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Goals using OER [message #13] Wed, 28 March 2007 09:38 Go to next message
mdeimann  is currently offline mdeimann
Messages: 9
Registered: March 2007
Junior Member
In general goals of using and adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) are to help equalize access to knowledge and educational opportunities across the world.

However, this is a rather wide-ranging goal as there are numerous factors (e.g. institutional settings) to consider.

Therefore, I would like to discuss with you the following: Regarding your standpoint and profession, what do you consider to be the goals of OER? For now and for the future?

Let me start with myself: I am working at the FernUniversitšt in Hagen, Germany, which is the only public distance teaching university. In my opinion, establishing a digital repository for researchers and students would be a great idea. There are many interesting ideas circulating around different institutions and within the university. However, one seldom comes across them before those ideas are being published in peer-reviewed journals. Providing free and unlimited access prior to a final version may enhance the quality of the papers and also enrich one owns ideas.
Re: Goals using OER [message #14 is a reply to message #13 ] Wed, 28 March 2007 11:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tpfeffer  is currently offline tpfeffer
Messages: 3
Registered: March 2007
Location: Austria
Junior Member

In the past, the main goal of OER was seen in their potential benefit for consumers (e.g. institutions or students from developing countries). Too much focus was put on re-use, following physical metaphors (e.g. copy/paste of OER without change).

In contrast to that, publishing content and information about courses also could have more local benefits for the producers of OER:

1) improved internal communication at a higher education institution
*) sharing of practices among educators (how do others use eLearning?)
*) coordination accross study programs (what do others teach?)

2) improved consumer information

e.g. prospective students are better informed about courses/study programs, before they are formally enrolled

3) increased visibility
*) within the institution
*) within the disciplinary community
*) within the general public

4) empowerment
to publish is a form to contribute to the web, maybe more important than just to consume
Re: Goals using OER [message #16 is a reply to message #13 ] Wed, 28 March 2007 16:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Viola Naust  is currently offline Viola Naust
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Registered: March 2007
Junior Member
Raising the issue of repositories or portals I’d like to consider some points and any comments are welcome:

Local repositories are often of big value for the institution itself and its staff and students (esp. when it comes to sharing, co-authoring, collaboration, internal communication etc.).

But still:
• how can the existing repositories be leveraged?
• how and who can foster the installation of a feasible repository in an institution (to convince the board of the value and to convince “all” staff members to participate)?
• what could be the benefits for the people publishing content?

• For the general public what is needed is a localisation/identification of what is available, what the available technology can do, and how much infrastructure is needed to support each.
• Other topics are the interoperability and federated search in different repositories. Who takes care of that (rising awareness, providing the platform)?
• How important are the different languages?

OER would benefit a lot if on one hand existing resources would somehow be wrapped up and more and more people would contribute to publish new content/courses visible and available to the general public on well-known platforms or portals with easy access.

Viola Naust
Re: Goals using OER [message #17 is a reply to message #16 ] Wed, 28 March 2007 20:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tpfeffer  is currently offline tpfeffer
Messages: 3
Registered: March 2007
Location: Austria
Junior Member

Dear Viola,

with respect to your first set of questions:
I search for ways to reduce the main barriers for publication (additional work and costs) by trying to open learning management systems to allow for gradual, individual publishing, rather than to set up additional repositories, which I regard as cumbersome. Making publishing much easier for scholars should give them an additional way to communicate, express themselves (or even show off). Publishing OER should become as easy as blogging. (Please also refer this similar posting.)

with respect your the second set of questions:
I agree that there exist high expectations in interoperability and federated search. However, I also see a certain pre-maturity in this, due to the fact that "literary formats" and successful "types of repositories" are still in rapid development. Everybody knows, how journal articles, textbooks and the respective repositories (=libraries) have to look like, but similar formats and successful practices for OER in a digital environment have not yet evolved, at least not in the sense of broad, common use.

Thomas Pfeffer
icon10.gif  Re: Goals using OER [message #18 is a reply to message #13 ] Thu, 29 March 2007 15:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
theobastiaens  is currently offline theobastiaens
Messages: 2
Registered: March 2007
Junior Member
Hi everybody,

I know that I'm playing the 'devil's role' but I would say, OER is for me a marketing strategy. I'm responsible for a Master in Educational Technology and the only thing I want is students...a massive group of students Smile.

So with OER I found a teaser. Giving little bit's of knowledge, this time not just-in-time but just enough to catch the fish.

(by the way, this is not my real opinion Smile, but I see a lot of projects on the internet which use this strategy...

Re: Goals using OER [message #20 is a reply to message #18 ] Tue, 03 April 2007 17:23 Go to previous message
patrick_mcandrew  is currently offline patrick_mcandrew
Messages: 4
Registered: April 2007
Junior Member
There is an aspect of marketing about producing open content and then also offering fuller courses only learners register. I think that is inevitable as few would argue that the content itself gives the whole experience. If someone wants to study a topic in depth then the structure given by tutor support, assessment and accreditation provides a lot of the motivation.

However the move to open content just does not make sense as straight marketing: we can offer "tasters" without adopting creative commons, building units that stand alone or offering a learning environment. This also means that we need to offer more sophisticated arguments for why institutions should produce open content rather than simply pulling through student numbers.

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