Let’s play OER Roulette!

My glamorous assistant

(The academic version of sending your child up a chimney)

This is the last in my trilogy of Open Ed 2010 posts.

For my presentation at Open Ed 2010 I wanted to do something a bit different. I had the last slot on a long second day (ie ‘the graveyard shift’) and I was speaking after David Wiley (who gave an excellent presentation as always), so the odds were stacked against me. In addition my daughter accompanied me so I wanted to include her in some way.

I remember seeing Elvis Costello in concert once and he had a large wheel at the front with a number of songs listed on it, which they would spin to select the next number to play. I wanted to recreate this, but transporting a big wheel was unrealistic, so I got my daughter to get members of the audience to select cards. My talk had the hypothesis that by considering OERs as big and little, it provided a lens on a number of issues around OERs, including:

  • Sustainability
  • Working methods
  • Production time
  • Context
  • Academic status
  • The role of content
  • The nature of projects
  • Sites vs Portals
  • Aggregation vs Adaptation
  • Implict messages

This gave the presentation a non-linear structure and because I had more subjects than could be covered in the allotted time, a degree of uncertainty. It also means I can give the same presentation again and it will at least be slightly different.

The presentation is below, which I haven't had time to turn into a slidecast and is now linear, so it loses some of the interactivity. I quite liked using this approach and given my previous post on not doing presentations, it at least allowed me to play with the format to a degree, but I would have preferred it to be more participatory.


5 Comments

  1. This was one of the sessions I enjoyed most at OpenEd… I am definitely going to ‘steal’ the idea and will use my daughters and the non-linear approach in future presentations!
    I would be very interested to explore further the notion of ‘little oer’ – it is related to the relevancy of repositories, etc…

  2. Martin says:

    Thanks Erik, I take that as high praise. I may take my daughter out of school and turn her into my full time presentation assistant 😉
    Your presentation must have made an impression on my daughter – she said to me today ‘it’s probably about the same number of people as know about egyptian hieroglyphics’.
    I’d be interested to explore the granularity/range of OER stuff too, so let me know if you have any ideas for projects/papers etc.

  3. Hi Martin, your comment about your daughter has taken me right back to when I was very young & my father took me out and about when he went preaching. He used to get me to stand up in front of the congregation and recite religious poems or sing choruses…..
    Thanks for bringing back the memories :) :)

  4. Karen says:

    Fantastic photo from Brian Lamb. It was great to see Ellen and have the little chat that we did over coffee with Scott. I like the fact that you have acknowledged the possibility that there is some exploitation involved, I had a little twinge about it. On the other hand she had a great experience. It is interesting how Erik’s video of his kids trying to open the laptop was equally engaging. But actually you could have picked all kinds of ways of doing the improv element. Volunteers from the audience is a regular showman activity. Derren Brown uses a light frisby ring and throws it to the audience and where it lands asks the person to pick a card or a word or whatever. An ‘unglamourous’ assistant (volunteer from the audience) would be equally viable. And then of course if we were going for some kind of twitter stream interaction (reflecting on your other OpenEd10 posts) then you could have that on screen and say you will talk about the next topic that comes up on the list or some kind of online instant voting for topic. I think the key is the courage to be engaging with the audience (present and online).
    There are many tales to tell about the Russian conference that Patrick and I have just got back from where we had great wifi connection because we were virtually the only people in the room connecting to it!!! (The others being colleagues who had all been at OpenEd10). And when a PowerPoint slide with a picture came up, that felt like a highlight :-) Do not wish to offend anyone, it was an interesting cultural lesson. Our tentative attempts at audience participation were lost in translation. You’d have blown their minds, man!

  5. mweller says:

    I didn’t really have any issues about exploitation (wouldn’t have done it if I had), Ellen was keen to do it and it’s good to let them see what you do I think.
    But yes, if she hadn’t been there I would have still done the same thing, maybe with Brian as my glamorous assistant. I like the frisbee idea.
    I have to give a talk soon and I wonder if that audience will be up for it, or whether they’ll see it as not being serious enough. As you suggest there are cultural and even disciplinary differences as to what a presentation should be.

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