Open Education 2006

Community, Culture & Content
September 27-29, 2006
Eccles Conference Center
Utah State University
Logan, UT
All materials (unless otherwise specifed) are licensed under a Creative Commons
Atribution License (htp://
What Makes an Open Education Program Sustainable? The Case of Connex-
Richard Baraniuk, Paul Dholakia, & Joey King, Rice University 7
Sustainability and the Culture of Teaching: Starting them Young
Terri L. Bays, University of Notre Dame 9
Open Source 3D Simulations in Science and Engineering Education
John W. Belcher, Class of 1922 Professor of Physics and MacVicar Faculty Fellow,
MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Science 13
Defning the Process of Localizing Open Content Math Resources for Tonga
Joanne Bentley, Utah State University 19
Extending Community Engagement for Open Content Re-use
Tom Carey & Gerry Hanley, California State University 21
Considerations in Open Publishing Formats: A panel discussion
Steve Carson & Cec d’Oliveira, MIT & Joey King & Richard Baraniuk, Rice Uni-
versity 23
Remixing Higher Education - The Open Content University
Jason Cole, Open University 25
Crossing International Borders: Cultural, Contractual and Technical Chal-
Larry Cooperman, University of California, Irvine 27
Refections of an international Community of Interest on OER
Susan D’Antoni, UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning 33
eduCommons: Lessons from the Field
John Dehlin, COSL/Utah State University 35
When Teachers Reuse and Remix Interactive Online Resources
Joel Dufn, Utah State University 37
Open Learning Environments: Building an International Team to Distribute
Development & Provide Instructional Support
Jacques du Plessis, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 39
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Creating an Intellectual Commons for Geoscience Education
Sean Fox & Cathryn Manduca, Carleton College 41
Hiting the Trifecta: A Professional Development Model for Creating, Using
and Disseminating Open Education Resources
Sarah Giersch, Andy Walker, Mimi Recker, & Rena Janke, National Science Digi-
tal Library 43
Open Educational Resources Portal: Enhancing Open Educational Resources
Through Community Engagement
Amee Godwin & Lisa Petrides, Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management
in Education (ISKME) 45
The Sakai-OCW-eduCommons Project
Joseph Hardin, University of Michigan 47
Open Educational Resources: Opportunities and Challenges
Dr. Jan Hylén, OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, Paris,
France 49
Enhancing Youth-Managed Resource Centers in Nepal
Tifany Ivins & Jefrey Lee, World Education 65
Using Folksonomies to Add Instructional Value to Field Science Data
Eric Kansa & Sarah Kansa, Alexandria Archive Institute 67
Open Educational Resources in Europe: A Triptych of Actions to Support
Participation in Higher Education
Paul Kirschner and Peter Varwijk, Open Universiteit Nederland; Kees-Jan van
Dorp, European Association of Distance Teaching Universities; and Andrew Lane,
United Kingdom Open University 69
DIY Educators Gone Wild: Where are the Instructional Mash-Ups?
Brian Lamb, University of British Columbia 85
Opencourseware Localization: Lessons Learned in the Chinese Context
Meng-Fen Grace Lin, University of Houston 87
Mellon-Funded Open Source Projects for Higher Education
Chris Mackie, Mellon Foundation 89
The Role of Evaluation in (Re)-Using Open Education Science Resources
Flora McMartin, Sarah Giersch, & Glenda Morgan, Broad Based Knowledge 91
The Day the Internet Exploded in My Face
Shigeru Miyagawa, MIT OCW 93
Community Education OpenCourseWare (CE-OCW) An OCW to Empower
Communities Through Knowledge
Rogelio Morales and Iván Saavedra, Universidad Central de Venezuela 95
Open Content in Education: The Instructor Benefts of MIT OpenCourse-
Preston Parker, Utah State University 101
Tools for Creating Open Content: CMS4OCW and CMS4ROCKL. When
Teachers Want to Share.
Pedro Pernias & Manuel Marco Such, Universidad Alicante 103
DIVA: Lessons in Open Systems from the Grass Roots to Beyond
Andrew Roderick, Chris Betinger, & Daniel Koepke, San Francisco State Univer-
sity 105
A Dialogue on Open Educational Resources (OER) and Social Authoring
Ruth Rominger: Director of Learning Design, Monterey Institute for Technology
and Education, and Fielding Graduate University (Ph.D., Organizational Sys-
tems, in process) and Paul Stacey: Director of Development, BCcampus; (M.Ed.
Adult Learning Change and G 107
Open Kitchen: A Learning Objects Repository for Teachers by Teachers
Fulya Sari, Bogazici University 117
The Challenges, Frustrations and Triumphs of Remixing an Open Source
Game Engine for Educational Purposes
Tim Stowell & Bret Shelton, Utah State University 121
OCW’s Impact: The Users’ Perspective
Dawn Terkla & Lisa O’Leary, Tufs University 131
Kyoto University OpenCourseWare As Associative Intellectual Media
Naoko Tosa, Michihiko Minoh, Academic Center for Computing and Media Stud-
ies, Kyoto University 133
A Research Agenda for Open Educational Resources: Summary and Highlights
of an On-line Forum Convened by the International Institute for Educational
Planning (UNESCO)
Kim Tucker, CISR/Meraka Institute 143
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Intellectual Property in Open Educational Resources
Lindsey Weeramuni & Steve Carson, MIT OpenCourseware 145
Taking the Tools to the Content: Learner Support for OER
David Wiley, Shelley Henson, Justin Ball, COSL/Utah State University 147
Support Services for OCW and other OERs in Japanese National Gateway
Tsuneo Yamada and Yasutaka Shimizu, National Institute of Multimedia Educa-
tion (NIME), Japan 149
What Makes an Open Education Program Sustainable? The Case of
Richard Baraniuk, Paul Dholakia, & Joey King, Rice University
A common and critical issue facing all open education projects (OEPs) at the
present time is the challenge of planning for and ensuring their respective
sustainability, which is defned here as the long-term viability and stability of the
OEP. The sustainability challenge arises for at least two reasons.
First, traditional revenue models that are employed as a mater of course
in other educational setings, to earn revenue from knowledge creation and
dissemination such as enrolment fees, tuition, book sales, subscriptions, etc. do
not directly apply to OEPs. In most cases, the OEP’s intellectual properties such
as the content and/or the sofware platform are “open” in the sense that they
are available to users without a charge. Users can download, consume (and in
some cases, with appropriate atributions, use and re-use) the content freely.
Second and perhaps less explicitly acknowledged is the fact that in this early
“explosive growth” phase of the OEP life cycle, there are simply too many OEPs
being seeded that will compete for the scarce fnancial resources available from
philanthropic institutions, universities, governmental and non-governmental
agencies in the long run. Consequently, the founders and managers of every
OEP must consider how their project will become sustainable once it is,
voluntarily or involuntarily, freed from the apron-strings of the start-up funding
institution. It is noteworthy that despite this challenge, a majority of OEPs
tend to emphasize their technical and educational content prowess, goals and
accomplishments, without paying adequate atention to the question of their
future sustainability.
Our objective in this presentation and paper is to focus on this overlooked
yet crucial question in the OEP arena and explore issues of OEP sustainability
in depth. In particular, we have two goals. First, in a broad sense, we propose
a process by which OEPs can think about sustainability. We call this the
“sustainability model” for OEPs. Second, in more specifc terms and in the spirit
of the openness that is the core of all OEPs, we share our experiences and
approaches to working toward sustainability using this model for our particular
OEP, Connexions.
The presentation and paper will be organized as follows. First, we will provide an
overview of Connexions to readers. We do this because we employ Connexions
as a case study to frame the issues of OEP sustainability throughout the paper,
as well as to provide specifc examples of how particular revenue models may
be employed by OEPs. Next, through principles derived from marketing theory,
social psychology and sociology, relying upon accumulating evidence, and using
the case of Connexions as well as other successful business case studies, we
will present a framework for thinking about OEP sustainability, that we term
the “sustainability model”. This model seeks to address the two challenges
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described above. We will then provide more specifc discussion of revenue
models available to OEPs stemming from the sustainability model and draw
Sustainability and the Culture of Teaching: Starting them Young
Terri L. Bays, University of Notre Dame
Abstract: This paper explores the benefts of two innovations
to OpenCourseWare: course production by feld-
specifc graduate students and workshops for advanced
undergraduates’ translation of OCW courses. Both seek to
enhance the culture of teaching, not only among the faculty,
but also among graduate and undergraduate students as
future faculty.
At the Spring 2006 OpenCourseWare Consortium Meeting in Kyoto,
our Sustainability Work Group identifed the embedding of open sharing
in academic practice as an important consortium goal. The Notre Dame
OpenCourseWare Pilot Project, just completing its frst year with the launch
of an eight-course site, has been designed with an eye to fostering just such
an ethos of openness. Two structural innovations Notre Dame is introducing
to the OpenCourseWare model show particular promise in this regard, aiming
to infuence the culture of teaching among the graduate and undergraduate
students we will be sending out to teach coming generations.
The frst innovation, put into practice this past summer, is our use of graduate
students as course production assistants. The second, coming into practice even
as we speak, is the design of translation workshops wherein teams of advanced
undergraduates will translate courses from Notre Dame OCW into languages
such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.
Together, these two innovations seek to engage our students in active refection
upon rather than passive reception of the practice of teaching. Such refection,
conducted in an environment focused upon open sharing, brings the student
to a higher awareness of how integral that sharing is to a productive teaching
To begin with, let me note that Notre Dame’s OCW project is housed within our
Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning. That placement is more than merely
circumstantial. It keeps our atention focused on OCW’s potential to transform
the culture of teaching at Notre Dame. Because much of our work in the Kaneb
Center addresses the needs of graduate students as novice instructors, we
naturally looked to graduate students when we needed course production
assistants. In training and working with these graduate students, we became
even further aware of the opportunities OCW afords us for addressing issues
surrounding the ways we choose to present knowledge. Because much of our
work in the Kaneb Center addresses the quality of student learning, we naturally
looked to the efect of translation projects on the fostering of undergraduate
foreign language study. In developing translation workshops, we are becoming
even further aware of the opportunities OCW afords us for alerting our
students to global needs for access to knowledge. We might have realized these
opportunities under other circumstances, but our collaboration with colleagues
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dedicated to the enhancement of teaching and learning has goten us there that
much more efciently.
Jumping back, the idea of using graduate students as course production
assistants arose from the very practical need to inspire confdence in
prospective OCW faculty. The faculty needed assurance that their courses
would be processed by those with primary expertise in the particular discipline
of the course rather than in web technology alone. As we considered this option,
however, we quickly realized that the graduate students themselves would
beneft from the opportunity for pedagogical refection aforded by the project.
Furthermore, students inspired by their work with OCW would in turn carry
their enthusiasm for the movement with them to the sites of their subsequent
academic careers.
Since we just started this past summer, it is too early to claim major results, but
what we have seen has been striking. In our frst intellectual property training
session, the graduate students emerged, blinking, from beneath their fair use
umbrellas and exclaimed at the unfairness of rules that limited their ability to
extend knowledge beyond the classroom. When one of them remarked, “this
stuf is precisely why projects like OCW are so important,” I realized how
shortsighted I had been to think of IP training as simply a mater of nuts and
Likewise practical decisions about how to present course readings and
illustrations have led to some fruitful discussions with graduate students. Can
you meet your stated learning goal of promoting close reading if all you provide
are prepackaged textbooks? Just how accessible are online journal services and
image databases if they allow access only to those afliated with institutional
subscribers? Discussions like these, not to mention the practical experiences
that provoke them, shape the way in which our course producers, our future
faculty, soon will go about designing their own courses.
The idea of OCW-centered translation workshops arose from a series of
conversations in and around the Kaneb Center. The Kaneb Center has long
been involved with projects to enhance foreign language learning in particular
and, more in general, to cultivate active learning among our undergraduates
in the form of research opportunities, service learning projects and re-entry
courses for students returning from study and service terms abroad. Given this
involvement, it was natural for us to think of our own students as we became
increasingly aware of the need for translators of OCW classes into multiple
As OCW translators, these students reach out to the world in a way that is
becoming familiar to our campus. Through the Notre Dame Center for Social
Concerns, faculty design service learning projects such as the Chemistry class
that takes students out to identify lead hazards in the South Bend community
or the Architecture course that assigns students to work on design projects
for local community groups. A foreign language class that prepares students to
produce translations for the enhancement of global education fts neatly into
this existing framework.
With service learning, educational enhancements fow in both directions.
While students extend the reach of OCW courses, they also extend their
own language skills beyond the reading of literature to the study of, e.g.,
theology, philosophy, political science and anthropology. Furthermore, the
process of developing a culturally appropriate course translation encourages
these students to refect on education as something they practice rather than
something they merely receive.
The emergence of a “Languages Across the Curriculum Initiative” at Notre
Dame in Spring 2006 provided this project with practical momentum. With the
launch of the frst eight Notre Dame OCW courses just this month, faculty will
be able to select courses for translation and begin to recruit students. The frst
translation workshops would be run next fall as capstone projects where small
groups of foreign language majors translate OCW courses in collaboration
with foreign language instructors and OCW course contributors. Within such
a collaborative process, the negotiation between course content and cultural
sensitivity stands to beneft faculty and students alike.
Again, it would be premature to make terribly specifc claims about what such
workshops might achieve, other than some useful translations. Nevertheless,
we can speculate that students (and their instructors) would develop a greater
appreciation for open sharing as a method for lifelong service learning. Further,
through use of myOCW and similar media, we might hope that these students
would be drawn into networks of translators around the world. Naturally, we also
hope that this encounter with teaching from the design standpoint will inspire
our students to become educators. Should this happen, they will be educators
for whom the ethos of open sharing is instinctual.
Both of the projects I have described for you look to the future of OCW as a
movement that must turn the hearts of faculty and administrators as well as
their heads. From the standpoint of current university administration, positive
impact upon future alumni is a moneymaking proposition. From the standpoint
of current faculty, the atraction of undergraduates to academic careers is
a pet project. But these two projects look beyond our current faculty and
administration. They press for openness among the atitudes future educators
take towards the knowledge they have to impart, before the weight of past
practice, not to mention the preoccupation with promotion, has begun to resist
change. These projects help create a culture where openness requires no
change at all the kind of culture necessary to the sustainability of OCW as a
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Open Source 3D Simulations in Science and Engineering Education
John W. Belcher, Class of 1922 Professor of Physics and MacVicar Faculty Fellow,
MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Science
Abstract: 3D simulations in science and engineering can
convey an unparalleled feel for physical phenomena. Is it
possible to create a worldwide community of open source
developers for such content? We suggest a model for such
a community centered at research universities interested in
open education.
Visualizations and simulations are powerful tools for illustrating physical
processes and making sense of the relationship between diferent physical
quantities. Via visualizations, scenarios that are otherwise too difcult to be
carried out can be explored, and processes that are not normally visible can
be presented in a variety of ways. In addition to helping students grasp and
understand abstract concepts, visualizations ofen excite learning interest with
their visual richness. This is especially true when these representations are 3D
and interactive. In this paper we ask whether it is possible to set up a structure
for the creation of 3D educational content by an open source community
of teaching faculty and developers. We suggest a possible model for such a
community that centers on research universities.
There are many freely available simulations online, so why is any additional
efort necessary? For example, MERLOT ofers a broad array of visualizations
across a multitude of disciplines. The Physics Education Technology (PhET)
Project at the University of Colorado has produced a number of animations/
visualizations for introductory physics, and studied their efectiveness as
compared to e.g. traditional laboratories in circuits. Open Source Physics is an
NSF-funded curriculum development project that is developing and distributing
a code library, programs, and examples of computer-based interactive curricular
material under the GNU GPL license. TEALsim is an open source MIT code base
in Java 3D for freshman physics that has earned international recognition. And
there are many other examples such as these four.
However, such resources sufer from the disadvantage that they come in
a variety of representations and have a variety of user interfaces, and are
frequently not open source. If they are open source, they may be licensed
under incompatible open source schemes (e.g. compare the Creative Commons
License, which allows commercialization, to the GNU GPL license, which
does not). Moreover, they are built with a variety of computer languages and
architectures that are generally not well documented. More fundamentally,
they are not maintainable in the sense that if they become inoperable because
of evolution in hardware or sofware, there is no recourse for the educational
user other than reliance on the long-term eforts of their creators, who are
generally supported by sof resources of very fnite duration. Thus their broad
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incorporation into educational programs in other than a peripheral way is

Having a long-term open source project using a common sofware base,
architecture and open source license would obviate many of these difculties.
We suggest a model for such a community centered at research universities
interested in open education. How would this work?
The Model
The model we suggest is basically that of MIT’s Open Course Ware. Arguably,
that model has been successful at MIT because it is a mixture of both altruism
and self-interest. The altruism component is obvious, and is in keeping with
the stated purpose of most universities, except that to its credit, in sponsoring
OCW, MIT is acting concretely in a space where many others only give lip
service. The self-interest component is less obvious, but basically it is that the
MIT courses on OCW are useful for MIT’s own internal purposes. For MIT
faculty and students alike, the OCW courses provide a common interface and
a common format for MIT courses, which is useful both to the students, to see
what a course actually involves with minimal efort, and to faculty, to see what
other faculty are doing, and to put up and widely advertise (to the entire world!)
their own courses, again with minimal efort. It is not that most MIT courses
did not have an on-line presence before OCW, it is that that presence was de-
centralized, poorly organized, in inconsistent formats, and hard to fnd. OCW
has changed all that by providing a consistent format that is easily searchable.
That is extremely useful to the external world but it is also useful to MIT itself.
This is clearly the best of both worlds from MIT’s point of view—doing well
externally and profting internally at the same time from doing good externally.
How might a similar model play out with simulations? First consider the broader
context of the educational enterprise at research universities. Derek Bok
describes the nature of this enterprise succinctly:
Shared governance works well for most purposes. As currently practiced,
however, it cannot deal with one important problem— ensuring the highest
possible quality of education. In theory, that task should be discharged by
the faculty. But even though professors have the most experience in maters
of teaching and learning, they feel no urgency to search for the best possible
methods to educate undergraduate students. That is not because professors
care only about research; the vast majority is conscientious about their
classroom responsibilities and spends much more time teaching than doing
research. The difculty is subtler. While faculty members may try to do the
best they can in class using familiar methods of instruction, they seldom work
systematically at improving the methods themselves. Few faculties engage in
a continuing efort to assess how much their students are learning, identify
defciencies, develop and test possible remedies, and ultimately adopt those
approaches that prove most successful. Without some process of this kind, it is
hard for any human endeavor to improve. (Bok, 2004)
This is true within any department at the university level, and it becomes even
more apt across disciplines. For example, the General Institute Requirements
at MIT are a set of courses spanning mathematics, physics, chemistry, and
biology, which are supposed to provide MIT undergraduates with a thorough
grounding in these fundamental subjects before they begin their professional
training. However well these courses are taught individually, as a group they
are poorly coordinated. A freshman with many problem sets due each week
sees litle coherence in these courses taken as a whole. For example, the
electromagnetism taught in freshman physics eschews even the mention of
quantum mechanics over an entire term, while the electromagnetism taught in
freshman chemistry is taught hand and hand with quantum mechanics from the
frst lecture. To a harried freshman these two approaches make the courses
seem like they have litle common foundation, and as a result they leave the
freshman year with no cohesive overview to carry into their professional
training, despite MIT’s clear intent to the contrary.
This is of course a problem of long-term proportion, and not only at MIT, so
how would simulations and visualizations help to solve it? To be efective,
visualizations must be embedded in a pedagogical framework for their
interactive delivery. Such a “guided inquiry” interactive framework is essential
to optimize what students take away from visualizations. Simply leting students
explore in an open-ended manner is not sufcient. Studies have also shown
that unsupported discovery is not necessarily benefcial since learners have
difculties with the process of formulating hypotheses, gathering data, and
analyzing and interpreting data. In order for simulations to have a positive
impact on learning, instructional supports need to be built in:
Simulations are not a total learning package but provide only a part of the
learning experience. They must be integrated into a curriculum, which provides
support for the simulation and in which the simulation supports other learning
activities (Hsu and Thomas, 2004)
Thus we see simulations and visualizations as part of a larger whole. They
make educational sense and are most useful when they are integrated into the
curriculum and course learning objectives at a fundamental level. Designing
them thus goes hand in hand with designing the course as a whole. A common
look and design philosophy of simulations for the freshman year courses at MIT
would be just as useful as the common look and design philosophy of the OCW
freshman year courses.
A Prototype
As a prototype of the type of structure we envisage, we use the example of
TEALsim, an open source Java3D based simulation engine developed at MIT for
introductory physics, and recently extended to areas in biology (Belcher, 2006).
Figure 1 shows a screen capture from one frame of a simulation on Faraday’s
Law. This project involves MIT faculty in physics (Belcher) and biology (Professor
Graham Walker, an HHMI Professor), as well as sofware engineers from
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maintain code bases and repositories for such visualizations and the learning
frameworks surrounding them. Just as importantly, they have the domain
expertise to create educational simulations that are state of the art in terms
of current knowledge. Moreover, their courses can serve as test beds for the
prototyping and evaluation of such simulations. Finally, and most importantly,
research universities are seen as the international leaders in scientifc and
technical knowledge. This status gives them the credibility to establish standards
and conventions in this area that would be emulated worldwide.
Is it possible to create a worldwide community of open source developers for
such content, based in research universities? Clearly the technical expertise
to do this already exists—this is not rocket science. And the resources involved
are small compared to the costs of e.g. a single plasma fusion experiment or a
single unmanned space mission, with a much greater potential return in absolute
terms. It is simply a question of mustering the will and the vision.
Belcher, J. (2006), The TEALsim Project htp://
Bok, D. (2001) The Critical Role of Trustees in Enhancing Student Learning, The
Chronicle Review, 5(17) B12.
Hsu, Y-S & Thomas, R., D. (2002) The Impacts of a Web-Aided Instructional
Simulation on Science Learning, International Journal of Science Education,
24(9) 955-979.
departments across the Institute. The guided inquiry engine that drives student
interaction with the TEALsim visualizations is based on MasteringPhysics™, a
homework system designed by MIT Professor David Pritchard for physics, and
ofered commercially by Pearson. Problems in this system can be structured
to provide hints and tutorial help at any point where they are needed. The
hope is that the TEALsim sofware can be extended from physics and biology
to chemistry and mathematics in future incarnations, providing a common
functionality and pedagogical design philosophy for visualization across the
freshman year at MIT.
Figure 1. The falling ring simulation from TEALsim.
To be successful, however, any such project must have an incentive system to
motivate diverse faculty to participate, and be driven by concrete educational
goals set by the close involvement of those faculty. Developing a comprehensive
suite of simulations and visualizations for the freshman year, as well as the other
learning activities that they support, would be to MIT’s beneft, in that it would
provide a more comprehensive overview to the freshman in their introductory
year. Clearly, access to such a suite would be useful to the external world as
well, just as access to MIT’s courses through OCW is useful to the external
world. Again, this is clearly the best of both worlds from MIT’s point of view—
doing well externally and profting internally at the same time from doing good
And if this is done in concert with other research universities, so much
the beter, as it spreads the costs and efort over a wider base. Research
universities, because of their nature, have the resources and expertise to
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Defning the Process of Localizing Open Content Math Resources for Tonga
Joanne Bentley, Utah State University
In an atempt to fnd a way to help those with limited resources become more
aware of what open content can do for them we approached schools in the
South Pacifc with questions about their instructional needs. Contacts at an
American university campus and those at a Tongan high school raised concerns
about students doing well in the Tongan education system but struggling in Math
when they began university. There are many factors which contribute to the
problem of poor math performance, some of which are described by Hofstede
(2003) as a diference between values, behaviors, and organizational structures.
In the past, localizing US content for an International audience has focused on
translation and superfcial cultural adaptations (Esselink, 2000). In Tonga, most
formal education is conducted in English so language translation was not a
signifcant feature of this project. However, the cultural adaptations necessary
to contextualize the math content into relevant problems was signifcant. We
look at the basic instructional design process described by Dick, Carey, & Carey
(2004), and modify it for localizing open-content high school math resources to
bridge the
gap between the PSSC exam in Tonga and a basic university-entrance math
exam. Suggestions by Hofstede, & Hofstede (2004) and Riegler (2003) helped
shape how we approached the instructional design process of defning the
process of localizing open content math resources for Tonga. This session will
be of particular interest to instructional designers interested in exploring the
process of localizing instruction for specifc niche audiences.
Dick, W. O., Carey, L. & Carey, J. O (2004). The Systematic Design of Instruction
(6th ed).
Allyn & Bacon. Esselink, B. (2000). A practical guide to localization. “Language
International World Directory” (Revised ed.). Amsterdam and Philadelphia:
John Benjamins. Hofstede, G (2003). Culture’s Consequences : Comparing
Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations (2nd ed).
Sage Publications, Inc. Hofstede, G. &
Hofstede, G. J. (2004). Cultures and Organizations: Sofware of the Mind (2nd
ed). McGraw-Hill.
Riegler, T. D. (2003). Culturally Adaptive Training. Paper presented at the STC
50th Conference.
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Extending Community Engagement for Open Content Re-use
Tom Carey & Gerry Hanley, California State University
Growing availability of open resources has not produced widespread re-use
in traditional higher education. Pilot studies are underway in the MERLOT
community to extend our repository of teaching expertise, to beter support
re-use of exemplary online resources. The key direction under study is to
re-orient the interface and content away from a learning object repository
and toward a community workspace for sharing common teaching goals and
addressing shared instructional challenges. The integrating format under study
is an adaptation to the MERLOT domain of the Carnegie Foundation’s KEEP
Toolkit template. We have already experimented successfully with this format
for authors to document the design rationale underlying the learning object,
and are now investigating how comments from re-users could be structured in a
complementary way.
We are also examining enhancements of MERLOT Peer Reviews, which can use
a similar ‘teaching case’ format to provide the seed for a MERLOT Guide to
Teaching topic ‘X’ with learning object ‘Y’. We hypothesize that this can provide
a base for a community of teachers to engage in dialog, knowledge exchange and
development, and resource sharing around the common issue of Teaching ‘X’. In
these current prototype approaches, we are following the levels of investigation
suggested by Trigwell et al as an application of Rowland’s distinction between
personal, local and public knowledge.
At the personal level, this will entail a more research-based process during the
creation of a peer review, to ground the personal refections within the larger
body of scholarship of teaching within and across disciplines. At the local level,
this will entail stronger tools for collaborations with colleagues, in aggregating
the conclusions of review and usage into shared artifacts of teaching expertise
such as the MERLOT Guides.
We are also exploring the role of faculty development and teaching support
ofces, who are concerned with the more general problem of Teaching at
‘R’ [an institution]. We believe that we can facilitate their activities and win
their support by providing discipline-specifc resources to address teachers’
conception of—and approaches to—teaching in their subject areas.
Trigwell, K., Martin, E., Benjamin, J. & Prosser, M. (2000) Scholarship of teaching:
A model, Higher Education Research and Development, 19, 155-168.
Rowland, S. (2000) The Enquiring University Teacher (Buckingham, SRHE and
Open University Press).
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Considerations in Open Publishing Formats: A panel discussion
Steve Carson & Cec d’Oliveira, MIT & Joey King & Richard Baraniuk, Rice
Across the spectrum of open educational resource projects, an ofen confusing
array of technologies is being used to try to achieve the goals of open and
fexible sharing. Rice Connexions and MIT OpenCourseWare are two successful
OER projects, but projects using diferent methods and technologies. In this
panel discussion, each project will provide an overview of their project, a
summary of project goals, insight into how those goals afected technical format
considerations, and the outcomes of the format choices made.
In addition, each project will discuss future format considerations. A signifcant
amount of time will be lef for open discussion of format issues afer the project
:u :=
Remixing Higher Education - The Open Content University
Jason Cole, Open University
The long term sustainability of open content in higher education depends
on educational institutions perceiving real value from its use. If universities
perceive open content as a public service and marketing tool, they will miss
the real advantage of a large pool of collectively developed resources. ‘Web
2.0’ applications, with a focus on collaborative development, reputation
management, distributed marketplaces, and service orientation (O’Reilly, 2005),
provides a model for the next generation of elearning.
The work of Carol Twigg and the Center for Course Redesign has shown that
engineered content, along with a just-in-time support model can both improve
learning and reduce costs. When combined with open content, these ideas
combine to form the conceptual basis of the Service Oriented University.
The Service Oriented University is an emerging trend in higher education.
Terry Anderson at Athabasca University in Canada has begun to experiment
with the open source community sofware ELGG to create ad-hoc learning
communities. Rio Salada community college in the US starts courses every
two weeks and allows students to fall back to a later course if they fall behind.
Many of the courses redesigned through the Center for Course Redesign use a
service focused model to reduce cost and improve learning. If we extend these
emerging ideas, we can begin to outline a possible future organization that can
take advantage of open content and the collaborative potential of the web.
In the new organization, students and tutors collaborate to create and remix
educational resources to meet emergent needs in real-time. Students are
supported to create their own learning environments and pathways through a
rich body of open content, guided by their peers and tutors. Academics add
to the body of knowledge through research and create learning designs that
students can choose to use if they fnd them helpful in achieving their goals. The
university then becomes a platform for collaborative, supported learning and a
arbiter of quality through assessment. Courses become a set of services to help
the student achieve learning goals, not a packaged product based on ‘seat time’.
The presentation will discuss the potential for this vision to increase access,
lower costs and increase learning.
:ó :/
Crossing International Borders: Cultural, Contractual and Technical
Larry Cooperman, University of California, Irvine
Abstract: This paper describes the process by which learning
content passes between international partners. It examines
agreements between the University of California, Irvine’s
Distance Learning Center (DLC) and higher education
institutions in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil and shows how
delivery of content was mediated by technical, cultural, and
contractual challenges.
This paper highlights the experience of the University of California, Irvine’s
Distance Learning Center (DLC) with sharing learning content with international
partners. It examines three cases involving the DLC and higher education
institutions in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil and shows how delivery of learning
content was mediated by technical, cultural, and contractual challenges. The
three cases vary widely in their specifcs, but each faced common challenges in
reaching contractual agreement with partners, translating and localizing content,
training local instructors, and selecting appropriate technologies. These three
cases show varying degrees of success in addressing challenges that inevitably
confront atempts to deliver content to international partners.

