The Open UniversitySkip to content

Reaching out with OER: the new role of public-facing open scholar

Coughlan, Tony and Perryman, Leigh-Anne (2012). Reaching out with OER: the new role of public-facing open scholar. eLearning Papers, 31, article no. 31_1.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (645Kb) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Open educational resources (OER) and, more recently, open educational practices (OEP) have been widely promoted as a means of increasing openness in higher education (HE). Thus far, such openness has been limited by OER provision typically being supplier-driven and contained within the boundaries of HE. Seeking to explore ways in which OEP might become more needs-led we conceptualised a new ‘public-facing open scholar’ role involving academics working with online communities to source and develop OER to meet their needs.

To explore the scope for this role we focused on the voluntary sector, which we felt might particularly benefit from such collaboration. We evaluated four representative communities for evidence of their being self-educating (thereby offering the potential for academics to contribute) and for any existing learning dimension. We found that all four communities were self-educating and each included learning infrastructure elements, for example provision for web chats with ‘experts’, together with evidence of receptiveness to academic collaboration. This indicated that there was scope for the role of public-facing open scholar. We therefore developed detailed guidelines for performing the role, which has the potential to be applied beyond the voluntary sector and to greatly extend the beneficial impact of existing OER, prompting institutions to release new OER in response to the needs of people outside HE.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Authors (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivativeWorks)
ISSN: 1887-1542
Keywords: open educational resources; open educational practices; online communities; self-educating; informal education
Academic Unit/Department: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Institute of Educational Technology
Item ID: 35934
Depositing User: Tony Coughlan
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2013 10:25
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 23:59
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340