OpenWetWare:Courses

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(Integration with MIT OpenCourseWare)
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Revision as of 11:24, 13 March 2006

Please post any ideas you have about integrating laboratory (or non-laboratory) classes into OpenWetWare here.

  • Alice Cox and Curt Newton from MIT's OpenCourseWare have expressed an interest in OpenWetWare. Alice attended the OWW community development meeting on 2/21/2006 and Sri and I will be attending an OpenCourseWare meeting in March to share ideas and learn more about each project. If you're interested in this topic, let me know. Regardless, we'll report back to the steering committee. --RS
  • Malcolm's paper Image:Macintosh HD-Users-nkuldell-Desktop-1103.pdf offers a nice model for collective educational efforts. I'm not sure there are direct applications to OWW but it's worth keeping Science's educational forum, and a powerful force like Malcolm in mind. I suspect he'd be keeen on seeing the good word/work of OWW spread and would have some great ideas to add if we tapped him.

Also, I'd be grateful if you could keep me in the loop with the OWW/OCW connection. They've approached us several times about depositing the BE.109 class material into their bank but there have been logistical obstacles that may or may not still exist. Thanks --Natalie

Integration with MIT OpenCourseWare

Some discussion topics that might be worth bringing up with OCW folks...(just brainstorming, please edit excessively).

  1. We want to get all the advice we can from OCW about how they convinced faculty members that OCW was worthwhile.
  2. Can course content on OWW be easily published on OCW?
    • At the end of the semester, we could potentially rip the static html versions of each page and port them to OCW? This would provide an archival, static snapshot of the course that could reside on OCW.
    • The disadvantage of this approach is that it would lose the content on the talk pages. However, there is not a lot of content on the talk pages.
  3. The primary advantage of OWW over OCW is that students get essentially an equal opportunity to contribute to class materials as instructors.
    • Currently, there are some mechanisms for students to contribute to class material on OCW. For example, there are discussion boards on Stellar sites (I think) but they are probably pretty under-utilized. Does the wiki mechanism enable/encourage more class participation?
  4. OCW also uses a Creative Common license but excludes commercial uses of the work whereas OWW permit commercial uses of the work. Is this is concern? (Probably not an issue for courses published on OWW first).
  5. Issues specific to integration of BE.109 onto OCW
    • BE.109 material tends to change dramatically from year to year. Thus, it requires consistent updating.
    • How do we capture offline materials? Perhaps lecture slides and writing instruction materials should be uploaded as pdfs to OWW or even directly to OCW? Another possibility for the future is videotaping BE.109 lectures.
  • Natalie 03/06/06: Just a few thoughts on the OWW/OCW nexus as it relates to BE.109: There is a strong commitment to keep BE.109 "fresh" and truly investigative. Approx 50% of the class has changed each of the last 3 years. It may be that the curriculum settles over the next few years, in which case it may be suitably represented on OCW. However if the class continues to evolve, the OCW version will quickly fall out of step with the real version. A second point that's important to make here is just how incomplete the BE.109 material on OWW is. There is at least one hour of lecture each week to fill in the back story for each protocol and there is significant amounts of time in lab set aside for discussion and explanation of the material. The writing instruction is also vital to the class and isn't loaded onto the OWW site (this year at least). Each lab is previewed with a written introduction and these can be found on OWW but the previews were never intended as stand alone coverage for the material and may not be sufficient for OCW. Finally, the students enrolled in BE.109 are expected to participate in the growth and development of the class (a point made very clearly and correctly above). This is part of the power of using a class wiki and may be difficult to replicate in the more static forum of OCW. I'll be interested in hearing the OCW perspective and finding healthy ways to reconcile these differences.
  • RS 23:17, 6 March 2006 (EST): I'll certainly bring these issues up when we talk with them. In some sense I think these are general drawbacks to OCW. Course material needs to be refreshed ... I assume they have a mechanism for that. As for not all materials being present on the OWW, we could consider uploading pdfs (if the instructors are willing) at some point. As for the participating of the students in the class, I agree that it is vital. My personal vision is the that the current, dynamic version of the class reside on OWW and then we archive it on OCW after the term is over. I think this is essentially what happens with a lot of the courses on OCW. Most of them are run through stellar and then later put on OWW. However, I will check with the OCW folks to see what they think.
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