Exploring the technologies for OER

I've been presenting workshops at several conferences recently where the issue of open education resources has been discussed, building on some of the ideas shared in my Ten Trends feature on openness.

While for many the appeal of OERs has been through the availability (and consumption) of free-to-use resources as an alternative to the conventional copyright protected resources we've been used to, there is a growing trend now towards the re-use of these resources, and the creation and contribution of resources to this pool.

So it is with interest that I noted the release of the publication titled A report on the Re-use and Adaptation of Open Educational Resources (OER): An Exploration of Technologies available from the Commonwealth of Learning.

In the recommendations section the report states…

Arguably, at present, the largest group of OER creators and consumers consist of ODL practitioners. However, the uptake of the wider adoption of OER in teaching and learning is slow from the perspective of an ODL institution due to the lack of understanding of how to implement the use and re-use of OER across the various interconnected departments.

This is indeed the challenge – how we move from the peripheral interest in OERs, driven mostly by individual practitioners at the edges of their 'day jobs', to where there is wider acceptance and adoption of OERs as a core part of an institutional approach to the organisation and management of resources to support learning. 

The helpful part of the report for me is the diagram on page 51 that outlines four distinct stages involved in institutional adoption, which are (i) capacity building; (ii) creation of an institutional repository; (iii) quality assurance; and (iv) recognition and rewards. These are illustrated in the diagram below:

If you've been wondering about the role of OERs in education, how the process of attribution and lisencing works for OERs, or how to integrate OER use into the everyday processes of learning at your school, then this report will be extremely useful. 

One thought on “Exploring the technologies for OER

  1. Hi Derek,
    In addition to the report, if anyone is interested ini learning more about OERs, copyright and Creative Commons licenses, we are hosting a free online workshop on these topics.
    When: 20 June to 3 July
    Where: Online
    Cost: Free
    Registrations: Open
    Its an interesting community learning event and already 50 countries are registered. The workshop uses OER to teach about OER and is an open course. Would appreciate if you could share the gift of knowledge and spread the word :-).

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