While open educational resources were not used in these three cases, they are
directly relevant to eforts to make OERs useful in the developing world. The
DLC encountered the following situations:
1. In Mexico, we had difculty in fnding instructors/professors at the
partner institution with appropriate backgrounds to teach the material.
Institutions in the developing world may fnd it difcult identify local
content expertise. The ability of the receiving institution to incorporate
new content requires atention to how the material will be taught.
2. In Brazil, the local partner had to radically adapt content to
accommodate local culture among adult learners. Beyond translating
the material to Portuguese, it had to redesign entire courses to
incorporate the use of animated characters, even though all of the
courses were already rich in media.
3. The terms of contractual agreements, in one case, created
unsustainable conditions. We had a local partner with centers
throughout Latin America, found qualifed instructors, translated
the material, found local experts to develop local cases, and still
the project fell apart even as students had begun to inquire about
enrollment because of administrative failures by both parties.
4. Our technology platform facilitated international collaboration. Our
UCI-developed content management system (as opposed to a simple
repository of content) facilitated content selection and transfer or,
:8 :¤
in other cases, directs delivery to students. UCI now ofers partners
not only content, but also the use of a content management system
for content creation, insertion, sequencing, and delivery. We fnd this
approach has advantages to the use of standalone resources from a
Content developed and delivered in one seting undergoes a transformation to
make it useful in other setings. A receiving institution has to be able to make
open educational content accessible to its students. Cultural factors require
changes to content—beyond providing localized cases. And beyond localization
and translation, the successful educational “transfer” of learning resources
also requires that the receiving institution have the technical and institutional
capabilities to make use of the material—the instructors, the platform, and
a framework for turning reused resources into a course of instruction. Our
experience at UCI’s Distance Learning Center has led us to provide tools and
services in addition to learning content to supplement the existing capabilities
of the local partner.
Case Study I: Emphasizing instruction
In early 2004, University Extension and the UCI Distance Learning Center
began discussions with the Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM) to provide
a pilot program in Project Management, a single course to be ofered to its
students with a nominal per-student payment to UCI Extension (UNEX). UCI’s
Introduction to Project Management course had been originally authored
in Spanish by Pablo Lledo, a professor with the Alta Direccion Escuela de
Negocios (ADEN). For UNEX/DLC, it would be its frst foray into delivering a
course in a language other than English, so the fact that it had been originally
writen in Spanish seemed ideal.
It should be mentioned that the Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM) is a
Laureate International Universities afliate and that the contacts between UCI
Extension and Laureate had been ongoing for some time. This collaboration
ofered specifc benefts to UVM, which could add a high-demand program to its
oferings, and to UCI Extension, which was looking for ways to make its oferings
available to speakers of other languages.
So, in summer of 2004, we were preparing to ofer the course and were in the
approval process for two of UVM’s professors to become our UNEX course
instructors. We discovered through this process that UVM did not have on its
faculty anyone who could reasonably teach the course. Not only was there
no one who had gone through the typical PMI certifcation process, but also
because it was a newly added program, there was no one with academic
credentials in the area, either. Since this had only become clear rather late in the
academic preparation cycle, we made an urgent call to our Argentine colleague,
Pablo Lledo, who agreed to help us out by teaching the class, using two UVM
junior faculty as instructional assistants. With 140 enrollments—students were
both required to take the course and there was no additional tuition levied—the
class occasionally had a chaotic feel, but ultimately was seen by both parties as
a success. We faced a variety of challenges, including successfully integrating
the work of the instructional assistants, who were unfamiliar with our online
platform and who themselves were just learning the academic content of the
In this instance, language did not appear to be a stumbling block in the
communications. UNEX/DLC personnel had varying competencies in Spanish
and local UVM staf had good command of English, particularly the writen
variety used in the majority of the emails. Nor did the Spanish provided in the
developed textual and multimedia content itself provide any signifcant hurdles.
The “newness” of the experience was the size of the class itself—140 instead of
our typical 20-student class—and organizing the instructional division of labor
between the course professor of record, Pablo Lledo, and the UVM instructors.
The later had already taught these students, but as faculty members in their
own area of expertise.
What makes this case interesting to the Open Resources community is not its
specifcs. UCI Extension charged a fee, which, while low ($40/student), certainly
does not qualify this course as an open educational resource. Rather, it is the
provisioning of content without defning the instructional capacity of the partner
institution in the given area that ofers lessons. Open educational resources, to
fulfll their potential, need to be married to human, instructional resources, e.g.
professors and instructors qualifed in a given subject mater, so that the content
becomes fully comprehensible and student learning actually occurs.
Case Study II: Cultural Diferences and Administrative Conficts
In 2005, UNEX signed a contract to ofer fve diferent courses as a supplement
to the MBA degree program of the Alta Direccion Escuela de Negocios (ADEN).
In contrast to the UVM program, students were to be ofered these courses as
electives. This agreement had a variety of unique aspects:
1. UNEX would provide two existing and three customized courses in a
variety of business topics.
2. ADEN would subsidize the cost of new online course development
3. UNEX would submit ADEN professors for approval as UNEX
4. Course language would be Spanish
5. Course fees would range from $180-$300USD for courses with quarter
credits in the range of 1.5-3.0 hours)
6. ADEN would receive ~25% of the course fees, which would vary
according to the amount of the original contribution for course
7. ADEN would ofer the fve courses to students nearing graduation
from the MBA program in each of their ~15 centers throughout Latin
=o =ì
What was the basis for this agreement? ADEN looked to UNEX to provide
its experience in online course development and delivery, partially as a way
to jumpstart its own entry into online courses. For UNEX, we envisioned the
alliance providing us a larger entrée to the Latin American audience and an
initial understanding of the characteristics of the market. The price point, for
example, was set below what ADEN charged for its own courses, because it saw
the necessity to overcome initial reluctance among Latin American students to
take online courses. That is, the importance of social networking was such that
online courses could be perceived as an inferior approach, regardless of other
concerns that may exist about the value of the educational experience itself.
The contract was eventually signed in January 2005, with the frst course
slated to begin in October of the same year. The courses were developed
on time and, sure enough, students began to inquire about enrolling. But the
agreement fell apart at the eleventh hour. Why? On both sides, despite a
torrent of emails involving the details of organizing the classes, sufered from
extreme administrative failures, this time complicated by language and culture.
Essentially, a delay in invoicing by UNEX had led to a delay in the required
payment by ADEN and fnally a reluctance to pay the development fees
until course delivery had begun (and with it associated revenues). Similarly,
UNEX had failed to implement an online enrollment form in Spanish, setling
instead for a form to be faxed in, despite assurances to the contrary. Despite a
serious efort over months—including training of ADEN faculty by UNEX staf,
instructor approvals, course approvals, translation of English-language content,
and customization of four of the fve courses in both English and Spanish—the
project fell victim to what was a continuous stress in both organizations. We
had both stepped outside of our comfort zones. The creation of a series of
new administrative procedures on both sides and the novelty of that efort
eventually convinced both parties that moving forward was too difcult. Beyond
the specifcs, what doomed the partnership was a failure to determine the
capacity building that had to occur prior to the launch of the program.
Is there a lesson here for the OER movement? It has to be that to be useful
an education institution using OERs will have to frst build capacity. In our
frst case, we looked at the lack of qualifed instructors. In this case, the act of
assembling OERs into coursework—with or without language constraints—implies
signifcant internal technical and organizational capacity by the local educational
Case Study III: Brazil
Afer these frst two abortive eforts, UNEX had learned some lessons. Just as
important as any lessons it had learned, was the selection of an international
partner with signifcant internal capacity. Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV), a
non-proft Brazilian higher education institution that ofers business education,
had already acquired some 5000 online students, making it the largest online
provider in Brazil at the time (Brazil now has very large-scale plans for education
courses to be ofered online). Additionally, it had 40 locations and ofered
education in multiple formats, from video satellite delivery to fully online to
traditional classroom. FGV Online already occupied its own building and had 40
graphic designers alone, producing a series of its characteristic animations that
populate its online courses.
FGV probably worked harder to adapt our courses than it would have had to
do to develop them from scratch. They translated the English into Portuguese.
They hired an instructional design consultant to write new cases corresponding
to a Brazilian audience. They re-designed or replaced every one our animations
and graphics to match their house style. And they moved all of the text and the
screens of our course into their highly customized course management system.
And they had a capability to fnd an audience for the programs, having already
developed mechanisms for marketing to their national audience. Brazil has low
rates of university admission—around 18% - which reduces the size of the market
for graduate courses, but which makes targeting the group somewhat easier.
Finally, key elements that derailed our earlier eforts, such as limitations
within our enrollment system, were overcome by having FGV handle the
enrollments individually and sending them to us for handling as a corporate-
style group enrollment. Also, we were able to fnd FGV professors who met our
requirements to teach in the UNEX Project Management program.
In October, the frst intake group will start. To call the entire program a success
would be a litle premature, since the acid test is the exposure of students to a
curriculum originally designed for one audience—UNEX students—and delivered
to another.
The role of technology
UNEX uses a homegrown tool known as UCI CAT—UCI Course Authoring
Tool. It is a web-based application that treats courses in a hierarchical fashion,
consisting of lessons, topics, pages, content, and media. Its fexibility in course
organization—sequencing, exporting, moving and copying—and in course
maintenance provides a signifcant advantage in internationalization of our
courses. In the case of FGV, we exported the courses to HTML, but, in the
future, we may directly work with partners by sharing content through the tool,
providing us with version control and a host of other benefts. It also enables
us to minimize partner requirements for technological capability—or at least to
ofer international partners this as an option.
This tool is designed to support a course narrative. The importance of this is
to work beyond the point of providing fully independent learning objects and
towards the weaving together of learning objects into a coherent explanation
of a subject. With this notion, we return to the point made earlier: it’s really
all about seting up efective instruction and integrating open educational
resources into coherent instructional supports.
=: ==
Operating in an international arena is difcult. The efective deployment of
open educational resources in an international seting primarily relies on the
recipient. We can envision that these recipients are not just individuals seeking
“knowledge,” but will be educational setings seeking to provide education or
training for which they do not already possess all of the local prerequisites.
Imagining these difculties and being prepared to assist in the transformation of
OERs into full courses will make them signifcantly more difcult.
In this paper, none of the international partners were without their own internal
resources, but the diference in the level of their resources determined the
success of failure of the collaboration.
While there will be many diferences between the kind of agreement that UCI
Extension sought and the use of OERs in an international seting, the fact that
we had signifcant difculties with relatively established partners should give
pause to the idea that institutions with far less resources will be able to freely
and easily reuse OERs without technological and instructional assistance.
Refections of an international Community of Interest on OER
Susan D’Antoni, UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning
If the objective of the Open Educational Resources movement is to contribute
to education worldwide and “level the playing feld”, then it is essential to raise
awareness of the movement, the activities undertaken to date and the main
issues to consider.
The UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning undertook in
2005 to create and support an international Community of Interest on OER.
The primary objectives were to raise awareness of the concept and provide
examples of current initiatives, and to thereby support informed decision
making and capacity building. The community-building process was originally
centered on three activities:
• An Internet discussion forum in late 2005 to provide information about
the concept and initiatives, as well as some of the key issues;
• An ongoing discussion on topics identifed by the Community;
• A second forum in late 2006 on the main fndings of an OECD study
of OER undertaken by the Centre for Educational Research and
Innovation (CERI).
The Community thus formed numbers approximately 550 members from 94
countries. The discussion over the months since its existence has been rich
and varied, as have the background documents and reports that have been
generated throughout.
A web site section htp://
php holds these documents, and a wiki htp://
php?title=Main_Page supports ongoing deliberation and development on a
number of themes. This international Community of Interest on OER has some
important refections to share on the development, use and adaptation of Open
Educational Resources from the perspective of both developed and developing
=u ==
eduCommons: Lessons from the Field
John Dehlin, COSL/Utah State University
Abstract: In this open discussion we will bring together current
eduCommons adopters, along with potential adopters, to
discuss the benefts, challenges, and opportunities of using
eduCommons to manage your OpenCourseWare project. We
will also demo some of the new features of eduCommons 2.1.0,
and discuss the future direction of eduCommons.
=ó =/
When Teachers Reuse and Remix Interactive Online Resources
Joel Dufn, Utah State University
The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) (htp:// is
a collection of over 100 freely available java applets for K-12 math. The eNLVM
project extends the NLVM by building adaptable learning units and assessments
that utilize interactive resources from the NLVM and other digital libraries.
In order to support reuse and remix, the eNLVM provides web-based tools
that allow teachers to select, organize, confgure, create, and publish content at
multiple levels of granularity including class, lesson, activity, and applet. During
the past year, over 1500 teachers have registered to use the eNLVM, many of
whom have adapted existing resources.
This session reports research to describe the type, frequency, and extent of
reuse and adaptation that teachers made. It also proposes explanations for the
observed adaptations based on TATSTAM, a grounded theory about teacher
reuse and adaptation of interactive online resources. Profles of teacher
reuse and adaptation will be given including descriptions of activities, time
spent, types of adaptations, student use of resulting materials, and barriers
Researchers atempted to validate these profles through email correspondence
and phone interviews. In addition, they gathered background information about
teachers and atempted to use that information to help enrich descriptions of
teacher profles.
=8 =¤
Open Learning Environments: Building an International Team to Distribute
Development & Provide Instructional Support
Jacques du Plessis, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Unlike many university based OCW projects, this OCW project (www.afrikaans.
us) is not about porting an existing course to an open platform. Neither does this
course represent the exclusive work of one or two educators.
The vision of this course is to approximate a blend of the traits found within
the open sofware movement and in the Wikipedia model. From a macro
perspective, the center of atention of this creative work is around the subject
mater. The mission of this project is to develop and nurture a community of
givers and takers in learning and instruction, to facilitate the human networking,
the sharing of information about the language and culture, and to enable
profciency building in the foreign language.
This development is like a Wikipedia in the sense that it is meant to perpetually
change and grow, to be updated and improved, and to present the best thoughts
of many centered on a common topic, rather than the insistent views of one or a
few. This development is also like an open source sofware development project.
Contributions are invited and solicited.
During the presentation, examples will illustrate how some initial creative
submissions are taken by others and augmented to improve the instructional
objectives. Like with open source development projects, there is the emergence
of a community of contributing developers—a network of in-country natives
and expatriates to individually sacrifce for a common goal. The other atribute
that comes from the open source development culture is the emerging
development of a social network. This is a key development. The formation
of this social network serves diverse purposes related to language support. It
helps learners with discrete points in skill building. It exposes newcomers to a
live cultural network—they are invited to virtually experience the culture, which
has signifcant benefts. Virtual participation allows you to venture into the
new cultural space without risk. Networking allows visitors to the country to
fnd out from natives what to expect. Actual meetings take place. The beauty
of the initial virtual community is that your support network is global, and this
increases the chance for new visitors to be in touch with someone from the
virtual network.
This OCW development project is based on twenty years of research and
foreign language development by the author (the benign dictator). This
approach provides a broad vision of who the targeted audience is, and how
to best serve their needs. This model is digitally borne and inline the linear
paper-based approaches, there is a strong dependence on hyperlink logic. Each
linguistic profciency unit (e.g. pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and culture)
develops independently of each other. Within this overarching framework, there
is much room for innovation and creative development. The site has gained over
uo uì
a thousand self-subscribed learners, with over a hundred new learners joining
every month. This model illustrates the potential of a distributed development—
how the content development, the marketing, then instructional support and
then building of a learning community can be shared by many participants
Creating an Intellectual Commons for Geoscience Education
Sean Fox & Cathryn Manduca, Carleton College
To support geoscience faculty in their role as teachers the Science Education
Resource Center at Carleton College is engaged in developing a variety of
mechanisms for capturing faculty teaching expertise, linking it to pedagogic
research, and making the resulting resources fndable in ways that are aligned
with faculty work-habits and needs. The result is an intellectual commons or
teaching commons (Hutchings, 2001) supporting geoscience faculty in their role
as teachers and scholars of learning. Of high interest to faculty are examples
of teaching the specifc topics they teach. SERC and its partners focus on
collecting such examples of teaching activities through workshops, professional
society meetings, editorial appointments, and interviews. These examples are
incorporated in topical websites addressing teaching methods or other issues in
geoscience education. Special care is taken to ensure that the websites are well
referenced, building links between the examples and the educational literature.
Evaluation data indicate that the examples play an important role in bridging
between the everyday work of faculty- teaching courses on specifc topics- and
educational research addressing methods and ideas that can be applied to
multiple topics or disciplines (Manduca, 2005). The websites are designed to
lead faculty from resources they actively seek on the web (images and sites
addressing specifc geoscience topics) to information on ways to use these
resources efectively in teaching. Most users enter deep within the sites directly
from Google. Navigational elements including module navigation, bread crumbs,
related links lists, and embedded links make clear the relationship of any page
to related pedagogic materials and to searchable collections of examples. The
resulting architecture facilitates exploratory searching (White, 2005) by creating
a resource web that supports users in moving from topic to topic on multiple
branching paths while enabling search-based organization on multiple axes.
The collected resources available through Teach the Earth received more than
900,000 unique visitors in 2005. Approximately 1/4 of geoscience faculty use
the sites.
These websites and their collections of teaching materials are an example of an
open resource built through community contribution. They serve the community
by supporting existing faculty tendencies to remix materials. Faculty traditionally
draw from local resources including their own personal experiences, face-to-
face communication with from peers in their department and at meetings, and
print materials such as textbooks (McMartin, 2006). These sites dramatically
expand the pool of remixable resources to include ideas and materials from
their peers across the country. At the same time it places these remixable
resources in a context that emphasizes best practice in remixing: best practices
in creating new learning activities. It serves as a platform for community
collaboration around both the frst order problem of creating learning activities,
and also the higher-order discussions of what constitutes best practice in the
feld (Hutchings, P., 2001-2002).
u: u=
Hiting the Trifecta: A Professional Development Model for Creating, Using
and Disseminating Open Education Resources
Sarah Giersch, Andy Walker, Mimi Recker, & Rena Janke, National Science
Digital Library
Recent widespread availability of educational resources on the World-Wide
Web holds great potential for transforming education. The professional
development curriculum developed via the NSF-supported Digital Libraries go
to School project (NSF#: TPC 0554440) supports building in-service and pre-
service teachers’ capacity to locate and assemble STEM learning objects using
a modifed problem-based approach. The objectives and outcomes of the grant
• Design and implement a teacher development model: - Pre-/in-service
teachers increase their capacity for designing learning activities.
• Design and implement a STEM content development model: - Pre-
/in-service teachers increase their capacity for repurposing National
Science Digital Library (NSDL) and other online resources as buildings
blocks for teacher-created STEM content and assessments.
• Contribute teacher-designed learning activities to NSDL: - Rubrics
developed for assessing teacher-created open education resources -
Model developed for engaging cross-disciplinary review team (experts
and teachers) to assess teacher-created content for inclusion in NSDL
and elsewhere. - Context around NSDL resources extended with
metadata on pedagogy and quality
• Use evaluation and research to measure impact on teaching: - Research
instruments adapted or developed for documenting impact on teacher
practice, capacity for designing learning activities, use and repurposing
of online (particularly NSDL) resources, and increased STEM content

The grant addresses recent criticisms (found in the literature) that technology-
based teacher professional development is not relevant or tied to incentives, is
not integrated into teachers’ existing technical skills and pedagogy, and is too
short. The workshop model is centered on the concept of increasing teacher’s
design capacity through introducing and encouraging the expanded use of
online resources and by asking teachers to identify and address their own most
crucial teaching needs as part of their design activities within the workshop.
During the frst year (2006-07) workshops will be conducted with in-service
teachers early in the spring and fall semesters in Utah and Yew York. During the
second and third years (2007-09), the workshop curriculum will be modifed
for use with pre-service teachers and an online version of the workshop will be
Evaluation activities will be conducted around each workshop and during
between-workshop activities. Questions to address range from “How are
teachers using online resources (e.g. what is their current design capacity)?” to
uu u=
”Does the workshop program result in increased technology integration and
resource use?”

