OER Handbook/Key questions

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On this page we invite contributions and thoughts and answers to key questions from the community. Please sign your name.

What is it?

  • a definitive, portable and reusable guide to OER Leighblackall 00:44, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • a practical how to guide for someone getting started in the creation of OERs -- something which a teacher will find useful. -- --Wayne Mackintosh 05:36, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • a collection of mini-handbooks, each with a different audience in mind, that provides an overview of OER basics and a how-to guide to getting started. --Sgurell 20:35, 8 February 2008 (CET)

Why do we need it?

  • to assist those involved in the production and use of educational resources to understand what OER is and their role in it --Leighblackall 00:44, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • to build capacity in scaling up the rate of OER content production by an order of magnitude for practising teachers, lecturers, and trainers -- --Wayne Mackintosh 05:36, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • to transition people into the OER community and instruct them in the basics of production, adoption and sustainability. --Sgurell 20:35, 8 February 2008 (CET)

How will it be made?

  • in a wiki, drawing from and contributing to other similar projects --Leighblackall 00:44, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • it will be developed collaboratively drawing on the knowledge and experience of educators from around the world -- --Wayne Mackintosh 05:41, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • in a wiki, reusing content from other projects, with collaboration from OER community members worldwide. --Sgurell 20:35, 8 February 2008 (CET)

Who is it for?

  • students, study groups, community learning initiatives, self directed learners, formal students, media students, student teachers, teachers, facilitators, media workers, media producers, managers, policy makers, politicians, copyright lawyers, educational organisations, media organisations, global educational consortiums, governments, NGOs, representational bodies... ok everyone :) --Leighblackall 00:44, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • Ultimately we should aim to cater for as many audiences as possible. However, I think we need to be realistic and take one step at a time. Therefore I propose that we prioritise development for key audiences. First educators, then educational decision-makers --- the rest will follow. Some topics or issues will serve multiple audiences (e.g. describing what OERs are) whereas other topics may be more suited to defined audiences (e.g how to remix a resource may be more useful to an educator than a policy maker) -- --Wayne Mackintosh 05:45, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • Because everyone has a stake in OER, virtually everyone could be an audience. However, each mini-handbook should reach a small range of audiences (e.g. one for educators, one for policy-makers, one for facilitators).

What formats will it be in?

  • MediaWiki text, XML, ODF, PDF, Bound book, CD, MobilEd, Audiobook, comic book, video --Leighblackall 00:44, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • I think it's useful to distinguish between the formats used for authoring and the formats used for delivery (teaching). The wiki is a good environment for collaborative authoring. The core "text" can then be reconfigured for different delivery formats -- where possible using the power of emerging export formats of the mediawiki software platform (eg. Wiki ==> pdf, Wiki ==> IMS content cartridge etc.) -- --Wayne Mackintosh 05:49, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • Developed in MediaWiki, exported to a variety of formats. While some formats are a simple matter of conversion, others will require some refactoring (print). --Sgurell 20:35, 8 February 2008 (CET)

Will it be created and published in one place or many?

  • Created in many places, brought together in one place, republished in many places --Leighblackall 00:44, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • Agreed it should be published in as many places as possible! -- --Wayne Mackintosh 05:50, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • As much of it should be created on the wiki as possible and republished in as many places as possible. --Sgurell 20:35, 8 February 2008 (CET)

How will the process and product be designed?

  • As Teemu says, a generic text book, making sure to be grounded and practical, concise and simple, plain English (and other languages), with learning designs created separately for optional use - not integrated. --Leighblackall 00:44, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • For the Commonwealth of Learning the development of an OER handbook in distance education format is a strategic priority -- Therefore, from COL's perspective,. the OER handbook needs to integrate teaching support, activities and assessment because it is imperative for us to scale up the number of potential educators we can train using independent study methodologies. Consequently, I propose that we design a structure that will facilitate maximum reuse in a variety of contexts for both face-to-face, conventional distance education and eLearning formats. This is what I have in mind:
    • A core reading for a concept (eg brief history of OERs) - this will be in the style of a "standard" textbook or journal article or in Wikipedia speak is the equivalent of an encyclopaedia entry in terms of volume. The size is variable depending on the concept but we try to keep this between 500 and 2000 words maximum. This will make it relatively easy to generate a standard textbook using transclusion or WikiEducator's collection feature.
    • For the DE formats the core reading will typically be preceded by some "teacher talk" in providing asynchronous support in preparing the learner for the reading. Typically what a lecturer would do in the lecture theatre when introducing the core readings that the learners will covering. This page will be independent from the core reading page. Therefore this does not need to be included in the standard text book output -- but will be included in the collection prepared for the DE format.
    • The DE format will also include activities and formative assessments to guide and support the learning. Similarly -- these will be independent pages and do not need to be included in the standard text book option.
    • This approach will facilitate multiple pedagogical approaches because users can mix and match the resources according to context and pedagogical preferences. --Wayne Mackintosh 06:19, 7 February 2008 (CET)
  • Outlines for each of the handbooks will be generated. Each outline will be granularized to provide manageable chunks for people to contribute to. Individual sections are combined to form each handbook and then exported to multiple formats. The original text will remain in WikiEducator, but refactored elsewhere(locally or using another method) for print distribution. Each of these steps should follow a [| timeline]. --Sgurell 20:54, 8 February 2008 (CET)