Some Thoughts about OER Research

Iterating Toward Openness

Student: I’ll study whether students learn better with OER than with traditional course materials! And if you’re thinking, “just increasing access to course materials will make a significant difference in student learning!”, ”, see this article where researchers from OpenStax “demonstrate that even if there is a learning benefit of [increasing access to] OER, standard research methods are unlikely to detect it.”

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Introducing the CARE Framework for OER Stewardship

Doug Levin

In a post of nearly two years ago (“ OERwashing: Beyond the Elephant Test “), I argued that the OER community lacked a reliable way to assess new entrants to the OER field, especially for-profit organizations, in terms of their support for openness and OER community values. It is for that reason that I am pleased today to introduce the CARE Framework for OER Stewardship. “The Care Framework for OER Stewardship.”

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Some Thoughts on the UNESCO OER Recommendation

Iterating Toward Openness

There’s great news out of the recent UNESCO meeting in Paris, where member states unanimously adopted the draft Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER). Regardless of what other individuals, institutions, or organizations may think or say, UNESCO is the creator of the term “open educational resources” and, as its creator, UNESCO’s definition of OER is the canonical definition. This dramatically simplifies understanding what is and isn’t OER.

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Reducing Friction in OER Adoption

Iterating Toward Openness

Last week I promised I would write a few posts about reducing friction with regard to OER. In last week’s post I talked about how we’re making it ridiculously easy for students, faculty, and others to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of OER.

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When is an OER an OER?

Iterating Toward Openness

tl ;dr – If a resource is licensed in a way that grants you permission to engage in the 5R activities, and grants you those permissions for free, it’s an open educational resource (OER) – no matter where you find it or how it’s being used. For several years I have used a shorthand definition of OER as “free access plus permission to engage in the 5R activities.” Consider the following scenarios: A person downloads an OER to their laptop.

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The Fans, Fanboys, and Fanatics of OER

Doug Levin

and I am merely a fan – not a fanboy – of open educational resources (OER).** Others surely see me as some sort of OER fanatic. After all, I’ve advocated for federal support for the development, use, and adaptation of OER (see, e.g. , the May 5 Education Week story by Sean Cavanagh, “ ‘Open Educational Resources’ Promoted in U.S. So, if these are the actions of someone who is an OER fan, what stops me short of claiming fanboy status?

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6 Unbeatable Ways To Spot High Quality Open Education Resources (OER)

Wisewire

Since OER came onto the map in the early 2000s, the pool of available resources has grown into a vast ocean. These credible sites offer a wealth of vetted, high quality OER resources, categorized and sorted for easy navigation. Have more suggestions for how to identify high quality OER?

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How to find, curate, and assess OER

eSchool News

As schools and districts try to reduce textbook costs and digitize instructional resources, one of the struggles many teachers have is finding good repositories of open education resources (OER). The first step is to know how to access OER resources. Accessing OER.

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Thoughts on Continuous Improvement and OER

Iterating Toward Openness

Recently I’ve been doing both more thinking and more roll-up-your-sleeves working on continuous improvement of OER. Once we’ve identified that content, we invite faculty to Shine by contributing their expertise to the improvement of OER. Analyzing the Effectiveness of OER.

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Some Very Bad News about the UNESCO OER Recommendation

Iterating Toward Openness

I recently wrote a brief essay about the wonderful new UNESCO OER Recommendation. For those of you who don’t want to read the full analysis below, here’s the key takeaway: Imagine what would happen if making copies of OER was illegal. “Access” is Nowhere Near Sufficient.

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Schrodinger’s OER

Iterating Toward Openness

” Stephen’s fears of conversion are possible in part because his definition of OER begins with access: Access is most frequently left off the definition of OERs, and yet is the most important. Nothing else follows if you cannot access the resource, that is to say, obtain the resource (or a copy of the resource) for oneself. Fundamental to a resource being open, in my mind, is the ability of anyone to access it.

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Exploring the Nexus of OER and Educational Technology

Doug Levin

While increased access to the internet and computing devices has been instrumental to the growth and institutionalization of the global movement toward open educational resources (OER), technology choices (often made by educational institutions – and their vendors – on behalf of students) can serve to amplify and/or mute key features of openness. Blog OER infrastructure The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

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Questioning the OER Orthodoxy: Is the Commons the Right Metaphor for our Work with OER?

