has even forced me to be a more critical when reading peer-reviewed work. As long as the reader is able to recognize perspective and understand who the author is then there is room for having both open and closed authoring approaches to educational resources.

Regarding open authoring, the reader needs to be able to search entire webpages as well as linked webpages to get a better idea as to how valid and reliable the information is. It is important to determine the credentials of the writer(s) as well which may include digging deeper than what can be found on the initial website (i.e., telephone call, direct interaction with writers and/or colleagues, etc.). In fact, it's important to "triangle" references, writers, websites, etc. by investigating degrees of separation. For example, if a writer has a blog, wiki, and a website, is the information, argument, perspective, or worldview consistent? Is what they say in online conferences representative of what they state in writing? These are a few strategies that help assure the integrity of an open authoring approach. --Benjamin Stewart 02:14, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

--Jun Asis 06:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)Hi Benjamin. I've gone thru most of your comments and found that you were consistently referring to "an independent committee that certifies open authored works". I agree that this is one way of ensuring quality. At the moment, I can't think of a better alternative - but as the information increases, this committee will be overwhelmed with work, which may diminish their effectiveness, hence quality may suffer. We can create more committees ad nauseam and that would be one way. But the amount of information increases exponentially that creation of new committees might not be able catch up, leaving an immense backlog. There is also by votes, like American Idol, which might not be the best option =). Or we can have certification of individuals who will have the license to "publish" without going through the process (Yes, lots of holes to this argument).

What I am driving at is there must be a more automated way of doing the quality assurance. But I don't know how. I've not seen anything remotely close to doing this. So, "an independent committee that certifies open authored works" it is. For now.

Great comments, btw.--Jun Asis 06:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Something quite automated is in use at various Question and Answer sites (e.g. BioStar), and even some wikis have something that comes close, e.g. at Wikigenes and Scholarpedia. I agree that leaving such work to committees is not long-term solution, and it should rather be reserved to help develop and fine-tune automated tools. --Daniel Mietchen 14:46, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

## Gerard Ahee

• The issue of quality will always be of concern, but the wiki approach by nature is an open forum and statements or information posted could be challenged,edited,added too and can even challenge users to research further.
• There seems to be greater benefit to the open authoring approach as collaboration and sharing by like minded people will in most cases produce acceptable materials.We have so much to gain by getting the perspectives and experiences by contributors from around the world. The very nature of being open will have some vulnerability but the big picture tells me we have more to gain than to lose.
• Collective responsibility for quality of materials is the approach necessary according to the respective competencies of the wiki community. The internet has always had questionable sites and that will not change; however the acceptance and usage of the internet has not been affected by that. --Aheett 02:58, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi Gerard. You mention collective responsibility, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 15:55, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Indira

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
Quality is a major concern for learning community whether it be open or not. To a greater extent, open authoring initiatives promote quality, why because, (I believe) authors with social reconstruction attitude (ideals) come forward to share and contribute to collaborative projects like WikiEducator etc.
• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
I prefer Open authoring approach, why because, collaborative efforts and multiple perspectives result in usable and useful learning resources.
• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
We require a review and validation mechanism and quality parameters.
We can use the following parameters to assess the quality of educational resources:
• Relevance
• Objectivity
• Timeliness
• Presentation

--Dr. Indira Koneru 11:43, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

## Joerg Kurt Wegner

Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
There are two major concers. First, we need a control mechanism for plagiarism in open systems (e.g. text mining for identifying copies automatically). Second, if learning systems contain business process or other intellectual property related content then we need to ensure that the learning resources are properly secured within that legal entity (internally open, not open to the world). Being "open" means caring even more, not less, about data privacy, e.g. of patients.
In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
"Open" authoring of getting input from a diverse crowd is clearly preferred (even if "closed" to certain and changing networks of practice), mainly for group dynamics, diversified knowledge gathering, and decision making purposes. I am strictly against "open" in the sense that everything needs to be open. Since KnowledgePeople+Information (see slides there!) we can accept that people serve as gate keepers as long as they are openly available to the overall authoring process. Note that contributions can and should be based on push and pull principles.
What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
I would recommend a similar principle like "featured article" on Wikipedia. Define a process to approve quality content and then certify it as quality content. This system can work over multiple content sites, even if not hosted in this domain, e.g. some logo saying "WikiEducator qualified".

