venerdì 7 marzo 2008

Ikka Tuomi on OER

... great! Inspiring!
Why? For one simple reason: it really achieves the goal of grounding a potential buzzword (open educational resources) and makes it a powerful and clear-cut working concept.

The most interesting thing I've learnt is the difference between "open" in technological and social sense. This is a powerful distinction for my work, something I had in mind but never really managed to define.
Second, the idea of "non-rival" resource is key - maybe trivial for economists, but not for instructional and game designers like me... :-))

As a comment and critique, reading this opened me more doors... and in the end I think there's something missing. The view I got from the text is that OER are a state of mind. What does it mean? It is OK to identify types of openness and kinds of resources and tools... but in order to become a reality we need more than that: we need to think in terms of openness ourselves, and our profession as researchers and teachers. This is indeed a great challenge, as a real effect of scale will need a huge amount of people to get to this new perspective.
So, OER are a matter of people, not only tools and standards.

Another unclear point - and it is the only not really defined in the text, is knowledge. The author assumes that resources are good as such. This is fine for a general discussion, but it I'm nor really sure that all the learning objects out there are good - in terms of quality or presentation. That is, the production of resources is another key point. Fine to have lots of knowledge objects, but what if such knowledge is flawed, false, inconsistent, blurred, ideologically bent, etc. I'm no fan of copyrights, yet I think the advocates of quality control in formal publishing have some merit, indeed.
We have peer control - as in open source - but the matter is different. A flawed software doesn't work, that's it. False knowledge generates viced learning, and this at the expenses of (possibly) unaware learners. This has much heavier consequences.

For those who are not in the course but would like to see the text, it's here.

1 commento:

Erkan Yilmaz ha detto...

Ciao Luca,

>So, OER are a matter of people,
I agree fully.

>Fine to have lots of knowledge objects, but what if such knowledge is flawed, false, inconsistent, blurred, ideologically bent, etc.
That is initially bad. In the wiki-verse (analog to universe) we just optimize them then. This can also be seen as a personal learning project. If you as reader see an error, that is also good, since you know that you know the topic.

You are fully right: there is only 24h per day - so not all of them can be fixed. :-( But together - step by step - it will get better. Who thought when Wikipedia was introduced 7 years ago that it would get to such a state now ?

There are mechanisms which normal users don't see which help that quality stays and gets better. I am talking here about people who are giving their valuable time to help in these and other projects. They are mostly not seen, but they are there. I am not sure if it can be compared to an invisible hand (Adam Smith) ?


Some links as starting points for Wikiversity:
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Review_board
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Support_staff