No Easy Anythings – OER at VCU

Emanuel Shinwell, 1918 flickr photo by LSE Library shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Someone sent me the following comment from Professor Golumbia (a professor here at VCU). He’s got me blocked on Twitter for some reason or I’d loop him in directly. I’m taking that as a message not to communicate directly but since this comment was public and I’m quoted in the article, I figured I could at least respond. Maybe it’ll moderate the level of perceived evil intent. cool, my employer is now paying its employees to screw themselves & other laborers out of significant future wages — David Golumbia (@dgolumbia) February 7, 2017 I don’t feel like it’s quite as binary as it’s being portrayed but that portrayal may be a result of Twitter’s limits.1 It’s also easy to see an institution as purely evil. It’s usually harder to do that with individuals. It’s also a rough time to care about education, students, faculty, academia as an institution, nature, freedom, humanity, etc. etc. All that to say, I understand an aggressive response to just about anything right now. With that, I’ll give you my two cents on why I opted to engage with VCU OER work. In the OER conversation, the easy victory is to focus on monetary savings for students. It’s a far […]

#OpenEd15 – Now what?

Here’s what #OpenEd15 has me thinking I/we need to do at VCU. We ought to do a survey of current open-content and align it with high drop/withdraw/fail courses. We ought to fill gaps there with stuff that we (ALT Lab, professors, students) make. We ought to have multi-modal direct-instruction-media creation challenges. I want to do it like an Iron Chef challenge. I have tried and failed to sustain something similar in the past. It could be moving it from lesson plan to direct instruction media might make it easier. No doubt the hardest part will be the human element. We ought to have a larger VA partnership around accessibility. Seeing everything that UBC does makes me realize how far we have to go. I want to consider replacing OLE (our current attempt to get people comfortable with teaching online) with something very much like what we did with faculty for the VCU Bike Race Book. So we’ll pick a particular topic to unite the courses (say Richmond and Race). We’ll offer some standard professional development and drop in times but the real deal will be having a specific focus for faculty and to teach a group of one hour pass/fail courses online. I’ve become more and more convinced that it has to be live with students to create the need […]


OER Presentation

I gave a variation of a talk I’ve given before about all the stuff on the web that ought to be considered both educational and open. My rather blurry definition of open is that I can link to it on the Internet without a password- from there it’s degrees of openness towards Nirvana. I may be getting towards some elements that I think matter in the selfies series of links and with the Shorpy photo becoming a writing prompt randomizer thanks to interactions with Luke Neff. They both start to grow and change based on input, then interaction, and then creation. Anyway, there may be some stuff that’s useful to someone and since I went to all the trouble of writing it down I might as well make it visible.