OER in Health Whitepaper (1st Draft)

OERC ADDITIONS TO OER in Health Whitepaper

1)Development of OER related to a specific health discipline, e.g. cancer, cardiology, infectious diseases, etc.
2)Inclusion of OER for use at point of practice by health care providers, to include methods for disease prevention, screening, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis.
3)Creation of OER sites or communities by consortia of individuals, institutes, organizations actively engaged in educational activities and the generation of educational materials related to a specific discipline of health care such as cancer, heart, gastroenterology, etc.

OER in Health Whitepaper (1st Draft)

Sub-section sign-up deadline: 12/10/2008
Proposed 1st draft deadline: 1/10/2009
Proposed final completion deadline: Week of 4/20/2009 for press release in conjunction w/ Monterrey OER in Health Conference

Intended audience: To be filled in here

*** Note — for now, please refrain from using the automatic numbering bullets button on the toolbar above. These are proving to be problematic. Please manually number the items. I will work out a solution soon. Thanks/sorry.

1. OER Background
History of OER (John searching for good source)
Why OER? (John searching for good source)

2. Rationales for developing and distributing OER in Health and Educational Institutions (Mary Lee - specific expertises noted below, Elena Barragan, Pablo Pulido, collaborate)
Altruistic, Humanitarian/professional contributions and responsibility (Hippocratic commitment to teach)
Global health workforce crisis demands new approaches to train multiple levels of health care workers much more rapidly and effectively; correct global variations in health care resulting from inaccessibility of knowledge and links to needed expertise;(Mary Lee)
Efficient means of educational content creation, sharing, delivery (Mary Lee)
Equitable health knowledge distribution that will move us towards international standards of education and training and quality control (Mary Lee, Elena Barragan, Pablo Pulido collaborate )
Development of institutional reputation (Elena Barragan)
Faculty perspective: demonstration of expertise and uses for promotion. Use of the time for knowledge production instead of knowledge delivery. (Mary Lee, Elena Barragan)
Learner perspectives (pre-health, para-professionals, allied health, professional school, residency/postgraduate training, continuing education, etc.).Use of the time for learning purposes instead of for knowledge search process. (Mary Lee, Elena Barragan)
Continuous resource for lifetime/lifelong learning and professional development to receive in-service updated training, attain additional certification, next degree, etc.. (Mary Lee, Elena Barragan)
Sharing content across disciplines, across institutions, across countries to leverage faculty time by sharing expertise/content which also enables filling faculty/content gaps in each other’s programs (Mary Lee, Elena Barragan, Pablo Pulido collaborate )
Can help disseminate the results of research in highly usable and impactful manner. (Elena Barragan, Pablo Pulido collaborate )
1. Improving Health Literacy (Linda J Lloyd)
3. Challenges to OER (Health) development and implementation
Intellectual property issues Lesley-Anne
Information technology issues ( Pablo Pulido )
Interoperability standards
Sustainability (Elena Barragan)
Faculty incentives (credit for promotion), tradeoffs of seeing patients (and generating revenue) versus investing in teaching/learning. (Elena Barragan)
Faculty development needs in relation to teaching design for genuinely interactive online learning (Elena Barragan)
Scaling Health OER production and distribution
Languages, translation issues. (Elena Barragan) ( Add Culture to Languages or a separate Issue-Linda J Lloyd)
Content: complexity (e.g. searching), short half-life
Quality control issues and mechanisms (Elena Barragan, Pablo Pulido collaborate )
Access by target audiences (multi-factorial—technical, social, pedagogical, etc.)
Credentialing, certification of learning/achievement/competencies (Dick Heller, Pablo Pulido collaborate )
There is a choice to be made as to whether to 'accredit' the open learning materials themselves, or the learning outcomes arising from them. The complexity of deriving and administering some form of materials accreditation, that is relevant across cultures and levels of learning, should defeat any proposal to attempt such an activity. Quality assurance of the OERs will have to be dealt with in another way, and is more relevant to the educational context and learning outcomes than to the materials themselves. So this poses a challenge of a different dimension, but of greater importance, that is how to certify the results of having had 'exposure' to the OERs. In our view, it is an essential part of the OER movement to take advantage of their existence by placing them in appropriate educational contexts. Where they are to be used within a traditional course, to take advantage of their existence and development by someone with special expertise in the content area, there should be no problem as the usual assessment and accreditation processes can take place - we would hope that they will be placed in a context that reflects the competences at which the education is aimed. There are a few examples of the development of new certification processes to capitalise on the existence of open resources. The Peoples-uni (http://peoples-uni.org) (references) has developed a set of course modules using OERs entirely, to avoid the need to develop educational materials – thus this can be provided at a low enough cost for the audience of Public Health practitioners in developing countries. Awards at the certificate and diploma level are to be awarded by the Peoples-uni, and discussions are taking place with other organisations for double badging and other ways of recognising the educational achievement. A clear identification of the competences achieved by the student, even in the absence of an award from a recognised university, should allow an employer to have confidence in the 'product' of this education and help with the career development of the student who has passed the course. The Open Courseware Consortium has also explored the feasibility of this type of approach, and is currently exploring the difficult issue of how to overcome institutional reservations about competition. In view of the importance of student fees, any approach to provide quality education at low cost is a potential threat to the traditional university.
Institutional barriers
National policy barriers
Barriers related to ICT infrastructure and systems (including competition of carriers) locally and nationally
Maintaining high quality and some uniformity of treatment

