(Floe) Scenario Narrative: Vision of the future OER

Floe scenario narratives

Intent: What does the ideal OER behave like?

The goal of these narratives is to articulate a vision of an ideal (inclusively-designed) OER in the context of learner use, and, in so doing, help shape the design of both the presentation and authoring of said materials. It is not intended to be an exhaustive exploration of users, uses, features, and functionality, but rather a sketch of possibilities and benefits of future-looking OERs. This is intended to be a living document, adjusted as our understanding of the domain matures.

Scenario one: Sally

Sally is a 35 year old office clerk who loves to learn in her spare time.

Content discovery, learning profile

Recently having spent time on OER sites and browsing through snippets of fine arts lectures, Sally decides to commit to taking a course end-to-end. The site she uses, OER4All, suggests some courses (Transitioning from the Impressionist to Post-Impressionist Period; A Study of Monet, Boudin, and Cezanne; etc.) based on the themes and academic level of materials she had been looking through prior [the system had been building a learner profile of her].

Based on cross section of user ratings and reviews, and the "People who looked at this sort of thing also enjoyed..." feature, Sally chooses an interesting and credible sounding course: Things You Never Would've Imagined About Renoir and Boudin.

Redundant multi-modal content

Like most days, Sally headed to a coffee shop after work with her laptop to relax and study. She taps into the cafe's wifi to watch the first video lecture, but the shop is louder than usual with patrons chatting. Having forgotten her headphones, she turns up the volume, but it doesn't help enough. Switching to interactive transcript mode, she finds that she can follow along the lecture without need for audio, and even refer back or skim ahead to content.

Continuity of experience, platform portability, image zooms and annotations

Feeling a bit tired, Sally decides to head home before finishing the first lecture. On the way back home in the streetcar, she pulls out her tablet and continues watching the lecture, which remembers where she left off despite being on a different device.

Back at home on the couch on her tablet, Sally browses through some of the supplemental material for the course, in particular, a set of annotated paintings. The paintings are annotated with interactive notes and comments describing composition, colour, texture, peculiarities and areas of interest. Even more satiating to her curiousity, and also much easier on her tired evening eyes, is the ability to zoom into those particular regions and get a close look at the details.

Analog portability, pacing

In the morning before heading off to work, Sally remembers how convenient it was yesterday to be able to read the lecture's transcript instead of having to listen to it verbatim. She prints up the transcript to the next lecture, along with some of the recommended readings, and brings them on her streetcar ride to work to read at her own pace.


OER uses cases, spliced by experience length and depth
  • Single transient learning experience: consuming a snippet of information. E.g., finding the population of the Sweden; getting list of cold symptoms from a Wikipedia article
  • Multiple transient learning experiences: aggregated snippets of information. E.g., learner synthesizes a breadth of snippets of information on symptoms and treatments for a cold from Wikipedia + WebMD + Mayo Clinic articles
  • Single full session: a whole nugget of content. E.g., a TED talk video, or article on cold care
  • Full line learning experience: multiple full sessions designed and intended to be stringed together over time, providing breadth and depth on an single thematic thread. E.g., an online course on immunology, a textbook on Swedish culture
  • "Hacked together" learning experience: combinations of the above. E.g., taking an online course, along with researching snippets of supplemental information
Inclusivity goals (wrt to OER material)
  • Perceivability + operability: e.g., UIO (to tweak), multi-modal content
  • Understandability: e.g., language, culture, appropriate content level
  • Discoverability: connecting appropriate content to learners (e.g., search, matching, link sharing)
  • Availability: e.g., access to internet, technology
  • Portability: e.g., not just "mobile"--available where you need it to be (e-Reader, tablet, paper)