The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) has published a special issue dedicated to Open Educational Resources (OER).
The Vol 14, No 2 issue is made up of contributions to the OER Knowledge Cloud by authors working in three of the world’s leading open universities, namely the Open University (UK), Athabasca University (Canada) and the Open Universiteit (Netherlands), as well as other researchers working in the field.
The articles begin with a case study of an OER implementation followed by a rationale for using OER on mobile learning and a description of developing content for use on mobile devices. Other articles explore the long-term sustainability of OER and their disruptive influence on traditional institutions, as well as the need for national policies and their use in other languages. In the final article, the author looks at visualisation and mapping of OER and their use.
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is preparing to launch the first issue of a new open access online scholarly journal that aims to provide a forum for practitioners and academics working in education and development to share knowledge and experience.
The “Journal of Learning for Development” (JL4D) is a publication devoted to innovation in learning, in particular but not exclusively open and distance learning, and its contribution to development. Content will include interventions that change social and/or economic relations, especially in terms of improving equity.
With a view to showcasing practical application to development contexts, this new e-journal will publish empirical research and case studies from researchers, scholars and practitioners, and will seek to engage a broad audience across that spectrum. It aims to encourage contributors starting their careers, as well as to publish the work of established and senior scholars from the Commonwealth and beyond.
JL4D expects to publish its inaugural issue late in 2013. Submissions are now being accepted. Further details can be found in the brochure and in the magazine’s website.
Quality of time in online learning depends on students’ time availability and their willingness to devote quality cognitive time to learning activities. However, the quantity and quality of the time spent by adult e-learners on learning activities can be reduced by professional, family, and social commitments.
Published in June 2011 by the “The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning”, this paper starts by introducing the concept of quality of learning time from an online student-centred perspective. The impact of students’ time-related variables (working hours, time-on-task engagement, time flexibility, time of day, day of week) is then analyzed according to individual and collaborative grades achieved during an online master’s degree programme.
The data presented by researchers Romero and Barbera show that students’ time and flexibility, and especially their availability to learn in the morning, are related to better grades in individual and collaborative activities.
The time factor in e-learning research has, for the most part, been neglected even though time is one of the most commonly heard requirements of and complaints about teaching and learning in general and the use of information and communication technology (ICT) is often touted as a solution to the problems voiced.
The article “Temporal issues in e-learning research: A literature review” presents empirical data on the presence, nature and content of variables related with temporal factors that researchers take into account in their studies on educational technology.
Authors Elena Barbera, Begoña Gros and Paul Kirschner conclude that time should be taken into account not only in micro-level research, but also in meso-level (ie, curricular) and macro-level (ie, organisational).
Published in the British Journal of Educational Technology in 2012, the article can be downloaded here (via UOC's Institutional Repository).
The SmartCulture project aims to analyse, stimulate and promote pioneering and engaging digital experiences, transforming passive audiences of cultural heritage into active practitioners.
Most of the eight regions involved in the SmartCulture project have a very high population, a very rich cultural heritage, as well as a dynamic contents production, and all of them have a strong relationship to European Capitals of Culture, as winners or candidates.
The consortium will promote the creation of engaging digital experiences for access to cultural resources by the cross fertilization between ICT enterprises, Creative and Cultural Industries (especially SMEs) and research stakeholders across Europe. This cross fertilization will lead to new opportunities and good practices for innovative digital access to cultural resources and digital cultural mediation.
These challenges fully comply with the objectives of the Work Program for ICT of the FP7 and the EU Work Plan for Culture 2011-2014 and with the conclusions of the Green Paper on Cultural and Creative Industries.
“Enhanced Publications: Linking Publications and Research Data in Digital Repositories” provides a contemporary overview of the structural elements of an enhanced publication.
Published in 2009 by Amsterdam University Press and Surf Foundation, one of the main conclusions of the report is that Long Term Preservation (LTP) archives should have a policy in which they describe which preservation actions they will undertake in case risks are identified that might affect their archived digital objects.
As for Enhanced Publications (EPs), tuning the preservation policies of the different LTP archives that take care of parts of the EP and have a shared responsibility is even more important, as different approaches might lead to inaccessible EPs and loss of authenticity.
The UK Survey of Academics 2012 examines the attitudes and behaviours of academics at higher education institutions across the United Kingdom. Published in May 2013, the objective of the study is to provide the entire sector with timely findings and analysis that help them plan for the future.
The survey, funded and guided by Jisc and Research Libraries UK and conducted by Ithaka S+R, covers a range of areas: from how academics discover and stay abreast of research, to their teaching of undergraduates; how they choose research topics and publication channels, to their views on learned societies and university libraries, and their collections.
The Survey of Academics 2012 confirms that the open web is the first port of call for academics starting research. It also confirms that libraries have an important role to play in both surfacing open content on the web and ensuring open content is accessible through library systems.
Key findings include:
Access limitations – While 86% of respondents report relying on their college or university library collections and subscriptions, 49% indicated that they would often like to use journal articles that are not in those collections.
Use of open resources - If researchers can’t find the resources or information they need through their university library, 90% of respondents often or occasionally look online for a freely available version.
The Internet as starting point – 40% of researchers surveyed said that when beginning a project they start by searching the Internet for relevant materials, with only 2% visiting the physical library as a first port of call.
Following one’s peers – The findings suggest that the majority of researchers track the work of colleagues and leading researchers as a way of keeping up to date with developments in their field.
Emergence of e-publications – The findings show that e-journals have largely replaced physical usage for research, but that contrasting views exist on replacement of print by e-publications, where print still holds importance within the Humanities and Social Sciences and for in-depth reading in general.
The report “Selection of Research Data; Guidelines for appraising and selecting research data” is the result of a short study conducted by two Dutch data centres: DANS and 3TU.Datacentrum.
Published in 2010, the report summarises the ‘state-of-the-art’ on the subject of research data, based on recent literature, a limited number of interviews with some key players in this field, and the lessons learned at the two data centres involved in the project.
The main deliverable of the document is a set of practical guidelines for appraising and selecting research data, intended for all those who are in a position to do so. The guidelines, in the form of a checklist, can be found in the Management Summary.
Commissioned by SURFfoundation, the report is part of the SURFshare programme, which aims to create a common infrastructure that will facilitate access to research information and make it possible for researchers to share scientific and scholarly information.
The International Institute of Social History (IISH) is an organisation with the strategic objective to facilitate the collection of data for carrying out the long-term research programmes of Global Labour History and Global Economic History.
The collection process is often a collaborative research effort and the IISH aims to become a trusted digital repository of data collections that are significant to social and economic history.
The “IISH Guidelines for preserving research data: a framework for preserving collaborative data collections for future research” is a study carried out in the framework of SURFfoundation’s SURFshare programme, focusing on how to determine what research data should be preserved for the long term and what data should not.
The purpose of the IISH Guidelines is to:
- provide a framework for the understanding and increased awareness of preservation requirements for research data collected by collaborations;
- provide concepts needed by non-archival entities (individual researchers, research collaborations, publishers) to be effective participants in the preservation process;
- suggest selection criteria for the long-term preservation of research data;
- provide a framework for identifying requirements, use cases and data flows necessary for interfacing collaboratories and trusted digital repositories.