14 November 2012

The implications for libraries of recent global trends in open online education (Part 2)

Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43

With assistance from my colleagues at UTS Library and the commenters on the first part of this post, here is a listing of the implications for libraries of recent trends in open online education (such as MOOCs). These implications vary depending on whether the University is providing MOOCs or seeking to utilise the content available on them. I have tried below to account for the implications covering both of these situations.

Open Access
If MOOCs (and the like) are seen as another form of scholarly publishing, it makes sense for libraries to push for Open Access as the default standard for MOOC course materials. Protecting and extending Open Access policies and initiatives that facilitate open online education through enhanced access to Open Educational Resources will provide a far better and more accessible future for all than one in which another form of “open access” is available for a fee. (This can already be seen in the publishers using “Gold Open Access” models that are facilitated via Article/Author Processing Charges levied instead of subscription fees.) This issue is covered very well in this recent post by Timothy Vollmer http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/34852

Discoverability of MOOC courses is mainly the problem of the course provider, but to date this seems not to be a problem if we look at the large numbers enrolling in some courses. Some MOOC directories already exist and some of these include rankings. It should be noted that MOOC resources are often behind registration/password walls. Lecturers seeking advice on MOOCs can always consult Librarians at their institutions for help in collaboration in finding resources for a course as is currently the case.

Equitable access for all users should be the ethical obligation and should be design in at the outset for all MOOC courses. Research shows that retroactively making material accessible is much more difficult, expensive, time consuming and a job that usually falls to libraries.

Advising on IP, Copyright and the use of licensed resources 
This primarily involves access to our existing online resources and the physical collections of the library which are governed by existing access guidelines and policies. It also involves the copyright clearance and management of course materials. It is already believed that fair-use exemptions will not hold for open courses in the US. The terms and conditions applying to many existing MOOCs also indicate that not all MOOCs should be assumed to be “Open”, so their free re-use cannot always be assumed.

Delivery of teaching & learning assistance and support 
If an institution were to offer a MOOC-type course what library involvement and support is envisaged? Our enquiries indicate limited involvement by libraries in other Australian universities providing MOOCs. Librarians should be able to work with academics to develop the courses and advise on the inclusion of appropriate scholarly resources. Librarians may need to engage more with and within these new online environments and learn the skills to create, mash, present and market content in aid of promoting the expertise and knowledge within the institution. Libraries will need to consider how to embed information literacy into “flipped” learning models, but to some extent we are already using this model with our current forms of IL being more hands-on and interactive (less lecture style).
If support is to be offered for remote courses and a massive extension of the hours is involved are collaborative arrangements between participating institutions the answer here (e.g. the Australian and NZ public libraries collaborating in virtual reference services)?
If MOOCs do lead to a major change in the delivery of a lot of higher education, it could mean that libraries need to offer more online services in terms of training, resources and digitisation of collections (where possible) – for remote and online users.
If an institution offers a MOOC course, to what extent (if any) are those enrolled in that course to be considered the same as currently enrolled university students and afforded access to the same library resources that those students pay fees for? I doubt that this will happen to any great extent.

Assistance and advice in the future as the lines between MOOC and LMS providers and publishers blur 
This seems already to be happening and libraries can offer useful advice re vendors and in negotiating with publishers for content and licenses. Publishers may also start to offer new products such as e-texts that are aimed specifically at the mass MOOC market and library staff will most likely be the best to deal with and provide this form of content to support MOOC courses.  Examples so far indicate that publishers see e-texts as revenue-saving at least or a money making opportunity at most so the issue is who pays?  For a free MOOC, they would target individuals directly rather than the university but students of a fee-paying MOOC would expect them gratis.

If some of the commentators are correct in predicting that MOOCs are likely to be the first disruptive step that changes the provision of education, then the most thoughtful and helpful initiatives are likely to be found in new forms of collaboration. Libraries have a long background in this field, nationally, internationally and across all kinds of other boundaries and we can probably build on some already existing collaborative arrangements.
One major need if higher education moves in this direction is a need for well designed and dedicated online collaboration spaces where people can easily connect with each other beyond a classroom, learning commons or a formal LMS as they exist. Maybe this kind of platform should be built into the MOOC itself?

