STEPHEN DOWNES: Hi, Georgie and Dave. Week five, wow. Course is almost over. Hard to believe. So this week, the topic is research on the impact of OER adoption. And it's an interesting topic. Of course, depends an awful lot on what you mean by research and what you mean by impact. And of course, you knew I was going to say stuff like that.
I remember back the early days of online learning, and I know both of you remember those days as well, where we had something called the "no significant difference" phenomenon. And this was simply the observation that it didn't matter what the medium was, whether it was an in-person class or whether it was a class taught online. There was no significant difference in the educational outcome. You basically got the same results, no matter what the medium was.
And I would expect and be surprised to find anything different based on whether the educational resource is open or non-open. Now, where are we going to see our differences? Well, the obvious difference is going to be cost. At least, I would hope, anyways thinking back to our discussions earlier on in this course.
And that means that the impact of purchasing the resource on the student should be less. Maybe that means they only have to work seven hours a week or over a weekend, instead of 10 hours or 12 hours. That would be great. I'm sure they'll use those extra hours to study or socialize or do other useful things.
But I'm sort of wondering about what we mean by impact. Most Most of the research I read in academic journals and unofficial academic journals, even blogs and things like that, press releases or whatever, talk about impact in terms of grades, impact in terms of graduation, things like that, impact in terms of-- well, that's about it.
To me, the impact of an education is much deeper. The impact of an education is the ability of a person to play a meaningful role in society, to live a happy and productive life, to be healthy, to engage in positive relationships with other people, to live meaningfully, to have a valuable impact-- valuable as seen both through their own eyes and through the eyes of society.
How do you think open content changed that? Well, if our model is simply that it's content that a teacher is going to use to provide an education, that probably doesn't change that very much at all, does it? But if our model is something along the lines of open is how do you do things, open is when you work, you share, how you work with other people. Open is when you're doing something, you see a responsibility of making sure that this knowledge can be carried into the generations following you.
If you see open that way, and you see open educational resources as that thing you create, whether you're learning or whether you're working in some place, well, then, I think that has a long-term impact on a person's place in society, a person's feeling of value and worth in society, both from the perspective of the learner who sees that people who are actually doing important things take time for them, and from the perspective of the people doing these jobs who see in the people watching them, that yes, what they're doing is important.
Now will we see research on that? Do we see research on that? I don't see research on that. I see research on grades and graduation rates and course completions and crap like that. And I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in how open resources help society. Well, that's our five minutes again, and we've run through the background video twice now, as you can see from the headings coming up. So one more week to go, George and Dave. Let's make it a good one. Bye for now.