Research Updates from the TSTM-SkillBlox Instructional Support Pilot Team

Recently, SkillBlox was updated to include over 1,000 new activities in four new subject areas, along with a number of new features designed to ease the process of sharing and adapting SkillBlox created by other users. But what led to these updates over others? In Designing in the Open: Building Free Software, Blox by Blox, the TSTM-SkillBlox team describes the invention and building of the free, open education resource (OER) platform. The team shares early insights gleaned as they’ve worked to build a sustainable, equitable open education ecosystem that increases access to quality education and lifelong learning for all – which you will see has not been without complications and lots of problem solving.

The current approach to SkillBlox enhancement layers inquiry into new feature development. This approach is explored in Building SkillBlox as Design and Development Research. The blog post describes the questions guiding the research, the phases of this work thus far and presently, and where they expect this work will lead. You will see how this project focuses on more than just design of a platform – but leverages the research methodology Design Based Research to inform not only what end-users want to see in the new features, but what the team can learn about teaching and learning with open education resources more broadly.

To learn more about the TSTM-SkillBlox project, you can explore their research home base.