Monday, April 29, 2013

JISC InfoNet > TOPIC > MOOCS: Massive Open Online Courses - A Useful Collection of Articles for Those Wanting to Know More Than Just the Hype

Open courses, open content, global impact

In 2012 we saw increased interest in open courses with press coverage focusing mainly on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). However, despite their renewed prominence they have been around for several years. Here we cover some of the background

MOOCs are generally specifically designed as an open course and are aimed at a global level. Open Educational Resources (OERs) can be used as source materials or created as part of the learning activities in open courses. On these courses people become co-producers and co-consumers of content and roles and boundaries become blurred.

Source and Posts Available At


Open Educational Resources in the Post MOOC Era

It's clear that the landscape of the open education movement is changing everyday. What we now know as MOOCs (massive open online courses) will soon be superseded by a new MOOC-massively online open curricula. This transition is logical because courses are always steps in a longer learning pathway, which we call curricula, "majors," or degrees.

The immense supply of open educational resources (OER) available, and the efforts of universities to make these materials available to millions of students and teachers around the world, creates an imperative that OER must be used. The challenge is that the supply of OER is largely unorganized and difficult to find. One response to the demand is the University of California, Irvine's (UCI) recent announcement that its entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum is available on YouTube and its OpenCourseWare website. UCI's offering consists of 15 video courses (22 hours per course) covering the entire UCI undergraduate chemistry major.


OER and the Context of MOOCs

UCI's chemistry initiative is the latest development in the 13-year history of open education that began when MIT made its historic announcement that it would put all of its courses on an open and fully accessible OpenCourseWare website. Over the next few years many other institutions followed MIT's lead. Today there are approximately 281 universities around the world that are part of the OCW Consortium. Large-scale open "utilities" have formed, including YouTube and iTunes U, for higher educational institutions to publish OER.

Eventually, the proliferation of OER began to have a gravitational pull. Some within the learning community began to wonder how OER could be more effective in helping students, in serving minority populations, improving the teaching/learning process, increasing graduation rates, and potentially lowering the cost of higher education.


Source and Full Text Available At 


Clarifying Confusion: Open Content, MOOCs and Online Learning

The arrival of MOOCs , especially the so-called X-MOOCs from the elite universities of the USA and the rest of the world,  have provoked conversations in traditional residential universities which simply did not take place on a broad scale before. In particular, the issues of online learning and of open content have found their way into senior academic for a, and the indabas of senior management layers of universities. Of course, neither open content nor online learning are new per se, but they had not reached mainstream conversations in most residential universities, let alone the elite ones.

Whatever else one might think of MOOCs, they are to be welcomed for making these credible and legitimate issues to discuss. However, because they have all arrived at the same time in a sense, there is some confusion about the concepts and the parameters of what each of these issues refer to. I have even heard all of them described (more than once) under the umbrella term of “open source” as in open source content, open sources courses and open source learning.



An OER COUP: College Teacher and Student Perceptions of Open Educational Resources

TJ Bliss, T. Jared Robinson, John Hilton, David A. Wiley


Despite increased development and dissemination, there has been very little empirical research on Open Educational Resources (OER). Teachers and students involved in a large-scale OER initiative at eight community colleges across the United States were given a detailed questionnaire aimed at uncovering their perceptions of the cost, outcomes, uses and perceptions of quality of the OER used in their courses. Teachers and students alike reported significant cost savings and various pedagogical and learning impacts due to the implementation of OER in the classroom. In addition, most students and teachers perceived their OER to be at least equal in quality to traditional textbooks they had used in the past. Implications for further research are discussed.

Source and Full Text Available At 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

ICORE: The International Council for Open Research and Open Education

ICORE promotes, supports and enhances Open Research and Open Education worldwide.

Main objectives of ICORE are the recognition, progress and application of Open Research and Open Education: ICORE wants to bridge both worlds of Open Research and Open Education. The goal is the mutual re-usage of their results and outcomes, e.g. through the usage of digital resources from Open Research in Open Education.

Join the ICORE association and strengthen our common objectives for Open Research and Open Education and for a better future of our society worldwide!


