Discussion -- Day 1 on the quality of open authoring approaches

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Wayne

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Jul 25, 2009, 10:57:16 PM7/25/09
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A wiki is an open authoring environment - anyone can make a change to
a page in Wikieducator.

This is a general forum to explore quality related issues in the Wiki
world. There are three broad topics suggested for this forum.

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 course development for education use closed
or open authoring approaches? Give reasons for your view?
3) Do you have any suggestions for WikiEducator on how to promote and
ensure quality?

Look forward to reading your responses

Cheers
Wayne

Dilip Barad

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Jul 26, 2009, 1:41:48 PM7/26/09
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I believe Open Authoring approach works wonderfully, if we have
committed teachers/researchers/scholars. I am of the view that we can
have quality educational resources if people involved take up the
issue with top priority and seriously. It has immense potential to
contribute to high quality learning material.
Suggestions for WikiEducator: * To ensure quality we should have peer
review of all the content developed, edited and added. For this we
should have committed people who can give their time to access
uploaded material and edit it wherever necessary.
* For promotion, we need t have more online and offline workshops.
Dilip Barad
www.wikieducator.org/user:Dilipbarad

umesh chandra pandey

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Jul 26, 2009, 2:36:13 PM7/26/09
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Open authoring approach for content development is a fascinating way of involving experts however I still feel that we need to be careful about the quality part of it.The peer review as suggested by Mr Dilip Barad will definitely help. 
 
--
Dr U C Pandey
Director (Knowledge Management)
School of Good Governance and Policy Analysis
C-402,4th Floor,
Narmada Bhawan,
59,Arera Hills,Bhopal(MP)
India-462011
+91-755-2570217
+91-755-2570218(Fax)
0091 9977600567 (M)
E Mail:ucpa...@ignou.ac.in

Jan Visser

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Jul 26, 2009, 5:01:56 PM7/26/09
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While reading and viewing the Day 1 materials the following thoughts came to mind. These thoughts are listed in the order in which they came up. No priority implied.

 

1)     The development and distribution of Open Educational Resources (OER) is an obviously good thing, particularly for those parts of the world where access to quality educational materials is limited or absent. It is also good from the perspective that both the production and use of such materials in an open setting tends to lead to more dialogue and more collaboration. This supports the idea that learning is in essence a dialogic phenomenon.

 

2)     The mission of WikiEducator is “Working collaboratively towards a free version of the education curriculum by 2015.” I felt somewhat uncomfortable with it. The assumption seems to be that there is some sort of globally accepted curriculum that suits everyone. Besides, the notion of ‘curriculum’ is quite closely linked to the discourse about schooling, which may imply that there is a bias towards formal educational processes. Creating OER should, in my view, result in allowing diverse users through diverse means in diverse contexts to learn in diverse ways for diverse purposes. The WikiEducator discourse remains too close, in my view, to the classroom metaphor.

 

3)     The validity of collaboratively developed OER is an issue that requires attention (see also the two previous posts). The Scholarpedia (http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Main_Page) approach seems an interesting way to circumvent the potential problem of loss of validity. Unmoderated collaborative authorship, absence of peer review, tolerance towards anonymously submitted contributions are all contrary to traditional ways of establishing validity of knowledge production and knowledge presentation within disciplinary communities. One may argue that the traditional mechanisms have a tendency to discourage the emergence of novel and unconventional ideas, but this hardly seems an issue in the area of the development of educational materials, unless one wishes to defend that, e.g. in the area of science education all kinds of pseudo-scientific views ought to be part of what should be offered to learners. A concrete example would be the chaos that would result from ‘collaborative’ authorship about the origin and evolution of life forms on earth involving not only authors well versed in the life sciences of the day but also evolution deniers.

 

4)     Related to the above issue is the problem that users of collaboratively authored texts and other media are denied the opportunity to identify with individual authors. Excellence can no longer be seen as embodied in individual persons. Consequently, as an individual learner one starts living in an environment in which knowledge is detached from those who embody it. I see this as problematic from a motivational perspective as well as from a moral perspective.

 

5)     The “reuse, revise, remix, redistribute” philosophy is probably fine as long as we deal with learning at a relatively superficial level. However, it may not serve, or even act contrary to, the interests of deep learning and deep understanding.

 

The above five points respond to Wayne’s first question.

