Bob Jensen's Threads on OpenCourseWare Sharing of Course Content on the Web
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
Threads Regarding Professors Who Share
If you are awestruck by a particular professor who is freely sharing (on the Web) a massive amount of work and/or something extremely clever in terms of course content, please send me the information to add to this page. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the MIT initiative on OpenCourseWare, where content of over 500 courses will be freely shared with the world, I commenced this OpenCourseWare threads page. I would like to provide exceptional examples on that page.
You can help me improve these threads. I would like to provide links to course Websites that are exceptional in terms of sharing. By "exceptional," I mean that an unbelievable amount of both time and skill are being shared freely with the world.
There's an old saying that pornography is impossible to define but is instantly identifiable.
The same is true of open-source course materials. It is not so much the type of content (problems, solutions, lecture notes, references, links, research, or whatever?) as it is the hours of private work on a wheel that is made freely available so that others do not have to re-invent the same wheel on the learning cart. My definition of course open-source material is anything related to a course that has a huge developmental fixed cost (in time and creativity) that can be avoided by users of that material. And the really good Little Red Hens (the ones who win lottos in heaven) are the ones who keep freely sharing updates to shared material served up in days of old.
One of my favorite examples of single-course sharing over several years is provided by Robert Cavalier, Professor of Philosophy, at Carnegie Mellon University --- http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/CAAE/Robert/Cavalier.html
The example of course content sharing is at http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/Cavalier/80130/Syllabus.html
Robert Cavalier has an article entitled "Cases, Narratives, and Interactive Multimedia," in Syllabus, May 2000. pp. 20-22 --- http://www.syllabus.com/
The purpose of our evaluation of A Right to Die? The Case of Dax Cowart was to see if learning outcomes for case studies could be enhanced with the use of interactive multimedia. My Introduction to Ethics class was divided into three groups: Text, Film, and CD-ROM. Equal distribution was achieved by using student scores on previous exams plus their Verbal SAT scores.
Two graders were trained and achieved more than 90 percent in grader variabilility. The results of the students' performance were put through statistical analysis and the null hypothesis was rejected for the CD/Film and CD/Text groups. Significant statistical difference was demonstrated in favor of interactive multimedia.
Philosophy Around the Web, by Peter J. King --- http://users.ox.ac.uk/~worc0337/phil_index.html
The main purpose of this site is to act as a guide and a gateway to philosophy resources on the Internet. If you're interested only in the other things on offer (which have now expanded to take up more than half the space), you should skip to Everything Else.
There's also a simplified index of the main sections.
The heart of the site is a set of links organised into fourteen main categories. It's not always easy to categorise Web sites; I've cross-referenced where I can, but if you don't find what you're looking for straight away, try browsing through the other pages.
One of my favorite newer examples is Professor Roubini from New York University
Stock Markets Performances --- <http://www.stern.nyu.edu/globalmacro/cur_policy/stock.html>
The above Website is one of several sites on Global Macroeconomic and Financial Policy Site maintained by Nouriel Roubini at the Stern School of Business, New York University --- <http://www.stern.nyu.edu/globalmacro/simple_content_frame.html>
These sites are very professionally maintained and provide links to many articles and academic papers.
There are of course many others. If you have some that are particularly outstanding, please forward the links to me so that I may add them to my threads on this page. My email address is email@example.com
And I can identify open sharing at the ACE site at http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aaa/ace/index.htm
Example 4 (Take the Virtual Cell Tour. Also note how different disciplines such as foreign languages are involved)
The Virtual Cell --- http://personal.tmlp.com/Jimr57/index.htm
Jim Rusconi, a teacher, wins a prestigious Pirelli prize for his biology website which provides a multimedia tour of a cell.
This project began as a product of The Brown University Center for Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization's outreach program. In 1996 the first version of this page was created as part of a summer outreach project for teachers. In the summer of 1997 the page was expanded to include the work of the high school students in Mr. Rusconi’s 3D modeling classes. During the 1997-1998 academic year the Virtual Cell Web Page team developed into its current form.
