Open Ed's Not-Quite 95 Theses
We're not planning to nail it to President Samuelson's door just yet, but our class discussion on the evolving value proposition of open education yielded some intriguing results. The premise here is that in order to remain viable, let alone accomplish its admittedly lofty goals, this next generation of open educational resources and practices must offer something to the institutions that support it beyond warm fuzzies...or positive PR...or 5-year infusions of funding. In short, it's got to make a difference in the education of current, fee-paying, sitting-in-the-classroom students or the axe won't stay hovering for long.
So what can openness offer the on-campus student? Here's a start:
- Better material used in courses
- Faster/cheaper course development
- Improved access to content (device-driven and adaptable)
- Explicit connections/access to background material (instead of just saying "you remember linear algebra...right?" the instructor can actually link back to the foundational material from a previous course. Students with such access may even perform better in advanced courses.)
- Increased efficiency in academic advisement (students can take on many of these functions themselves--more information up-front about a course will lead to lower drop rates, less time lost to resulting schedule inefficiencies and lower administrative costs.)
- Faculty modeling critical skills of collaboration and team work.