To date, one pilot of the workshop model has been conducted and results will
be reported as part of the presentation. Preliminary results indicate a lack of
statistically signifcant changes in participation and viewpoints, but this is likely
to be a result of the relatively low sample (n = 7). The efect sizes, in contrast,
are quite high (some as high as d = .9) and indicate that teachers see benefts
in terms of the tool making their lives easier, their experience in using online
resources and creating online learning activities was improved, there were
also marked improvements in the frequency of online resource presentations
to students and a more modest improvement in direct student use of online
Open Educational Resources Portal: Enhancing Open Educational Resources
Through Community Engagement
Amee Godwin & Lisa Petrides, Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management
in Education (ISKME)
The purpose of this session is to provide a demo and to solicit feedback on
the soon-to-be released Open Education Resources (OER) Portal. Funded by
the Hewlet Foundation and developed partially in response to limitations of
existing collections and repositories, the OER Portal aggregates meta-data on
high quality Open Educational Resources to facilitate their use and re-use by a
web-based community of learners.
The OER Portal content encompasses meta-data and pointers to primary,
secondary and postsecondary course materials such as syllabi, lecture notes,
assessments, games and lab exercises. The materials are available in multiple
media formats ranging from downloadable documents to videos and simulations.
Additional materials and resources related to the area of open content are
also available to users. These include hosted discussion forums, links to blogs,
information about OER initiatives and global events, news, and current research.
At the most basic level the OER Portal aims to facilitate centralized access to
materials and stimulate the continuous addition of relevant new materials. It
also seeks to add value by educating and engaging people to become users
and re-users of materials that are available to all. Through the creation of a
centralized Portal site focused on tagging, rating, reviewing, recommending, and
otherwise annotating Open Educational Resources, a process for community-
led quality veting will take shape. In short, we expect that over time innovative
ways to add, share, and vet new content will be developed by the OER Portal
community itself. With the recent launch of a public Beta site, OER Portal
member activity and feedback will drive the Portal design and development
By focusing on the features of community, re-use, and personalization, we hope
with this session to gain insight, specifcally, into the following questions: How
can we ensure that users continuously use and augment OER materials? How
can we best draw on personalization features that facilitate user reviews and
ratings of OER materials? And fnally, how can we stimulate community and
discussion of content and the wider arena of OER? Through insights such as
these, we will be beter able to create a sustainable infrastructure, whereby
continuous feedback and quality content will lead to ongoing advancements and
innovation in open education.
uó u/
The Sakai-OCW-eduCommons Project
Joseph Hardin, University of Michigan
Abstract: Tools The diverse educational resources, the
localized courses and objects created during learning
activities in our major institutions around the world, can
become a rich set of resources and complete courses for open
learning, as MIT OCW has shown, but only if we can free them
easily, quickly and inexpensively from their original, restricted,
institutional online systems. This is the goal of the Sakai-
OCW-eduCommons work.
u8 u¤
Open Educational Resources: Opportunities and Challenges
Dr. Jan Hylén, OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, Paris,
Abstract: Although learning resources are ofen considered
as key intellectual property in a competitive higher education
world, more and more institutions and individuals are sharing
their digital learning resources over the Internet openly and
for free, as Open Educational Resources. The OECD’s OER
project asks why this is happening, who is involved and what
the most important implications are of this development. In
the following paper some preliminary fndings are presented.
The OECD/CERI Study on OER
There are many critical issues surrounding access, quality and costs of
information and knowledge over the Internet as well as on provision of content
and learning material. As it becomes clearer that the growth of Internet
ofers real opportunities for improving access and transfer of knowledge and
information from universities and colleges to a wide range of users, there is
an urgent need to clarify these issues with special focus on Open Educational
Resources (OER) initiatives. There is also a need to defne the technical and
legal frameworks as well as business models to sustain these initiatives. That
is the background to the OECD/CERI study which aim to map the scale and
scope of Open Educational Resources initiatives in terms of their purpose,
content, and funding and to clarify and analyze four main questions: How
to develop sustainable costs/benefts models for OER initiatives? What are
the intellectual property right issues linked to OER initiatives? What are the
incentives and barriers for universities and faculty staf to deliver their material
to OER initiatives? How to improve access and usefulness for the users of OER
initiatives? (htp://
What is OER?—A Conceptual Discussion
OER is a relatively new phenomenon, which may be seen as a part of a larger
trend towards openness in higher education including more well-known and
established movements such as Open Source Sofware (OSS) and Open Access
(OA). But what is meant by “open” and what are the arguments for striving for
The two most important aspects of openness have to do with free availability
over the Internet and as few restrictions as possible on the use of the resource.
There should be no technical barriers (undisclosed source code), no price
barriers (subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) and as few legal
permission barriers as possible (copyright and licensing restrictions) for the end-
user. The end-user should be able not only to use or read the resource but also
to adapt it, build upon it and thereby reuse it, given that the original creator is
atributed for her work. In broad terms this is what is meant with “open” in all
three movements. It is also what is more or less covered in the defnition used
=o =ì
by The Open Knowledge Foundation when they say that knowledge should be
legally, socially and technologically open. (htp://
The term Open Educational Resources frst came to use in 2002 at a conference
hosted by UNESCO. Participants at that forum defned OER as: “The open
provision of educational resources, enabled by information and communication
technologies, for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for
non-commercial purposes.”
The currently most used defnition of OER is: “Open Educational Resources are
digitized materials ofered freely and openly for educators, students and self-
learners to use and re-use for teaching, learning and research.” To further clarify
this, OER is said to include:
• Learning Content: Full courses, courseware, content modules, learning
objects, collections and journals.
• Tools: Sofware to support the development, use, re-use and delivery
of learning content including searching and organization of content,
content and learning management systems, content development tools,
and on-line learning communities.
• Implementation Resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote
open publishing of materials, design principles of best practice, and
localization of content.
Although the most used, this defnition needs further refnement. To start with
it is not obvious what is meant by “open”. Walker defnes “open” as “convenient,
efective, afordable, and sustainable and available to every learner and teacher
worldwide” and Sir John Daniel speaks of “the 4 As: accessible, appropriate,
accredited, afordable” (Downes, 2006). Downes argues that “the concept of
‘open’ entails, it seems, at a minimum, no cost to the consumer or user of the
resource” and goes on:
It is not clear that resources which require some sort of payment by
the user—whether that payment be subscription fees, contribution in
kind, or even something simple, such as user registration, ought to be
called ‘open’. Even when the cost is low—or ‘afordable’—the payment
represents some sort of opportunity cost on the part of the user, an
exchange rather than sharing. (Downes, 2006)
He also argues that there is no consensus the term “open” should mean “without
restrictions” as is apparent from the Creative Commons license, where authors
may stipulate that use requires atribution, that it be non-commercial, or that
the product be shared under the same license. So while “open” may on the one
hand may mean “without cost”, it does not follow that it also means “without
Furthermore the term “educational” is not unambiguous. Does it mean that only
materials produced with the intention of being used within formal educational
setings should be included? If so it would exclude resources produced outside
schools or universities but used in formal courses, and materials produced
inside such institutions but used for informal or non-formal learning outside.
One alternative is to say that only materials actually used for teaching and
learning should be considered. (OLCOS, 2006) The advantage with this option
is that it avoids making an a priori stipulation that something is, or is not, an
educational resource. The disadvantage would be the difculty to know whether
a resource is actually used for learning or not, be it formal or non-formal learning
Finally it is also open to debate what the term “resources” should mean. It
is possible to distinguish between the type and the media of the resource.
Resource types might be courses, animations, simulations, games etc. and
resource media might be web pages on the Internet, radio, television or paper.
In this paper only digital resources will be considered although this limitation is
not obvious in the general discussion on OER.
The ambiguous situation regarding the conceptual issues is probably due to
the fact that OER as a concept is still in its infancy. Earlier on the OA and OSS
movements have had the same kind of—ofen heated—discussions regarding
conceptual issues. The conceptual discussion is an important part of the OECD/
CERI study and by the end of the project we hope to be able to present a more
clear-cut defnition.
Mapping OER—Who is the User and the Producer?
It is still early days for the OER movement and at the moment it is not possible
to give an accurate estimation of the number of on-going OER initiatives. All that
can be said so far is that the number of projects and initiatives is growing fast.
Side-by-side with a number of large institution-based or institution supported
initiatives; there are numerous small-scale activities. Building on Wiley (2006)
the following brief overview can be given over the OER movement in post-
secondary education:
• Over 150 universities in China participate in the China Open
Resources for Education initiative, with over 450 courses online.
• 11 top universities in France have formed the ParisTech OCW project,
which currently ofers 150 courses.
• 9 of the most prestigious universities in Japan are engaged in the
Japanese OCW Alliance that ofers over 250 courses in Japanese and
an additional 100 in English.
• 7 universities in the United States have large-scale OER programs
(MIT, Rice, Johns Hopkins, Tufs, Carnegie Mellon, and Utah State
• Altogether there are over 2 000 freely available university courses
currently online. And more OER projects are emerging at universities
=: ==
in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, the
Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, the UK,
the US, and Vietnam.
There are also several translation eforts underway to broaden the impact of
OER initiatives. These include Universia’s Spanish and Portuguese translations
and China Open Resource for Education’s simplifed Chinese translations and
the traditional Chinese translations by OOPS. Universities in South Korea and
Thailand are also considering launching additional translation projects.
The number of non-course OER available increases rapidly as well. Rice’s
Connexions project currently hosts over 2 800 open learning objects
available for mixing and matching into study units or full courses. MERLOT
ofers almost 15 000 resources, European based ARIADNE ofers links and
federated searches in several networks and repositories. Textbook Revolution
contains links to hundreds of freely available, copyright-clean textbooks.
Freely accessible encyclopedias like Wikipedia and Math World grow in size
and quality. UNESCO/IIEP hosts a Wiki called “OER useful resources” listing
several other portals, gateways and repositories. Even more difcult than
to list the number initiatives would be to estimate the quantity of available
resources, even with a narrow defnition of OER. On top of resources accessible
through initiatives like the ones listed above, it can be estimated to be far more
resources available by way of search engines like Google or Yahoo!.
What can be ofered is a draf of a typology of diferent repositories. As already
mentioned, there are both large-scale operations and small-scale activities. It
is also possible to distinguish between diferent providers—institution based
programs and more community based botom-up initiated activities, which
will be more discussed later in this paper. In both cases there is all kind of in-
between-models forming a continuum that can be used to forms a diagram.

P ro vi der
Insti tution Comm unity
Lar ge
Wikipe dia

Op e nC ourse . org Un iv. of Wes ter n
Ca pe
Sc a le of o pe r at i on
Diagram 1: Categories of OER providers
In the upper lef corner of the diagram, large scale and institution based
or supported initiatives would be found. A good example is the MIT OCW
program. It is large scale in the number of resources provided and regarding the
number of people involved. It is totally institution based in the sense that all
materials originate from MIT staf. Other initiatives like Connexions, run by Rice
University, uses a mix of resources both from their own staf and from external
people contributing materials. In the upper right corner, large-scale operations
without a base within an institution should be placed. The best example is
probably Wikipedia—one of the Internet’s real success stories and a good
example of a large scale and community-based operation. Another example,
although not as big as Wikipedia, is MERLOT. In the botom lef corner of the
diagram, an example of a small scale but institution-based initiative is listed.
University of Western Cape, South Africa announced in October 2005 that they
would launch a “free content and free OpenCourseWare strategy”. Finally, in
the botom right corner there is one example of a small-scale community based
initiative. The OpenCourse is a “collaboration of teachers, researchers and
students with the common purpose of developing open, reusable learning assets
(e.g. animations, simulations, models, case studies, etc.).”
A third dimension to consider is whether the repository provides resources
in a single discipline or if it is multidisciplinary. There are examples of single
disciplinary programs, like Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Planet
Math, but the multidisciplinary approach seems to be more common at the
Users and Producers of OER
So far we do not know much about who is actually using and producing all
the available OERs. Of course institutions based initiatives like the OCW
programs at diferent universities use their own staf to produce their material
and some of them, like MIT try to continuously evaluate who their users are.
But as a whole very litle is known about whom the users and the producers
are. To accommodate this defciency the OECD project launched two web-
based surveys during spring 2006, one targeting institutions and one aimed at
individual teachers and researchers. The frst received only a very small number
of answers although over 1,800 e-mails were sent to universities in the 30
OECD member countries. The e-mails were sent to the rector/vice chancellor’s
ofce and the poor result may be a sign that OER is still mostly a botom-up
phenomenon, where the managerial level of the institutions are not involved and
not aware of the activities going on.
193 people answered the survey for individuals from 49 diferent countries
covering all parts of the world. The geographical spread is interesting although
there is a clear bias towards teachers from English speaking countries, which
may be due to the fact that the questionnaire was only available in English.
The small number of replies also in this case calls for great caution in the
interpretation of results. The majority of the respondents worked at institutions
with 10 000 students or less and about one third worked at institutions with 11
=u ==
000—50 000 students. More than half of the respondents worked in the area
of education, and two out of three represent publicly funded institutions. A
majority of the respondents said they were deeply involved in OER activities,
mostly as users of open content and only slightly less as producers. About half
of them said they experienced good support from the management in their use
of open content, somewhat less support for producing content and using OSS.
About one out of four felt good support from the management level in his/her
production of OSS. The majority of the respondents said they were engaged in
some sort of co-operation regarding production and exchange of resources, be
it on regional, national or international level.
Other fndings in this feld results from individual programs. According to
Carson (2005) the trafc to the MIT OCW site is increasingly global but with a
predominance of North American visitors. In the period from November 2003
to October 2004 36% of MIT OCW visitors came from North America; 16%
each came from East Asia and Western Europe; 11% each from Latin America
and Eastern Europe; and the remaining 9% from the Middle East, Africa, the
Pacifc, Central Asia and the Caribbean combined. Self learners, typically with
a bachelor’s or master’s degree, seems to make up the bulk of trafc to MIT
OCW (48%), followed by students (31%), and educators (15%). Tufs OCW
reports that in their user survey half of the respondents identifed themselves
as self-learners, while 43% were faculty members or students at educational
institutions. Over half have masters’ degrees or higher. (Tufs 2006)
About two thirds of the respondents to the OECD questionnaire said they were
involved in the production of open content, either to a large or a small extent.
When asked to value nine possible barriers for involving other colleagues, the
most signifcant barriers were said to be lack of time followed by the lack of
a reward system to encourage staf members to devote time and energy to
producing open content, and lack of skills. The lack of a business model for
open content initiatives was also perceived as an important factor with negative
impact. The least signifcant barriers were said to be lack of access to computers
and other kinds of hardware, and lack of sofware.
To sum up the typical OER user seem at the moment to be a single enthusiast—
either a well educated self-learners, likely to live in North America, or a faculty
members both using and producing learning resources with some support from
the institution management and ofen involved in exchange of resources with
other institutions.
Why are Individuals and Institutions Engaged in OER?
The frst and most fundamental question anyone arguing for free and open
sharing of sofware or content has to answer is—why? Why should anyone give
away anything for free? What are the possible gains in doing that? Advocates
of the OSS, OA and OER movements of course have arguments in favor of
their specifc cause. But there are also general arguments that apply to all
three. These can be divided into pull arguments which lists the gains that can
be reached by open sharing of sofware, scientifc articles and educational
materials, and push arguments that registers threats or negative efects that
might appear if sofware developers, scientists and educationalists do not share
their work openly.
Starting with the push side, it is sometimes argued that, if universities do not
support the open sharing of research results and educational materials, market
forces will increasingly marginalize traditional academic values. The risk of a
sofware monopoly if everyone is using Microsof programs or a combination of
a combined hardware and sofware monopoly by too many using Apple’s iPod
music players listening to iTunes, is ofen used to support the OSS movement.
The same is true regarding the risk of monopoly ownership and control of
scientifc literature from opponents of the large scientifc publishing houses.
The possibility for researchers to keep a seat at the table in decisions about
the disposition of research results in the future is sometimes said to be at
risk. Increased costs and vulnerability, increased social inequality and slower
technical and scientifc development are other concerns.
On the other side, a number of possible positive efects from open sharing are
put forward, such as that free sharing means broader and faster dissemination
and thereby more people are involved in problem-solving which in turn means
rapid quality improvement and faster technical and scientifc development;
decentralized development increases quality, stability and security; free
sharing of sofware, scientifc results and educational resources reinforces
societal development and diminishes social inequality. From a more individual
standpoint, open sharing is claimed to increase publicity, reputation and the
pleasure of sharing with peers.
Arguments for Institutional Involvement in OER
From an institutional point of view there seems to be fve main arguments to be
engaged in OER projects. One is the altruistic argument that sharing knowledge
is a good thing to do and also in line with academic traditions, as pointed out by
the OA movement. Openness is the breath of life for education and research.
Resources created by educators and researchers should subsequently be
open for anyone to use and reuse. Ultimately this argument is supported by
the United Nations Human Rights Declaration, which states, “Everyone has
the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and
fundamental stages.” (Article 26)
A second argument is also close to what the OA movement claims—namely
that educational institutions should leverage on taxpayers’ money by allowing
free sharing and reuse of resources developed by publicly funded institutions.
To lock in learning resources behind passwords, means that people in other
publicly funded institutions sometimes duplicate work and reinvent things
instead of standing on the shoulders of their peers. It might be seen as a
drawback for this argument that it does not distinguish between taxpayers in
diferent countries—learning resources created in one country may be used
=ó =/
in another country sparing taxpayers in the second country some money. But,
as pointed out by Ng (2006), free-riding of this kind may not pose so much of
a problem since the use of a learning resource in a foreign country does not
hinder the use of the same resource by domestic teachers. Instead, he says
“allowing free-riding may be necessary for the growth of a good community as
they help draw new members by words of mouth. Also, free-riders themselves
may learn to value the community more over time, so much that some of them
may share eventually.”
A third argument is taken from the OSS movement: “What you give, you receive
back improved”. Sharing and reusing can cut the costs for content development
cut, thereby making beter use of available resources. Also the quality would
improve compared to a situation where everyone starts from the beginning.
A fourth argument for institutions to be engaged in OER projects is that it
is good for public relations and can function as a show-window atracting
new students. Institutions like MIT receive a lot of positive atention for their
decision to make their resources available for free. Other institutions could do
the same.
A ffh argument is that many institutions feel a growing competition as a
consequence of the increasing globalization of higher education and a rising
supply of free educational resources on the Internet. In this situation there is
a need to look for new business models, new ways of making revenue, such
as ofering content for free both as advertisements and as a way of lowering
the threshold for new students that still would need to pay for tutoring and
To what extent the above incentives are the driving forces behind the initiatives
taken by individual institutions is hard to say. It is also true that a combination of
several of the motives listed here could be in play simultaneously, both altruistic
motives and economic driven incentives.
Motives for Individuals
The incentives for individual researchers, teachers and instructors to share
learning resources are so far less mapped and well known compared to motives
for OA publishing or participating in OSS projects. The motives to be engaged
in OER are probably similarly complex. Findings from the OECD questionnaire
to teachers and researchers involved in OER activities suggest that, when
presented with a list of proposed goals or benefts with using OER in their
own teaching, the most commonly reported motive was to gain access to the
best possible resources and to have more fexible materials. More altruistic
ambitions, such as assisting developing countries, outreach to disadvantage
communities or bringing down costs for students seems somewhat less
important. At the same time the least important factor was to personally be
fnancially rewarded.
When asked about the most signifcant barriers among colleagues not using
OER in their teaching, the respondents pointed out lack of time and skills
together with the absences of a reward system. A perceived lack of interest
for pedagogical innovation among colleagues is also mentioned. The barriers
described correspond with lessons learned from an Australian evaluation of an
institutional learning environment, which included a learning resource catalogue
(Koppi, 2003). The authors conclude that “[t]he issue of reward for publicizing
teaching and learning materials is of paramount importance to the success of
a sustainable learning resource catalogue where the teaching staf themselves
take ownership of the system”. To establish a credible academic reward system
that includes the production and use of OER might be the single most important
policy issue for a large-scale deployment of OER in teaching and learning.
Challenges to the Growing OER Movement
Although the idea of OER is thriving at the moment, it is important also to look
at some challenges that might stife the further growth of the movement. In
this paper three challenges will be touched upon: the lack of awareness among
academics regarding copyright issues; how to assure quality in open content;
and how to sustain OER initiatives in the longer run.
Lack of Awareness of Copyright Issues
While publication, consumption and distribution of texts were mediated through
physical media, academics remained for the most part unaware of the licensing
that underpinned the exploitation of copyright. Internet and other digital
media have changed this. (McCracken, 2006) By having access to publishing
and production tools, and by licensing access to a digital, ephemeral product
rather than a physical object such as a book or print, researchers as well as
teachers now interrelate with licensing as never before. And for the most part
they seem either unprepared or unwilling to engage with cumbersome licensing
Although many academics are willing to share their work, they are ofen hesitant
as how to do this without losing all their rights. Although some people release
work under the public domain, it is not unusual that authors would like to retain
some rights over their work. The RoMEO project in UK made a survey in 2002-
2003 among 542 researchers about what kind of rights they wanted to retain.
(Gadd, 2003) A majority (over 60%), were happy for third parties to display,
print, save, excerpt from and give away their papers, but wanted this to be on
the condition that they were atributed as the authors and that all copies were
done so verbatim. 55% wanted to limit the usage of their works to educational
and non-commercial use. The RoMEO report concluded that the protection
ofered to research papers by copyright law is in excess of what is required by
most academics.
Several open content licenses have been developed, like the Creative Commons
and the GNU Free Documentation License, to accommodate this problem.
Open licensing provides a way of controlled sharing with some rights reserved
=8 =¤
to the author. They have the beneft of introducing certainty and clarity into the
process of obtaining permission to use the work of others. They also reduce the
administrative burden of having to clear rights before use. This is particularly
useful in the educational context where users have litle or no inside knowledge
of the mechanisms used by the media industries. Finally, open licenses establish
a body of works licensed as “open content” that may be freely shared. However,
it must also be recognized that they have some disadvantages. Rights holders
must be prepared to grant and to live with exercising only a “broad-sweep”
control over their works, replacing the case-by-case control with which they
are familiar. Moral rights are waived under licenses ofering the right to make
derivative works and diferent and ofen blurred and overlapping boundaries
emerge between not-for-proft, educational and commercial exploitation or
distribution. Despite some shortcomings, there seems to be a growing interest
for open licenses, as shown by the increasing number of objects released under
the Creative Commons license.
The RoMEO project also showed that 41% of authors “freely” assign copyright
to publishers without fully understanding the consequences. Preliminary
fndings from the OECD survey on OER shows a low awareness regarding the
importance of using open licenses among teachers and researchers producing
learning resources, and few initiatives from institutions to accommodate this
defciency. Given that the scholars in the RoMEO survey and those responding
the OECD questionnaire are more or less representative of academics from
other countries, the conclusions seems to strengthen the assumption that raising
the awareness on copyright and licenses is an important challenge for both
the OER and OA movements. Maybe even easier ways of retaining only those
rights that the individual author wants to retain are needed, together with active
advice and support from higher educational institutions. A recent comparison of
seven Australian universities underpins previous international research showing
that relying solely on voluntary deposits by academics of research articles to OA
archives will result in approximately 15% contribution. (Sale, 2006) Requirements
to deposit research output in an open archive coupled with efective author
support policy, results in much higher deposit rates.
Quality Assurance
The overview of the current state of OER showed that a growing number
of initiatives and digital resources are available. Teachers, students and self-
learners looking for resources should not have difculties fnding resources, but
still might have problems of judging their quality and relevance. The issue of the
quality of resources is fundamental and cannot be dealt with at depth in this
paper. Instead a few diferent approaches to the issue of quality management
will be listed.
Some institution-based providers use the brand or reputation of the institution
to persuade the user that the materials on the website are of good quality. If
not, the prestige of the institution is at risk. Most probably they use internal
quality checks before the release of the courses, but these processes are not
open in the sense that the user of the resource can follow them.
Another approach is to have the resources reviewed by peers. As described
in the section on OA, the peer review process is one of the most used quality
assurance processes in academia. As well as being a well-known and well-
understood routine, there are other arguments for using peer review schemes
to guarantee the quality of resources in a repository. Taylor (2002) argues the
process can be used to come to terms with the lack of a reward system by
giving recognition and reward to the creator of a learning resource, as well as
a dissemination method. Furthermore, there is a need for making the review
decisions credible, and for that purpose an open peer review according to
agreed criteria is well suited, Taylor claims.
A third quality management approach is not to have a centrally designed
process, but rather let individual users decide on whatever ground they like
whether a learning resource is of high quality, useful, or good in any other
respect. This can be done by leting users rate or comment on the resource or
describe how they have used it, or by showing the number of downloads for
each resource on the website. This is a kind of low level or botom-up approach
ofen used on Internet based market places, music sites, etc. The argument for
such an approach would be that quality is not an inherent part of a learning
resource, but rather a contextual phenomenon. It is only in the specifc learning
situation that it can be decided whether a resource is useful or not, and
therefore it is the user who should be the judge.
To sum up there are several alternative ways of approaching the quality
management issues. As shown in Diagram 2, it can be done by a centrally
designed process or in a decentralized manner, one might use open processes
or more closed ones. Arguments can be made for all these approaches (maybe
with the exception of the word-of-mouth method), much depending on which
kind of OER initiative or program one is considering. All sorts of combinations
could also be used.
óo óì
Clo s ed
Cent r al i s e d Dec ent r al i s e d
Inter nal quality
proc e dures
co mme nts,
user rat ings
Word of
Pee r rev iew
Diagram 2: Quality management processes for OER initiatives
Sustainability of OER Initiatives
The fact that so many OER initiatives have started during the last years
has created competition for funding. Although some projects have a strong
institutional backing it is most probably start up funding that will cease afer a
few years. Therefore it is important to seriously consider how the initiatives can
be sustained in the long run. There are many diferent kinds of OER providers
and no single sustainability model will ft all. Instead there is a need to discover
diferent approaches that might be useful in a local context. Two diferent
approaches will be discussed here that might be looked upon as ideal types at
each end of a continuum, where a lot of models could be invented in between.
These two are the institutional model and the community model.
The growing competition among institution based OER initiatives calls for the
development of a strong brand, user communities, increased site usability and
improved quality of the resources ofered. Community “marketing” is important
for the institutional OER initiatives for several reasons:
• It enables users to form strong connections with the website;
• The institution can learn from the community about what works and
what does not work on the website;
• It gives possibilities for rapid difusion;
• Strong communities infuence user behaviors—users come back to the
Institutions launching OER programs might also need to look into diferent
revenue models for the long-term stability and viability of their initiative. To this
end some alternative models identifed by Dholakia (2006) might be considered,
such as:
• The Replacement model, where OER replaces other use and can
beneft from the cost savings, which is a result of the replacement. It
was noted though that this model has a natural limit since it can only
generate the same amount of resources as it replaces.
• The Foundation, Donation or Endowment model, where the funding for
the operations is provided by an external actor such as foundations.
This model was primarily seen as a start up model that will most
probably not be viable in the long run. It might be transferred into
a Government support model, which could be a long-term option in
some (mostly European?) countries but not others.
• The Segmentation model, where the provider, simultaneously with
resources for free, also provides “value-added” services to user
segments and charges them for these services—such as sales of paper
copies, training and user support, ask-an-expert services etc. This
model, together with the conversion model, is among the most used in
the education sector.
• The Conversion model, where “you give something away for free and
then convert the consumer to a paying customer”.
• The Voluntary support model, which is based on fund-raising
campaigns. Another version of this model is the Membership model
where a coalition of interested parties—organizations or individuals—is
invited to contribute a certain sum as seed money or on an annual
• The Contributor-Pay model where the contributors pay the cost of
maintaining the contribution, which the provider makes available for
free. This model is used to give OA to scientifc publications and might
work also for OER.
The alternative approach to building an OER programmed with a strong
institutional backing is the community model. This is more of a grass roots
activity where individuals contribute with their time, knowledge and resources
on a voluntary basis. In this model, production, use and distribution is
decentralized, compared to the institutional model where at least production
and distribution are centralized. From a community perspective, one might
take an alternative view on the over-all concept of sustainability. From this
standpoint, it is not enough to look at the advantages and disadvantages of
diferent revenue or funding models—one should look not only at who pays for
the resources but also who creates them, how they are distributed and how one
can work with them. Some of the aspects to consider are:
• Technical considerations such as discoverability of the resources;
• The kind of openness and constraints on access and use that is given
• Diferent content models (the possibility to localize content) and issues
of licensing;
• Diferent stafng models and incentives for people to contribute
ó: ó=
• Alternative workfows to the traditional design—use—evaluation model,
to models without a clear distinction between production and use or
between the user and the producer. The concept of co-production is
important here.
• Maintenance and updating of resources.

