OpenWetWare talk:Courses/OpenCourseWare

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OCW linking to OWW

  • 6/7/2006: 20.109 is in the process of being archived onto OpenCourseWare. OCW was wondering whether there should be a link from the OCW version to OWW. Any objections? It will drive traffic to OWW. But there might also be more edits to track and monitor (i.e. to class sites).
  • Austin 19:53, 7 June 2006 (EDT): Why is it a bad thing if there are more edits? Whoever is doing the editing must already have an account anyway.
    • Natalie: It seems a good thing to have lots of folks looking at and editing the material for the class but I do wonder if the edits will exceed what can reasonably be followed or fixed by existing community.
  • yeem 20:12, 7 June 2006 (EDT) I don't think it should be a problem. If we restrict editing privileges then there shouldn't be a problem, as Austin has said. I am still somewhat confused as to what is actually going to happen; is OCW going to simply link to a page on OWW? We can't realistically prevent every site on the internet from linking to us.
  • On the other hand, there's no real use in mirroring the entire 109 article space, as it may get edited in the future. Obviously the content won't change much, but if we decide to put stuff into categories at some point in time, or add templates to pages, the OCW version will fall out of synch rather quickly. Same goes for linking to specific diffs.
  • yeem 20:16, 7 June 2006 (EDT) FWIW, you can convert .ppt to .pdf using OpenOffice. One less thing that OCW has over OWW.
    • Natalie: The 109 content changes significantly everytime it's taught so the OCW effort might provide a nice archive of the class from year to year. 109 on OCW would be updated at most only every other year. As for the specifics of what OCW wants to do: they are currently converting the OWW class material into pdfs to be posted as static web-accessible material for students and teachers to work with freely. Nothing prevents those same students and teachers from working with the OWW version that exists but the OCW-version will probably be higher profile. If there is a link from OCW to OWW then we're likely to see more traffic on the wiki as well.
  • Jasonk 20:58, 7 June 2006 (EDT): I think we should encourage them to link to us, don't see many downsides to it.
  • RS 22:44, 7 June 2006 (EDT): The primary reason I brought this up is because typically OCW does NOT link to the current class website for a couple reasons. (1) They don't want the current course professor peppered with questions about course material (I think). (2) They don't want to be the means by which copyright violations by professor in their classes are discovered. For completeness, Natalie and I just wanted to raise the issue here. I think given OWW's nature, it is fine for them to link to us (especially since Natalie is fine with it). And Mike, you're right that we can't stop people from linking to us (in fact, we want people to link to us!) ... this is just a special case where OCW is asking us whether we want them to link to us or not.

OCW and 20.109

  • Natalie 03/06/06: Just a few thoughts on the OWW/OCW nexus as it relates to BE.109: There is a strong commitment to keep BE.109 "fresh" and truly investigative. Approx 50% of the class has changed each of the last 3 years. It may be that the curriculum settles over the next few years, in which case it may be suitably represented on OCW. However if the class continues to evolve, the OCW version will quickly fall out of step with the real version. A second point that's important to make here is just how incomplete the BE.109 material on OWW is. There is at least one hour of lecture each week to fill in the back story for each protocol and there is significant amounts of time in lab set aside for discussion and explanation of the material. The writing instruction is also vital to the class and isn't loaded onto the OWW site (this year at least). Each lab is previewed with a written introduction and these can be found on OWW but the previews were never intended as stand alone coverage for the material and may not be sufficient for OCW. Finally, the students enrolled in BE.109 are expected to participate in the growth and development of the class (a point made very clearly and correctly above). This is part of the power of using a class wiki and may be difficult to replicate in the more static forum of OCW. I'll be interested in hearing the OCW perspective and finding healthy ways to reconcile these differences.
  • RS 23:17, 6 March 2006 (EST): I'll certainly bring these issues up when we talk with them. In some sense I think these are general drawbacks to OCW. Course material needs to be refreshed ... I assume they have a mechanism for that. As for not all materials being present on the OWW, we could consider uploading pdfs (if the instructors are willing) at some point. As for the participating of the students in the class, I agree that it is vital. My personal vision is the that the current, dynamic version of the class reside on OWW and then we archive it on OCW after the term is over. I think this is essentially what happens with a lot of the courses on OCW. Most of them are run through stellar and then later put on OWW. However, I will check with the OCW folks to see what they think.
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