Open science: la conoscenza come bene comune – Padovanews

The Theological Faculty of Triveneto has designed the Open science project “Knowledge as a common good”, which will be realized in the between 2021 and 2023 thanks to the contribution of 150,000 EUR allocated by the Cassa di Risparmio di Padova and Rovigo Foundation.

The project is divided into three sections:
1. Open Data: the Theological Faculty of the Triveneto and its Archives;
2. Open Access: dissemination and exchange of the journal published by the faculty, Studia patavina;
3. Open Education Resources: the Faculty’s library: new services

Bond | Faculty Survey on OER: Perceptions, Behaviors, and Implications for Library Practice | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION The Mary Couts Burnett Library at Texas Christian University (TCU) seeks to learn more about university faculty members’ perceptions and behaviors related to open educational resources (OER), and to identify one or more initiatives to increase adoption of OER at the university. METHODS The researchers sent a survey to all university faculty using Qualtrics™, and 104 persons responded. The survey used a combination of multiple-choice and free-text questions, and covered OER adoption and creation by faculty members, their perceptions of OER, and recommendations related to possible initiatives to increase OER interest. RESULTS Among respondents, almost half used OER either currently or in the past, while a fifth created their own OER. When comparing OER to traditional textbooks in terms of being scholarly, the majority indicated that OER and traditional textbooks were about the same level, but a quarter of faculty indicated that traditional textbooks were more scholarly. When asked about initiatives the library could pursue to increase faculty OER creation, the leading responses included financial support of faculty using OER, along with training opportunities. DISCUSSION The researchers were pleased to see that many faculty have used OER either currently or in the past, and that many had positive views surrounding OER. The researchers now have data that support the establishment of OER initiatives. CONCLUSION The survey informs the TCU Library and academic libraries in general. Two initiatives that libraries should consider are establishing an OER training program for faculty and developing a grant program to support faculty members who are adopting or creating OER. Libraries should collaborate with other units on campus such as the center for teaching excellence or the faculty senate.

 

Resolution in Support of Open Educational Resources

“Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA): 1. affirms that open educational resources can be as effective, authoritative, and of academically rigorous quality as traditionally published learning materials; 2. encourages library workers to support initiatives that promote the creation, discovery, dissemination, awareness, and preservation of open educational resources; and 3. encourages library workers to advocate for initiatives at all levels of government that support open educational resources.”

Guide to Supporting Open Scholarship for University Presidents and Provosts

“Open scholarship entails a culture shift in how research is conducted in universities. It requires action on the part of university administration, working in concert with faculty, sponsors and disciplinary communities.  Universities should consider steps in three areas: •  Policies:  Language and guidance should be reviewed for alignment with open scholarship, in particular: (1) academic hiring, review, tenure and promotion (valuing diverse types of research products; metrics that  incentivize the open dissemination of articles, data, and other research outputs; and valuing collaborative research); (2) intellectual property (ownership, licensing and distribution of data, software, materials and publications); (3) research data protection (for data to be stored and shared through repositories); (4) attribution (recognizing full range of contributions);  and (5) privacy (insuring that privacy obligations are met).  •  Services and Training:  Researchers need support to assure that data and other research objects are managed according to FAIR Principles: findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.  While the specific solution must be tailored to the discipline and research, common standards, including Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), must be followed. •  Infrastructure:  Archival storage is required for data, materials, specimens and publications to permit reuse.  Searchable portals are needed to register research products where they can be located and accessed. Universities can recognize efficiencies by utilizing external resources (including existing disciplinary repositories) and by developing shared resources that span the institution when external resources do not exist….”

Guest Post – Trends, Challenges, and Needs of Research in the Global South: Learnings as Research4Life Turns 20 – The Scholarly Kitchen

Access to research knowledge is essential for developing new research and for informed policy decisions. But access to knowledge is not equal around the world; researchers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are significantly disadvantaged by access challenges. This was the burning problem that Research4Life was set up to address, 20 years ago this year as the print to electronic migration was just gaining speed. Launched as Hinari by the World Health Organization (WHO) with 1500 journals from six major publishers, it now offers users up to 132,000 resources from 180 international partners. But partnering with publishers to facilitate access is not enough in itself; the resources have to be used effectively in a way that is relevant to users’ research, implementation and beyond. This is why, every five years Research4Life commissions in-depth reviews of its work to understand how the work of the partnership is experienced from the users’ as well as the partners’ perspectives – looking at its infrastructure, external context or landscape, and user experience. Together, the reviews serve as a solid evidence base for future evolution as Research4Life plans its strategy for the next five years. Our most recent set of evaluations were conducted in 2020-2021.