Technology support issues 
There are some technology support issues that MOOCs raise because of their massive scale. These issues mostly concern those in institutions who provide and maintain the LMS, but the Library may also have a role to play in providing the sophisticated, extended, remote and scalable support and systems that will be required to support our initiatives. Scalability, but also reliability are major requirements. Integration of some of our online services and resources (where allowed and feasible) into MOOC platforms is another technical consideration.

Continuing to promote the relevance, value and impact of the Library and its services 
This is a competitive advantage to the University and also to its enrolled students. Those enrolling in MOOCs without being enrolled in a university will have little or no access to the wide variety of reading, reference and other special collections available from institutional libraries, beyond the course materials provided.
In addition, some libraries (like ours) are busy expanding cultural services and experiences with things like events, exhibitions, performances and art works in the Library. Should these also be offered online? The generation currently attending university is said to value experiences, so perhaps those experiences are another advantage of the campus-based university?

Mobile access
The trend now is for everything going online, but also there is an even greater trend of mobile devices outselling traditional PCs. Not only will MOOCs need to consider this, but libraries in general must do the same.

A more general consideration
Lastly, and more generally than specifically about libraries, a major issue is the amount of time and resources we invest into MOOCs and this depends on the institution's objectives. If the courses do not account for credit, should we be focusing more on our degree/paying/enrolled students. The priority and resourcing to be allocated for the support MOOCs needs to be determined at each institution.

13 November 2012

A New York Holiday

Downtown Manhattan

No four wheel drives, no fishing, no birds (although there was one squirrel), no campervans as large as small suburbs, no dirt roads and no peasant class flights (Qantas had a business class sale & I was a bit tanked when I booked). And no cyclones (I got out a week ahead of that muck). Sorry for the long post.

My (first) New York visit, October 2012
I tended to catch the subway somewhere and then usually walk back so as not to miss any sites. Every second day I ran about 40-45 mins early in Central Park and I did that one day, but then forgot to eat until late in the PM and by then I had bonked and my legs packed it all in. I think I was not really walking too far, but the slow standing around and wandering in museums does not help in terms of time on one's feet. I usually found that I had done so much during the day (starting early) that all I could do at night was eat and collapse on the couch in the apartment after that. I wasn't with friends so there was no real incentive to go out late I suppose.
I stayed in E 54th St, just off Park Ave in Midtown East, so it is pretty central to most things I wanted to do and close to three subway stations to allow for travel further afield. I booked the apartment through Airbnb http://www.airbnb.com/  so it was not even half the price of any NYC hotel. I bought a weekly MTA card and used it a fair bit - it seemed very good value.

Here is a day-by-day report on my wanderings ...

Wednesday (Day 1 really):
Just shopping and wandering as I was very tired & weird in the head from the trip and date line changes. Stores - Bloomingdales (clothes & shoes), Niketown (running shoes as I did not bring any with me), B&N (Nook reader for Mum), Mont Blanc (fountain pen). At Bloomingdales you get a voucher in the NY City Pass book for 15% off (one day visit) and that is about the best bargain shopping you'll get in NYC. It isn't really a bargain shopping place.

Run through Central Park (still v. tired, so much harder than I thought), back to apartment to shower, up to Abercrombie & Fitch for some clothes shopping, back to apartment and then most of the day at MoMA. It was a little bit disappointing really. You have to go though. It does have a great store. I expected to be wowed by the building and exhibitions and just wasn't (sorry). Some good things, but the Met is far more impressive (and so too the Tate Modern). Enjoyed the store and bought some Xmas cards and gifts. Had a great early evening meal at Bergdorf Goodman's restaurant (7th floor) in a window seat, overlooking Central Park, drinking champagne. I had two meals here - both early dinners and really loved it. I loved just sitting there with champagne looking at the view. I had booked a window seat. Also bought a Xmas gift at BG's for my sister & brother-in-law. Hideously expensive French wine cork screw thingy in bone. Photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631763179933/

