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Wednesday, November 6 • 1:15pm - 1:40pm
Repurposing OER through Learning by Design in Use

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Open source software (OSS) projects can provide educators and learners with a good example of collaborative environment where they can contribute to an ongoing creative and investigative process centred on altering the OER in use. In OSS, there is no separation between design time, led by experts who design a complete application, and use time, led by end-users who evolve an artefact to meet unforeseen changes. Furthermore, design in use is inherently a process of learning by design, because interactions among participants and between participants and shared external artefacts provide the opportunity to contribute to design, learn something new, and evolve applications continuously. However, Many OER do not seem to offer users the ability to integrate their personal contexts into the content. This challenge raises the question of how to help educators and learners link design in use and learning by design when unanticipated issues arise from the use of OER. Educators may not have the experience and skills needed to adapt OER in a creative and investigative process. In this respect, it has been noted that educators may lack the time and skills needed to find, evaluate and repurpose resources, and that they need guidance on how to rethink their design processes to make better use of technologies. To address this challenge, I suggest an approach to evolutionary application development (EAD) to provide initial ideas for empowering educators and learners to contribute and participate more actively in the design process. EAD is a type of end-user development, which is defined as a set of methods and techniques that allow non-professional software developers to create or modify a software artifact. The rationale for end-user development rests in the need to organize development activities involving a diversity of users. Users can have different cultural, educational and employment backgrounds, include novices and experienced computer users, and young and mature individuals with different abilities and disabilities. A useful example of EAD is cloning. New components of an application can be developed by cloning an existing component that resembles what designers want to create or modify. An example of cloning applied to OER is the attempt made by the Peer-to-Peer University (P2PU) to provide users with a feature to clone existing courses. Cloning would allow users take a copy of and existing course offered by P2PU and start independent development on it, altering it or creating a new course. Cloning might offer educators and learners opportunities for reusing and re-purposing resources themselves, for example through remixing content from various sources Another useful example is the evolvement of a generic application for graphics drawing into kitchen design. Using tailoring tools built into the drawing application, an end-user can act as developer during use time and use the techniques for accessing, viewing, and modifying the user interface, the design rationale, and the program code of an application. By integrating an easy-to-use builder tool into it, an educational resource can arguably become a playground for alterations, keeping the process open to a wide range of contributions.

avatar for Marisa Ponti

Marisa Ponti

Assistant Professor, University of Gothenburg
I am Assistant Professor in the Division of Learning, Communication and IT, in the Department of Applied Information Technology, University of Gothenburg My current research focuses on the use of technology to enhance new forms of scientific activities involving amateurs, such as... Read More →

Wednesday November 6, 2013 1:15pm - 1:40pm

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