Living and learning in the open
Now that ocTEL has been over for a few weeks, we in the team are at leisure to look back on it with rose-tinted glasses. The sky didn’t fall, no animals were harmed, and a few participants even had some complimentary things to say about the course. But for now I’m fighting off the urge to copy and paste those things into this post.
Rather than giving you positive spin about the course, we’ve published all the data we have about participation in the course under an open licence. This follows our original publication of our market research data last year. We hope this will be useful to people doing research on patterns of participation in MOOCs and similar online courses. It also gives you the chance to dig around behind the scenes of what went on in ocTEL’s first run and tell us it what respects it was a success and what areas we ought to be paying attention to in any future runs. Please do.
Being transparent about our data is part of ocTEL’s (and ALT’s) commitment to openness. We’ve also updated the licensing details for all ocTEL materials for clarity of attribution, which is a challenge for work with so many contributing authors — a challenge that we’ve had to meet with the slightly-less-than-ideal solution of attributing everything to ALT as the single, persistent denominator. This screencast about ocTEL by Martin Hawksey provides some broader context related to this commitment.
This was prepared as part of ocTEL’s submission to the Reclaim Open Learning innovation contest. They set a limit of two minutes for the screencast, so that’s why you hear Martin talking so fast. (As for the dark fringes of the images, reminiscent of Kieslowski’s A Short Film About Killing, the explanation may lie with the struggles Martin tells me he had with Windows Movie Maker.)
We are still planning to publish an evaluation of ocTEL, by Rachel Harris, in a month or two.