Open Educational Resources
From APEC HRDWG Wiki
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are free and open electronic materials for educators, students, and self-learners to use for teaching, learning and research. During the 1990s, United States government libraries and museums posted examples of OERs. Later, the U.S. Department of Education, the California State University, and European SchoolNet all provided educational materials for free on the Internet. OERs are different from other online educational materials because copyright protections are not as strict, allowing users to take the content and edit it to suit their needs. OERs have become even more important as we move towards a more globalized economy. This idea of sharing information in order to improve education, particularly math and science education is one of the main goals of the Education Network.
Components of Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources allow for sharing digital learning resources over the Internet free of charge. There are three main components to Open Educational Resources:
OER learning content includes courses, courseware, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals. After the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched its site which contained open courseware (OCW), more than 90 universities from 14 countries have adopted OCW and created a consortium to share best practices and course materials.
This component of OERs includes software to support the development, use, and delivery of learning content. Software also supports searching and organization, learning management systems, development tools, and managing on-line learning communities.
Resources needed in order to implement OER include: intellectual property licenses so materials may be public, design principles of best practice, and localization of content.
Strengths and Challenges
OERs are contributing to the growing culture of openness and sharing that has spread throughout the world. Efforts have been made in countries such as Viet Nam, P.R. China, India, Europe, South America, Africa, United States, Canada, and Brazil to support the development and usage of OERs. The strengths of Open Educational Resources include:
- Accessibility: Open (free) for all on the Internet
- Usage: Open for downloading, using, and sharing
- Creation: Reuse, modify, build, and collaborate
While there are many benefits that come from Open Education Resources, there are challenges that should be evaluated. Many are concerned about the lack of awareness among academics regarding copyright issues; how to assure quality in open content; and how to sustain OER initiatives in the longer run.
Resources and Examples
The table below provides a few examples of OER. These examples include courseware, courses,books, lesson plans and other educational resources.
A web-based publication of almost all MIT course content open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.
Collaboration of more than 200 institutions and organizations from around the world creating open educational content usinga shared model.
Free and open math and science textbooks submitted to California's new challenge for affordable, open, and standards-based curriculum.
Provides online course content for student and faculty in higher education, high school and advance placement.
This is a free reading open source contains reading activities, videos, audio and a free reading intervention program for K-3.
| Free to Learn Guide|| An Open Educational Resources Policy Development Guidebook for Community College Governance Officials|
- ↑ Hylén, Jan. "Open Educational Resources: Opportunities and Challenges." OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.
- ↑ Smith, Marshall S. "Opening Education." Science 323 (2009): 89-93.
- ↑ Hewlett Foundation."Foundations" - A Q&amp;amp;amp;A with Catherine Casserly, Program Officer, Open Educational Resources." Hewlett Foundation. Web. 03 Nov. 2009.