Contributing to an open resources repository: sharing and constructing knowledge and expertise across borders

Ferreira, Giselle (2007). Contributing to an open resources repository: sharing and constructing knowledge and expertise across borders. In: 4th International Conference on Open and Distance Learning (ICODL) Forms of Democracy in Education: Open Access and Distance Education, 23-25 Nov 2007, Athens, Greece.

URL: http://artemis.eap.gr/icodl2007/

Abstract

The idea of building open-access repositories of learning resources is consistent with current initiatives in the areas of widening participation and knowledge sharing in a ‘globalised’ world. Despite some obvious advantages such as the potential for co-creation of resources, contributing to an Open Resources Repository (ORR) is not an entirely unproblematic proposition. Learning resources, as a rule, reflect assumptions held in the particular context in which they are created, and, so, present potential barriers for re-use and adaptation to different contexts. Language differences provide only the most apparent borders. This paper examines the notion of an ORR and what it may mean to use and contribute to such a repository, proposing a provisional framework to describe the types of issues that may arise. This framework is by no means exhaustive, but it suggests some of the many borders that must be crossed when a resource, developed in a context, is re-used in another. In short, this paper suggests that, in addition to pedagogical, technical and language- based considerations, themselves contextually-located albeit in different ways, there are further issues at stake that may lead to puzzling epistemological, organisational and ethical questions.

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