The following principles form the basis for fulfilling the ICORE association’s objectives:

  • ICORE aims to promote Open Research and Open Education as a fundamental social objective.
  • ICORE aims to support the design and implementation of innovative strategies, instruments and services for facilitating Open Research and Open Education such as Open Access, Open Educational Practices and Resources.
  • ICORE aims to foster co-operation among all relevant stakeholders in Open Research and Open Education such as policy makers, researchers, educators, students, learners, non-profit and commercial providers and users.
  • ICORE aims to facilitate the continuous and rapid transfer of results from Open Research and Open Education into the deployment for future research and education and for the benefits of the general public and global society.
  • ICORE aims at fostering research and development that leads to innovation when that will benefit the objectives of the association.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SPARC-ACRL Forum June 29 at ALA Annual Conference 2013 > Understanding the Implications of Open Education: MOOCs and More

ACRL Insider header image 2

The open access movement has focused on making scholarship freely available, expanding distribution while lowering barriers for re-use. The open educational resources movement has focused on making teaching and learning materials freely accessible and openly licensed. The skyrocketing rise in the popularity of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has put this trend squarely on the front burner, bringing openness to pedagogy in a way not previously experienced in higher education – and expanding free distribution of a university course to tens of thousands of students around the globe.

This convergence holds great promise for open education, and also raises questions on what that future might look like. A panel of experts will explore the recent developments and policy implications of open education, the rise of open resources, and the potential impacts of this trend on libraries and higher education. They will also discuss both the promise and potential pitfalls of MOOCs and OER as part of open education.

Join SPARC and ACRL for the 11th Annual Forum, which will take place on Saturday, June 29th at 3pm.



Monday, April 15, 2013

The Wild West of MOOCs > Information Today > NewsBreak


Very Timely !!!

I just submitted an invited Think Piece on Open Resources and MOOCs to an major _Library Journal_ [:-)] and finalizing another invited submission for  a British library news magazine that's due by the end of this week [Ugh !][:-)]

Next Step : A  Review Article ...

Note: Suggested Open Access journals are Most Welcome !

Next Next Step > Presentations / Workshops > Will Have PPT(s) and Will Travel  ...

Next Next Next Step > A Book ...

Note: I have enough content for an Encyclopedia [:-)]

Note: Suggested Editors / Publishers Welcome !


Abby Clobridgen / Posted On April 15, 2013

Hardly a day goes by without a story appearing in a major new outlet about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). While most of the headlines—including this one—reference MOOCs, the real issues are quite broad in scope, covering everything from whether higher education as we know it is on the verge of combusting, to big, bold experiments using technology to deliver education in transformative ways on a global scale. While the exact discussions seem to change on a constant basis, some of the current hot topics include proposed legislation in California, the swirl of possibilities around business models for so-called xMOOCs, and increased demand for production and availability of open textbooks


Open Textbooks and OERs

One of the challenges of MOOCs is providing access to reading materials—books, articles, reports that all students are able to access without limitations based on local libraries or requiring students to pay for expensive textbooks. While open access (OA) articles and books solve some needs, several organizations are trying to address this issue with a different approach: by producing free textbooks and using Open Educational Resources (OERs) in more systematic ways.

OpenStax College, an initiative of Rice University and supported by many nonprofit organizations including The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has begun to publish its own brand of open, peer-reviewed textbooks. OpenStax College books are all openly licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY), which means that anyone is free to use, share, remix, and even make commercial use of the books. Most textbooks currently offered through OpenStax College are aimed at entry-level courses (“Introduction to Sociology,” “College Physics,” “Biology”).

The Saylor Foundation is taking a different approach to accomplish the same goal of making textbooks openly and freely available. Its Open Textbook Challenge is designed to re-license existing textbooks with a CC-BY license or encourage researchers to help develop openly licensed textbooks in specific fields. To entice authors, it is offering $20,000 for accepted textbooks aligned with eligible Saylor Foundation courses in order to build up a library of reading materials for its self-paced courses.

Lumen Learning, co-founded by David Wiley, a leader in the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, launched the “Textbook Zero” project—an initiative designed to support “institutions that want to move an entire degree program off of expensive, traditional textbooks and on to freely available OER.” Lumen Learning is currently working with Tidewater Community College to launch a pilot project in fall 2013.

As noted in the Tidewater Community College announcement about its “Textbook-Free” degree program:

For students who pursue the new ‘textbook-free’ degree, the total cost for required textbooks will be zero. Instead, the program will use high quality open textbooks and other open educational resources, known as OER, which are freely accessible, openly licensed materials useful for teaching, learning, assessment, and research. It is estimated that a TCC student who completes the degree through the textbook-free initiative might save one-third on the cost of college.


Source And Full Text Available At 



OATS: Open Access Textbooks


Friday, April 5, 2013

OATD: Open Access Theses and Dissertations

OATD aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. Metadata (information about the theses) comes from over 600 colleges, universities, and research institutions. OATD currently indexes over 1.5 million theses and dissertations.

Thomas Dowling / Director of Technologies, Z. Smith Reynolds Library / Wake Forest University

Source and Link Available At

Thursday, April 4, 2013

SIIA Releases Guide on the Use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in K-12 and Postsecondary Education

Guide helps stakeholders determine the appropriate model for developing and implementing educational resources

Washington, D.C. (March 21, 2013) – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, today released the “Guide on the Use of Open Educational Resources in K-12 and Postsecondary Education.” This Guide provides a framework for understanding open educational resources (OER), and it examines development and implementation costs, current business models, government and philanthropy’s role, and other considerations around the use of OER.

“SIIA expects that educational needs will be addressed moving forward by a mix of instructional materials, including OER,” said Karen Billings, vice president of SIIA’s Education Division. “SIIA and this Guide are focused on helping public officials, instructors and content providers better understand the various OER models, as well as the total costs to consider in determining the appropriate strategy for developing and implementing a particular educational resource.”

The Guide includes the following:

  • OER Definition, including full explanations of related copyright and licensing issues
  • Total Cost of Development/Ownership of instructional materials, including implications for those creating and implementing OER
  • Business/Funding Models being used to develop and support OER by content developers and aggregators, both for-profit and non-profit
  • Government Initiatives, including a sampling of key federal, state and international OER policies and grants
  • OER Frequently Asked Questions

“SIIA recognizes that content development and delivery models will continue to evolve, and encourages an environment that fosters R&D investment, rewards innovation and quality, and thus provides students and faculty with a robust choice of curricular resources and related tools and supports,” said Mark Schneiderman, SIIA’s senior director of education policy. “In making cost-benefit calculations and comparisons, it is important that public leaders and educators consider that educational resources, including OER, require not only the initial investment, but as importantly must budget for the total, long-term cost of development and use.”

The Guide was developed under the direction of the SIIA OER working group. It was authored by independent consultants Sue Collins of CollinsConsults and Peter Levy of Learning in Motion. Their knowledge, perseverance, and commitment to excellence made this document possible. The Guide is available to all under a CC-BY license and is especially crafted to inform legislators, government officials, education leaders, faculty, and content developers and aggregators.

About SIIA

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education, and intellectual property protection to more than 700 leading software and information companies. The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities and critical market information. For more information, visit

Source and  Link To Guide Available At


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Open Educational Resources 2013

OER13 Logo

WELCOME TO OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES 2013  > OER13: Creating a Virtuous Circle > University of Nottingham

26 - 27 March 2013 Building on the strengths of OER10, OER11 and Cambridge 2012 (where OER12 and OCWC12 conferences combined), OER13 will take place at the University of Nottingham, renowned for its Open Nottingham programme which has strategically embraced the agenda of open access to teaching.

The Conference programme will consist of an engaging mix of keynotes, refereed papers and posters exploring the impact of OER on HE within the conference themes. OER13: Evidence, Experience, Expectations, the official blog of the OER13 Conference.

Source and Links Available At


Creative Commons Global Summit 2013 > August 21-24 2013 > Buenos Aires, Argentina


The global community of Creative Commons will gather this year in Buenos Aires for our bi-annual Global Summit. The event, which will run for three days from 21 to 24 August, will be held at the San Martín Cultural Center and will be co-hosted by our local Creative Commons affiliates, Fundación Vía Libre and Wikimedia Argentina. This is the first time the conference will be held in a Spanish-speaking country, and the second time in Latin America.

The event will bring together Creative Commons affiliates from the around the world with the CC board, its staff, key stakeholders, local representatives and others interested in the present and future of the commons. Attendees will discuss strategies to strengthen Creative Commons and its worldwide community; learn about the latest developments in the commons movement worldwide; and showcase local and international projects that use Creative Commons licenses. Topics covered will include the implementation of open policies in areas such as government, education, culture, business, science, data and more, as well as related topics such as free software, license development, collecting societies and copyright advocacy.

The event is free for all attendees, although registration is required, and will include a Spanish-language stream to highlight the expertise of the local community, to learn about their interests, concerns and perspectives for future work.


Summit Program - Call for Papers

The program for this years Global Summit will be developed through a collaborative planning process, with an open call for papers and a Programming Committee made up of community members.

Creative Commons has officially launched its call for papers for the 2013 Global Summit. You have until 24 May to submit a session for the main program of the Summit. Lightning talks and unconference sessions can be submitted later.

For details on how to apply, see our Call for Papers page.

