Brian Lamb and Jim Groom examine the topic of innovation and disruption in higher education and argue that institutions should be “using open architecture, through open-source applications, to reinvest in creative people, processes, and possibilities — that is, to reclaim innovation”. This process, they argue, “will require an at-times inconvenient commitment to the fundamental principles of openness, ownership, and participation. It will require hard work, creativity, and a spirit of fun”. In a companion piece, they also provide case studies of instructors and institutions, including TRU and UBC, who are leveraging open platforms and approaches in innovative ways.
The March 2014 BC Open Open Ed Chat archived recording is now available. It featured Paul Hibbitts and Novak Rogic who discussed technologies and platforms to support open learning. For background, see some of Paul Hibbitts’ course environments “designed in the open“, and 5 Questions with Novak Rogic on the impact of open publishing platforms and flexible learning.
BCcampus recently interviewed Jon Festinger, an adjunct professor at UBC’s Faculty of Law, about his experience making his Video Game Law course open. Amongst the top lessons he learned were that students felt comfortable with open web experiences and that his course materials and research attracted not just other academics, but people from the financial and business sectors. Additionally he found that he became a better instructor by making his course open. “By making your work open, you tend to work harder. You work hard at the pedagogy and become a better teacher because your work is out there for the whole world to see. And, the stakes are raised higher.”
Tony Bates follows up on an article about the University of Mary Washington’s A Domain of One’s Own program, which goes beyond campus blog hosting to offering students and faculty their own web domain and hosting service where they can install and manage their own applications such as WordPress, thus allowing them to truly own their web presence. Bates notes that the University of British Columbia (UBC) runs both UBC Blogs, which has over 22,785 members, and the UBC Wiki. He recommends that people “browse the UBC Blogs and Wiki sites in particular to see how social media are being integrated fully with credit-based online learning at UBC.” He also concludes that “linking blogs and wikis to particular courses and controlling access through the use of passwords enables a degree of quality control. Usually it is UBC students who are in control. This is a development of open education that deserves more attention”.