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In week 2 each person taking this course is asked/required to prepare a question for the people presenting that case studies. This page is to record both the questions and the answers in a concise manner. It also gives a place for feedback on the questions.

Case Studies

Main Page: Case Studies

Mozilla@Seneca, looking at learning in a large open source community

These courses take students directly into the Mozilla project and community, teaching them how to cope at scale with complex technology and open source collaboration. Students are taught the skills necessary to become active contributors on Firefox, Thunderbird, etc., and are expected to do real project work (i.e., work on bugs and enhancements chosen in consultation with Mozilla). The approach to teaching Mozilla is to use Mozilla's technology and community platform, from blogs to irc to wikis to bugzilla.

David Wiley: Open Education Course at Utah State University

The goals of the course are (1) to give you a firm grounding in the current state of the field of open education, including related topics like copyright, licensing, and sustainability, (2) to help you locate open education in the context of mainstream instructional technologies like learning objects, and (3) to get you thinking, writing, and dialoguing creatively and critically about current practices and possible alternative practices in open education.

Jim Groom: Wordpress MU at University of Mary Washington

This project uses WordPress Multi-User (an open source semantic publishing platform) to allow students and faculty author online with minimal overhead. This is the second iteration of a multi-user blogging platform (see the ELS Blogs description below for the first) and it is available campus-wide to any UMW faculty, staff or student who wants to use it. It has grown to thirteen hundred student and faculty blogs during the Fall 2007/Spring 2008 semesters. This web-based publishing space offers the UMW academic community a quick and easy authoring solution that is flexible, elegant, and open. Providing a relatively simple process for creating class sites, e-portfolios, and a whole host of other web-based resources. It's an easily scalable model that let's universities think through digital identities that aren't sharecropped out to 3rd party corporate services.

Wayne Mackintosh: Learning 4 Content Project at WikiEducator

Learning4Content is WikiEducator's flagship capacity building project designed to enable teachers, lecturers and trainers in developing Mediawiki skills for collaborative authoring of Open Education Resources (OER).

WikiEducator provides free training for educators in return for a small contribution of their knowledge in the form of a donated OER lesson or content resource. L4C is best described as a learn-by-doing project inspired by the North American indigenous proverb: Tell me and I'll forget, show me and I may not remember, involve me, and I'll understand. L4C is likely the world's largest attempt to develop wiki skills for education and this ambitious project aims to:

  • conduct 160 workshops
  • train 2500 teachers/educators
  • develop 2500 lessons of free content.

Learning4Content is global, has the capacity to scale and the flexibility to adapt to changing needs and circumstances given its open content license and use of open file formats.

Questions & Answers

Here is where you can add your questions.

Example Person
Example question goes here.

More details or an explanation could be added for the sake of clarity.

Steven Egan (IgenOukan)
How might an open OER content creation/management system be legally sound considering the different intellectual content and copyright legalities, especially with a pay for print-on-demand feature? Might it require caste-like categories of content?

While this might be considered just a part of the licensing portion of this course, I see it as relevant to the case studies in that each has a set of copyright and licenses related to the projects.

Charity Gamboa (Rustan108)
I plan to license my work under the Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Philippines under Creative Commons [Philippines]. Am I doing/making the right attribution for this? I am not an expert on CC licenses but I find this information on licenses in the Philippines useful for me.

I am thinking along these lines because (like that Steven said) I want my work protected, I want it to be "legally-sound" (as Steven puts it) but at the same time I want it with the "sharing" conditions. I keep telling myself "hey I can make money out of this if I can sell it to different language schools" but it simply defeats the purpose of why I became an educator in the first place.

Brian Smith (smithwithclass)
I am looking to the student side of the licensing issue. How do I protect my students who may not do the most "robust" (read Grade 5 borderline plagarism), and how may only have access to print materials before putting them online?

Also, I am working with a distinct population, many of whom don't have internet access at home. This means that the concrete nature of school work online is lost to them and their parents. Do any of you see a way to get something physical and significant home to these communities that does not require a great shift in ideology for the parents? (I believe the major shift will come when these kids reach adulthood)

Michael Rowe
I have no experience starting this kind of project and I'm uncertain about how to go about it. Would it be better to create a small section by myself and then have something to demonstrate the idea i.e. create a "proof of concept", or to announce the idea and hope people think it might be useful?

Karen Fasimpaur
For collaborative OER projects, how can a project be designed to allow a group of participants to self-organize in order to be effective (fine enough grained in terms of subject/audience, overall design plan, editorial guidance, etc.)?

Educational resources tend to be relatively large in scope and have a need for an overall scope and sequence and narrative thread. This doesn't lend itself well to mass collaboration projects. What has resulted so far in many OER projects has been either a) loose collections of pieces and parts that are difficult to put to effective use or b) projects that are largely built by a very small group. How can we transcend this? Or is mass collaboration not the best model for education?

Guillermo Movia (deimidis)
What is the reaction of others teachers from the same institution that don't share the «open» idea? And what happen with the students after this courses having to come back to others type of sharing material.

Chris Campbell (Bitdepth)
Is is just about content? Do you need to strike a balance between materials and community? How important are the constraints of time and space to allow for reflection and connection and community and what role do those who have gone through the process have as the second, third or other iterations of the course happen?

While the first time a course is offerred a blank slate exists, what happens when material builds over time. How much more is there than content and how does that relate to the community. A course (and learners) evolve over time, so the experience and resources become much more valuable as they evolve and can we keep people connected when the time is up and connect them with those who are there without it being overwhelming to see hundreds or thousands of people and page and links when they first arrive. I think of a real-world analogy of attending a course that is has been running for a while and having everyone who took the course before in a room, available for discussion and assistance. But seeing that room full of people could be intimidating, so how can that large group seem smaller and more personal?

Wendall Cada (wendall911)
Question for Dave Humphre with Mozilla@Seneca: How does what your course do with Mozilla compare to a traditional practicum? How can this concept be incorporated into all educational projects, both for educators and students? Would you call it a practicum? If not, what word would you use to describe this?

Yama Ploskonka User:Yamaplos/Project
especially @Dave Humphrey, but valid for the other projects also.

I am quite concerned about the learning curve to get run-of-the-mill volunteers to a point they can actually contribute. Either they are already quite web 2.0 savvy, or there is a serious risk of burn-out just during preparation, before they even get to be part of a collaborative project. How do y'all deal with this issue?

Of course my problem is not the same as that of US-based projects... In my case I have to deal with teachers who have no knowledge of computer use whatsoever, very little access (Internet infrastructure is so far mostly a sad joke in schools where my project is centered), or even worse, were trained by some Microsoft initiative and are so far successfully and utterly dependent on pirated software and content.

Bernard Sadaka User:Sdkaaa
@DavidWiley:Q1 would it be possible to model your course/game into other custom material implying other learning strategies (having custom content and/or strategies)? what about creating different characters for different content/strategies? in other terms would be possible in the future for a teacher to customize your epistemic game/course into his educational goals? @WayneMackintosh : what types of learning methods do you use, and would it be possible to implement/add new ways of teachings?