A comparison of production processes for OER

Schuwer, Robert; Lane, Andrew; Counotte-Potman, Anda and Wilson, Martina (2011). A comparison of production processes for OER. In: Open Courseware Consortium Global Meeting, 4-6 May 2011, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

URL: http://conference.ocwconsortium.org/index.php/2011...


In most cases the initial production and publication of OER is undertaken by a University and funded through a special project with grants from external bodies. In this phase, OER are developed both from scratch or derived from existing Higher Education courses. After this project phase, the ongoing development and publication of OER continues and the question of the management and upgrading of the OER comes into focus. The costs of producing and upgrading OER are an important factor in devising a sustainable process. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an efficient process for the continuing production, publication and maintenance of OER.

To learn more about influencing factors of production process efficiency we have compared the production processes of two institutions, the Open University UK (OU-UK) and the Open Universiteit Netherlands (OU-NL), both in the initial project phase (OpenLearn for OU-UK and OpenER for OU-NL) and the post initial phase. We aim to identify the differences and commonalities and the influence of these on the efficiency of the production processes.

The main difference between the two Universities is the adoption of state-of-the-art (XML) standard to deliver to different channels at OU-UK. At OU-NL this adoption has just started. Valuable lessons learned in the project phase for the post initial phase are clear specification of requirements for selection of an open course and utilization of technologies already being used for regular materials production. Both institutions firstly drew upon the existing expertise and capabilities for educational resource production being used for regular courses. But rather than strictly follow exactly the same process and possibly compromise the more mission critical development of resources for students both institutions chose to experiment or adapt this process to help provide lessons that might be taken back into regular materials production. Once these lessons and experiences had been gained both open universities sought to reduce the costs of dealing with legacy or de novo educational resources by integrating identification, production and publication within the regular curriculum and course development processes.

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