 

As to the second question raised, it is not clear to me what exactly is implied by the terms ‘open’ and ‘closed’ in connection with authoring approaches. In the traditional approaches there is quite some openness in the sense that established practices allow and encourage peer scrutiny. Properly designed instructional materials involve serious formative evaluation and thus user scrutiny. Thus, from an authoring perspective I think that both approaches can potentially lead to good quality. Access is obviously a different matter. I think everyone has a right to have access to the entire cultural heritage that humanity has produced. Such universal access is essential for the further evolution of humanity.

 

Regarding the third question, i.e. quality assurance, I support the idea of some form of peer review suggested in the previous posts. I furthermore feel that contributing authors should be clearly recognizable. As a contributor one should be aware that one is publicly responsible for what one contributes. A system of user comments/user review of WikiEducator products (somewhat similar to reader reviews of books on amazon.com) may also help to assert quality or lack thereof.

 

Jan Visser (www.wikieducator.org/user:Jvisser.ldi)

Learning Development Institute

 


Mark

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Jul 26, 2009, 11:19:06 PM7/26/09
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1) The written word is seen by many to hold more validity - I read it,
it must be true. A wiki needs to be read for what it is - a
collaborative collection of ideas, findings, information. In a social
constructuvist framework the wiki is simply a written version of what
happens with a person's thinking - except that what is written is the
latest update from one of the people in the community, as opposed to a
range of slightly different constructs within the minds of each of the
people within the community. A wiki needs a moderator who is an expert
to oversee the work of novices as they journey closer to being an
expert. The expert models the behaviour the novice aspires to exhibit.
2) In a competitive market where the assessment of knowledge leads to
one getting schooling placement or employment over another, an open
authoring approach could be seen as threatening to those wanting to
use their aquisition of knowledge to further their own cause. I prefer
the use of Blackboard because it is a closed community, but one where
members can be directed out of the community to find more information
i.e. linked to Youtube, Wikipedia... but there is still a home
advantage being within the closed environment.
3) Hmmmm....

sro...@ginnsol.com

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Jul 27, 2009, 8:43:52 AM7/27/09
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Hi, Wayne I am trying to find my way around but I am lost, help

Sean Rogers



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [WE/Sloan-C eL4C28] Re: Discussion -- Day 1 on the quality of
open authoring approaches

Violeta Chirino

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Jul 27, 2009, 6:10:01 PM7/27/09
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Dear Wayne and colleges:

I find common issues to the 3 questions:
a) operationalize quality for wiki
b) ethical standards
c) compromise on collaborative knowledge contructions from
participants point of view.
d) state of the art in property rights.

1. In this sense I have concerns related to responsible participations
and also to the neccesity of having a knowledge common ground as well
as ethical common ground in participating about a specific issue.
2. ´Till property rights for some materials are not open I considere
both approaches have to interact. Nevertheless open resources shoul
focus on extended knowledge, that means participate around
undestanding, examples and reflections that lead to a collective
knowledge in an open resources basis will make the difference.
3. Define quality,giving meaning to its indicators, social contract
for participations, promote a social resposibility in the awarness of
"fake" information
Cheers
Violeta

rwagasana

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Jul 27, 2009, 6:54:13 PM7/27/09
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Dear frinds,

I think that open authoring approach is even a good way of quality
improving, as everybody becomes a kind of peer reviewer of the open
materials.
The more peer reviewers , the best material we have. For me, no doubt
using open authoring approaches for course development is much better
than
using closed ones.
Wikieducator should organize workshops Quality maters and copyright
issues.

rwagasana

Camille

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Jul 27, 2009, 8:42:18 PM7/27/09
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Quality of educational resources developed using an open authoring
approach
My concern with the quality of such resources is how the resources are
used. Do users have the skills to evaluate the quality of such
resources? Or maybe I should be asking, do users need to learn how to
determine quality open authored resources. With the new and continuous
waves of technology, there is an increased need to gain access to
information faster and opens source provides a solution to solving
such a need. Being able to have access to resources as well as the
skills to review the said resources is what I think is needed to keep
everyone up to date.

Course development for education
This is a tricky question; my answer is both positive and negative –
Remember CHANGE is not a welcoming action for/ to human beings. Like
any new educational tool, there needs to be a time for both educators
and learners to learn how best to use the tool. As such, I think that
open authoring approaches can be used for certain levels of education
(i.e. tertiary, post, etc..) with the secondary and primary levels
slowly being trained on such systems. Also, I think the resources do
need to be static at some moment close to the delivery time so as to
assist with the teaching and learning process. As we adapt to the
method of course development, movements towards dynamic course
development will become a easier route towards knowledge attainment.