Went early to a disappointing discount department store (Century 21 - don't bother) near the old World Trade Centre site and saw the new buildings going up down there. Then back to apartment and up to the Metropolitan Museum by subway. Loved it but only spent a lot of time in the galleries I liked. Great collections and a good Warhol exhibition (no photography allowed). Joined as a member as that helped me send two huge books back to Australia (one on Matisse's Jazz Book and his cut-outs and the other an illuminated Psalter that was a great facsimile edition & they beat me back here!) and it also gave me 20% off for a great lunch in the members' dining room (a must do really). Had virtually the whole day there. Walked back via the Whitney Museum of American Art, down Madison Ave (a really cool walk to do), but it was being renovated on the outside, so I don't know what it looks like. They warned me that a lot of their collection galleries were not open because of the renovations so I did not think it worth the entry fee and declined. Enjoyed the PM walk back down Madison Ave. Photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631774523003/

An early trip to Empire State building to avoid the crowds (very successful and surprisingly amazing views as people had told me not to bother). Then Macy's large store (meh), Bryant Park (being renovated), NYPL (you have to go, but again, meh) http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631805006305/, St Pat's Cathedral (being renovated), Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station (amazing).  I brought the large Canon 7D and a big lens and had been regretting not just bringing a lighter smaller camera until this day. It was well worth it from the observation deck of the Empire State (see shots here http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631788175661/ ), inside the cathedral and also inside Grand Central Station http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631809435838/  I had a PM run in Central Park after this and really enjoyed it - lots of Saturday arvo people and a fun place to be when it is sunny.

Lonely Planet Guide walking tour of most of lower Manhattan (Soho, Tribeca, Noho, Nolita, West Village. Greenwich Village, Flatiron & Meat Packing then back thru Midtown East) http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631959934578/. I missed the Young Designer's Markets in Nolita because the guide book said Sat & Sun, but they were only on for Sat. I also spent some time in the NYU Library - the Bobst as it was near Washington Square http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631826281377/. It was almost dark by the time I had walked back to the NYPL, so I ate at Andaz, right across the road and wandered home from there. (I ate twice at Andaz as I really liked it and it was on the way home for me.) Most photos yet to be uploaded to Flickr, sorry.

Guggenheim (stunning building and great Picasso exhibition in B&W - I loved his early figurative work) and then walked across Central Park Great Lawn to the Natural History Museum (meh - it was in my City Pass book of six attractions) http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631958799343/. I'd not done enough reading to find that the National Academy of Design (next to the Guggenheim did not open Mondays and then walked back across Central Park to find it was the same for the Frick Collection, so I needed to go back. Major shopping - more shirts at Thomas Pink's. Photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631848847752/

So now my last few days in NYC. I have heaps more photos to add to Flickr that cover most of what I did on these days (because it was mainly just wandering around taking photos of interesting stuff), but they all require some citing, tagging and naming of buildings, etc. I've just not yet gotten to it.

Was really tired, had a late and leisurely start. Had to do some washing and await a fedEx delivery of some cheap online shopping.
Then walked around lower Midtown - to the Rockefeller Centre and Times Square via the International Centre for Photography http://www.icp.org/ I wish I'd researched them a bit earlier as they had a lovely weekend workshop on street photography in Chelsea that I'd have done. Nice exhibits from time to time too.
Time Square is a big mess of advertising signs and lights, run down buildings and too many cars and people. But you have to go there. Not really my thing.
I then wandered back very slowly via Bryant Park and Madison Avenue.

