12 SES 13, Designing Multi-faceted Open Informational Ecosystems for Learning and Teaching
Two developments influenced processes in learning and teaching in higher education. First, digital services like learning management systems and digital learning resources become standard. Second, principles of open education, and more specifically open educational resources (OER), become more and more relevant. Our challenge is to bring together benefits of digital components and analytics and principles of open education. The idea is to establish informational ecosystems  that have an open and transparent structure. Furthermore, they might include multi-faceted components that are able to support learning and teaching at its best. Such a system would allow the sharing, mixing and distributing of OER across institutional borders. It would offer easily accessible ways for educators and learners to communicate and collaborate. Moreover, it would support teaching processes and learning outcomes while applying trusted learning analytics  that make use of digital data like resources and learners’ digital footprints to provide effective feedback that improves learning and teaching.
In our workshop, we would like to discuss the design and evaluation of such an ecosystem for higher education. Herewith, we will focus on three main aspects that represent the authors’ expertise and main research field.
The first aspect considers the openness of an ecosystem that allow for sharing, revising and searching educational content across borders. Currently, higher education institutions are establishing OER repositories, in most cases for OER created within their institution. An open ecosystem can support OER sharing across and between institutions, particularly regarding provision and access in different repositories and learning management systems. Challenges for such an ecosystem are the diverse existing higher education infrastructures regarding the use of learning management systems as well as different systems of OER repositories and diverse standards for OER metadata [3, 4] that hinder the identification of single OER and their versions, as well as the effective search for OER for educators and learners .
The second aspect considers the application of learning analytics to support educators and learners to select suitable OERs and learning strategies. A potential interesting advancement could be the storage of usage data of learners within OER metadata. Educators and educational designers creating OER could iteratively collect learner data and research learner behaviour as conducted in the field of MOOCs . This would open new approaches and incentives for the OER community to improve resources and learning outcomes. It could indicate how vital a resource is, teachers could find partners for their OER content and collaboratively develop OER. Challenges emerging with this idea are how to collect usage data for OER (e.g. a Moodle course), how to aggregate data to meaningful usage indicators, and finally how to anonymise data and protect the information rights and privacy for learners.
The third aspect considers the support of ecosystems for pedagogical learning concepts, didactical design and teaching processes in diverse disciplines. Due to its creative common license, OER exceed the bare (re-)distribution of content towards mixing and revising. Learning management systems like Moodle or ILIAS do include rapid authoring tools and editors in order to revise and remix educational resources. However, we assume that those practices do still not comply with current teaching processes in diverse disciplines of higher education. Studies focusing on the use of open textbooks reveal a low revision rate [7, 8]. Accordingly, the third aspect focuses on the challenges of pedagogical practices of using and revising OER in order to design the ecosystem as supportive for those kinds of openness.
Together with the workshop participants and like-minded researchers interested in our challenges, we would like draw conclusions on major designing and evaluation questions listed below.
We would like to invite all conference participants that do research on and are involved in establishing and building infrastructures for higher education that aim at fostering learning and teaching processes and learning outcomes. That can be researchers, educators, educational designers, media centre and library supporters, learners, other stakeholders involved in higher education infrastructures. Our workshop will have three phases, where two-third of the time will be reserved for participative group work and discussions. We will give short presentations on our research introduced above and ask participants to tell us their most relevant challenges they want to discuss regarding higher education infrastructures, open ecosystems and open educational resources. Afterwards, we will form small working groups and take care that each group possibly consists of participants representing diverse target groups from the higher education field, like educators, designers, librarians. We will motivate the groups to each discuss one specific topic and a) to make notes on the most challenging aspects, b) to suggest innovative and creative solutions to overcome those challenges, c) to name relevant target groups and stakeholders that need to be involved in tackling those challenges. In the last part of the workshop, the groups will represent their discussion results to all participants. We are specifically interested in discussing solutions on infrastructures from other international countries, including ideas on how to facilitate and improve the sharing and re-vising of OER, learning analytics techniques, as well as the interplay of pedagogical practices and innovative open learning and teaching processes. We invite colleagues to share their research to be able to collect recent research on higher education ecosystems and build up a community. We will provide flip charts and cards for the groups to visualize relevant discussion results. Moreover, we will collect all discussion notes and results in online accessible editing pads. The pads will be fully available for all participants and interested colleagues, with the option to reflect on the workshops discussions after the conference.
Our workshop aims at providing insights into recent and upcoming research and challenges on learning ecosystems, including pitfalls of establishing infrastructures for the higher education sector, design concepts to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of services and resources, as well as practices to improve teaching processes and learning outcomes. The following research will be the basis to start our discussions and group working phases: • Which (meta)data needs to be provided to allow for an effective search for OER and collaboration amongst educators and learners? • Which learner data and OER are beneficial to foster the improvement of learning experience and learning outcomes? • What would be the added value of adding aggregated usage data of an OER into an OER repository? • Which data should be collected, aggregated and analysed to support educators in providing individual feedback and teaching opportunities, while respecting the privacy of learners? • How can informational ecosystems best be designed and integrated into existing higher educational environments to effectively support the learning concepts for sharing, using, mixing and distributing OER and regulation in diverse disciplines? Introducing our recent research and stages of our planned open informational ecosystem will give relevant insights for participants that face similar challenges. Our goal is to summarize the main conclusions from our workshops discussions in an open access whitepaper, possibly together with the workshop participants. We as well see this workshop as a first step to include educators, learners and other actors from the higher education field in our process of developing a multi-facetted open informational ecosystem, a necessary step to an effective and beneficial service that improves teaching and learning and at the same time fosters open education.
1. Heinen, R., Kerres, M., Scharnberg, G., Blees, I., Rittberger, M.: A federated reference structure for open informational ecosystems. JIME 2016, 33 (2016). doi:10.5334/jime.413 2. Drachsler, H.: Trusted learning analytics. Synergie, 40–43 (2018) 3. Ziedorn, F., Derr, E. and Neumann, J.: Metadaten für Open Educational Resources (OER). Eine Handreichung für die öffentliche Hand, erstellt von der Technischen Informationsbibliothek (TIB) (2013), urn:nbn:de:0111-opus-80245 4. Mandausch, M.: Annotationskonzept für Bildungsressourcen (2017), https://www.ice-karlsruhe.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/2017-12-01-Annotationskonzept.pdf 5. Santos-Hermosa, G., Ferran-Ferrer, N., Abadal, E.: Repositories of Open Educational Resources. An Assessment of Reuse and Educational Aspects. IRRODL 18, 84+ (2017) 6. Drachsler, H., Kalz, M.: The MOOC and learning analytics innovation cycle (MOLAC). A reflective summary of ongoing research and its challenges. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 32, 281–290 (2016). doi:10.1111/jcal.12135 7. Hilton, L., Wiley, D.: Examining the reuse of open textbooks. IRRODL 13, 45 (2012) 8. Fischer, L., Hilton, J., Robinson, T.J., Wiley, D.A.: A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students. Journal of Computing in Higher Education 27, 159–172 (2015). doi:10.1007/s12528-015-9101-x
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