Activity 7: Exploring OER issues
From OER InfoKit YouTube channel
The JISC report on OER discusses several issues in OER:
- embedding sustainable practice
- funding and resourcing
- time involved in repurposing materials
- widening engagement
- licensing and locating license holders for permission
- multiple OER models
- institutional policies, practices and coherent strategies
- technical infrastructures
- staff skills, understanding and raising individuals’ digital literacies
- “quality, institutional branding and marketisation” (p9), quality and trust of the materials
- lack of awareness of OER and their benefits
But perhaps more importantly identifies that progress has been made in significant areas:
“Increased awareness, knowledge and expertise around issues to do with technical, quality, accessibility, and legal aspects have led to the development of systems, policies and procedures to support ongoing OER activities.” (Jisc, 2013, p11)
This same Unesco report also highlights the need for policies and funding to help support the establishment of OER. And here the impact map demonstrates clearly that once an OER policy is adopted then this bring financial benefits to institutions and student, particularly the open textbook movement. Where countries report that they do not have a policy, this is not necessarily the end of the story because many are in the process of creating one.
The third issue I want to address is that concerned with digital literacies, it seems from the review that although digital skills are improving amongst staff, when combined with the need for students to cooperate in the production of OER things get a little trickier. So perhaps although students are engaged with OER they are not necessarily getting the best out of them.
It seems as though sometimes we forget that in the fast paced technological era there are some things that always do take time. The impact map is a little disappointing in terms of the results that it displays, but this is due to the voluntary nature of how evidence is included but also that it depends on individuals proposing the evidence. This could certainly skew the perception of the information that it delivers. It is my experience in K12 that making a change and assessing its impact takes many years, for example, were I to propose a digital reading list to year 7’s the interesting result (their English GCSE results) would take five years to come through.