# Learning4Content/Workshops/eL4C50/Thoughts on quality

Discussion

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Today I am asked to give my views on three questions. viz:

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?

1.Yes, I sure am concerned about the quality of educational resources developed using open authoring approach. This is not because of the methodology, but because of the people involved. Using of basic technology and moving ahead in life is fantastic, but there should be people with enough basic and graded knowledge to monitor the whole show. If the members controling the entire show are good in quality, then it remains to be seen that the entire educational system will be contributing towards high quality materials.

2. In the olden days we had the "gurukulam" educational system where only a limited number of students got the benefit of studying under a teacher. They went to the teacher. This was a closed system and the benefits limited. Then came an era where the teacher and student went to one common place or institute and imparted and took education. Schools, colleges and universities fell under this category. However this open method, had its faults and could reach to a larger group but failed in several areas. Today with online classes and the wiki approach the open system is by far doing a better job than the closed system.

3. Quality of educational content can be developed in wiki environments by increasing our network and bringing awareness to more and more people through the power of the network. Facebook and orkut seem to be good ground for the same. --Nimsparam 11:00, 29 April 2011 (UTC)NIMS.(Mrs. Nirmala Parameswaran.)

1.  Yes.  I am concerned about the quality of educational resources using the open authoring approach.  How can a user know if the information is accurate, truthful and/ or complete?

2.  I believe that a combination of closed and open authoring approaches should be used in the development of educational resources.  Some content should be authored by credentialed experts and other content shared and/or developed by the user.

3.  I believe that similar to the publication of a scholarly journal, there should be an editor or "curator" or "expert" to oversee the process.  Also, as non-experts contribute their material or input, they should CITE their sources just as an author of an article in a scholarly journal would be required to do!

--Virginia abraham 00:22, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

### Gudny Gudmundsdottir

Hello everyone. I do not share the concerns about knowing how correct the information is. Wikipedia has shown that if enough people are involved, the contents will generally be according to the standards of the environment. Of course, then it is important that as many groups as possible also take a part in the process. If there is an active discussion, the quality should not be a large problem. The more difficult problem is to find good resources and hopefully as the amount of OER grows it will get easier to find things you can rely on. --Gudny Gudmundsdottir 20:41, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Dear Gundy Gudmundsdittir-Openness character can sustain in open authoring approach. --harbans

### K.S.Ramakrishnan

Hello everyone,

Myself KSR. Today I would like to add more points for our discussions. For ensuring the quality of the OERs, what shall be done from the

Teacher Education Side is the main topic of today. The points are as follows:

• Generally peer-reviewed collections of OER are guaranteed to be of high quality. MERLOT is an example of a collection that facilitates a peer-review process as an attempt to respond to this demand.
• If teachers are expected to make greater use of ICT and create and share digital content, much more effort needs to be invested in teacher training and support in making effective use of digital tools and services.
• The tools used in OER projects are as robust as possible to achieve lower than usual formal and user self-support costs. The development of a culture of sharing and re-using content should be developed.
• The creation of rich metadata is costly and OER initiatives need to strike the right balance between the achievable richness of metadata and the costs they incur. However, recent practices allow for automatic capturing of data in the context of use of learning material.-- K S Ramakrishnan 23:39, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

## Ana Maria Panait

Hello All,

Below I will give my opinion in regrds to the following questions:

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

1. In my opinion is like a book before being reviewed for publishing. Everybody can write believes, opinions that can be reviewed and attested as true or false by “connoisseurs”. We get feedback on our writings and as said on the youtube video ”Wikies in plain English” after world wide contributions we will have an educational resource developed from start to end.
An idea can be discussed and submitted to pros and cons opinions from which a summary of all this information will be created. An open authoring approach is putting together different knowledge’s and ideas, it supports constructionism.
Wiki is a starting point to an opinion, believe and OER is the quality assurance specialist that assures these opinions reach the right segment of population and in the correct way.

2. Today with the increase expansion of technology era the open authoring approach has raised ground to be used in business, education, worldwide. There are universities, like Georgia Institute of Technology, who embraced this idea of open authoring a long time ago and created there own web platform to be used.
Turadg Aleahmad writer of “Open Community Authoring of Targeted Worked Example Problems” a web-based experiment in open authoring, said “open authoring is a feasible model of development and can enable new levels of personalization.”

3. A global agency that can take care of the need for guidelines to follow and assure a control of quality is needed. Something like “The Worldwide Authoring Standard Control”.

--Ana Maria Panait 19:12, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

## Paul Sang

The quality of open authoring is very good only if the content being posted is checked for its relevance and use.One of the ways is have some expert reviewers go through the posted content to authenticated its relevance and use.

Dear Paul Sang --The education envoronment is learner centred. Teachers are only facilitators.I think this is why we have facilitators.----harbans

## Harbns

MY  VIEWS  ABOUT QUESTION NO 1

I feel open authoring approach contributes to high quality learning materials. I understand there is no option. Net has provided opportunities for learners to plunge ever deeper in to knowledge resources .Learners have limitless means for them to grow their knowledge. Learner finds his own way around the knowledge of the discipline. So the “heutagogy’’ is based on net. In teacher centered environment one size fits all but it is not so in learner centered environment. The traditional quality measures associated with accreditation or state administered does not match in new climate. The Colleges and universities are no more the only gateways to the knowledge. So closed authoring approach is becoming irrelevant.

MY VIEWS ABOUT  QUESTION NO 2

As I stated in above question, in my opinion open authoring approach should be used in the development of learning resources for use in education .Net culture has not left any option. WikiEucator is accepting that education is common good. WikiEducator is building on the experiences of the free software movement. WikiEeducator welcomes collaborate authoring software so closed authoring approach could not be supported

MY VIEWS ABOUT QUESTION NO 3

• • The thinking on quality educational resources shift is needed from external compliance based approaches toward comparative bench marking and mutual recognition arrangements for international quality standards.
• • Free-lance course reviews from former students such as Amazon, COM
• • Students dialogue as in Face book .com • Other measures such as Canadian Association of community Education produced ‘Consumer Guide to E-learning for post secondary and adult education levels’

--Harbans Singh 03:18, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Hello All,

Today on the II day of the workshop, we are having the following questions before us.

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

I have the following concerns about the quality of OERs.

• First of all what is the genuineness and the required qualifications and expertise of the persons involved in the making of OER
• What is the agency which decides the quality, currency, level and other related particulars of the content matter?
• How often can a content be reviewed? If the review process is going on forever, if I take a particular content, what version shall I decide to be the most latest or accurate?
• Is there any possibility of saving all the previous review process and know how the content has evolved and who else had participated in that?

For the above questions, I am thinking of ways. One way is to create a global agency like Wikipedia consisting of volunteers, experts in the field and the team should be authenticated by a group of known educationists. But, I do not know it is practical. So far, I have never heard of such a group in any field so far. Till coming to a settlement, the quality of OERs will be a big question.

As far as the II question is concerned, I believe an open authoring approach should be used in the development of learning resoureds for use in education. If it is closed, it is the contribution of only a few selected individuals. If it is open, a lot of contributions are possible and finally the best may emerge. Of course, it may take more time, but once the participants know their responsibilities, automatically unnecessary work will be reduced and a final picture may emerge in a lesser time.

For the third question, I think there should be a global agency to take care of quality of OERs. The similarity is the IEEE, FCC,  in Elecronics, ISO in Industrial quality, ISI or Agmark in India for the quality of products in India. Nowadays many countries have accepted ISO standards. Similarly the OER standards committee may look after the quality issues.

These are some of the ideas I have. I will contribute shortly.

With regards,

KSR--Drksrk 02:19, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Dr ksr -- As quality rests in the eye of the beholder at first glance. So quality of educational  resources in web based  envirionment is determined by the user.---harbans

## Louisa Linterman

- I also have concerns about knowing how correct the information is.I am an adviser in Primary Mathematics. Some of the open source sites have a real range of quality. In the one site you can get superb support and resources and absolutely appalling suggestions. For a novice going into the site how do teachers 'sort the wheat from the chaff'? To ensure the quality of these educational resources there needs to be a commitment to community quality control.