Suggestions for WikiEducator to promote and ensure quality
Courses like this should be offered at varying levels within
educational systems i.e. education is the solution.

Aleiman Shankar

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Jul 27, 2009, 9:02:09 PM7/27/09
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Good Evening

Hi my name is Aleiman Shankar Rao my passion is Global Educational standard.

Even though i am a IT consultant as a professional i am in the field of education as a contributor for the past 20 years.

I am also  in the business of English and other language labs and leaning labs for schools and colleges in third world countries.

I am new to Wiki and struggling here and there where to start ....!!! (Was a busy day and catching up with lot of things)

Its all going to be Entertraining..!!!

Cheers
Aleiman Shankar Rao
if you want to know more about what i am doing Read :
http://goto-classroom.com/blog4/2009/07/24/hello-world/
if you want to know still more on my background :
http://www.linkedin.com/in/aleimanrao

--- On Mon, 7/27/09, Camille <cami...@gmail.com> wrote:

From: Camille <cami...@gmail.com>
Subject: [WE/Sloan-C eL4C28] Re: Discussion -- Day 1 on the quality of open authoring approaches

computa_geek

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Jul 28, 2009, 1:22:07 AM7/28/09
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Hi from Jenny in New Zealand. My responses to the Day One questions
are below:

1. I think that an ‘open authoring approach’, however that is defined,
lends itself to collaborative construction of knowledge. I perhaps
would not use the word ‘concerns’ although making resources freely
available to other educators and learners does not negate the need for
quality checks and peer review; I agree with other participants in
this respect. Ideally we would also do this with (for want of a
better description) ‘closed authoring approaches’ too. Increased
collaboration in creating resources, for example, potentially has
great benefit because this approach uses the combined efforts of all
participants.

2. My answer to question two is that it depends on one’s purpose. It
depends on the nature of the data that is being used in the
development of courses. Finally, it also depends on one’s experience
and prior knowledge. Schools purchase copyright licences annually,
covering the use of materials within a particular institution. This
does not necessarily cover the transference of said resources to the
public domain; hence, open authoring approaches, at least outside of
the institution, should not be encouraged. For colleagues within an
institution, it’s another matter. If you’re dealing with personal
data, even examples of student work, within a course, closed authoring
approaches are necessary due to privacy issues. There is the whole
‘intellectual property’ debate as well. In contrast, educators from
different backgrounds (or departments), with different levels of
expertise and experience, can benefit greatly from more open
approaches to course development. Learning is afterall a life-long
process!

3. Being brand new to WikiEducator (although not new to wikis) this is
a difficult one to answer. Perhaps make use of moderators and make it
compulsory for participants to provide referenced work /
bibliographies for resources submitted, just as occurs in a more
formal academic environment such as a university.
Jenny

Wayne Mackintosh

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Jul 28, 2009, 7:05:07 AM7/28/09
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Hi Everyone

This is a great discussion which is beginning to unpack the
complexities associated with educational quality and self-organising
systems. If you haven't had a chance to visit this thread, I strongly
recommend that you take the time to read what participants from
different parts of the world are saying. (See:
http://groups.google.co.nz/group/learning4content-workshops/browse_thread/thread/573eb193dbf9226c/4598f13ccde9a79f#4598f13ccde9a79f)

Clearly there is a very rich and diverse experience within our group :-
D -- These reflections are invaluable and contribute to the
maturation of open authoring approaches. That's how open systems work
-- we're pretty good at implementing incremental improvement over time
and our quality processes are improving every day and members take
responsibility for designing and improving our quality processes.

When you think about collaborative authoring of OER, quality is more
of a process than a product. I'm looking forward to hearing what
other members of the group think about our original questions,
repeated here for convenience:

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 course development for education use closed
or open authoring approaches? Give reasons for your view?
3) Do you have any suggestions for WikiEducator on how to promote and
ensure quality?

In the next few days I'll point you to projects and initiatives in
WikiEducator which are tackling the quality challenge -- and it will
be interesting to see how we measure up to the points being raised in
the discussion and what we can do to improve our project.

