How to…OER

Live blog:11:25AM

New OER initiatives are popping out throughout the world. It is often the case that institutions are looking for answers on how to get started as OER providers, and how to get their staff and students involved in the process. Today I am in a meeting with some Dutch universities, which are either already offering content online or considering joining the OCW movement. The questions they ask and discuss in the meeting are, in my view, very relevant for any institution contemplating offering OER. These are:
What is the best audience for OER, learners or teachers?
What sort of support should an institution provide to its staff to design OER?
Should lecturers be involved in publishing the materials as well as developing them? Or should they only concentrate on designing, and the institution provide the infra-structure for publishing?
How to involve lecturers in designing and providing content?
What criteria to use to guarantee that the material offered is of high quality?
What do lecturers have to know before they get started?
With so much technology available, how to decide on the best media for OER provision?
OpenLearn has answers for many of these questions (perhaps all), but “does one size fit all’? By the way, this is one of the favourite questions of our new VC, Mr Martin Bean. And it is also something that OLnet is interested in finding out, evidence of best practices that can serve as a starting point for discussion around these issues. OLnet welcome ideas, experiences and stories to share with the community.

Back at OLnet after 6 months

It’s been a while since I last wrote a note in this blog. This is because I had been (and still am!) very busy making corrections in my PhD thesis. I was on a six-month leave from work to make the corrections, and should be finishing them soon. So, as from last week, I am back at OLnet (Open Learning Network) on a full-time basis. It’s exciting! The project has loads of research opportunities and offers a number of ways in which to get involved with it.

I have been working on a research project alongside some of my colleagues, Giselle Ferreira and Alexandra Okada, both of whom also work at the Open University and have some sort of research interest in OERs. We are in that phase of writing the drafts of the research project proposal; discussing ideas and building the communication infrastructure that we need to exchange our messages and our paper work. I plan to be more present here at the blog, as there’s lots to reflect upon when it comes to OER. This project that we are incubating is also filled up with interesting ideas and this blog seems to be a good place for reflection on all those things. Shall be back soon :-)