evidence

Open education and critical pedagogy

I have a new publication entitled ‘Open Education and Critical Pedagogy’ upcoming with Learning, Media and Technology.  Here’s the abstract.

This paper argues for a revaluation of the potential of open education to support more critical forms of pedagogy. Section 1 examines contemporary discourses around open education, offering a commentary on the perception of openness as both a disruptive force in education, and a potential solution to contemporary challenges. Section 2 examines the implications of the lack of consensus around what it means to be open, focusing on the example of commercial and proprietary claims to openness commonly known as ‘openwashing’. Section 3 uses Raymond’s influential essay on open source software ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar’ as a framework for thinking through these issues, and about alternative power structures in open education. In Section 4, an explicit link is drawn between more equal and democratic power structures and the possibility for developing pedagogies which are critical and reflexive, providing examples which show how certain interpretations of openness can raise opportunities to support critical approaches to pedagogy.

Keywords: open education; OER; MOOC; critique; evidence; critical
theory; critical pedagogy; discourse analysis; openwashing

The paper is available online but it unfortunately behind a paywall. I have an author’s link that allows free downloads for the first 50 requests, so if you’d like a copy then redirect your browser to http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/YtPXqFkVSmteYfbgURJc/full.

[If you try the link and all the free copies are gone, let me know and I’ll send you a pre-print version.]

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My ORO report

I’ve just a quick look at my author report from the ORO repository of research published by members of The Open University.  I’m quite surprised to learn that I’ve accrued almost 1,300 downloads of materials I have archived here!

An up to date account of my ORO analytics can be found at http://oro.open.ac.uk/cgi/stats/report/authors/31087069bed3e4363443db857ead0546/. I suppose a 50% strike rate for open access publication ain’t bad… but there is probably room for improvement…

Evidence of OER Impact

Here are my slides from today’s presentation at the Open Access Conference in San Jose.  There will probably be some tweaks to this before presentation at Open Ed 2013.

Data Maps: The Next Level

An interesting post by Young Hahn on map hacking has given me some food for thought with respect to the redesign of the OER Evidence Hub.  This article led me to another, Take Control of Your Maps by Paul Smith.

If I was a better programmer I could probably put some of the ideas to work right away, but as I am not I’ll have to be content with trying to draw some general principles out instead:

  • The core web map UI paradigm is a continuous, pannable, zoomable surface
  • Open mapping tools are better because they allow for more creative use of data through hacks
  • Maps can be more than just complements to narrative:  they can provide narrative structure too
  • Pins highlight locations but also anonymise them:   use illustrations instead like in the Sherlock Holmes demo
  • Google Maps is good at what it does, but restrictive in some design respects and any manipulation is likely to play havoc with the APIs
  • “Users interact with your mapping application primarily through a JavaScript or Flash library that listens to user events, requests tiles from the map server, assembles tiles in the viewport, and draws additional elements on the map, such as popups, markers, and vector shapes.”
  • If you can style the geospatial elements then the user experience can be customised to a much greater degree
  • KML is a newer alternative to XML
  • Most mapping services make use of some Javascript

It’s worth considering making use of the tools provided by OGR to translate and filter data.  And here are some mapping libraries to check out:

OER13: Report & Slides

I’ve spent the last couple of days here in Nottingham at OER13, where I presented yesterday on the OERRH project and about some of the issues surrounding research synthesis.  Here are my slides:

In addition to presenting and generally taking part I’ve been liveblogging some of the sessions for our project website.  Here are some links to these entries:

#oer13 live blog – keynote by Doug Belshaw
#oer13 liveblog – Policy Recommendations
Critiques of Open Education
#oer13 live blog – Keynote by Toni Pearce
#oer13 live blog – Welcome by Alan Ford

OER Hub Visualisations

Just a first pass at creating infographic-style slides for a forthcoming report.  There were created with easel.ly using data from the OLnet OER Evidence Hub.   One is still missing at the moment… I’m interested in any feedback!

Copyright

Copyright

Technology

Technology

Access

Access

Research Impact

Research Impact

Policy

Policy

Quality

Quality

Sustainability

Sustainability

Use & Reuse

Use & Reuse

Promotion & Advocacy

Promotion & Advocacy

Culture of Adoption

Culture of Adoption

Assessment & Evaluation

Tools for Data Visualization

I’ve been looking into different online visualization tools with a view to using the data collected by the OLnet project.  (I’m also building up an inspiration gallery on Pinterest.)  Here’s a provisional list with a few comments of my own.  I’m not really going to look at word clouds (e.g. Wordle) as they’re a bit simple for my needs.  I’d be interested in further suggestions or thoughts on these tools!

easelly

This service has a number of templates available, all of which seem to be open to a considerable degree of customization (including uploading your own graphical elements).  A drag and drop canvas makes the process seem relatively painless, but it’s worth noting that you need to have a pretty good idea of what you want to say at the outset as there’s no analysis function on here as far as I can tell.  Outputs are exported as image files.

inforgram

Once you’re logged in, Infogram presents you with a range of poster template designs.  After choosing a template, you can edits things like titles, charts and text but the basic elements seem to be permanent.  Four types of chart are available: bar, pie, line, and matrix.  You can generate these from spreadsheet information that you upload to the site.  Once completed, these charts can be embedded in various ways.

visual.ly

Visual.ly supports the creation of infographics from Twitter hashtags or Twitter accounts.  (I tried to generate one which described activity on the #oer hashtag but it wouldn’t seem to render.)  It also seems to be a place where graphic designers share their work; I couldn’t see any obvious way to create some of the items in the ‘popular’ gallery using the tools available to me with my account.  There are new tools in development, however, so perhaps I just don’t have access to these  at the moment.  Which is a shame, because there are some cools visualizations on here.


Google Fusion Tables
Again, one can upload data and have it turned into a visual form.  This service seems to support geomapping through integration with Google Maps.  It also seem to be set up to support collaborative working (like other parts of the Google family) and allows you to merge datasets, which could be interesting.

GephiGephi is open source software that you install on your machine.  It looks like it lets you deal with quite complex data sets which are linked in various ways by manipulating different representations to bring out different aspects.  It’s mainly configured for network analysis according to the examples provided, and it seems to be able to harvest data from social networks, which could make for some interesting mashups.

manyeyes

Manyeyes is an IBM research tool which allows you to upload spreadsheet information.  Most people on the site seem to be using to create word clouds or simple charts, and I found a few OER related examples.  It looks like the data has to conform to fairly strict protocols before visualizations will make sense.

There’s also a long list of tools like these at computerworld.com, but most of them look like they’re a bit techie for me.

OLnet Evidence Hub: Key Challenges

Key challenges identified and categorized within the OLnet evidence hub

Key challenges identified and categorized within the OLnet evidence hub. From McAndrew, P., Farrow, R., Elliot-Cirigottis, G. & Law, P. (2012) 'Learning the lessons of openness', Proceedings of Cambridge 2012, pp195-204.