This project represents a multidisciplinary collaboration between students in Science, Computer Graphics, and World Language Classes at Coyle and Cassidy High School in Taunton Massachusetts. The students in advanced science classes design models and create the written text that will accompany them on the web. The 3D computer graphics students take these specifications and develop the models. Finally the world language students translate the text. Mentor teachers monitor the process and guide the development of the models. Collegiate level content experts review the models for accuracy. In April of 1998 the project received a $10,000.00 grant from CESAME (the Center for the Enhancement of Science and Math Education). This made possible the hiring of a team of students and to assemble the web page that you see today.
"MIT to Make Nearly All Course Materials Available Free on the World Wide Web: Unprecedented Step Challenges 'Privatization of Knowledge'" --- http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/010404/hsw015.html
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- in an unprecedented step in world-wide education -- announced today it plans to make the materials for nearly all its courses freely available on the Internet over the next ten years.
The website for the project -- MIT OpenCourseWare -- would include material such as lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists, and assignments for each course. Over the next decade, the project expects to provide materials for over 2,000 courses across MIT's entire curriculum -- in architecture and planning, engineering, humanities, arts, social sciences, management, and science.
MIT President Charles M. Vest said of the program: ``MIT OpenCourseWare is a bold move that will change the way the Web is used in higher education. With the content posted for all to use, it will provide an extraordinary resource, free of charge, which others can adapt to their own needs. We see it as source material that will support education worldwide, including innovations in the process of teaching and learning itself.''
Professor Steven Lerman, chair of the MIT faculty, said that the project stemmed both from enthusiasm for the opportunities that the Internet affords for wide-spread sharing of educational ideas, and from concern over the growing ``privatization of knowledge''. He noted that many universities, including MIT, see the Internet as a means of delivering revenue-generating distance education.
But, he said, ``we also need to take advantage of the tremendous power of the Internet to build on the tradition at MIT and in American higher education of open dissemination of educational materials and innovations in teaching.''
The project would begin as a large-scale pilot program over the next two years, starting with the design of the software and services needed to support such a large endeavor, as well as protocols to monitor and assess its utilization by faculty and students at MIT and throughout the world. By the end of the two-year period, it is expected that materials for more than 500 courses would be available on the MIT OCW site.
MIT sees a variety of benefits coming from the MIT OpenCourseWare project:
* Institutions around the world could make direct use of the MIT OCW materials as reference and sources for curriculum development. These materials might be of particular value in
* developing countries that are trying to expand their higher education systems rapidly.
* Individual learners could draw upon the materials for self-study or supplementary use.
* The MIT OCW infrastructure could serve as a model for other institutions that choose to make similar content open and available.
* Over time, if other universities adopt this model, a vast collection of educational resources will develop and facilitate widespread exchange of ideas about innovative ways to use those resources in teaching and learning.
* MIT OCW will serve as a common repository of information and channel of intellectual activity that can stimulate educational innovation and cross-disciplinary educational ventures.
The program will continue the tradition of MIT's leadership in educational innovation, as exemplified by the engineering science revolution in the 1960s. At that time, MIT engineering faculty radically revised their curricula and produced new textbooks that brought the tools of modern science, mathematics, and computing into the core of the engineering curriculum. As their students joined the engineering faculties of universities throughout the country, they took with them their own course notes from MIT, and spread the new approach to engineering education.
In similar spirit, but with new technologies, MIT OpenCourseWare will make it possible to quickly disseminate new knowledge and educational content in a wide range of fields. President Vest commented that the idea of OpenCourseWare is particularly appropriate for a research university such as MIT, where ideas and information move quickly from the laboratory into the educational program, even before they are published in textbooks.
MIT believes that implementation of OCW will complement and stimulate innovation in ways that may not even be envisioned at this point. ``We expect that MIT OCW will raise the tide of educational innovation within MIT and elsewhere,'' said MIT Provost Robert A. Brown. ``By making up-to-date educational content widely available,'' he said, ``OCW will focus faculty efforts on teaching and learning on their campuses. It also will facilitate a new style of national and global collaboration in education through the sharing of educational content and the potential of telecommunications for real-time interactions.''
