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OPDF Outcomes Analysis

Page history last edited by paulgordonstacey@... 9 years, 9 months ago

Analysis of OPDF Outcomes 2003-2009

 

BCcampus uses three key OPDF measures: 1. partnerships, 2. credentials, and 3. sharing and reuse.

1. Partnerships

The public post secondary system in British Columbia is made up of largely autonomous institutions. Part of the mandate of BCcampus is to foster collaborations and partnerships between institutions and others.

BCcampus OPDF Partnership Outcome:
105 of the 131 BCcampus OPDF initiatives, or 80%, involve collaborations and partnerships between multiple BC post-secondary institutions. In addition there have been 45 external partners involved in the 131 development projects.


External partners include:

  • national and international universities
  • professional associations
  • K-12 school districts and school boards
  • e-learning companies
  • foundations
  • First Nations tribal councils
  • health authority’s
  • literacy groups


I’ve been told over the years that the multi-institutional partnership requirement of the BCcampus OPDF initiative is one of the more challenging aspects for institutions to fulfill. Institutions form partnerships with each other based on academic program synergy and a mutual academic need. Partnering involves pooling expertise and developing an online resource that both institutions subsequently use. Each institution has what might be thought of as its own “trading partners” with whom they repeatedly form partnerships. Trading partners often share a similar stature in the system such as partnerships among remote rural colleges or partnerships among large research based universities. I’ve been told that once partnerships form the partnership often extends out into other activities beyond the BCcampus OPDF initiative.

2. Credentials

A goal of the BCcampus OPDF initiative is to increase credential opportunities available to students throughout the province by funding development of post-secondary online courses, programs, and resources. Credentials in BC’s post-secondary are categorized as follows:

  • Apprentice-Entry Level
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Certificate
  • Citation
  • Diploma
  • Doctoral Degree
  • Grad Cert/Diploma
  • No Credential Granted
  • University Transfer

* Note: This credential categorization is taken from EducationPlanner.ca

Credentials are developed through the BCcampus OPDF initiative in four ways:

  1. A single round of funding allows for development of all the courses required for a complete credential.
  2. A complete credential is built out gradually through multiple rounds of funding.
  3. The OPDF initiative provides funding needed for development of the last few courses required to make the complete credential online.
  4. The OPDF initiative creates a number of online courses that can be used across multiple credentials or serve as the building blocks for creating credentials.


The BCcampus OPDF initiative has contributed to the development of 41 credentials:

Associate Degree

  • Associate of Arts Degree & Associate of Arts Degree in Geography
  • Associate of Arts Degree in First Nations Studies
  • Web-based Associate of Science


Bachelor’s Degree

  • BA Psychology
  • Bachelor of General Studies (Police Studies)
  • Bachelor of Tourism Management
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
  • Bachelor’s Degree with a Marketing Minor
  • Classroom and Community Support Program
  • Minor in Gerontology
  • Northern Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Programme


Certificate

  • Administration Assistant Certificate
  • Certificate in First Nations Housing Managers Training
  • Certificate in Gerontology
  • Certificate in Tourism Event Management
  • Community Development Certificate program
  • Computer Technology Certificate
  • Finance for First Nations Housing Managers
  • First Nation Shellfish Aquaculture General Management Certificate
  • Medical Office Assistant Certificate
  • Practical Nursing Online Certificate
  • Provincial Legal Administrative Assistant Online Certificate
  • Renewable Energy Certificate Program


Diploma

  • Aboriginal Business Administration Diploma
  • Aboriginal Community Economic Development Diploma
  • Access to Dental Hygeine Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
  • Advanced Diploma in Human Resources
  • Animal Health Technology Diploma
  • Business Administration General Management Diploma
  • Continuing Health Care Administration Diploma
  • Diploma in Local Government Management
  • Diploma in Public Sector Management
  • Early Childhood Care and Education Diploma
  • First Nations Public Administration Diploma


Graduate Certificate/Diploma

  • Graduate Diploma in Public Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Child and Youth Mental Health
  • Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Gerontology
  • Post Bacclaureate Diploma in Marketing
  • Post Graduate Technical Diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


Master’s Degree

  • Masters of Applied Arts


In addition to explicit development of the above credentials some BCcampus OPDF initiatives develop multi-purpose undergraduate online courses or smaller course components for unspecified credentials. These initiatives typically express their intent as developing core foundation level resources that can be used across multiple courses and credentials.

