Thoughts on quality

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Consider the following questions, add your name as a heading and let us know what you think:
  • 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 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?
  • What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

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  • Once you have laid out your thoughts here, you are invited to join the attempt to synthesize the various perspectives into one coherent document.


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Ramesh Sharma

*SAVITHA HARISH The result of our journey is not the reward...the journey itself is the reward The conept OER may have itsown negatives.The main concer is about the liberty of editing and the accuracy of knowledge.Next is about the anxity on how to amke use of this great concept in our curriculum. Following are the attrations of this concept

  •  Liberty of choice
  • chance to proceed in own pace and time
  • more chace 4 trial and error
  • excellent support and feed back
  • good net work
  • international collaboration
  • team work and spirit
  • free sharing of knowledge
  • and much more...

Re: Dear Savitha, refer your query on how to use WikiEducator in our Curriculum, there are many examples. I am citing some of them below which you may find interesting:

--Pulin Bhatt: My thoughts about Open Education Resource:

Picture 440.jpg

I believe knowledge can not be monopolized. This is the best platform where knowledge is not monopolized, but freely distributed and shared among the global users where everybody is a part of a global community called the Wikis! The concept itself is so very stunning! Open Authoring is probably the best approach to create quality educational resources where everyone can contribute and learn. In the 21st century, the role of the educator is that of a facilitator and a guide. By guiding the students to use such platforms, the purpose is best served at a time when education is becoming so much costly to an average student and where opportunities in many developing and under-developed countries are few.

There is always a room for improvement of quality in open education resources. Mistakes, if at all and any, can easily be corrected at any time and from anywhere! That's the advantage of open education resources. You don't have to pay for sharing your and others' knowledge unlike in other educational resources. I believe, the quality in such platforms is self-monitored as whosoever edits the article/s knows better than the previous one and hence the quality is always improved with each edit. So, though the quality is always important in any educational resource, it should not be a problem with the Wikieducator as it is self-attained and monitored!

You can contact me at my email: [1]

Brenda Hallowes

My thoughts....

After reading the material set for today's session I realise that open resources can be of a very high standard due to the fact that there can be more than one editor. The most famous example of course is Wikipedia. The fact that someone can edit one's entry should make the author more careful about what they produce. Should there be an error in the material another author is able to edit and correct.

Open Source is accessible to more people and therefore is a collective knowledge/wisdom where as a closed source is limited by the knowledge and wisdom of the parties who author the material.

The fact that Open Source material is freely available makes it accessible to all. I live in Africa and share the frustration of under-resourced schools and educators. I value Open Source materials for what it can offer educators in my context.

--Brenda Hallowes 10:56, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Claire Robinson

With a History degree (and therefore an academic interest in the 'integrity' of sources) and an editorial background (and therefore a professional interest in accuracy), I had been somewhat skeptical about the validity of content in wikis in the past. However, arguably the self-regulating principles of the wiki community are more rigorous than a lot of more traditional media and the fact that an error can be so easily corrected is very attractive! No more waiting until the next re-print... 

But perhaps the most exciting part for me is the global reach that a wiki can achieve - there is no point having information and knowledge in one place if people cannot access it. The more people, thoughts and experiences that come together, the more meaningful and interesting the information and knowledge that is being shared!

--Clairer 19:08, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Becky Neep As a school teacher, I am interested in exploring a wiki community's potential to work as a collaborative learning tool. I realise this may need close moderation by myself and others but know that a wiki aimed specifically at my learners could be of huge benefit. As a languages teacher, I too am excited about the wiki's potential to connect students to the wider world, in particular with their peers in Spanish speaking countries, making learning authentic. --Beckyn 20:04, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Ronja Skandera

The biggest thing that struck me while reading through the material is that it doesn't make sense to 'lock' knowledge. For example if I consider a propriatary encyclopaedia software - I use the term 'lock' because that is how I imagine it - knowledge or information is made available to the world by a small number of specific people (therefore perhaps 'locking' the amount and variation of knowledge input) and it is then sold to those who need it (therefore 'locking' it from those who need it but have no way of obtaining it). I don't see that as fair or right, when knowledge should be free, never-ending, and ever-expanding.

I don't think that the question of the quality of an open authoring approach to educational resources is a big problem. There will be information or resources published that I consider quality, and there will be some that I don't find of any quality. But this is the nature of open authoring - I then have the possibility of contributing, to improve the quality of an established resource. I think of that as a never-ending project - there will always be people who can alter / fix / add things for the better. Obviously, just like we teach our students, information that we find - whether it be from an open or propriatary source - needs to have some sort of quality assurance - if for example I find a German teaching resource I would be able to tell whether it is of quality or not, but if I am looking at a Biology resource I would have to verify the quality of this resource by asking someone knowledgeable in the field, or verifying the information through another source.

I love the idea of open source and open education resources - we don't need the big companies anymore to sell us knowledge - we can play on our own! --Ronja 03:50, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Wilhelmina Louw
My view of close authoring: Just as in the case of closed authoring we will also find some open educational resources where the quality is not good, but open authoring have the benefit that the quality can be improve within a short time instead of waiting for the reprint of materials as in the case of closed authoring. Open authoring also have the benefit of compiling information through the contribution and collaboration between experts within the online community which in my view will definitely improve the quality of the resources.

I definitely agree that making education accessible for everyone through the provision of open educational resources is the answer to improve education worldwide.--User:Miems

Ashwini Datt

Quality of educational resources is always important irrespective of whether it has been developed using a closed or open source authoring system. It is not so much what educational resources are available but also how these resources are used. Having worked at the University of the South Pacific, which offers mainstream distance and flexible learning to 12 different island nations in the Pacific, I appreciate the amount of time and resources invested to develop high quality, accessible educational resources. Given the cost of education, we would definitely like a return on our investment. OERs are [or can be] free to access but that does not mean it can be or are sub-standard. They do increase accessibility. I find that OERs up the game in terms of accountability and accuracy. This video debate on internet and democracy in which the founder of Wikipedia talks about democracy through wikis is very relevant. OERs being in the public domain are open to scrutiny as demonstrated by the concept of Darwikinism. It also encourages sustainable use of resources by allowing re-purposing and reuse
Development of educational resources using open or closed system depends on the recognition/accreditation these resources get. There is a huge discrepancy in the acknowledgement of online courses compared to that offered face to face. However, if ‘digital citizenship is the ideal form of citizenship for the 21st century’ (Mossberger, 2008) and characteristics of our learners are as described by Tapscott then OERs hold a lot of promise. The debate used to be information vs knowledge but with social media it is more knowledge vs wisdom. Digital social media (Web 2.0s) that allow collaboration is the catalyst for knowledge production and the wisdom of the crowd ensures content is adaptable and high quality.

Reference: Mossberger, K., Tolbert, C. J., & McNeal, R. S. (2008). Digital citizenship: the internet, society and participation. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

--Ashwini Datt 23:43, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

'Thula Quality concerns regarding open educational resources