Another sleep in. Exchanged a Mont Blanc that had a faulty nib at Bloomingdales, bought some make-up for Mum and then caught the subway north to take some pics of the Guggenheim under a blue sky. It wasn't that successful as it clouded over again by the time I got there. I was going to go to the cafe at Neue Galerie http://www.neuegalerie.org/, but it wasn't open (aaarrrggghhh!) and then looked at the Frick Collection, but decided that I'd seen enough old art in Europe, so didn't pay to go in. By then I think I was over-museumed too. Interesting Building, but it wasn't worth the entry fee for my tastes.
I then had a more leisurely stroll again through Central Park to the West Side and took some better photos of The Lake and then the famous Dakota building (outside which John Lennon was shot). Then strolled down Columbus Ave to the Lincoln Centre and took some more pics there and visited the NYPL's Library of the Performing Arts (which had just opened a Katherine Hepburn exhibition).
After that I looked through the massive Time Warner Centre on Columbus Circle, looking for somewhere decent to eat, but nothing took my fancy really.
So I walked back towards Fifth Ave (heading East) and called in again for a very late lunch or early dinner at Bergdorf Goodman's restaurant. I got a seat by a window again overlooking Central Park and had a second enjoyable meal there with great food and French champagne. It was great to take a load off and just sit for a while. I browsed some more shops on the way home but bought nothing.

An early start to get down to the Highline http://www.thehighline.org/ before the crowds. It is probably nearly two miles long, but not that wide and gets crowded easily during good weather. I walked the whole length and took heaps of photos of the surrounding buildings (old and new) and the plantings http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/sets/72157631886829721/. It is unique, amazing, inspiring and really enjoyable. So popular that it is probably a victim of its own success now.
Then I walked up to 42nd St and down to Pier 83 for the Circle Line 2 hour cruise round lower Manhattan. I wasn't sure about doing this when I saw the huge crowds, but we all got on board and had seats and I was glad I did it. The boat offers a different perspective on Manhattan from the water that surrounds it and the tour guide was really entertaining. We left and headed south  viewing Downtown and Jersey City then on to Ellis Island and there Statue of Liberty before heading north on the Brooklyn side under four bridges including Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg. It was a good chance to sit down and be entertained for a couple of hours and well worth the effort.
Later I caught the subway down to the World Trade Centre and wandered around taking photos of many of the interesting buildings including City Hall, the huge Municipal Building, a Gehry designed tall apartment building and Wall St.

I just walked around Midtown again before it started raining and then headed into the Museum of Arts and Design http://madmuseum.org/ on Columbus Circle. The first thing I did was to head right up to the top floor and book a seat by the window for lunch at Robert restaurant. Then I wandered through their galleries and exhibitions and met an artist called Trong Gia Nguyen http://madmuseum.org/learn/trong-gia-nguyen-0  He had some beautiful work that focussed on libraries and books so I am now wondering whether we could acquire a couple of his Library works http://www.cameandwent.com/books.html for display in the UTS Library. He was featured in an artists' studio at the museum where you could see his work and ask him questions. A great idea!
When done I returned to the restaurant and had a fantastic lunch of Scottish Salmon, a beautiful carrot cake dessert, Pinot Gris and a beautiful espresso coffee, all for $70 including a generous tip. I had a fantastic seat by the window that looked over Columbus Circle and the West Side of Central Park and it was just so special I wished I had discovered it earlier. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/8125923621/
Afterwards I just walked back down West 57th St where there are many interesting buildings to look at. There is scaffolding everywhere though. Even Carnegie Hall is being renovated.

I had a late flight which is a bit of a problem when staying in an apartment under Airbnb https://www.airbnb.com/ as you have nowhere to leave your bags and by then mine were too heavy to lug all over the city.
So I delayed as long as I could and got the MTA card topped up for the subway trip to Suphin Blvd and then the AirTrain to JFK Terminal 7 - all for only $7.25! Cab fares are likely to be as much as $65-70 incl tip. (On the way in I got the Airport Express bus for only $7 or $10, but it took ages going to every terminal at JFK (all eight!) and I had a longish walk from GCT with my bags because it only drops off there and at two other big hotels.)
After breakfast I walked down Lexington Ave with my trusty camera to photograph the beautiful Chrysler Building again (it was a lovely day). I also took in the RCA/GE art deco building as it is almost as fascinating.
The other thing I discovered far too late was the Grand Central Terminal market hall. I'd missed it because I always came at GCT from the West side and this is on the East or Lexington Ave side. It is pretty amazing and perhaps best for my health that I didn't see it earlier as it wasn't a long walk from the apartment I had.

