Research 2.0: researching the open world

February 10, 2009

Afternoon session of OLnet/CREET workshop

Martin Cooper talks about research bids. Martin describes the difference between novice and experienced bidders and focuses on the sorts of support that the university must provide to novices. There is a need for right timing when putting a bid together, where the ‘bright idea’ must be included in the work plan timely. Martin argues that researchers would be able to put forward many more bids if there was a higher level of administrative and project management support offered by the Open University. Martin was asked: How happy would you be to have your proposal out there in the world? He said yes, not a problem, whenever there are no confidentiality issues.

Kim Issroff was the next speaker on business models for open educational resources and web 2.0 research. A business model, as she explains,  is a framework to create social and economic values. It should sustain itself and generate revenue. Business models for OERs – various possibilities. Scholars that discuss these include: Chang, MIlls & Newhouse; Stephen Downes; Clarke 2007. Kim asks whether we do value more what we pay for and yet nowadays most things are offered for free (open source, open content).
Research questions arising:
What is the difference between business models of open source software and open educational resources?
What happens when we get to OER saturation point?
Is a financial model appropriate to think of open educational resources?
Will technological developments chagne these financial models?

Next, Chris Pegler talks about OER research beyond the OU: spotting opportunities. According to Chris, there are various opportunities for researching the use and reuse of OERs  in real communities of practice, such as TESSA (Teachers Education in Sub-Saharan Africa).

The day concluded with a group discussion of the outcomes of the day.

Interviews with all speakers sumarising their talks are available in the OLnet YouTube channel, with the tag ‘OLnet: Research 2.0’.


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