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Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research - CIDER

Owner: Terry Anderson

Group members: 45


OPEN CALL: If you have research that may be of interest to our CIDER audience and would like to join our growing list of CIDER Session presenters, please contact the Sessions host at Download our full call.

The Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research (CIDER) is a research initiative of the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and Centre for Distance Education (CDE), Canada's largest graduate and professional distance education programming provider, at Athabasca University, Canada's Open University.

CIDER sponsors a variety of professional development activities designed to increase the quantity and quality of distance education research. CIDER's professional development scope is broad, ranging from learning and teaching application, issues of finance and access, the strategic use of technology in distance education settings, and other factors that influence distance education in Canada.

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CIDER receives support from Athabasca University and UNESCO.


OPEN CALL: Presenters

This note from the field reviews the sustainability of an institution-wide program for adopting and adapting open and alternative educational resources (OAER) at Kansas State University (K-State). Developed in consult of open textbook initiatives at other institutions and modified around the needs and expectations of K-State students and faculty, this initiative proposes a sustainable means of incentivizing faculty participation via institutional support, encouraging the creation and maintenance of OAER through recurring funding, promoting innovative realizations of “educational resources” beyond traditional textbooks, and rallying faculty participation in adopting increasingly open textbook alternatives. The history and resulting structure of the initiative raise certain recommendations for how public universities may sustainably offset student textbook costs while also empowering the pedagogies of educators via a more methodical approach to adopting open materials.

Fri, 16 Jun 2017

Open Educational Resources (OER) are gaining acceptance as legitimate and effective teaching materials in higher education, particularly in 2-year institutions.  Despite the steady growth in the availability and use of OER, there have been relatively few studies on the efficacy of OER and student achievement.  This study analyzed the effect enrollment in an OER course had on student academic achievement when controlling for prior academic achievement in an introductory online history course at a large community college. Correlation analysis and simple linear regression were conducted. The results of this research indicate a significant positive moderate correlation between OER and student achievement. The study provided a process by which future, more rigorous efficacy studies can be conducted.

Fri, 16 Jun 2017

As freely adoptable digital resources, OpenCourseWare (OCW) have become a prominent form of Open Educational Resources (OER). More than 275 institutions in the worldwide OCW consortium have committed to creating free access open course materials. Despite the resources and efforts to create OCW worldwide, little understanding of its use exists. This paper reports OCW project development at National Taiwan University (NTU) and investigates its use with Google Analytics. Reports include strategic plans to overcome challenges to OCW creation and implementation, the project’s growth and maturation, overall use of OCW, and possible future directions. As a result of its 5-year development and of lessons learned, the NTU-OCW experience features: (1) integrating resources on campus and established operating procedures, (2) setting course selection criteria featuring the strength of NTU and Taiwan, (3) providing coherent program support to enhance faculty participation, and (4) adhering strictly to the Creative Commons license. Data from Google Analytics was reviewed for better understanding of the use, characteristics, course preferences, and behaviors of NTU-OCW users. Results show visitors were primarily lifelong learners (65%) in informal learning settings. Statistics indicate an overall successful use of NTU-OCW for Chinese speaking users, especially in urban areas where information and communication technology is more developed. Potential impacts and future improvements are  discussed, including how to promote usage of OCW courses for on and off campus users, adding rating features and indexing for customizing search, and integrating OCW into the learning management system (LMS) as part of OER.

Fri, 16 Jun 2017

The high cost of tuition and textbooks can have a negative impact on potential students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Open Educational Resources (OER) offers students a way to save educational costs while utilizing high-quality open textbooks. Up until now, there have been few studies focused on a specific provider of open textbooks. This study investigates open textbooks provided by OpenStax. Specifically, this study uses the COUP framework to examine: (1) cost reduction, (2) outcomes, (3) uses, and (4) the faculty perceptions of the quality of OpenStax textbooks. Additionally, we expanded the framework to address (5) the relationship between the perceived quality of the OpenStax textbook and the faculty perception of student performance, (6) the faculty’s intention to continue to adopt OpenStax textbooks, and (7) the perceived importance of accessibility to faculty who use OpenStax textbooks. Overall, the findings suggest that a significant amount of financial savings and a number of pedagogical shifts can be supported by the use of OpenStax textbooks.

Fri, 16 Jun 2017

Using data collected from peer reviews for Open Textbook Library titles, this paper explores questions about rating the quality of open textbooks. The five research questions addressed the relationship between textbook and reviewer characteristics and ratings. Although reviewers gave textbooks high ratings generally, reviewers identified differences in quality according to criteria and discipline. Physics and chemistry textbooks earned significantly lower ratings than other textbook types. Ratings were not significantly associated with reviewers’ status and experience, but were associated with reviewers’ place of residence. We discuss the implications for OER efficacy studies and other research.

Fri, 16 Jun 2017

In April, Google introduced a revamped, reimagined version of Google Earth, which included a number of new features that go beyond visualizing the planet through the use of maps and satellite imagery, to also allow users to explore the world through tours, and learn about its many wonders. Today, Google announced it’s bringing Google Earth […]
2 days ago
Now kids can potentially take a class to find out how to get to Sesame Street, thanks to a fresh $1.4 million in new funding for Outschool and its online learning marketplace from Sesame Street’s venture partnership with Collaborative Fund. Techcrunch
2 days ago
great deal of anxiety now exists in the U.S. over the future of jobs in an era of automation. Indeed, there are widespread fears that robots and artificial intelligence (AI) will increasingly perform the tasks currently performed by most Americans, rendering human workers increasingly obsolete over time. Brookings Institute
2 days ago
Individualized approaches to online course design benefit faculty in numerous ways. Using a “concierge” model approach, this paper describes the working principles and steps used in course development. The general approach directly addresses many inherent problems with instructional design processes, which often highlight discrepancies in preparation and background between instructional designers and faculty as “subject […]
June 25, 2017 - 8:28pm

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