To deepen the analysis I’ve been drilling down from the credential level to fields of study. The BC Council on Admissions and Transfer’s Education Planner site categorizes BC’s higher education academic offerings into the following fields of study:

  • Agriculture Natural Resources and Science
  • Business Management
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Services
  • Construction and Precision Production
  • Development Programs (e.g. ABE, ESL)
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Engineering/ Electrical and Electronics
  • Health Related
  • Legal and Social Services
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanical and Related
  • Recreation, Tourism, Hospitality Service
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Transportation (Air, Land, Marine)
  • Visual, Performing and Fine Arts


I’ve analysed the BCcampus OPDF initiative data to determine what percent are in each of these fields of study.


Heres how it looks:

Source Data
Agriculture Natural Resources and Science = 4.83%
Business Management = 10.07%
Communications = .13%
Computer and Information Services = 1.21%
Construction and Precision Production = 0%
Development Programs (e.g. ABE, ESL) = 6.17%
Education and Library Studies = 3.36%
Engineering/ Electrical and Electronics = 1.20%
Health Related = 12.35%
Legal and Social Services = 3.36%
Liberal Arts and Humanities = 5.23%
Mechanical and Related = 2.55%
Recreation. Tourism, Hospitality Service = 7.52%
Sciences = 16.38%
Social Sciences = 10.34%
Transportation (Air, Land, Marine) = 0%
Visual, Performing and Fine Arts = 4.16%

As you can see the field of study area that has received the most development is in science with 16.38%, the second highest is health with 12.35%, then social sciences with 10.34%, and business management with 10.07%. The remaining percentage of development has gone toward development of professional learning resources and a small amount to apprenticeship.

Going deeper still, each field of study breaks down into subject areas. Visit Education Planner’s Program Search to see list of over 200 subject areas available. I thought it would be interesting to consider the extent to which the BCcampus OPDF initiative has resulted in development of resources across the full spectrum of subject areas. The BCcampus OPDF initiative has developed resources in 63 of the 200 subject areas.

BCcampus OPDF initiative credential, field of study, and subject area outcomes are shaped each year by the call for proposals. Typically the call targets development in areas of high student demand and labour market need. In some years the Ministry makes explicit priorities. For example in the 2009 call for proposals the Ministry expressed the following as priorities – Early Childhood Education; Health-related Programs; Programs aimed at Aboriginal Learners as well as learners with disabilities, mature learners and recent immigrants; Technician and Technologist Programs; Tourism and Hospitality. However, post-secondary institutions can submit proposals for any area and to some extent the credential, field of study and subject area coverage represents priorities of the entire BC public post-secondary system.

3. Sharing and Reuse

The BCcampus OPDF initiative is a form of what has become known internationally as Open Educational Resources (OER). Like other OER initiatives the “open” goal of the BCcampus initiative is to create a source of digital materials that are openly shared and available for reuse by others.

The BCcampus OPDF initiative gives developers the choice of Creative Commons and BC Commons licenses. Developers wanting to participate in the global OER movement can go with Creative Commons. Alternatively they can choose the BC Commons license which provides for open sharing locally at the provincial level among all 25 public post secondary institutions.

One outcome I’ve been interested in tracking is, when given an option between these two licenses what license choice do developers make. I think of this as a measure of “openness”. In the first two years of the BCcampus OPDF initiative over 90% of developers chose the BC Commons license. In the next two years 78% chose the BC Commons license. In the last three years 47% chose the BC Commons license. In 2003 when we started the BCcampus OPDF initiative developers let us know in no uncertain terms that they were uncomfortable with wide open sharing. This comes through loud and clear in their license choices. However, as OER become a more widely known global phenomenon and the risks many initially feared from sharing diminish developers are becoming increasingly willing, and in some cases advocates for, being globally open.

I often think of OER as existing on a continuum of openness. At the most closed end of the continuum is fully copyright protected. At the most open end of the contiuum is public domain. BC Commons licensed OER are more open than copyright protected resources but not as open as Creative Commons.

