Posted by: MandyS | April 20, 2013

Open Educational Resources

Block 2, Week 10b, Activity 6

Open educational resources are the means by which content and material produced by individuals and educational institutions can be shared via the internet. The best example for me is the OU’s OpenLearn, which provides online materials from various modules that prospective (or not so prospective) students can ‘try before they buy’ so to speak.

The nature of these resources is that they are free, based on the concept of extending learning to everyone and anyone who might want to avail themselves. The aim of the Paris Declaration is to promote the usefulness of OER so as to achieve ‘greater buy-in’ from governments for open licensing, with the ultimate aim of ‘improving access, affordability and quality of education worldwide’.

Of course one issue of all this open material is copyright so I was intrigued to find out about Creative Commons. I had never heard of it but basically it is a means by which people can share their creativity without the users being liable to infringing copyright. Instead of ‘all rights reserved’ it is ‘a some rights reserved approach’.

So OER is the way forward but Martin Weller suggests that a new battle is forming, namely ‘inter-fighting’ between open resource developers. I suppose this is only to be expected. With the introduction of any new technology there comes the battle for market dominance, and I don’t see OER being any less immune to such battles.



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