Identifying priorities for research
Advising a fundraising organisation on priorities for research in open education, choosing three from the following list:
- Sustainability – many OER projects have received initial funding from organisations such as the Hewlett Foundation. How sustainable are they after the funding stops?
- Pedagogy – are different ways of teaching required to make effective use of open education?
- Barriers to uptake – what prevents individuals or institutions from either using or engaging with open education?
- Learner support – how can learners best be supported in these open models?
- Technology – what technologies are best suited to open approaches?
- Quality – how can we assure the quality of open educational content?
- Rights – how do we protect the intellectual property of individuals while encouraging wide distribution?
Instinctively I would recommend focussing on the following for research priorities, I would also suggest that a target type of student would also help to clarify some of these issues:
Learner support, primarily because although many people start open education courses, particularly MOOCs, far fewer finish. The make-up of the student body, i.e. people in the field of education and already well-educated, is also indicative that these initiatives are not reaching their intended audience.
Pedagogy, it is only logical that in order to enable a system of open education, the method of teaching will have to change significantly. Is it enough to simply provide materials, some resources, a few computer quizzes and the occasional forum? Plainly not. But if not then what?
Barriers to uptake, this would go well with my first choice, partly because these are two sides of the same coin.
Clow, D., (2013). MOOCs and the funnel of participation. Third Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK 2013) [online]. Available at http://oro.open.ac.uk/36657/1/DougClow-LAK13-revised-submitted.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2014)
Jordan, K., (nd) MOOC Completion Rates: The Data [online]. Available at http://www.katyjordan.com/MOOCproject.html (Accessed 21 March 2014)