Since the community model builds on voluntary work and enthusiasts,
sustainability is not so much a mater of fnancial resources as of dismantling
barriers that hinders the community to fourish and grow. Tentative actions could
be to fnd alternatives to the existing IPR regime and changing the mind set of
donators not only to include funding to institutional OER initiatives but also to
loosely composed communities.
Concluding Remarks
Although there are a growing number of OER initiatives a the moment, a lot of
fundamental questions still remains to be answered such as who is involved,
in what way are they involved and why? A wide variety of reasons seem to be
at play for both institutions and individuals: some are altruistic and idealistic,
others are economic. The phenomenon—that individuals and institutions give
away learning resources for free—which at frst seems counter intuitive and
difcult to explain within the old economic and educational context, might be
beter understood as a part of a new culture and an emerging economic reality
with partly diferent characteristics. The apparently contradictory trends that
were mentioned in the introduction to this paper—on the one hand a growing
competition among universities and on the other that some do not protect their
intellectual capital, but share it for free—might not be so contradictory afer all.
For some universities free sharing of learning resources might be a strategy to
create a competitive advantage by using unorthodox methods. One can predict
a growing debate within the OER movement concerning the role of commercial
actors using open resources as part of their business model, as we have seen in
the OSS and OA movements.
During the coming months the OECD study will concentrate on the issues
of pedagogical, fnancial and other motivations, benefts and barriers for
institutions to use and produce OER; usability issues together with management
concerns around quality and validation; and fnally policy implications on
regional and national level of the OER movement. The fnal report will be
published in early 2007.
Carson, S.: (2005) “2004 MIT OCW Program Evaluation Findings Report” from
Dholakia, U., King, J., Baraniuk, R.: (2006) ”What makes and Open education
Program Sustainable? The Case of Connexions” from htp://
Downes, S.: “Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources”, National
Research Council Canada (2006) from htp://
Gadd, E., Oppenheim, C., Probets, S., (2003) RoMEO Studies 2: “How
academics want to protect their open-access research papers” Department
of Information Science, Loughborough University from htp://www.lboro.
Koppi, T., Bogle, L., Lavit, N.: (2003) “Institutional Use of Learning Objects Three
Years on: Lessons Learned and Future Directions”, University of New South
Wales, Australia
McCracken, R: (2006) “Cultural responses to open licences and the accessibility
and usability of open educational resources” from htp://
Ng, W-Y: (2006) “Rational Sharing and its Limits”, paper presented at FM10
Openness: Code, Science and Content.
Open eLearning Content Observatory Services (OLCOS) (2006) htp://www.
Sale, A: “Comparison of content policies for institutional repositories in
Australia”, First Monday, volume 11, number 4 (April 2006)
Taylor, P: (2002) “Quality and Web-based learning objects: Towards a more
constructive dialogue”, HERDSA, page 656f from htp://
The Open Knowledge Foundation: htp://
Tufs OCW Quarterly Newsleter, July 2006, Volume 1, Issue 2 from htp://ocw.
UNESCO/IIEP: (2002) htp://
UNESCO/IIEP: (2006) “OER Useful resources” htp://
Wiley, D: (2006) “The Current State of Open Educational Resources“ from
óu ó=
Enhancing Youth-Managed Resource Centers in Nepal
Tifany Ivins & Jefrey Lee, World Education
Program Aim
The Youth-Managed Resource Center (YMRC) project facilitates participatory
programs in six districts near the capital of Kathmandu, Nepal with a focus
on holistic literacy initiatives, skills training, and community-based action
projects. This initiative utilizes innovative educational technology training
tools specifcally tailored for the social, cultural and technical realities of rural
mountain regions. Benefciaries of this project include the most disadvantaged
women, men, girls and boys in rural Nepali communities, including lower castes,
indigenous peoples, minorities, and ethnic groups. Open educational resources,
tools and sofware will be utilized and assessed to measure whether the impact
of such resources promotes substantive change in these communities and may
inform models for replication in other rural Himalayan areas of Nepal, Tibet and
Nepal is a landlocked country enclosed within the rugged Himalayan Mountains.
The dramatic landscape creates signifcant obstacles to health care and
education, including limited or delayed dissemination of information. Literacy
rates are signifcantly lower in rural areas; those who live in remote mountain
villages are ofen a day’s walk from health and education services. This project
seeks to improve health and quality of life among Nepalese by improving access
to information and implementing a systematic dissemination of information
through youth leaders, especially females. Formal schooling in Nepal is
constrained by economic and cultural factors such as a bias against educating
girls and a need for children to work at home or in the felds (UNESCO,
2004). Involving youth in development and engendering ICT are priorities for
Efective and long-lasting programs in Nepal depend upon participation of local
groups; community-based programs which incorporate learning tools tailored
to the cultural, social and technical realities of rural communities are therefore
a critical aspect in the sustainability of development eforts. ICT is a new
vehicle for disseminating information in such rural areas and open educational
resources are untapped resources that are a proposed means whereby
communities may utilize tailored tools and culturally-relevant materials and
sofware that may put communities in the drivers-seat, thus empowering rural
villagers to continue sustainable development long afer donor-driven programs
fnish (Elder, 2001; Merson, 2001, Waters, 2003).
Project Overview
Youth-Managed Resource Centers (YMRCs) are located in rural areas and
provide a place for youth to gather and learn skills. Afer receiving training,
each youth then enters the community as a social mobilizer and ICT facilitator
to bolster community programs by sharing skills with community leaders and
óó ó/
by facilitating discussions and training sessions related to the manifold options
aforded by relevant instructional technology. Youth become community change
agents who cultivate skills development on relevant interests of respective rural
groups. Youth-Managed Resource Centers aim to provide life improvement skills
and knowledge regardless of caste, race, ethnicity, gender, and religion. Youth
will be trained to utilize open educational resources, tools and sofware which
augment understanding of community-selected topics including relevant health,
agricultural, income generation and community education topics.
Using Folksonomies to Add Instructional Value to Field Science Data
Eric Kansa & Sarah Kansa, Alexandria Archive Institute
Primary data and documentation for the feld sciences have important and
largely untapped instructional value. Enabling student access, exploration, and
analysis of real research data can provide important resources for problem-
oriented learning. However, researcher datasets are difcult to bring into shared
online environments. This type of content is ofen embedded in complex and
idiosyncratic data structures. It is difcult to integrate and pool in meaningful
This paper introduces, “Open Context,” an online system using inexpensive and
widely applicable strategy for bringing primary feld science data into a shared
framework for instruction and research. Open Context combines a simple,
highly generalized global schema with informal, community-driven tagging
systems, or “folksonomies.” The global schema (described by the Archaeological
Markup Language) organizes an integrated database of records pooled from a
variety of diferent feld science projects and museum collections. The simplicity
of the global schema opens the door for non-specialists to easily “publish” their
content on Open Context. The folksonomy tagging systems enables the user
community to add value to the content and facilitate novel “remixes” and “mash-
ups” of science data. Open Context’s tagging system can help highlight items of
interest, defne semantic links across datasets, and share the results of queries
and other analyses. Special tags can also be used to identify and annotate items
of content that have special instructional or reference signifcance.
ó8 ó¤
Open Educational Resources in Europe: A Triptych of Actions to Support
Participation in Higher Education
Paul Kirschner and Peter Varwijk, Open Universiteit Nederland; Kees-Jan van
Dorp, European Association of Distance Teaching Universities; and Andrew Lane,
United Kingdom Open University
Abstract: In contrast to the face-to-face learning of campus
based universities and the focus on traditional students,
distance teaching universities focus on a mix of distance
learning, e-learning, open learning, virtual mobility, learning
communities, and the integration of earning and learning. In
doing so, they are taking a leading role in helping to increase
and widen participation in lifelong open and fexible learning
in higher education by non-traditional groups. This paper
discusses three leading-edge European Open Educational
Resource initiatives. The initiatives are special in nature and
difer from the ofers of traditional universities in the sense
that they: consist of pedagogically-rich learning materials,
specifcally designed and developed for distance learning
and intended for independent self-study; are compiled in
the national languages, with the EADTU initiative being
multilingual, refecting the European dimension; and, support
and are supported by the policies of the national governments
and the European Commission.

Despite the eforts of governments and other agencies, there remain signifcant
diferentials in access to educational opportunities. These diferentials are
stark within developed countries such as the UK, the Netherlands and the US,
and even more dramatically evident in the disparities between developed and
less developed countries. Open Educational Resources (or OERs) provide
an opportunity for access to high quality learning materials that would not
otherwise be available and within the fnancial grasp of many groups within the
developed and developing worlds. While the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative
(Anon, 2006a), for example, has been very successful in generating a great deal
of interest in the area of OERs, its own evaluation suggests that most of the
learners have a high educational level. This indicates that the initiative is not
yet reaching those who might most greatly beneft from it. Recent expansion
of the opencourseware model to Japanese and Spanish/Portuguese language
universities emphasizes the global appeal of the concept, but increasingly it
will need to appeal to a wider audience of independent learners as opposed to
So, the issue facing OER providers is how OER delivery can maximize learning,
encourage further learning, and engage with hard to reach groups, moving OERs
beyond a principal focus on rights management issues to supported learning
communities using web based technologies. There is an increasing recognition
/o /ì
that content by itself will not be sufcient for the empowerment of learners
just as libraries are not the same as universities, and that the key issue is not so
much access to content itself which in an information rich world is increasingly
easy, but how to use and support this content in empowering ways in both
formal and non-formal setings. At the same time, there is a need to develop
the knowledge base in relation to OER delivery and its place within the wider
e-learning environment. While much of the initial focus on e-learning was on
its potential as a delivery mechanism there was also a movement that stressed
the importance of dialogue, collaboration and community building. This then
raises further issues of utilizing OERs originated in one language and culture in
another language and culture, and how to adapt to the contrasting pressures of
internationalization of content and localization of content.
It will also be necessary to understand beter what sustainable and scaleable
models of OER delivery there may be as a basis for the long-term development
and extension of OERs, and to understand these maters in the context of a
changing world in which technology, the internet and globalization provide
structural forces in the contemporary environment which are pushing towards
the opening up of content and to a rethinking of the intellectual property
regime. Re-thinking the intellectual property regime in the light of open content
aspirations and objectives will also require atention to issues of quality and
how that can be both managed and monitored in an OER learning environment.
Understanding beter how quality can be assured will be another key feature of
future sustainability.
Fundamentally, educational institutions have a charter to generate and
disseminate and test, examine and certify knowledge as efectively as possible,
in terms of the quality of the output and the size of the audience reached.
The internet opens up intriguing new dimensions to this challenge, not only by
increasing the potential audience for published materials, but more profoundly,
by improving the rate at which materials evolve by providing a collaborative
medium for the mutual exchange of ideas, whilst still honoring intellectual
property rights. Open and Distance Learning (ODL) universities regard the
open content movement as a key opportunity to beter fulfll their missions
to open up education, drawing upon two signifcant factors that they can
bring to the OER feld - scale and experience. Scale in terms of the quality
of archive material available that can be repurposed in varying degrees for
online dissemination, and also in terms of developing robust systems (both
technological and pedagogical) that provide a meaningful learning experience to
large student populations. Experience in terms of creating distance education
material that is designed to be studied by independent learners who ofen have
competing demands on their time and a range of needs and experience. In
this respect the ODL Universities difers from many of the other open content
providers whose material was created on the assumption of face-to-face use
or at best blended use. The three initiatives discussed in this paper will all
help to increase understanding of the impact on users of materials developed
specifcally for distance learning.
Another strand of the three initiatives will be the creation and deployment of
suitable learning tools, portals and processes for developing and supporting
content creation and delivery. By placing greater emphasis on the environment,
tools and support than the content itself, the ODL universities recognizes that
learning does not take place in a social vacuum. On a traditional campus, the
standard lecture may be analogous to the delivery of content, but students on
a campus also engage in learning through non-formal dialogue in bars, libraries,
corridors, etc, and participate in tutorials and study sessions. E-learning needs
to replicate and/or extend these diferent modes of communication and
learning experience if it is not to be seen as a poor relation to conventional
education. Similarly there is limited experience of the sharing and collaborative
development of ODL materials in order to extend the range and type of courses
that can be ofered to students. These three diferent initiatives will help with
an understanding of how such communities of course developers, learners and
course developers and learners together can be created and supported through
OER provision.
EADTU - Multilingual Open Resources for Independent Learning (MORIL)
European Developments
Demographic developments within Europe, in particular the aging of the
population, and the new and more competitive global economy, have forced
the European Commission (EC) to reorient its policies for achieving the
traditional objectives of stable and assured economic growth and employment.
Consequently, the Commission launched a (renewed) Lisbon strategy (EC,
2005), to boost the investments in human capital through beter education and
skills. Backed by the adoption of a lifelong learning program 2007-2013, the EC
measures should be responsible for the creation of more and beter jobs.
“Widening participation in higher education” and “spreading knowledge through
high-quality education systems” is viewed as the best way of guaranteeing
the long-term competitiveness of the Union. Especially in light of the positive
relationship between productivity, economic growth and general wellbeing, on
the one hand, and a change in stock of human capital, on the other hand (OECD,
2005). European educational systems are required to intensify their eforts to
make substantial contributions to the Lisbon agenda.
Current Situation on HE Participation
So what is the situation now, what are current comparative fgures on
participation in formal learning? Presented in Table 1 is the percentage of
young people entering tertiary education, regarding type A programs. This is
the proportion of people afer secondary education that enters into tertiary
education for the frst time. The infow is measured rather than the stock of
students (i.e., enrolment rates), so that diferent course lengths do not distort
that comparability between countries.
/: /=
Table 1. Selection of net entry rates to higher education as a percentage
(OECD, 2004; 2005)
2002 2003
Iceland 72 83
New Zealand 66 81
Sweden 75 80
Finland 71 73
Netherlands 53 52
United Kingdom 47 48
France 37 39
Belgium 32 34
United States 64 63
Although the participation rates in European HE have generally risen, there
seems to be a big diference between the leaders and followers. Among the
frontrunners of entry percentages are, prominently, the Nordic European
countries. Overall action is legitimized so as to catch up with both Nordic
leaders and the US. Besides, the percentages displayed function also as
indicators of both the accessibility and perceived value of tertiary education.
Therefore, it is evident that access and importance of education must be
promoted more. The European Commission however has recently expressed
its concern with regard to the progress of operations by the universities in the
feld. They seem to be failing to address the lifelong learning agenda and the
substantial widening of participation. The Commission identifes that universities
act conservatively in tending to ofer the same courses to the same age groups
whilst failing to open up to other types of learning and learner groups.
Opportunities for Universities Dedicated to Lifelong Open and Flexible Learning
Contrary to traditional universities, universities in distance HE have a great deal
of experience in addressing the target groups identifed by the Commission.
They have an approach of leveraging important target groups which are
currently not addressed (or in part) by traditional universities, namely: those
individuals who are not served by traditional universities (earning and learning,
career shif, personal enrichment), those who have not entered into higher
education because of multiple deprivation (social status, handicapped,
minorities), those labor force participants seeking in-company learning activities
(re-skilling, retraining), and persons who have prematurely dropped out and
are opting for a second chance (educational re-entry, renewed motivation).
Though properly equipped for serving the target groups identifed above, the
universities in distance HE are also clearly in transition.
With demographic developments and the requirements of a global competitive
economy, universities need to increasingly address learning throughout people’s
entire life (whether that is formal, non-formal and/or informal). It calls for an
approach that crosses ages, sectors and borders, something the universities in
distance HE, already, have great experience with. With traditional universities
still fxed on students between the ages of 18-25, universities in distance HE
can now leverage their years of knowledge and experience and start delivery
of high-end online educational materials to the lifelong learner. Universities in
distance HE are seemingly migrating towards Universities dedicated to Lifelong
Open and Flexible (LOF) learning.
Europe is well served by LOF-learning Universities, which provide opportunities
to the upcoming lifelong learner, as well as to the many people that are not
well served by traditional universities. LOF-learning Universities produce
materials that are specifcally designed and developed for distance learning, for
independent self-study. Ofers consist of pedagogically-rich learning materials.
Materials are designed to be accessible to an individual, studying of-campus at
home or at work in ways that matches their needs and circumstances, and are
surrounded by innovative support structures which encourage group interaction
and tutorial support.
EADTU: The MORIL Project
Given the European developments and the new opportunities arising for the
LOF-learning Universities, the European Association of Distance Teaching
Universities (EADTU), has initiated the MORIL (Multilingual Open Resources
for Independent Learning) project, with the objective to widen participation in
HE (contribution to renewed Lisbon agenda), facilitate international learning
experiences, brand LOF-learning Universities (frst European, next global),
gain experience with Open Educational Resources (OER), and provide a
new gateway to university education for diferent target groups. MORIL is to
disseminate a frst wave of Open Educational Resources (OER), freely and
online, throughout Europe, in a “multilingual” format.
The OER ofers of MORIL consist of a two-track concept: a non-matriculated
study ofer and a matriculated study ofer. The non-matriculated ofer, consists
of open and free ‘2 ECTS sized’ (about 50 study hours) courses, entry-level
bachelor, to freely acquire knowledge and skills, having an online informal
learning surrounding, discussion boards, online communities, and build-in
self-evaluation quizzes. The matriculated ofer, consists of the same ‘2 ECTS
sized’ courses, but now including certifcation and labor market recognition,
online formal learning surrounding, formal tutoring, formal assessment, formal
examination, teacher communication, and other learning privileges.
Prospects targeted are invited to try new ways of learning. Not seeking regular
campus education (i.e., face to face) because of their personal/ professional
constraints, persons can enter of-campus learning, either via the informal ‘open’
route or via the formal study program. Those opting for the informal course
program can easily utilize the Open Educational Resources available. Opting for
a formal course program, one may register and enroll via the ofcial channels.
Having experienced the Open Educational Resources, one may however
/u /=
still take the course in the version of the ofcial program, then having the
advantages of capitalizing on ECTS/certifcation and formal learning privileges.
Both non-matriculated and matriculated ofers are seamlessly interconnected
and provide the public a new gateway to university education, the assumption
here being that this explicit bridge from informal to formal learning ofers a
crucial driver indeed.
MORIL Opportunities
As not every LOF-learning University in every European country has a very
broad and deep curriculum to suit the needs of their own population or the
Diaspora working in other European countries, with MORIL, they can now ofer
more opportunities collectively. Each university is given the opportunity to take
advantage of the open courses and enrich ones own curriculum. Each course
can be converted to ft local needs: courses can be translated (multilingual
versioning) and localized (cultural versioning), so as to beter ft the domestic