You're working in a live wiki project -- so the points you are
raising, are very relevant and will inform how the community moves
forward from this point :-)

Cheers
Wayne

santosh panda

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Jul 28, 2009, 7:46:24 AM7/28/09
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Dear Wayne:
 
Hi. Great indeed. Though I have started doing some tasks for this workshop on my created page, I have not been able to access the Discussion Forum on Google Group since my hotmail ID was given to this workshop group.
 
Therefore, may I request to enter my gmail ID (spanda...@gmail.com) to the Google discussion group so that I can also participate in the discussion!!  (Or, is there any other way I can enter the google group and take part?).
 
Warm regards.
Santosh
 
Professor Santosh Panda
Indira Gandhi National Open University
www.ignou.ac.in/institute/profpanda?FINAL/Home.htm



 


> Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 04:05:07 -0700

> Subject: [WE/Sloan-C eL4C28] Re: Discussion -- Day 1 on the quality of open authoring approaches

Jan_Visser

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Jul 28, 2009, 9:20:06 AM7/28/09
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Dear Rwagasana and all,

Rwangasana, I was reflecting on your statement "I think that open
authoring approach is even a good way of quality improving, as
everybody becomes a kind of peer reviewer of the open materials."
There is certainly much value in what you say, but I also continue to
see risks to validity and quality.

In December 2005, the journal Nature published a study that compared
the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Wikipedia (see
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7070/full/438900a.html -
sorry, it can only be read for a fee, but perhaps you have access to a
library where you can read the journal). The general conclusion of the
published study was that there was little difference in quality
between the two encyclopedia's as far as articles in the area of the
natural sciences are concerned. However, the same conclusion could not
be drawn for the social sciences.

The difference between the two areas may, in my perception, be
explained from the perspective of the strength and robustness of the
communities of researchers involved (I have experience with both). In
the natural sciences there is strong consensus among scientists about
the community process that leads "from shared evidence to shared
conclusions" (I owe this notion to a recent lecture by Lee Smolin).
This is far less the case in the social sciences. It is thus likely
that contributors to Wikipedia entries on natural science issues are
more inclined to play by the same rules than would be the case for the
social sciences.

My above conclusion leads me to suggest that building a strong, robust
community that aspires towards excellence and integrity is key to
attaining quality in the collaborative production and representation
of knowledge. One cannot assume that anyone who volunteers to
contribute is indeed a valid member of the community. Self-
disciplining at the individual and community level is an important
part of the game.

Jan

Gal

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Jul 28, 2009, 2:36:15 PM7/28/09
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1. I do not have concerns about the quality of the educational
resources developed using an open authoring approach. It is based on
my belief that knowledge in general, including educational materials,
created in a collaborative environment, is richer. It portrays the
variety of experiences and lessons learned.


2. I prefer open authoring approach. It certainly reflects today's
complex information systems, demanding critical thinking and new
dynamic conceptualization of information gathering. Dialog and
interaction with other educators and their gained experience is always
better than the "closed" approach.


3) I suggest the following: a) giving more info on the professional
background of the contributing educator. b) demanding a short
explanation / rationale behind any contribution.


Gal

sro...@ginnsol.com

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Jul 28, 2009, 5:43:26 PM7/28/09
to learning4cont...@googlegroups.com
While I may be in support of the open authoring approach in developing educational resources my concern is the influence of the person cultures and religious belief impacting the document.

Course development should be open and not close because it is going to be development with variety of thoughts that would focus on the holistic development of the student


Sean Rogers
 




-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [WE/Sloan-C eL4C28] Re: Discussion -- Day 1 on the quality of
open authoring approaches
From: Wayne Mackintosh <mackinto...@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, July 28, 2009 7:05 am
To: Learning4Content Workshops
<learning4cont...@googlegroups.com>


Hi Everyone

This is a great discussion which is beginning to unpack the
complexities associated with educational quality and self-organising
systems. If you haven't had a chance to visit this thread, I strongly
recommend that you take the time to read what participants from
different parts of the world are saying. (See:
http://groups.google.co.nz/group/learning4content-workshops/browse_thread/thread/573eb193dbf9226c/4598f13ccde9a79f#4598f13ccde9a79f)

Clearly there is a very rich and diverse experience within our group :-
D -- These reflections are invaluable and contribute to the
maturation of open authoring approaches. That's how open systems work
-- we're pretty good at implementing incremental improvement over time
and our quality processes are improving every day and members take
responsibility for designing and improving our quality processes.

