Collating global evidence of the design, use, reuse and redesign of open educational content

Wilson, Tina; Schuwer, Robert and McAndrew, Patrick (2010). Collating global evidence of the design, use, reuse and redesign of open educational content. In: Open Educational Resources 2010 (OER10), 22-24 Mar 2010, Cambridge, United Kingdom.



Open Educational Resources (OER) are available globally in many OER repositories. Since The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative began, seven years have elapsed. Therefore it is time to consider and evaluate what has worked, why and how we can maximise on the design and redesign of OER for the benefit of learners and teachers. Open Learning Network (OLnet) is an outward facing and open research project, which started in March 2009. Based on lessons from experience and evidence worldwide, the initial aim of the project is to draw in existing OER and social networked communities to evaluate what types of OER have worked well in terms of learning and teaching. The project investigates the best ways to develop new OER and redesign existing OER for reuse. OLnet is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and starts from a base of having a number of partners, to build upon over the three-year period of the project. Methods for developing Open Educational Resources (OER) have evolved from different initiatives and projects. The first part of this paper is a step towards exploring the challenges faced and opportunities gained from different approaches. The methods adopted by two OER projects OpenER and OpenLearn are considered. Although OER may be created with one audience in mind (Higher Education) they can be adopted and adapted by different age groups and those with a variety of prior learning experiences. The second part of the paper considers the potential and actual adoption of OER by the school and further education sector. Questions addressed regarding the potential of OER are as follows: - Could OER material fit into the present timetable of study? - Might institutions provide assessment for OER material? - How would material be assessed? - What policies and procedures would need to be used or changed to allow the adoption of OER material for assessment? - Might OER material be better suited to learning in cases of non-accreditation? Finally the paper discusses two examples of reuse: one of material from DigilessenVO and the other a contrasting example from OpenLearn.

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