FIZ Karlsruhe is one of the subcontracted partners for the external trials of the SlideWiki platform. In this interview, we feature Prof. Dr. Harald Sack, Vice President Information Service Engineering at FIZ Karlsruhe and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (AIFB) and we exchange on his experience with the SlideWiki trials and platform, as well as the plans of his organsation in terms of using OER, OCW and SlideWiki beyond the duration of the trials.
1. SlideWiki, an EU-funded project, enables the collaborative creation of free teaching and learning materials. These include, for instance, slide sets, lecture notes and course content. What is special about this platform?
The idea of an open platform to publicly share teaching material among teachers and students without being reliable on proprietary technology or commercial interests is one of the main benefits of SlideWiki. Besides simple provision and sharing of material, SlideWiki provides a collection of useful features that make its application beneficial for the entire higher education community. This is furthermore supported by its social media integration.
2. According to your opinion, which are the target groups that can best benefit from using the SlideWiki platform?
Teachers can provide their learning material directly in an environment, where also the discussion and interaction with the material takes place. Students on all levels of higher education might well benefit from SlideWiki and its features.
3. How do you evaluate the importance of Open Course Ware and Open Educational Resources for all educational levels?
Openness is the key feature for a learning platform as well as for education in general. Otherwise, educational resources will be only beneficial for a small elite who is able to afford access. However, SlideWiki – and thereby also its students – would even further benefit if the platform would be more flexible regarding commonly used file formats for presentations and materials, although some of the formats to be supported might be proprietary. Especially being able to directly upload material from web-based collaborative platforms would be rather convenient.
4. How does your organization plan to use the SlideWiki platform beyond the duration of the project?
We will definitely keep an eye on SlideWiki and the learning materials provided by the platform. Before being able to use SlideWiki in a productive environment some technical difficulties have to be resolved to ensure the perfect integration of SlideWiki into the classroom workflow. But, we are sure that SlideWiki will be further improved to become a widely used open learning platform.