An overview of the Moodle “open” book project

In another 50 minutes I’m off to attend the “First Open Textbook Community Meeting” made up of folk who were successful in getting an internal institutional grant for the USQ Open Textbook Initiative. One of the tasks we’re being asked is

Prepare a short overview of your intended project for your colleagues at the meeting

Hence this post attempting to develop some ideas for my project

The Moodle “open” book project

The main course I teach – EDC3100, ICT and Pedagogy – has no set text. Instead, the course site currently contains 73 resources created with the Moodle book module. Those 73 Moodle books include at least 670 “pages” of content, including both administrative and learning content. The core of those books is the “learning path”. A weekly path that guides learners through a range of literature, resources and activities intended to help them to design learning experiences where digital technologies (ICTs) are used to amplify and transform their students’ learning.

The aim of this project is to develop a framework (defined as collection of technologies, processes, and practices) that will help me transform these course resources. Transform these sad, lonely Moodle books withering away in the online ghetto that is the course site into open resources that can be read, modified, and re-used by anyone with an interest in ways that are appropriate for them. The intent is that once developed and tested with the EDC3100 resources, the framework will be available to anyone else using the Moodle LMS.

The inverse relationship between reusability and pedagogical effectiveness

There is no assumption in this project that the EDC3100 books represent some huge contribution to the literature on the integration of ICT into learning and teaching. There is no assumption that the resources are in anyway generic enough to be immediately reusable by people outside of the course. The EDC3100 books are written in a way to be very specific to the course and the course site. Immediately bumping into “The Reusability Paradox” proposed by David Wiley. The greater the pedagogical value a resource has for a particular context, the less potential for reusing the resource outside of that original context. Wiley identifies four possible solutions to this paradox

  1. create highly decontextualized resources that can be reused broadly but teach very little;
  2. we can build highly contextualized resources that teach effectively in a single setting but are very difficult to reuse elsewhere;
  3. we can shoot for the mediocre middle; or,
  4. allow and enable for contextual modification of the learning object.

This project is aiming to support the adoption of solution #4. The Moodle “open” book project is about transforming the EDC3100 resources (and any resources using the Moodle book) into resources that can be modified in response to contextual demands of anyone and everyone.

One thought on “An overview of the Moodle “open” book project

  1. Pingback: Open Educational Practice: the boring way and more interesting ways – The Weblog of (a) David Jones

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