Tuesday, February 03, 2009

OER roadmap

I've been working on a wiki based open educational resource (OER) project for a couple of years now. I work on it because I feel very well aligned with the sites main page description;
We're turning the digital divide into digital dividends using free content and open networks.
As an active contributor to this wiki I feel I have benefited greatly from contributing. As a contributor I believe I have learned more than any individual content consumers (though I have no data to back this up, its just a feeling). I have come to believe that contributing to OER is the best way to learn from OER. It is the act of finding existing OER and reusing it or building upon it. If the OER doesn't exist for your chosen topic, then you have the opportunity to learn and build a new piece of OER.

I am currently involved in more than one discussion about how to encourage people to collaborate in the creation of OER. This is an interesting subject for I believe a number of factors impact OER collaboration. These factors are;

  1. OER saturation

  2. Licensing models

  3. Platform

  4. Localization

How these factors impact the growth of OER is best described within what I see as the OER roadmap. The roadmap has four phases;

  1. Build-up - saturation of the subject areas from both an access (bandwidth, connectivity and platform) and localization (culture, language, etc.) perspective so that re-use is all that is left

  2. Reuse - deepening the accuracy and diversifying the learning approaches and through a licensing approach (CC-BY-SA) that encourages reuse

  3. Assessment - a maturing model of open access assessment (OAA1)

  4. Accreditation - a globally recognized model of open access accreditation (OAA2)

I still see OER at the very beginning of the build-up phase. And given the solitary preparation methods many teachers already use, it is still a long way off to have saturation. I do believe the day will come. The other three are currently being worked on, but are dependent upon completion of the first to become mature.