4. Issues in OER development and implementation
Can Health-OER be used in the context of open participatory learning? How could students engage across environments, cultures, contexts? What delivery mechanisms can be used to produce credit-bearing awards that will help career development of those in low-income countries (and be of low cost) and overcome institutional reservations about competition? (Dick Heller)I have put some of this in section 12 above instead of here.

The use of the Internet provides both a forum for the development and sharing of OERs in the context of e-learning, and the ability to engage across environments, cultures and courses. This revolution in communications technology provides opportunities beyond the development of materials. We can use open source delivery mechanisms, and also take advantage of what has ben termed Education 2.0 or 3.0. Here, students can not only learn passively, but participate actively in their learning and even help in the production and modification of new materials. Where a course is delivered across cultures, this provides a fantastic opportunity to inject a cross-cultural input to the development and refinement of the learning materials themselves, as well as the educational value of a learning experience that allows discussion and input across cultures and environments.
Challenges to prospective co-creation (by individuals and institutions) across distances and cultures. (Dick Heller)

Those of us who have engaged with the OER movement have become more or less comfortable with the use of information technology. Many of our colleagues remain fearful of this new approach and struggle not only with the delivery of online education, but also with the development. Again, the use of the new information technology provides the opportunity for collaborative co-development of courses and course materials across geographical and cultural divides. But only if we have good systems for this collaborative co-authoring. While the open source software movement has engaged many thousands of individuals in the development of very useful applications, this community is comfortable with the use of the technology. The experience of the Peoples-uni in course development is mixed, in that while courses have been produced collaboratively, a number of academics who initially offered to help in course development did not engage with it. Part of this was due to the lack of good co-authoring mechanisms – or at least mechanisms that were understandable and accessible to these academics. Some kind of cross-disciplinary approach to allow non-IT professionals to work collaboratively on the Internet in course development would be an important priority.
Acknowledging the technology 'pull' - where need drives take-up; what are the current shortcomings of educational institutions in being able to meet need? How can OERs help meet that need?
Do the challenges of OER need to be framed around multilateral/consortia origanisational networks, where dialogue takes place between many, drawing on a digital commons or market place of content and tools? what are the challenges in institutions sharing different 'platforms' and commons licenses
Identifying what materials are needed in what format? How do you prioritize across healthcare provider domains and level of trainee? What models/formats/methods are best suited/most effective for what goals and contexts (web, CD, mobile phone, print?).
Evidence for OER - metrics for success and evidence for efficacy.
Marketing research (online and live surveys) to clearly define development and implementation issues and guide evolution of OER. Ronald Gawronski, Pablo Pulido collaborate
On line research could be designed to:
Classify potential users of OER and other involved groups according to (identity; location; education/occupation/position, etc
Assess habits re:
a) Current sources of educational material
b) Methods/modes used to access material
c) Level OER knowledge/experience
d) Educational objectives-career goals, etc.
Assess attitudes and preferences
a) Preferences for e.g. accessing educational material
b) Likes/dislikes/preferences e.g. categorization of material,
c) Types of material desired to meet needs and interests
Online research could be designed to also help provide answers related to: IT/IP issues; guidelines for establishing standards/procedures; language and translation; credentialing/certification; and other issues).
Online research would use mostly multiple choice type questions and various scaled assessments.
Other forms of research to consider depending upon factors such as the nature of the inquiry, size and location of the research target group(s): telephone surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.
Analysis of responses will also help increase the number of OER users and use frequency of OER e.g. by providing guidance on how best to catalog OER content to optimize user access to material most pertinent to their needs and interests.
Sustainability is more than about funding - it's also about what needs to be put in place over 10-20 years to ensure that activity can continue even without ring fenced funding because it has been embedded in systems and cultures. it's about mainstreaming - this touches on governance between institutions and between governments

5. Sample OER solutions (both content and processes, including accreditation) (Mary Lee - provide examples)

6. Market

7. Pilot experiences? (Mary Lee - provide examples)

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