This website gathers and publishes evidence about the impact of open educational resources (OER). It is maintained by the OER Research Hub project. The purpose is to help people understand the impact of OER.
The August 2014 edition of the Australian-based journal, Distance Education (Vol.35, No. 2.), is devoted to new research on MOOCs. There is a guest editor, Kemi Jona, from Northwestern University, Illinois, as well as the regular editor, Som Naidu.
The six articles in this edition are fascinating, both in terms of their content, but even more so in their diversity. There are also three commentaries, by Jon Baggaley, Gerhard Fischer and Tony Bates, who provides here a commentary on the six articles.
A report presenting the findings of a study commissioned by the HEA and conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS)/NUS Services has found that on the whole students are positive about the use of OERs.
The emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has captured the attention of higher education academics and managers. Ongoing debates about MOOCs, however, demonstrate the need to critically evaluate the phenomenon. One of the key ideas associated with MOOCs is openness and while MOOCs are emergent and of the moment, ideas about openness have a history and trajectory that can be evaluated through the lens of learner engagement. Equally, innovative open pedagogies can help to inform effective teaching irrespective of their original context. The paper concludes that effective open learning environments are not massive, nor necessarily online or course-based. Instead it is more useful to think of them as being student-centred, social spaces for open learning (SSOLs).
In this article we emphasize the importance of sharing resources in open educationalcommunities (OEC), analysing the role of OERs and OEC in teachers' lifelonglearning. Investigating their current usage, we aim to discover whether their interweavings could be an effective approach to support sharing of resources among teachers and to promote new educational practices.
In response to growing concerns about the high cost of textbooks, the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges launched the Open Course Library (OCL), a project to outfit 81 of the state's largest- enrolled courses with high-quality, low-cost educational materials. Funded jointly by the Washington State Legislature and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project sought to offer faculty and students a more affordable alternative to expensive textbooks
"Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials which are freely available and openly licensed. Repositories of OER (ROER) are platforms that host and facilitate access to these resources. ROER should not just be designed to store this content – in keeping with the aims of the OER movement, they should support educators in embracing open educational practices (OEP) such as searching for and retrieving content that they will reuse, adapt or modify as needed, without economic barriers or copyright restrictions. This paper reviews key literature on OER and ROER, in order to understand the roles ROER are said or supposed to fulfil in relation to furthering the aims of the OER movement."
Henceforth, ODF compliance will be required for documents intended to be shared or subject to collaboration. PDF/A or HTML compliance will be required for viewable government documents. The decision follows a long process that invited, and received, very extensive public input – over 500 comments in all.
According to the announcement:
When departments have adopted these open standards: • citizens, businesses and voluntary organisations will no longer need specialist software to open or work with government documents • people working in government will be able to share and work with documents in the same format, reducing problems when they move between formats • government organisations will be able to choose the most suitable and cost effective applications, knowing their documents will work for people inside and outside of government
Abstract Whilst Open Educational Resources (OER) offer opportunities for broadening participation in Higher Education, reducing course development and study costs, and building open collaborative partnerships to improve teaching and learning practices, they have yet to gain significant mainstream traction. Research surrounding open education has focused on adoption at the institutional level, identifying key enablers and barriers to practice, but the practicalities of engagement with open resources are not often addressed. By reviewing existing literature, and studying prior models used to explain OER (re)use, this paper proposes a continuum of use model. The proposed model seeks to acknowledge the complexity of applied knowledge required to fulsomely engage with open education by examining practitioner behaviours and the necessary supporting mechanisms. This conceptual model aims to be of use to both practitioners and also those responsible for designing professional development in an educational setting. Whilst the proposed model is designed for teaching staff use, some discussion is given as to how it could be applied to student learning using open resources as well.
One of the wonderful things about MOOCs is that they don’t force students to be in a particular location in order to ‘attend’ class. Especially if you’re looking for a course that will help you gain a specific skill, MOOCs allow students access to teachers and other experts they might not have otherwise. The handy …
Recent decades have witnessed a number of fundamental structural shifts, both internally within the higher education academy and external to it, that have transformed the character of universities. A universal, increased interest in Open Educational Resources (OER) is at once both one of these added pressures and perhaps potentially a key way to meet the growing demand for higher education. The overarching theme of this Special Section, OER initiatives in Broader Oceania, allows educators to showcase how challenges and opportunities in this region are being addressed with innovation and/or collaboration. It also facilitates sharing of knowledge and exchange of varied perspectives and dialogue, not only between countries in the region, but hopefully also between Broader Oceania and Europe. Developments and trends in OER and an emergent Open Educational Practice across Asia-Pacific mirror advances occurring across the world.
Belle S. Wheelan, president of the commission on colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities, said quality control is a responsibility of the institution, regardless of medium.
“If they are the ones in whose name the course is offered, then they have the responsibility of ensuring the quality of that course,” Wheelan, whose organization accredits institutions in the South, said. “We as accreditors hold the institutions responsible, because it’s the institutions we accredit -- not Coursera.”
In 2012 Sharon Watkins was watching a Ted talk when she came across the concept of Moocs – massive open online courses. She was so impressed by the prospect of elite education being delivered for free to the masses, that she decided to set up a Mooc
"The report commissioned by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean, “Public Spending in Latin America: Does It Fulfill the Declaration of Paris’ Suggestions for Open Educational Resources?” is now available in English."
The study found that the majority of all types of students were positive about many aspects of OERs and some were already making extensive use of a wide range of resources, not only within their course, but when selecting an institution to attend.
More than half of students expect OERs to play an increasingly important role in their learning experience in the future. However, the findings also point to a need for more clarity and reassurance for students about the role that OERs will play in learning in the future, as well as more practical support in their discovery and use.