Excellent blueprint -- thoughts and reflections
That's a great blueprint for the Critical Reasoning course. I'm motivated to consider enrolling myself for the experience! As you point out, this is still work in progress. Thanks for the opportunity to comment on an early draft. I have a few ideas regarding assessment - -see below.
A few thoughts which came to mind as I was reading the blueprint:
- Under the delivery model, with reference to the recommended reading resources -- Do we need to specify that the recommended reading needs to be open access? Alternatively the OERu might need to distinguish between "Required reading" -- which must be open access (no cost to the learner) and "Recommended reading" which could reference closed resources, but purchasing these resources would not be a requirement to pass the course (if you understand what I mean).
- With reference to the "compulsory questionnaires" -- are these intended as summative assessments -- that is, does successful completion of these questionnaires contribute in any way to the final passing grade of the course. I recall from my days at Unisa assignments which carried "examination credits" -- ie a requirement to gain examination entry for the challenge exam, but did not contribute to the final grade. Is this the intention of the questionnaires? Either way should be fine -- just worth clarifying because this will help us decide on the implementation approach (technologies etc.)
- Similarly -- would the reflective journal contribute to the final passing grade?
- How does the practical assignment contribute to the final passing grade?
- It may be worth the effort to compile a simple table with an assessment rubric, indicating how Unisa envisages the different components contributing to a successful pass. Eg: Challenge exam 50%, Assignment 20% and Reflective Journals 15% and Questionnaires 15% (or any another configuration).
- Under credentialling you mention a certificate of accomplishment (great idea) -- I assume this is for learners who successfully complete the assessments. Would be good to clarify this in the blueprint.
Wow this is exciting - you've produced a good example for others to follow :-)
Thank you for the comments and feedback, this is most useful. To continue the conversation.
- I would like to make sure all the recommended reading resources are OER. There is currently a copyrighted, purpose-written textbook for the course. We would like to see if we can negotiate that this is released as an OER as well, but it is very much still in process. The focus of the recommended reading will thus be OER materials, if we cannot negotiate CC publication of the text, we would recommend it, but it would definitely not be a required source. In either case a traditional textbook presentation of materials, even if openly licenced will not be the primary source for the course. I will clarify in the blueprint as soon as we have certainty.
- I seemed to have made a slight error in the delivery mode section and not have saved my edits. I have rectified it. There will not be compulsory questionnaires. We were thinking of possibly having a short community based project employing critical reasoning.
- The assessment that I have put in here is the tasks which we will have as part of the OER course. The accreditiation at Unisa will probably involve the submission of a portfolio of all or a selection of the tasks, which will probably be followed up with a challenge exam. These issues will be addressed during our OER strategy planning in the next few weeks.
- One option worth exploring for the release of the purpose written textbook is to consider a bounty award submission for the Saylor Open Textbook Challenge. This could be very useful for addressing any re-writes which may be necessary to address any third-party copyright clearances in the existing text. If the text is published, for example, by a University press -- there is no problem in selling a bound version under an open license -- Just as long as there is a digital version for free under an open content license. There is some evidence that sales of open text books using this model do not necessarily decrease.
- Thanks for the clarification that the assessment strategies in the blueprint are for the OER course -- I can see that this will synchronise well with Unisa's formal assessment model.
Reiterating Wayne, this is indeed a fantastic online teaching model. I intend to use it for future design projects as well! I am suggesting that you could perhaps add a reflective dimension?
...so that you now have:
EXPLORE - IDENTIFY - RECOGNISE & UNDERSTAND - EVALUATE - CONSTRUCT - REFLECT.
I am thinking out aloud about the teaching & learning context of this module.
• How does one integrate the different knowledge contexts effectively ? ( psychology, education, social work, communication science, public administration, English studies, managerial professions, and Health Sciences Education).
• How does one cater for the different geographical contexts of the participating students effectively as well ?
When it comes to the technological tools, such as the “reflective video activities based on open access videos hosted on the internet”.
• How does one deal with the issue of expensive internet access for the majority of our students? (Incidentally access to the internet seems to be comparatively more expensive in South Africa than in most other African countries).
I am looking forward to participating in your Unisa OER strategy planning at Unisa.
Regarding context -- I think we can provide more contextualised learning experiences using the concept of "free range learning" (see Pam Ryan's blog post). Learners can have greater flexibility to uses OERs better aligned with their own interests and contexts.
Integrating different knowledge disciplines will always be a challenge with a discipline-based curriculum. Do you have any thoughts and ideas on how to respond to this need.
The cost of reliable Internet connectivity is a huge challenge in many parts of the world. I don't think the OERu will necessarily solve the problem -- but there are a few things we can do to minimize the costs of connectivity for OERu learners. For example:
- WikiEducator has the ability to produce print-based study guides for the core learning resources. These could be duplicated locally for offline study. The print version will contain full urls to key sites which learner could explore when they visit a local cyber cafe or internet access point.
- Interaction strategies could use mobile technologies -- eg microblog posts which may be more affordable in different contexts.
- Digital literacy are becoming an import skill for the 21st century -- I think its important for us to think about creative solutions to help learners acquire these skills.
Appreciate the feedback - -thanks
Thank you for the great feedback. I agree we should make sure that we have the reflective dimension included. Tony Mays will be managing the development and I will ensure that he includes this.
The issue of internet access and cost is indeed worrying. Interestingly enough, from the recent ICT survey conducted at Unisa it seems that access and infrastructure is much less of an issue than the exorbitant cost of access in South Africa. I am afraid there is no ready solution to this and we will just have to wait for the cost to decrease (of which there are definitely already signs). The best we can do is to prepare ourselves to have OER resources in place and try to limit the amount of bandwidth and data that needs to be downloaded as part of our resources.