Open Education Handbook/Education: traditional & open

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The full effect of open education is yet to be seen. It is likely that the cultural shift that is needed for open education to reach its potential will take time, and despite the speed of change in the technology area open education is still in its infancy.

However studies have been carried out to gauge the effect of Open Educational Resources (OER) use on teaching and learning. The Jisc OER Impact Study was conducted between November 2010 and June 2011 by a team from the University of Oxford. It concluded in July 2011, reporting that the main impact factors of OER are pedagogic, attitudinal, logistical and strategic.

Some argue that OER have so far failed to reach their potential. The paper Ten Years Later: Why Open Educational Resources Have Not Noticeably Affected Higher Education, and Why We Should Care notes that significant adoption hurdles to OER exist, including discoverability, quality control, failure to organise and acquisition.

One interesting area for discussion is the affect open online courses has on closed courses through the release of 'solutions' and 'answers'. Some open courseware providers specify that solutions to problems should not be shared online - but of course whether it is specified or not people share solutions, primarily with good intentions and for good reason. Jasmine Tsal talks about the "unspoken paradoxes between a closed, formal education and its simultaneous attempt to be “open”. Jasmine offers up three questions for discussion:

  1. How does a school reconcile the consequences of making a course open?
  2. Should a school rethink its policy on cheating?
  3. Should a school reflect upon the nature of its assignments?

Arguably the full impact of the open education movement has yet to be felt in traditional education. The OER Research Hub is the largest project collecting data on this topic and will be releasing reports in 2015.

Further resources[edit]