Session 2 Virtual participant breakout

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  • Demonstrated through prototype courses (and micro courses) that the concept is workable.
    • Yes those have been very good By the way, this is Joyce McKnight...who else is here?
    • (click on the "person" icon in the upper right. Jim Tittsler)
  • Hi Jim...good to talk with you. I am a little troubled by the lack of continuity I see in the participation in this group...
  • That is an interesting point. While there are a number of familiar faces, the network has grown and as you point out there is change within institutions (and government initiatives).
  • I think the buy in of important international groups and institutions such as the British Open University is important.
  • Established working groups that have (mostly) been meeting regularly to openly record successes and areas needing work, and encourage progress on the overall mission.


  • develop wider participation //within// the partner institutions, both education/learning design and technical implementation
    • I agree I think that is crucial
    • We need to make it as easy as possible for partners to participate.
    • I am having difficulty recruiting additional help but perhaps that is because we are undergoing major changes at the institutional level
    • I have trouble keeping up with all that is going on...could it be simplified?
    • Need some way to keep "older" partners involved especially when there are institutional changes.
    • Speed of development is surprisingly slow in an educational landscape that seems to be changing quickly. There was a lot of interest and enthusiasm generated by last year's "official launch" but few courses offered. It might be worthwhile to adopt a software startup mentality, to start with a "minimum viable product" and learn by offering it how might be improved.
  • The two are related. Since I don't have full institutional buy in I lack technical support, eespcially since we use an entirely different platform. It would be great if OERu could offer Instructional Design Suppport. For instance, I proposed Urban Studies (a course I supervise) then found that it is mostly US centric and also has a lot of proprietary materials. I need suggestions for conversion and giving it an international slant. I don't have anyone here to help. I am sure other institutions are facing the same time crunch....that is a general problem with collaborative efforts they tend to fall to the bottom in times of change.
  • It might also work to have course development teams from inside OERu...for the courses already nominated...for instance, a subject matter expert, instructional design expert, and technological expert for each course...roles could switch....especially for subject matter experts. I wonder how we co" Something like your summer of code. etc. I think experts in the design using the wiki would be a godsend. I know our Instructional Designers here are wonderful...but hard to free up especially since the whole state system is doinomething called OpenSUNY that takes instructional design time as well.
    • As an Open Source software advocate, I'm surprised by the emphasis on institutions delivering complete courses on their own. It seems to be missing one of the key benefits of collaboration. If the courses were being openly developed in the wiki, then even a "rough draft" is a significant contribution. I would hope that other partner institutions would be able to collaborate in producing a well rounded whole. The Open Source world has discovered that starting a project with a solid foundation and a vision for where it should go and then making it public early is an optimal strategy for success. It is far easier to recruit serious collaborators early in the process than if at the end of development you suddenly release a complete "product" as "open."
    • Yes that is ideal...but at least US institutions always favor independence and a competitive age...administrators have to be convinced of the benefits...remember many people don't understand how open source software works so we need a way to spread the word. In higher ed not only are individual institutions jealous of their courses, but even individual faculty members are reluctant to share...Part of it has to do with remuneration.
    • Oh I think I understand what you are saying...could we do something in which one institution agrees to "sponsor" a course when it is completed but a more open team works on it...then sort of "rotate" I would love to help others with instructional designs, if they would help me. You said it well "Open Source World" It really is a 'world" and many folks, even those in administration who should be aware of it aren't aware of it.
      • Yes. I really believe that collaboration really helps develop community. We need to be more than a network in name. Right I think we have left too much up to individual institutions. I think that institutions could "nominate" courses to be listed but the actual development might be done cross institutionally...does that make sense. I love this stuff but it is new to me.
  • encourage some of the "silent partners" of OERu to become active In marketing perhaps a small group could contact the main people from each institution (voice to voice if not face to face to get an idea of their expectations, hopes and dreams and then we could go from there. I am somewhat concerned that we have a list of partners but few are extensively active...and even some of them may have only a few people involved.
  • Do an "asset based" assessment of what each partner brings and what each partner wants.


  • Ideas for increasing internal institutional buy in.
  • Strategies for convincing upper management that active participation could eventually cut down on development workload.