Sunday, September 23, 2007

OpenEdu Week 4: Review on Open Educational Resources (OER)

QUESTIONS: What do these overviews of the field have in common? What do they emphasize differently? What are the aims of the authors of each report? Do you see a bias toward or against any ideas, organizations, or approaches in any of the reports? Which report spoke the most clearly to you, and why do you think it did? Based on where the field is now, and these initial ideas about where it might go, what part of the open education movement is most interesting to you? Why?

Before focusing on the question this week, I would like to mention an interesting paper: Chinese students’ experiences in US graduate school from Stian Håklev. It is fun to read! The participants are just a small group instead of most Chinese students in the U.S. I agree the educational systems are so much different between China and the U.S., but experiences are different by individuals. By reading other students’ blogs, I found that Chinese students like me are more like to focusing on answering weekly question or writing in events relevant to the reading. Instead of that, American students or other international students like talking freely whatever come to their mind on their blogs. I try to broader my mind not just being restricted by the reading content. I have been changed a lot after one month study in our IT master’s program, now I think learning as much as I can to enrich my personal capacity is more important than just pursuing high grade which is always highly emphasized in Chinese traditional educational concepts.

The second week reading
Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources gives us some entry ideas about Open Educational Resources.
Those are all new concepts to me since I am a beginner of this field. It talks about the copyright which are also mentioned in the later reports and we can see it is the prerequisite to make the Open Educational Resources available. Other purposes of this report are to investigate drivers and barriers, sustainability, and improvements in OER. Open Educational Resources Movement is also mentioned for more details in the following weeks’ reports.

The Third week reading
Open Educational Practices and Resources: OLCOS Roadmap 2012 emphasizes a lot more on the drivers and enablers than the first report. It has grouped the drivers/enablers and inhibitors according to their assumed short to medium (until around 2009) or longer-term influence. Web 2.0 becomes popular all over the world from 2006, the U.S. plays the leader role in e-learning, while it just started in China and we feel it is very hard to develop. I think Web 2.0 technologies are tools to enhance students’ learning and the high quality contents which are provided known as Open Educational Resources can make a big difference between e-learning and traditional classroom learning.

OLCOS, a European Union’s e-Learning Program organization, does not primarily emphasize on open educational resources but open educational practice. One viewpoint of them is that “If the prevailing practice of teacher-centered knowledge transfer remains intact, then OER will have little effect on making a difference in teaching and learning.” I believe it is true that if the traditional educational system is hard to be taken place by OER; or in other words, OER can’t immediately come into people’s mind; well then OER seems useless. Traditional Chinese education is a typical instance, and this is one of the major remaining challenges in the third report: Scale-up and Deepening Impact in Developing Countries. I couldn’t find more new content about Open Educational Resources in the second report; instead, there are more authors’ perspectives on pedagogy. I am thinking if it is a necessary material we have to use in our course or we can just change to another piece.


At last, this week reading A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities reported by Hewlett Foundation seems the most interesting and meaningful among the three reports to me. It gives an overview of Open Educational Resources movement. It lists very clear in each particular area focusing on the achievements, remaining challenges, and enablers. It does not only describe the abstract concepts, and also put them into the real world. This report mentions the great international movement on OER especially talks about the challenge in developing countries which have not been noticed in the other two reports. The Hewlett report fresh my mind and made me think through from the first week’s topic about education as a human right, mandate education to open education which I had already mentioned in the first week blog. It gives me some comparison among different developing countries, and I have a clearer sense about the situation of OER in both China and other developing countries.

What I had found the three reports in common is that seemingly focusing on Open Educational Resources movement. In fact, the second report moved more on the writers’ viewpoints on education instead of emphasizing on OER and the first report is more on describing the concept other than the real world practice. No matter how, each of the three reports at least has some parts related to Open Educational Resources movement. I didn’t see a bias toward or against any ideas, organizations, or approaches in any of the reports in my personal perspective.

Based on where the field is now, and these initial ideas about where it might go, the most interesting part of open education movement is to create more international open educational opportunities. Because I am from China which is a developing country, I would like to search a useful and efficient way to help develop pedagogy in China. This is what I had written in a long paragraph in last week’s blog. When I read in this week reading, “Today, there are over thirty million people who are fully qualified to enter a university, but there is no place available. This number will grow to over 100 million during the next decade.” This is an impressive number to all educational technologists. It is an urgent problem we all need think about and try to find a way to get the problem solved.

3 comments:

houshuang said...

jessie, 你好。我很高兴你读我的“热干面"德博克.我以前的女朋友也是去美国读琐事的华人,但她一开始也觉得教育方式很不一样.我曾经在武汉叫郭书(所以叫我的博克为热干面),自己也看过学生的学习方法不一样.

随便提起,我几个月以前在深圳买了一本"我在美国中学教书“我几个月以前在深圳买了一本"我在美国中学教书“ (http://reading.cersp.com/Informative/Wonderful/200605/1671.html).那本书很有意思,就是作家好几年在就是作家好几年在加州教书,把美国的中学跟中国的中学做个对比。

侯爽 (Stian)

David said...

You said, "By reading other students’ blogs, I found that Chinese students like me are more like to focusing on answering weekly question or writing in events relevant to the reading. Instead of that, American students or other international students like talking freely whatever come to their mind on their blogs. I try to broader my mind not just being restricted by the reading content."

Do you really think it's important to become more like American students in this way? Isn't it good to focus on the content? Of course it is useful to connect what you're reading to your own experience, but "whatever comes to mind?"

jessie said...

American students and Asian students have very different ways of thinking and learning style, because of the educational systems are differ from cultures. I think the way our Asian students act seems limiting our mind in the reading content, can't spread out. Of course we can't follow the way "whatever comes to mind".