#AcWriMo, Higher Education, K-12, Learning, Learning and Performance, Learning Technologies, Online Learning, Professional Development, Research, Training & Development

What *IS* Innovation? Tell us. The CFP for OLC Innovate 2016 (#OLCinnovate) is OPEN!

What *IS* innovation?

This is the FIRST question the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) co-chairs, Karen VignarePaige McDonald and I, asked each other as we started to organize the *NEW* OLC Innovate Conference (#OLCinnovate). Innovation is a BIG word. It means so many different things, to so many different people. Before putting out the call and promoting the #OLCInnovate conference (happening April 20-22, 2016 in  New Orleans, LA), we thought carefully about who we wanted to join the planning team and how to design a conference experience to live up to the “hype” of the word INNOVATE. This conference was formed to merge the best ideas of blended learning (from #blend15) and emerging technologies for online learning (from #et4online); however we expect this meeting in NOLA — OLC Innovate 2016 — to be SO MUCH MORE! Thanks to our AMAZING #OLCInnovate Steering Committee (Tw-shout outs HERE and HERE) we support to hash out what innovation means for the program tracks, developed thoughtful session types for program delivery/format, and, we hope, this conference will model the learning design we all strive for at our institutions and organizations.

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So WHY should you attend #OLCinnovate 2016? [What’s in it for me? you ask.]

  • Advancing learning requires continuous visionary leadership from all disciplines
  • Connecting with multiple stakeholders (i.e. learners, educators, administrators, trainers, researchers, administrators, faculty, policy-makers, designers, and industry leaders) to strategize about the evolving needs at our institutions and organizations
  • Sharing learning and development ideas for all levels – K-12, higher education, & industry
  • Implementing solution-based approaches to learning design, support, and structure
  • Researching and developing evidence-based practices for learning is now more critical than ever.

Our #OLCinnovate planning team thinks this conference is a great opportunity to bring ideas, perspectives, research, and practices to the table to truly support innovation in education. The program tracks are structured around areas we all face with learning and development in K-12, higher education, and industry:

  • Workforce Innovation – connections from K-12 to higher ed to the workforce, curriculum to meet industry needs, partnerships for learning & work
  • Structural Innovation – systemic challenges, organization of education, learning spaces, partnerships between educators & technology solutions
  • Pedagogical Innovation – course & program approaches, methods, design, assessment models, etc.
  • Challenging Barriers to Innovation – digital divide, OER, Open Access, sharing evidence, ethical research collaborations, opportunities and areas for learning growth
  • Propose Your Own Topic – Tell us what YOU think innovation IS or what is missing!

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The call for proposals (CFP) is OPEN until November 9 December 2, 2015 

Program Format (Session Types) include:

  1. Conversations That Work – why have a panel, when you can facilitate a discussion on the topic with others in the room? Think of questions, discussion prompts, and ideas you want to chat about for this 45-minute session.
  2. Emerging Ideas – Forget the “traditional poster session” we want you to share your practice, research, and work-in-progress ideas in 10-15 minutes to get ideas, feedback, and suggestions during this networking event with both on-site & virtual attendees.
  3. Innovation Labs – 5-minute chat about the concept/idea; 20-minute demonstration; 20-minute applied skills for learning, technology, research, design, or other.
  4. Research Highlights & Trends – 15-minute presentation on your original research; abstract due in November; final, full paper due January 31, 2016 with the potential to be invited to a special issue of the Online Learning journal.
  5. Workshops – these are interactive 90-minute sessions with valuable take-away learning outcomes for participants (free to all conference participants).
  6. Education Sessions – a 45-minute lecture about an idea/concept with 5-10 minutes for Q & A at the end.

There are a number of helpful tips provided on the CFP page; however if you have questions or needs, I would be happy to support you with your proposal development/submission. It is getting the right PEOPLE and VOICES to the table that adds value to any learning and development experience. Please help us invite of institutional stakeholders from education (K-12 and higher ed), and industry (technology, design, L & D, and corporate training) to #OLCinnovate. Share this blog post with your peers, and tell me who the #OLCinnovate planning team should reach out to or invite. Thanks!

SUBMIT A PROPOSAL FOR OLC INNOVATE 2016!

Upcoming announcements of other #OLCinnovate program features, speakers, highlights, and are coming soon… stay tuned for more updates!

Open Education, OpenAccess

Open Access Beyond #OAWeek: Reading Round-Up

Last week (October 19-25, 2015) was International Open Access Week (#OAweek) with the overarching goal for accessible scholarship, research, and educational content.