When you think about collaborative authoring of OER, quality is more
of a process than a product. I'm looking forward to hearing what
other members of the group think about our original questions,
repeated here for convenience:

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 course development for education use closed
or open authoring approaches? Give reasons for your view?
3) Do you have any suggestions for WikiEducator on how to promote and
ensure quality?

puddywooda

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Jul 28, 2009, 7:56:30 PM7/28/09
to Learning4Content Workshops
Kia Ora, (a late joiner here)

Thanks for the food for thought
1) Sean Rogers comes closest to my only concern. That is ensuring that
materials designed for a particular group is not changed by others so
that the philosophy of the group in question is compromised.
Now, the group in question may check the page and make corrections,
but what about those that read the page and those 'students' that
receive instruction from those pages before the corrections are made.

But, for me, the solution is about trusting others and teaching those
I influence how to think, how to critique a resource etc.

Cheers,
Victoria

Camille

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Jul 29, 2009, 3:27:55 PM7/29/09
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Kia and Sean

I'm interested to hear more about the effects of culture and religion
on open source authoring from your points of view (pov). To me, being
from a quite technology-conservative country, I see that open source
should include cultural and religious characteristics of its audience
in the sense that the audience be prepared to anlayse and
differentiate what is valuable to us as opposed to what we can not
use. I guess, if you've lost me...:(, I'm trying to say that the
audience should be inclusive of all cultures and religions and each
audience be able to tailor it to their own use as need be. My analogy
here is that encyclopedias were created for use by those who spoke a
common language, it was not tailored to cultures and religions - the
audience did the tailoring.

Camille Dickson-Deane

Jim R C Baker

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Jul 29, 2009, 3:47:25 PM7/29/09
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Hi All, I like your emphasis on deep local understanding in our authoring. Localization should support using the appropriate resources and capabilities for learning by participants. I hope others shed more light on this type of pre-authoring analysis.    
Thank you in advance for your time.


My regards,

Jim


----- Original Message -----
From: Camille
To: Learning4Content Workshops
Sent: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 19:27:55 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: [WE/Sloan-C eL4C28] Re: Discussion -- Day 1 on the quality of open authoring approaches


Kia and Sean

I'm interested to hear more about the effects of culture and religion
on open source authoring from your points of view (pov).  To me, being
from a quite technology-conservative country, I see that open source
should include cultural and religious characteristics of its audience
in the sense that the audience be prepared to anlayse and
differentiate what is valuable to us as opposed to what we can not
use.  I guess, if you've lost me...:(, I'm trying to say that the
audience should be inclusive of all cultures and religions and each
audience be able to tailor it to their own use as need be.  My analogy
here is that encyclopedias were created for use by those who spoke a
common language, it was not tailored to cultures and religions - the
audience did the tailoring.

Camille Dickson-Deane

KAMII

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Jul 30, 2009, 11:49:03 AM7/30/09
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1) I fully support OER and find the wiki an amazing tool. I do not
share the fears of many who have posted here regarding the quality of
scholarship. I believe that the wave of the future will find less
discrepancy among experts and non-experts as experts will be replaced
by those who have the knowledge to access, critically and creatively
decipher, and analyze information. Access to information already
exists, sometimes excessively, and using a wiki to help guide those
searching for it at the academic level is a wonderful idea.
Transparency will be key to maintaining scholarly-level information.
Rather than constantly starting from scratch, OER offers educators and
students resources, ideas, and collaboration to support their initial
jump start into their scholarly project. This should lead to best
practices otherwise unattainable. Dialogue in this collaboration
should open doors, minds, and opportunities.
2) As I said above, transparency is key to maintaining appropriate,
scholarly information. A closed approach leads back to the expert
model that holds back the potential of learning.
3) My only concern regarding quality is organization and
accessibility. Regarding organiziation, I am not familiar enough with
the wiki to understand how the information is organized most logically
and without duplication. How do we protect the wiki from becoming
monstrously large and unmanageable? Comments have already been made
regarding the necessity of multicultural awareness, but what about
accessibility. I worry that too many people do not have access to
contribute because of the digital divide, which will exist until a
greater proportion of the population living in the world's less
technologically developed countries log on, do not have a voice in our
collaboration.

puddywooda

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Jul 31, 2009, 10:17:24 AM7/31/09
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Kamii, thanks for mentioning accessibility as it is a reminder that
the emphasis is on inclusion/inclusive practice.

