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ALTC 2010: Open Educational Resources (OERs) in HE – trends and scenarios

Li Yuan, Sheila MacNeill, David Kernohan, Heather Price

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The Cloudworks Team
31 August 2010

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This workshop will draw on the concept ‘content as infrastructure’, exploring how the rapid development of the Open Educational Resources movement globally can be used as a strategic approach to stimulate innovation in higher education. A HEFCE sponsored JISC/HEA Pilot Programme on Open Educational Recourses was launched in the UK in 2009 (and a second phase of UKOER programme is being planned) which is intended to build a professionally organised open resources infrastructure to support innovation in higher education.

However, it is unlikely that educational content freely available on its own will make significant impacts without changing the traditional structure of HE and the practice in institutions. In this workshop, we will use a scenario-based approach to look at issues in a holistic way, considering how the full potential of OERs could become realised.

Four scenarios have been structured and will be explored at the workshop:

  • Scenario 1 (the status quo model in which OERs reach the mainstream; high quality teaching and learning resources are available free of charge, however, the focus is on content rather than changing the process and practice of teaching and learning in institutions).
  • Scenario 2: (the add-on ‘credits’ model in which institutions are encouraged to explore new ways of assessment and accreditation so that self-learners can gain a university degree through use of OERs).
  • Scenario 3: (the emerging partnership model in which institutions share teaching and learning resources and costs, nationally and internationally, through developing cooperative university partnerships).
  • Scenario 4: (the radical change model in which a global university appears to serve the different needs of the learners through open access to course materials, learner support and assessment).

A brief description for each scenario will be presented. Participants will be invited to work in groups to discuss drivers, possibilities, barriers and conditions for enhancing or realising these scenarios, then meet together to identify which scenario is the most desirable and which the most probable. We hope this workshop will provide opportunities for the OER community to share ideas on future trends and uncertainties surrounding OERs and suggest actions to bring innovations in future higher education.

Sheila MacNeill
13:43 on 3 September 2010

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