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I believe it is best to start with a definition of Open educational resources Open educational resources ( or OER) are educational materials (usually in digital form) that are shared freely and openly for anyone to use and under some type of license to re-purpose/ improve and redistributeThe term OER was coined at a UNESCO forum in 2002. Other terms often used include open content, open educational content, open courseware, and open teaching.
Political/Social – students began organizing in 2003
Why? Because of the cost associated with textbooks – costs on top of tuition.
In fact, prices for books are rising at double the rate of inflation!
Students felt they had no say in the matter.The professor dictated the choice of text.The publisher dictated the costs and format.
The government got involved and passed legislation this year, requiring price disclosure lasw.
The change in philosophy is a huge influence:The Open Source Software movement had led the way in showcasing the value of collaboration, openness and the power in an ‘architecture of participation’ (O’Reilly 2003) It implies a free market of ideas, in which anyone can put forward a proposed solution to a problem; have it adopted, if at all, by acclamation and the organic spread of its usefulness. OS software offers important lessons to the OER movement. It shows that anyone can contribute to a particular project and do so constructively, however small the contribution may be. (Guedon, 2009) Some software projects will fail, but a failed project is never wasted because the result remains accessible and can be reused freely by another project. OER is based on the philosophical view of ‘knowledge as a collective social product which should become social property ‘(Prasad & Ambedkar cited in Downes 2007:1)
The Open Yale project above now includes 25 courses from a broad range of introductory subjects.This of course does NOT mean that you can get a qualification from Yale by viewing their OER– these are merely the teaching resources, not the complete educational experience + qualification that Yale offers.However, some of the sites offer instructors at other institutions to use them to teach classes for credit on their own campuses!
Across the globe a distance university, the Open University in the UK took a similar view and started making many of their courses available free of charge. What makes this so remarkable is that the business of the OU is in their materials. Moreover, they took a further step and actively encouraged independent learners from all over the world to edit the materials in the LabSpace and collaborate with others in publishing new versions of the learning materials to share with the world.
Now, in order to find the growing number of OER more easily a number of OER specific search sites have emerged including the OER Commons which aggregates course material from all of the institutions. This allows you to search across subjects and media types to find the best or most suitable material Sometimes, an instructor can use a course from another institution at his or her own school.OER commons also makes it easy to compare and combine resources from leading institutions
We also see specialized search engines emerging which showcase certain types of content. Academic Earth aggregates academic videos from various institutions around the globe and allows viewers to pick their favourite lectures and speakers.
Professors and instructors also organized.
And created this “Open Textbook” pledge.
Now there are over 2500 Signers
All these issues are concerns. It can’t be just another bandwagon to jump on.But again, the momentum is increasing.I don’t know where OER or Open Textbooks are going, but I’m fairly certain that they *AREN’T* going away.There is an explosion happening. You have the opportunity to get involved early. To start discovering, researching and possibly planning for a future that may be inevitable.
Traditional publishers, if they are paying attention and remain flexible, stand to gain.And, new publishers have emerged (we will see in a minute) whose foundations are built on open models.
Western gave a workshop at their “Future of Text” conference last Spring that presented the research of the Kindle Project, conducted on the campuses of Reed and University of Washington.
So, how is this “revolution” going to come about? Where are all these new textbooks going to come from?Part of the Social/Political forces involve legislation and funding from grants.
Some authors are launching on their own.
Where will the textbooks come from?
Washington SBCTC received funding from the Gates Foundation to develop OER for an Open Course Library. The first grants were announced in the spring for a select group of high-enrollment classes.
The previous slide was an example of what will become a repository for our system.
David Lippman, Instructor at Pierce Community College in Washington State, has his own website for his Math 107 text, Math in Society.
David’s book on the searchable MERLOT website.
David’s page on LuLu for printing a bound copy of his book.