I ran out out time to do everything, but I was exhausted and could not really have fit in much more. Things for next time: Brooklyn, Staten Island Ferry, Jersey City, Yankee Stadium (for a ball game), Dia Beacon (I didn't go because it is almost a day trip on the train and they don't allow photography in their galleries), Long Island coast, perhaps Boston, etc.
Eating: Not to be missed is the Met members dining room. I thought it well worth the museum membership ($60), especially give the two huge tomes they shipped bad for me for hardly anything. I really enjoyed the food there. I'm not really into experimental menus, but all of those I went to seemed to have choices to suit all tastes.
For both Robert & B-G, you need to book a window seat ahead of time, but it always worked for me. I think http://www.opentable.com/new-york-city-restaurants  & http://www.zagat.com/newyork are pretty widely used in NYC now.
Next time I think I'll want a faster sim card than the T-Mobile 2G sim, but at least it was cheap. My apartment had free and fast wifi.
An American friend suggested taking out a weekly gym pass because I had several to select from nearby and all the running around Central Park got a bit stressful on the legs.
That's all!

12 November 2012

The implications for libraries of recent global trends in open online education

Awesome interior views
This is really a plea for advice or debate. I'd like to read your ideas, thoughts, suggestions, questions and comments. (There hasn't been much over the last few days, so I'm adding a bit more content now just in case you feel you need more from me up front.) I've also posted this here http://informationonline2013.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/the-implications-for-libraries-of-recent-global-trends-in-open-online-education/ 
As one of the references below notes, there is increased pressure on us all to develop a cohesive strategy to address this major global trend that you really could not have missed unless you've been sitting under a rock near a log all year. We've recently been asked about the main issues, considerations and questions for libraries of the major trend towards the provision of open online education.  I think it is an important issue for all of us to understand more deeply, but it is of particular importance to academic libraries. I'm afraid that I don't have a lot of answers, just some questions and a few thoughts.
I've recently read a number of posts that are starting to do some more analysis over what was earlier in the year a bit of an excited blog fest of news items.
Here are just a few articles that I think have been noteworthy of late:
Clay Shirky addressing Educause 2012 - The Real Revolution is Opennness http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/the-real-revolution-is-openness-clay-shirky-tells-tech-leaders/40894 In his address Clay seemed to be encouraging us to understand that openness is the real key to changing online education. He gives some excellent examples of the benefits, sometimes unexpected, from online sharing. I too think there is a lot in online altruism and collaboration. It isn't and should not just be about marketing.

Everybody wants to MOOC the World http://mfeldstein.com/everybody-wants-to-mooc-the-world/ This post is by Michael Feldstein and he talks about the response by Learning Management System (LMS) providers to the new MOOC platforms. He raises the real issue of long term sustainability (for content providers) and he also questions whether there really has been a great deal of innovation and experimentation in the pedagogy from the "xMOOCs" (Coursera/Udacity/edX). He says that innovation in pedagogy has come from the connectivist MOOCs (or cMOOCs - see http://www.connectivistmoocs.org/what-is-a-connectivist-mooc/). Phil Hill is a colleague of Michael on the e-Literate blog and on 9 November he posted this article that looks at the overlap between the LMS and MOOC markets http://mfeldstein.com/canvas-network-are-the-lms-and-mooc-markets-colliding/  His post illustrates the influence they are already having on each other.

Radical Openness - The End of Education As We Know It http://designmind.frogdesign.com/articles/radical-openness/the-end-of-education-as-we-know-it.html This article is a bit of a review of the major new open online educational offerings, but it really focusses more on the numbers and the Massive side of MOOCs rather than the availability of Open Educational Resources (OER). I think that really is the key: they are Massive, but not really so open. Here is an article from 9 November that explains how Coursera bans reuse of its content (even by non-profits), illustrating why they are not so open http://hapgood.us/2012/11/09/coursera-praises-mooc-wrapping-as-they-attempt-to-ban-it/ Here is a useful guide to finding open content online from Edudemic http://edudemic.com/2012/11/how-to-find-the-best-open-course-materials/ There is also Stephen Downes' Open Online Course Directory http://www.mooc.ca/courses.htm Even more on OER can be read in: Extending the Territory: From Open Educational Resources to Open Educational Practices http://journals.akoaotearoa.ac.nz/index.php/JOFDL/article/viewFile/64/46 and this very detailed OECD report on OER http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/38654317.pdf that outlines the cost, technical, Copyright, licensing and policy challenges that must be faced (thanks Amani!).

