by Kristie Goorden
Grasple Content Team
Answers to questions that educational institutions may have when considering publicly sharing their content on the Grasple online platform.
1. What is open education and what are its advantages?
Open education is an approach to learning aimed at making educational resources accessible for everyone to both use and contribute to. The working principle: educators share their content with the online community, so that their colleagues around the world can revise and build on it. This way, the quality of educational content is maximized, plus it is freely accessible to anyone! Read more about open education and its benefits in this blog article: Pros and cons of using OER
2. What is Grasple’s design philosophy, and how does it translate to the tool?
In order to boost open education, Grasple strives to make it as easy as possible for educators to contribute their share to the body of openly accessible materials. To that end, we have created a digital tool that is simple and intuitive, and we keep on collecting feedback from all of our users to improve it. On top of that, the Grasple website houses a collection of help articles for those who want to get started with sharing and editing - or get better at it.
3. I see no advantage for the institution or teachers of sharing their content, why help Grasple on their mission?
We are asking for your help to make open education enter the world. However, being part of the change is not the only benefit of sharing your content. Using an open content platform offers marketing opportunities for your university. Plus, it enables you to receive feedback on your exercises from a large community of students and professionals.
Steffen Posthuma, member of the statistics and math education focus group at University of Twente: “We really liked the fact that Grasple is all about open education: there are hundreds of exercises available, created by renowned institutions, and they are free for us to adapt and improve – this really aligns with our educational vision.”
4. Why would I choose Grasple over other open education tools?
At Grasple, we have done our best to make open education as simple to join as possible. We offer you a large network of educators and a user-friendly tool, and we have the expertise in place to help you out at any time.
Grasple is an open content-based platform matching the Open Education Resources (OER) definition. A large portion of the platform is free to use. Teachers can create content and share it with their students through a Teacher Account. This account also enables teachers to collaborate with colleagues to build upon each other’s content. Individual students can always use Grasple for free and, if they want, even without an account. Institutions pay for embedding Grasple within their educational processes and systems. This includes several unique features, such as the fully integrated maintenance of results from formative and summative tests, privacy and security for large and personalized usages of the platform by their students, learning analytics including teacher friendly dashboards, and content creation editors. Moreover, Grasple can be integrated in all common LMS systems, and when integration is not yet possible, this can always be realized by our developers team. Grasple has therefore a sustainable business model, yet striving for honest open and available content.
Additionally, our tool is built in accordance with the ICT open standard, meaning that all content created in it can easily be imported into other open-standard tools. Your content is thus not tied to Grasple, and you can quickly hop to a different tool if you ever change your mind.
5. What about the copyrights/licensing of our study materials?
Copyrights and licenses can be implemented in the Grasple tool, so that you can share your content with our community without losing the ownership rights. The licensing is visible in each exercise to secure this. If you choose to, your institution’s name will be included in the license for all material you have created or adapted in Grasple. This way, apart from legal purposes, the licensing serves both as a way of showcasing your institution as well as a sign of quality of the resources.
6. What if the in-house consent process for sharing of material of my institution is unclear/unknown?
Since we have some experience with open education, we can probably help you with this. Simply introduce us to the relevant parties in your organization and we can help you determine the next steps: Contact Us
7. What if openly accessible content affects my institution’s reputation?
Grasple offers you the possibility to upload your exercises anonymously, without losing any of the benefits of content-sharing. This allows you to see how members of the community value your materials. If you want to link your institution’s name to your content at a later moment, this can be done easily for all your exercises at once. Of course, it is also possible for your institution to stay anonymous while continuing to share your content.
8. Is Grasple a platform for high-level mathematics only?
Our platform was born from the need for more practice material for higher education statistics courses. Nowadays, it includes courses on many different topics in the fields of science, engineering and economics. High-school level courses have also proven to be suitable for Grasple.
9. How much time will the sharing cost?
The Grasple tool is designed to make sharing easy: its architecture enables one repository to be accessed from infinitely many courses. Making your existing repository available for the community takes only a few clicks.
10. How can we share our content if we use separate repositories per teacher instead of institution-wide repositories?
The correct placement and organization of content on the platform is in our hands. Your teachers are free to provide separate repositories in their teacher account. If requested we are happy to help put their content in the right place and make sure they are accessible in the correct community courses.
11. How can my organization best manage their digital content in Grasple?
There are several ways to go about the management of your digital content. Some institutions have assigned this task to a central in-house content creation team. It is also possible for teachers to manage their own content.
Due to the design of the tool, exercises can constantly be added, changed and improved while a repository is in use. Grasple has developed a convenient version management construction, making it easy for teachers to create new exercises for in-use courses, save conceptual versions of exercises and go back to earlier versions, all in a structured way.
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