Open Source

Wikiversity course: Composing free and open online educational resources

We started today on Wikiversity an experimental course with an online class. The topic of the course is “Composing free and open online educational resources”.

The course is targeted for teachers and teacher-students who do not have prior knowledge or skills related to free and open education resources.

More than 70 people registered to the course. The program will take nine weeks and there are weekly readings and assignments. To accomplish the assignments participants are asked to write blog posts every week.

All the readings, program and the assignments are is in the Wikiversity. Since November 19th the course program has been under construction making it possible for anyone to add in it topics, materials and assignments for the class. There are still some open spots in the program.

With Hans – my co-facilitator – we are trying to make this a social constructivist learning experience for all – including us. Important issue in a learning, that is aiming to build something new with other people, is to define what are the shared, boundary objects of the community. I have written about this in several earlier posts on this blog. Probably the best one about this topic is the post:

Different forms of collaboration in learning

We have objectives in the course. To summarize them (you can check the whole list from the Wikiversity page), the objective is to get familiar with the idea of co-creation of learning resources and several concepts closely related to the phenomena. To do this we have assignments with reading and writing about the topics and some hands-on working with learning resources. To “get familiar” with something is of course very open and hard to measure objective. The participants, however, may do self-evaluation: if they feel they understand what is the OER about they made it. They know when they are there.

Why I call this course experimental? I simply want to try out how a “real” course and study work on Wikiversity could be. With this course I am searching for the right form. For me this is a prototyping experience.

All ready now I have some feature ideas for the Wikiversity. For instance, a simple aggregator of blog posts would be super. Now we are using a Jaiku channel for the purpose. Jaiku is cool and we can, for instance, have this kind of badges showing all the posts of all the participants.

To get the feeds in the Jaiku, however, I got to copy paste about 70 URL’s. I think computers are (should be) good at automating this kind of tasks. Someone should write a bot that is able to visit the Wikiversity course’s participants page, find URLs with blog feeds and create a page that is displaying the feeds.

I am sure that when the course will go on, we will come-up with similar kind of “would be nice to have” things. So, I consider the Wikiversity itself to be another shared object of the course.

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