What “open” will we get at #OpenEd16?

A year ago, I wrote a post about scraping the OpenEd abstracts. As the conference unfolded, there was a sizeable conversation around the amount of “OER-ness” happening at OpenEd. In a subsequent post, I provided a chart which showed how many abstracts contained the word “OER” in which I concluded that this wasn’t a new development for the conference. Below I’ve updated the chart to include this years data.

Year Total Sessions Abstracts Containing “OER” Percent “OER” Abstracts Containing “Textbook” Percent “Textbook”
2012 69 42 60.87 9 8.74
2013 103 67 65.05 27 26.21
2014 100 83 72.17 32 27.83
2015 123 84 68.29 39 31.71
2016 161 115 71.43 57 35.40

According to abstracts, which is obviously all I have to work off of at the moment, it’s very possible that we’ll see the same level of OER discussion that we’ve see over the passed few years. Also consistent is an 11.6% increase in the word “textbook.”

Now it’s important to say that I don’t present this data to necessarily make much a statement about OER but rather to continue to conversation. In fact, I do this out of curiosity more than anything else. I’ve pulled a few of the top abstract terms (plus some) and done a similar simple count.

Count Percentage
Number of Abstracts 161
Open 141 87.58%
OER 115 71.43%
Students 91 56.52%
Learning 88 54.66%
Faculty 66 40.99%
Support 65 40.37%
Access 60 37.27%
Textbooks 57 35.40%
Research 53 32.92%
Open educational resources 51 31.68%
Adoption 42 26.09%
Data 36 22.36%
License 23 14.29%
Pedagogy 18 11.18%
Open Access 17 10.56%
Open Source 14 8.70%
MOOCs 11 6.83%
Open Pedagogy 9 5.59%
Analytics 8 4.97%
Theory 8 4.97%
Open Content 5 3.11%
Open Data 3 1.86%

Abstracts can certainly steer the conversation, but they don’t necessarily dictate them. Inevitably, the conversations will be whatever you wish it to be. Whatever “open” you feel like you prefer, I encourage you to wave your flag proudly. Also, if you would like to look at the data set, here’s the CSV file. You can also play with the data on Voyant Tools.

Featured Image: Open by Late Night Movie via Attribution Engine. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.

  • jimgroom
    Also, 161 sessions? Crazy That’s like a session a minute for 3 days :)
  • Ben Harwood
    On the eve of the conference, frequency of text words analysis is a nice foreshadowing hourglass effect in final stages of countdown. It got me thinking back to semiotic literary analysis in grad school when we’d read insanely difficult Derrida and Barthes works in French and then count words/code words as symbols into formulae to account for patterns in their other texts. It was hard but fun, sometimes hokey. What I like about your approach is the attempt at objectifying where the conversation goes. It might lead one to suggest bias, deliberate or involuntary, perhaps accidental or maybe the word bias is better represented as serendipity. That’s a better fit at the start of a conference about that open thing, eh? The Voyant Tools are really neat. Looking forward to meeting you btw at the conference.
    • I agree that this is better at the beginning of the conference instead of the end. In reality this is a simple way for me to read through abstracts, but also potentially offers a perspective of what may occur. Probably more so it gives you a sense of what organizers are looking for in a proposal. Hopefully providing the data set and tools to manipulate the data lends itself to giving multiple perspectives in which someone can interpret the data.
  • It would be nice to see more people talk about learner agency as a form of open. Self-determined learning is really the open opposite of teacher-centered content generation.
    • Yeah I would think that would fit under open pedagogy which I surprised to see is a term that was not frequently used. It makes me question if the term hasn’t caught on or if it truly is a conversation that isn’t happening… or is there another reason?
      • When I think of open pedagogy, I think more of David Wiley’s work, which is pedagogy that is focused on using open resources and remixing them (http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975). Which is a great idea. That could be part of the reason.

        Pedagogy is also a problematic word, originally intended to mean “to lead a child”, or instructivism for younger (or newer) learners. Once you get into self-determined learning, that moves away from pedagogy in andragogy and huetagogy. So depending on how one defines words, Wiley’s version of open pedagogy would be a step towards self-determined learning and learner agency.

        But there are many that expand the definition of pedagogy to encompass all of this, which opens up a new set of problems.

    • MBali
      Vconnecting hangout yday w Jesse/Dani had George Station bring in his class and his students talked about this and Kristen Eshleman talked about her research with students. Not conference sessions of course :) but someone talked about it. WITH the students
      • Sounds like they kind of had to bring the students in unannounced? Which is the way it usually goes with Academia – you have to sneak students in the back door to get them in the conversation because they weren’t invited in the first place :)
        • MBali
          Well it was planned so George had already planned to bring his students so they knew and I knew…but it was vconnecting so technically sneaking in, I guess!
  • Robin
    Just seeing this now. Disheartening to think that ANY abstract could contain “OER” and simultaneously not contain “learning” or “students.”