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OER for Science
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25 February 2013
Our converge on this (yes, I am doing this out of sequence!) raised an important issue for me - again. This has also led to a slow dawning realisation.
In truth teaching practitioners have probably been practising the priciple of open resources in an informal paper-based way since teaching began. Sharing of resources is not as odd for practitioners as it is for researchers for several good reasons (the primary one being that competition and the need to publish original or novel materials is not part of the teaching role so we don't have a need to protect our work). However that wasn't the aspect that I was still left with when our very useful chat was finished. My difficulty is that when you are preparing a single learning session (tutorial or dayschool) rather than an entire course, finding open resources that do the job you need often takes longer than creating them and sometimes you don't find appropriate material at all. A 'grab what you can and adapt the lesson accordingly' approach undoes all the careful consideration that has gone into the early design stages, disregards the personas lovingly identified and may slide a little off the learning arc defined. Teaching across several faculties, I need great certainty about the quality and aptness of resources and that I will find them quickly when I sit down to design a session. In the days when the world turned more slowly, we would collect and hoard good resources as we came across them, gifted by colleagues, and re-use for years. With the need now to maintain a more current and cutting-edge collection, how do you sift through in the three hours you have to design a session? [Yes, I am now having fun with the SCORE site, will work on refining a list of good sources for the future from what is discovered here]
So it was good to spot the example of systems arising to deal with this reality:
Quicker than a google and then checking through, wider reach than going to a few known sites, this is a starting point for future curating approaches. Not really aimed at the level I teach, but a good sign of things to come.
Then it struck me - this is the point that is being shared with us this week, why this is 'Week 6 - Curate', not 'Week 6 - Find OER'. (I think a D'oh would be appropriate here...). We curate to make a current shareable hoard of resources, not to strut our current reading list and finds. Who'd a thought it?
PS this does not directly contribute to my original design, but throwing it down to get into the habit of doing this in the open...