Chapter 12 Case study - realising the vision of OER (May 2011)

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Gráinne Conole
5 May 2011

The previous chapter introduced the vision behind the Open Educational Resource movement and described some of the key OER initiatives. However, it argued that despite the considerable investments in OER work; uptake, use and reuse by teachers and learners have been disappointing (McAndrew, et al., 2009). Ehlers argues that:

Although open educational resources (OER) are high on the agenda of social and inclusion policies and supported by many stakeholders of the educational sphere, their use in HE and adult education (AE) has not yet reached the critical threshold which is posing an obstacle to the seamless provision of high quality learning resources and practices for citizens’ lifelong learning efforts. (Ehlers, 2011)

Conole and McAndrew (2010) notice a similar lack of uptake. They argue that finding appropriate resources and knowing how to use them is a specialised skill and that although many learners and teachers are technically competent, they lack the appropriate academic skills to harness the potential of OER. Hence it is evident that making OER available is not enough to ensure effective uptake; teachers and learners need guidance and support on how to deconstruct and redesign OER for their own context. This chapter will explore ways in which we might address this issue, drawing on current work under two initiatives, Olnet and OPAL. 

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