Open Education – The new definition of fair

“Why reinvent the wheel” when you have Open educational resources to help you and your learners?
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost. OER is a great concept with huge potential to support educational transformation. It is simply an educational resource that has a licence to share, reuse and sometimes adapt without having to ask permission from the copyright holder, You can find out more on how to do this on  creative commons.

There are already lots of free resources out there that teachers can use which will save time when designing courses, not only are they free, you can share your own and also collaborate with colleagues from all the universities in the world who are designing the same sort of courses on different open communities. For the students there are also virtual study groups where they can get support from each other on the same subjects  Open Study.
Obviously there is some trepidation from most about sharing hard work to the general public and I understand that this will take time to change in education but weren’t we the same when Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter bombarded our social lives? One of the most sharing teachers on the course KayOddone recommended this short post “Obvious to you. Amazing to others” by Derek Sivers for inspiration.

Alistair Creelman gives a lecture on Openess in education I can highly recommend it . He mentions open learning sites that you can use for OER:

and also a list of OER links – (as long as you give credits)

“What does the notion of resource-based learning mean, in essence? It means moving away from the traditional notion of the ‘talking teacher’ to communicate curriculum; a significant but varying proportion of communication between students and educators is not face to face but rather takes place through the use of different media as necessary. Importantly, the face-to-face contact that does take place typically does not involve simple transmission of knowledge from educator to student; instead it involves various forms of student support, for example, tutorials, peer group discussion, or practical work”. P11 Butcher, Neil A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)

Here is also a list of search engines to help you search open educational resources.

Self-described “edtech fangirl & startup addict” Ope Bukola created this great Sharpie animation that shows the impact OER can have in other countries.

Moocs (Massive Open Online Courses)
There has been a bit of a wave here in Sweden over the past few years where universities are in the process of producing Mooc’s, there are project plans in place but there hasn’t been much time for communicating the benefits for faculty. One of the main benefits that I learned from ONL was by watching a video here by Lund university Marita Ljungkvist (project manager/educational researcher for Moocs at Lund) who explained the fundamentals of doing a Mooc but also mentioned how teachers can use different Mooc’s as course material in classes and can be really helpful when designing a flipped classroom.
She explained an example from a course where the teacher had the students take the Mooc first then they did individual and group work in the classroom, the average grade for this course before the flip was 65% when blended the result was 95%. The results are phenomenal, there are thousands of online courses that can be used for regular courses, all you have to do is ask their permission to reuse and they are normally quite happy to share.
In relation to the pedagogy of MOOCs, Glance, Forsey and Riley give an excellent table that explains some of their key benefits.

characterisitcs of Moocs pedagogical benefits

So on a final note after this learning curve which reached new heights, blended and flexible learning has taken on a new dimension.


7 thoughts on “Open Education – The new definition of fair

  1. I really liked your post! Losts of good material and nice to see the post that Kay suggested – sharing is fun. 🙂 I agree with you that we will get used to OER, probably quite quickly once we start using them. It is like with social medias, at first they seemed strange and redundant but once you start using them the way you want to then they make sense and become an important part of your career and personal life. The thing is to discuss OER:s and potential challenges with them as a way to develop a new paradigm for learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What are the challenges with OER for academic institutions, Maddy and Charlotta? Is it just an attitude question amongst academics that is hard to change, or other things as well? I have been wondering a bit about how to know the level of quality when everythin goes open. E.g. when I was studying, I often read articles from “trusted” journals, and I could feel quite confident that they had been “checked”. If everything is open, how can you check? (Might be a very basic question:) Do you have any good answers to this?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi thank you for your feedback Malin. I guess the answer to your question is that if you want to use an open resource in your classroom as long as you know it comes from a “trusted” source which I believe these links provide as I trust Alistair Creelman then it is ok to use them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • But don’t you think the same thing will happen as with Wikipedia? When articles are Open Access more critiques will read and comment. But there are areas where legal issues might be a problem and especially if you have to share your data digitally it can be an obstacle for some researchers. There are definately questions that need to be answered but I think we can answer them in an open dialogue. 🙂


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