Hangingtogether.org - The Flipped Library http://hangingtogether.org/?p=2277 This post deals with MOOCs in light of the flipped classroom concept and quotes Betsy Wilson, Dean of Libraries at the University of Washington as saying that libraries are already "flipped". See also Answers to the Biggest Questions About Flipped Classrooms in Edudemic (which explains some of the above) http://edudemic.com/2012/11/flipped-classrooms/

Nicholas Carr in the MIT Technology Review - The Crisis in Higher Education http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/429376/the-crisis-in-higher-education/ This is yet another review of the MOOC environment as we know it. Nicholas touches on the sophisticated technical challenges for the future and also recognises the challenges in passing on the "soft skills" that no machine can simulate. I also liked this recent article by D'Arcy Norman who questions the hype that says MOOCs are the most important innovation in educational technology over the last two hundred years http://darcynorman.net/2012/11/10/on-moocs-as-the-most-important-education-technology-in-the-last-200-years/ (I agree that things like the PC, the internet, other software and tools might be further up the list.)

Why are we freaking out about all of this? (by Genevieve Bell - I've previously posted here about this short article, but her three rules also apply to this issue because Open Online Education changes our relationship to time, space and each other. ) - http://www.wired.com/opinion/2012/11/st_opinion/

My helpful colleagues at UTS Library have alerted me to these useful resources over the course of the last week or so:
  • A useful ARL Issue Brief: Massive Open Online Courses: Legal and Policy Issues for Research Libraries by Brandon Butler http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/issuebrief-mooc-22oct12.pdf  This brief encourages us to start thinking strategically about how we will support the MOOC phenomenon and highlights the following as key issues for us to come to terms with: fair use; protecting and extending open access policies; ensuring accessibility; and the continued relevance of librarians and library collections to teaching.
  • What Campus Leaders Need to Know about MOOCs http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/PUB4005.pdf This highlights the following as key issues related to library responsibilities and interests: intellectual property, Copyright, licensing of content, technical challenges, resource discovery and the delivery of teaching assistance and support.
Here are a few of the thoughts swimming around in my head at present (in no particular order & updated in light of some comments offered by a colleague - Stephen Gates):
  • Should we just provide directories for various relevant open online courses (like we now provide books, journals and databases)? Or is more judgement needed? Do we need new skills to do this or should we collaborate with academics to do it? Some Directories Like that of Stephen Downes (above) already exist and essentially, the nature of the MOOC beast is to be "discoverable", so keeping directories like this is a bit like that pre-Google approach of Yahoo. I don't think it will work.
  • Access to reading and reference materials is all well and good if you are enrolled in a university with access to the required or relevant texts and learning materials, but if not, are Open Access materials the answer and if so do we need to be doing more to encourage and promote them? This probably is the key step for most libraries. Many of us are already active in this space, but we probably could and should do more.
  • If courses offered on things like various MOOCs, Coursera, Udacity, etc. are basically just new open platforms for education is the real threat to our individual learning management systems like Blackboard? Will online learning platforms simply become much more open and broader in scope? To some extent this is covered already in some of the links above and we are now seeing reports of providers like Blackboard and Instructure taking the initiative.
  • Is there a link to the evolving provision of complex new e-Textbooks being promoted by publishers like Pearson (in various forms - hybrid, digital, enhanced and proprietary). Do we need to understand more about this too? I think we do need to understand more and it is another issue requiring collaboration between libraries, publishers and academics.
  • How are publishers getting involved in supporting this global trend? I'm sure they've seen it and will be considering ways to generate revenue. As Stephen points out, this is something librarians already deal with on a daily basis, so we are well positioned to engage with them.
  • Similarly, some LMS providers are also looking to get involved. Dealing with LMS providers is a bit of a line ball really, as at UTS, this isn't our responsibility. It could, however, become more complex and require our input if there is a cross-over and we end up dealing with consortiums of content providers, platform providers and publishers.
