OU Conf: user-generated content etc

Darrel Ince – Let the students do it

Big idea: The student generated course.

e-Learning course – students learn about e-learning (20 weeks), then develop a course (12 weeks), use that as assignment. Select the best on TMA mark and rework them into a course.

We define the structure – the main chunks – for the students to develop. Give them the learning outcomes. “We don’t want anarchy” but may encourage it later. 15h chunk, done in collaboration with another student. A process for assigning topics.

The course is generic. Could get used very widely, incl beyond the OU.

Final draft May, Oct 2009 first presentation. Topic is Web 2.0.

Also got funding to get 120 students to write a book for us on computer music; partnership with OUP and local print-on-demand shop.

IPR issue – all Creative Commons?

John Woodthorpe, Jill Shaw, Mirjam Hauck and Tita Beaven –
User-generated course content: its application in ICT and language courses

John blames Tony for this.

fOUndit – Open Source CMS – collect, share and rate online resources. Basically links to relevant URLs that live beyond the course – social bookmarking – very very similar to Digg.

Pilot with T175 and L314 Spanish and L315 German. Languages students picking it up much more than T175 people. Interested in potential for gathering user-generated course content. Library involved too.

Karma system for rewarding/recognising valuable contributions. Important thing is not the quality of the resource you find, but the quality of your analysis.

Login credentials is interesting – don’t know if people really are OU students. OpenID might be the solution – Alex Little has openid.open.ac.uk working – an OU OpenID server, login with your OUCU – needs people to use it or it’ll fade away and die.
Terry di Paolo – U122 Recognising acheivement

Audience – little to no post-compulsory educ, paid and voluntary work.

APEL – need to be clear about what we want them to do and what past learning is.

30 pts, MCT host, 25 wks, 1st pres Nov 2007, 12 students and 2 tutors, 3 eTMAs + ECA. All online.

First four units – think about past learning and what we mean (4wks). Last three units (20 wks) analysing, looking across learning experiences, plan next steps. Record work in MyStuff. Experiences verified by manager/supervisor as a true representation.

Students like it. Desirable to employers, workers don’t want a degree/diploma; stepping stone to HE. Unions supporting. Accreditation of prior learning – not what the course is doing, it’s more using prior learning as material for a course, the credit is for the analysis.

Credit Transfer Centre – interesting links and issues.

Could be a very open offering? Tutors mainly do assessment – vital bit of course. Tutors also important in clarifying what is meant by a learning experience. So not entirely decoupleable.

Could be really interesting to accredit the actual learning experiences too, to give credit at multiple levels.


OU Conf: Tony Hirst – Facebook apps

Back to liveblogging temporarily – if you can’t liveblog Tony Hirst’s presentation what can you do?

Vicky Smith chairing

Tony offers to do his talk from a seat at the back of the meeting room via a video link from his laptop to the presentation machine – only partly in jest.

Tony Hirst, Stuart Brown, Liam Green-Hughes, Martin Weller – Two unauthOUrised Facebook Apps

Presentation off-brand so trying to be on brand by wearing a pink OU T shirt.

Student peers are faceless – some chances in tutorials but hard. Lots of students inhabit Facebook – 6500 OU users in our network at last count with OU email addresses; lots of groups for courses.

Facebook growing – 4th biggest in terms of time spent – but traffic levelling off.  Over 50% of users go in once a day.

Why Facebook vs FirstClass? More informal, social first, say students.  Students use OU courses as conversation basis – in forums, in sigs, and so on.

First app – Sept last year – informal project with Liam and Stuart – Course Profile – not built on authenticated access or student records, it’s volunteered info from students.  Only OU stuff is the database of course codes and titles – rival app from a student doing similar mapping not as popular.

When add a course, appears on your minifeed, and messages from friends on your Wall.  With prompt to add app yourself.

Have had a handful of registrations from the app! For each course, shows OpenLearn, Comment Wall, Friends studying it, Recommend, find a study buddy. Now about 4500 users, probably saturated now unless big growth in OU users of Facebook.

Nice analytics on users, including study journeys through courses to programme/quals.

Courses Profile is not regular visit, came up with My OU Story – reason to visit regularly.  Student gives regular updates and moods – with graphs over time.
Can leave feedback to others, encourage mutual support.  Not promoted much yet, not much takeup.

Course Profiles and My OU Story

Questions: Contact from students and expectations need to be managed.  Have many privacy options.

How can you make this viral to get to people who aren’t already OU people? Hard. But could be decoupled and rolled out to students through the VLE or other social networks.

OUSA President – responsibility on FirstClass social side; jump through hoops to meet requirements e.g. looking out for bullying.  They need agreement from Course Team to create a conference, so if CT says no they can’t do it. These FB apps look like official groups even though they’re not.  Where’s the boundary?  Creators are not declared members of OU.  OU can’t control what’s happening here – students can just do it.  Use of brand without policing.  Behaviour can be reported through FB procedures, so it doesn’t need to be us.