P.S.: There are lots of references for the points made, and I have right now little time adding them all, but I am confident that someone else might have some more time digging them out from some of my public channels ;-)

Joerg Kurt Wegner 19:30, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Kurt, you mention that works can be featured within the community. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies featured works? Or do you think that the community itself can determine featured works? --Benjamin Stewart 15:58, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Monica Marquez

I do not have any concerns about the quality of educational resources since the community involved in this help by contributing, editing and giving opinions and suggestions towards the information written on these resources. These type of resources can give us ideas and materials that can be used in the classroom as well as in our teaching strategies. As some of you said, we need to be careful with the authenticity of the material since we do not want to take credit in other people's work.

I think open authoring approaches can be used when learning, since we all learn from each other. We give ideas, opinions, suggestions, examples and so on. This helps for us as a community to learn, and it can help our colleagues to look at different materials to use for our classes.

In order to have quality on wiki environments, it is a necessity for people in the wiki community to verify that the information you upload or edit is accurate. We should not take credit from other authors and not acknowledge their contributions.--Marquezroxio 22:02, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Monica. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 13:04, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I think the community itself can do this since we all have different experiences and knowledge, we can give feedback on our projects or work. If there is only feedback from an independent commitee, then what is the point to share our work and ideas? There could be a combination of both.--Monica R 16:23, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

## Fabiana Kubke

1) Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

I do not see any quality concerns regarding the quality of educational resources using open authoring that are different to those in any other type of authoring: Contributors sometimes get it wrong. The advantage of an open authoring approach is the ability to correct errors found in the content. This new layer to content creation (updating and correction capabilities) which is enabled by wiki spaces is perhaps one of the most powerful tools for content creation, but one that is useful only if authors continue to remain engaged and continue to follow the pages to which they can contribute.

2) In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

I think there are advantages to both. Advocates of closed authoring approaches will argue that it is necessary to ensure that content is produced by those whose 'credentials' (I don't mean this to equate to academic degrees) have been verified. In this sense, 'expert' content is guaranteed. I would argue that the same can be achieved in open authoring: the community will inevitably gravitate to relying more on those who show greater expertise. I favour open authorship because, unlike 'closed', it opens the doors to dissenting opinions which promotes dialogue and critical examination of the content.

3) What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

One thing that I think is crucial is for authors to provide their real identity. Nothing like transparency and accountability to make one think twice about what they say or contribute. A type of 'rating' system which reflects the 'reliability' of the content provided by each author may not be a bad thing to have. It would facilitate finding mentors (I would certainly choose to liaise with someone that has a lot of thumbs up on a collaborative project) and keep a closer eye on content generated by those having one too many thumbs down.

--MFK 09:34, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree that authors should provide their real identity, and I believe that it's necessary in building social capital throughout a community. But do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 16:02, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that would be one way to go about it. I also think that citing the sources from where the information was obtained is also crucial. I don't see the idea of curating to be mutually exclusive with community built. We are exploring these questions at this collaborative document.--MFK 12:22, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

## Maria Rosario Di Mónaco

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

I don’t think I’m particularly worried about the quality of open authoring educational resources. Of course, their quality will not always be of the highest standard. But, isn’t this also true of some closed authoring products? I believe that, if we are talking about a shift in paradigms that calls for the need to develop critical thinking literacies in our students so that they can better access, analyse and assess information, it is imperative that we, as educators, be able to do that as well. Unlike what happens with closed authoring resources, the quality of open resources can be improved by the constant contributions of members of the global community, which will make for more authentic, inclusive materials.

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

Well, closed authoring approaches have been here for quite a while, and I don't see any reason why they should cease to be. However, I believe that we would benefit enormously by broadening the scope to include open ones. Why?

