Updated Session Description
Original Session Description
The OpenETC (https://opened.ca ) is dedicated to collectively building and maintaining tools to support open educational practices (OEP). In this session we will focus on case studies and approaches that make OEP easier to support and be more sustainable, and that promise new means of collaboration, sharing, reuse and innovation. This set of examples and investigations will complement the higher-level analysis presented by OpenETC colleagues Tannis Morgan and Anne-Marie Scott in their session “5 Open Source Edtech Fallacies that Impede Agency and Care”.
While there has been increasing interest in Open Educational Resources (OER) and open educational practices in higher education, the platforms that support OER and OEP are often proprietary and commercial (1). The use of commercial platforms has been called into question due to ever-increasing licensing costs, data collection and usage policies, their own tenuous sustainability issues, and their contested compatibility with the values of open education (2).
A challenge for educators in using Open Source Software (OSS) has been resistance at the institutional level towards supporting it. There has also been resistance to OSS by shared service consortia that often employ procurement practices that favour vendor-driven solutions over open source options. While there are alternative service models to support open source software through foundations like Apereo and consortia like ESUP-Portail, there remains a need to directly empower and support individual educators and learners as well.
Our examples will focus on how educators are using the OpenETC platforms to support collaborative development, as well as to practice “pop-up” or “ephemeral” edtech (3). We will focus on the deceptively powerful technique of “cloning” toolsets and applications, and vesting that power not only with platform administrators but with individual users. Combining software, configurations, and content into packages that can be re-produced with a few clicks allows us to share and remix OEP learning applications much as we already share OER. Additionally, being able to provide pre-configured starter sites allows for “running starts” to users, reducing support needs and providing more enjoyable and satisfying experiences for learners and instructors alike. We will also outline a “contributions” based model of distributing user support needs across the entire community.
These approaches are amplified by a shared platform that, because it is supported by the pooled resources of multiple organizations, allows for feature enhancements and custom development projects that would otherwise be out of reach. This session will highlight some of the specific tools and models that allow us to support more users to be creative at scale, and therefore enhance the ongoing sustainability of open educational practices.
(1) The Infrastructure of Openness: Results from a Multi-Institutional Survey on OER Platforms. (2018, October 1). Retrieved December 2, 2019, from International Journal of Open Educational Resources website: https://www.ijoer.org/the-infrastructure-of-openness-results-from-a-multi-institutional-survey-on-oer-platforms_doi-10-18278-ijoer-1-1-3/
(2) Morgan, T. (2019, February 4). Open infrastructure and open education practices. Retrieved December 2, 2019, from https://homonym.ca/uncategorized/open-infrastructure-and-open-education-practices/
(3) Morgan T. & Scott, A-M. (2019, February 12). Pop Up Ed Tech, Trust, and Ephemerality. Retrieved Dec 4, 2019 from https://ammienoot.com/brain-fluff/pop-up-ed-tech-trust-and-ephemerality/