#OpenEd18: Connect OER: Mapping Trends and Collective Impact in North American Higher Ed

#OpenEd18: Connect OER: Mapping Trends and Collective Impact in North American Higher Ed

Nicole Allen from SPARC shared information they had gathered on trends and impact of OER across North America. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) focuses on Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education.

Here is the slide deck she used during the presentation.

Allen encouraged the audience to become a member of connect.sparcopen.org and create an institutional profile. The profile adds to their database of knowledge about what institutions are doing with open educational resources.

She then shared results from the SPARC 2017 Connect OER Annual Report. The most engaged campus entities are the library, faculty champions, and teaching and learning centers.

Campus entities most engaged from the SPARC report.

Campus entities most engaged from the SPARC report.

Subjects with the most traction from the SPARC report

Subjects with the most traction from the SPARC report

According to Allen, 49% of institutions had a task force with OER as a primary force. Of the employees tasked with OER as a responsibility, only 50% had OER in their title. The majority of institutions had OER staff assigned to the library or teaching and learning center. Eighteen percent of institutions annotated OER courses in their course catalog. This is something JCC has been doing for the past couple of terms.

When handing out incentives, 63% of programs require open licensing. More and more states are creating state policies around the use, adoption, and creation of OER content. More institutions are discussing open as a value. Open is free with permission. It meets the 5Rs of Open.

Defining the “Open” in Open Content and Open Educational Resources

The terms “open content” and “open educational resources” describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like “open source”) that is either (1) in the public domain or (2) licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

For redistributing revised or remixed versions of this page: This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at http://opencontent.org/definition/.

Allen raised an important concern. When an institution requires students to purchase commercial online products, they are opening students up for tracking. What are textbook companies collecting? How are they using the data they are collecting?

This was an informative briefing. Naturally, the strength of their data is based on the participation in their organization. With dwindling dollars, the data may be skewed to those who can afford membership.

Additional Reading

Image: Visualizing Twitter Trends through influence and flow by Gilad Lotan. License: CC-BY-NC 2.0.

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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