The number and depth of the resources David Wiley provides in this section was a bit overwhelming, but it also is a reflection of the recent increase in attention that has occurred with open education. There are so many facets that can be explored, researched, and developed with this topic. Where to start??
I started with David Wiley’s talk on Open Education and the Future My favorite part was his descriptions of the role of openness in education. Open is what we do. We share our knowledge and the resources we find with students, we share our creativity when we design courses, and we do so because that is what education is; a collaborative mutual sharing of knowledge between people. However, our own ego’s and selfish motives have created a system where knowledge has been “owned” instead of shared. Maybe because of the idea that it is nonrivalous. You can’t take my knowledge away from me. It is mine no matter what. With everything else is society that we think of as “mine” we think of as owning and needing to protect, by holding it tightly and staking our claim. But then came the internet. We need to go back to kindergarten and learn how to share and why it is important to share what we think of as “mine”. As a reminder here is an excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s 1990 book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten pg 6-7.
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten. All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.
So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.
Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
My goals for taking this course include building a knowledge base on openness in education that will allow me to properly integrate the use of OER’s into online course design for adult learners. I also want to make sure that this is done, not based on what is shiny and new, but on sound adult learning theories. So I next explored the resources with this in mind.
According to the OER Handbook for Educators The term “Open Educational Resource(s)” (OER) refers to educational resources (lesson plans, quizzes, syllabi, instructional modules, simulations, etc.) that are freely available for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing. So pretty much anything used for education that is free and meets the the 4 R’s of open content. The handbook covers many of the topics educators need to know to use OER: How to find, compose, adapt, use, share, and license OER. It is a good intro to the different topics, their benefits and issues. This is a great resource for my first goal. As was many of the other resources. The Basic Guide to OER lead me to the Catalogue of OER related website where it is kept updated. Links include other resources, OCW initiatives, textbooks, content specific resources.
I next decided to search through the resources for anything I could find concerning adult learning theories related to OER’s. I found little within the documents. I did find within “A Review of the Open Educational Resources Movement: Achievement, Challenges and New Opportunities” the following statement on pg. 46
“All these examples point to expanding learning theories that include situated learning and learning-to-be (within an epistemic frame) rather than just learning about. The stage is being set to reformulate many of Dewey’s theories of learning informed by and leveraging newer cognitive and social theories of learning and delivered in computationally rich experiential learning
So it appears that there is plenty of research that can be done on how adults learn in this new age of openness. I also found the Carnegie Mellon study on The Open Learning Initiative: Measuring the Effectiveness of the OLI Statistics Course in Accelerating Student Learning from 2008. While a quick glance doesn’t not tell me if the learners were adults or traditional age students, it provides further reading when I get a chance. The best resources came from Darin’s blog towards the open ed researcher badge where he has listed several good peer-reviewed articles on this topic. It is certainly an exciting time to be learning about OER with all of the wonderful research and conversation taking place.