Reading this thread today I am struck by the use of the word
"scholarly". Given that I value inclusive behavior - I want to know
what is gained by discouraging input from individual or groups that
are considered un-scholarly. And who gets to decide which group
someone belongs too?

Oh, and Camile I think you have the answer to your own question. That
is, that the audience tailors the information for their own
circumstances. This is what works for us in Playcentre in NZ, we have
33 delivery sites for our Diploma program. Each site has unique ways
of delivering the content due to historical reasons and a lot about
geography.

Cheers, victoria

Wayne Mackintosh

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Jul 31, 2009, 11:07:23 PM7/31/09
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WoW -- the depth of this quality discussion has been a pleasure to
read and has got me thinking of a few solutions we need to get
implemented in WE -- thanks for that.

Apology for the long post-- but I decided to respond to participants
thoughts in a single post. I promissed to provide a little feedback
on the quality discussion. Herewith a few thoughts and reflections
triggered by ideas participants submitted.

Thoughts on peer review.

Dilip, Jan, and others have alluded to the role of peer review in
supporting quality promotion of in open collaborative environment.
The peer review model has worked very well for the academy – and in
many respects is a collaborative concept – a community of scholars
(peers) collaborating on making value judgements on the quality of
materials.

From WikiEducator's perspective, we believe that quality is a process
rather than a product. We encourage all educators to participate in
developing OER and aim to extend a helping hand to all our members in
collectively improving their skills and ultimately the quality of our
materials. WE do not want to use the quality argument as a policing
mechanism to exclude participation – There is always a risk in open
communities to become ellitist in the sense that if a new user doesn't
have the skills to implement all the technical features which support
and promote qualtiy, that they are excluded from the group. WE do not
support this approach in WE – our motto is,: Just try it, our
community will support you. However at the same time we continue to
think creatively about support quality without excluding
participation.

There are many dimensions to quality:

* Content validity which requires inputs from content “experts”
* Pedagogical design
* Technical design
* Visual design
* Launguage / and communication
* Editorial --- eg adherance to style guidelines
* Ethics / worldview etc

Herein lies the strength of the wiki model – in that we use the team
approach of mutliple experts to assist with various aspects of the
quality equation. There are a number a number of active WE projects
which are working methodically through the complexities of promoting
and supporting quality in our work, consider for example:

1) The establishment of Quality and assurance review planning project
See: http://wikieducator.org/WikiEducator:Quality_Assurance_and_Review
2) The inception of a Quality Assurance and Review portal in WE which
is working towards developing a QA policy for WE, See:
http://wikieducator.org/WikiEducator:Quality_Assurance_Framework
3) Investments in technology which will support peer review and
hosting of static instances of OER materials developed in WE. The
Open Education Resource Foundation /WE has recently been awarded a
grant from the Hewlett foundation which will enable us to export
content to the Connexions platform which is an excellent environment
for peer review – see for example:
http://wikieducator.org/Funding_proposals/Towards_open_participatory_learning_environments:_Open_textbooks,_educator_training_%26_mass_collaboration
4) A workgroup collaborating on the development of style guidelines
for OER in WikiEducator http://www.wikieducator.org/Workgroup:style_guidelines
5) A workgroup that is focusing on learning design issues in the wiki:
http://www.wikieducator.org/Workgroup:Learning_design
Our ongoing taining initiative where we provide free skills training
to educators in improving their knowledge and experience in developing
high quality OER.

Jan raises a very important point – namely the problems with the
notion of a free curriculum by 2015. Jan is right to raise concerns
about a “single” curriculum. This would be a travesty for education!
To be very clear wikieducator supports and promotes diversity. It
would be better to say that WE aims to develop free content materials
in support of all national curricula and informal learning situations
by 2015. “Curriculum “ is not a good concept choice because it has
different meanings depending on your pedagogical foundations – in
terms of my own paradigmitic foundations – the concept of curriiculm
is not limited to static content definitions but inlcudes the design
and support of learning situations – which per definition must include
and cater for diversity.

