By Stacy Redd
The conference poster session may just be the grown-up science fair. Universities and organizations from around the world gathered to show OCWC Conference participants their latest endeavors. Here are some of the groups we met with today:
Student-driven content creation for e-Learning
In an effort to teach Japanese university students technical English, Jorg Entzinger, Shinji Suzuki and Komiko Morimura from the University of Tokyo have developed Snowballs, an online education program created by students, for students. Students can choose an avatar and play a variety of skill-based games. When skills are mastered, students earn points to help get their avatars clothes and accessories. The team behind Snowballs wants to create educational learning materials that students will not only use, but enjoy using, so they asked for lots of student input.
A comparison of production processes for Open Education Resources (OER)
From Japan to the Netherlands, this next project by Robert Schuwer and Anda Counotte-Potman of the Open Universiteit in Holland, and Andy Lane and Martina Wilson of the Open University in the United Kingdom compared how the two campuses used resources to create OERs. As the OCW movement continues to grow and evolve, participating campuses are looking to each other for inspiration and are constantly trying to find ways to improve.
Opening up the World's Academic Literature
Jessica Mezei of Mendeley Research explained how students, scholars and faculty can use Mendeley's extensive academic resources to improve and streamline their research. Students can use Mendeley to find the right information more easily, cite it properly and connect and collaborate with other researchers over the Internet.
(How) can badges replace degrees?
As we mentioned in our OCW Buzzwords post, badges are an electronic way for online learners to demonstrate that they've attained certain skills. Philipp Schmidt of University of the Western Cape explained how students and job-seekers can display their badges on their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles to supplement their resumes.