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Did you know about #OAweek? How did you mark or celebrate being open? In my efforts to play catch up and support open access, open educational resources (OER), open data, and openness for collaboration, here’s a rundown post about the latest happenings around OPENnness.

The Welcome Trust celebrated 10 years of Open Access and to mark #OAweek the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), marked the week of open access by highlighting Collaboration in the Open:

“Open access is the practice of making research available online, for free, ideally under licenses that permit widespread dissemination. This year’s theme for Open Access Week is ‘open for collaboration’ …both in academia and beyond—enables a kind of collaboration that can scale very quickly.

When research is closed, no one can access it unless they (or, more often, the institutions where they work or study) can afford expensive journal subscriptions or online libraries. When research is open, anyone can access it, study it, and use it, regardless of their budget or institutional affiliation.

Open access also opens the door to a type of collaboration that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Authors that publish their research in an open access journal—or deposit it in an open access repository after publication—invite others to use it and transform it in ways that they might not have even imagined. The work can become part of a larger project, expanding the body of public knowledge even more.”

If you have not read Martin Weller‘s book, The Battle for the Open, this might be a good time to download your OPEN COPY to understand the growing issues and obstacles we face in the world of openness and higher education. [Here’s a previous plug and my take on the book.]

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To honor #OAweek (belated) I present you an OPEN round-up of reads I’ve wrangled from this past month (and perhaps beyond) about open access (publishing, learning, resources, data, repositories, etc). I’m sure I’ve missed a few things, so please share other articles, resources, and updates about the open in the comments. Cheers!

Making Open Access work: Clustering analysis of academic discourse suggests OA is still grappling with controversy.

Stephen Pinfield discusses this article: “to provide an overview of one of the most important and controversial areas of scholarly communication: Open Access publishing and dissemination of research outputs. It identifies and discusses recent trends and future challenges for various stakeholders in delivering Open Access (OA) to the scholarly literature.”

Check out the Free online #webinar on The Impact of Open Education @Edtechie via @Ignatia Webs

This free webinar, which is being promoted by the ALT Open Education Special Interest Group, will explore findings of the OER Research Hub, which has been investigating the impact of open educational resources. btw, the OER Research Hub is a source of wonderful, innovative OER-work, really worth exploring!

Opening Up Open Access: Moving beyond business models and towards cooperative, scholar-organized, open networks. via @kfitz

This issue of credit usually gets discussed in the U.S. in terms of the things that “count” for promotion and tenure, but recent developments in Europe and the U.K. make the question of counting all the more literal, as the continued financial support of entire departments can hinge on a quantified assessment of those departments’ productivity, and the nature of “productivity” is all too narrowly defined.

SPARC Launches Open Access Evaluation Tool 

“the launch of the Open Access Spectrum (OAS) Evaluation Tool, which provides a concrete, quantifiable mechanism to independently analyze publications’ policies.

The OAS Evaluation Tool generates an “Openness” score that is straightforward, easy to understand, and free. The program provides critical information to authors, libraries, research funders, government agencies, and other interested parties. It can be used to help determine compliance with funder policies, institutional mandates, and researchers’ individual values. It also offers a unique opportunity for publishers to independently validate their journals’ degree of openness and compliance with funder and campus policies.”

HowOpenIsIt? Guide from PLOS

The “HowOpenIsIt?®” Open Access Spectrum (OAS) guide standardizes Open Access terminology in an easily understandable, comprehensive resource created by PLOS, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). The guide defines core components of Open Access derived from the articulation of basic tenets in the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI).

Academics have found a way to access insanely expensive research papers—for free 

When content is not accessible and open, the scholars revert to the hashtag #icanhazpdf: “many people are becoming increasingly frustrated with a business model—where work is produced by academics, edited by their peers, and often funded by the taxpayer—is hidden behind a paywall.

Exploring the publishing model of the Open Library of Humanities: A view from Latin America

 Francisco Osorio provides a brief overview of what sets this journal project apart from the rest and how the new funding model offers an economic, social and technological platform for the humanities and social sciences to transition to open access. At the heart of the matter is the forms of communication in humanities and social sciences as distinctive from the natural sciences.

Open access papers ‘more likely to be cited on Twitter’ 

Much to no one’s surprise: “open access journals and articles have a ‘big advantage’ when it comes to being shared on Twitter compared with those behind a paywall.”