Another obvious outcome to measure is reuse. On the surface this measure seems obvious. How many of the resources developed are reused by others? However, the answer is less easy to arrive at. Part of the challenge is defining reuse.

What are the use cases for OER? For global OER the most common use case is translation and use in a developing country. For some OER, such as Connexions the use case is student self study or assembly of OER components into a print-on-demand textbook. For MIT’s OpenCourseWare a significant use case is marketing whereby the OER are seen as a calling card for attracting students to enroll and pursue a degree at MIT. Once enrolled another use case is when MIT students view the OpenCourseWare not for self study but as an academic planning aid helping them pick which courses they’ll sign up for next term.

For those of us who have been involved in e-learning for many years the reuse of digital learning resources has a long history. Prior to OER, learning objects, small 2 to 15 minute units of learning, were seen as a key form factor for reuse. The key affordance of learning objects is that instructors can custom assemble them into larger modules of learning that fit their understanding of a domain or way of teaching.

BCcampus makes the OER produced through it’s initiative available in a repository that supports search, preview, and download. One way we can track reuse is to monitor whats being searched, viewed and downloaded. The software application used for the repository has limited reporting capabilities though – downloads for example are not easily tracked. But let me report out on views. From January 2008 through November 2009 634 resources in the repository were viewed. The total number of views was 1,853. So clearly the OER are at least meeting the first use case I depicted above where it is at least viewed. We can also see which resources have been viewed the most, giving an indication of popularity or high value.

 

Let me also share a specific case study. The OPDF has funded development of three inter-related virtual soil online resources - Virtual Soil Forming Processes, Virtual Soil Identification & Classification, and Soil Parent Material and Landscape Development. In July 2010 the developers sent us a summary list of Canadian and non-Canadian universities that use these resources. We thought we'd share this as a great example of use and reuse.

1) University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Dr. Art Bomke (courses: APBI 260, APBI 360 and APBI 361)
Dr. Sandra Brown (courses: APBI 401, APBI 403)

Faculty of Forestry
Dr. Suzanne Simard (courses: FRST 200, FRST 201, FRST 202)

Faculty of Science
Dr. Gary Bradfield (BIOL 406)

Faculty of Arts
Dr. Lori Daniels (GEOB 407)

2) University of British Columbia - Okanagan
Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Dr. David Scott (EESC 311, EESC 456)

3) Simon Fraser University
Faculty of Science
Dr. Margaret Schmidt (GEOG 317, GEOG 417)

4) University of Northern British Columbia
Faculty of Science
Dr. Paul Sanborn (FSTY 205, SFTY 315, FSTY 425)
Dr. Mike Rutheford (FSTY 455)

5) Thompson Rivers University
Faculty of Science
Kent Watson, MSc (FRST 200, NRSC 223)

6) University of Victoria
Dr. Dough Maynard (GEOG 379)
 
7) University of Vancouver Island
Biology Department
Dr. David Gaumont-Guay (BIOL 202, BIOL 322)
 
8) University of Fraser Valley
Faculty of Agriculture
Dr. Dieter Geesing (AGRI 204)
 
9) Selkirk College
David Marcoux, MSc
 
10 ) University of Saskatchewam, Saskatoon
Department of Soil Science
Dr. Angela Bedar-Haugh
Dr. Dan Pennock
 
11) University of Guelph
Department of Soil Science
Dr. Richard Heck (SOIL 4250)
 
12) University of Toronto-Mississauga
Department of Geography
Dr. Nathan Basiliko (GGR 227, GGR 307)
 
13) Carleton University
Faculty of Science
Dr. Elyn Humphreys (GEOG 1010A)
 
14) Brock University
Department of Geography
Dr. Daryl Dagesse (Gepgraphy 2P97)
 
15) West-Hungarian University, Sopron
Faculty of Forestry
Dr. Balint Heil (Forest soil)
 
16) Utah State University
College of Natural Resources
De. Helga van Miegroet (SOIL 5350)
 
Based on student enrollment in all the courses mentioned above, about 1,500 students/year use these educational resources.

The developers of these resources just recently launched the Canadian Soil Web Collaborative.

 

This case study is a good example of the kind of sharing and reuse approach the OPDF is seeking to foster.

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