1. Because our students are already tapping into open resources like Wikipedia all the time.
2. Because our students are already creating content, making and remixing videos that they upload to YouTube for others to view and comment on, for example.
3. Because this constantly evolving society also calls for more flexible resources that can reflect the changes, be adapted and reused.
• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

I've been reading previous comments and giving this a lot of thought. As Leyla suggests, enabling some kind of rating system by users and experts could be a good way. Mostly, I believe in peer revision and open discussion. --Mary Di Mónaco 22:29, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

• It seems to me that we need to focus upon putting the tools in the hands of people in the learning community whereby they can rate information themselves (see Crap Detection 101), rather than trying to provide some standard for rating that allows and encourages the community to depend upon authorities. --Jrradney 23:48, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, Randolph. Good read indeed. Helped me clarify a couple of things. I was glad to see that I'm already using (and advising my students to use) some of the strategies suggested there. --Mary Di Mónaco 04:41, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
• Hi Mary. So you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own, including the implementation of a sound rating system? Are there any drawbacks to having a rating system? --Benjamin Stewart 16:05, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, Benjamin, I would say now that the danger of implementing a rating system could be to somehow fall back to the gatekeeper system, i.e. a group of experts deciding what's good and what isn't. Definitely, the best way out seems to be empowering people to make their own decisions. Articles like the one Randolph pointed me to would certainly help.--Mary Di Mónaco 04:41, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that empowering people to act purposefully and to make decisions accordingly is a good goal to have. Thanks for your comments. --Benjamin Stewart 05:03, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

## Sigi Jottkandt

I'm a big believer in open authoring approaches in education. Teaching has always been about sharing knowledge: between teachers and students, students among themselves and of course between teachers, so I see the Internet as mostly helping us do what we've always done, but in new and more effective ways. As for the quality of OER, by making my course materials open, I am more careful about their quality than I probably would be if only my group could have access to them...

This also relates to the question about quality assurance mechanisms - putting one's name to one's work may be enough for most educators to ensure quality. However, this may have disadvantages by potentially inhibiting people from making contributions if they feel their work is going to be judged or taken out of context.

--Sigij 03:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Sigi. So do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 16:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Sally Woods

• Like Deb Stewart I did have reservations about open authoring but I have been impressed by the high quality material which has been developed using this approach. I would have found open authoring helpful when I developed teaching resources in the past and will use it in the future. It is a great way to share ideas and resources and have others review work.
• Open authoring to ensure information is accurate, current and can be adapted to suit different situations and teaching styles.
• I'm not sure about this but assume one or more people will need to take responsibility for moderating material.

What most impressed me from what I've read and looked at today was Desmond Tutus' statement that "... much of the world's knowledge is locked behind restrictive copyright provisions - and much of this knowledge is inaccessible and unaffordable, particularly for the majority of citizens in the developing world." What better reason for OER?

--Sallyw 04:48, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Sally, do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 16:10, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Álvaro Ricárdez

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

I think that we should not worry about the quality of the resources developed through open authoring. If we all collaborate honestly, any mistakes will be edited. This is the way science developed when we were less people on Earth! Remember that for a long time all work wasn't registered. Just think what would have happened if Sir Isaac Newton or Leonardo Da Vinci had copyrighted their new knowledge? We must use our common sense when weighting the value of a contribution. If we accept something as valid, and then we find mistakes on it, then we must feel responsible to post our thought so the whole community will have a chance to review the suspect item. This is collaboration!

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

Open authoring must be used above all

• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

I think registering all contributors and then an intelligent system of public evaluation based on number of good usage reports is a model that just comes to my mind

Anyway, I think that social building of knowledge is the way we all gain new knowledge. It is impossible to assure that we will not be driven to mistakes, but fortunately, errors are the first step to gaining new insights! I have a great faith in the innate goodness of humanity!

Hello Álvaro. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? By the way, using this icon in the toolbar automatically inserts your signature which you can use each time you post a message in WE. --Benjamin Stewart 16:11, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

I am of the view that open authoring approaches must be used in the development of learning resources for use in education.Open authoring will certainly free the learners and educators from the clutches of age old practices.When we work jointly we have a kind of common responsibility and every participant in the effort do have his/her share in it.People could stay connected and invent /create new resources.

Once we have a platform where all the participants have a kind od of registration we might overcome most of the problems.There could still be issues but people who are networked are around and any change could be noticed by any of the participants.And after all we have to weigh every thing before we take it for granted.Wedo have several sources with which we may be able to verify,crossexamine and do what ever is needed to accept it. --Abdul 06:43, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Abdul. Do you think that there should be an independent committee that certifies open authored works as having a certain level of merit? Or do you think that the community itself can sustain works of high merit on its own? --Benjamin Stewart 16:12, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
What I meant was not to have an independent body.The open authored work should thrive on the community itself.Let there be inputs from different sources.Materials of high merit will be accepted and further explored in to.In fact the great plus point that we can think of here is the fact that the open authored work undergoes meticulous scrutiny at the hands different participants and the process is a kind of progression that never stops anywhere.
Thanks for sharing Abdul! --Benjamin Stewart 17:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

## Glenna Emel

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
I feel that the quality of educational resources could be much mocre rounded with the use of open authoring. It is closed minded to feel that one person for one source has all the answers. Though I do have concerns regarding the ability to check the accuracy of the information as well as the idea of intellectual property. Who owns it? Whose idea is it? How will you own it?
• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
I am not sure that one approach will suit all needs. That is like saying one medication will cure all illnesses. I do see a definite place for the use of open authoring and am currenlty working in this environment for a collabortive project. It is working wonderfully and all memebers of the team have equal validity in their arguments. As a group each item is evaluated and a final decision is made. Are we preforming major surgery, NO, so mistakes are acceptable and can be changed at a later date if deemed necessary.
• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
As I mentioned about I think it is important that all those involved have equal footing and the right to argue their perspective. Decisions need to be made in an acceptable format to the group and ultimately errors need a way of being addressed because they will occur.

A really interesting discussion. I think we should approach all educational resources, open or closed, with a critical mindset that asks, "are these educational resources fit for me and my learners in our context?" In research colleagues and I have been doing into support for learning design, and the role of "learning objects" in that, we have found that there is a predominant desire to package and metatag educational resources so that they can picked up from repositories as you would tinned goods from a supermarket shelf. But given the distributed cognition that underpins the way we all work and learn, this transmission/conduit approach just doesn't work (note the failure of "learning objects" to live up to their hype). Author Charles Leadbetter would call this a 'for and to' approach, where resources are created 'for' others so that they can be stored and transmitted 'to' them. An open authoring approach is instead a 'by and with' approach where we can help create educational resources 'by' ourselves and in collaboration 'with' others. But Leadbeater points out too that with the power of the collaborative approach there are dilemmas to overcome:

Ideas take life when they are shared. That is why the web is such a potent platform for creativity and innovation. It's also at the heart of why the web should be good for : democracy, by giving more people a voice and the ability to organise themselves; freedom, by giving more people the opportunity to be creative and equality, by allowing knowledge to be set free. But sharing also brings with it dilemmas. It leaves us more open to abuse and invasions of privacy. Participation is not always a good thing: it can just create a cacophony. Collaboration is sustained and reliable only under conditions which allow for self organisation.

I don't think external committees are the solution to the dilemmas. Rather, as others have said, transparency that enables a potential user/co-contributor to assess who has created educational resources, and how and why, are the best starting point. If somebody comes to WikiEducator and would like to make use of resources posted here, and can link to the profiles of the creators and from there to other information about their work, then they can weigh up whether this material will be 'fit for purpose' in terms of the needs of themselves and their learners. Ablake88 01:46, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Your mention of democracy reminded me of this debate. Does the Internet threaten democracy? --Benjamin Stewart 11:58, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
(: Thanks Benjamin. The video wouldn't play for me, but as long as the internet helps more people gain access to more information, and enables more people to have their voice heard, I'd say it benefits democracy. The role that Wikileaks is playing in helping expose questionable practices that governments are engaging in is a case in point. Regards, Adam Blake 21:56, 27 July 2010 (UTC))
Adam, the next session is tomorrow so if you would like to talk about a potential project or anything about the workshop, it would be great to hear from you. This same invite goes out to anyone, just contact me beforehand to give me a heads up. --Benjamin Stewart 02:02, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

## Asha Noel

Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials? Quality is always something we have to mindful of regardless of the approach used. I believe every methods has its strengths and weakness that we must be aware of. I think the collective approach allows for the possibility of richer material as it can be challenged, changed and improved upon easily. With that is mind, I think when using the information you need to recognized how it was developed and take that into consideration.

