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OCWC Newsletter August 2009

Student-generated OCW

When we talk about sustainability in OpenCourseWare, the cost of production is one of the most discussed issues. Depending on the type of content being producing, the production cost per course may be as high as 20,000 USD. Thus, many universities have tried various methods to significantly reduce production costs, and one of them is by utilizing students. dScribe of the University of Michigan is a program that trains students to generate OER content. Once the Open Michigan staff has a faculty member who consents to opening a course online, they start looking for a student to volunteer as a dScribe during the semester. A dScribe starts working on the material after basic training, and if a dScribe has a question while working on the material, he or she may ask the staff or the faculty member. The processes are kept transparent by using an online platform called OERca, so that all parties involved may see the progress.

Not only is this a great way to lower the production cost, but it is also significant in that it enhances the “learning” of the student through making what is more or less a course portfolio in collaboration with the faculty. It also gives students a chance to participate in a meaningful movement. Now, that’s good education. If you are interested in learning more about collaborating with students to make quality OCW material, join us for our webinar on Sept. 3rd at 10AM EDST (GMT-4) with Garin Fons.


Bits and Pieces

* The September OCWC Webinar is on student-generated OCW contents. Garin Fons from the Michigan University will present on September 3rd at 10AM EDST (GMT-4). Click here for registration. You can also view the recordings of the August OCWC Webinar on eduCommons here.

* The Opencast Matterhorn project has been awarded grant funding of $1.3 million from the Andrew W. Mellon and William and Flora Hewlett foundations.

* You can now download Open Educational Resources: Conversations in Cyberspace, the first openly licensed publication at UNESCO if you are interested in earlier conversations in OER. Also, check out Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning which features articles from many in the OER community.

Toolkit Working Group

Are you starting a new OCW project or a new phase in an ongoing project?  Check out the OCW Toolkit for tools and techniques contributed by your fellow OCWC members to help you along.

If you have a tool or technique you’d like to share, or if you’re interested in collaborating on development of new tools and techniques, join the Toolkit Working Group by subscribing to the mailing list
here.  The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 1 at 10 am EDST (GMT-4), on the OCWC Conference Line.  Dial-in instructions and an agenda will be made available to mailing list subscribers the day before the meeting.

OpenEd 2009

The OpenEd 2009 took place in the beautiful port city of Vancouver, hosted by the University of British Columbia from the 12th to 14th of August.  The conference started off with a keynote from Catherine Ngugi of OER Africa. The sessions were filled with many new groundbreaking projects such as P2PU (Peer to Peer University) and much heated discussion on many of the issues including fair use in OER.  There were livecasts of sessions for those who could not physically attend the conference. You can view the recordings here.

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