The concept of MIT OpenCourseWare was born from deliberations of a study group chartered by MIT's Council on Educational Technology. The Council, a group of educational leaders from throughout MIT, asked the study group to consider ways to use Internet technology to enhance education within MIT as well as MIT's influence on education on a global scale. The group was composed of faculty and staff from MIT, and was assisted by consultants from Booz-Allen & Hamilton, who are helping with organizational aspects of the project.
The Booz-Allen team was led by BAH Vice President Reginald Van Lee. Mr. Van Lee, an MIT alumnus, said ``MIT continues its role as the preeminent, global leader in the development and dissemination of new ideas and knowledge. We are excited to have contributed to this innovative and important step in the advancement of higher education.''
More details available at http://web.mit.edu/news/
After getting a chuckle out of the BAH (Booz-Allen & Hamilton) acronym and overcoming that WOW feeling of MIT's generous and ambitious undertaking, I began to think some about the problems that I have with making much of my own course material available. For example see:
Sobering thoughts include the following:
We need ACEs
and ACE users!
Let me take this opportunity to encourage all accounting educators to share their course materials with the rest of us who have allowed the American Accounting Association to include our links in their Accounting Coursepage Exchange ACE directory. I love ACE and its goals, but I am afraid that busy accounting educators forget to contribute to and to use ACE at http://accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aaa/ace/index.htm
On a sobering note, it would be a rare event indeed if any accounting professor from one of the top 20 universities, including MIT, shared course materials on ACE. If the elite schools follow MIT's lead in sharing course materials with the world, I hope their professors' new sharing pro bono spirit inspires them also to contribute to the big ACE.
Reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]
I do not think they are mutually exclusive. For example, you find many materials copyrighted under GNU GPL that are also published by regular publishers. You find lot of stuff freely available on the web, but also published by respectable publishers.
I think a serious problem for MIT is the time and trouble it will take for professors to detect and extract bits of copyrighted material scattered throughout thousands of learning material files. Failure to do so puts the entire system at risk when it is a system-wide program rather than a maverick professor like me who puts a whole lot of material out that is not part of a system-wide program. In other words, the risk of copyright violations in materials for over 500 course is huge even if the risk of being sued is very small.
All it takes is one good lawsuit to upset the apple cart. Our Department's first copy of Lotus 1-2-3 cost only $9.00 from Jimmy Wong in Tiawan. After hearing about how only a few colleges were sued by Lotus, Trinity University quickly issued a firm policy that no computer owned by the school was to contain pirated software. In theory, your job is at stake if you violate this policy.
Reply from Tony Tinker [TonyTinker@EMAIL.MSN.COM]
. . if I were an MIT faculty member, I would be very pleased to be part of an institution that views open access to education as an urgent social priority.
And please: no tired old canards about mythical academics who would starve is they don't receive a royalty check for their webbased material. The fat-cat publishers are the real benefactors; it is about time they gave something back.
Since I share course materials to a fault, I find it hard not to agree with Tony's comment about being "pleased" to be part of this MIT program. On the other hand, would Professors Miller, Horngren, Edwards, Kieso, Weygandt, Brigham, and others who made millions working and re-working their textbook materials so diligently have been so inclined to do so for zero royalties? Motivation for being rewarded for materials that customers purchase is not a crime in our society, and rewards for innovation generally pay off with better books, medicine, software, and whatever.
My complaint with the publishers is not that they make lots of money on some products. My complaint is that at the K12 level they have been overly concerned about political correctness and under-concerned about error-ridden and politically engineered products. This without doubt is due to the fact that the customers (school administrators who adopt K12 products) have been more concerned about political correctness than technical content. Content errors are less of a problem at the college level, but recent mergers have created a huge oligopoly that stifles innovation and competition.
I find myself also agreeing with Amy Dunbar's comments that read like the The Little Red Hen who does all the work (growing the wheat, gathering the wheat, milling the flour, tending the fire, and baking the bread), and all the lazy chickens do is show show up for a free lunch. Of course it hurts if we put in all the work developing the materials that the lazy professors want to gobble up in a free lunch. I guess this is why communism fails --- too few Red Hens motivated to work for their butts off for masses of free riders.
