Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-08-22

Opencourseware Consortium panel discussion at UWC

Last Friday I was fortunate enough to attend 2 panel discussions on the use of OER in higher education. It was a bit of an occasion as one of the panels included a few board members of the Opencourseware Consortium (on a side note, UWC is a member of the OCW Consortium). This post is really just a few of the comments made during the panels.

The session began with a welcome message by the university’s Chancellor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a wonderful man who is always a pleasure to listen to. Something he said struck a chord with me, as I’ve been reflecting on this issue with my students in the ethics module I teach. He said to remember that we are not second rate, and that we don’t have to apologise for who we are. This is important because so often I find that my students lack self-confidence and seem almost apologetic for even being here. The history of this particular institution seems to haunt them, and they can’t seem to shake the belief that their degree isn’t worth the same as one from another university. This is obviously a deep issue that I’m not going to go into here, but I just wanted to mention that comment.

The Vice-Chancellor also made an interesting point in his short welcome address. That is, a redistribution of wealth from the rich 10% won’t significantly improve the lot of the poor 90%. Only by empowering the majority of the people to make their own change, can the country move forward.

The other comments I made a note of included the following:

Andy Lane (Open University, UK): OER is not just good to do. It’s about some form of social justice.

Neil Butcher (OER Africa, South Africa): Curricular frameworks must drive the development of OER i.e. content is not the focus, content comes after pedagogy

Derek Keats (Wits University, South Africa): 1) When content is free, students can use scarce financial resources to acquire technology, which opens up access to an even greater body of content. 2) When institutional strategy is developed around OER, faculty pushback can be reduced

N.B: 1) Institutional pushback is reduced when the OER conversation happens around better ways of addressing faculty and student needs. 2) The content is infrastructure.

Philip Schmidt (Peer 2 Peer University): When lecturers become "internet superstars", they can teach a greater body of students than any traditional lecturer could teach in a lifetime. This reduces the emphasis on formal recognition of professional development.

Ultimately, OER is about content, but I’m more interested to know if it has a role to play in changing teaching and learning practice?

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-12

  • UK students study blogging, wikis, podcasts as part of curriculum Wish that was included at university level in SA #
  • The lead up to elections in South Africa have started having an effect at our universities…and it’s not good #
  • UK university offers Masters degree in social media. Course too simplistic. £4500 to learn what students already know? #
  • Flutter: a nanoblogging tool using only 26 characters. Brilliant parody of Twitter #
  • Political satire and cultural stereotyping does more harm than is funny #
  • Introduction to lung auscultation with audio #
  • Ethics podcast from the Open University. Series of interviews on the role of ethics in everyday life #
  • Trying to log in to #mozopenedcourse, getting internal server errors, anyone else experiencing the suckiness? #
  • @epanto I’m still not getting any love 🙁 Will keep trying though in reply to epanto #
  • @kfasimpaur Thanks, I’m still unable to log in. Have sent message to Phillip but uncertain he can do anything about server problems. Enjoy in reply to kfasimpaur #
  • @epanto Thanks a ton, Phillip sent email, nothing anyone can do now anyway. Will download video later. Cheers in reply to epanto #
  • @sdkaaa Same for me, almost exact same system 🙂 Problems logging in and now audio is stuffed…frustrating as… in reply to sdkaaa #
  • #mozopenedcourse audio issues too frustrating, going to bail, enjoy the rest of it everyone #
  • @sdkaaa Sorry for late response, had Internet issues probably unrelated to the platform, hope you come right for the next session in reply to sdkaaa #
  • Microlectures, condensing only most relevant info into 1-20 min. mini-lectures, promising results & #

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Curriculum and quality: keynote from SAAHE conference 2008

I finally got around to finishing my notes from the conference.  This keynote presentation from Professor J. Grant, Director of the Centre for Education in Medicine at the Open University, is about how the quality of medical education is measured, and how that measurement could be improved.

You can download my notes in the following formats:

Microsoft Word