On ZTC, OER, and a More Expansive View

“Regardless of whether you feel a stronger affinity with the ZTC [zero textbook cost] camp or the OER camp, there is something we should all strive to remember. Our primary priority should neither be minimizing cost nor maximizing pedagogical flexibility. Our primary priority should be increasing student learning, and our efforts to reduce costs and increase pedagogical flexibility must always be subservient to that end. When we fail to put student learning first, we can become zealots who confuse the means with the ends. This makes it possible for us to pursue cost reduction at any price to student learning. It also makes it possible for us to pursue pedagogical flexibility regardless of the cost to student learning….”

Different Goals, Different Strategies

“I think Michael Feldstein is directionally correct in his analysis of what has been happening to “open education” for the past several years. Without wading into the labeling fray (are we a movement? a coalition? a community? a field? a discipline?) I’d like to add a bit of my own perspective. Where Michael sees three groups with different goals, I see four groups who are trying to use OER to solve closely related – but ultimately very different – problems:

The negative impact on access to education caused by the high price of traditional learning materials
The negative impact on student success caused by limitations in the traditional publishing model
The negative impact on pedagogy caused by copyright-related constraints inherent in traditional learning materials
The negative impact on students caused by a wide range of behaviors related to the business models of traditional publishers….”

David Wiley steps down and adjourns the Open Education Conference

“Last weekend, at the Open Education Conference in Phoenix, David Wiley, chief academic officer of Lumen Learning and the conference’s organizer for 16 years, announced that this would be its last gathering, or at least the last with him at the helm. The conference, which grew from 40 attendees in 2003 to 850 this year, was a meeting place for advocates of open education, a sometimes hard-to-define goal that often involved the use of open educational resources — free, openly licensed digital textbooks.

“This is not a call for another person or organization to come forward to keep the same conference running the same way into the future. Rather, it’s a call to reset and start over,” Wiley wrote on his blog. “This reimagining must be owned by the community. It must be driven by the community. And it would be inappropriate for me to try to facilitate that process beyond extending a brief invitation.”…

The announcement prompted reactions across blogs and Twitter feeds, with some commentators saying that the announcement represented a fracturing of the tenuously aligned coalition of open education advocates. Michael Feldstein, chief accountability officer at e-Literate, wrote on his blog that differences in the goals and preferred tactics of open education advocates could no longer be bridged. Tensions within the “coalition” of open education supporters had become insurmountable, he wrote.

Many people in the coalition had different goals, Feldstein wrote, such as increasing access to education, improving educational quality or promoting the values of education. They also had different strategies, such as lowering the cost of instructional materials, increasing their quality or fostering autonomy for educators. As awareness and adoption of open educational resources has grown, so have tensions, he said….”

The Crumbling of the OpenEd Coalition –

“The OpenEd coalition has long consisted of (at least) three different groups with three different primary goals:

Increase access to education by lowering cost of curricular materials
Increase quality of education by increasing quality of curricular materials
Promote values of education by fostering autonomy for educators and agency for learners…

Depending on how you interpret and rank these three priorities, your beliefs about strategy and values could be quite different. And there have long been signs that, in fact, there were very serious tensions among the views and priorities of the coalition members.

In 2015, Phil Hill and I gave a joint keynote at the OpenEd conference in Vancouver. The theme of our talk was precisely that OpenEd was a brittle coalition that could fracture if the coalitional challenges were not addressed. Phil, in his part, talked about the challenge and opportunity that faculty surveys about OER demonstrated. There was a lot to be accomplished. My half of the talk was about my experience as a climate activist and how hard it is to build a coalition that holds together and accomplishes its goals over time (hint hint)….”

Teaching practices & values of Open Science and Scholarship needs open infrastructure! – Open Science MOOC

“The need to empower scholars as well as the general public to practice Open Scholarship has been a recurring theme in public scholarly discourse of the last decade and beyond. Still, the tools and platforms required to make this a reality are usually in the hands of – often US-based – for-profit companies. And while there do exist a lot of specialized platforms out there, publicly-funded and -hosted training, project management, and scholarly communications platforms are close to non-existent. With this post, we want to open a discussion about how an open networked scholarly infrastructure for learning, teaching and scholarly communications for Open Scholarship could look like….”

Teaching practices & values of Open Science and Scholarship needs open infrastructure! – Open Science MOOC

“The need to empower scholars as well as the general public to practice Open Scholarship has been a recurring theme in public scholarly discourse of the last decade and beyond. Still, the tools and platforms required to make this a reality are usually in the hands of – often US-based – for-profit companies. And while there do exist a lot of specialized platforms out there, publicly-funded and -hosted training, project management, and scholarly communications platforms are close to non-existent. With this post, we want to open a discussion about how an open networked scholarly infrastructure for learning, teaching and scholarly communications for Open Scholarship could look like….”

Publications | Free Full-Text | The Impact of Open Access on Teaching—How Far Have We Come? | HTML

Abstract:  This article seeks to understand how far the United Kingdom higher education (UK HE) sector has progressed towards open access (OA) availability of the scholarly literature it requires to support courses of study. It uses Google Scholar, Unpaywall and Open Access Button to identify OA copies of a random sample of articles copied under the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) HE Licence to support teaching. The quantitative data analysis is combined with interviews of, and a workshop with, HE practitioners to investigate four research questions. Firstly, what is the nature of the content being used to support courses of study? Secondly, do UK HE establishments regularly incorporate searches for open access availability into their acquisition processes to support teaching? Thirdly, what proportion of content used under the CLA Licence is also available on open access and appropriately licenced? Finally, what percentage of content used by UK HEIs under the CLA Licence is written by academics and thus has the potential for being made open access had there been support in place to enable this? Key findings include the fact that no interviewees incorporated OA searches into their acquisitions processes. Overall, 38% of articles required to support teaching were available as OA in some form but only 7% had a findable re-use licence; just 3% had licences that specifically permitted inclusion in an ‘electronic course-pack’. Eighty-nine percent of journal content was written by academics (34% by UK-based academics). Of these, 58% were written since 2000 and thus could arguably have been made available openly had academics been supported to do so.