This is a series of pages designed to accompany a talk by Alan Levine and Brian Lamb for Open Ed 2015. Months earlier, we submitted this as a proposal:
Recent years have seen significant progress in the creation and sharing of open educational resources. Yet as Martin Weller’s book attests, while open may be winning the battle, in the trenches it doesn’t feel like victory. Resource-constrained institutions face continued struggles to foster open online educational experiences. Choosing and supporting tools, convincing peers and partners to take risks are as difficult to do as ever. Meanwhile, the discourse around learning environments seems to have hardened between the provision of centrally-managed and rigidly controlled systems vs the wide-open “personal cyberinfrastructure” approach. Is this dichotomy realistic or useful?
This session explores these tensions and looks for middle ground. We survey a range of developments such as the Reclaim/Domain of One’s Own movement, Connected Courses, and the OERu network’s collaborative course framework. But have learning technologists done enough to make open web environments inviting and appealing? What if we make ease of use and sustainable support the prime consideration in learning tool design? How about incorporating tools that do not ask require user accounts or personal identifying data? We demonstrate an approach of simple, discrete, task-oriented open tools intended to provide an inviting on-ramp to open practice, minimize support needs, and work around concerns of student privacy and data collection. We will also explore the implications of recent advances for technical infrastructure that promise a future in which we share and rapidly deploy robust learning tools and environments the way we presently share OER.
Discussion of these developments might lead to a set of principles, suggestions and warnings to guide the future development of convivial, publicly-engaged and learning-centered online spaces: ones that are not just the extremes of the edges, but all the spaces in between.
More background on these activities can be found at the portfolio site Alan maintained while he was a Research Fellow at TRU.