OpenFiction [Blog]

While we are on the subject…

Posted in Evaluation, MIT OpenCourseWare, Open Educational Resources by scarsonmsm on November 24, 2010

…of OCW benefits, I thought I’d share an internal resource from the OCW communication locker, our compilation of case study slides. This is not a presentation, but rather a set of cases studies designed to be used to tailor use cases in our other presentations for specific audiences. Each is a set of three slides, the full case for the speaker’s benefit study plus two slides intended to be actually used in the presentation. There’s also a cross-index at the front that sorts the external case studies by region and scenario of use.

I think the variety of benefits illustrated here demonstrates the complexity of talking about OCW benefits in the abstract, or event at the level of data such as that presented in my previous post. Anyway, also provided in the interest of getting more data out there to support informed discussion.

For those interested in communication best practices, the two presentation slides incorporate our basic “nugget” of mini-case study information: A basic statement of the use or (preferably) the benefit, followed by an illustrative quote. These nuggets are easy and low-effort to collect from our user feedback and surveys, and can be deployed in a number of ways (we have a standard e-mail reply that asks permission to use a quote and for a photograph).

The statements make nice one-liners in speeches (“from the teacher in Argentina who…to the student in China that…to the homeschooling parent in the US who…”). The quotes are also great in a wide variety of contexts, including slides as included here. The full case studies are harder to come by, requiring a follow-up interview and some dedicated writing time, but they are well worth the effort.

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