During the past couple of years I have thought much about openness in terms of my own educational resources. From being very protective having everything behind secure passwords I have gradually open up. The way my students, and myself work before and during group meetings depends on availability of online resources. Since the course list provides options rather than necessities in my teaching other resources are crucial. I have thus come to the conclusion that I can’t justify keeping my material hidden if I’m demanding access to others. So, a few years ago I was approached by the local iTunes-U group who needed material to reach a critical mass on the university level. A lecture series was uploaded in this way. So far, I have not faced a situation were I needed to regret this and it has also made my life as a teacher a bit easier. Students have encouraged me to proceed and now everything in my undergraduate teaching is public.
I have been wondering why there is such a general resistance towards this culture of open resources and there are several reasons, in my own domain of medicine, that may be important.
, Argument, Possible solution
1, Lack of time, Allocation of budget
2, Lack of knowhow, University and/or programme level education
3, Images and resources used are not open resources, Allocation of budget to make own / to find open resources
4, Images of patients may violate legislation, Tricky – photo model contracts for patiens?
5, ‘My material needs to be hidden for pedagogical reasons’ , University and/or programme level education
I asked my students to suggest reasons as well and they came to similar alternatives besides the last which probably is a reason only in the head of the teacher. Regardless, they felt it was unacceptable that materials were unaccessible merely because of legislative perspectives patient security (reasons 3 & 4) and that actions need to be taken to resolve this issue. I’m more prone to back up student opinion now than before engaging in the ONL course. The OER Evidence Report 2013-2014 forwarded by Ebba Ossiannilsson provided a reasonable research foundation for continued efforts along this route.
From the experiences of the ONL course so far I see a need for massive education in the use of and creation of open educational resources as well as of online learning pedagogy. I envisage courses and seminars at a faculty and programme level to facilitate the late migration into the new century. Apart from that I also feel that my own teaching is at a major turn at the moment and it’s definitely a feeling i like making it even more fun and challenging to act in undergraduate teaching.