About big OER. The importance of content or teacher or connectivity and students. And of big universities doing business as usual.
This is a comment on my comment on Of OpenCourseWare and Lowriders (sept 14 2009):
In my opinion old technical and organizational ways of thinking are at the bottom of this problem.
These big institutions with big OER suffer from the wrong philosophy. Universities once were institutions where students could meet famous teachers. Universities were places to meet,to find books and to hear learned conversation. The place to meet a teacher nowadays is not a physical place anymore. Students do not need to go to foreign cities to become educated. Internet will make universities to historic relics, if they do not change. Big institutions try to make big OER and centralized storage, because that is the way they did it in the old days. OCW (OpenCourseWare) is an extra service of universities to their students and other people.
My fellow ‘students’ are in different places in the world, they are my teachers and sources of knowledge and inspiration. Marjanovic and Orlowska (2000) stress that the challenge of distance [including open] education is not to re-create the face to face teaching situation with all its inherent problems with new technologies, but rather create new learning environments providing unique communication patterns, changed limitations to the types of learning activities that are possible and provide a new high quality learning experience. In
A big OER is a centralized collection of educational resources. A big OER is not using the connectivity and decentralization of the Internet but the old centralized design of a library. In a big OER educational bits and pieces are collected from the Internet and from other sources and stored in a central server. Small OER is not centralized and not subject to financial cuts and not in danger of being disconnected by the power of the owner of the server. This so-called “e-book approach” (content delivery) has also come under scrutiny mainly by advocates of socio-constructivism who put forward the argument that the world-wide web is already in abundance of content and adding more content to it will not be necessarily beneficial to the learning transaction. Indeed the focus should be on how to use the abundance of material out there to design meaningful learning activities and actively engage the learners (Schneider, 2003).
In a way an open course is as closed as a book. Take it or leave it, delivered ‘as is’.
Marjanovic, O. and Orlowska, E. (2000). Making flexible learning more flexible. Proceedings of IWALT 2000 (International Workshop on Advanced Learning Technologies) in: Learning Design Implementation for Distance e-Learning: Blending Rapid e-Learning Techniques with Activity-based Pedagogies to Design and Implement a Socio-constructivist Environment, Mohammad Issack Santally, Yousra Rajabalee, Dorothy Cooshna-Naik, Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Schneider, D. (2003). Conception and implementation of rich pedagogical scenarios through collaborative portal sites: clear focus and fuzzy edges. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Open & Online Learning, ICOOL 2003, Mauritius. (also in this article)
(image) Garrison, D.R. and Shale, D. (1990). Education at a distance: From issues to practice. Melbourne, FL.: Krieger. (also in this article)