Source and Links Available At


World Bank > Open Data Evangelist Position Description


The World Bank launched its open data initiative in April, 2010, to make World Bank datasets data freely available, accessible, easy to use and re-use, and searchable. The initial focus was on popular datasets with national-level indicators on a broad range of development topics, and the flagship products are the data web site (; the World DataBank (; and a catalog listing of all datasets that are part of the initiative (

The Development Data Group (DECDG) manages the overall coordination of the Open Data and is the secretariat for an Open Data Working Group composed of representatives from all key units in the Bank involved with the project. DECDG’s Open Data team is now seeking to recruit an individual to support the coordination of the Open Data Working Group’s activities and all aspects of its communication and outreach. The successful candidate will assist with project planning for the Working Group. He or she will promote and market the open data and open development agendas with both internal and external stakeholders and audiences; ensure that the open data initiative continues to expand and generate excitement among users – for example, by suggesting areas for expansion of coverage; by ensuring that datasets are accessible using leading methods and techniques; and by ensuring that the data website ( continues to provide an appealing experience for users.

The successful candidate will work within the DECDG Open Data team, but will be expected to work closely with other units throughout the Bank.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Specific tasks, duties, and responsibilities of the successful candidate are expected to be to:
  • Support the implementation of the Open Data initiative, in consultation with other groups and stakeholders, including the management of the Open Data Working Group process.
  • Maintain, manage and monitor a master plan for the Open Data initiative, including sub-projects managed by various groups around the Bank, and interact with task team leaders to ensure smooth implementation.
  • Organize relevant meetings; provide recommendations for improvements; establish, manage and report on key performance indicators, including web metrics, etc.
  • Support the day-to-day management, operation and maintenance of the World Bank’s open data website, including monitoring dataset additions and changes.
  • Develop new ways for users to consume and experience the Bank’s datasets, acting on feedback.
  • Identify new high-value datasets (such as data relevant at local levels) for inclusion in the Open Data initiative and associated tools.
  • Write, edit and review content for use on, blogs, video, and other on-line media outlets, and for use at events (e.g. blog posts, news stories, flyers and presentations for events, tweets, newsletters, etc.)
  • Educate and inform internal and external audiences about the various tools and resources related to open data and open development; market and promote the Open Data Initiative through networking and presentation opportunities, including the use of social media.
  • Engage audiences in a dialogue around the data and its use, and encourage greater involvement of key communities such as development researchers and academics, policy-makers in client countries, and software developers.
  • Pro-actively monitor activity, and engage and contribute as appropriate, in relevant on-line discussion groups (for example, the Google group for the API, the Drupal group for developers using the World Bank Drupal modules, the discussion for Apps for Development entrants, and comments on relevant blogs – e.g. “Let’s Talk Development”).
  • Maintain an Open Data calendar of events, initiating, planning and organizing relevant internal 
  • and external events on Open Data to link ideas, sponsors, partners and data enthusiasts.
Selection Criteria
  • Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Economics, Statistics, Communications, Geography, International Relations, International Development, Public Affairs, Journalism, Marketing, Political Science, or related subject), plus a minimum of 3 years relevant work experience; or a Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline and 5 years of work experience.
  • Experience and proficiency working with public statistics and data management. Prior involvement in open data and open government communities is an advantage,
  • Experience in international development, including knowledge of international trends and political, social and economic issues related to development.
  • Experience with online marketing, advocacy, web analytics and search engine optimization. Expertise using social media and other digital technologies is an advantage.
  • Expertise with web development, particularly use of APIs and web development standards. Knowledge of technologies used by the World Bank (e.g. HTML, XML, PHP, Drupal, .NET) is an advantage.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, with a strong command of English and an ability to convey complex ideas in a clear, direct, and lively style.
  • Ability to use strong interpersonal and teamwork skills to cultivate effective, productive client relationships and partnerships and generate excitement around the Open Data Initiative.
  • Ability to solve problems, with strong investigative and research skills.
  • Sensitivity to working in a multicultural environment.

Position Currently Held By Tariq Khokhar


The Roles of Libraries and Information Professionals In Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiatives

By Gema Bueno-de-la-Fuente, R. John Robertson, Stuart Boon. August 2012

Executive Summary

This report contains the findings of a study carried out by the Centre for Academic Practice & Learning Enhancement (CAPLE) and Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards (CETIS), at the University of Strathclyde. The study focuses on the involvement of the Library as an organizational unit, and of individual librarians and other information science specialists, in open educational resources (OER) initiatives. This research study contributes to the current Open Educational Resources (OER) Programme [], an initiative by JISC and the HEA whose objective is to promote the creation, dissemination, access and use of OER. This programme represents a firm commitment by UK Higher Education (HE) institutions to the OER movement.