MIT and Harvard Have Sold Higher Education’s Future

“Last week Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sold their edX platform to a for-profit company for $800 million. Founded by the two institutions nearly a decade ago, edX was higher education’s answer to the venture-backed start-ups jostling for an online-course windfall. With the sale to one of those firms, Maryland-based 2U, Harvard and MIT have surrendered. Their decision to fold is a major, and potentially fateful, act of betrayal.

Alan Garber, Harvard’s provost, adopted the language of edX’s profit-maximizing rivals in conceding defeat. “Taking full advantage of [online learning’s] potential,” he told The Harvard Gazette, “will require capital investments at greater scale than is readily attainable for a nonprofit entity like edX.” The decision to sell comes as investor interest in higher education has swelled during the pandemic. Coursera, the Silicon Valley online-course provider, went public in March, and Instructure — the maker of the popular learning-management software Canvas — filed for an IPO last week. The Covid Zoom boom has brought the inevitable wave of start-ups hoping to cash in on the virtual college classroom. So it’s no surprise that the market value of 2U, after the edX announcement, surged past $3 billion.

Before the sale, edX was academe’s public option — a mission-aligned satellite of the brick-and-mortar campus. Now all the major players in the sector are profiteers, legally obligated to maximize shareholder return….

By the turn of the millennium, most societies had handed over their journals to be published by the big commercial players, in exchange for a share of profit. Now most scholarship is published by an oligopolist quintet of information conglomerates that, in turn, charge their college customers usurious fees.

That industry is among the most profitable in the world, in part because academics write and review for free. As the historian Aileen Fyfe has shown, there was nothing inevitable about the joint custody — nonprofit colleges and for-profit publishers — we’ve ended up with. We owe our current predicament, in part, to the decisions of learned societies who chose short-term cash over their scholar-members’ long-term interests. Harvard and MIT have just made the same disastrous miscalculation….

2U’s mission is fundamentally misaligned with the university tradition. 2U, Coursera, and their venture-funded competitors are built to squeeze profit from our students, using our faculty and course offerings. Harvard and MIT had no right, in the meaningful sense, to sell us off. None of us — not faculty members, not students — signed up for edX to increase Silicon Valley’s wallet share. We will look back on this careless abrogation of stewardship as the tragic squandering that it is.”

edX: A Look Backward

“It soon became clear that edX was pursuing a strategy fundamentally different from that which I had signed up for. Rather than being a force for innovation and educational research, it would instead be content aggregator, marketing platform, and a (second-tier) LMS.

This week, edX announced that it would be absorbed by 2U in exchange for $800 million that would establish a non-profit dedicated to access, research, and innovation 

Talk about lucrative investments. Over nine years, Harvard and MIT transformed an initial “loan” of $60 million plus a subsequent investment of $20 million into $800 million that will be fund the non-profit that the two institutions will govern. 

By my calculations, that’s a return of 900 percent – or over 29 percent a year.

It’s my understanding that neither Harvard nor MIT will receive any cash from the transaction. But the two institutions will no longer have to bankroll any aspect of edX and will, it appears, exercise control over the new non-profit entity that the edX sale will create….

edX’s sale will not be widely mourned. But I, for one, feel an acute sense of loss, frustration, and, yes, disappointment. edX had promised to make high quality courses by the best professors in the world available globally for free. It was to drive technological and pedagogical innovations in online education. It was to create an international consortium of educational researchers and innovators. Spoiler alert: It didn’t….”

3 VCU projects awarded state grant supporting the creation of no-cost course materials

“VCU faculty are a part of three of eight projects awarded in the Spring 2021 cycle of the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) Open Course Grants. This funding supports faculty in transitioning to course materials available at no cost to students, such as open educational textbooks and/or library resources.

The VCU-led projects were selected out of a strong pool of 31 applications and were the three highest awarded projects, receiving a combined $89,000 out of $155,885 awarded this cycle. VCU was one of 11 Virginia institutions represented in this round of awards. …”

Harvard and MIT to Sell edX for $800 million | Harvard Magazine

“HARVARD, MIT, AND EDX ANNOUNCED TODAY that edX, the two institutions’ 2012 joint venture into online education, would be sold to leading educational technology company 2U for $800 million. 2U, a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ, with revenues expected to approach $1 billion in 2021, is an online program manager. The company provides digital platforms and marketing and logistical support that allows colleges and universities to offer online instruction but does not itself provide degrees. 

As part of the agreement, which is subject to approval by Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey ’92, 2U will own and plans to operate edX as a public benefit entity, which means that in addition to creating value for shareholders, edX will also provide a specific public benefit—in this case, online courses, some of which can be audited for free. Currently, edX offers more than 3,000 online programs. “With the acquisition,” according to a University statement, “2U’s network will expand to include more than 230 partners, including over 185 nonprofit colleges and universities and 19 of the top 20 ranked universities globally.”

