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Open Educational Resources 27 December, 2012

Dr. R. C. Sharma
Dr. R. C. Sharma

Dr. R. C. Sharma, Regional Director, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) led the Weekly Discussion via A-VIEW on 27th December 2012 with his talk on “Open Educational Resources”.

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources are course material (complete course, part of a course, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments etc.) offered freely and made open to use and adaptable for teaching, learning, development and research. These are teaching, learning or public resources which can be repurposed by others, based on the kind of licensing or authorization created by the author.

Good examples of Open Educational Resources include MIT Open Courseware, NPTEL, National Science Digital Library etc.

Benefits of OER

Open Educational Resources can serve a good alternative for colleges with financial problems. They can use content that is already available or use the content with necessary adaptations as necessary.

OER also improves access to quality resources. Access to world class content made by institutes like IITs, MIT etc. can be of great help to tutors and students. It also improves access of affordable courses and programs.

OER opens up avenues for new markets and revenue streams through assessment services.

OER and E-Learning

With the help of ICT, OER can be made available for the target audience through e-learning techniques such as mobile learning, web conferencing, social media, learning management systems and content management systems. E-Learning is a good vehicle to spread courses, course material, content modules, learning objects, collections of media and scholarly journals.

‘OER Commons’ have different kinds of course material related to several subject areas such as Arts, Business, Humanities, Mathematics and Science etc in different media formats.

Open Licenses and Challenges to OER

There are different kinds of open licenses that can be used to restrict the propagation of content by the author. Some examples are “Attribution”, “Attribution Share Alike”, “Attribution – No Derivis”, “Attribution – Non Commercial” etc. The licenses adopted by the authors decide how the content would spread.

Good resources

“Educator Handbook” is a good resource to creating OERs.

OER Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is a big network of educators and institutions where you can find a lot of good material on OERs.

Wiki Educator is a platform for the OER foundation.