Sunday, March 24, 2013

Triple A priorities for Open Education - Activity 4 #h817open

My initial thoughts for activity and research in the area of Open Education

Activity 4, Week 1:  Imagine you are advising a funding organisation that wishes to promote activity and research in the area of open education.  Set out the three main priorities they should address, explaining each one and providing a justification for your list.

Thinking in broad terms, I would advocate research in the areas of Accessibility, Assessment and Accountability.
  • Priority One- Accessibility
    • Accessibility research would involve assessing who has access to Open Education and who doesn't and for what reasons.   The term "accessibility" often focuses on making web information available to people who have various physical disabilities (for example hearing or visual impairments).  As described by the Web Accessibility Initiative ( "Inclusive design, design for all, digital inclusion, universal usability, and similar efforts address a broad range of issues in making technology available to and usable by all people whatever their abilities, age, economic situation, education, geographic location, language".   Barriers to accessibility includes lack of access to necessary technology and/or lack of access to digital information because of low income, geographic or political barriers. 
    • Web technology has the potential to assist in overcoming many barriers and to make education more open but also faces barriers.  For example - for distance learning, the Internet makes information available in one's home but only if you live in a place where you can obtain Internet access.  
    • Is open education more inclusive of different learners who may not be accessing information through a traditional academic pathway?  Does open education allow for collaboration between people that is different than what occurs in more traditional education? 
  • Priority Two- Assessment
    • Assessment of learners- What are different ways to assess learners?  What is the role of peer assessment and how effective is it? What are authentic learning assessments in an open education environment?
    • Assessment of open education courses/materials- How should open education courses by assessed for quality?  How do you measure effectiveness of open education courses beyond looking at completion rates and satisfaction rates?
  • Priority Three- Accountability
    • Accountability includes looking at who is responsible for the quality of open education courses.  Is there transparency regarding the process in open education and intellectual property rights/copyrights?  Is there transparency regarding how open education is funded and potential conflicts of interest?

1 comment:

  1. Dale there is lots to think about here! Your point about access to the internet really resonates with me. There is increasingly talk about access as though almost everyone has it through either broadband or mobile.
    If those unlikely to afford expensive educational models are also not necessarily 'connected', do you think we should pull back from open education development, or campaign to get all communities better connected? Are open ed and connection tied?

    Secondly, I didn't complete my first mooc, wasn't very satisfied after it either, but the changes it brought to my professional practice are still growing. How do we assess that?