Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Open Course Library: Bridging the gap between the LMS and OCW

Speakers: Tom Caswell & Connie Broughton

We will share the Open Course Library project, including technical & professional development challenges faced as we developed phase 1.

The goal of the Open Course Library is for faculty to design digital, openly licensed materials for 81 high enrolling courses in Washington State community and technical colleges. During the development of the first 42 Open Course Library courses, faculty designed, piloted, and then revised their courses using the our system wide ANGEL LMS. We chose to use ANGEL as our primary development platform for because most of our faculty course designers were already familiar with that LMS. Using ANGEL also made sense because all faculty were required to pilot their OCL course, so initial development, piloting, and revisions could all be made with the same system.

In this presentation we will explain the workflow and roles of the Open Course Library staff. We will share some of the challenges we faced developing OER in an LMS. While new systems such as Canvas are removing many of the technical barriers to open sharing from an LMS, other challenges remain. Considerations for open content sharing include professional development for copyright and Creative Commons licensing, instructional design, and web accessibility.

They had to make the case for open education.
Why is "open" important in education?

  • Efficiency: You can build on content that is already created
  • Affordability
  • Quality: We tend to do our best work when we know our peers can see it.
  • Self-Interest: Increased faculty exposure, reputations, and opportunities
They built 80 top courses and created an open course library all built on open education resources and open textbooks. The state of WA has 75% adjunct teachers in the community and technical college system. This is a quick way for faculty to get course materials together quickly. They didn't slam the door on commercial publishers but limited the textbook costs to $30. This approach is different from an "open courseware site." The open course library workflow is more of a straightline workflow - teachers who built the courses are also the ones who have taught them. 

The courses will be available on Connexioins.

Master & open course materials are linked 
  • Faculty update both together
  • Older versions still available
  • Proprietary content is flagged and hidden from open course
They have a new RFP for an LMS that is requiring an open publishing feature. 

  • Design and share 81 high enrollment gatekeeper courses
  • Improve course completion rates
  • Lower textbook costs
  • Provide new resources
  • Fully engage our colleges in the global open educational resources discussion
Phase 1: 42 courses released this Monday
Phase 2: 39 courses available in Spring 2013

"Every faculty member works with an instructional designer and a librarian."

Q1= design, Q2= more design, Q3 Teach pilot course, Q4 review

Process: 81 courses built by our own faculty:
  1. Define learning objectives
  2. Go to OER library for materials
  3. Fill in missing content with created content
How does OER help teach more students and teach them better?
  • No-rivalrous, scalable, searchable
  • Allow for preview
  • 81 courses with 411,133 enrollments
  • Textbook savings of 41 million a year
  • Completion rates may also increase if students can afford to actually buy the text
Phase 1 Faculty Concerns
  • Many were unfamiliar with the particular LMS
  • No way to compare work between course teams
  • Too many websites to keep in track of
Phase 2
  • Using Google Docs to collaborate and share as we go
  • All project management information in one Google Site
They are also using Tegrity.

More information on http://opencourselibrary.org

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1 comment:

  1. Great write up Geoff. The best part is that just counting the faculty course authors, we will save students $1.2 million over the next couple years. We expect many more course adopters, but student textbook savings has already exceeded the cost of the project. More info on the phase 2 Open Course Library RFP is also at http://opencourselibrary.org. it's open to all WA public colleges and due on Nov. 7.