torsdag 6 mars 2008

Commentary of the article by Ilkka Tuomi on OER.

Reading the article by Ilkka Tuomi was quite interesting. From my perspective we´re in a need of a broad discussion between universities in almost every country. At our university ( we´re working a lot with netbased learning and I predict that our university in next year will become the biggest university in Sweden working with distance education and netbased learning. In my work as a ICT-strategist at the university I encounter a lot of questions about how to protect the teachers digital material. The way I see it we´re in a need to do the opposite, that means, offering others our digital material and not trying to hide what we´re are doing.

When reading Mr. Tuomis article I realize that openness are important, not just openness in the technical domain but also in our pedagogical and theoretical domain. As Mr. Tuomi writes at page 5 in the article we´re in a global change in our world. This article was written in 2006 and today this is even more true than just two years ago. Our education system is based on a 500-years tradition we´re the teacher in the lecture hall has control over what he or she are saying as well control of the students. This isn´t the situation any more in our university. We´re creating over 5000 streaming lectures every year and this growing rapidly year after year. That means also that our employees needs to work, lecture and have seminars sessions in a different way than before.

At page 26 and further Mr. Toumi writes about three different hierarchies levels of openess. This classification are compliant in the discussion of open software but not when talking about education material as lectures. Using this classification on learning materials I encountering problems according to the copyright laws. I mean…if I take a lecture from another teacher and modify the lecture in a different way many things can go wrong. The teacher that “owns” her material might feel uncomfortable that her material will be used in a another environment than intended (this is mentioned in other words at page 23) Anyhow…it might be a way to use the classification mentioned above even in this example but there are several things to sorting out first. For example is working with a Wikipedia solution something that with benefit could be a OER that not alter the teachers intends but improve it. Maybe it´s enough using the openness at level III with the restriction “can be rejected only by criteria that are compatible with the norms of academic science”?

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