## Dr. K.S.Ramakrishnan

 Dear Linterman,


We can not forget the fact that the OERs give very good quality at many times.At the same time, my concerns are What is the level of quality acceptable? Who will certify? At one point of time, some content has been accepted and taken as a course at some university. after some time, due to many changes, the whole content could have transformed into a new one. At that time, if the university tries to tract out the old version, how can we trace the content. These are my concerns. I wish many other participants will take part in this discussion. --Drksrk 16:47, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

## Heather Piper

• 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 would only be that the information would be correct.  If in a open authoring environment it would allow things to be edited for content and improved.  I think that open authoring does allow for high quaility learning materials.  It allows a number of people to look at and improve what is already written. The <meta charset="utf-8"></meta>

• 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? <br>

I believe that the more access to information that students or teachers have will only benefit the learner.  If the development of proper tools then the learner will have the best information available for their use.  There are times when things need to be closed to as in at the beginning of the development of some of the components requried for the learning process.  After that I believe that with the internet that given the proper sources it will improve education worldwide.

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

I think that the amount of users for a specific type of information would allow for the correction of information.  --Heather 11:52, 29 April 2011 (UTC)--Heather 11:52, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

## Veena Dhume

  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?

• Open authoring approach will help many to make use of learning aids provided people contributes in making the 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?

• Open authoring approaches will bring about resources being available for many students. majority of the people will .get the benefit
  3. What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?

• The contributors must see to it that the content is factual using methods to verify the matter given.

## K.S.Ramakrishnan

Dear All,
Welcome. Today, the fourth day of the workshop, let us discuss further. I have created an article on the OERs, their quality and their usages, which may be useful to others. Please visit my Userpage Drksrk and look at the link OER a panacea for Secondary Education. I am still collecting points related to what are the quality parameters, and the ways to improve them. Warm Regards.--Dr. K S Ramakrishnan 01:24, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

### K. G. Bhole

1. The quality of any educational resource is always of a great concern. What we give to these thousands of youngsters shold be well tested and of good quality, otherwise it will have bad impact on the learning process. Open authoring approach is good if many scholars put their efforts in and the output is peer reviewed. Since improving quality will be a continuous process, the outcome will be always better.
2. Both the approaches are necessary. as the technology gets developed and the access is increased probably both will complement each other.
3. More and more should contribute and the contents should be reviewed by academics and experts frequently.

--K.G.Bhole--Kbhole 05:58, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

## Simon-Peter K. Aheto

I think it is not bad if closed or open authoring approaches is used in the development of learning resources for use in education in the sense that it can promote variety of teaching methodologies and also bring experts on board without necessarily physically moving them to teach students in other countries or moving students to them. But the quality can be very much assured if there are assessors and reviewers to make inputs. --Kafuiaheto 14:22, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

## F.Glasgow

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?


The quality of educational resources developed via open authoring will be maintained through the various contributions of professional educators and ODL practitioners.

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 authoring is an effective way of developing learning resources for use in education. It is convenient,easily accessible and relatively inexpensive.

3. What mechanisms can be adopted to assure quality of educational content developed in wiki environments?
Peer reviews and piloting of course materials are two mechanisms which can be used to initiate and maintain QS of same.--Glasgow 19:53, 4 May 2011 (UTC)


# Dr. K.S.Ramakrishnan

Hi everybody, Today let us discuss some more points about the quality in OERs.

Economic sustainability may be one of the reasons for the poor quality of OERs. Several open education projects have struggled to find start-up funding, used grant funding to support core operations, and then been forced to close their doors when that funding ended. A core question for the open education field continues to be 'how to provide ongoing, sustainable resources to support a project whose main activity is giving things away for free?' There is a number of possible sustainability models for open source software or open education projects, which are given here. They are self explanatory.

• Endowoment model
• Membership model
• Donations model
• Conversion model - users are initially given a product or service for free, in the hope that they will be converted in time into a paying customer. Alternatively, users are given a free basic product, but pay for advanced services; for example, installation and support in the case of commercial Linux distributions.
• Contributor pay model - A content contributor covers the cost of maintaining their contribution in a freely accessible repository.