What does Academia_edu’s success mean for Open Access? The data-driven world of search engines and social networking.

[Academia.edu is] “the ‘largest social-publishing network for scientists’, and ‘larger than all its competitors put together’ – clearly raises a number of questions for the open access movement. After all, compared to the general sluggishness (and at times overt resistance) with which the call to make research available on an open access basis has been met.”

The Future of figshare (for open data sharing)

figshare has strived to engender a strong sustainability model that would allow us to continue to improve our free offering. With our continued successes, alongside file sizes and research outputs increasing year on year, we’re going to be removing our premium accounts leaving only one tier of account

OECD report on students, computers and learning: making the connection [REPORT]

Are there computers in the classroom? Does it matter? Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection examines how students’ access to and use of information and communication technology (ICT) devices has evolved in recent years, and explores how education systems and schools are integrating ICT into students’ learning experiences.

Open Education Resources in Canada via the IRRODL

Canada’s important areas of expertise in open educational resources (OER) are beginning to be built upon or replicated more broadly in all education and training sectors. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art in OER initiatives and open higher education in general in Canada, providing insights into what is happening nationally and provincially. There are growing examples of OER initiatives from several Canadian institutions offering free courses to Canadians and international learners.

Is it time for Canada to implement a unified open strategy for higher education? asks @clintlalonde

From Clint’s UBC/SFU Open Access week forum talk on this question [I concur with your response, Clint.]: “yes, having a unified national strategy on all things open is likely a good idea for the simple fact that it gets all the various strands of open – open access, open education, open source software, open pedagogy, open data –  in the same room. And any reason to bring people together to talk about their commonalities is a good thing.”

Openly Licensed Educational Resources: Providing Equitable Access to Education for All Learners via the US Federal Government

Open education advances key national priorities, including supporting shared economic prosperity, strengthening civil society, and investing in human development. Over the next year, the U.S. Government will continue efforts to expand and accelerate the use and availability of openly licensed educational materials worldwide. In addition, we will begin to model the transition to openly licensed educational materials at scale in U.S. K-12 schools.  We look forward to engaging with the national and global community to identify opportunities for open licensing to accelerate educational equity for all learners regardless of their financial situations or geographic locations.

Community Call from ALT: Open Education Technology and Practice

ALT is piloting a monthly ‘Community Call’ where we speak to ALT Members about their work. For our first call we speak with Lorna Campbell who is an advocate for open education, technology and practice.

Institute for Open Leadership Applications via Creative Commons – Due October 30, 2015

Earlier this year, Creative Commons and the Open Policy Network hosted the first Institute for Open Leadership (IOL). The IOL is a training and support program to empower new leaders interested in crafting and implementing an open licensing policy within their discipline. We had adiverse cohort of 14 fellows who came together for a week in January, 2015 in San Francisco. The fellows worked with mentors and each other to hone their open policy project ideas. Since then they’ve working within their institutions and fields to implement their open policy plan.

The impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of higher ed students

In some educational settings, the cost of textbooks approaches or even exceeds the cost of tuition. Given limited resources, it is important to better understand the impacts of free open educational resources (OER) on student outcomes. Utilizing digital resources such as OER can substantially reduce costs for students. The purpose of this study was to analyze whether the adoption of no-cost open digital textbooks significantly predicted students’ completion of courses, class achievement, and enrollment intensity during and after semesters in which OER were used.

A Librarian’s Guide to OER in the Maker Space

Because of their capacity to stimulate creativity, OER are the perfect complement to the maker space movement. The maker movement shares a philosophy with the open source movement by fostering creativity, collaboration, and personalization in schools. The integration of OER into well-planned, well-designed maker spaces brings together physical and virtual interests and activities and expands learning opportunities.   Maker spaces are especially well suited for OER because they demonstrate inquiry-based learning and allow students some autonomy to direct their learning.

The Real Threat of OER via David Wiley (@opencontent)

Publishers continue to believe that “free” is the main threat posed to their business models by OER. Perhaps that is because pricing is a threat they understand and know how to counteract. However, the core idea of openness – to generously grant others the broad range of permissions that enables them to innovate in any manner they can imagine – that is the real threat OER pose to commercial publishers. While the prices for commercial materials may eventually approach affordability, publishers are structurally unable to grant faculty the broad set of copyright permissions necessary to truly empower them. Their business models forbid it.

