Benefits and evidence

At the OER programme meeting the 2nd session was a ‘World Café activity’ in which there were 5 areas of discussion, and participants circulated. A few ideas which stood out:

1) Benefits and evidence of OER use and re-use

– Benefits include multi-use, richness, reach etc

– It’s easy to get download data but what does that tell us?

– There might be a dichotomy between encouraging open practice, and trying to record and formalize the collection of data on use

2) OERs across sectors

– HE is generally perceived as an authority stamp

– Sectors have v different business models eg in FE local competition is critical; in cultural heritage OERs can be perceived as a threat – as content can be commercialized

– When OERs are used as promotion – snippets to draw people in, there can be a tension as an institution seeks to ‘control’ OERs.

3) Institutional support practices

– Reward and recognition is critical to further development

– OERs not viewed as business as usual

– Institutional policies can be a barrier as developments become too formalized – and can have negative influence on sharing and networks

4) Benefits and business models

– It is possible to open up degrees eg level 1

– pay for the exam only; level 2

– pay for the course content; level 3 – pay for tuition and support – Social benefit? Life-long learning

5) Features of OERs

– Creators need to consider multiple formats etc; to make re-use as easy as possible 1-click access

– Creators need to consider discoverability, metadata levels etc

– users don’t care how they find it

Overall I felt we didn’t get much chance to find out what the other projects had done (apart from what could be gleaned from informal conversations), so I’ve begun to look through the websites of the projects – lists at to draw up a table of interested projects with possible OERs for re-use / further investigation. It will be quite subjective, but I will add it to the web-site when finished, and welcome your thoughts on OER projects that particularly stand-out.


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One Response to Benefits and evidence

  1. Lou McGill says:

    Hi there

    nice post – useful for our synthesis work. Just thought it may be useful to see this table that I’m working on now – attempting to map pilot phase and phase 2 projects by subject discipline – so attampte to show which sublejects oers have been released in. There is a category for generic skills under which I include information literacy.

    Feedback welcomed as this is in progress at the moment. Let me know if it is useful.

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