In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view? I believe it should never be one or the other as there is value in both approaches and we should not be limited to one. As I said above each has its strengths and weaknesses and can compliment each other nicely. Why not use both?

What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments? I think the more people know and understand the potential of wikis in terms of educational content, the better content we will get. I think growing our collectively responsibility in the development of educational content with assist in improving the quality. The more participation and understanding of a wikis purpose, the richer the content should be. It is also about changing the mindset of those in research and academia, that knowledge is more useful as a shared resource and collaboration can open possibilities, rather than as a competitive system that currently exists--ATNoel 12:39, 26 July 2010 (UTC).

## Monyela Makgongoana Henry

Working as instructional designer, I always look back at the last learning materials I help design and say I could have bettered the quality, in this and that manner.So, I always have a problem with the quality of my own work with lapse of time.If I was to circulate my earlier drafts as wide as I wanted to,it could have taken a long time and a possible "failure" of those projects.

And the introduction of wiki in my work life sounds like end of my quality worries when it comes to material designs. I would be able to get almost instateneous feedback from a large number of people from our community of practice, and therefore a huge enrichment of the materials design process.

## Michele van Wyk

I must admit that I still have some concerns about the quality of the resources created in a Wiki. If there are mechanisms in place to monitor the contributions for quality/validity I will feel more at ease, like I already do to some extent with WikiEducator in relation to Wikipedia because of the fact that you must be a registered user before you can edit a page. I am still reading up on the whole concept and idea around the open authoring approach and in essence I think it is a great idea that has the potential to work and that creates wonderful opportunities for discourse among the participants. I still wonder about the credentials of the contributors, if anyone can contribute who is not an 'expert' in the field and they get other random people to support what they have to say, how scientific and reliable is this resource in the end? Even though I might sound very sceptical, I must admit that I am already experiencing a change in my attitude as I am gaining more insight into the project and even had a lively discussion with my son where I ended up defending the quality of the resources created on Wikis.

I am all for collaboration and sharing of ideas and working together to create better free learning resources. The quality of the content should be monitored by experts in the field to ensure that unreliable/incorrect content is edited out. This monitoring/editing function can be fulfilled by experts in the specific Wiki community, and need no necessarily be an independent committee of subject matter experts. To ensure optimal levels of quality one can even consider using internal and external critical readers and moderators. --Michele van Wyk 21:16, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

## Jun Asis

Whether closed or open, the question still remains who makes the materials and for whom. Both can yield high quality if experts are on top of the work. And both can yield mediocre ones if only novices work.

I am inclined to favor the open approach, like wikis. I believe that no one person (or a group of persons for that matter) have the sole capacity to create the best work. The good thing about having things open is that anyone can contribute. A newbie may have some insight that a person with a Ph D would not have. And when there is proper archiving and documentation, no "knowledge" is lost. You just get different versions. And as the processes gets refined and the "system" learns from experience, it gets better with each iteration.

Just imagine if the UN (and all the countries) put their funds and heads together and used an open approach - we should already have a basic education in a box - probably the answer to the world's education problem! (including videos, interactive simulations, e-learning modules. etc).

Moderators/Administrators/Experts are essential to "regulate" and ensure the quality. And so are procedures, rules and common sense.

Though I am thinking a bit way off here, I foresee the day when systems or AI will be smart enough to do the moderation and synthesizing.--Jun Asis 05:40, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

## Shekhar

• Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?

I do not have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using open authority approach for the simple reason that it is by definition open to be reused,revised,remixed and redistributed

• In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?

I would definitely go for open authority approach because there is no bottom line and no stakeholders waiting for their financial returns on investment. The inputs are voluntary and to the best of their knowledge.

• What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

There should be a reliable editing mechanism adopted and if there is a contradiction on the topic on the quality of edit, there should be a disclaimer attached.

