Friday, May 2, 2008


This has been a very interesting few weeks for me as I have become more motivated into thinking about my traditional style of teaching...I tried to access the online resources for our textbooks we use because it said it gives us a lot of resources...Well after a few hassles I now have all this stuff to access and a representive who is contacting me next week to talk me through how to use it...I am feeling quite excited about the possibilities.

It has been interesting in my interactions with my students on clinical this week. They were talking about how they find now they are on clinical they would like the lectures and labs that relate to the clinical setting. However this is impossible to do in the current style of theory weeks and clinical weeks. This led me to thinking...what if I set up a site for each clinical area they may work in, and put all the resources and links into that site that will link there clinical to theory...i.e if they were placed in 5b I could put readings, animations, video's, quizes scenario's, case studies etc on the 5B site about ENT, neuro surgery etc. This is where I think the online resources for textbooks I'm now learning about will be very helpful...(plus helpful in lectures) It oculd be used for students in 3rd year as well!

I would appreciate anyones thoughts on this as it may be what I wish to develop from this course..(would probably only have time to do one ward as a start).

Anyway to answer this weeks questions...Do I think open and networked education threatens or enhances formal education?

My first thought would be it has to be a threat...This is because if people can get things for free or a lot cheaper then they will take it! This may mean people will not enrol in formal education as much which would be very detrimental to the institutions.

I did quite a bit of the extra reading this week and was actually quite stunned about how little I knew...I got quite a buzz learning for free! For example I looked at both Cyber one and MIT and was surprised at the resources available. I actually got quite a lot of information about gender and women studies..(might change my course). However I found this information was purely for interest if I was serious about studying this then I would enrol...Why? because I would want a decent qualification at the end of it and would want the support of onsite lecturers. This could actually be an advantage of open education it stirs peoples interest and may lead to more enrolments.

After reading "Can OER really impact higher education?" I had a little more understanding about possible advantages and disadvantages. One distinct advantage of OER is the potential to open up access and improve the quality of higher education around the world for people who would have difficulty accessing higher education. This may impact equity and quality because OER uses a a network of people and organizations. This is because if you provide more options for learning and cheaper education, more people can access learning and resources. The cost for learning will be cheaper because OER means distribution and creatiion of resources will be cheaper.

However the article also raised concerns that OER might mainly be used by faculty and institutions to increase the quality of what they offer rather than actually help solve the worlds higher education gap. They suggest creative ways are needed to bridge informal and formal learning. This is where I see RPL as absolutey essential and can help bridge this gap. Willie Campbells talk was a good example of how OP is embracing this.

The whole issue of licensing, copyrighting etc is still very confusing to me and I actually got a little lost trying to understand some of the terms on EDC development at OP However I was a little ashamed of how little I knew about what has been happening on this whole front at OP about open learning and licensing and our protection and rights. Thanks for writing that Leigh. I now have a little more understanding and also interest in what we at OP, are doing on this front. I liked the way you presented it to management to get there support.

So to conclude yes there are advantages to open, networked and RPL but we also have to consider how this is been used. Overall I don't OER is a big threat to the institutions, especially if they do as OP has done and consider and develop their IP policies.

1 comment:

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Raewyn this is a great post and evidence you have thought a great deal about the whole concept of open resources and copyright. I apologise for not reading this earlier.