Community@UAF is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks open education initiative. As a significant first step we have become a member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, joining more than 200 educational institutions around the world in an effort to create a significant body of open educational content for use by faculty, staff, students, and independent learners anywhere in the world.
Open Education Materials
Some of the materials provided on Community@UAF are free for anyone — educators, students, independent learners — to reuse and remix for their own teaching and learning needs. Â Look for a Creative Commons logo on each site for more information about licensing specifics.
Please don’t hesitate toÂ contact usÂ if you have questions or are an educator wishing to become a part of the open education movement!
Why Open Education?
There are a plethora of institutions creating a variety of open educational resources, with more being added every day. These initiatives represent both a modern version of the moral imperative to freely share information and knowledge that has informed educational efforts for thousands of years, and a recognition of the immense cultural and technological changes that are radically transforming our educational institutions and pedagogy in the new century. For those reasons alone it makes sense to join in open education efforts!
But the University of Alaska Fairbanks can contribute to the open education effort in some specific ways that are relatively unique and/or address some under-represented foci in existing initiatives:
Institutional Subject Specialties
UAF has much to contribute in some underrepresented subjects such as:
- Information Fluency
- OurÂ iTeachÂ Faculty Development Curriculum
- Ocean Science Laboratory
- Arctic sciences and Native Ways of Knowing
- Literature and Geography of Alaska
- Arctic Engineering
Fully OpenÂ Content
Few courses are available that are based wholly upon media, readings and resources available for free to anyone, rendering the materials much less useful to a significant audience of learners for whom purchase of traditional textbooks, readings, and media is simply beyond their means.
Integrated Learning Community
As a long-time provider of independent learning courses, we have experienced the difficulties involved in creating learning community in such radically asynchronous offerings. We are currently involved in cooperative international research efforts intended to discover how best to allow for peer interaction, peripheral participation, and progress transparency to create richer learning experiences for these often isolated learners… research which will inform our future open education development.