Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OER Handbook Zotero Collection

For those who are unfamiliar with Zotero, it is a Firefox extension for organizing sources and citations. One of the benefits of Zotero is the ability to export collections of sources for others to import into their copy of Zotero.

The OER Handbook project is now making a collection of the sources used within the handbook available as a Zotero collection. The hope is that making these sources available will assist OER researchers and practitioners in future endeavors.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Version 1.0 Available

Version 1.0 of the OER Handbook is now available. A print version will be available for purchase in the next few weeks.

During the development of this handbook valuable discussions have taken place regarding what it means to develop OER. Hopefully these conversations will inform future handbooks, tutorials and other introductory material. The contributors to the handbook have created a "Lessons Learned" page.

Special thanks to the following:
A very special thanks to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for their financial support.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Repositories and Licensing

Wayne Mackintosh of WikiEducator has suggested that the repository subsections (general, science, social science and humanities) in the Get section of the educator mini-handbook need to have more information about licensing. As the list of repositories has been compiled, it is clear there are significant differences in licensing, but they are not immediately apparent from reading the repository description. The mini-handbook should inform educators about these differences without overwhelming them. To do so, here are some possible solutions:
  1. An indication of free cultural works approved/non-approved.
  2. Some sort of coding along the four freedoms as outlined by freedomdefined.org.
  3. Simply display the license and provide deeper explanations in the licensing section.
I would like to hear your opinion on how to display repository licensing information. Leave a comment or make a suggestion on the general repository talk page

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We need user stories

As the educator mini-handbook takes shape it is time to add stories. This project needs stories in the following areas:

Finding OER: Which sources have you found particularly useful? Not helpful? Search engine strategies?

Creating OER: Software, practices and tips for creating an OER.

Localize and Remix OER: Stories of OER projects that involved remix, or why you localized a particular OER.

Licensing perspectives: Which license do you prefer to use and why? Would you recommend a different license for beginners?

Using OER: Stories of using OER, both in the classroom and online.

Publishing OER: Strategies for successful publishing and why you chose a particular method. 

These stories do not have to be glowing reports of successful OER's, because newcomers can learn just as much from failures as they can successes. The stories do not have to be particularly long; a simple paragraph in most cases would be great. I've written a few starting statements and you're welcome use these ideas as a springboard for your own.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

PDF export

In order to get a sense for the progress on the mini-handbook I used an extremely helpful feature of WikiEducator - collections. In WikiEducator, a collection is a series of pages that you've specially marked.  Creating a collection is easy; use the box below the search bar, located on the left side of any WikiEducator page. In this box you can add the current page to your collection or follow the link to your current collection.

Once you are viewing your current collection, you can modify/rearrange the order in which they appear. On the right side of the page you'll see the "Download PDF" button. The export takes a few seconds, so be patient. This feature opens up many possibilities for sharing and distribution.

The educator mini-handbook, by the way, is about 69 pages long. It has come a long way since January and I'm confident it will be even better in the weeks to come. As always, feel free to leave your comments, make edits or send me an e-mail at seth nospace, nospam gurell at gmail.com

Friday, February 22, 2008

Handbook for Educators

In a previous post I indicated that we were having trouble deciding how to organize the handbook and the target audience of the handbook. After discussing the issue with several of the key contributors so far, we've decided that the best option is to create multiple mini-handbooks. The idea right now is to have three mini-handbooks.
  1. A handbook for educators
  2. A handbook for institution staff
  3. A handbook for policy-makers
Much of the material for the second handbook has already been written by Philipp Schmidt of UWC. I've taken some of his material, along with what I've written, and combined it into a an outline for the educator handbook. Each part has been broken down so that an individual section is generally no longer than 2,000 words. I believe that this will make it easier for people to make "drive-by" contributions, or in other words, edits that take less than five minutes. Please take a look at a section on the outline that interests you and let me know what you think.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Outline Meeting

This past Wednesday Wayne Mackintosh, Leigh Blackall, Teemu Leinonen and David Wiley as well as others meet virtually to discuss the direction of the handbook. The audio will be posted as soon as it's available. The current feeling is that dividing the project into multiple mini-handbooks might be appropriate. Therefore, we are beginning to experiment creating high-level outlines for these mini-handbooks. Once these new outlines have been agreed on, we'll look at making the sections at little more granular so it isn't quite as intimidating for potential volunteers.

In the meanwhile, certain sections that we know will make it into at least one of the mini-handbooks are beginning to be written. Feel free to take a look at these sections and make suggestions.

You'll also notice that Wayne added a project history and links to planning documents. These new pages should help visitors get oriented more quickly.

Update: Audio available at Internet Archive.