About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2994-3002
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

TOWARD A UTOPIA: SOCIAL SOFTWARE AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES IN HIGHER EDUCATION

R. Mestre

University of Valencia (SPAIN)
Open Educational Resources (OER) have recently gained much attention due to the massive impact of the Open Course Ware (OCW) initiative of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) among higher education institutions all around the world. Offering open access to course material used by university staff in their teaching was an innovative and attractive proposal. Universities from several countries were pleased with the idea of promoting free, unlimited access to learning and joined the project, forming the OCW International Consortium (OCW Consortium) beginning in 2006. More than one hundred institutions are now cooperating to create a body of content published under Creative Commons licenses by sharing the model developed by MIT.

OCW is a world-wide phenomenon with benefits for both institutions and people (students and instructors) involved in teaching-learning procedures. The advantages of OCW include the promotion of innovation and the improvement of teaching resources used by instructors; the advancement of knowledge by making educational resources available and extending localisation mechanisms, bringing tutors closer to IT; the reinforcement of each Consortium member’s own institutional image; the opportunity to promote the “ordering” of intellectual property and author recognition; and the sharing of support, resources, experiences, and best practices. But OCW also has some disadvantages, mainly because of the increased cost of instructor support and provision of new services, the requirement for new ways of assessing the curricular value of educational material, and the need to adapt teaching material in line with OCW, among others.

This paper will focus on this last assessment, because when working with OER there is a high risk of transferring old patterns from traditional teaching practices, with a methodology focused on the teaching and teacher, instead of on the learning and the student. It is important to be aware that new e-learning platforms, like the ones associated with OCW, offer an interactive and collaborative environment where innovation in teaching practice can be naturally carried out, allowing OER to play an essential role in changing educational practices. Although OCW can be merely a repository where digitalized traditional course content can be downloaded in a one-way channel, let us look forward to the utopia: let us work on a truly interactive, collaborative, constructive learning-teaching approach by using new web-based tools to develop really innovative OER in OCW platforms. We will follow the recommendations and orientation provided by the Open e-Learning Content Observatory Services (OLCOS) Roadmap 2012, especially with regard to the use of social software for educational purposes. Weblogs, wikis, social networks, tagging, RSS and other web 2.0 resources and functions are already being successfully used for the mentioned goals, but they are still not tools most instructors feel comfortable with in their courses. Taking some advantage of our experience with blended-learning at the University of Valencia (Spain), member of the OCW Consortium, and of the course material we have adapted for OCW as one of the few instructors involved in the initial stage, we will offer some reflections and proposals for an effective use of free and open social software in OER course design.
@InProceedings{MESTRE2009TOW,
author = {Mestre, R.},
title = {TOWARD A UTOPIA: SOCIAL SOFTWARE AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES IN HIGHER EDUCATION},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2994-3002}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Mestre
TI - TOWARD A UTOPIA: SOCIAL SOFTWARE AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 2994
EP - 3002
ER -
R. Mestre (2009) TOWARD A UTOPIA: SOCIAL SOFTWARE AS A TEACHING TOOL FOR OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES IN HIGHER EDUCATION, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 2994-3002.
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