A beneft is the learning experience obtained in creating and evaluating the
multilingual courses. Understanding of translation and localization processes will
increase and facilitate the development of new and sustainable models. EADTU
will capitalize on its learning experience by sharing the expertise obtained.
EADTU can provide consultancy services on localization, and might organize
training and support seminars in the feld.
An additional advantage is the presence of a ‘European consortium model
for collaboration’, especially of interest in the sense that this European
collaboration model provides a reference (a best practice) for US States to
collaborate on OER, herewith learning ways of overcoming potential barriers
which are currently hindering inter-state collaboration between American
universities (diferences in funding schemes, culture, legislation, etc).
OERs could be the next step in the innovation cycle of universities. The
sustainability of OERs, however, strongly depends on and integrates with
university policy and strategic management. For success to happen, commitment
on OERs should be achieved on all echelons inside the university. EADTU is
able to assist universities to design dedicated innovation strategies on OERs.
EADTU can organize strategic management seminars on location (to devise
an institutional methodology) as well as generally (benchmarking diferent
institutions). This is an enormous drive for stepping up open source activities.
Another opportunity is the creation of the possibility to be able to see how
and where content is disseminated (globally), and in what form and version it
lives on. Accordingly, tracking of localization done by universities in this respect
is important. It is essential to monitor and track the localization within the
partnership and, moreover, outside the partnership (as this may occur even
more ofen). Mechanisms for this must be capitalized upon, and knowledge
hereof must be spread.
Finally, students will obtain a true international learning experience as they
go online and meet other students from abroad, in a virtual seting on the
central portal, and exchange experiences about the same course (in diferent
languages). Multilingual (virtual) workshops may even be facilitated on this portal
to let students from all over the world come together on discussing the courses.
A true multilingual and cultural exchange format is promoted. Moreover, the
central information portal provides a central gateway, i.e., a common portal, to
all the institutional hubs with all available courses to choose from.
University Partners
The MORIL partnership consist of the Open Universiteit Nederland
(OUNL)—the Netherlands, the Open University (OUUK) - United Kingdom,
the FernUniversität in Hagen (FUiH)—Germany, the Network per l’Universita
Ovunque (Netuno/UniNetuno)—Italy, the Universidad Nacional de Educación
a Distancia (UNED)—Spain, the Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance
(CNED)—France, the Anadolu University (ANUN)—Turkey, the Universidade
Aberta—Portugal, and the Moscow State University (MESI)—Russia.
The MORIL project is co-funded by the William and Flora Hewlet Foundation.
The United Kingdom Open University: OpenLearn
The United Kingdom Open University (UKOU) has a large catalogue of high
quality learning materials in a variety of formats and is going to make some of
those educational resources freely available in a web-based environment under
the Atribution Non-commercial Share Alike Creative Commons Licence (Anon,
2006b). In doing this, the OU wishes to add value to OER delivery by deploying
leading edge learning management tools for learner support, by encouraging
the creation of non-formal collaborative learning communities and by enhancing
international research-based knowledge about modern pedagogies for higher
education. Drawing on its long experience of delivering supported open learning
at scale to anyone, whatever their previous educational qualifcations, the
University expects to make a signifcant impact on both the quality and reach of
OER delivery. In doing so, the UKOU will hope to meet the learning needs of a
wide range of people with difering levels of educational achievement, skill and
The project is, therefore, an obvious extension of the University’s educational
mission (Anon, 2006c). At the same time the OU will be giving careful
consideration to the impact of this initiative on its core business and to the
opportunities of sustaining the initiative through new or redirected funding
Our plans (Anon, 2006d) between May 2006 and April 2008 are to create
two interlinked websites that ofer diferent users the opportunity to variously
engage with OERs and with other users of the sites.
/ó //
The LearningSpace: a supported Open Educational Resource site for learners
A short term goal is to progressively place a wide selection of pedagogically
structured OERs derived from OU materials in a LearningSpace website.
Integral to this site will be an appropriate selection of open source support
tools based on Moodle (Anon, 2006e) that will help users (principally learners)
manage their chosen content (self support) and suitably interact with other
users (peer support).
Key characteristics of the individual units of OERs are that they will:
• be from 3 to 15 hours of average expected study time in size (being
equivalent to an evening’s through to a week’s work)
• have a contents list of the diferent resources that comprise the unit
• have clearly defned learning outcomes related to level of study with
inbuilt, formative, self-assessment activities relating to those learning
Each unit will be self contained but there will be a series of units in a cognate
discipline area e.g. psychology, mathematics. Suggested pathways through some
or all of these units will be outlined to give a ‘course of study’ but users will
be free to organize their own pathways to suit their own needs whether as an
individual learner or as a teacher of a group of learners.
We are developing a limited number of models for these self contained units
that will provide a framework shaping the re-development and presentation of
content and associated tools refecting the needs of diferent pedagogies and
learning needs. We will also take into account the degree of re-confguration
of the source material is required and the amount of third party material that
needs to be removed to be able to make it available under a Creative Commons
We intend to have 900 hours of OERs available in the LearningSpace at launch
in October 2006 rising to 5400 hours by April 2008.
The LabSpace: a supported Open Sense-Making site for educators
Whereas the LearningSpace will contain fxed units of read-only OERs that can
be strung together as appropriate (in the same way students select modules
within our taught modular programs), we also wish to foster the desegregation
and re-aggregation of these materials and material from other sources to create
new, or new versions, of units. The LabSpace will be where a greater variety of
units will be placed and from which users (in this case mainly the creators of
courses) can construct a wider range of learning experiences. The LabSpace
will contain a larger amount of material and will be in less structured form (both
the 5400 hours worth of units in the Learning Space plus a further 8100 hours
of other archive OU material by April 2008), and it will provide a site to which
others will be able to contribute both within and out with the current OER
The sense-making site will have a slightly diferent support tool collection for
learning management and community building and be much more dynamic in
the way that resources are developed and used by a very commited and well
educated set of communities. Initially we will deploy open source tools that have
already been developed by the Knowledge Media Institute at the UKOU (Anon,
User Communities
A short to medium term objective through the LearningSpace is to widen
access to high quality, pedagogically structured educational resources that can
be either studied by individual learners or that can be used by organized or
self-organizing groups/communities of learners, whether that be part of formal
education in another higher education establishment organized by a teacher,
or non-formal opportunities started by key individuals in the same way that on-
line discussion groups do. The range of support tools available will facilitate the
initiation and development of such formal and non-formal ‘courses’.
Similarly, the short to medium term objective of the LabSpace is to widen
availability of OER of varying types and sizes and of open source tools of
difering capabilities to enable educators based in all countries, and, hopefully,
cultures, to localize or develop OERs suited precisely to their needs. A key
feature in making this successful will be the appropriate facilitation of networks
linking course creators together and the establishment of special schemes
through dedicated funding.
In the longer term we would also like to widen participation in this virtual
learning experience from those people in society who are, for example, less
confdent, less motivated, and/or less literate in the use of information and
communication technologies. However, experience tells us that the most
efective way to widening participation from under-represented groups is
through partnerships and outreach activity whereby additional resources and
particularly support from people is provided (including face-to-face sessions or
one-to-one telephone sessions). Establishing such partnerships does require
dedicated funding from a wide range of sources and much time to set up, hence
it being a longer-term goal.
The OpenLearn project is co-funded by the William and Flora Hewlet
OpenER: The Open University of the Netherlands
As part of the Lisbon agenda the government of the Netherlands has formulated
ambitious objectives concerning increased participation in higher education.
The OpenER project of the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL)
will test the use of OERs as a means of increasing participation in higher
education. OpenER, through ofering courses derived from existing distance
learning courses and suitable for independent study, aims at leting learners
/8 /¤
get acquainted with higher education and helping them to gain experiences
that boost their self-confdence and motivation to cross the threshold to formal
higher education. OpenER is, thus, the ‘appetizer’, the enticement for further
learning at the higher educational level. To enhance the efects OpenER will
also ofer opportunities for formal testing. The project can be characterized as
a large-scale experiment (in terms of the number of targeted learners) taking
place in ‘reality’ (i.e. in a fully operational seting). Concurrent to evaluation and
efect measurement, research will be carried out into the forming of learning
Open Educational Resources in the Netherlands
OpenER is an extension of the current wide-spread OER approach. It ofers
high-quality self-study materials that are centered on the learner and make
independent study possible, comparable to the UKOU’s OpenLearn initiative
and the EADTU’s MORIL project. A further special characteristic of OpenER is
the involvement of the Dutch Government (i.e., the Minister of Education), as
a co-funder of the project. OpenER will be one of the frst OER-initiatives that
could become part of a nation’s education policy. The OpenER project is also
co-funded by the William and Flora Hewlet Foundation.
A project like OpenER fts within the OUNL strategy to become the Lifelong
Learners University of the Netherlands. It helps the OUNL’s goal to contribute
substantially to widening the participation in higher education and to provide
learning opportunities for those who are not able to use oferings that are more
traditional or are not part of the traditional groups of higher education entrants.
For the OUNL it means going back to its basics, its roots: creating open access
to higher education for large numbers of students on a non-commercial basis.
It helps the OUNL to prove its added-value for society in its contribution to
the knowledge-based economy en the competitiveness of Europe and in its
contribution to raising the employability of individuals. In the execution of the
project OUNL can draw from its large body of high quality course materials
developed for self-learning and from over 20 years of experience in developing
and delivering distance education.
Problem/Theory of Action
How can we increase the number of people with higher education? This
question has been raised by the Dutch Government in connection with the
objective of raising the percentage of the Dutch working population with higher
education towards a 50% mark. This objective is the Netherlands response to
the EU agreement concluded in Lisbon in 2000 that set down the aim for the
European Union of growing into the strongest knowledge-based economy in the
world within the next ten years.
According to the most recent information, 24% of the working population in
the Netherlands has enjoyed education at the university or college of higher
professional education level. This percentage has to be increased dramatically.
The number of school-leavers transferring from HAVO [senior general
secondary education] and VWO [pre-university education] to higher education
is already very high in the Netherlands. Forecasts indicate that demographic
developments, among other things, are forcing a dramatic efort to be made
towards achieving a substantial increase in the number of people with higher
education. An area for atention is the fact that afer completing primary school,
some 60% of pupils go on to VMBO [pre-vocational secondary education]. The
transfer to higher education along this path is much more difcult. Moreover,
some sections of the population are under-represented and the percentage
of older people with higher education is considerably lower than 50%. A
substantial increase can be achieved by stimulating and facilitating participation
in higher education by these groups.
The basic direction for solving this problem is the idea that at all educational
levels pupils, students, the employed and the unemployed, should have full
opportunity to develop their talents and skills in such a way that they can atain
the highest educational level possible for them to achieve. The Dutch Education
Council, the advisory body to the government in education maters, indicated
three courses of action: (1) creating a wider range of learning pathways, (2)
creating more diversity in higher education and (3) bringing more non-traditional
groups (i.e. employed and unemployed people) to higher education by extending
opportunities for lifelong learning based, amongst others, on an e-learning
approach. OpenER fts in with the third course of action.
OpenER is compatible with observations indicating that, to achieve higher
participation in higher education, existing thresholds must be lowered and the
willingness of individuals to invest in educational activities must be stimulated.
Easy access and transfer is required at all educational levels. In the report ‘De
helf van Nederland hoog opgeleid’ [Higher education for half of the Dutch
population, the Netherlands Education Council identifes the OUNL initiative to
make educational material available online as a good example of the measures
that could contribute to this endeavor.
The characteristics OpenER will have underline the feasibility of using Open
Educational Resources in an experiment to raise participation in higher
1. OpenER is fexible, open, time-independent and easy accessible. This is
important whereas in the Netherlands the high workload makes it hard to fnd
a place for learning activity in daily life (Netherlands Education Council 2003:
Werk maken van een leven lang leren [Making lifelong learning work]).
2. OpenER requires an individual to invest time and efort but does not incur
any out-of-pocket expenses. The content is self-contained. No materials have to
be bought.
3. Due to the technology used, OpenER is simple and inexpensive for the end
user to use. He or she is not required to make any investments in sofware or
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specifc supplies. A standard PC with Internet access and a web browser are
sufcient. Details of such accessibility are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Availability of high-speed Internet access in households
in the Netherlands by education level
Type of Education Internet Access in
the Netherlands
(% of all households)
High Speed Internet
(% of households with
internet access)
Primary Education 66 71
Pre-vocational Education,
lower level
71 67
Pre-vocational Secondary
85 74
Vocational and
Secondary Education
88 73
College and University 92 71
Source: Report The Digital Economy 2005,
Dutch Government Bureau for Statistics.
This means that for the groups especially targeted in this project, the Pre-
vocational Secondary Education and the Vocational and Secondary Education
levels, the availability of high speed Internet access is well above the national
average. In the last three years the availability of high speed internet access
has sharply risen to the present level and the expectation is that there will be
a signifcant further increase due to a combination of competition between
reliable providers (cable and ADSL) and the already visible sharp drop in prices.
OpenER gives the individual (e.g. an intermediate vocational student) the
opportunity to become familiar with the higher educational level without having
to make an immediate fnancial investment. Additionally, there is no ‘stress’
because it involves online learning. Furthermore, testing in a person’s own
environment enables barriers to be broken down. The learner is the one who
takes the step to formal recognition of delivered performance by means of the
services provided for assessment and certifcation.
OpenER can also be an element in procedures for accrediting prior experience.
This can be retrospectively tested by the OUNL or other institutions of higher
education as an element in the portfolio of someone requesting accreditation of
competencies acquired elsewhere.
OpenER ofer learners the opportunity to seek out, establish and maintain
contact with other learners and to form learning communities (Netherlands
Education Council: Kennisgemeenschappen en innovatie in het onderwijs
[Knowledge communities and innovation in education]). The chosen approach
gives insight into the ways in which such community formation among learners
occurs and how they can improve learning efects without any or only minimal
interventions by learning institutions.
The tangible results of the OpenER project will be:
16 courses of 25 study hours each, suitable for self learning with high quality
content on an entry academic level, based on the existing high quality OUNL
material, launched in two batches in the fall of 2006 and early in 2007;
• a user friendly on-line delivery system;
• user friendly on-line facilities for self-testing and assessment: and
• a substantial amount of marketing and communication and resulting
awareness with the Dutch population about OpenER.
The OpenER ofering will continue to be available afer the formal completion
of the experiment, and thus further efects are expected. Outcomes of OpenER
will thus be:
• freely available academic level educational materials without
commitment by users;
• opportunities to test their capacity for learning among learners;
• opportunities for those with limited experience and confdence to
become beter prepared for formal education;
• opportunities for formal testing and certifcation as a starting point for
higher education study;
• extra enrolments in Dutch Higher Education;
• knowledge about the efectiveness of open content delivery as a
means of stimulating participation in higher education;
• knowledge concerning the efectiveness of open content delivery,
particularly in relation to the use of distance education materials;
• papers and reports available to the OER community;
• research and evaluation results on open content delivery and
community forming among users.
Efect Measurement
The central factor in measuring the efect on those using the OpenER ofering
is the conversion of users into enrollers in some form of higher education.
A method will be developed for retrospectively measuring those entering
higher education as well as instruments to identify and follow users during the
experiment. These procedures will be selected in such a way that any inhibiting
efect on the (intended) use of OpenER is, as far as possible, avoided.
The OpenER initiative is just what the name implies. It presents, that is it
makes available, educational resources that can be used by all those who wish
to use them for whatever reason. Though the materials that will be placed
within the OpenER environment are pedagogically solid—in that they were
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initially developed to be self-instructional with a minimum of teacher or tutor
support—they still can and should require interaction with knowledgeable
‘others’. The object of the Open Learning Support (OLS) aspect within OpenER
is the further development and use of the OLS-sofware to enable informal
learning communities to form around the OpenER content. These informal
learning communities (Wiley, 2002, calls them On-line Self Organizing Social
Systems) are meant to take the place of teachers/tutors as well as the usually
available student-colleagues within traditional educational cohorts. The project,
as such, aims at providing a means for users of OpenER content to seek and
receive learning support from fellow OpenER-users while they are engaging
in the learning process. The fundamental premise is that while open access to
educational materials is a good start, full educational opportunity requires a
user to have the social access to other human beings who can answer questions
and provide support.
Utah State University is—for example—also trying to use and study the use
of OLS in their and MIT’s oferings. The diferences with the situation in the
Netherlands, however, are twofold and these diferences will form the basis of
the research.
First, the materials used in the other two initiatives are face-to-face materials
that are meant for classroom use, and thus the pedagogies used are also based
upon this situation. OUNL - and thus OpenER - materials are meant to be self-
instructional and thus to replace the teacher. This means that we expect the
need for collaboration with others in an online study-group not to be based
upon the users’ non-understanding of the materials and thus for clarifcation
reasons, but rather for stimulating them to think more deeply about the learning
materials. This deeper processing ofen necessitates discussion, dialogue and
argumentation and thus could or should lead to a diferent type of need or
desire for seeking other learners to achieve this deeper learning.
Second, the target population within this experiment is more mature (in any
event based upon age) than the population in the other two initiatives. These
people are already within the working population (meaning that they are time
constrained) and are also used to working with others in teams to achieve
working goals. OLS allows these participants to take part in small, dedicated
learning groups at their own discretion.
This initiative is designed to study how to support OpenER users (learners) in
their exchange of learning questions and experiences within emergent, self-
organizing online communities. Pedagogically, learners should be aforded
the possibility of benefting from a mixture of asynchronous and synchronous
interaction with peers who can provide content-related and social support.
Issues that need to be addressed are:
• How do such self-organizing communities begin and (how) can we
induce users of OpenER to form efective learning-teams within those
• What are the boundary conditions needed to set-up and sustain such a
community (in other words to achieve the status of well-functioning)?
• What are the characteristics of a well functioning on-line self-organizing
social system?
• Is it possible to make use of already available tools developed at the
OUNL such as NTool (a widget/tool for negotiation of meaning and
position when working in a team) and Awareness Widget (a widget/tool
that supports the formation of a good social space, social presence and
personal identity through group history-awareness)?
• What are the limits of OLS? Can we evolve them to meet new
requirements from emergent practices?
Anon (2006a). See htp://, accessed August 24, 2006.
Anon (2006b). See htp://, accessed August 24, 2006.
Anon (2006c). See htp://, accessed August 24, 2006.
Anon (2006d). See htp://, accessed August 24, 2006.
Anon (2006e). See htp://, accessed August 24, 2006.
Anon (2006f). See htp://, accessed August 24, 2006.
OECD (2004). Education at a glance, OECD Indicators 2004 (Tables). OECD
OECD (2005). Education at a glance. OECD Indicators 2005 (Tables). OECD
EC (2005). Growth and jobs: working together for Europe’s future. A new start
for the Lisbon strategy. Communication to the Spring European Council.
Communication from President Barroso in agreement with Vice-President
Verheugen. See htp://europe/
Wiley, D. A. & Edwards, E. K. (2002). Online self-organizing social systems:
The decentralized future of online learning. Quarterly Review of Distance
Education, 3(1), 45-58.
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DIY Educators Gone Wild: Where are the Instructional Mash-Ups?
Brian Lamb, University of British Columbia
Abstract: What are mash-ups? Where did they come from?
Are mash-ups changing how we work the web? Is narrative
disintegrating before our eyes? Can educators learn to let
go and love the remix? Can universities open up their API’s?
How many copyright violations can be jammed into one
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Opencourseware Localization: Lessons Learned in the Chinese Context
Meng-Fen Grace Lin, University of Houston
An exciting modern day phenomenon is the widespread access to the Internet
and the growing number of Internet users worldwide. Surprisingly, even though
the Internet has been regarded as the vehicle to break down the walls of
geographic limitations and country boundaries, some recent surveys indicate
For example, only 9.3% of China’s Internet users visit English language web sites
(CNNIC, 2005). In a diferent survey, when asked what language-based web
site they most frequently visit in addition to those in Chinese, 33% of Taiwan’s
Internet users indicated that they do not visit any other language-based web
sites (, 2005). It is evident that language diferences pose one of the
biggest obstacles for knowledge sharing in today’s information age. Opensource
Opencourseware Prototype System (OOPS) is a botom-up model to solve this
Context of OOPS
OOPS is a volunteer-based efort to translate and adapt Opencourseware
(OCW) materials from English to Chinese, and continue to make them freely
available on the Internet to educators, students and self-learners. In OOPS’
“adopting” approach, volunteers self-select which course they want to “adopt”
and translate.
Once the translation is completed, a volunteer editor will edit the translation for
grammar and spelling and a content expert, if available, will review for technical
accuracy, before being published online.
The current research set out to document the initial challenges OOPS faced
during its early development. In particular, what are the issues related to an
educational localization project nested in the Chinese cultural context?
In this qualitative study, I utilized two data sources: interviews with fve
participants and archival data from OOPS’ online discussion forum and project
web site.
I employed the following strategies to promote research trustworthiness:
(1) data triangulation that included data sources such as interviews, online
postings, newsleters from project web site, (2) peer review that included
discussions of my interpretations and conclusions with other researchers
and (3) member check that included sharing documents with my participants.
Findings Issue of Translation Quality Externally, OOPS primarily faces criticism
over inconsistencies in translation quality. If translation is a creative process,
then what would be the rubrics for judging quality? Public perceptions judge
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quality mainly by OOPS’ volunteer-based approach, questioning if and how a
loosely-coupled group of people could produce unifed translation. In addition,
OOPS has faced a persistent challenge in seeking collaboration from academic
professionals to serve as reviewers for content accuracy.
Lastly, if a project’s overall quality should be refereed by its weakest entries,
not the best ones, than OOPS will continue to be judged by some of its
mediocrity but not many of its excellence. Issue of Copyright Law Another
issue worth mentioning is the variability in breadth and depth of available
materials. In this large collection, materials are limited to what professors are
comfortable sharing. The contents are also limited to what can be efectively
digitized. More importantly, only contents free of copyright and Intellectual
Property restrictions can be openly distributed online. Dissatisfed learners
have repeatedly noted two problems: the lack of depth in course content and
the lack of access to referenced materials such as books or journal articles.
Posted by a “disappointed passerby,” “Almost 99.99% courses have only course
outlines and syllabus. It is like browsing through a CD category, knowing what
songs are available yet unable to hear them” (thread #636). Complaints such as
this indicate a potential confict between the openness of the Internet and the
restrictions in curried through copyright law and Intellectual Property.
Issues of Chinese Languages Focusing on OOPS and targeting specifcally the
task of translation, there are two major challenges with which the volunteers
are batling: the diferences in computer encoding between the traditional and
simplifed Chinese characters, and the diferences in Chinese terminologies
used in diferent regions of the world. For instance, the word “computer” is
translated into “??” in Taiwan but “???” in China, and “Internet” is regarded
diferently as “????” and “???” in Taiwan and China respectively. Users from one
region might be able to comprehend the diferent terminologies in the examples
given above, but it is dangerous to assume so in general.
Mellon-Funded Open Source Projects for Higher Education
Chris Mackie, Mellon Foundation
Abstract: By their natures, OER initiatives require substantial
fnancial sponsorship. In this session, Chris Mackie, an ofcer
with the Program in Research in Information Technology (RIT)
of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will lead a discussion
of Mellon’s/RIT’s approach to the funding of open technology
and open content projects, as well as funding priorities going
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The Role of Evaluation in (Re)-Using Open Education Science Resources
Flora McMartin, Sarah Giersch, & Glenda Morgan, Broad Based Knowledge
In this panel session we will discuss the role of evaluation in the use, re-use and
dissemination of Open Education Resources, drawing from our experiences
evaluating various Open Education projects such as the National Science Digital
Library and its member collections, MERLOT and COSL.
Each panelist will focus on a topic as outlined below. At the end of the
presentations we will invite the participants to participate in a short interactive
activity regarding the how-to’s of evaluation to their projects Contents
Sarah Giersch-The quality of open education resources can be viewed from
the standpoint of the individual items within the resource, e.g., are they user
friendly, what is their potential as a teaching tool, are the concepts described
correctly within the framework of the discipline. Open education sites may
also be examined with regards to the quality with regards to coverage, e.g., is
the collection broad but shallow or deep but narrow? A model for examining
coverage will be presented and discussed. Community
Flora McMartin-This part of the panel will focus on issues associated with
evaluating usage of open education resource sites or collections, the use of the
contents from those sites by faculty and instructors. Of particular importance
is how the evaluation data collected from users (and non-users) is used in the
design and development process. A logic model framework modifed for digital
libraries combined with a evaluation cycle will be presented as one method for
guiding evaluation for Open Education Resources. Collaboration
Glenda Morgan-The efective and widespread use of open education resources
necessarily rests on collaboration within and between institutions of higher
education in the US and abroad. However, the environment is not always
conducive to such collaboration. Obstacles exist in the form of institutional
policies, the ways that technology is implemented and in institutional culture.
In this section we describe and discuss evaluation methods that can be used to
explore the barriers that may exist to thwart collaboration and how these can be
linked to eforts to overcome these barriers.
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The Day the Internet Exploded in My Face
Shigeru Miyagawa, MIT OCW
On April 26, 2006, we voluntarily shut down the Visualizing Cultures course
site on MIT’s OCW in response to a cyber-onslaught of hostile messages from
members of the Chinese community worldwide. Major newspapers and news
websites around the world immediately picked up the incident as news.
Visualizing Cultures is a course I teach with the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian,
John W. Dower. In this course we look at visual images as historical record, and
the six units now on Visualizing Cultures course site look at modernization of
Japan as a case study. We have placed on the OCW course site thousands of
images from a variety of sources, including the Smithsonian, the Boston MFA,
and the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum, all cleared for use under the
Creative Commons license.
What triggered the incident were some images of 100-year old Japanese
woodblock prints depicting Japanese atrocities against the Chinese during the
Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). Despite the clear condemnation of the content of
these images by John Dower, the author of the unit, a large number of Chinese
sent messages of protest to us, to our colleagues, to OCW, and to the president
of MIT. They also posted messages on large Chinese discussion boards
worldwide, including one that has over 100,000 participants, encouraging
protest and giving the URLs directly to the images. These postings rarely
mentioned the extensive narrative that accompanies the images.
Within three days, I personally received over 1,000 hate messages including
death threats. Along with these messages, there were some messages of
support and even a few apologies. President Hockfeld of MIT took a strong
public stance in supporting Visualizing Cultures, openness of content, and
academic freedom, and condemned the atacks. In this talk, I will trace the
events that caused the explosion.
I will also describe the wide-ranging collaborations that made it possible to
restore the site intact within two weeks, with no changes except for some
additional information about the course. One crucial collaboration was with
the MIT Chinese graduate students from the PRC. Recently major Chinese
newspapers have harshly criticized these students for having instigated the
incident, but through our collaboration, many helped to calm a situation that had
goten completely out of control.
I will also speak to the fundamental issues of openness— and specifcally against
self-censorship— in light of this incident. Finally, I will refect on what we might
have done beter. htp:// For some information about
the incident, see: htp://
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Community Education OpenCourseWare (CE-OCW) An OCW to Empower
Communities Through Knowledge
Rogelio Morales and Iván Saavedra, Universidad Central de Venezuela
Abstract: Based in Educational Material CE-OCW project
intends to spread the word about results and research
projects with high impact to improve social development.
Presenting the same content but with an academic level easy
to be understood for someone who has not fnished high
school or primary school.
In the same way as the OpenCourseWare Initiative, Community Education
OCW has the purpose of applying the principles of shared and improved
knowledge, through this proposal is aimed to people without direct access to
higher education, i.e. community people who have not completed K-12 education.
The purpose of this project is to reach them and to tell that universities are here
to serve communities through research, development, technology transfer and
teaching. It is possible to handle a basic concept of generating and expanding
knowledge to improve specifcally the quality of their life. Based in Educational
Material prepared by Faculties and Professors in collaboration with government
agencies and NGO (no government organizations) community initiatives, the
project intends to spread the word about results and research projects with
high impact to improve social development. This will be accomplished by
presenting the same content but with academic level easy to be understood for
someone who has not fnished high school or primary school.
There are many people in all countries that are willing to improve the way they
live but do not have the knowledge to pursue their goal. The site is designed
with the intention to make all the information friendly, familiar, and easy to read
in its content. In easy steps, the community people will be able to assimilate
the objectives and become OCW word-spreaders themselves. The site
has possibility to link those words difcult to understand, with an extended
explanation and examples. This can include videos or animations. In addition,
this can be used as a support for empowering people so that a great deal of
unnecessary burden can be taken out from government projects aimed at
improving quality of life, since neighbors will be able to recognize their roles
regarding issues like taking care of the environment that their children will
The UNESCO in its National Education Policies, states education as a priority,
saying that education has a major role to play in achieving sustainable human
Education for All: A Priority
UNESCO’s priority is to plan and coordinate the Education for All (EFA)
Program within the Dakar Framework. National Action Plans must tackle the
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problems linked to strategic approaches as well as those due to lack to lack of
fnancial resources. Specifcally, each Action Plan:
• Is defned through consultation with all members of civil society.
• Channels and coordinates support from all development partners.
• Defnes reforms needed to meet the EFA goals.
• Sets up a schedule for long-term fnancing.
• Focuses on action with precise deadlines.
• Includes benchmarks to evaluate on-going progress.
• Is integrated into wider poverty reduction and development
However, one of the main problems to achieve those goals has always been
the access to technology, and in the OCW specifc case will be the access to
the Internet. UNESCO in that mater has also a project called Multipurpose
Community Telecentres (MCT), which pretends to solve this issue.
Multipurpose Community Telecentres
Multi-purpose Community Telecentres (MCTs) are structures that encourage
and support communities to manage their own development through access to
appropriate facilities, resources, training and services. “Multi-purpose” means
that a Telecentre is able to provide diferent user groups within a community,
with a range of services relating to diferent domains (from education/training
to business, from health to local governance), and it does so by ofering several
technologies. “Community” refers both to local community ownership and
community access through the telecentre. MCTs rely on such resources as
public and community libraries and local mass media in order to facilitate access
to information services and to improve the dialogue between citizens and local/
national institutions. (UNESCO, 2005)
Therefore, UNESCO already has interesting tools to solve the problems of
access to Internet and create a way to display information to communities
around the globe. The main point will be what to do with that access. OCW
initiative already has probe what can be accomplished using the Internet as we
can see on his defnition.
Defnition of Opencourseware
The opencourseware concept is a part of the larger open knowledge movement
that promotes free and unrestricted access to knowledge. An opencourseware
site provides open access to the primary teaching materials for courses taught
at educational institutions. The fundamental purpose of an opencourseware is
to advance education by making these materials available to:
• Educators who may draw on them for teaching purposes
• Students and self-learners for their personal knowledge development.
(MIT-OCW, 2004)
Having already available this programs and projects, it is possible to take
advantages of them and presenting an idea that will let people to have access to
knowledge. This knowledge will be easy to understand, and with the intention in
mind to improve quality of life. CE-OCW pretends to show materials that have
the potential to be useful and achievable in a short period. This will lead to a
closer relationship between universities and their communities (see Figure 1).
Acces s to
K nowledge
Educat ion for All:
A pr ior ity
Multipur pos e
Community T elecentres
E ducation
OpenCour s eWare
Figure 1. Integration of UNESCO MCT project with the idea of CE-OCW.
Advantages of CE-OCW
CE-OCW presents some importance advantages:
• Supported by Universities.
• Continuous actualization.
• Share Community Experiences (Feedback).
• Diversity in Topic Areas.
• No Commercial Purpose.
• International Vision.
• OCW and Wikipedia linking.
Four topics were chose to start the project, topics that are critical areas in the
development of communities; nevertheless, this can be increased according with
the requirement of the community.
• Sustainable Development and Disaster Prevention.
• Public Health and Disease Prevention.
• Food Technology and Nutrition.
• Basic Construction and Sheltering.
Sustainable Development and Disaster Prevention
Now, we are developing the area of hydrometeorology researching relation to
food prevention. At the end will be possible to share and link material from
other CE-OCW sites, giving us possibility to know how others have solved their
problems, thus increasing the efectiveness of the solutions. Figure 2, shows
an example of material created with the intention to explain the causes of the
disaster occurred in Venezuela during 1999.
The Floods, The Torrential Avalanches and their Measures of Prevention and
The fuvial foods and the avalanches or torrential fows are natural phenomena
where the fow of grown of a river, or gulch, surpasses its margins and runs on
the plains or food plains. The foods and the avalanches torrential become a
problem, when the man occupies these plains, exposing his lives and properties
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before the growing of the rivers. The foods usually take place for intense rains
that produce too much water that it can not be stored in the basin, transported
neither in the natural beds nor in canalizations. In Venezuela, the foods have
been frequent in the last years. The torrential rains of 1999 in the State of
Vargas took place more than 15.000 victims and material losses in the order of
2 thousand millions dollars. The recent extraordinary rains of February of the
2005 caused havocs in ten states of the country, causing thousands of having
damaged and dozens of dead, besides serious damages to the economy due
to the fall of numerous bridges, the collapse of roads and highways, as well as
damages to goods and crops.
This material contents:
• How a dangerous natural event becomes a disaster
• How can you mitigate the risk?
• Early Alerts Systems and Plan of Actions
• Disaster prevention for foods and avalanches torrential: a task of all.
(UCV, 2004)
Figure 2. Materials published by Institute of Fluid Mechanics, School of
Engineering of the UCV about Floods, Torrential Avalanches and their Measures
of Prevention and Mitigation.
UNESCO (2005). National Education Policies from htp://
UNESCO (2005). Multipurpose Community Telecentres htp://portal.unesco.
Margulies, H. (2004). Implementing OpenCourseWare: Executive Summary. MIT
Open Course Ware.
López, J., Courtel F., Bello, M.,(2005) Las Inundaciones, los aludes torrenciales y
sus medidas de prevención y mitigación. Instituto de Mecánica de Fluidos,
Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Central de Venezuela.
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Open Content in Education: The Instructor Benefts of MIT
Preston Parker, Utah State University
One social aspects of using open educational resources is what drive or
reason do authors and creators have to contribute their educational materials
to an open environment. Protecting Intellectual Property is fundamentally
understood to be necessary to further the progress of arts and sciences by
compensating creators. However, these means to an end have resulted in a
“closed-content” mentality. This mentality is being challenged, especially in
educational arenas, where a freedom to exchange ideas and content is viewed
as benefcial. Many feel that an “open content” mentality mandates a beter
understanding of Intellectual Property. This qualitative case study presents
data showing benefts that come when using content under an open content
understanding and, more specifcally, the benefts that come to instructors who
contribute their educational content to Massachusets Institute of Technology’s
OpenCourseWare project (MITOCW).
MITOCW began just fve years ago and already the benefts are well-
documented. Though many have investigated the benefts that come to the
users, this study investigates what the benefts are to those who contribute
their materials to such a movement. In essence, the research question is: what
benefts do the instructors receive from contributing their course content to
People are concerned before embracing open content models, because they
do not understand the benefts of doing so. Open content is available for
anyone to read and to scrutinize. There is an understanding that people who
are knowledgeable in a particular feld will recognize another’s work and style
and no one would use or copy it without giving credit. Authors are recognized
for their works and have the potential of receiving suggestions for improvement
in public and/or private setings. This only serves to improve the work. Then,
eventually, when the creator feels the work is ready for publication in a more
traditional sense (journals, books, etc.), he or she can still do so, giving credit to
others’ inputs accordingly.
The investigator of this qualitative case study desired to discover the benefts
that instructors receive by contributing their educational content to MITOCW.
He used three sources for his data: (1) the fve years’ worth of archived emails
from the instructors to MITOCW which discussed benefts to them, (2) the
responses from three past annual instructor surveys, and (3) interviews with the
instructors themselves.
The results show that there are many benefts to MIT instructors participating
in MITOCW. They feel they have more recognition academically because their
work is out there to be viewed and used. They feel connections have been
made with other instructors that may not have if it were not for MITOCW. The
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instructors were beter able to understand what others colleagues were doing.
These connections have resulted in beter publishing opportunities and grant
proposal eforts. Instructors also feel that students who sign up for their classes
are more prepared for the course. It is also convenient for the instructors to
have the materials available online for current and past students.
Tools for Creating Open Content: CMS4OCW and CMS4ROCKL. When
Teachers Want to Share.
Pedro Pernias & Manuel Marco Such, Universidad Alicante
There are some pedagogical problems derived from using open content: the
absence of context of the most reusable and basic items like pictures or text
versus the relative reusability of the most structured and complex items as
lessons or courses. The OpenCourseWare and Open Content philosophy is
a way to add context and relevance to the educational contents created by
teachers. We have developed tools to create and manage content for teachers
to convert their educational production or educational resources into real Open
• CMS4OCW was developed in collaboration with Universia S.A and
is addressed mainly towards Iberoamerican (America and Europe)
Institutions who formally wants to participate in the OpenCourseWare
Consortium Universia is trying to extent to their partners.
• CMS4ROCKL is for people -organized into academic departments or
not-who want to explore the publication of their educational proposals
under the Open Content philosophy in a "less-institutional" way. They
facilitate the teacher to share both the small items he is using at their
classrooms and the whole educational proposal that involves the item.
They provide the item and the context the item is useful as a way to
increase the relevance and the accuracy of the reuse.
In both tools, it is possible for the teacher to add educational structure to
provide right context to make more useful and reusable resources. The tool
automatically provides legal solutions for the IP question by driving the teacher
to request and obtain a Creative Commons description of the licenses to apply
to their production.
The tool also builds a repository with these performances:
• The content is stored as a basic element to use one by one as learning
objects under IMS-Scorm standard for individual downloading.
• The more complex educational structures, created by the teacher, by
aggregating simple items stored as a downloadable SCORM package.
• The repository for the content is an Open Archives repository, with
fully Metadata Harvesting Protocol implementation to syndicate the
whole catalogue.
• In the case of the CMS4OCW, the system creates a web site inspired
by the OpenCourseWare project as a showcase for the educational
The CMS4ROCKL and CMS4OCW can be used in two ways: First, by accessing
to a public remote-server to upload the resources, enrich the content, create
educational structures and download the results and to access to it using OAI-
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MHP from digital libraries like "dspace" or "greenstone.” Second, by installing the
application in a corporative server to provide service to a specifc community.
These systems also have other interesting performances. CMS4ROCKL
syndicates the latest added resources using RSS. And CMS4ROCKL and
CMS4OCW will be ofered under GPL for downloading. In the future, both
CMS4OCW and CMS4ROCKL will have the following performances: peer-to-
peer repositories ofering cross-collections search, fully LORA implementation
(learning Object Repository Architecture with support for a lot of metadata
standards), and webdav protocol to use the repository as a web folder in your
operative system.
DIVA: Lessons in Open Systems from the Grass Roots to Beyond
Andrew Roderick, Chris Betinger, & Daniel Koepke, San Francisco State
The Digital Information Virtual Archive (DIVA) is an open education project
developed as a grass roots efort in the College of Behavioral and Social
Sciences at San Francisco State University. Faculty and computing staf came
together to solve localized problems unique to San Francisco State University.
From the embedded vantage point of a College within the University, design
and development took on a unique dynamic, informed by close and immediate
faculty feedback and the computing staf’s accumulated, experiential knowledge
of real support needs. Translating synergies gained from a grass roots efort into
success across a multiple campus, system wide initiative can be challenging. But
as we have discovered with DIVA, several high-value lessons can be learned
from this transition.
The Embedded Designer: No Degree of Separation
While it may be uncommon that a local College or School within a University
would have resources necessary to develop a major technology initiative, we
believe this unique vantage point has great benefts. On the one hand, direct
relationships with faculty, departments and local support staf provides access
to inside knowledge of tasks and process that is valuable. But this perspective
is not so embedded that it is cut-of from centralized needs and initiatives. This
creates sensitivity to balancing local needs with central prerogative, which is a
good thing and paves the way for balancing needs on multiple campuses.
Accurate Workfow Discovery
Faculty have diverse ways of preparing coursework and teaching. Technological
tools need to support these practices, not change them. Instead of imposing
a singular workfow on faculty, fexible tools should allow faculty to conduct
preparation and dissemination their way. Direct contact with faculty and staf
created a unique, intimate and accurate way of detecting subtle needs that may
have been lost in externally conducted assessments.
Top/Down, Botom/Up, Side-to-Side
Making assumptions about who to talk to during design, evaluation and outreach
phases may be dangerous. Because of the grass roots nature of the DIVA
project, we found it necessary to create simultaneous buy-in from multiple
players on campuses. While challenging, seeking these diferent perspectives
early on can help ensure greater buy-in, adoption and a beter product.
The Future Supports Flexibility, Local Control
A tendency toward large, monolithic solutions to academic technology needs
is being supplanted by smaller and fexible systems, capable of connecting and
interacting. DIVA provides a template for how a connecting system can support
core faculty tasks on multiple levels while at the same time providing options for
interaction with Learning Management Systems or Institutional Repositories. It
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gives local campuses control in deciding how DIVA will work for them, be it as a
stand-alone tool for faculty use or integrated with a larger academic technology
strategy. Options should abound and opportunities for localized development
that connects to services should be available. In this sense, such a strategy can
support the needs from top/down initiatives such as Learning Management
Systems or botom/up local needs developed in discipline or sub-organizational
A Dialogue on Open Educational Resources (OER) and Social Authoring
Ruth Rominger: Director of Learning Design, Monterey Institute for Technology
and Education, and Fielding Graduate University (Ph.D., Organizational
Systems, in process) and Paul Stacey: Director of Development, BCcampus;
(M.Ed. Adult Learning Change and Global Change)
Abstract: The authors of this paper present two models
associated with OER developed out of their own OER
initiatives. The frst model depicts a common core set of
atributes that all OER have along with key decision points
that result in diferentiation between and among OER. A
dialog is invited to generate a common framework of OER
atributes and a range of OER models that support analysis
and design for those implementing or participating in OER
initiatives. A social authoring model for development of OER
is introduced along with two case studies showing actual
implementations by the authors. Dialogue to collaborate
and participate in refning and further developing a “Do-It-
Together” model for OER is invited.
OER Model
There is an active debate and growing confusion about what defnes Open
Education Resources, stemming from the misconception that there is, or should
be, one pure model for OERs.
OER can be thought of as having a common core set of atributes or structural
components. All OER have atributes that defne them across a range of legal,
business, policy, technology, and academic socio-cultural factors. For example,
the legal aspect of all OER’s defnes things like intellectual property, copyright,
and is increasingly being expressed using Creative Commons licenses. Business,
technology, academic and policy atributes also have key issues that constitute
decision-making points for OER’s.