Reply from Tom Omer
I can only respond to this issue from experience.
My problem with the MIT situation is that I want to choose what I make publicly available and what I keep private. Although I have no desire to sell my "product," others might want to sell their "products." Does a school have the right to say that my material must be open-source? [Thomas C Omer] University's initially were trying to take control of material if you received any special funding. I suspect that they will, after having won that battle, attempt to take control of your material created during your "on the clock period" which is the academic year. They are trying to say that when you create material it can only be used at your institution because allowing you to sell it or use it at another institution when you are not on their time clock hurts their enrollments. By taking control of your material they can use it to market what's neat at your school without fear that you will spread it around to your friends and water down the attractiveness of your institution. What I understood from the news story regarding MIT was that the material was going to be a general look at the courses offered rather than specifics regarding exams, assignments etc. Since this understanding comes from CNN I won't vouch for my interpretation. On the other hand, this control issue that will eventually bring all campuses to the edge of chaos and it will be up to the faculty (without whom the institution would not operate (an important point I think)) to muster solidarity on this issue. University administrators have missions and agendas that have nothing to do with academic freedom and from my small experience they don't care how much they trample it if they can keep enrollment and retention rates up. My apologies to the group for venting.
Thomas C. Omer [tcomer@UIC.EDU]
Reply 2 From Amy Dunbar
I am unclear about the definition of open-source course materials. As one observer put it, I don't "get it." So please help me out. If you click on the http://www.sba.uconn.edu/users/adunbar/ACCT371/ACCT371materials.htm , you will see the course materials (notes, exams, projects) that I put out for my fall class. These materials are publicly available. Materials that I choose not to make publicly available (like some of my flash files and student pictures) are on a password protected webct site. If you click on the webct link on my ACCT371 page, you will be asked for your logon id and password, which only my current students have.
I asked a friend (Ron Tidd) for his definition of open-source, and he suggested something like the following: Someone downloads a publicly available doc, makes changes, gives the original author credit, and also makes the materials available for free and doesn't try to sell them. I thought, however, that a person's created property is automatically copyright protected whether or not one adds a copyright notice on the product (I learned this at an intellectual property seminar). How does the person downloading the publicly available material know if the original person intended it to be open-source?
I also am having trouble understanding the difference between sharing and open-source? If one takes the product of another, gives credit, makes changes, and again makes the product publicly available, how does s/he know if the product was intended to be open-source? What if the author assumed s/he had copyright protection. The quote from the article was: "Indeed, computer science and engineering professor Hal Abelson notes that the initiative has much in common with the open source software movement, as both are being driven by the desire to share information." Is "sharing" different from "open-source"? I "share" my ACCT371 materials, but does this mean that others have the right to download and incorporate my materials into their materials? Do I give up copyright protection by making the materials publicly available?
My problem with the MIT situation is that I want to choose what I make publicly available and what I keep private. Although I have no desire to sell my "product," others might want to sell their "products." Does a school have the right to say that my material must be open-source?
Ron has pointed out that I have a loud voice; he was kind and didn't point out my other defects, such as impaired reasoning ability. I really am struggling with this issue of what open-source means and how it relates to property rights. I am big believer in property rights, but I am willing to share with others, too. I want to make that choice for myself. One of the people I admire the most in our profession is Bob Jensen because of his willingness to share. I have learned so much just by reading Bob's materials.
BTW, in the interest of sharing, I have put out webct tutorials for people who want to create course content modules, etc. www.sba.uconn.edu/users/adunbar/webct/ If anyone has any similar material they have created, I would love to add links to your materials to the site. I also have created an international student page www.sba.uconn.edu/accounting/international to deal with some of the international tax issues that we have encountered doing VITA (volunteer income tax assistance). If anyone has any other links I could add to the page or corrections to my material, I would very much appreciate it. Ron has already told me that I need more explanation on why NRAs (nonresident aliens) have to file Form 8843.
