The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) is playing a lead role in a multi-million pound research project which will trial educational courses, created by novel crowdsourcing methods, with thousands of learners across Europe.
KMi is working with research partners in the UK, Europe and South America to develop a state-of-the-art online platform where teachers, instructors and academics can collaborate to create high quality digital learning materials which will be freely available online.
Free digital learning materials, known as OpenCourseWare, are already changing education, making it more accessible and more affordable. Millions of people across the world are now learning from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which build upon OpenCourseWare.
However, development is being held back because high-quality OpenCourseWare is expensive and time-consuming to create.
The new online platform will use SlideWiki, which allows the effort of creating OpenCourseWare to be shared between large numbers of educators, making the process faster and more efficient.
The SlideWiki platform will also make it easy to translate the materials into other languages, and will support course-related social networking among learners, which is a feature of high-quality MOOCs.
The researchers will run four large-scale trials of the new platform: in secondary education; vocational and professional training; higher education; and community-driven open education.
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