Iterating Toward Openness

At OpenEd18 I gave a presentation titled “Questioning the OER Orthodoxy: Is the Commons the Right Metaphor for our Work?” After this brief discussion, I asked “what if the commons is the wrong metaphor for our work with OER?” Primary among the reasons we might ask the question is this – much of what is central to the idea of a commons is exactly the opposite in the context OER. OER cannot be overused or overconsumed.

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Does OER Actually Improve Learning?

Edsurge

Regardless of where you stand on the debate over open educational resources, you’re probably wondering: Does OER actually improve learning outcomes? At least, that was one of the main takeaways from a short session led by Phillip Grimaldi, director of research at OpenStax, a nonprofit OER initiative out of Rice University. The so-called access hypothesis goes that students who have access to the textbook learn better than students who don’t.

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5 ways to get started with OER

eSchool News

The commitment, in a nutshell, is to replace at least one textbook with open educational resources (OER) within one year, share in a community of practice with other school districts, and share the resources created with a Creative Commons license. The work begins with implementation and how schools plan to strategically scale OER. Featured on eSchool News OERIt has been almost three years since the launch of the United States Department of Education’s #GoOpen movement.

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Actually, the UNESCO Recommendation Makes Most OER Impossible

Iterating Toward Openness

In this first bite-sized installment I’m going to address the major flaw in the OER definition provided as part of the recent UNESCO OER Recommendation. tl;dr – The UNESCO definition of OER requires something impossible – a copyright license that grants permission to engage in an activity that isn’t regulated by copyright law. No-cost access. “Access” is not an activity that is regulated by copyright.

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Of Sunlight, OER, and Lumen

Iterating Toward Openness

Because I can’t stop thinking about open, I’ve been pondering the relationship between solar power and OER. ”, “How can you sell OER if they’re free?”, ”, and “If OER are free, why would anyone pay you?” OER are a lot like sunlight. Are you trying to replace commercial materials with OER across an entire degree program or in just a single course? Which OER should you use, and where do you find them?

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OER: Some Questions and Answers

Iterating Toward Openness

Earlier this week I read an op-ed – sponsored by Pearson – titled “If OER is the answer, what is the question?” OER often shine in their variety and ability to deepen resources for niche topics. While it’s possible to build a complete course from OER, the finished product often lacks the scaffolding found in courseware authored by single author/editorial/product teams. What does the Drake Equation have to do with OER production and enhancement?

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OER, Capability, and Opportunity

Iterating Toward Openness

The shared core of the work we do in open education is increasing access to educational opportunity – with the long-term goal of making access to that opportunity truly universal – by licensing educational resources in ways that make them free and 5R-able. That is, by creating, sharing, and improving OER. Providing people with access to opportunity does not magically make them capable of taking advantage of that opportunity.

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Why We Should Expand Our OER Advocacy to Commercial Publishers

Iterating Toward Openness

There would be huge benefits to the OER ecosystem if we made similar arguments with commercial publishers, helping them understand why switching to an OER model would be good for their business. Why Commercial Publishers Should Switch to an OER Model. And a switch to OER would help publishers solve both of them. The harsh business reality for publishers is that they are competing in a world increasingly filled with OER. A switch to OER makes that happen.

Reducing Friction and Expanding Participation in the Continuous Improvement of OER

Iterating Toward Openness

I’m going to write a post or three about some of the friction that exists around using OER. I’ve been writing about continuous improvement in the context of OER for a few years now. A Framework for the Continuous Improvement of OER.

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3 challenges to OER implementation

eSchool News

Open educational resources (OER) have made their presence known in education, with teachers and administrators voicing their excitement over free resources that are easily shared and adapted. While the move toward open resources is encouraging, many districts are left wondering how they can ensure quality, ease of access, and proper implementation for their educators. Next page: Three challenges to OER use.

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Self as OER

ProfHacker

…the true benefit of the academy is the interaction, the access to the debate, to the negotiation of knowledge — not to the stale cataloging of content. When we look at common definitions of Open Educational Resources or OERs (e.g., But what if we adopt a different perspective, a broader understanding of OERs, which includes the processes and products of open scholarship as valuable, and viable, resources too?

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Nationwide OER Degree Program Launches Today

Iterating Toward Openness

In case you didn’t see it elsewhere, I’m republishing the press release from Achieving the Dream about the incredibly exciting OER Degrees work that launched today. OER Degree Initiative will accelerate use of openly licensed learning materials in higher education and cut costs to students while improving degree and certificate completion. The effort is intended to spark more rapid adoption of OER within higher education, beginning with community colleges.