Thanks in advance for helping me understand this issue.
Amy Dunbar [ADunbar@SBA.UCONN.EDU]
Reply 2 from Jagdish Gangolly
There are many models of open-source. My favourite one is that of Richard Stallman, the father of the GPL licence. For a very eloquent argument for open-source, please read his article titled "The GNU GPL and the American Way", which was written in the context of Microsoft's (Mr. Allchin's) bad-mouthing of things open-source.
I have been a fan of Stallman and all things opensource for over a dozen years (specially sioftware). I have found them to be of higher quality and reliability than most software I have bought for myself as well as my lab.
J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]
Reply 3 from Jagdish Gangolly
I thought some of us might be interested in the following:
1. The Right to Read by Richard Stallman http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html
2. What Is Copyleft? http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/copyleft.html
3. GNU Lesser General Public License http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html
4. GNU General Public License http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
5. GNU's Not Unix! http://www.gnu.org/
Those doing empirical work of a statistical nature might be interested in the following free (Gnu GPL) version of software called R that makes most other fancy and pricey statistical software look crummy by comparison.
J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]
Reply 4 from Jagdish Gangolly
Some of us might be interested in the following opensource accounting links. I got it from a posting on an EBXML list.
Some open source accounting software links:
http://www.sql-ledger.com/ http://lists.sourceforge.net/mailman/listinfo/sql-ledger-users http://www.fwaccounts.com/
http://www.opensource400.org/wyatterp/aboutdev.html http://www.james-w-kilgore.com/ftp/index.html http://www.minoru-development.com/
Reply from Steven Filling
Pursuant to our exchanges last week, here is a link to an article summarizing research on global open source and innovation by Metiu & Kogut of the Wharton school. So much for Allchin's story that Open Source threatens innovation.....
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Threads Regarding Professors Who Share!
I would like to nominate Don Schwartz, J.D., CPA of National University, La Jolla, CA.
He provided me with a copy of his business plan software (mentioned on AECM-L a couple of weeks ago). I found it to be a GREAT little spreadsheet and just "what the doctor ordered" for my health care finance class!
Bob Woodward, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pepe's Pizza Parlour "There's no Accounting for Taste" --- http://bized.ac.uk/stafsup/pizza/
These pages are intended for students who are studying GNVQ Advanced Business and the new VCE courses. However they are suitable for anyone who is studying Business or needs to refresh their knowledge of accounts.
The pages provide both underpinning knowledge and practical worksheets which when complete can provide primary evidence for a portfolio.
Much of the site relates to a ficticitious company called Pepe's Pizza Parlour, hence the pizza dotted around the site. Treat it as a little fun, do as much or as little of it as you like. The great thing about the web is it will be here next time you arrive. Unlike your lecturer who will have decided to change the topic next week.
Don't forget you can either read the underpinning knowledge or do the assessments.
Germain is being far too modest There is a tremendous amount of open share material at his course sites. Professor Boer has always made quality of managerial accounting education his number one priority in professional life. I've known and respected him for years. I tend to tremble when he asks a question from the audience. You can guess why!
Bob, here is my web page that has lots of stuff, but I do not know whether it really qualifies as innovative and creative.
If you go to the various courses, I have materials prepared for each one that people are welcome to use.
Germain Boer [Germain.Boer@owen.vanderbilt.edu]
Phone 615-322-2059 Fax 615-343-7177
Courses Taught In MBA Program
Mgt. 413a Using Financial Systems to Create Value
Mgt. 518 Accounting and Finance for Entrepreneurs
Mgt. 777b Creating Value--EMBA Course
Mgt. 754 Creating new Ventures
Mgt. 554a Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Adventures in Entrepreneurship
Executive Training and Other Courses
Accounting and Finance for Executives
Materials for MT386
Spreadsheet for Association for Fundraising Professionals
SKEWL SITES: Selections of the best educational websites by teachers for teachers. Although the focus is primarily upon K12 levels, this is a good source of ideas for educational design and content of websites --- http://www.skewlsites.com/
Our mission is to find ‘The Best of Educational Web Sites’. We examine hundreds of sites each month and look for quality sites to present to you. So you are probably wondering how does a site ‘make it’ as a Skewl Site? In other words, what is our definition of a quality, educational site?