Modeling OER atributes and the decision making points can serve as an
analytical and design tool for those considering implementing or participating in
OER initiatives. Figure 1 presents a simple OER model based on these atributes.
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Figure 1. OER Atributes Model
Within each area a range of questions and decisions must be made. Mapping
questions, decisions points and ensuing answers provides a means for
diferentiating between OER initiatives. The author’s own OER initiatives have
involved a range of decisions in each area including those depicted in Figure 2.
Figure 2. OER Atributes & Decision Points
An OER model like this reveals similarities and diferences between OER
initiatives including those associated with the author’s own respective OER
initiatives at the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE, 2006)
and BCcampus (BCcampus, 2006).
Despite the wish for one pure model of OER a rich array of OERs of various
favors are springing up around the world.
The authors present this model in open invitation for dialog on it as a framework
and tool for use in analyzing and designing OER initiatives. Revisions and
alternative models are expected out of this dialogue with an aim of generating a
common framework of OER atributes and a range of OER models that support
analysis and design considerations of those implementing or participating in
OER initiatives.
OER diversity stimulates an ancillary debate about the origin, remix and
authorship models of OER content. One area of commonality revealed by use
of the above model in analyzing both author’s OER initiatives is that used for
authoring OER resources.

Social Authoring Model
MITE and BCcampus are both implementing OER initiatives that break out of
traditional western education development culture, which typically involves a
lone educator authoring resources rarely seen by anyone other than students in
his or her classroom. Many open education resource initiatives continue to use
this solo practice, with only a change in that the material is now visible to and
usable by others.
MITE and BCcampus have both adopted a diferent model of education
resource development and delivery involving collaboration. In designing a
collaborative model for social authoring of OER, MITE and BCcampus have
considered the success of open source sofware.
In the high tech world the open source sofware movement has become a viable
alternative to traditional sofware development. At its core the open source
approach reduces the cost of sofware development and maintenance by
distributing it among many developers (Wershler-Henry, 2002), and increases
rates of innovation by providing a common code base that others are free to
build on. (Lessig, 2001)
The open source process is more likely to work efectively in tasks that have
these characteristics:
• Disaggregated contributions can be derived from knowledge that is
accessible under clear, nondiscriminatory conditions, not proprietary
or locked up.
• The produce is perceived as important and valuable to a critical mass
of users.
• The product benefts from peer atention and review, and can improve
through creative challenge and error correction (that is, the rate of
error correction exceeds the rate of error introduction.
• There are strong positive network efects to use of the product.
• An individual or a small group can take the lead and generate a
substantive core that promises to evolve into something useful.
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• A voluntary community of iterated interaction can develop around the
process of building the product. (Weber, 2004)
Recognizing the ft with OER both MITE and BCcampus have adopted and
adapted “open” concepts and methods as deliberate strategies for building
a sustainable approach to the development and use of OER. The “social
authoring” process leverages content and expertise of a distributed network of
authors and institutions. The model’s premise is that beter quality resources
are delivered by moving from closed development to collaborative continuous
improvement by a collective of professional peers.
MITE Social Authoring Case Study
The National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) project supports the
development and distribution of high-quality online courses to a worldwide
audience. The goal of the project is to facilitate collaboration among a
community of campus-based developers to create a library of online courses
(coherent arrangements of learning objects) that are available to everyone. The
project was launched by the nonproft Monterey Institute for Technology and
Education (MITE), with support from the William and Flora Hewlet Foundation
in 2004.
Multimedia course materials are developed and contributed to the repository
by members of the NROC Network, an online community of practice made
up of educators, designers, technologists, and administrators. The Network is
facilitated and supported by MITE, a small, distributed team of professional
multimedia producers. The MITE team provides pedagogical, technical, and
design guidelines and training, project management, rich media production,
quality assurance, and distribution of digital course library to educational
organizations. NROC members have the right to import the learning objects as
complete courses into any LMS, adapt, or remix to ft the needs of their faculty
and students.
The NROC project represents a new organizational design that integrates
open education resources, community of practice, and sustainable business
theories and models. The strategy behind the model is to leverage the scarce
development resources and expertise in higher education institutions through
an open systems organizational model. As an open system, (Scot, 1998) the
NROC project has both boundaries (membership fees to generate revenue to
support ongoing operations; Creative Commons license, with limitations) and
boundary spanning characteristics (socially authored, adaptable, and remixed
content; OER licenses to developing nations).
The NROC Social Authoring Model includes:
• Facilitated distributed team of faculty (and college media centers)
• Course development training
• Use of a structured course model
• Pedagogical and technical design guidelines
• Multiple levels of involvement and assignments
• Collaboration tools for communicating, sharing, and reviewing
content as it is developed (using OpenCourse, an OER collaboration
• MITE’s fnal QA, engineering and distribution
• Co-ownership of material by authors, with unlimited rights of use in
NROC Network Membership includes:
• Participating in social authoring projects that leverage fnancial
resources and development capabilities beyond of any individual
• Unlimited access to NROC content, customizable by faculty for any
online or classroom use
• Professional development support, training workshops, webinars, and
asynchronous online events
• Online journals for publishing research, case studies, and white papers
• Access to expert developer, technologist, faculty, and administrator
Network partners
• Priority status as NROC subject mater experts, contributors, and

The NROC Library ofers:
• A growing collection of collaboratively-developed learning object
resources for faculty and course developers
• Media-rich content that may be customized for various teaching
approaches and modes of delivery
• Course development guidelines and ongoing course improvement
As of fall 2006, the NROC library contains over 2000 rich media lessons
supported by many 1000s of activities, assignments and assessment items
arranged in approximately 30 general education courses. Six new social
authoring course projects are in the early stages of design and will launch this
fall and early 2007. It is the intention of the project to use the social authoring
model as an incubator of faculty who can spread the model throughout their
own campuses and systems to accelerate the development of and access to rich
open education resources for online learning.
BCcampus Social Authoring Case Study
The British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education annually provides an
Online Program Development Fund (OPDF) to BCcampus for the support of
inter-institutional collaboration and external partnerships. The fund’s purpose
is to develop shareable online learning resources: courses, full programs,
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learning objects, tools, and technologies, collaboratively involving all twenty six
institutions across the entire public post secondary system of the province.
The OPDF is strategically structured to target development of credit-based
online learning resources in areas of high student demand or labor-market
need. Projects involve collaborative inter-institutional development of multiple
courses that build out or represent complete online degree programs. The
aim is to give students access to more programs and resources that help them
complete degrees, diplomas, and certifcates.
The OPDF has been issued via a Request for Proposals (RFP) for four
consecutive years: 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Evaluation, selection, and
award are done by an independent review commitee against the criteria
expressed in the RFP guidelines. OPDF funding awards made 2003–2006 total
over $5 million dollars for development of 261 courses, 44 course modules, 150
learning objects, and 18 virtual labs and tools. Many of the projects from earlier
OPDF rounds have completed their development process producing hundreds
of learning resources that are now in operational use benefting all learners and
educators across the province.
The digital nature of these resources brings with it some unique value
propositions including the ability to be socially authored, economically
distributed, and easily customized.
A key BCcampus educator service is using contractual agreements and licenses
to sort out Intellectual Property (IP) rights and copyright of resources in
advance, as part of the development process. Agreements and licenses state:
• who owns what
• for what uses the property is ofered
• what conditions of acknowledgment and/or payment apply to each use
• Creative Commons and BC Commons Licenses

Using contractual agreements BCcampus accords the IP of all online resources
produced through the Online Program Development Fund to the original
developer, not BCcampus. Contractual agreements are between public post
secondary institutions and BCcampus. A variety of IP policies are in place
at diferent public post-secondary institutions in BC. For some institutions,
IP rights rest with the faculty; in others, with the institution. OPDF funds
are distributed via contracts with public post-secondary institutions. IP of
OPDF resources is governed by the policy of the particular institution where
development is occurring.
OPDF developers are given two options for licensing the resource they create.
They may choose to share and reuse according to the terms of the Creative
Commons Share Alike-Atribution Canada license. Optionally they may apply a
BC Commons license. Both licenses acknowledge copy rights of the developer
while defning a set of terms by which the resource can be shared and used by

The Creative Commons license shares the resource globally with others.
Resources licensed with Creative Commons allow others to copy, use, distribute
and make derivative works. The provision is that they share back with others and
give atribution to the original author. The Creative Commons license provides
a means by which developers become part of the global open educational
resource community.
The BC Commons license is similar to the Creative Commons license but limits
sharing to the local context of BC’s public post-secondary system. Resources
licensed via BC Commons are only available to BC public post-secondary
faculty and staf. This option provides developers with an opportunity to
experience sustainable development benefts through sharing on a local level,
among peers, before considering the larger global context.