 The arXiv cannot replace traditional publishing without addressing the standards of research assessment [in open repositories]. via @JanvadeHe

So why has the arXiv become so important for researchers in these particular fields? Why is it that it is now more or less standard that any active researcher in these areas will deposit a close to final version of their publications in the archive? Part of it can be explained by the increasing prominence of Open Access and related developments in academic publishing. But that can only explain a small part of the success of the arXiv. The main reason of its success, in my opinion, is a specific feature of these research areas: the very long lead time between submission and publication in a journal of papers in those fields, and hence the historic prominence of “preprints” and “reports.”

The benefits of Open Access Repositories – Q & A with Professor Sonia Livingstone shares her thoughts on the LSE’s institutional repository, LSE Research Online (LSERO)

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Honest and reliable Open Access Journals in Open and Distance Education from Rob Farrow at the @OER_Hub

Higher Education, Professional Development, Reflections

Digesting #dLRN15: Making Sense of Higher Ed

In the midst of the death of higher ed headlines,the  disruption of HE,  and all the higher ed is broken rhetoric tossed out, a few of us took a pause last week to discuss how to deal with the issues and challenges facing the post-secondary education sector at #dLRN15. I felt fortunate to be able to connect with a number of colleagues to talk behind the buzzwords, and dig into a the real issues challenges our colleges and universities face. It’s time and there is a need to take time for making change in higher education (thanks for the prompt post, @KateMfD). I am not sure that “change” was made, but I am proud to be part of the discussion and momentum that will move some of it forward.

pre-con QaMany thanks to the conference organizers for bringing a few smart kids around the table to discuss the following issues:

  • Ethics of collaboration
  • Individualized learning
  • Systemic impacts
  • Innovation and work
  • Sociocultural implications

The panels, sessions, and keynotes left me with more questions than answers – and that is a good thing. Beyond the formal program, the sidebar chats over coffee/snacks/pints were not to be dismissed As Mike Caufield said, I will need to process discussions had at #dLRN15 for weeks. There were some deep discussions into complex issues that could not be dealt with in just two days.

In our pre-conference meeting, each group picked a question/issue based on the themes the conference was focused on (see above). One the groups developed a question that resonated with me the most:

keyquestionWe always want to push forward with big change and innovative ideas in higher ed, but really do we sometimes forget to recognize the incremental changes occurring within our institutions? How do we acknowledge the slow movements and progress we make in HE or that it is an on-going process of change? There are many micro-movements occurring within our learning spaces to help us evolve. I know there are a number of amazing things happening within our colleges and universities — sometimes it’s these slow contributions that make the difference and we often fail to recognize this gradual progress. Slow and steady does win the race.

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Ethics of Collaboration & Closing Remarks: Random Dude, Mike, Barbara & George

Fast-forward to the end of the conference, after a number of thoughtful conversations, this final panel reminded all of us of the call to action => to provide evidence for higher ed to shift. George Siemens asked us to utilize research to fuel the fight around the issues raised. Beyond collaboration, what are we really going to do with what we’ve talked about now? It’s great to hear that we are not alone in our discussions however we need empirical evidence to support the change ahead in higher education. I appreciated how this panel spoke about getting beyond the dichotomies and encouraged us to think about research in collaboration with our students and work. We really need to listen to our students and amplify their story/voice in the research we do. It’s easier to move and change when there is already momentum for systemic change, and perhaps #dLRN15 titled the scale for a few. There are a number of challenges and questions from #dLRN15 to consider with our research in higher education, including:

  • What were the foundational assumptions and purpose we thought about at the #dlrn15 ?
  • How do the threads of the conference fit together in a framework to support advancing higher ed? 
  • What does it mean to have a US-centrist focus in higher education? How does it impact HE on a global scale? Does it?
  • Was there enough systems-level research or research on systems change at #dLRN15?
  • Is there a need for systematic-change at all levels to advert change in higher ed?
  • How can higher ed research impact practitioner-based work?
  • Is research is the lever for change for us? And does empirical evidence have the potential to change the higher ed system?
  • How can we create a true design jam process — where research is reviewed and reflected?
  • Why should we trust the researchers?
  • We are able to get learners to the institution, but just not to get them through
  • economics of higher education — and the future of higher ed
  • Do we have enough divergent thoughts or ideas shared? Is this an echo chamber or do we need to invite others into the room/discussion for HE? 

This conversation (thankfully) is not over. Here’s a snapshot of my #dLRN15 Reading List with reflections and then some. Let’s keep this conversation and momentum going.