Jan also refers to important thoughts pertaining to the relationship
between identify and knowledge. Knowledge is culturally bounded – and
we must accept that there are different world views. Similarly in some
open projects excellence is divorsed from individuals. WE has adopted
an approach where every user must register and account and we do not
allow anonymous edits. Apart from adhering to attribution requirements
of our licenses – this also encourages users to take reponsibility for
what they contribute. Poor quality contributions are open for the
world to see as well as who contributed to the resource :-) That said
– increasingly we need to support learners in helping them in how to
discern quality in a digitial world. When I was growing up I rember
being taught that I shouldn't believe everything I read in a book ---
open OER environments are no different. This point was picked up
rather well in Mark's post to the list. Thanks Mark :-)

WE is a community of Educators – its our collective reponsibility to
improve quality – if we don't get this right, we only have ourselves
to blame – its not the technology.

Violetta has raised the thorny issue of ethics and how we might deal
with this in an open international environment. Some ethics are more
universal than others, for example honesty. Whereas other ethics are
more culturally bounded – for example the ethics of visual design vary
considerably across global cultures, religions etc.

Rwagasana from Rwanda emphasises our point that quality is a process –
and stresses the need for training and support through “Quality
matters” workshops. As a non-profit project we continue to extend our
training and content development as much as our funding support can
accommodate training workshops – we'd really like to do more! At any
rate we also have the power of a gifiting culture. 4 or 5 educators
from around the world can donate a little time and develop OER
materials for a "Quality Matters" workshop which we could scale around
the planet using the Learning4Content training model … mmmmm that's a
good idea.

Camile has rightly reminded us that change and transformation is not
easy for most people. Open approaches do represent a change and we
need to think about appropriate transformation strategues. Clearly WE
needs to think about transformation management strategies to support
organisations in this transition. Excellent point.

Jenny --- good point, we should really not use the word “concerns”
and pointing out that both “open” and “closed” approaches should be
committed to quality in education. Interestingly the approaches to
achieving quality are not dissimilar (but faster to achieve in the
wiki work :-)) Sadly the copyrights which shools purchase for use of
educational materials do not permit teachers to adapt and modify the
materials for their own teachning context.

Gal – I too like the open approach because it fosters and promotes
transparent dialogue and sharing of experiences in ways which were not
possible before. This must be good for education!

Sean and Victoria point to the need for static instances of the
content, and as I pointed our earlier in this post we have some
funding to build a sutiable technical solution – one designed by
educators for educators :-).

Jim – the point about deep local understanding is an important one ---
one advantage of our open content licensing is the right and freedom
educators have to adapt and refine OER for there own prurposes,
including the freedom not to use the resource :-)

Kamii – I think you're right transparency is the key which will
ultimately promtoe qaulity of OER in the long run.

I hope you will continue with us on this journey to improve quality of
OER -- you clearly have deep insight into these questions and WE need
all the help we can get!

Cheers
Wayne

gal springman

unread,
Aug 1, 2009, 8:17:12 AM8/1/09
to learning4cont...@googlegroups.com

Dear Wayne,

The long post you apologize for is a very good idea, helping find both the common traits and their variations, thus outlining the discussion.

 

A personal remark, based on my own experience with multicultural tutor-assisted  and peer-assisted learning environments:

Looking at the list of the dimensions to quality, presented in your post from the perspective of the Wiki model, it seems that they portray: dynamic free content, supporting informal learning situations, and diversified curricula that cater diversified design and  pedagogical approaches. 

 

Paraphrasing on the famous " "beauty is in the eye of  the beholder" – I think  quality is in the mind of the comprehender!

Quality, as Beauty, depends on personal / cultural perspectives and situational contexts. But, both have something in common: beyond the diversity of form they represent a common "insight", "feeling" of what some refer to as "wellformedness".  It appears to be a sudden understanding, but it is definitely a process which is both conscious and intuitive.

In our case, quality is indeed a process. From experience I realized it  is a dialogic process, that in order to be mutually productive requires some abilities / skills that should be developed, such as critical thinking, metacognition, creativity  and multicultural awareness – all  adjusted to the  digital world  and summarized in the concept of "e-comprehension" (and related meaning making).

 

In your feedback to Camile's good point, you are correctly referring to the apparent need of "transformation strategies".  These required  competences can be developed  in  specially designed teaching / learning environments.

I'll further explain the issue in a separate mail.

Best,

Gal

--
Gal Springman

kiwizian

unread,
Aug 2, 2009, 4:48:20 AM8/2/09
to Learning4Content Workshops
Hi dear, .

Open authoring being voluntary can ensure dedication but is no
guarantee of quality unless some standards are prescribed and adhered
to. Do we have any such rules/ guidelines?

cheers

tj
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