Designing a web community for collaborative authoring of open educational resources

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Information about Designing a web community for collaborative authoring of open...

Published on November 13, 2007

Author: hanspoldoja



Presentation in K.U.Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. 13 November 2007.

Designing a web community for collaborative authoring of open educational resources Hans Põldoja Tallinn University University of Art and Design Helsinki

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. To view a copy of this license, visit sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Context of my research — LeMill

What is LeMill? • Web community for finding, authoring and sharing open and free learning resources • Open source server software developed in EU 6FP project CALIBRATE • Learning Mill

All learning resources in LeMill are web-based

Learning resources Multimedia page Presentation Exercise PILOT

Advanced editing features

Media pieces


More than content • Methods • Tools • Collections • Teaching and learning stories

LeMill as social software • Linking people by location, skills and interests • Groups for collaborative authoring • Group forums

Theoretical background

Pedagogical background • Social constructivism • Progressive inquiry (Hakkarainen et al, 1999) • Communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1990)

Progressive inquiry (Hakkarainen et al, 1999)

PILOT’s Põldoja, H., Leinonen, T.,Väljataga, T., Ellonen, A., Priha, M. (2006). Progressive Inquiry Learning Object Templates (PILOT). International Journal on E- Learning. 5 (1), 103-111. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Legal and economical background • Open educational resources • Commons-based peer production (Benkler 2005; Benkler, 2006) and open source development models • Free culture and open content (Lessig, 2004)

Simple licensing scheme All resources created in LeMill are published under Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 2.5 license Media pieces can be also: - CC Attribution - Public Domain - GNU FDL

Technical and design background • Online communities and social software (Preece, 2000; Shirky, 2003) • Interaction design • Information architecture • Scenario based design (Carroll, 2000) • Agile software development methods (Schwaber & Beedle, 2001; Cohn, 2004)

Design process

Designed for teachers • Scenarios • Design sessions • User stories • Prototypes

Design session results • Teachers are not very interested in raw text material • Teachers are interested in activities and methods • Learning resources can be divided to content, activities and tools

Distributed design and development

Evaluation and current findings

Evaluation activities • Think aloud test and international focus group in May 2006 • International school testing January–May 2007 • Estonian focus group in May 2007 • International focus group in August 2007

How often do you visit LeMill? How did you find out about LeMill? Do you follow what's going on? How? How easy or difficult was it to get started with LeMill? Have you made new contacts in LeMill? Getting started Community Have you read LeMill FAQ or other documentation? How do you feel about working together on a content with other teachers? What kind of support material teachers need? Have you thought to invite somebody to work with you? How much would it mean to you to know that someone is using material that you have created? What kind of other software you are using to create learning resources? What kind of Web 2.0 environments you are using in your teaching and learning? What should we do to get more teachers to LeMill? What kind of software you use to communicate with students, parents and friends? LeMill focus group What is missing from LeMill? Future needs Other software Do you use any learning environment or learning management system? Do you need additional learning resource templates? Which? How do you see the roles of LeMill and the Portal in CALIBRATE project? Are LeMill and the Portal supporting each other or are they competing for attention? Do you turn your attention to copyright issues related to learning resources? Have you found from LeMill useful content made by other teachers? Have you ever got lost in LeMill? How did you use the content you found? Did you modify it according to your needs? Content Is there something confusing in the user interface? What motivates you to publish your learning resources in LeMill? Usability Are there operations that require too many steps to be completed? How do you use LeMill content in your lessons? Do you find on-screen messages understandable and helpful?

Current finding • A lot of technical and usability problems :) • Some features of LeMill are not used • Different kind of learning resources are created in different countries • Different attitudes towards copyright issues and sharing • Collaborative authoring required a critical mass of users and content. That is not achieved yet.

LeMill community • 1368 members • 136 groups • Top countries by members: Estonia, Hungary, Georgia, Finland, Lithuania • Top countries by visits: Estonia, Hungary, Georgia, Poland, United States, Finland, Lithuania,Czech Republic, Colombia, United Kingdom

Published resources • 912 multimedia pages • 3240 media pieces • 176 presentations • 290 references • 57 exercises • 83 methods • 5 PILOT’s • 211 tools

Next steps

Next steps • Community building • Mapping all existing digital learning resources in one subject with Estonian national curriculum • Publishing an open geography textbook • Setting up local LeMill communities in Estonia and Georgia • Making LeMill metadata available to OERCommons

References (1) • Benkler,Y. (2005). Common Wisdom: Peer Production of Educational Materials. Center for Open and Sustainable Learning. • Benkler,Y. (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. Yale University Press. • Carroll, J.M. (2000). Making Use. Scenario-Based Design of Human-Computer Interactions. Massachusetts: The MIT Press. • Cohn, M. (2004). User stories applied: For agile software development. Boston, Massachusetts: Addison- Wesley. • Hakkarainen, K., Lonka, K., & Lipponen, L., (1999). Tutkiva oppiminen. Älykkään toiminnan rajat ja niiden ylittäminen. Porvoo: WSOY. • Lave, J., Wenger, E. (1990). Situated Learning: Legitimate Periperal Participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. • Lessig, L. (2004). Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. The Penguin Press.

References (2) • Põldoja, H., Leinonen, T.,Väljataga, T., Ellonen, A., Priha, M. (2006). Progressive Inquiry Learning Object Templates (PILOT). International Journal on E-Learning. 5 (1), 103-111. Chesapeake,VA: AACE. • Preece, J. (2000). Online Communities: Designing Usability and Supporting Sociability. Wiley. • Schwaber, K., Beedle M. (2001). Agile software development with Scrum. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. • Shirky, C. (2003). A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy. Retrieved 3 October 2007 from http://

Thank You! skype: hanspoldoja

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