Research in Open Education Block 2 Activity 4

If I were an advisor to a funding organisation that was to try and promote specific research activities in Open Education: I would opt for the following areas.

  1. Employer Valued Open Education
  2. Alternative assessments in Open Education
  3. Critical review of hybrid programmes that utilise Open Education Modules

I believe that I’m wondering how Open Education could be sustained in a way that could be incorporated into a useful rubric and/or methodology that would allow employers to see the values in Open Education. Until then, I only see Open Education being a promising avenue that eventually ‘dies on the vine’ mainly because it needs to be supported in someway that allows resources to be promoted in the original creation of educational resources.

It could survive if the results of the following research indicated value in Open Education that might either provide the same educational value or standards but at a fraction of the cost. The research mentioned above could do this.

  1. I cannot think of how employers would value open education until it is shown that people who undertake open education modules are 'the same' or 'better' than their counterparts. The open ended research would be to find out what are the perceived barriers to employers looking at open education vs. more traditional educational qualifications. Knowing about the barriers at least allows strategies to be formulated.
  2. Open education seems (to me) to be broadly, 'old' educational courses, or resources that are used mainly in foundation or first year programmes. The reality is that they do not change that much: psychology 101, is pretty much the same psychology 101 of 15-30 years ago. However, the 'price' of accessing these open resources is that no one formally assesses them. Research into alternative assessments in Open Education courses may help to understand which programmes or courses remain of value even if they are assessed in a non standard manner.
  3. Finally, research could ascertain the value of students of hybrid courses, where part of their 'foundational' courses might be Open Education and then specialised taken courses for senior of final years, that are more traditionally assessed. Are these stuents qualitative different / better / or worse than conventional students?

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.  -Will Durant