a2k open content

OA and OER Policy Reviews

Students in my IPT 692R: Open Education Policy Seminar have finished the two policy backgrounders they worked on during our extremely compressed summer session. These reviews are written specifically for a BYU audience (with lots of references to BYU’s mission, institutional objectives, and appropriate scriptures), but I thought the information in these documents might be of interest to the broader open education community. So without further ado:

Open Access Policy Backgrounder

Open Educational Resources Policy Backgrounder

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July BYU IS OCW Update

Two exciting bits of news from the ongoing BYU Independent Study OCW trial. There’ll be loads more data / graphs / etc. in our presentation at Open Ed 2009 next week.

First, things seem to be remarkably stable on the “conversion to paying customers” side of the study. Out of 9179 visitors to the OCW site, 270 have become paying customers of BYU IS (that’s 2.94%). This number is sticking right around 3%.

Second, the final cost data for converting BYU IS courses to OCW have come in. As you may recall, there are three high school courses and three university courses in the trial. Our strategy was to create automated transforms to do most of the work of reformatting courses for publication in BYU IS OCW, and do as little “by-hand” clean up as possible. (BYU IS owns the IP in its online courses, so there is no IP scrubbing to do.) Consequently, the first HS and the first university course have rather high conversion costs – because we billed the creation of the transformation scripts to the first course in each area. The course conversion costs are remarkably low:

High School Courses
GOVT 45: $5,204
EARTH 41: $1,204
GEOG 41: $1,142

University Courses
TMA 150: $3,485
BUS M 418: $320
SFL 110: $248

As a comparison point, MIT OCW estimates a cost of approximately $15,000 per course to publish syllabi and other materials used in teaching on-campus MIT classes. In contrast, the BYU IS OCW courses are complete courses designed from the beginning for online learning. With the transforms written and used a few times, we now know what it would cost if the decision were made to release more BYU IS courses as OCW in the future: about $1150 per high school course and about $250 per university course.

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June BYU IS OCW Update

With two months of data in the door, the numbers keep getting better and better for our pilot at BYU Independent Study OCW. To date 7559 people have visited BYU IS OCW, and 232 of those people have enrolled in at least one course (they may have enrolled in more than one course, but we don’t have that data yet). That’s a conversion rate of just over 3%! Things continue to look very sustainable…