OCW Creation Surveys on 4 Continents
Joseph Hardin, Mujo Research, US
Conference Theme: Collaboration
Summary: Discussion of surveys on OCW creation & use by students and faculty at schools in Europe, Africa, N. America & now Australia.
Abstract: The generation of open courseware (OCW) has been seen as a key element in the ecology of open educational resources (OER) and the propagation of open models in research, teaching and learning. In addition, challenges to models of closed ownership of educational resources and access to them rest in large part on the development of a culture of contribution within our communities of scholars in higher education. What do the faculty and students in our higher education institutions think of OCW? How ready are these communities to become part of this culture of contribution? Over the past 5 years a series of survey research studies has been undertaken to gauge the state of such beliefs and the critical intentions to contribute of faculty at institutions of higher education in Europe, Africa, North America and most recently Australia. These studies focused on institutions that were early in the process of developing OCW efforts locally or were still just contemplating them. In these studies, faculty and students have been asked how familiar they are with OCW and open access (OA) efforts, what they see as the advantages of such approaches, what they see as the disadvantages, and how willing they would be to contribute their own time and materials to OCW and OA. The results of these surveys answer basic questions about the readiness of faculties and student bodies to adopt elements of open scholarship culture in their own institutions. What has been found is that, across geographical divides, and even in institutions that might otherwise be considered rather traditional or conservative in their approach to education and their evaluation of faculty for advancement, significant portions of the faculty see value to them, their students and their institutions in OCW and OA publishing, and profess a willingness to contribute their own materials to a local site. The results o this series of surveys, with an emphasis on the recent, September-October, 2011, University of Queensland survey, will be reviewed and discussed. In addition, a project to assist anyone at any institution of higher education, or in any educational context, who wishes to develop a similar survey for their population, design a sample, apply the survey and record and evaluate the results, will be presented for discussion. In cooperation with the Inclusive Design Research Center at the Ontario College of Art and Design, a web site and set of social services is being developed to deliver such assistance and help those interested generate their own surveys and analyses of OCW efforts. A central motivation for the surveys to date has been to use such surveys to develop foundational persuasive and analytic materials for development of a strategy for local OCW projects, often in hand with OA efforts. Discussion of how these types of results can be used in such strategies, and the upsides and downsides of various approaches will be presented and discussed.