The Creative Commons and BC Commons licenses have three components:
1. A plain English human-readable deed
2. A full legal lawyer-readable license
3. An icon and piece of script code embedded into each resource which
expresses the terms of the license in a computer web friendly way.
OPDF developers use the “Generate a license” online service at htp://www. to specify their choice of Creative Commons or BC Commons
license. Both licenses require atribution: that is, whenever online learning
resources are used by others, the original developer is credited. Enhancing
developer reputation through atribution is a key aspect of sustainability. Higher
education is reputation based academy and acknowledging the work of others
helps developers earn the regard of peers in much the same way as research
and publishing. Reputation has become a key factor in many Internet sites such
as Slashdot, Amazon, eBay and Google where reputation systems are used to
enhance participation, service and sales.
The Creative Commons and BC Commons licenses both allow for the original
resource to be modifed by others. This enables other educators to add
enhancements to the resource or customize it to ft their understanding of a
domain or method of teaching.
If a new user modifes or improves an original resource, he or she must
contribute the new and improved version back for the beneft of all. This
requirement is similar to practices used in Open Source Sofware development
and supports sustainability by fostering a community-based development
environment where online learning resources are adaptable and subject to
continuous improvement by a network of professional peers.
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A key innovation of these licenses is the way they help create a means by which
online learning resources can be used as much as possible and sustained by a
network of peers.
In November 2005, BCcampus deployed SOL*R as a service for British
Columbia’s post-secondary educators. SOL*R enables educators to contribute
and access online learning resources for use in delivery of courses and
programs. SOL*R is a web-based online service that facilitates the sharing,
discovery, reuse and enhancement of post-secondary online learning content.
SOL*R has initially been seeded with content funded through the OPDF. As part
of the completion of the development of an OPDF project, developers license
and upload the resources they have developed to SOL*R. Resources include
courses, modules, full programs, learning objects and technologies. Hundreds of
online learning resources are now available for sharing and reuse by BC public
post-secondary educators through SOL*R. While initial content comes from the
OPDF all online learning resources are welcome and developers are encouraged
to contribute non-OPDF resources.
All BC public post-secondary educators can access SOL*R through the
BCcampus portal by creating an account and requesting membership in the
SOL*R group. Documents giving step-by-step help to prospective users are
available at the Access SOL*R web page, htp:// A public
interface to SOL*R provides a means of making Creative Commons licensed
resources available globally.
SOL*R resources are categorized and searchable in a wide range of ways
including academic discipline, contributing institution, program of study and
license type. Within SOL*R, resources can be previewed and then downloaded
for use if the viewer so wishes. SOL*R works to save the resources in an
interoperable format that optimizes them for use in a variety of course
management systems, including WebCT and Moodle.
BCcampus is interested and actively pursuing opportunities to integrate and
federate the SOL*R repository with other collections of academic learning
resources and authoring environments.
In presenting their respective social authoring models MITE and BCcampus
seek to reveal cultural and technical parameters along with inviting others to
collaborate and participate in refning and further developing a “Do-It-Together”
(IIEP, 2006) model for OER.
BCcampus, (2006), “Resources for Developing Online Courses”, htp://www., accessed Aug.
30, 2006.
IIEP, (2006), “UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)
Forum on Open Educational Resources/Open Content—Do It Yourself
Portal discussion forum May through June 2006” at htp://www.unesco.
org/iiep/virtualuniversity/forums.php, accessed August 30, 2006. Online
discussion forum URL is: htps://
opencontent. The online discussion forum requires UNESCO approval and
password for access.
Lessig, L. (2001), The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected
World, New York: Random House, p. 57.
MITE, (2006), “MITE Projects”, htp:// accessed Aug
30, 2006.
Scot, W.R. (1998), Organizations: Rational, Natural and Open Systems, Upper
Saddle River: Prentice Hall,
Weber, S., (2004), The Success of Open Source, Cambridge, Massachusets:
Harvard University Press p. 234.
Wershler-Henry, D. (2002), Free as in Speech and Beer—open source, peer-to-
peer and the economics of the online revolution, Toronto: Prentice Hall, p.
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Open Kitchen: A Learning Objects Repository for Teachers by Teachers
Fulya Sari, Bogazici University
Abstract: Open Kitchen is an R&D project examining the
relationship between learning object characteristics and
teachers’ use and reuse. Objects will be classifed using
teacher-relevant metadata such as learning process intended,
use environment etc. by teachers in addition to authoritative
metadata. Sofware will also help teachers create materials
and provide reuse feedback into the repository.
A Learning Objects Repository for Teachers by Teachers
Constructivism necessitates change in traditional role of teachers as knowledge
bearers and requires teachers to act more like instructional designers and
instructional technologists. With constructivism, defnition and meaning of
instructional materials development and educational sofware development also
As the new environment for housing and distributing learning resources, digital
repositories ofer a chance to both teachers and students alike to be both
producers and consumers of learning materials at the same time. Teachers
are known to separate any given resource into its components frst and then
reassemble/redesign them for their customized instructional needs (Reigeluth
and Nelson, 1997). In fact they end up being instructional designers themselves.
Learning according to constructivism and the nature of learning objects suggest
multiple ways of using a single learning object toward diferent ends thus
multi-faceted learning and use. Constructivism requires teachers to design and
develop their own instructional/learning materials from scratch in every new
learning situation and be more creative. Indeed, there are a great variety of
materials on the Internet that can be used as raw material for teacher/designers’
design and development processes. However, the materials that may be defned
and characterized as learning objects are too many clicks away from the
teachers. What teachers want is
A one-stop shop in which they can fnd and re-aggregate snippets
from available resources into a customized resource for their own
use. In other words, they would like to build their own reaggregated
resources, using their own materials, mixing them with resources they
have collected along the way (Yee, 2005)
Secondly, learning objects found on the Internet are not indexed and distributed
using a common standard to help educators in searching, locating, situating, and
using them.
Learning objects should be more easily searched, located, used and reused.
This necessitates learning objects to be identifed and coded/tagged for
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their potential atributes/use. In addition to traditional metadata tags for
content, technical features and learner level, also pedagogy related i.e.,
instructional design metadata and user feedback should be included among
the searchable characteristics of learning objects. New metadata such as these
should guide users for possible uses of a learning object not just one use. The
authors/developers and users of learning objects could beneft greatly from a
classifcation scheme and a use/reuse model.
Open Kitchen project will synthesize existing learning object atributes that
are used as metadata tags and develop a learning object ontology that will help
teachers’ search strategies.
An ontology designed with the goal of facilitating teachers’ search strategies
will synthesize most commonly used traditional metadata categories and the
newly suggested learning related metadata categories such as learning type and
learning strategy.
The Open Kitchen project is designed for the K-12 environment and it is being
implemented in a private school in Istanbul, Hisar Foundation School Kemerkoy.
The school has 750 students and 110 teachers. There is great interest and
motivation in Turkey in ascribing to the constructivist paradigm in learning
and the teachers of the present school have been participating in continuous
experiential staf development workshops in constructivist philosophy and
learning materials development.
The learning object repository constructed by the teachers will provide
an environment for teachers to redesign their lesson plans according to
constructivism and develop custom-made instructional materials using learning
With a special sofware infrastructure that is being developed for this project,
teachers will have access to the repository and they will be able to search,
locate and use the objects with as few clicks as possible as opposed to
inefcient search sessions on the Internet. Using the objects means situating
them in custom instructional designs. Teachers will also be able to select and
place desired learning objects in a personalized basket for later use. Teachers
in diferent roles of designing, categorizing, distributing, using, reusing, and
evaluating the learning objects will be able to sustain their community of
The conceptual contribution of the study will be in conceiving a new ‘design-use
ecology’ where the roles of learning object authors, learning object repository
distributors, and teachers as users will be redefned. This will be done using the
‘communities of practice’ concept with respect to learning object repositories.
The goal here is to help infuence the learning object repository design,
development, distribution and use practices to be more community driven than
sector driven and refect the joint desires, capabilities and responsibilities of
these stakeholders.
Reigeluth, C. M. & Nelson, L. M. (1997) A new paradigm of ISD? In: Branch, R. C.
& Minor, B. (Eds.) Educational media and technology yearbook. Englewood
(CO), Libraries Unlimited, 24-35.
Yee, R. (2005) Towards Remixing Any Content from Any Source with Any
Service: Lowering the Barrier to Use of Content in Open Education,
Advancing the Efectiveness and Sustainability of Open Education
Conference Proceedings
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The Challenges, Frustrations and Triumphs of Remixing an Open Source
Game Engine for Educational Purposes
Tim Stowell & Bret Shelton, Utah State University
Abstract: The use, reuse, and remixing of commercial game
engines has infuenced the feld of educational gaming. Part
of this infuence is felt though a number of popular game
engines whose originators have released their code for the
creation of new games by other groups. This presentation
follows one group’s progress of using the recently released
open source and highly successful commercial game
engine Quake III. Quake III was modifed using a number of
techniques and resources to develop the educational game
Voices of Spoon River 3D (VOSR 3D), with the goal of teaching
a work of classic American poetry. We will present the results
of the design and development eforts, demonstrate the game
play, and highlight specifc changes Quake III has undergone
from its original form. Finally, we will ofer insights on the
difculties, triumphs, and suggestions on “what to watch out
for” when undertaking such a project.
Teaching poetry has desirable learning goals: motivation to learn, reading
comprehension, the ability to relate to and identify with characters, and the
understanding of relationships between characters. Unfortunately, students may
not realize all of these goals with current teaching methodologies.
Current classroom instruction for teaching poetry ofen consists of the
instructor reading poetry aloud, lecturing about it, or requiring students to
memorize it (Showalter, 2002). Students may not identify with these methods,
or may require more motivation to learn about poetry. New projects are needed
to explore new teaching methodologies to address this concern. The purpose
of VOSR 3D is to overcome some of the current limitations of traditional poetry
instruction by engendering motivation and interest via the exploration of a
graphical, 3D virtual world.
Why did we choose the Quake III game engine? Quake III met our
communication needs for a virtual world, and we wanted to capitalize on the
visual richness of the environment. We also liked this particular engine because
of its ability to capture a number of objects, hold them in inventory, and the
ability to use these items in the progression of learning tasks during game play.
Finally, we chose Quake III because of the open source coding it afords—the
access to a number of independent developers, the community of sharing and
innovation between coders, and the potential for expansion and sustainable end
ì:: ì:=
Challenges and Frustrations
Most of the difculties we encountered while remixing the programming were
caused by the need for the Quake III engine (hereafer referred to as Q3) to
work in a way contrary to its initial purpose. Table 1 lists some of the needs of
our game and the corresponding obstacles presented by the Q3 engine.
While the “modding” community has been very active for years making
modifcations to the Q3 engine, we as novices in the area, had no prior
knowledge. Also, because the Q3 game is old (approximately 5 years), some
of the game tools are old and buggy. For example, we chose to use the 3D
modeling package Maya to model objects and the male avatar for the game.
One newsgroup community member had created an exporter tool to allow
objects created in Maya to be exported into the Q3 format. Unfortunately, our
group soon learned that this tool would crash Maya if the 3D object was not
setup exactly correctly. Sometimes, the reason for the failure of the 3D object in
question to export remained unknown, we used a trial and error technique until
it exported.
Table 1. Needs and obstacles
Need Obstacle
Descriptive text as well as names
for objects in the 3D environment.
The original Q3 game never
presented a lot of text during
game play.
The map tool used to build the
virtual world had limits that were
exceeded with the epitaphs. The
map tool was reprogrammed to
allow larger text limits.
The creation of a realistic human
male avatar character that behaves
realistically (via animation) as he
moves through and interacts with
the virtual environment.
Originally, Q3 did not allow
skeletal animation, which
presented a problem for our
realistic avatar. Code, contributed
by a community member, was
added in to allow this type of
Also, in original Q3, to pick up an
object the player merely had to
“run into it” or touch it. In VOSR
3D, we wanted the player to
click the mouse buton, show the
avatar’s arm rise, then obtain the
object. This required extensive
The classifying of objects as being
“take-able,” which allows the player
to take the objects and add them to
their inventory.
While Q3 did have provision for
objects, it assumed they were
all take-able, whereas VOSR 3D
objects were not, i.e. A tree or
Finding enough 3D objects for our time frame also proved frustrating. We were
hoping to fnd enough models on-line for free, but soon learned that if an object
existed, it was not always of the highest quality. When we did fnd models,
they sometimes came with their own set of existing problems. For example,
one of the house models did not have correct lighting in the game. Afer some
experimentation, we discovered the model had problems with its “normals,” that
is, the geometric faces of the virtual object were not all facing the same way. It
took a signifcant amount of our development time to “clean up” certain models
to reach a point of fdelity where they could be used within our game. Other
models needed new textures to look appropriate. Geting lighting to work on
other game objects also took signifcant time to master.
Some models, like the male avatar, were made from scratch to beter suit our
purposes because we could not fnd a model that was suitable for our needs
through existing Internet repositories. Creating our own character avatar took
signifcant amounts of time versus fnding already completed models.
When Q3 lacked needed code, it always proved challenging to integrate
someone else’s code for our needs. Skeletal animation was one such example.
The newsgroup community member who contributed the code and ideas for the
original skeletal animation stopped responding to requests on the on-line forum,
thus, we were lef to fnish implementing the code on our own. Fortunately,
the existing code was complete to the point that it was not too difcult to
implement it into our game.
Building the virtual world and integrating the player with the world also proved
to be quite challenging. Q3 diferentiates between static objects that are
typically decorative (like trees) and architectural geometry, called “brushes.” By
default, the player could pass right through trees, tombstones, etc. The solution
was to draw an invisible box to enclose these objects that would block the
player. These invisible boxes were made of the brush geometry. The distinction
proved quite unintuitive and frustrating during our frst atempts at modifcation.
Also, objects that were take-able had to be set up in the engine quite diferently
than objects that were not take-able. We wanted the functionality to be able to
examine a number of objects, whether they were take-able or not.
In spite of the difculties, the Q3 engine did provide much of functionality
we needed in the creation of VOSR 3D. Table 2 lists additional requirements
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to complement our design for VOSR 3D and compares those needs with Q3
features that made them less challenging to implement.
Table 2. Requirements and Q3 Features
Requirement Q3 Feature
The addition of many diferent
objects to refect the companion
text-based Voices of Spoon River
game such as trees, tombstones,
keys, etc..
The original Q3 game already
had many objects, (i.e. Guns,
powerups, etc.) so, adding more
simply built on the existing
The ability to cycle through an
inventory of items a player is
carrying, and chose one to use.
Q3 had code for this already in
place, I merely duplicated it and
modifed it.
The visual indication that the
currently selected inventory item is
shown in the player’s right hand.
Q3 had code in place for this,
namely to display the player’s
current weapon. I copied this
code and modifed it to work with
The need for a rich visual
environment for the player to
Q3 was already technically set up
to have a world, complete with
a “skybox” and other landscape
Sounds appropriate to the game to
enhance immersion.
Q3 had a great stereo sound
system already in place; we
merely had to fnd the sounds
and convert them to the right
Realistic movement of non-playing
characters (NPCs) --ghosts in our
Q3 already had nice movement
functionality (originally used for
moving platforms), we used this
to move the ghosts.
Q3 also had a great shader
system that allowed us to fade
the legs out and make the ghosts
appear to foat above the ground.
Eventually, the game started to come together and we could identify some of
what we felt were “successes.” For example, when we fnally fgured out how
the Q3 lighting system worked, we created the tone and feel that our group
had designed for, that of a dusky night-time feel, complete with a moonlit sky.
Adding sound efects also proved very satisfying, as it enhanced the game play
by geting more senses involved, and increased a feel of presence in the virtual
Other ideas that proved to be successful were based on using unlikely aspects
of the game engine to fulfll our requirements. For example, we needed to have
non-playing characters (NPCs) as ghosts to interact with the player. Q3 already
had an extensive “bot” library in place where one could create enemies to fght.
However, we did not need all of that functionality. So, we made our NPCs static
objects, and used movement code to make them “pace” back and forth, much as
the original Q3 moved platforms back and forth.
Another example of utilizing unlikely aspects is proximity checking. We needed
players to be right next to an object before they could take it. We also wanted
players to be somewhat close to an object before they could examine it. To
accomplish this, we looked at code related to homing missile functionality
contributed by a community member and adapted it for our purposes.
Review of literature—Linking the Technology to Instructional Design
A brief review of the literature helps clarify many of the design strategies
implemented in VOSR 3D to help it align with instructional design principles.
Students may struggle with poetry due to lack of motivation. Games can couch
learning objectives in a situation/context that is more interesting and fun for the
learners (BECTA Agency, 2001; Shelton & Wiley, 2006).
Some of the lure of traditional arcade games is that of extending one’s game
play due to bonus points or exemplary skills (Bernstein, 2001). Player’s don’t
want the game to end. VOSR 3D was built on this by having a global tracking
score that counts down to zero as learners solve puzzles. A separate score
counts up as players gain points by picking up relevant items, or make progress
towards solving a puzzle. The point systems aid the player by motivating them to
continue on and provide guidance to keep them on the right track.
People play video games largely in part due to fantasy, challenge, and curiosity
(see Kirriemuir, 2002; Malone & Lepper, 1987). VOSR 3D should be beter able
to contribute to fantasy, and possibly curiosity, than the text-based VOSR
because of the whimsical nature of the visual, virtual world environment that
has been created. Games model a subset of reality and give players a safe
environment in which to experiment (Crawford, 1997). VOSR 3D is a stylized
representation of a small town in the early 1900’s, with the goal of having
learners psychologically feel like they are actually there. Players own fantasies
are a key aspect in making the game “psychologically real” (Crawford, 1997).
Users’ interaction with a “mediated” environment is also one of the most
signifcant contributors to presence, or having a sense of “being there”
(McMahan, 2003). In VOSR 3D, learners are able to manipulate objects to
solve puzzles in a fuid and dynamic manner. McMahan also writes the degree
of interaction between participants and the quality of social interaction (which
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includes interacting with NPC’s) directly determines presence. VOSR 3D strives
to create NPC’s that are animated in a believable way, and are approachable.
VOSR 3D aids in reading comprehension in part by its narrative, which is based
on the narrative of the original text. A game’s narrative makes the viewer/learner
a participant, allowing the learner to control some aspects of the virtual world
(Wolf, 2001). When playing games, learners must work at a “higher cognitive
level” than with mere recall or recognition, which is prominent in most classroom
instruction (Rude-Parkins, Miller, Ferguson, & Bauer, 2005). VOSR 3D has
puzzles, or assignments that help them beter learn about the characters and
comprehend the background of the epitaphs (DeJong & Jooligen, 1998).
Games, in a sense, demand collaboration as they present situations where
students may not be able to fgure out the solution unless they collaborate with
someone else who has discovered the solution, or may be closer to discovering
it (BECTA Agency, 2001). Social interaction can come much easier as a means
of explaining or justifying one’s game-playing strategies. Game players will
ofen explain and justify their actions to other players and discuss strategies
with students who are normally more withdrawn, helping them to speak out
(Kurriemuir & McFarlane, 2003).
“Edutainment” or traditional educational sofware titles have not been
successful because teachers atempt to design gaming elements, and game
designers atempt to design learning elements (Kirriemuir, 2002). To overcome
this, games need to have a combination of proven, efective game techniques
(contributed by game designers) combined with proven learning techniques
(contributed by teachers) (Kirriemuir, 2002). To this end, the Quake III engine
has been utilized as the underlying 3D graphics engine. This engine has been
used in many commercially successful entertainment based titles. Some of the
same puzzles from the text-based VOSR game have been implemented, which
are based on efective learning methods. Animation techniques, like skeletal
animation, used in commercially successful games have also been utilized.
Some atempts at making instructional games more engaging have failed
because the designers fnd it difcult to break certain mindsets, like explicitly
stating instructional objectives (Shelton & Wiley, 2006). Shelton & Wiley write
about three conditions for engagement in instruction. VOSR 3D contains
elements from each condition:
• Challenge: Players must solve the puzzles in the game to progress
• Proclivity: The world environment will spark interest and encourage
exploration. The puzzles will draw the player in.
• Uncertainty: Some puzzles can be solved in multiple ways, and the
player will not know the outcomes of solving the puzzles at frst. This
will encourage learners to play consistently to discover the next secret
or solution.
VOSR 3D (see Figure 1) aimed to overcome the limitations of traditional poetry
teaching methodology in several ways. We hoped that the exploration of an
interesting 3D environment would increase motivation for learners as well
as aid in making connections between the fctional characters. There were
many challenges associated with using the Q3 engine to achieve this goal,
such as programming difculties, lack of available knowledge, and outdated
tools. However, the Q3 engine provided functionality that helped us achieve
our goal, including the ability to create the virtual world and to appropriate
sound efects, among other advanced visualization afordances. Research
in instructional design played a key role in infuencing our design decisions
throughout the development process. We wanted to not only make a game that
was entertaining and motivating, but one that was grounded in learning theory.

