Openly of interest to faculty (and future faculty!)…

DCAL is hosting a lunchtime session on Friday (tomorrow!) (sorry! it’s next Friday, Oct. 28th)  that will address open course materials, a timely topic as we come into Open Access week (beginning next Monday the 24th … stay tuned!)

Open Courses and Student Learning: A Faculty Roundtable
Friday, October 28, 2011 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM

“Faculty from across campus will share their views and experiences with different approaches to making their syllabi and other course materials more openly available to students at Dartmouth and elsewhere. What are the advantages to student learning in allowing students to see course syllabi, course readings and other materials from courses across campus, not just those in which they are enrolled? What are the barriers to making this happen? This is a great opportunity to share views, practices, and tools (such as use of Creative Commons), and to discuss future directions in the changing copyright and open access environment.”           

Friday’s DCAL session will include discussion of the new Blackboard development that’s a hot topic right now at EDUCAUSE and in news sources like the Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed.   See related stories, below … but also note the clarifications from Blackboard; details are not as clearly determined as it seems from the Chronicle article, and it may or may not have been in response to competition for open course platforms from other companies as reported in Inside Higher Ed.

“In Victory for Open-Education Movement, Blackboard Embraces Sharing” (The Chronicle of Higher Education,  Wired Campus, October 19, 2011)
by Jeffrey R. Young

“Professors who use Blackboard’s software have long been forced to lock their course materials in an area effectively marked, “For Registered Students Only,” while using the system. Today the company announced plans to add a “Share” button that will let professors make those learning materials free and open online.

The move may be the biggest sign yet that the idea of “open educational materials” is going mainstream, nearly 10 years after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology first began giving away lecture notes online. Blackboard made the change after college officials complained that the company’s software, which more than half the colleges in the country use for their online-course materials, was holding them back from trying open-education projects…..”   (read more)

“Opener Than Thou?”  (Inside Higher Ed, October 19, 2011)
by Steve Kolowich

“Blackboard found itself playing defense last week when, right before most higher education technologists were set to ship out for Educause 2011, a competitor announced a free and “open” learning management system (LMS) — a technology Blackboard sells for a pretty penny.

“Now, on the first official day of the annual technology conference, Blackboard is back on the offensive with several cost-free perks in its own LMS designed to promote its own bona fides on “openness.”

“Blackboard is joining forces with Creative Commons to make it easier for an instructor using its learning management system to free his syllabuses, along with other content he has authored inside the LMS, and share them with instructors at other institutions.”    (read more)


See you at DCAL!

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