OER Workshop at the University of South Africa – UNISA

Workshop held at the University of South Africa on the 4th of September 2012 by Andreia Inamorato dos Santos.

Creative Commons License
OER IMPLEMENTATION ROADMAP by ANDREIA INAMORATO DOS SANTOS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Twitter workshop hashtag: #odl12   My personal twitter username: @aisantos

Some useful resources:

OpenLearn Research Report

PPT slides

Websites for consultation:

OpenLearn: http://openlearn.open.ac.uk  (UK)

LabSpace: http://labspace.open.ac.uk (UK)

LeedsMet: http://repository.leedsmet.ac.uk/main/index_oer.php  (UK)

TEMOA: http://www.temoa.info (Mexico)

Connexions: http://cnx.org (US)

TECA – CEDERJ: http://teca.cecierj.edu.br (Brazil)

UTPL Opencourseware: http://ocw.utpl.edu.ec (Ecuador)

Recursos Educacionais Abertos na Interdidática 2012

     Interdidática – Fórum Internacional de Tecnologia Educacional



Palácio das Convenções do Anhembi – São Paulo

                                       1 7-19 de abril de 2012


Hoje, quarta-feira 18 de abril,  apresento na Interdidática uma palestra sobre Recursos Educacionais Abertos (REA) às 14:30h. A hashtag da palestra é #reainterdidatica12, e a hashtag do evento é #interdidatica2012.

O objetivo é disseminar o conceito de REA para educadores e gestores escolares, indicando quais os benefícios da provisão e uso de REA para professores, estudantes e instituição.

Para informações sobre cursos sobre REA, cursos de tecnologia educacional para professores, palestras na sua instituição e consultoria, por favor preencha esse formulário.

Aqui estão os links com acesso aos recursos que menciono na palestra. Boa leitura!


Contato: Andreia Inamorato ainamorato@gmail.com – Twitter: @aisantos

Adapting to Curriculum Change @BETT


Live blogging -3pm

Curriculum Innovation in patnership – embracing the new challenges together

First talk: Mark Dawe, CEO, OCR

‘The curriculum should be driving assessment rather than the opposite’, Mark argues. Assessment should be derived from the needs of the learners. Education needs to be meaningful and prepare students for a place in society.

There is a need to use cutting edge technologies which are available for assessment of IT skills. Traditional paper-based exams are not the way to assess IT qualifications. Assessment needs to be relevant to the learning. There needs to be a virtual circle of curriculum, innovation and qualification, all feeding each other, and curriculum being the driver.

OCR is an NGO with partnershisp with a number of private companies. As a qualifications organisation the focus is on assessment, but OCR partners with organisations to provide training.

There has been lots of discussion whether A Levels are fit for purpose.The primary purpose of it is progressing through to the university. Lecturers need therefore to be satisfied with A levels to allow progression to the university. OCR helps creating a qualification framework to allow that. HE institutions are involved, and work has been done on it for the past 12 months. The primary goal is to assess gaps in understanding, in knowledge.

Mark then introduces the next generation of vocational qualifications: Cambridge Nationals (15-16 year olds) and Cambridge TEC (16-19 year olds), the latter having just been launched.

2nd talk: Tim Oates, National Curriculum Review, Chair

Increasing school autonomy: creating curriculum chaos or securing curriculum coherence?

Autonomy in relation to what? He asks, and then gives examples: curriculum, teaching approaches, funding etc. He argues that autonomy is not only an ideological argument; it is rather practical.

Locating the Curriculum

There is an issue about how we define curriculum. There is a tendency towards introspection in relation to curriculum in the UK. It is a concern that a national curriculum, instead of also looking at what is happening in other nations, is only looking inwards. A national curriculum is extremely important, curriculum coherence and control too. Subjects really matter, and the curriculum should provide good epistemic maps on subjects. Knowledge is a very strong predictor of performance. It is important that people understand key concepts in science for example. Knowledge really matters.

There has to be principles of inclusion in the curriculum, otherwise overload is the result of changes. There should be considerable detail on certain aspects of the curriculum, perhaps including more pages in the curriculum, that is, more detail in certain things, less in others.

He suggests the need for challenging models of progression in the first phase. There is a difference between the national curriculum and the school curriculum. The national curriculum should be a guide to the school curriculum. It is important some level of flexibility in this aspect.

Citizenship, creativity and innovation should be taught as well as a basic curriculum. In Japan they relaxed in terms of textbooks and standards went down. “There is no perfect education system, but optimal systems”.

Fewer things in greater depth – this is the stand out element for a new curriculum in primary education.