We are proud of the criteria we’ve developed for choosing sites to feature in our monthly newsletter.
Our first criteria may not sound very scientific, but it works. You could call it "teacher’s intuition", but as teachers, we can often get a "feel" for a site, and whether or not it would work in the classroom. We test out many of our site choices on students.
Does the appearance of the site ‘grab’ the student’s attention? Aesthetics are important and no one knows like teachers that a site with no graphics, or graphics that take too long to load, will probably not capture the imagination of younger students.
Is the site easy to use and navigate? Many schools are just beginning to go ‘online’, and they require sites that are clearly organized and ‘user friendly’.
In each issue, you’ll find sites that provide unique opportunities for students, that aren’t available from books or other resources. For example, we’re excited about sites we’ve featured that allow students to participate in online contests, communicating with experts in the field and being involved in a global classroom. One of the key issues at Skewl Sites is finding sites that are wholesome, and ‘family friendly’. Having said that, there is of course no substitution for direct adult supervision, as sites can change and do link to other sites.
You can be sure that all our Skewl Sites have ‘passed the test’ on the criteria we’ve mentioned. That gives us a chance to focus on reviewing the content of each site. Instead of a one or two line summary of the site that you may find elsewhere, we like to give you a more indepth look at the site. Before we publish each newsletter, we’ve given each site a thorough investigation, and tried to work through how each site could be relevant in a classroom.
You may have noticed that we don’t give a rating to the sites we review. There are a number of available resources that briefly review and rate hundreds of sites. We feel that approach still leaves you, the busy teacher, taking time to sift through reviews. We, at Skewl Sites, know what it is like to wade through hundreds of sites before finding appropriate information. Therefore, we would like to make your job as a teacher a little easier by presenting you with the ‘cream of the crop’.
Lewis Shaw of Suffolk University shares a great deal from various current and previous accounting courses that he has taught. Thank you Lewis --- --- http://www.sawyer.suffolk.edu/faculty/acct/lshaw.htm
ACCT 332 - Accounting Information Systems
ACCT 431 - Issues in Financial Accounting and Auditing
ACCT 201 -- Accounting and Decision Making I
ACCT 321 -- Intermediate Accounting I
ACCT 322 -- Intermediate Accounting II
ACCT 411 -- Advanced Accounting I
ACCT 801 - Graduate Accounting I
ACCT 802 -- Graduate Accounting II
ACCT 700 -- Introductory Accounting (MBA)
FNEC 750 -- Managerial Economics
It is rare to find a world-leader accounting researcher who shares research documents on the Web. A noteworthy exception is Professor Baruch Lev from NYU. Every accounting researcher, educator, and practitioner should visit Dr. Lev's website at least once per month at http://www.stern.nyu.edu/~blev/
February 24, 2004 message from Rene Leblanc [ReneLeblanc@communityproducts.co.uk]
Hello Bob Jensen,
Readers interested in Kierkegaard resources who visit your site might be very interested in this full length ebook in PDF format (448 pages!), offered as a public resource.
Please consider linking to it at your links page at: www.trinity.edu/rjensen/openshare.htm
Here is the link information:
Bruderhof Ebooks - Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Søren Kierkegaard http://www.bruderhof.com/e-books/Provocations.htm
Here is a longer description:
There are few authors as repeatedly quoted and consistently unread as Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard himself is partly to blame for this: his style is dense, his thoughts complex. And yet embedded within his writings and journals are metaphors and truths so deep and vivid, they can overwhelm you with an almost blinding clarity.
Editor Charles E. Moore (a former professor at Denver Theological Seminary) has done us an invaluable service by putting together arguably the most accessible and complete Kierkegaard volume to be published in decades. Here is a book for anyone who takes the search for authenticity seriously.
Thank you for your consideration.
for the webteam at http://www.bruderhof.com
phone (In the UK) 044 01580 88 3336