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What are the main barriers to reusing/remixing OERs?

This cloud open to discussion a list of 20 barriers to Open Eduacational Resources reuse/remix.

Cloud created by:

Anna De Liddo
3 November 2009

[First published at:]

In the OLnet team we lately started a collaborative process of "reflecting" on Open Educational Resources reuse/remix challenges. In order to understand what these challenges may be we tried to answer to the following questions:

Why reusing/remixing and Open Educational Resource?

What are the barriers to reusing/remixing OERs?

Liam cloud summarized the answers that the OLnet team members proposed to the first question. In this Blog Post I just open for discussion and improvements the list of 20 barriers to OERs reuse/remix that the OLnet team identified as answer to the second question. Are this all the possible barriers? Are these the rights ones? We need help to enrich, revise, question and discuss this list with a wider group. If you have any idea, answer, or barrier to add to the list please add it in the comments, this would help enriching this collaborative reflecting exercise.

What are the barriers to reusing/remixing OERs?

1) Internationalization, OERs may be available but in a different language;

2) Cognitive overload: it is difficult to separate the 'content' from the 'context' in a OER, thus it is difficult to decontextualize an OER and re-contextualize it to a different learning context/purpose;

3) Cognitive overload: in terms of trying to illicit the implicit design of an OER and then needing to create a new design;

4) Cognitive overload due to Lack of good examples/ best practice:  "remixing" an OER is a difficult concept to grasp, especially as examples of remixing might be difficult to find or something you wouldn't tend to stumble across;

5) Digital divide: lack of access to digital network implies no access to digital resources;

6) Digital divide: lack of digital literacy;

7) Lack of teacher's preparation and training in how to reuse OERs;

8) Distance from main stream teaching and learning practices and policy;

9) Curriculum alignment: OER may not fit specific curriculum, and vice-versa curriculums may not be designed around an OER reuse/remix culture;

10) Plagiarism: to which extent reusing and remixing an OER can be perceived as a form of plagiarism?;

11) Lack of technical support for teachers; institutionalized support i.e. a dedicated educational technologist team is considered important for promoting re-use within different educational instituions/contexts (relates to digital and socio-economic divides)

12) Copyright issues and different copyright jurisdictions: this is mostly about publishing original OERs, but it also relates to the ways in which an OER is 'translated' to different contexts/locations. It also hinders what other items, media objects can be added that are more relevant to a national culture / pedagogical context;

13) Lack of confidence: many teachers/tutors feel reluctant to reuse and publish their reused materials. One possible reason for that is that they feel that they tamper with something that was designed/published for a specific purpose/context; this relate with the Conceptual overload mentioned at point 2);

14) Lack of confidence: many teachers/tutors feel reluctant to "mess up" with someone else "good" design;

15) Lack of explicit learning design supporting the representation of resources and dialogue around their use in a particular context; if context/purpose and targetted audience alongside learning outcomes are not very explicit this makes more difficult to repurpose in a different context;

16) Lack of policy embeddedness and accepted institutional practices: OER use and re-use in mainstream educational institutions needs be legitimized by accepted national policies on education;

17) Issues of quality/legitimacy: some OERs are not considered worthy of using/remixing. Some advocates insist on putting ratings / quality and context indicators. That will enable tracing of use and perhaps stimulate re-use;

18) Lack of time: too much effort to put in reusing makes easier and faster to do it yourself from scratch;

19) Lack of tools to help deconstruct and reconstruct;

20) Lack of motivation - why should I, what's in it for me?

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