Owner: Terry Anderson
Group members: 39
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.
The aim of this mixed method study is to identify evaluation criteria for interactive e-books. To find answers for the research questions of the study, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a four-round Delphi study with a panel consisting of 30 experts. After that, a total of 20 interactive e-books were examined with heuristic inquiry methodology. In the final phase, the results of the Delphi technique and the heuristic inquiry results were integrated. As a result, four themes, 15 dimensions, and 37 criteria were developed for interactive e-books. Lastly, the results and their implications are discussed in this paper and suggestions for further research are presented.
The concept of the massive, open, online course (MOOC) is not new, but high-profile initiatives have moved MOOCs into the forefront of higher education news over the past few years. Members of institutions of higher education have mixed feelings about MOOCs, ranging from those who want to offer college credit for the successful completion of MOOCs to those who fear MOOCs are the end of the university as we know it. We set forth to investigate the quality of MOOCs by using the Quality Matters quality control framework. In this article, we present the results of our inquiry, with a specific focus on the implications the results have on day-to-day practice of designing online courses.
Canada’s important areas of expertise in open educational resources (OER) are beginning to be built upon or replicated more broadly in all education and training sectors. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art in OER initiatives and open higher education in general in Canada, providing insights into what is happening nationally and provincially. There are growing examples of OER initiatives from several Canadian institutions offering free courses to Canadians and international learners. National open education initiatives include the federal government's Open Data pilot project and the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada (CMEC) support for the Open Educational Resource Paris Declaration, as well as Creative Commons Canada. Regionally, the western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta are supporting OER as part of major open education initiatives.
Conducted in conjunction with an institute on open textbook adaptation, this study compares textbook evaluations from practicing K-12 classroom teachers (n = 30) on three different types of textbooks utilized in their contexts: copyright-restricted, open, and open/adapted. Copyright-restricted textbooks consisted of those textbooks already in use by the teachers in their classrooms prior to the institute, open textbooks included alternatives from CK-12 and OpenStax, and open/adapted consisted of open textbooks that the teachers devoted time to adapting to their individual needs. Results indicate that open/adapted textbooks were evaluated as having the highest quality, and that open textbooks were of higher quality than copyright-restricted textbooks. Though some factors of quality might be influenced by cost differences (e.g., timeliness and the ability to adopt updated textbooks), results reveal that open and open/adapted textbooks may do a better job of meeting the needs of K-12 teachers in a variety of ways that may not be captured through traditional approaches to quality assurance. This study marks an early step in exploring the quality of K-12 open educational resources (OER) and the use of practicing teachers as authentic evaluators of textbooks for their local contexts.
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