Figure 1. Two screenshots of the fnal VOSR 3D.
There are many insights that we personally gained from the experience of
using the Q3 engine for an instructional game. We discovered the difculties of
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modifying an existing game engine and transforming it into something diferent
than its original form. However, we also experienced how active and helpful
the open source community can be in resolving design and development
questions. Most importantly of all, however, we learned that a venture of this
nature is possible and the outcome was well worth the challenge. We continue
to be impressed in how actively the Q3 engine is being used, and still being
improved by open source community volunteer members. Open source game
engines have great potential for instruction as long as those who use them
continue to push the technological capabilities to their limits. The future for
this kind of work is bright as the interest in using instructional games and
simulations gains more widespread public acceptance. This acceptance will only
increase, however, if the games developed are efective in teaching, couched in
instructional design theory, and created to a high level of quality comparable to
contemporary commercial entertainment games.
B. E. C..T. A. Agency (2001). Computer Games in Education Project. Retrieved
July 15, 2005, from htp://
Bernstein, C. (2001). Chapter 8: Play it again, Pac-man. In M. J. P. Wolf (Ed.), The
Medium of the Video Game (pp. 93-112). Austin: University of Texas Press.
Crawford, C. (1997). Chapter 1: What is a game? In The Art of Computer Game
Design: Washington State University.
DeJong, T. & Jooligen, W. R. (1998). Scientifc discovery learning with computer
simulation of conceptual domains. Review of Educational Research. 68(2),
Kirriemuir, J. (2002). Video gaming, education and digital learning technologies.
D-Lib Magazine, 8.
Kirriemuir, J. & McFarlane, A. (2003). Use of Computer and Video Games
in the Classroom. Proceedings of the Level Up Digital Games Research
Conference, Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands. htp://
articles/42.pdf (accessed July 14, 2006).
Malone, T. W. & Lepper, M. R. (1987). Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic
motivations for learning. In R. E. Snow and M. J. Farr (Eds.), Aptitude,
Learning and Instruction Volume 3: Conative and Afective Process
Analysis. Englewood Clifs, NJ: Erlbaum.
McMahan, A. (2003). Chapter 3: Immersion, engagement, and presence: A
method for analyzing 3-D video games. In M. J. P. Wolf & B. Perron (Eds.),
The Video Game Theory Reader (pp. 25-46). New York: Routledge.
Rude-Parkins, C., Miller, K., Ferguson, K., & R. Bauer (2005). Applying Gaming
and Simulation Techniques to the Design of Online Instruction. Innovate,
2(2), 1–5.
Shelton, B. E., & Wiley, D. (2006). Instructional designers take all the fun out
of games: Rethinking elements of engagement for designing instructional
games. Presented at the American Educational Research Association
(AERA) 2006, San Francisco.
Showalter, E. (2002). Chapter 4: Teaching Poetry. In Teaching Literature (pp. 62-
78). Blackwell Publishing.
Wolf, M. J. P. (2001). Chapter 5: Narrative in the video game. In M. J. P. Wolf
(Ed.), The Medium of the Video Game (pp. 93-112). Austin: University of
Texas Press.
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OCW’s Impact: The Users’ Perspective
Dawn Terkla & Lisa O’Leary, Tufs University
In spring 2004, Tufs University was invited to partner with MIT in a newly-
created Consortium for the OpenCourseWare Initiative (OCW). Tufs accepted
the invitation to participate as the principles of OCW—making content widely-
available to advance the general public’s knowledge leading to the beterment
of the nation and the world—aligns with Tufs’ core philosophy and culture. The
dedication to this initiative is refected on the Tufs OCW home page—“great
universities constantly expand their reach, working across traditional boundaries
to grasp and meet the global community’s most critical needs. This begins with
sharing knowledge—among colleagues, among departments, among schools and
fnally across countries and continents” (Tufs Website).
In June 2005, Tufs launched its OCW site. From the outset, the Tufs OCW
steering commitee was cognizant of the importance of evaluating the project’s
efcacy. An innovative on-going evaluation was implemented to assess
the usefulness of Tufs OCW, as well as, the impact of making the content
universally available to the user community. As part of the multi-stage, multi-
level evaluation plan, two user surveys were developed. The pop-up intercept
survey was designed to capture users’ impressions and atitudes toward Tufs
OCW’s content and usability.
An additional survey was developed to capture in-depth information regarding
user’s usage of the Tufs OCW content, including any impact the materials may
have had on their teaching and learning experiences. Using information obtained
from these two instruments, the authors will describe Tufs OCW’s social and
cultural impact on its user community.
This presentation will be based upon the 603 intercept survey respondents.
A total of 6,785 users have viewed the survey thus far, yielding a response rate
of approximately 8.9%. Over 25% of those respondents agreed to discuss the
impact of their experience with the evaluation team. Accordingly, 167 users have
been sent the User Follow-Up Impact Survey to date, with 37 users responding,
yielding a response rate of 22.1%. From those responses, 19 in-depth user
profles have been generated.
Over half of users have classifed themselves as self-learners, with over 40%
describing themselves as faculty members or students in a formal degree
program. These users have noted being primarily interested in human
medicine (19%) and health sciences and technology (18.2%), with users being
highly educated in those areas (31.9% with masters and 23.9% with doctoral/
professional degrees).
ì=: ì==
Preliminary fndings suggest that OCW users are:
• Downloading materials to incorporate reading materials and references
from the website into their courses
• Noting that the website afected their teaching and courses by
expanding their pedagogy and highlighting the importance of
technology into instruction
• Using the materials to create their own self-directed courses of study
and increase their own knowledge
• Utilizing the website to clarify subject mater and corroborate their
own research fndings and results
• Consulting the website as a means to test their interest in particular
subject areas prior to returning to school
• Indicating that the website peaked their interest in online resource
Kyoto University OpenCourseWare As Associative Intellectual Media
Naoko Tosa, Michihiko Minoh, Academic Center for Computing and Media
Studies, Kyoto University
Abstract: In Kyoto University, OCW have proceeded since
2005. In this article, we researched what advantage and
difculties Kyoto University has concerning “corporative
knowledge” with users around the world and how Kyoto
University has to solve it based on the viewpoint of intellectual
contribution to Japanese community and to the world. In
consequence, we found that OCW has diferent characteristic
from online education at this time. Becoming to see
educational content which couldn’t by ivory tower until now,
the vertical and intellectual layer has begun to be found in
the fooded information in parallel on the web. Those layers
make intellectual association with Wikipedia from botom up.
The new intellectual association enables to connect not only
digital world but also intellectual world to physical world and
digital world. The fnal target of this study is to lead to the
concept of “corporative knowledge—cultural forming”.
OpenCourseWare was started by MIT in 2001 as the project to open lecture
information such as syllabus and lecture note to public for free on the
Internet and provides opportunities to enhance their knowledge by using the
information. President of Kyoto University empathized and decided to launch
OCW against the Vision of MITOCW contributing to hoard of the intellectual
property. Kyoto University started OCW in 2005. In 2006, Kyoto University
reached to hold Global Open Course Ware Conference for the frst time ever in
Global Open Course Ware Conference at Kyoto in 2006
In April 2006,Global Open Course Ware Conference was jointly held in Kyoto
University with MIT.
Universities around the world that are participating in the OCW Consortium
were gathered. Also, 300 Japanese people concerned with OCW were also
gathered from throughout Japan.
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Figure 1. A leafet of Global Open course ware Conference
Figure 2. Panel Discussion of OCW by Europe, Asia, and United States
Figure 3. Panel Discussion of Japanese OCW
Briefng of OCW was provided by MIT and various problems and future
prospective discussion concerning OCW were held in the panel discussion of
Japanese OCW.
Following things were mentioned in the panel discussion.
Continuing operational expenses: We discussed how to raise funds for the
project and if we keep obtaining needed funds from our Universities hereafer
because there are no fnancial groups or the system of private benefaction
in Japan. Technical issues: there are various systems on campus, therefore,
how we can work with other systems on campus not developing OCW system
Others: we found that many Universities have the problems concerning
copyright and changes in the consciousness of teachers. We have to think how
to continue OCW in the future i.e. which budget we use, if OCW is education, if
we treat OCW as repository like a library, or a part of advertising.
At the conference, we announced that Japanese OCW consortium (JOCW) was
founded aiming for enlightenment of JOCW and intended operational know-
how of OCW in Japan.
What is the reason to start Kyoto University OCW?
50 courses are currently operating in Kyoto University OCW. OCW enhances
visibility and is a social contribution of University and syllabus details. It’s usually
difcult to understand the contents of lectures.
Therefore, it’s plain to see presenting lecture note. Advantages of teacher are
ì=ó ì=/
1. Doesn’t need to bring the copies of materials (lecture note) by
2. Be able to compare, refer and quote from other OCW
3. Can be assemble target students adequately by opening the content of
the course.
4. Be able to obtain feedback from both on campus and of campus.
5. Be able to improve course content and feel fulflled.
6. According to factors above, internal communication will be improved.
Excellent high school students begin to have an interest in going Universities by
seeing OCW. Moreover, OCW can be information of self learning and a method
geting excellent self learners.
We are considering assembling excellent foreign students from Asia. We
haven’t had the opportunity to know what lectures have been presented in the
other departments; however, we are able to know that by OCW. Knowing and
advertising what research is being conducted on campus each other become big
public relations and it makes University publicity and visibility improved. OCW
can be one of the opportunities.
Figure 4. Top page of Kyoto University OpenCourseWare
OCW is Not Education
OCW is a media presenting educational information in University. We are
considering promoting OCW by developing a partnership with publisher as
advertising media. I mean, OCW is a public relations media.
Students come to University by seeing OCW website, it can be said that it’s
the same as trading via the Internet. Research and education are conducted
in University; therefore, activities relating to education are put on the OCW
website. Activities relating to research are stored in the researcher bibliography.
Archive of OCW activities is also needed and we have an idea of making
repository and dividing archives to old course of OCW and current course
of OCW. Digitizing course materials, utilizing it in the class room, distributing
it by web, supporting to structure the contents, distant lecture in overseas
Universities, archives of lecture and public opening of examination are
presented in Kyoto University. In consideration of those eforts above, OCW
project and OCW support system have to make structure that every teacher
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can put their lecture on the website personally and then OCW project bring its
educational materials to the public (outside) and cooperate with the outside.
We, Kyoto University OCW, believe that people keep learning whole life long
and when the learning becomes creative, it turns to entertainment.
Taking advantage of the University that brought out Nobel Prize winners
such as Dr. Hideki Yukawa who received the 1949 Nobel Prize in Physics for
predicting (1935) the existence of the meson. And Dr. Shinichiro Tomonaga, In
1965, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics alongside Julian Schwinger and
Richard P. Feynman) for the study of QED, specifcally for the discovery of the
renormalization theory. We are aiming at good-quality portal site on the Internet
that users can study for themselves.
Figure 5. Nobel Prize in Physics winners from Kyoto University:
Dr. Hideki Yukawa and Dr. Sin-itiro Tomonaga
Based on the concept, Kyoto University OCW forms associative intellectual
portal site that has the view from contents producers and self-learners. First of
all, on-campus teachers, OCW contents producers, are able to post their lecture
title, outline, schedule, PDF lecture note, examination, report, assignment, and
reference as support tool of their lecture. The edit of contents on the web
like a Wiki and edit function, which is independent environment, are available.
By going through the stage from building a website to preview, validation and
disclosure, we can build contents and disclose contents in one site at once.
More over, seting various user authorities, enough work-sharing is easily
realized. It is able to distribute lecture videos, reference image and extension
class of well-known professors by podcasting and learn those enjoyably and
with one’s lifestyle. It has the advantage of ubiquitous contents that can learn
anytime and anywhere by downloading those learning materials to an iPod. The
enhanced use is expected from now. Kyoto University OCW is aiming for such a
media structure.
Example Case Studies of Course: “Organ Transplant”
We introduce how teachers utilize OCW having the value in Course title
“Organ transplant” in faculty of Medicine by showing the example. Organ
transplant has evolved from experimental medical into general medical
treatment since the 1980s along with the development of surgical technique
and immunosuppressant. The frst successful experience was held in Australia
In 1989. Organ transplant started in 1990 in Kyoto University and exceeded 1000
cases in 2004. It has been done twice a week and the largest number of actual
performance has been succeeded. We transmit the insight obtained in this
course of history in academic conference and academic journal and moreover,
we have accepted interns from all over the world. Nowadays, issue of living liver
transplantation has been atracted and studied moralistically and socially.
Ofering fundamental knowledge of living liver transplantation, extracted
data through actual clinical experience and advanced medical transplantation
meet the needs of society in this background. Sufcient human resources are
needed for Organ transplant as well as modern high medical. Important thing for
surgeon to be needed is not only technique but also applied skill of advanced
knowledge such as immunology that prevent the rejection and infection
disease arising from immune suppressor. Surgical technique has also developed
remarkably for 10 years.
ìuo ìuì
Figure 6. Course note “Organ transplant” in faculty of Medicine
In the course title ”Organ transplant”, we presented transplanted disorder,
advance of surgical technique, postoperative management, donor choice,
current state of liver transplant for cirrhosis hepatitis C and liver cancer,
forefront of blood type incompatibility transplant, organ transplant and ethics.
Ultimate level of surgical technique in transplant for adult and children is
presented in the video. Furthermore, training project was also disclosed against
young physician aiming living liver transplantation. Presenting information to
students on campus, faculties, students of campus, researcher of associated
institute, high school students applying for Kyoto University, people seeking
further study and patients by OCW project is to contribute to the society and
accumulation of intellectual assets and also our ultimate pleasure.
For the Future Prospects of Kyoto University OCW
On the view of self-learner, we have been developing “User Note” that users
are able to store their interesting knowledge and memory on the web to learn
the contents of Kyoto University OCW enjoyably. Users are able to scrap the
lectures chosen from OCW, read place, marked place, interesting drawings,
picture, interested sound and image information automatically.
On the user map, the users can save the history of the place information where
users have already navigated through the OCW site and see the feedback of
knowledge context by themselves. In addition to this, it has “MY inspiration”
that users search interested items according to their inspiration or image.
When users input their interested felds such as “history” or “engineering”, all
the relevant felds from history to engineering are displayed by the associative
Figure 7. Result of “MY inspiration” search connection “history” and
It consists of OCW lectures, relevant items on the web, OCW from other
institutions. Choosing an optional relevant item, users are connected to optional
lecture note of OCW or optional relevant website on the Internet.
It is the purpose of Kyoto University OCW to Expand own inspiration
interestedly and pleasantly and portal site which gives us mental motivation. The
fnal target of this study is to lead to the concept of “corporative knowledge ・
cultural forming”.
Wiley, D. A. (2004). Scalability and sociability in online learning environments.
In O’Neil, N. & Perez, R. (Eds.). Web-based Learning: Theory, Research, and
Practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
MIT OCW htp://
Matsuoka, S & Tosa, N.(2005) Inspiration Computing Robot: ACM SIGGRAPH
Art Show proceedings, P154
Michihiko Minoh, “Five Years Experiences of International Distance Learning
Project TIDE”, Report on multimedia education, Vol.44-2004-1 P.85-97,
WordNet (Princeton University, htp://
Edinburgh Associative Thesaurus (Kiss, et al.; htp://
Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium (htp://
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A Research Agenda for Open Educational Resources: Summary and Highlights
of an On-line Forum Convened by the International Institute for Educational
Planning (UNESCO)
Kim Tucker, CISR/Meraka Institute
This session summarises the online discussion convened by the IIEP/UNESCO
earlier this year on developing a research agenda for Open Educational
Resources (OER). The aim was to generate a list of important questions, to
categorise them and prioritise towards research action.
The participants generated over 100 questions which were classifed into
12 classes forming the basis for the discussion which covered existing OER
initiatives, current levels of use, collaborative authoring, technology, learning
from other “open” initiatives, quality assurance, dissemination and access in the
broad sense: fnding OERs, reusability, localisation, connectivity issues, cost,
licensing, equality, socio-cultural factors, etc.
Keen insights were shared by prominent members of the community which
inspired discussion on such things as learning from free/libre and open source
sofware, whether learning from the past will be useful in a very diferent
future, and the development of a “Do-It-Yourself” or “Do-It-Together” (DIY/T)
OER portal. The later inspired a separate follow-up discussion. The depth and
breadth of knowledge shared clearly indicated “strength in diversity” within
the community of over 500 participants from around the world. Instead of
a fxed list of priority questions, the research agenda was redefned as an
ongoing process of communication among researchers, to harness the diverse
knowledge and experience of the community for efective knowledge sharing
and collaboration.
Several actions were proposed during the discussion towards a shared vision
of improved OER practice through global interaction. The actions include
“formal activities” such as research reviews, workshops and further discussion,
and “informal activities” via community support and participation in the formal
activities, powered by the enthusiasm and changing needs of the community.
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Intellectual Property in Open Educational Resources
Lindsey Weeramuni & Steve Carson, MIT OpenCourseware
Intellectual property was originally thought to be one of MIT OCW’s biggest
challenges. Convincing faculty to openly share the teaching materials they
created was only the frst step. Most faculty materials include content not
owned by the faculty—charts, graphs, illustrations and quotes taken from a wide
range of sources and incorporated into lecture notes and assignments.
Early estimates suggested that there might be tens of thousands of such
“objects” embedded in the materials from the 1,800 courses MIT had commited
to publishing. In the past four years, we have developed systems and strategies
that have changed dealing with third party content in open publication from
a major concern to a routine part of our publication process. We currently
address more than 6,000 third party intellectual property issues each year in
the publication of approximately 450 courses.
In this presentation, we will share our experiences with the following: How to
identify third party content. Where does it tend to be located? How to choose
and implement the appropriate strategy What systems and processes would
help? How much work is it? How efective is it? What are some expectations of
cost? What future options are there for handling third party content? Strategies
for “clearing” valuable third party content in OER projects, such as those we’ve
developed at MIT OCW, are vital to increasing the volume of raw materials
available for reuse and remix.
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Taking the Tools to the Content: Learner Support for OER
David Wiley, Shelley Henson, Justin Ball, COSL/Utah State University
Abstract: COSL is designing a set of small, synergistic tools
designed specifcally to advance the state of the art in
supporting end users’ abilities to fnd educational resources,
reuse educational resources, and close the feedback loop
between end users and content authors.
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Support Services for OCW and other OERs in Japanese National Gateway
Tsuneo Yamada and Yasutaka Shimizu, National Institute of Multimedia
Education (NIME), Japan
Abstract: The accumulation and utilization of high-quality
digital learning materials is one of the critical factors for
the further progresses in the educational reform and in
the technology-enhanced learning. In order to support the
development and utilization in universities and colleges and
to promote the co-use and re-use among faculties, NIME
constructed a national gateway for sharing and distributing
digital learning resources, called “NIME-glad (Gateway to
Learning for Ability Development)”. “NIME-glad” is expected
to be a one-stop center for e-Learning, a test-bed of digital
learning resources, a marketplace of digital learning
content and an online community. Its current functionalities
are metadata referatory, content repository and course
management. In addition, NIME has investigated on those of
content brokerage, intelligent search, copyright processing,
quality assurance, learner/faculty support and so on. While
NIME participated in GLOBE (Global Learning Object
Brokered Exchange) Initiative as a founder member in 2004,
it joined OpenCourseWare Consortium as an afliate in
2006. In order to build up sustainable frameworks for OERs,
several value-added services of the federated repository and
referatory were discussed.
Digital learning resources in Japanese higher education
The utilization of high-quality digital learning materials is one of the essential
requirements for further progress of educational reform using Information
Technology (IT). As in many countries, it is a critical issue for Japanese
institutions to sustain their development, accumulation and utilization. Sharing
and reuse of digital learning materials is one of the efective solutions and the
concept of “Learning Object (LO)” is an example.
Our defnition of LO is narrower than that of IEEE (cf. IEEE, 2002), as other
overseas consortia and researchers did, that is,
(1) LOs are digital learning materials on the WWW.
(2) LOs are originally designed and developed to be sharable and reusable.
(3) While a courseware is a LO, the materials/modules/components of the
courseware can be other LOs simultaneously. By preparing adequate and/
or multiple levels of granularity, we can decrease the context-dependency
of them.
(4) Each LO has metadata.
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(5) LOs in small size can be developed with the small fnancial resources or
by the limited number of developers. It means even an individual, such as a
teacher or a professor, can be a content provider on the Internet.
Afer 1990s, in North America, Europe and Oceania, several consortia for
co-developing and sharing digital learning materials have been organized
among universities and other educational sectors, and they have constructed
referatories of metadata and repositories of learning materials on the WWW.
In Japan, while NIER (National Institute for Educational Policy Research) has
constructed NICER (National Information Center for Educational Resources)
mainly for K-12 Education in FY2001, NIME started the Educational Information
Portal Services mainly for higher education in FY2003. Both institutions
aggregate LOM-based metadata. They exchanged each other metadata
periodically for users’ conveniences.
Japanese Government strongly pushed the dissemination of Japanese
digital content to the world in “e-Japan Strategic Plan II (htp://www.kantei. On the other hand, we had many
issues to be solved, such as human capacity building program in this area,
infrastructure of content distribution, quality assurance system for the content,
and social and legal agreements on content copyright processing.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
supported the development of quality learning content in higher education and
in lifelong learning. While “Modern Good Practice Program” was implemented to
assist the improvements of teaching in higher education from FY2004, ”Grass-
roots e-Learning System” was to support new service prototypes for vocational
training from FY2005.
The Missions and Activities of NIME (cf. Oblinger, 2006)
NIME is an Independent Administrative Institution. NIME was established as a
government-funded national center to promote the educational reform using
IT. To the ministry (MEXT) as a policy planner / maker, NIME is charge of the
support of policy implementation, especially research and survey. NIME has
various services to support Japanese and overseas institutions and faculties or
stafs in higher education, life-long learning or vocational education. The triple
main features of NIME are 1) research and development of e-Learning and
Technology Enhanced Teaching/Learning, 2) dissemination of research outcomes
and 3) education in graduate level. NIME’s current projects are 1) nationwide
Infrastructure (i.e. Space Collaboration System, SCS, FY1997-: a nationwide
teleconference system using satellite communication network; NIME-glad,
FY2004-: a digital learning content distribution and brokerage system), 2) digital
learning resources (e.g. learning content, e-Learning support tools), 3) faculty
development (FD) programs 4) community shaping, and 5) survey & consulting
(Yamada et al., 2004ab)
In FY2002, NIME organized a consortium of consortia, that is, a meta-consortia
to fnd out solutions cooperatively to common issues among member consortia
(“the Council for IT Support in Higher Education”, the current number of
the member consortia is twelve). All of members focus on e-learning and
improvements of higher education by IT application. One of their current issues
is how to realize sharing and co-use of learning content. As the council is based
on various academic felds and funding bodies, we consider this consortium will
take an important role in the process of shaping agreements for the sharing and
reuse of learning materials in Japan.
Vision on the Progress of Inter-Institutional Sharing and Distribution of Digital
Learning Resources in Japan
Table 1 shows the progress stages of inter-institutional sharing and distribution
of digital learning resources in Japan and the roles of Japanese professors
or teachers, their institutions (universities, colleges or schools) and national
centers, such as NIME and NIER, only in the context of the development of
digital learning materials (DLM).
At Stage 1, everybody believed digital materials should been provided by public
sectors and private companies. The roles of professors and teachers were
to utilize learning materials in their classrooms without major transformation;
national centers provided “standard” fxed materials.
At Stage 2, under the fnancial supports by the government or other funding
bodies, some keen professors and teachers have begun to develop their own
DLM. As the number of DLM is still limited, their institutions do not need the
special management and distribution. The roles of national centers in this
stage are to support their development both technically and fnancially. Some
institutions asked national centers to provide content repository service in
order not to have their own. In Japan, the situation is moving from Stage 2 to
Stage 3.
At Stage 3, many professors and teachers have begun to develop LO or LO-
like materials. Some universities also prepare their own repositories in order
to manage beter their intellectual properties. In this stage, another mission is
added to the national centers, that is, to promote the reuse and distribution of
LO among domestic and overseas repositories, for example, by constructing
federated search system.
At Stage 4, professors and teachers will fnd more advanced use of LO or
other DLM, which are based on some international standards (e.g. SCORM),
and customize or personalize DLM in each learning process. In the process,
professors and teachers may specialize and share the roles, such as, users,
developers, evaluators or coordinators. If private sectors launch the LOM
management service, national centers, like NIME as a governmental institute,
should fnd other niches, that is, new value-added services. We consider
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copyright processing support, quality assurance support or gateway services to
overseas will be promising.
Most of Japanese universities and colleges will begin to construct their own
content repositories and metadata referatories hereafer. At the moment, we
need some standards and reference models in order to avoid unnecessary
complicatedness in inter-institutional distribution system of digital learning
content. In addition, with the popularization of content development
environments and professors’ preparedness for it, national centers should
change their roles and functions.
Table 1 Progress stage of inter-institutional sharing and distribution of digital
learning resources in Japan.
The gray ground shows the current situation in 2006 in Japan.
DLM: Digital Learning Materials, LO: Learning Object,
Stage Contributions of
professors and
Roles of institutions
(e.g. universities,
colleges, board of
Missions of national
infrastructures’ or
national centers (e.g.
private sectors
Use of DLM Purchase of DLM Development &
Distribution of
(standard) DLM
+ Development of
type courseware,
Production of DLM + Support of
Development of DLM
+ Accumulation of
DLM (national Content
+ Development of
DLM (Reusable
+ Content Repository
repository for
courseware & LO)
Support of
construction of
institutional repository
among Institutional
repositories (metadata
& Marketplace
Advanced Use
(SCORM, adaptive
Role-sharing &
+ Inter-institutional
+ Distribution (Reuse)
of materials
+ additional values
(Copyright processing
, Quality assurance,
Gateway to overseas)
NIME-glad (“NIME-Gateway to Learning for Ability Development”; htp://nime-
In NIME’s mid-term plan of FY2004-2008, a national infrastructure for the
sharing and distribution of digital learning resources is one of our strategically
important goals. While NIME had already begun several services before, NIME
integrated them into the new “NIME-glad” system (Shimizu & Hanley, 2005,
Figure 1). The national infrastructure should have several roles, that is,
• One-stop center for e-Learning and Technology enhanced learning/
• Test-bed of products
• Marketplace of learning digital resources
• Online/ofine community
In order to cope with various needs and requests from universities and colleges,
it has multiple services, such as metadata referatory, content repository, course
management system and so on. The information portal services using mobile
phone system is one of new value-added functions. It also contains learning/
instructional materials, course-authoring tools, pros and cons of IT-based
practices of education, and college syllabi information.
In addition, “NIME-glad” is expected to function as an international gateway
to overseas institutions and learners. It has English homepages for delivering
Japanese content and has started new federated search services under the
collaboration with GLOBE members (Figure 2).
Figure 1 Grand design of “NIME-glad (Gateway to Learning for Ability
Development)” (from NIME handbook, by Shimizu, Y.)
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Figure 2 The top page of “NIME-glad” English version
The dashed rectangular line shows the federated search window.
NIME as an OCW Afliate
Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium (JOCW, htp://
In the autumn of 2002, Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT) launched a
new innovative project that serves to the global knowledge-based society and
to potential learners all over the world (OpenCourseWare, OCW, htp://ocw. In Japan, OCW started with MIT’s promotion to several
leading universities in 2004. On May 13, 2005, the start-up of OCW activities in
Japan was ofcially announced on the joint press release by the presidents of
six universities, that is, Keio University, Kyoto University, Osaka University, Tokyo
Institute of Technology, University of Tokyo and Waseda University. In December
2005, three national universities (Hokkaido University, Kyushu University and
Nagoya University) joined Japanese OCW framework, and NIME joined as an
associated member. On April 20, 2006, Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium
(JOCW) has been ofcially established. At that moment, NIME was also
recognized as an afliate to global OCW framework.
Why did NIME Participate in JOCW?
One of NIME’s missions is to support innovative activities of Japanese
universities, colleges or technical colleges for their e-learning or technology
enhanced teaching. Through several opportunities (e.g. Miyagawa, 2003;
Haghseta, 2004), NIME recognized that the philosophy and concept of OCW
should be disseminated in Japan and that NIME should support it with high
priority when some Japanese institutions join OCW or start similar services.
NIME’s activities in JOCW
As an afliate, NIME supports the dissemination activities of JOCW and
decreases their burdens in the maintenance. While NIME can provide some
communication facilities for JOCW conferences (e.g. SCS mobile satellite
station), its main service at present is metadata tagging. Under the requests
from the member organizations, NIME analyzes new registered content in the
member sites, tags a metadata draf and send it to the source. The member
organization checks and corrects it and sends back to NIME. The metadata is
aggregated in both in NIME-glad and in the content repository in the member.
The numbers of current registered metadata are shown in Table 2. In addition,
NIME tagged one thousand and more metadata of other OCW content for
Japanese users.
Table 2 Numbers of metadata NIME tagged for JOCW member universities
as of 7th August 2006
Institutions No. of
metadata of
No. of
of English
Hokkaido University 14 2
Keio University 12 12
Kyoto University 46 46
Kyushu University 21 0
Nagoya University 24 0
Osaka University 30 30
Tokyo Institute of Technology 137 23
University of Tokyo 24 21
Waseda University 12 12
Total 320 146
NIME as a founder member of GLOBE initiative
Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE)
In several counties or regions, collaborations between the consortia that manage
learning content repositories and/or metadata referatories had been started.
For example, eduSourceCanada was a Pan-Canadian umbrella organization for
provincial repositories / referatories.
In order to facilitate the international exchange and sharing of LOs (GLOBE,
2004), in the September of 2004, Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange
(GLOBE) alliance was established among the following founding members:
the ARIADNE (EU, Alliance of Remote Instructional Authoring & Distribution
Networks for Europe, htp://, Duval, 2003), education.
au limited (Australia, htp://, eduSourceCanada (Canada,
htp://, McGreal et al., 2004), MERLOT (North America,
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the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, htp://, Hanley, 2003), and NIME in Japan. As eduSourceCanada
terminated as a project, it was replaced with LORNET (htp://
index.htm) in February, 2006.
The initial fve members had common backgrounds. Each had an orientation
to contribute to Global Knowledge-based Society and missions to promote
educational improvements or reforms through providing high-quality Learning
Materials and Educational Information. Each was asked to be a regional gateway
(hub) in Europe, North America, Australia or Japan, and found drastically
increasing needs and demands for DLM under the limited fnancial and human
resources. As a result, they found a solution to reach “Critical Mass” thorough
international collaboration.
The fve members reached to the agreements on the organization and the
initial goals (cf. GLOBE homepage). The shared basic concept are 1) global
collaboration on a shared vision of ubiquitous access to quality educational
content, 2) development of use cases, specifcations, business rules and
technologies which will enable searches across the repositories, 3) use of
federated search technologies to search across multiple databases and digital
libraries and 4) open organization, not a closed “club”.
At present, GLOBE organized Technology Council, Stewardship/Business
Plan Council, Communications Plan Taskforce and GLOBE Website Taskforce.
Toward ofcial opening of GLOBE in 2007, they had various dissemination
activities in each region.
Why did NIME participate in GLOBE? : NIME’s expectations to GLOBE
At frst, GLOBE is a powerful gateway to overseas, which facilitates the
import / export of Japanese DLM through its federated search network.
Secondly, GLOBE can provide a test-bed for quality assurance of DLM, in
which users can compare the quality of content / metadata / other services,
and in which providers can improve the quality with sustainability or check
the implementation processes of International standards. Thirdly, GLOBE has
potentiality to shape globe-wide community for sharing DLM. User community
and researchers of GLOBE members have totally potentiality for new value-
added services.
Other value-added services, such as copyright processing and quality assurance,
may be discussed in the future. Most of our content is in Japanese and we need
“localization” processes in several aspects from both technology and business
On the globe, many higher educational institutions have just launched or
planned their own learning content repositories. In order to share the content
more seamlessly, it is necessary to have both the common framework for
exchanging and reusing the content and the reference models of the content
repository. NIME and GLOBE have started to examine such possibilities under
the collaboration with international standards bodies.
NIME’s Contributions to GLOBE
Our current contributions to GLOBE are 1) connecting pier-to-pier simple
federated search, 2) participations in the councils and taskforces, and 3)
dissemination, especially GLOBE-NIME seminar in Japan.
In GLOBE, our frst concern is on the construction of federated search system
across multiple referatories. We have almost built pier-to-pier type simple
federated search networks. At NIME, we started ofcial services between
ARIADNE-NIME and MERLOT-NIME, and just building those between and LORNET-NIME. In addition, GLOBE Technology Council
has started discussion on the architecture of the next-generation advanced
federated search system.
NIME has participated in all of the councils and taskforces, and supports the
GLOBE Website (htp:// In order to disseminate GLOBE
activities in Japan and Asian-Pacifc countries, we had GLOBE-NIME seminar in
2004 and 2005. The next seminar will be held in February, 2007.
Collaborations With Other OER/LO Projects
At present, many organizations in the world accumulate sharable learning
content and manage them by using metadata. NIME has partnerships with such
organizations in order to facilitate sharing and reuse in larger scale. In Japan,
NIME has a special partnership with NICER (National Information Center for
Educational Resources). While NIME aggregates LOM-based metadata mainly
for higher education and lifelong learning, NICER accumulates LOM originally
for K-12 education. Both institutions exchange each other metadata periodically
and examine the more efcient utilization.
In addition, NIME examines the possible collaborations in these felds with
domestic and overseas partners, such as Cyber Campus Consortium (CCC)
-TIES in Japan, KERIS (Korea Education and Research Information Service) in
Korea, Thailand Cyber University (TCU) Initiative in Thailand.
Technical and Business Issues Remaining
Next Generation Federated Search Architecture
At present, NIME-glad participates in “pier to pier” federated search network
in GLOBE framework. In order to cope with various problems, which are
predicted, to occur when participating sites increase in future, GLOBE
Technology Council are discussing the new architecture. OAI-PMH (“The Open
Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting”; htp://www.openarchives.
org/), CORDRA (“Content Object Repository Discovery and Registration
Architecture”; htp://; Rehak, Dodds, & Lannom, 2005) and OKI
(“Open Knowledge Initiative”, htp:// are also provide
powerful frameworks for advanced search.
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High quality learning content to each learner is what is designed considering
specifc contexts. When the content is exchanged and reused in diferent
contexts, some localization processes are indispensable. Especially in the
international exchange, we found various diferences in curriculum, pedagogy
and other linguistic and cultural factors. Universities and faculties as content
providers need some guidelines and supports when they export their content.
On the other hand, learners ofen feel inconveniences when they use foreign
content without localization. NIME studies various factors in localization in the
limited number of subjects with overseas collaborators.
Value-added services
When we consider international sharing and distribution, we ofen meet with
various roadblocks caused by diferences among countries. One of the critical
issues is that of copyright and intellectual properties. Even if the agreements
on “open” content, we have still some limitation from the law system in each
country and social and cultural diferences. For example, Japanese “exemptions
for educational uses” have some diferences from the fair-use (for example, “the
Creative Commons”, htp:// Quality of the content and
metadata may be another serious issue in the near future.
On the other hand, by using various metadata items in LOM (IEEE, 2002), we
can realize various value-added services. The standardized description of rights
items in metadata is also an important issue (cf. htp:// By using
some felds of Annotation or Educational items in LOM, we can describe various
information for quality assurance and user supports.
Prospects: For sustainable development of OER and other DLMs
Collaboration to Reach “Critical Mass”
Sharing and reuse of digital learning materials should be understood in the more
holistic viewpoint of knowledge sharing in global knowledge-based society. In
Web 2.0 world, personalization also progresses, and much more materials will
be necessary. At present, many organizations predict that, under each limited
fnancial and human resources, a broader alliance among them will be efective
and efcient to reach the “critical mass” or “tipping point” for drastic spread of
digital leaning materials (DLMs). To reach the goals, we should share some basic
concepts and frameworks in technical and business aspects.
“Marketplace” for Share and Exchange
From the view that knowledge is the common property of human beings and
should be shared such as “open source” and “open content”, quality DLM should
be accessible universally, especially from potential users in developing countries.
On the other hand, the development and maintenance of DLM need various
resources, typically fnancial backgrounds. At the moment, Japanese universities
and faculties have various needs and strategies on the distribution of their
outcomes. Some plan to provide as OER and others need some pay-back for
the sustainability. Both are the customers’ requests NIME should regard. We
consider that various business models of the development, distribution or
brokerage should be examined in some “marketplace” and that “marketplace”
in which users can compare various products and services should be sustained
under the collaborations of public/private and domestic/international sectors.
In the “marketplace”, both free and open materials and commercial materials
can be compared and accessed in the given condition. Each user can decide the
most adequate materials to meet with each condition considering the balance of
quality (value) and budget (cost). As a result, NIME plans to have some functions
of electronic charge on the web.
Community and Value-Added Services
In order to maintain some brokerage systems like GLOBE, they need some
atractiveness for users. In addition to advanced federated search, copyright
processing and quality assurance can be also one of such value-added services.
One way of the brokerage organization is to share digital learning content in the
community. With new perspectives of teaching and learning, such as learner-
centered approach and technology-enhanced teaching, professors and teachers
are seeking the opportunities to train themselves and the community in which
they can share their experiences. Both community maintenance and faculty
development have become more important for the organization. Each GLOBE
member organization has various professor/teacher support functions.
This research was partially supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientifc Research
(A) to the authors (Grant No, 17200048). We thank Mr. Masahisa Kogawara and
other colleagues at NIME for their cooperation in collecting the statistics on
metadata in NIME-glad.
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