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Oasis: An integrated worldwide search for OER

NeverEndingSearch

The goal of the Openly Available Sources Integrated Search is to facilitate the discovery of OER. Open Access Books. Meet OASIS.

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Of OER and Platforms: Five Years Later

Iterating Toward Openness

Five years ago, in an essay called 2017: RIP OER? , I pondered whether this year would be the end of OER. To the best of my knowledge there is no one really working on next gen OEROER that are interactive, simulative, really rich with multimedia AND combined with OAR [open assessment resources] that drive diagnosis, remediation, and adaptation. There’s certainly no one funding next gen OER. Much has been written about 2012 being “the year of OER.”

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Pearson, Efficacy, Credibility, and OER

Iterating Toward Openness

And they need to purchase the open access option for these articles so we can all read them.) I believe we’re seeing this same effect across OER adoptions, and have labeled it the Remix Hypothesis. The availability of these data enable truly objective, head-to-head comparisons of OER and commercial products, and set the stage for conversations about students’ academic return on investment in course materials. That’s a fight I know OER can win.

Teachers gain access to OER math curriculum

eSchool News

EdCaliber and Mathematics Vision Project integrate OER math curriculum and support materials into Lessoneer teacher empowerment platform. Starting today, Lessoneer provides anytime anywhere access to the MVP curriculum and all of the support materials teachers need on a daily basis, eliminating the need for expensive printing.

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Football, Commons, and the Long-term Sustainability of OER

Iterating Toward Openness

We have a similar problem in the open educational resources (OER) space. Many people are in the habit of referring to OER as a commons. However, beyond some superficial similarities (groups of people trying to sustain access to usable resources), the worlds of OER and the commons traditional studied by economists are completely different games. OER are not like the shared resources at the center of traditional commons. However, OER are not CPRs.

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Some Lessons Learned Supporting OER Adoption

Iterating Toward Openness

The tl;dr: Supporting effective OER adoption at scale has its problems. Upon reflection several years ago, I came to see that despite all my efforts I was making the classic Field of Dreams mistake (“if we build it, they will come”) by assuming that “if OER exist in a faculty’s discipline and research shows them to be effective in supporting learning, faculty will adopt.” OER are freely available and come with 5R permissions.

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Can OER improve learning outcomes?

IT Bill

The June issue of the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) is dedicated to Open Educational Resources (OER). Several of the studies focus specifically on OER and student learning outcomes. For the semester using OER, Chiorescu estimates students collectively saved over $13,500 – spending approximately 75% less than students using the commercial text and software. Available at: < [link] > Date accessed: 26 Jun.

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On the Relationship Between OER Adoption Initiatives and Libraries

Iterating Toward Openness

And as the copyright holders we are free to openly license our explanations, thereby creating OER alternatives to the All Rights Reserved explanations published and controlled by commercial publishers. And no matter how much we want to save students money and increase pedagogical flexibility by using OER, it simply isn’t possible for you or I to create an openly licensed equivalent of Catcher in the Rye. Why Use OER at All – Why Not Just Use Library Resources?

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OER is Growing at Religious Colleges, But Raises Unique Challenges

Edsurge

Communications librarian Kristen Hoffman oversees much of the OER work at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian university in Washington. She and her colleague John Robertson, a digital education librarian, sought advice on how faculty at a religious college could add religious components to an existing OER textbook and then share that back with the OER community, without having it perceived as ulteriorly motivated.

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From One to Many: OER-based Degree Programs

Iterating Toward Openness

Several years ago I was speaking about OER at a conference in Virginia. There was a great feeling in the room, and though I hadn’t planned to speak about the topic, I felt prompted to end my remarks by stating that enough OER now existed that an entire degree program could be run on OER. A fully OER-based pathway through two degrees at Northern Virginia Community College soon followed.

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OER Had Its Breakthrough in 2017. Next Year, It Will Become an Essential Teaching Tool

Edsurge

Open educational resources (OER) have long been touted as “the next big thing” in higher education, but the drawn-out hype has led many educators and administrators to wonder if it would ever live up to its expectations. Those days are over: 2017 was OER’s breakthrough year. To bring OER to more students and instructors, whole institutions needed to jump on board and plan for the widespread implementation. OER needs bells and whistles.

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