Dr. Marcia A. Mardis

Associate Professor

School of Information

College of Communication & Information's

Florida State University


Presentation Title: Just Dancing in the Dark? The Potential of Uncontextualized Paradata to Shed Light on Open Education Resource Quality and Impact



Common Core State Standards. Next Generation Science Standards. Race to the Top. These education policy developments contain conceptual and procedural changes to instruction that provide immediate opportunities for information science research. Many K-12 school officials are meeting these new imperatives by shifting to instructional improvement systems that promise to link teachers’ activities, learning resources, and student learning. These systems rely student and teacher profiles, as well as free, “open” education resources (OER) that have been heralded as alternatives to expensive, commercially produced learning materials. However, limited quality assurance, privacy concerns about linking profile data, and unclear impact assessment metrics have frustrated attempts to characterize OER’s effects on teaching and learning. Many leading OER providers collect usage and implementation data, i.e., “paradata,” and their analysis has the potential to improve OER evaluation and curation schemes. In this talk, I will map the policy landscape for OER; explore the role of paradata in OER adoption; present early results an analysis of unprofiled OER paradata; and propose a collaborative research agenda that includes meta-analysis, expert assessment, and elements of machine learning. 



Dr. Marcia A. Mardis, an Associate Professor, works primarily with LIS students at the College of Communication & Information's School of Information. Her research intersects learning resources, high speed networking, and digital libraries with particular emphases in K-12 education informatics, curation, STEM learning, education data mining, and learning analytics. She is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) at the National Science Digital Library, leading research efforts that center on Open Education Resource (OER) metadata and paradata analysis, curation policy, sustainability, education data mining, learning analytics, and resource quality assurance. Dr. Mardis also just completed an appointment as a visiting professor at the iSchool at Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga NSW AU) where she worked closely with faculty to develop their exciting new Master's degree in Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation.