In this interview, we feature Dr. Christine Armatas, who is a member of SlideWiki’s Advisory Board. Dr Christine Armatas is currently Associate Director Educational Development at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has over 15 years’ experience in academic roles involving curriculum design, assessment, evaluation and eLearning. Her research interests include the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, institutional assessment and evaluation and the use of learning analytics for curriculum review and enhancement. In the following interview, we discuss her experience with the SlideWiki platform, and her plans in terms of using OER, OCW and SlideWiki beyond the duration of the SlideWiki project.
- What is your experience with Open Course Ware (OCW) and Open Educational Resources (OER) in your country/city?
Like many other places, Hong Kong higher education has tended to develop bespoke applications and produce its own content for students, whether this is for online or face-to-face teaching. However, increasingly teachers are taking advantage of the availability of high quality, openly available educational resources and incorporating them into their teaching. Many teachers are now open to using resources produced by someone else that they can adapt for their own teaching context and requirements. However, we still need to do a lot more to encourage teachers to share content with others, both within and outside of our university. This is a challenge that initiatives like SlideWiki can help address.
- How do you evaluate the importance of OCW and OER for all educational levels?
There are many good reasons for encouraging the use of OCW and OER. These include saving money and time developing resources, which are important considerations for the busy academic working to tight timelines and budgets. But more important is that OCW and OER provide the opportunity to tap into the expertise of others who have already spent time and other resources addressing the area you are interested in. Where these resources can be adapted and extended to fit a particular educational context, using open resources seems like a practical and sensible approach to take.
- How do you see the future of OER, OCW and open education?
Open educational resources are not new, but as new technologies are developed that can support efforts in OCW and OER, the use of these resources can become more widespread. So, I think that we will continue to see growth and innovation in this area in response to the demand for these kinds of resources.
- What is special about the SlideWiki platform (https://slidewiki.org/)?
The unique strength of SlideWiki is the way in which open content can be adapted, repurposed and shared easily and collaboratively. This means that teachers don’t need to work in isolation to develop materials and they can draw on the expertise of others to enhance teaching materials and learning activities.
- In your opinion which are the target groups that can best benefit from using the SlideWiki platform?
Obviously this platform is going to be very useful to anyone looking for resources for their teaching. But it will also be attractive to teachers who like to work collaboratively and share their work with others. I think that new teachers will find this an invaluable resource, as well as those new to a particular subject area or wanting to collaborate with others in their field on teaching related resources. So, I would encourage all teachers to take a look and see how they can help contribute to the platform in terms of uploading, sharing and promoting this excellent resource.
- How does your organization plan to use the SlideWiki platform in the future?
As part of our e-Learning development plan, we have a strategy for encouraging the use of open-educational resources to support student learning. Promoting SlideWiki as a source of OER and a collaborative tool will be one part of this strategy.
- Would you like to share with us lessons learned and advice from your experience on working in the educational domain and give recommendations to learners and educators?
One of the reasons I am interested in Slidewiki is that I frequently tell people who are designing online learning activities or courses to see if there are good quality resources that are freely available before they design or prepare their own. Now I can encourage them to share resources they have developed with others via this platform, as well as promoting it as a resource for their teaching.