  • What do our academics want us to do? And what do students expect from us - e.g. 24/7 support. Will we be required to enhance the support provided (anytime, anywhere) for online or more remote learners, along with academic staff? Can that be done in isolation or is the answer here not in competing with other providers, but collaborating with them? I think libraries understand the benefits of collaboration and collaborative referencing models have already been proven in public libraries.
  • Are libraries and librarians already "flipped"? (See articles above.) If we read what Betsy Wilson says on this above, we probably are already running like more of a flipped model. We have re-engineered our collections, services and learning spaces to reflect this over the last decade or even earlier.
  • How can we do more with the data we have to assist us in responding to some of these questions with proper analytics? We are working on that now and looking at collecting open data from all new systems used within the Library. We are also looking at Privacy protections.
  • Is increasing gamification in libraries at least part of the answer or do real libraries now offer a unique competitive advantage to enrolled students (in the physical spaces they offer)? The advantage is probably in developing innovative learning and study spaces that meet student and researcher needs. These spaces will probably include more space devoted to non-text media and even gaming, but primarily we still need to meet the demand for spaces that facilitate collaborative group work and meet student demands for silent and individual study.
  • If libraries are already "flipped" should we be concentrating on the library as a "space or place" for more inquiry based learning that is supported in person by real people? This probably is the key advantage we can offer over any form of remote learning. We are reviewing the services we offer with a view towards a new service model for academic libraries that capitalises on this advantage in our future library.
  • We are already positioned for more interactivity in libraries, but should we be providing even more spaces for this and less to simply store collections? Our current Library is still dominated by books, but with the excavation of our underground Library Retrieval System now complete, we will soon have the majority of our collection stored in it and quickly accessible from it. That will prob=vide us with more space in the current and future Library to meet all of the needs already touched on above as well as a few more.
  • Students still come to academic libraries in their droves, but we need to know more about why they do. Is it simply for access to clean, moderated or mediated spaces with wifi, or are they seeking our help services, access to books and journals, a better environment for reading and writing, independent and quiet study spaces that are more conducive to learning than their homes (or informal learning hubs, cafes, etc.)? Are our (managed) collaborative group work spaces really important? Stephen believes that both part-time students and overseas students have a lot in common in what they need and want from the Library in terms of access to dedicated quiet spaces to study, particularly closer to exam times.
  • How do we support future learning and research needs (vice simply managing our collections)? This probably means a further extension of our hours of opening, beyond what is offered today and collaborative arrangements with others to provide 24/7 online support. There could be workload implications in this.
  • What are the technical issues for libraries (i.e. the real ICT issues) in all of this? Others are better equipped than me to deal with this, but certainly those providing and supporting MOOCs will have to consider the impact of a large increase in load on the ICT systems involved. 
  • What does open education actually mean for libraries - should it lead to more competition or are libraries well positioned and do we have a proven history to model the benefits of increased collaboration? Interestingly, my colleague Stephen says that campus based academic libraries are not in competition with online course providers. The free online providers do not give away access to the rich library collections that we provide to our enrolled students. Their's is a very different model to fee-based higher education. Public libraries will not be able to satisfy their needs.
  • Are there major costs involved - from the new services that we will need to purchase from publishers and other learning providers and possibly for increased or new licenses that facilitate this trend/initiative? As Stephen thoughtfully points out again, the increasing use of e-texts has driven down costs to some extent, allowing libraries to build broader collections than previously possible.  We are now purchasing new titles or back-titles that were not previously covered or affordable. Other newer "special" collections are being established by campus-based libraries too. These are relevant to the needs of our institution and are unlikely ever to be part of the MOOC model.
Again, I know that I don't seem to have many answers, but I think these issues require a great deal more thought and more minds with varied backgrounds applied to them if we are to build a clearer picture, so please, just let me know what you think.