Article in Journal ‘Science’ Argues MOOC Participation is Declining as Providers Pivot | EdSurge News

What lessons can be learned from the rise and pivot of MOOCs, those large-scale online courses that proponents said would disrupt higher education?

An article this week in the prestigious journal ‘Science’ explores that question, digging into six years of data from MOOCs offered by Harvard University and MIT on the edX platform launched by the two universities….

MOOCs have not disrupted higher education….”

The MOOC pivot | Science

Summary: When massive open online courses (MOOCs) first captured global attention in 2012, advocates imagined a disruptive transformation in postsecondary education. Video lectures from the world’s best professors could be broadcast to the farthest reaches of the networked world, and students could demonstrate proficiency using innovative computer-graded assessments, even in places with limited access to traditional education. But after promising a reordering of higher education, we see the field instead coalescing around a different, much older business model: helping universities outsource their online master’s degrees for professionals (1). To better understand the reasons for this shift, we highlight three patterns emerging from data on MOOCs provided by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) via the edX platform: The vast majority of MOOC learners never return after their first year, the growth in MOOC participation has been concentrated almost entirely in the world’s most affluent countries, and the bane of MOOCs—low completion rates (2)—has not improved over 6 years.

OER Awareness and Adoption on the Rise – SPARC

Key results:

  • Faculty awareness continues to rise, with 46% percent of faculty now aware of OER, up from 34% three years ago.
  • The percent of faculty who use OER as a required course material in at least one course has more than doubled to 13% this year, up from 6% last year.
  • More than a fifth (22%) of faculty who teach introductory courses use OER as a required material in at least one course.
  • Of the faculty who do not use OER, nearly three-quarters (74%) were open to considering it.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of department chairpersons and most (61%) of all faculty “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” that the cost of course materials is a serious problem for their students.
  • For the first time, more faculty expressed a preference for digital course materials (40%) than print (25%). While faculty earlier in their careers tend to have a stronger preference for digital, all career stages showed an increase.
  • The majority of faculty report making changes to their textbooks, most commonly presenting material in a different order (70%), skipping sections (68%), and replacing content with their own (45%)….”

Professors Worry About the Cost of Textbooks, but Free Alternatives Pose Their Own Problems – The Chronicle of Higher Education

When it comes to textbooks, faculty members have a lot of feelings. Many of them negative. But their thoughts on digital coursework and openly licensed materials aren’t any less conflicted.

These opinions, found in “Freeing the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2018,” a survey of more than 4,000 faculty members and department chairs released Wednesday, paint a complex picture of a fast-changing landscape, one in which instructors and students have more options about course materials than ever before, yet the best path forward remains unclear.

This is the fourth such survey done by the Babson Survey Research Group, and it captures some key trends….

22 percent of people who teach introductory courses, subjects in which free textbooks are most commonly available, use [open textbooks] as required material, up from 15 percent last year. Yet the percentage of faculty members who say they will use, or consider using, open materials in the next three years actually dropped slightly, with the numbers now at 6 percent and 32 percent respectively….”

 

Thousands of Copyrighted Works Will Now Be Freely Available to Teachers – Teaching Now – Education Week Teacher

“Teachers—especially those of English or the arts—rely on famous works of literature, music, and film in their classes, copying and repurposing them to analyze with students.

But often, embedding these works in curricula to share with other teachers or making them available to students can raise questions about copyright: How much of an original movie or poem can a teacher include, and how widely can resources made with these materials be distributed?

As of Jan. 1, thousands of works are newly exempt from these questions. At the beginning of 2019, anything that was originally copyrighted in 1923 passed into the public domain—meaning that anyone can use and reprint it, free of charge and without permission….”

The Colombo Statement: IDUAI 2018

“Having attended “The Asian Digital Revolution: Transforming the Digital Divide into a Digital Dividend through Universal Access”, a commemorative event held to celebrate the International Day for Universal Acces to Information (IDUAI) in Colombo on 28-29 September 2018:…

Considering the 2011 Strategy on UNESCO’s contribution to the promotion of Open Access (OA) to scientific information and research and taking into account specific needs in the countries of the South;…

The participants: …

Reaffirm the importance of empowering all citizens, especially young women and men and persons with disabilities, to develop a culture of openness and to become creators of content and innovation, including through access to information and quality education.

Reiterate the understanding of the Dakar Declaration on Open Access for the Global South, and state the necessity for establishing polycentric governance mechanisms for OA research and recommend that institutions and governments urgently collaborate to pilot and develop policies and enabling mechanisms to promote and publicize Open Scholarship and Open Science.

Call upon the governments to take firm steps and develop policies to mandate all the publicly funded research are available under Open Access; and also to earmark enough funding for necessary infrastructural and capacity enhancement.

Appreciate the Ljubljana Ministerial Statement and Open Educational Resources [OER] Action Plan 2017 which recognizes OER as a strategic opportunity to increase knowledge sharing and universal access to quality learning and teaching resources and call upon Governments and all relevant educational stakeholders, including civil society, to mainstream OER making them more broadly accessible including to persons with disabilities in support of achieving the Education 2030 Agenda.

Note the need to ensure institution-wide multi-sectoral training, attuned to people’s divergent and discrete needs, in particular those of disadvantaged groups and individuals, and designed to accustom and familiarize the community towards a more inclusive environment which can integrate the latest available technology (ODL, OER, FOSS, OA, etc.) into learning, teaching and training routines, applying the tenets of universal design for learning including UNESCO’s just published Competency Framework…

Recommend that OER be made accessible across media, including smart mobile devices and offline, in flexible and inclusive formats that support their effective and widest possible use, including by persons with disadvantages or disabilities, to learning, teaching and training, again in accordance with the tenets of relevant best practice….”

 

Open education can address Indonesia’s educational inequalities – Opinion – The Jakarta Post

“On the other hand, in Indonesia, as in other developing countries, there is lingering concern over the “colonization of pedagogical practices”,  where  “valuable knowledge” is the one produced by “foreign” knowledge producers — legitimate, national curriculum producers or scholars from developed nations. Such a mindset is also reflected in our awe over high ranks in international league tables such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). We also place high prominence on publishing of scholarly work in international journals – which is indeed necessary, but we pay scant attention to inequities in education….”

A New Method for Estimating OER Savings

“Earlier this year, SPARC launched a community-wide effort to track $1 billion in worldwide savings through the use of OER, responding to a challenge issued in 2013. At the 2018 Open Education Conference, we announced that the OER movement had successfully reached this important milestone. This is the first of a multi-post series explaining our calculations behind the $1 billion, and what comes next.”