Co-authorship and colearning through Open Educational Resources at UKOU

Okada, Alexandra and Ferreira, Giselle (2014). Co-authorship and colearning through Open Educational Resources at UKOU. In: ALT-C 2014 Learning technology Conference, 1 Sep 2014, Warwick, UK.



Originally coined to describe learning resources shared openly via the Web, the expression Open Educational Resources (OER) has come to describe not only materials specifically developed for learning purposes, shared under open licenses, but a worldwide movement with advocates and collaborators across the globe, including educators, learners and institutions. In little over a decade since inception, the movement has spawned many initiatives around the world, all committed to the democratising ideals of opening up construction of and access to knowledge. OER initiatives are underway that span all educational sectors, from primary schooling to Higher Education, and all areas of knowledge, thereby creating a growing multilingual base outside the English speaking countries that led the movement in its first decade.

This paper discusses co-authorship possibilities opened up by three OER projects conducted at the Open University (UKOU). UKOU has, as an institution, supported several OER projects that have also received significant external funding – from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation arguably the largest benefactor to the OER movement) the EU Commission, the UK Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the UK National Lottery. OER development has been (or is, in the case of on-going projects), predominantly part of large research and development, externally-funded projects. Different projects have had varied impact on UKOU´s main teaching and learning activities, since, as a large provider of distance education, the institution is tightly structured and managed, and this facilitates some types of innovation more easily than others. However, these projects place the university and some of its members firmly as major players in the OER movement, not only through the many partnerships and research collaborations entailed, but also through the astounding expertise and innovation shared and created through these partnerships.

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