James R. Paradiso is an instructional designer and the Program Coordinator of Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM) at the University of Central Florida (UCF). His main areas of research and professional specialization are open education and adaptive learning—with a particular focus on devising and implementing strategies to scale open educational practices and engineering data-driven learning solutions across multiple internal and external stakeholder communities.
For his capstone project, James began the work of creating an ‘Open Learning’ infrastructure at the UCF Center for Distributed Learning to serve as the central hub for information and services that support the use of open educational resources and practices.
The main project goals are to empower faculty to 1) discover open resources for teaching and learning, 2) identify basic principles of open licensing and its application(s), 3) apply mechanisms for open resource adoption (e.g. reuse/remix), 4) utilize existing open resources in instructional settings, 5) create new open resources for academic use, and 6) conduct research on open academic practices.
More broadly, James’ project “Open Learning at Scale” proposes a framework for open education to thrive by way of workflows and processes designed to scale open content adoption and creation through digital tools supported by existing and/or new support streams (e.g., instructional design, faculty center, libraries, et al.)
OpenLearning@UCF (owned and managed by a subset of instructional designers) is, thus, made up of targeted objectives that look to reduce educational materials costs as well as improve teaching and learning outcomes through the use of open educational resources and practices.