His full paper on the subject can be found here

The state and future of the UK education system @BETT Show


Live blogging 13:30 pm

Roundtable Discussion – The state and future of our education system

Participants: Russell Hobby, General Secretary NAHT, Mary Bousted, General Secretary, ATL, Martin Doel, ChieF Executive National Association of Colleges, Dale Basset, Research Director @Reform, Rachel Wolf, Founder, New Schools Network, Ian Budd, Chairman @ Association of Directors of Education in Wales

The discussion revolves around the need to qualify teachers and headteachers to effectively run schools (for example by joining MBA programs), and how institutions are accountable to the communities in an autonomous framework for education. The focus is therefore on giving responsibilities to individual institutions.

Concerns from councils are the performance of schools and whether there will be enough spaces for the pupils. In terms of accountability, Mary thinks that there is a need to make both parents and schools accountable for what happens in schools, as passing this responsability primarily to parents is no accountability at all. If the school is not performing well it is the role of local authorities to monitor it. Parents accountability must be only a part of it as it is not enough. She thinks that more autonomous schools will be harder to be monitored in relation to performance. In summary, she seems to be in favour of local authorities to perform this monitoring role.

Not all members in the panel agree with that, arguing that parents do care about the quality of education and would be able to report on bad schools quickly. Mary thinks parents may not know pedagogy well enough to perform the role of accountability solely. The panel suggested that accountability can also involve students, in college contexts, and that there should be in fact a network of accountability.

Bad performing schools are a main concern since local authorities do not seem to be doing their job well – the panel argues. The implementation of peer accountability (peer review) between institutions is a sytems suggested as a solution.

Vertical accountability versus horizontal accountability in terms of school performance seems to be what is necessary. They suggest that there needs to be a strong involvement with parents. There is no agreement in the panel however in relation to giving parents total freedom to choose the school for their children. It has been argued that choice needs to take place only when ‘informed choice’ is possible.

Question: What is the right balance between the autnomy of the teacher and the national curriculum?

The pane argues that research has shown that more flexibility in the curriculum is needed in some areas. It is important to think of motivation and progression when addressing this issue.

Comment from audience: The dept of education seems to be taking chaotic decisions and not to have a vision for education in Britain.

The panel feels there needs to be an open discussion about what the purpose of education is. A panel member thinks that there is inevitably some chaos in policy making, so schools need to be accountable for properly responding to what is requested of them. They also think the role of governing bodies remain essential.

Comment from audience: informal learning needs to taken into account in the discussion. Lots of learning have been done outside school, and the discussion in the panel revolved around curriculum and control. It has been argued that one of the schools’ role is to keep kids out of the street (Mary). The role of school goes beyond curriculum, she argues.

The session finished with an open question: why is it suggested that computer sciences studies is not for everyone? It could be argued that Romeo and Juliet is not either… (laughs).

Recursos Educacionais Abertos como Objetos de Aprendizagem

Open Educational resources as learning objects

This is a round-table I took part today virtually at the International Conference on Distance Education organised by ABED (Brazilian Association for Distance Education), in Foz do Iguaçú, Brazil.

Mesa-redonda no Congresso Internacioanl de Educação a Distância da Abed, 2 de setembro de 2010, Foz do Iguaçu, Brasil.

Para assistir a palestra clique aqui/To replay click here.

The slides can be found here (in Portuguese)/ os slides estão aqui:OER as Learning Objects

In the spotlight: Wikipedia @ the OU Conference 2010 – day 2

Live blogging, 3:30 pm

Openness in Education: Talk by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia

Jimmy starts by  explaining that at Wikipedia it is not necessarily the case that anyone can edit everything – there’s a specific group of contributors that edit, monitor and make the content available to the world. He also explains that there is no relationship between Wikipedia and Wikiversity.

Jimmy discusses a little bit about the history and scale of Wikipedia. It was ‘ the great experiment’, he says, being the core idea to create a global encyclopedia supported by volunteers. The vision statement is that every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge . Wikipedia is defined by Jimmy as  “a free and high quality encyclopedia written by thousands of volunteers in many languages”. Neutrality and quality are extremely important at Wikipedia. He argues that a minimum level of reliability is necessary for the encyclopedia to be respected and popular. It is managed by a series of community processes and control. At Wikipedia the idea of neutrality has been the core : the firm rule is that there’s a neutral point of view. Wikipedia does not take a stand on any controversial issue – the reader is free to make their own judgement .

What is free access? At Wikipedia it’s first freedom of speech. The texts and the software of Wikipedia are all free. He argues that Wikipedia is not necessarily the most helpful format of information for the students to learn with- but everything there can be repurposed in many different ways. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, which means that not everything belongs to Wikipedia. IT offers a summary of the human knowledge with the depth of the material depending on the subject.

Wikipedia is a charity supported by donations, the average size for donation is about $30 (dollars), but there is obviously big funding coming from the big players, as Google etc, says Jimmy. The core of the donations however is made by small donours. Over 275 million people visit Wikipedia every month. Funding at Wikipedia happens organically, he says, not necessarily ‘top-down’.

There’s about 100,00 active contributors to Wikipedia,a ll volunteers. The site is global. There are more than 3 million entries in English, but more than 500 million entries in other languages. There are 308,000+ articles in Chinese alone, but it’s small relative to the number of Chinese speakers that are online. Wikipedia was banned in China for over 3 years. The Chinese government has losen up in many ways, and now Wikipedia is generally available in China, but certain pages are banned (e.g. some things about Tibet, the independence of Taiwan etc). It’s the 53rd most popular website in China. Jimmy says that they would like to be more popular in China, and that it’s fast growing over there. Wikipedia has caused a cultural impact in China, he argues.

Wikipedia allows for Global content comparisons. In different parts of the world, certain content can be more or less popular. Ex. ‘Sex’ is popular in every language except French and Spanish. There are certain topics that are equally popular, such as Star Trek and Star Wars…

Question: what’s next for Wikipedia? In the short term, Jimmy explains that the three priorities for them are: 1. quality (in the large languages, e.g. English, instead of adding more, improving quality), 2. Growth in the developing world (by running pilot projects ), 3. Usability (the software is not as user-friendly as they would like it to be).

Question: Many educators are asking students to create Wikipedia pages, what are your views on that? Answer: sometimes excited, sometimes not as much. It depends on how the project is structured – quality is needed, and this usually happens when the students are given appropriate background.

Question: How has been quality control over the years, and how have you dealt with that? Answer: Several phases related to quality control, the most famous quality problem beying vandalism.However, this is the problem we have lots of hands on. Issues of bias for example, related to less popular and controversial topics (e.g. Palestine, scientology etc). These articles are closely monitored and are of high quality. More obscure topics (that people do not care about much), are also problematic, because there are not  many people monitoring them. We are trying to get a system in which we can go through the less popular topics, and that’s a challenge for the future, I think – says Jimmy.

Question: how is consensus generated? Answer: there’s a pretty informal mechanism to reach consensus, but it’s mostly based on the issue of neutrality, as I mention before. We developed some techniques over the years, as for example, mentioning many different sides of the same story.

Wikipedia is a very innovative way of sharing content, and it was an insightful talk by Jimmy Wales.

HEAT program @ the OU Conference – day 2

Live blogging, 2pm – Conference Day 2

HEAT: Health Education and Training in Africa

Talk by Alison Robinson (programme coordinator)

Challenges in Africa:  high incidence of maternal and child mortality, HIV/AIDS , TB and malaria increasing, critical shortage of health workers, inadequate facilities and equipment. In Africa there’s 900 maternal deaths per 1000,000 births. Africa has 11% of the world’s population.

HEAT helps to address critical health workers shortage. The strengths of the HEAT program are that it delivers significant impact for relatively small investment, and it has the potential to train hundreds of thousands of health workers. HEAT materials can be delivered in print, online or disk.

The pilot country of HEAT is Ethiopia. One of the reasons is that all post-secondary education and training in Ethiopia is taught in English. Total population is around 81 million, of which 84% live in rural communities. Every year around 21000 Ethiopian women die due to complication of pregancy or childbirth. It is a country of contrasts.

The health extension workers in Ethiopia are paid a small salary by the Ministry of Health.  They need to be female, speak local language and basic English, amongst other things. Health Extension Workers’ initial training need to be upgraded to overcome the deficiencies in their initial training, and also because the workers are keen to have a career path. The HEAT training is provided by distance education. Restrictions on classroom capacity and availability of teachers would take more than 10 years to upgrade 31,000 health education workers.  Distance learning can be completed between 18-24 months.

HEAT will be an online knowledge bank of training materials, both in text and in multimedia form, delivered as OER . It will also include self-assessment questions, resources and toolkits with case-studies etc.

HEAT has the support of the Ministries of Health and Education in Ethiopia, funded by the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust. There will be 16 distance e-learning modules, each one assessed by means of a tutor-marked assignment. The first 4 out of 16 modules are being prepared and are due for completion be end of July.

Challenges: some authors are experiencing difficulties in writing in a second language. They are also leanring the methodology of distance learning.

Alison says that the work in Ethiopia has been enourmously rewarding.

HEAT beyond Ethiopia: all modules will be free to download. Conversations are taking place to localise the content to Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Zambia.  Modules are adaptable also outside Africa.

HEAT vision: ot create a consortium of countries and organisatiosn working together aim to tackle social inequalities in Africa.