## Rajitha Sebastian

Open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials as everything is auto-coordinated. This is an educational ecology and it will evolve and continue to improve

## Mogana Dhamotharan

Whilst benchmarking quality to internationally acceptable standard, shared practice and experiences from contributing members of other countries enriches the product and enhances the richness of the discussions in any teaching and learning situation and more so in open and distance learning contexts where OERs become invaluable learning objects. To encourage this practice of using OERs one suggestion would be that the technology is highly user-friendly as well as interactive. Wayne has to be congralulated for this remarkable effort of bringing the world to participate in this learning and sharing effort. Well done! However, different time zones and bandwith capacities sometimes cause frustrating barriers to the ease of communication. I suppose this will inevitably exist and one has to manage best under these limiting circumstances.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

## Shikha Raturi

Quality and Reason: I do not have any concern regarding the quality of OERs. I believe it should actually contribute to high quality learning material since it is read and edited by experts in that field.

Preference and Reason: I prefer Open authoring approach. There are a number of closed learning resource out there in the market that in spite of poor quality still exist and noone can do a thing about it. Whereas an open learning resource enjoys the privilege of collaborative work by experts, so, really, how can we go wrong?? Next is why reinvent the wheeel! : OERs with a bit of repurposing become fit for use by a particular community, it is an excellent means of support for developing countries without spending too much time and money on the development of learning resources.

Mechanism!: Developing the 'mind-set'! We are dealing with a group where each individual has joined forces with a heart for community development. Secondly these individuals are responsible experts. So technically, we do not need any other committee to oversee their work rather each and every individual can take it upon themselves to safeguard and control the quality. I guess its about the 'mind-set', we can see how the educational scene has transformed at various levels and transformation processes are being embraced with more willingness than before. Each and every contributor should consider themselves responsible in wiki environments and I feel it is happening already.
--ShikhaNR 07:45, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

## Valerie Bross

Concerns: I agree with the excellent comments already made reagarding the quality of Open Authoring Approach Resources. Of course, any project will depend on the expertise, communication skills, and commitment of its creators. But in addition, as resources are created, the group might consider tagging the resource with information about the background of the group members (for authoritativeness), the intended audience, and the context for use for the resources. Furthermore, some thought might be given as to how the best resources for a given audience will be found & selected by others. It's always a relief to find a guide page created by someone else, as a first step in identifying best resources.

--Vbross 05:25, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

## Manyaku Jaqouline Rammupudu

1. Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
My concern is with authenticity of the learning materials. I think we must use reliable sources which will contribute towards high quality learning materials.

2. In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
We can easily share and collaborate with other people if we use open authoring approaches.
Get constructive feedback which will help us improve the material.

3. What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
I think we should all acknowledge the authors and use proper referencing styles. This will make it easy for everyone to read further about the topic. --Manyaku 14:22, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

## Nomvuyiso Cetywayo

1. Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
I think we can have high quality learning material from diferent subject experts willing to share. (: What about fields where the respected sources differ in approach? How can we teach students the evaluation of materials where there ARE no recognized authorities?Jrradney 18:59, 2 August 2010 (UTC))

2. In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
Open should be used otherwise we will be depriving ourselves of high quality we can get.We will also deprive ourselves of the feedback we can get from experts. (: It seems like we also need peer-reviewing of materials, rather than just 'correction from on high', especially in fields like those referred to in question #1 above.Jrradney 18:59, 2 August 2010 (UTC))

3. What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
The managers must acknowledge the contributors.

## Darsana Joseph

1. Do you have any concerns about the quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring approach? If so, what are your concerns? If not, how does an open authoring approach contribute to high quality learning materials?
In my view,the educational resources developed by open educational authorities can have high quality , as the learning materials are designed by a vast spectrum of experts.Hence the chances for failures are less.

2.In your opinion, should closed or open authoring approaches be used in the development of learning resources for use in education? Give reasons for your view?
According to me,open authoring approaches should be used in the development of learning resources for use in education.This is so because, in this method, as the learning resources will be frequently reviewed by experts , it is quite easy to provide an updated content.

3.What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
We could offer a boumty to the conyributors to encourage them.--Djoseph 17:24, 14 September 2010 (UTC)