One of the first reviews of OER efficacy tests included 16 studies (Hilton, 2016). The abstract stated that “ … students generally achieve the same learning outcomes when OER are utilized.”
All nine studies had major confounds such as method of instruction (e.g., comparing OER sections that were taught online or blended versus traditional texts used in a face-to-face class). Some studies switched exams between comparisons and some changed course design (e.g., went to a flipped model). Most study authors acknowledged that the type of textbook was not the only factor that changed.
There is promise in the use of OERs. Beyond the “as good as” findings, some studies suggest they could be beneficial. Jhangiani, Dastur, LeGrand and Penner (2018) found students using print OERs (versus digital) did better on one of three exams tested (no differences on the other two, still good news). Is the promise of OER fulfilled? There is not enough to know yet. We have to be tighter in how we assess the efficacy of such materials in particular and higher education innovation in general.
Methodological challenges abound in classroom research on teaching, as learning is complex. Many challenges can be overcome with strong research design. There are benchmarks for conducting research on teaching and learning (Felton, 2013; Wilson-Doenges and Gurung, 2013), and it would be prudent for more educational researchers to use them.
Open Textbook Webinar — a 90-minute online meeting to learn about open textbooks.
Peer review of open textbooks is a critical component of assessing quality and supporting faculty looking for resources to use in their own classes. After the workshop, you’ll be eligible to earn a $200 stipend if you provide a short review of an open textbook from the OpenTextbook Library. Reviews are due 6-8 weeks following the workshop.
To prepare for the webinar, please take a few minutes and visit the Open Textbook Library (http://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/). Glance through the Open Textbook Library and look for textbooks in your discipline that may be appropriate for you to review. In order to receive the $200 stipend, you must 1) participate in the webinar and 2) complete a textbook review. (Please note: There may not be texts available for review in your areas of expertise.)
When:Wednesday, November 14, 2018; 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Note that additional Open Textbook Webinars are scheduled throughout the academic year. Please contact Karen Pikula, OER Faculty Development Coordinator, at Karen.Pikula@minnstate.edu if you cannot attend the meeting on Monday.
The U.S. Department of Education has finally made a move on its efforts to fund development of open educational resources. The agency issued a notice this week inviting proposals for an “open textbooks pilot program” with an Aug. 29, 2018 deadline. The program was mandated in an omnibus spending law, H.R. 1625, approved by Congress earlier this year. ED expected to issue between one and three awards.
The winning proposals will be eligible for between $1.5 million and $4.95 million. The latter amount is nearly the entire fund of $5 million stipulated for the pilot in an explanatory document that accompanied the spending bill.
The application has three “absolute priorities” and one “competitive preference” priority. The absolutes are these:
The project must involve consortium with at least three institutions participating, along with representation from industry or workforce groups and nonprofit or community organizations;
The proposal needs to fill current gaps in the OER “marketplace” and be able to scale beyond the consortium members; and
The plan needs to address how the OER will promote degree completion.
Additional question related: why not use already existing solutions, as used across the world. Alex response: open source. Tim: content available across institutions. text banks and other data can be grouped by disciplines. Follow up q/n: MLNC, OER Commons. Solution already exists and why don’t we use existing accumulated work. Answer by Karen: pulling many resources, promoting collaboration btw 2 and 4 year institutions. Bigger then just having a repository, collaborative effort on different levels
Access to a “sandbox” to test Islandora: who to contact when and how.
Alex response to “estimated date for faculty upload” – August 2018 approximately
Transferability/ compatible: how east it is to migrate Islandora content to a different platform (e.g. the Minnesota Library Publishing Project) shall other platform is chosen as MN OER platform?
How will this structure ensure that the OER initiative (Islandora in particular) is not “owned” by one branch on campus (e.g. librarians) but it is a mutual effort by faculty and staff (e.g. ATT) in terms of access, e.g. access to different admin levels in Islandora?
From the Adobe COnnect online attendees:
Barbara Sandarin: Regarding “Admin. Rights,” does this restrict who may upload items?
Maintenance: weeding out old materials
the history of Islandora: who when developed. 2009, U of Rhode Island
Stephen Kelly: how does Inslandora integrate video. microsite solutions
structure of repository:
Islandora only stores, but the actual creation is outside of Islandora adoption scope
how do the individual teams are built, communicate with
open pedagogy: students creating open textbooks. creating of D2L courseroom. Karen: learning circles. Gary Hunter’s form regarding copyright issues etc.
storage: unlimited yet, but might be if file size are big.
Robert Bilyk: Look at OpenStax on how they handle derivative content
Tim: what do we want to be able to search for: 1. Title 2. subject 3. Format 4. type 5. permission to modify or not 6. keywords 7. author 8. home institution of author 9. peer revieewd 10. author info (advanced feature) 11. Robert Bilyk: Assurance of accessibility — tables, images, etc. 12. course 13. hashtags
Robert Bilyk: Curriki allows any submission — but their editorial board eventually gets around to review — and then this is indicated
Session 2: The Digital Age: The Impact and Future Possibilities Offered by Data and Technology
Thank you for registering to participate in the second Reimagining Minnesota State forum. The Forums have been designed to spark not only individual reflection but what we hope can serve as catalysts for discussions in a variety of venues. The Forum will be recorded and available for viewing on the Reimagining website.
Below are the directions whether you are attending in person or by live stream.
