I’m working through my thoughts with this blog entry, as I’ve been trying to use this space to think out loud about my work and what I see happening in online education and higher ed.
A lot has been written about MOOCs and accreditation, and a lot more will be forthcoming. For example, see Terry Anderson’s post on this.
Today, I run across this quote in an article at Time Magazine:
…if Liu passes the graduate-level Harvard course she is taking for free through edX — one of the leading providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs — she will be granted 7.5 credit hours, which her school district has agreed to accept as a form of professional development that can help her earn a higher salary. Liu might be among the first students nationwide to turn free online coursework into tangible college credit, but that number may soon grow exponentially.
I don’t think I’ve come across as many interesting special issue call for proposals at the same time. In case you are interested, here are some that are worthwhile and current:
Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) special issue on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): http://t.co/wj0J6RpD (pdf). Edited by George Siemens, Valerie Irvine, and Jillianne Code. Closed on the 15th, but deadline extended until the 19th.
Learning, Media, and Technology Journal special issue on Critical approaches to Open Education: http://www.dice.education.ed.ac.uk/?p=492. Edited by Sian Bayne, Jeremy Knox and Jen Ross. (As an aside: If you are interested in this, you might also be interested in a recent paper that we published with IRRODL on the assumptions and challenges of open scholarship).
The British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET) special issue on e-Research for education: Applied, methodological, and critical perspectives (pdf). Edited by Lina Markauskaite and Peter Reimann.
What is the value of a critique?
The value of critique is to help us see a phenomenon through a different lens, to help us make sense of something in a different way, and to spark a conversation. This is the purpose, and value, of a paper we recently published with IRRODL on the topic of open scholarship.
The paper identifies the assumptions and challenges of openness and open scholarship and attempts to put forward suggestions for addressing those. A summary of our paper, appears below:
Many scholars hope and anticipate that open practices will broaden access to education and knowledge, reduce costs, enhance the impact and reach of scholarship and education, and foster the development of more equitable, effective, efficient, and transparent scholarly and educational processes. Wiley and Green (2012, pp. 88) note that “only time will tell” whether practices of open scholarship will transform education or whether the movement “will go down in the history books as just another fad that couldn’t live up to its press.” Given the emerging nature of such practices, educators are finding themselves in a position in which they can shape and/or be shaped by openness (Veletsianos, 2010). The intention of this paper is (a) to identify the assumptions of the open scholarship movement and (b) to highlight challenges associated with the movement’s aspirations of broadening access to education and knowledge. The goal of this paper is not to frame open scholarship as a problematic alternative to the status quo. Instead, as we see individuals, institutions, and organizations embrace openness, we have observed a parallel lack of critique of open educational practices. We find that such critiques are largely absent from the educational technology field, as members of the field tend to focus on the promises of educational technologies, rarely pausing to critique its assumptions. Selwyn (2011b, pp. 713) even charges that our field’s inherent positivity “limits the validity and credibility of the field as a site of serious academic endeavour.” Our intention is to spark a conversation with the hopes of creating a more equitable and effective future for digital education and scholarship. To this end, this paper is divided into three major sections. First, we review related literature to introduce the reader to the notion of open scholarship. Next, we discuss the assumptions of openness and open scholarship. We then identify the challenges of open scholarship and discuss how these may limit or problematize its outcomes.
Common assumptions and challenges are summarized as follows:
|Common themes and assumptions||Challenges|
|Open scholarship has a strong ideological basis rooted in an ethical pursuit for democratization, fundamental human rights, equality, and justice.||Are these ideals essential components of the open scholarship movement or are merely incidental to those who are pioneering the field?|
|Open scholarship emphasizes the importance of digital participation for enhanced scholarly outcomes||Scholars need to develop an understanding of participatory cultures and social/digital literacies in order to take full advantage of open scholarship.Need to redesign university curricula to prepare future scholars to account for the changing nature of scholarship.
|Open scholarship is treated as an emergent scholarly phenomenon that is co-evolutionary with technological advancements in the larger culture||Technology both shapes and is shaped by practice.Technology is not neutral, and its embedded values may advance tensions and compromises (e.g., flat relationships, homophily, filter bubbles).|
|Open scholarship is seen as a practical and effective means for achieving scholarly aims that are socially valuable||Open scholarship introduces new dilemmas and needs (e.g., personal information management challenges; Social stratification and exclusion).|
Given the topic, the best home for this paper was the International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, through which you can download the paper for free in an open access manner:
Req Number: mit-00009144
FT/PT: Full Time
Employment / Payroll Category: Administrative
LEARNING DESIGNER, edX, to plan, develop, and deliver highly-engaging and media rich online courses as part of the content and development team. Will determine and apply sound pedagogical strategies to unique situations and a diverse set of academic disciplines. Responsibilities include working with producers, product developers, and course staff on implementing instructional design approaches in the development of media and other course materials; articulating learning objectives and aligning them to content design strategy and assessments; writing effective instructional text and audio and video scripts; coordinating workflows with video and content development team; identifying and sharing best practices; creating course communication style guides; developing use case guides; serving as liaison to instructional design teams located at X universities; designing peer review processes; applying game-based learning theory and design to selected courses; using learning analytics and metrics to inform course design and revision process; working closely with the content research director on articulating best practices for MOOC teaching and learning and course design; and assisting in the development of pilot courses.
REQUIREMENTS: a master’s in educational technology, instructional design, or related field; excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication, project management, problem solving, and time management skills; flexibility; ability to work on multiple projects/courses, meet deadlines, and manage expectations; capacity to develop new and relevant technology skills; experience using game theory design and learning analytics to inform instructional design decisions and strategy; and experience with video and screencasting, LMS platform, XML, HTML, CSS, Adobe Design Suite, Camtasia or Captivate, and web 2.0 collaboration tools. Experience in higher education and in a start-up or research environment desirable. MIT-00009144-P
|Contact:||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Online App. Form:||http://sh.webhire.com/servlet/av/jd?ai=631&sn=I&ji=2648861|