The recent M25 Learning Technology Group meeting focussed on Open Educational Resources (OERs). Despite my somewhat limited knowledge of this topic it fell to me, as the meeting’s organiser, to provide an intro. So here it is once again if you missed it. OERs are teaching & learning materials available for reuse without charge. They are one element of a much wider Open Education movement (not sure that’s quite the right word but it’ll do). While reading about OERs I came across an interesting video lecture Openness, Aggregation and the Future of Education (50-mins) by David Wiley that’s worth a look.
In my introduction I gave examples of 4 different OER-related areas as well as highlighting some upcoming OER conferences & UK projects:
- Gateways & Portals – OER Commons & OpenCourseWare Consortium
- Open Courseware providers – MIT Courseware (80% of MITs course material freely available) & the OU’s OpenLearn
- Repositories – JorumOpen, Merlot & YouTube EDU
- Licensing – Creative Commons
I also highlighted two blog posts that put the case for and against OERs: The OER Debate (Patrick McAndrew) Those OER Issues (Martin Weller). The UNESCO OER Wiki is another place to look for further information on OERs.
Back to the meeting and I just wanted to highlight one of the four sessions which was a discussion led by Leo Havemann, Sarah Sherman & Bryony Bramer from the Bloomsbury group of UoL colleges.
They got us all discussing the barriers that prevent people sharing and those that prevent the use of others’ OERs. Their This Educational Resource Could not be Opened slides includes a compilation of both the barriers and potential solutions we identified in our discussions (slides 6 & 7). Despite the success of the likes of MIT & the OU – in terms of getting stuff shared if not re-used – it seems there is more than a long way to go & much to overcome for most institutions and their teaching staff.
Error message from Bloomsbury slides was generated here: http://atom.smasher.org/error/