The analysis of those survey questions regarding the involvement and roles of the library and librarians at OER initiatives shows a considerable heterogeneity of situations. Their involvement of librarians is significant: three out of four projects teams count on at least one librarian, and most of them are based on the institutional library. In half of the projects accounted for, the library is leading or a partner of the initiative. The main areas of library’s involvement are: description and classification, management, preservation, dissemination, and promotion of OER. In order to support these activities, librarians provided expertise in information science areas, especially: metadata standards, vocabularies, indexing and classification, information retrieval, information literacy, and repository technology and management. It was also found, however, that librarians needed to develop expertise in different areas, including SEO and IPR and licensing options, but mainly about e-learning and OER knowledge, technologies and standards.


The final conclusions of this study indicate that even if the library and/or librarians are well valued by projects where they are already engaged with, the participation of the library is still not widespread, and a significant lack of awareness exists both from OER initiatives with regards to library activities and from the libraries about the resources released by OER initiatives. However, most of the objectives of content-focused OER initiatives are strongly related to library and information science activities and skills and we consider that their involvement would be of great benefit to those projects not yet engaged with them.

We found a clear need to promote the role that libraries and librarians can play in OER initiatives, highlighting the expertise and competencies which libraries and librarians can offer. This active promotion is needed to build awareness among stakeholders about libraries and librarians potential contribution to the OER movement, but also, among libraries and librarians about their key role as OER advocates within and out-with their institutions.

We suggest that a further analysis of the practices of OER initiatives regarding their strategies for storing and dissemination of content, the creation and management of OER collections, and the OER lifecycle is required to effectively promote the role of libraries and information professionals. This analysis, together with an accurate identification of objectives and needs of OER initiatives, would allow for better development of best practice guidelines and recommendations, where librarians have an important role to play.

We conclude that libraries, libraries associations, and LIS education institutions should take on the development of the skills that librarians need to better support OER initiatives, designing and offering training programs and improving syllabus.

Source and Full Text Available At 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

_Open Librarian_ Google Group Launched

The _Open Librarian_  Google Group was established on April 1 2013 > No Joke [:-)] 

It is a companion to the _Open Librarian_ blog located at

It is intended to serve as a forum to discuss identification, organization, and promotion of  a variety of general and specific resources as a corpus that include:

* Institutional and subject repositories.
* Open Access eTheses and Dissertations
* Open Access databases
* Open Access publications and publishing
* Open Data Sets 
* Open Educational Resources

One can subscribe at



Welcome to the IL OER wiki! This wiki was set up by Nancy Graham and Jane Secker as part of our attempts to build a community of practice for sharing information literacy teaching and learning materials as open educational resources.

The site includes:

  • A list of OER initiatives
  • Information about recent and past events on this topic
  • Details about how to get involved

Information Literacy Group and Community Services Group

Aim: To support and encourage the development and sharing of information literacy teaching materials as open educational resources, primarily within the UK.

The Group’s initial activities will be to establish an online space for the Community of Practice and to organise a training event on Creative Commons for those who deliver IL teaching.

If you’d like to keep up with the work of the group and perhaps join in, please see the following resources:

CoPILOT wiki. If you are interested in contributing to the wiki, please contact Eleni Zazani and Ella Mitchell .

Discussion list – – if you wish to join the IL-OERS mailing list please follow this link and click on Subscribe. You will be asked to register and then you will be able to join the list.

Twitter: @CoPILOT2013

Source and Links Available At


Survey Report > Librarians, Information Literacy And Open Educational Resources: Report of A Survey

In April 2012 a short survey was distributed to librarians and information  professionals to explore their knowledge of and practice around the sharing of information literacy teaching materials as open educational resources (OER). This was a joint initiative by two information professionals with support from the CILIP Information Literacy Group and UNESCO. The survey received over 100 responses mainly from  practitioners in the UK, but a smaller number of international responses \ were received. This short report highlights findings from the survey  including awareness and willingness to share resources, barriers to sharing and interest librarians have in helping build a ‘community of  practice’ in this field. 

Source and Link to Full Report Available At

Monday, April 1, 2013

_Open Librarian_ Blog Launched

The _Open Librarian_ was launched on April 1 2013. It is devoted to efforts to identify, organize, and promote Open Resources as a corpus by librarians associated with academic and research libraries.

* Institutional and subject repositories.
* Open Access eTheses and Dissertations
* Open Access databases
* Open Access publications and publishing
* Open Data Sets
* Open Educational Resources
* Other