New scientific paper based on OER content

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May 30, 2018, 11:09:54 PM5/30/18
to WikiEducator
Hi folks

I have learned since joining Wikieducator that there really is no typical content or approach to OER.  The projects are as strange and idiosyncratic as the individuals dreaming them up.  And yet they find homes here and based on page visit data, they are at least seen by others.  The page on maintaining chainsaws has not been modified since 2009...and has received more than 20k visits. My old Biology in Elementary Schools page was visited nearly 80k times....once the course ended I considered whether I should scrap it; I should not! 

A bit more obscure, my streams project wiki is the foundation for an iPhone/Android app and changes made on Wikieducator are (mystically) reflected in the phone in my pocket.  I presented this at an international conference last week and it was rather cool to see all the hands go into pockets to download as soon as I provided the search terms.  Wikieducator content instantly transmitted into the hands of the entomologist specialists who will use it.  I don't believe that the phone activity is captured in the 4 or 5 K visit count.

Falling under the category of "truly strange" perhaps, is a collection of skulls my students have built called 'digital coyote' which we started to provide calibrated coyote skull images from diverse geographical locations for educational usage.  The idea was to share a fairly scarce resource (seriously, how many teachers have 100+ coyote skulls for their students to measure).  We did that and we published a teaching article about it; teachers and students can measure and compare skulls from…Alaska and Texas for example.


But….we realized that the resource we had built was of sufficient quality to also serve as a model for the research community.  Three undergraduate student researchers and I have just published that paper:


This research is in large part based on OER content hosted by Wikieducator in turn based on images we placed in Wikimedia Commons , but this particular paper is non-educational and not a candidate for the Eric platform….so we shared it instead on Researchgate.


Sooo....I don't yet know where my next OER adventure will take me but in the meantime, I'd like to express a heartfelt thanks to the OER community for the logistical and technical support in encouraging this sort of strange and wonderful collaboration.




Wayne Mackintosh

May 31, 2018, 2:33:04 AM5/31/18
to WikiEducator
Hi Declan

Thanks for sharing. Your WikiEducator work with students is both innovative and inspiring.

I'm pleased that we've been able to support an open OER website for more than 12 years without charging users or resorting to advertising on the site to help pay the bills. This demonstrates the power of the open source model. We look forward to continuing our efforts to share open technologies for the OER community.

We've come a long way. This year we've been able to launch a free 1st year of study with pathways for learners to achieve university-level qualifications (see for example the Certificate Higher Education Business) based entirely on course materials authored in WikiEducator!

Still lots of work to be done and we look forward to providing the technologies to support these initiatives for the next decade and beyond!


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Wayne Mackintosh
Director OER Foundation and OERu facilitator
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