Spring cleaning #OERuSIA ready for #Abbotsthon17

A frame grab of the landing page for the Sport Informatics and Analytics (#OERuSIA) course on WikiEducator.

I have been getting ready for #Abbotsthon17 in October in Dublin at the HPX 2017 Knowledge Exchange Conference.

As part of the day’s workshop, I have planned an autoresponse pre-workshop sharing of information about Sport Informatics and Analytics. I am using an OERu course to do this (#OERuSIA).

I have spent the last week Spring cleaning the course and making sure I am using the appropriate WikiEducator pedagogical iDevice templates to structure course content.

An example of the IDevices used in WikiEducator

The process has enhanced my interest in the open sharing of microcontent. I am looking forward to learn how the #Abbotsthon17 participants have enjoyed the experience.

The WikiEducator course template includes the opportunity to list an outline of the course with all the sections listed.

The Sport Informatics and Analytics outline can be found here. As of today there are 100 mocrocontent parts of the course.

As an open resource licensed under a Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 3.0, I think these microcontents could contribute to an infinite collection of resources focused on performance in sport.


Shortly after posting this, Wayne Mackintosh was writing on the ICDE blog about micro-credentials in open online courses. In his post he notes:

The OERu assembles open online courses from OER and open access materials designed for independent study. Learners can study OERu courses online for free from anywhere in the world. Learners only pay for assessment, if and when they are ready for it. OERu partner institutions award transcript credit for assessed learning. OERu partners have developed a system for transnational credit transfer that operates within existing institutional policies. Successful learners can have their credits recognised towards designated qualifications based on credit transfer and credit accumulation agreements between OERu institutions.

I see enormous opportunities in this approach for learners with different amounts of time to invest in their learning journeys.

Australian Sport Thesaurus online as an open data resource

The Australian Sports Commission has made available the Australian Sport Thesaurus in xml format as an open data initiative to assist the sporting community.  


(The Thesaurus is hosted by data.gov.au, a site “to encourage public access to and reuse of public data”.)

The Thesaurus is an accumulation of over 15,000 terms covering concepts and objects related to sport and sporting organisations with a strong emphasis on Australian sport. It aims to reduce ambiguity in sporting terminology by providing authorised terms for every sport and sporting activity.

The Australian Sports Thesaurus seeks to provide clarity and assistance to the sport community by:

  • ensuring consistency of understanding and usage of sport terminology in documentary, legal and commercial discussions;
  • enabling improved system and database interoperability and reporting;
  • facilitating search and retrieval of information from sport information systems;
  • facilitating the defining of sport data for Data Dictionaries.

This is an evolving project and not all definitions have been verified and the Australian Sports Commission is seeking input from the sporting community to improve this product. While at this stage it is called a Thesaurus, in the longer term it is hoped that the product becomes a sports metadata register for the purpose of creating data standards for data exchange and interoperability.

The Thesaurus is provided on a Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-SA 3.0 AU) that allows all users to copy and use the resource so that they may integrate or adapt the terminology into their own organisations and systems.

Edgar Crook, Assistant Director, IT Governance and Compliance, Office of the CIO Digital Information Management & Technology at the Sports Commission is the point of contact for enquiries about this exciting open data initiative.

Photo Credits

AIS Swim Hall, Bruce, ACT, under construction (1982) (ArchivesACT, CC BY-NC 2.0)

No limits (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

Creating our own spaces


It has been a fascinating week for reading and reflecting on shared links.

It started with Kurt Lindley’s exploration of social capital. In his post he discusses the sharing of stories and the emergence of trust. I think it is a great contribution to how we might connect and co-operate in learning environments. Kurt encouraged me to reflect on how prosocial learning environments can be enabled so that “social capital inheres in the structure of relations between actors and among actors” (James Coleman, 1988, p.98).

The following day an alert from Stephen Downes introduced me to Heather Ross and her discussion of open educational practices. Her literature review (2015) discusses:

  • What open education means in current contexts.
  • What problems the integration of open educational materials may help negate
  • What barriers may be impeding the adoption of such materials
  • Who the stakeholders are and what their roles are in the integration of open materials and practices.

Heather’s paper proposed a embedded case study of open educational resources (OER) in a Canadian University in order to “better understand why some instructors are adopting open educational practices while others are not at the university as the institution is facing pressure from student leaders and the provincial government to move forward on an OER initiative” (2015, 22).

A day after meeting Heather, another link from Stephen took me off to an Alan Levine post. Alan was discussing connected courses.

Alan suggests:

the ideal kind of connected course should work- just like the way the internet works, a distributed network of connections, a place that no entity owns outright, and where individuals create and own their small nodes within.

These courses can be enriched by students being physically together with teachers: “There is interaction, body language, conversations that I suggest have value. And they get the added benefit of the input of those open participants”.

Elsewhere on Clyde Street, I have referred to Alan’s use of ‘structured exposure‘. In this exposure teachers and students work together in a classroom that morphs into a studio in which students work creatively supported by teachers in shared and personal endeavour. In the process everyone is engaged in a craft environment.

Kurt, Heather and Alan had positioned me in a very good place to enjoy Maciej Cegłowski’s discussion of deep-fried data. In his wistful conclusion, Maciej shares his dream for the web “to feel like a big city”:

A place where you rub elbows with people who are not like you. Somewhere a little bit scary, a little chaotic, full of everything you can imagine and a lot of things that you can’t. A place where there’s room for chain stores, room for entertainment conglomerates, but also room for people to be themselves, to create their own spaces, and to learn from one another.

I think his article is a remarkable tour de force but the ending connected me with a week of reading and a decade of thinking about how we might work together openly to support each others as learners … entangled.

Photo Credit

Connections (Ricardo Torres Kompen, CC BY-NC 2.0)