 

 

Harvard University provost Alan M. Garber said in an interview that the most important aspect of the match with 2U is that the company will continue edX’s mission. “They have committed to continuing to provide free audit tracks—in other words, free courses—in a wide range of subjects. And there are other provisions of the agreement,” said Garber, “that give us a great deal of comfort” that they will continue to make “great courses available at low or no cost to learners throughout the world.” …”

Three Charts That Help Explain the 2U / edX Acquisition – PhilOnEdTech

“I won’t describe the announcement here but instead list preliminary media coverage and then share three charts that I think help explain why 2U would acquire the edX assets for $800 million. I’ll add some additional analysis on what this deal means for online education in a second post….”

 

Finding and Using the Good Stuff: Open Educational Practices for Developing Open Educational Resources | Christian Hilchey

Finding and Using the Good Stuff : Open Educational Practices for Developing Open Educational Resources by Christian Hilchey

part of book:  Open Education and Second Language Learning and Teaching (Feb. 2021, De Gruyter)

Abstract: “Open educational resources (OER) are the concrete products of various open educational practices (OEP). As such, OER are typically more visible and better understood than OEP. Thus, the goal of this chapter is to make the hidden, tacit knowledge of OEP more apparent to L2 specialists who may wish to design their own OER. In particular, this chapter seeks to describe and demonstrate two OEP that are central to the development of OER: (1) how to find high-quality open content; and (2) how to adapt open content for the creation of user-generated materials. The chapter begins by demonstrating effective methods for finding rich and usable open media. This section summarizes the a ordances of different search engines and media repositories (e.g. Google, Flickr, Forvo, Pixabay, YouTube, Vimeo). Next, useful strategies for developing elements of a language curriculum based on openly licensed content are described. The chapter ends with a discussion of the pros and cons of technologies for the creation of OER content….

this chapter describes the various OEP that I learned through trial and error during the development of Reality Czech, an OER developed at the University of Texas at Austin under the auspices of the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL)….”

 

2U, Inc. and edX Agree to Industry-Redefining Combination in Higher Education.

“2U will acquire substantially all of the assets of edX—a leading nonprofit online learning platform and marketplace—for $800M in cash. Together, 2U and edX will reach over 50 million learners globally, serve more than 230 partners, and offer over 3,500 digital programs on the world’s most comprehensive free-to-degree online education marketplace. The combined scale, reach, capabilities, marketing efficiency, and relationships of 2U and edX will unlock unprecedented opportunity for learners, universities, and employers worldwide….”

 

The big deal this week in online ed.

“The announcement on Tuesday that 2U will buy the assets of the nonprofit MOOC company edX for $800 million is shaking up the world of online higher ed. It also means I’ll riff on that news for you this week instead of giving you an annotated reading list, per The Edge’s summer programming (back to that next week).

This deal has ramifications in many directions. For starters, it will realign the commercial marketplace for online education, where colleges now pay billions annually to companies known as online-program managers, or OPMs, to help develop, market, and deliver online courses and degrees. The $800 million now headed to a successor nonprofit to edX could also have a huge impact on the future of open-source online options — and maybe breathe new life into the original mission of the nonprofit, which began in 2012 with the goal of democratizing education around the world.

I say “could” because, at this point, we know precious little about what the new nonprofit plans to do with this gargantuan infusion of cash. A joint news release says the money will be “dedicated to reimagining the future of learning for people at all stages of life, addressing educational inequalities, and continuing to advance next-generation learning experiences and platforms.” Lofty, ambitious language to be sure. But $800 million is a lotta clams, and I’m sure the hundreds of colleges and thousands of professors whose own financial and in-kind contributions over the last nine years have helped bring edX to this point would love to know some specifics — perhaps even more than I would….”

2U Buys edX for $800M, In Surprise End to Nonprofit MOOC Provider Started by MIT and Harvard | EdSurge News

“When MIT and Harvard University started edX nearly a decade ago, it was touted as a nonprofit alternative to for-profit online course providers. Today, the universities announced that they are selling edX to one of those for-profit providers for $800 million.

edX had fallen behind rivals like Coursera, a similar platform founded by Stanford University professors, in fundraising and reach, though it still boasts 35 million users and more than 3,000 courses….

What happens now is a bit complicated….

In the end, 2U officials said in a statement that they have pledged to:

Guarantee affordability through the continuation of a free version of online courses
Protect the intellectual property rights of faculty and universities that contribute courses
Protect the privacy of individual data for all learners who use the edX platform
And contribute to the ongoing development of the open-source Open edX platform that the universities will continue to oversee. …”