Catherine Haslag: Is there any research to show students retention in an online class vs a face-to-face course?
the challenge is not collecting, but integrating, using data.
silos = cylinder of excellence.
technology innovation around advising. iPASS resources.
adaptive learning systems – how students advance through the learning process.
games and simulations Bryan Mark Gill. voice recognition,
next 3 to 5 years AR. by 2023 40% with AR and VR
AI around the controversial. Chatbot and Voice assistants.
Unizin: 13 founding members to develop platform, Canvas, instructional services, data for predictive analytic, consistent data standard among institutions,
University innovation Alliance. Analytics as the linchpin for students’ success. graduation rates increase. racial gap graduation. Georgia State.
digital ethics. Mark Gill and Susana Nuccetelli. digital ethics: Susana Nuccetelli brought her students from the Philosophy Dept to Mark Gill’s SCSu Vizlab so we can discuss ethics and AI, last semester. email@example.com
assistant vice president for student success and prevention Morgan State U
the importance of training in technology adoption
Dr. Peter Smith, Orkand Endowed Chair and Professor of Innovative Practices in Higher Education at University of Maryland University College
social disruption, national security issue,
Allan Taft Candadian researcher, 700 hours / year learning something. 14 h/w.
learners deserve recognition
free range learning.
how do we get a value on people from a different background? knowledge discrimination. we value it on where they learned it. then how you learned it and what you can do with it. talent and capacity not recognized.
we, the campus, don’t control the forces for a very first time. MIT undergrad curricula is free, what will happen. dynamics at work here. declining student numbers, legislation unhappy. technology had made college more expensive, not less. doing the right thing, leads to more disruption. local will be better, if done well. workplace can become a place for learning.
learning is a social activity. distance learning: being on the farthest raw of 300 Princeton lecture. there is a tool and there is people; has to have people at the heart.
what will work not only for MN, but for each of the campuses, the personalization.
staying still is death.
what is the role of faculty in the vendor and discussions about technology. a heat map shows that IT people were testing the vendor web site most, faculty and student much less.
At democracy’s heart lies a set of paradoxes: a delicate interplay of identity and anonymity, secrecy and transparency. To be sure you are eligible to vote and that you do so only once, the authorities need to know who you are. But when it comes time for you to mark a ballot, the government must guarantee your privacy and anonymity. After the fact, it also needs to provide some means for a third party to audit the election, while also preventing you from obtaining definitive proof of your choice, which could lead to vote selling or coercion.
Building a system that accomplishes all this at once — and does so securely — is challenging enough in the physical world. It’s even harder online, as the recent revelation that Russian intelligence operatives compromised voting systems in multiple states makes clear.
In the decade since the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto published an infamous white paper outlining the idea behind bitcoin, a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” based on a mathematical “consensus mechanism,” more than 1,500 new cryptocurrencies have come into being.
definition: Nathan Heller in the New Yorker, in which he compares the blockchain to a scarf knit with a single ball of yarn. “It’s impossible to remove part of the fabric, or to substitute a swatch, without leaving some trace,” Heller wrote. Typically, blockchains are created by a set of stakeholders working to achieve consensus at every step, so it might be even more apt to picture a knitting collective creating that single scarf together, moving forward only when a majority agrees that a given knot is acceptable.
Unlike bitcoin, a public blockchain powered by thousands of miners around the world, most voting systems, including Votem’s, employ what’s known as a “permissioned ledger,” in which a handful of approved groups (political parties, election observers, government entities) would be allowed to validate the transactions.
there’s the issue of targeted denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, in which a hacker directs so much traffic at a server that it’s overwhelmed and ceases to function.
Although a distributed ledger itself would likely withstand such an attack, the rest of the system — from voters’ personal devices to the many servers a vote would pass through on its way to the blockchain — would remain vulnerable.
there’s the so-called penetration attack, like the University of Michigan incursion, in which an adversary gains control of a server and deliberately alters the outcome of an election.
While it’s true that information recorded on a blockchain cannot be changed, a determined hacker might well find another way to disrupt the process. Bitcoin itself has never been hacked, for instance, but numerous bitcoin “wallets” have been, resulting in billions of dollars in losses. In early June 2018, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange was penetrated, causing the value of bitcoin to tumble and resulting in a loss of $42 billion in market value. So although recording the vote tally on a blockchain introduces a new obstacle to penetration attacks, it still leaves holes elsewhere in the system — like putting a new lock on your front door but leaving your basement windows open.
A blockchain is only as valuable as the data stored on it. And whereas traditional paper ballots preserve an indelible record of the actual intent of each voter, digital votes “don’t produce an original hard-copy record of any kind,”
In the end, democracy always depends on a certain leap of faith, and faith can never be reduced to a mathematical formula. The Economist Intelligence Unit regularly ranks the world’s most democratic counties. In 2017, the United States came in 21st place, after Uruguay and Malta. Meanwhile, it’s now widely believed that John F. Kennedy owed his 1960 win to election tampering in Chicago. The Supreme Court decision granting the presidency to George W. Bush rather than calling a do-over — despite Al Gore’s popular-vote win — still seems iffy. Significant doubts remain about the 2016 presidential race.
While little doubt remains that Russia favored Trump in the 2016 election, the Kremlin’s primary target appears to have been our trust in the system itself. So if the blockchain’s trendy allure can bolster trust in American democracy, maybe that’s a net positive for our national security. If someone manages to hack the system, hopefully they’ll do so quietly. Apologies to George Orwell, but sometimes ignorance really is strength.