Driving Awareness, Adoptions, and Affordability
Gráinne Conole opens with Fostering social inclusion through open educational resources (OER), which introduces the topics and each of the included articles in the journal.
Next, Andy Lane contributes A review of the role of national policy and institutional mission i.... A mouthful, to be sure, but the questions asked are relevant: "Why should higher education institutions (HEIs) worry about increasing the number or widening the type of people participating in the HE system? And what role might open educational resources (OER) play in supporting this?"
Samuel Nikoi & Alejandro Armellini's The OER mix in higher education: purpose, process, product, and policy presents findings on the perceived value of open educational resources (OER) in higher education and their potential for widening learners’ access to higher education. They define an "OER mix" which consists of "purpose, process, product, and policy" as a model that provides a simple, structured, and achievable means for all key stakeholders to capitalize on the benefits of OER.
Julie Willems & Carina Bossu present Equity considerations for open educational resources in the glocali.... "Glocalization" relates to the interplay between local–regional–global interactions. This article examines OER through the lens of equity and access and highlights some key areas warranting consideration in the use, development, repurpose, and dissemination of OER. These areas relate to the diversity of the student body in the era of glocalization of education; the language of instruction; the contextualization; localization; technological accessibility; and access in regional and remote regions around the globe.
Thomas Richter & Maggie McPherson contribute Open educational resources: education for the world? This article provides 6 recommendations on the design of e-learning resources to support re-use and adaptation of OERs: 1. providing printable versions; 2. short abstracts; 3. changeable formats for picture-text combinations; 4. re-publishing options for OER repositories; 5. inclusion of purpose in OER abstracts; 6. links to context descriptions.
Eileen Scanlon's Open educational resources in support of science learning: tools fo... focuses on the potential of free tools, particularly inquiry tools, for influencing participation in twenty-first-century learning in science.
Christine Hockings, Paul Brett & Mat Terentjevs add Making a difference—inclusive learning and teaching in higher educa.... This article outlines how the "Learning to Teach Inclusively" open educational resource (OER) is facilitating understanding of the concepts and principles underpinning inclusive professional values.
A final section on "Reflection" gives thoughtful consideration to issues we all face in development, deployment, and adoption of OERs.
Terry Harding gives an Australian perspective in Non-government distance education funding: the need for equity in A....
Liam Phelan's Politics, practices, and possibilities of open educational resources reflects on the politics, practices and possibilities of the open educational resources, particularly the role of teaching in learning, the potential for a shift in societal conceptualizations of learners from didactic to autodidactic beings, and what roles teachers may play in a potentially radical broadening of access to postsecondary education.
Don Olcott Jr. closes the issue with OER perspectives: emerging issues for universities. This is a well-written assessment of the advantages and limitations of OER. He argues that the blending of open OER with institutional management structures is an unresolved issue (so true!). He also sees problems with defining formal vs. non-formal uses of OER: "Formal OER, in a pragmatic sense for higher education, may remain “optional—not required” unless we can offer the student some formal recognition (credit) for formal and informal OER use. Conversely, the versatility and diversity of OER often don’t lend themselves to the composite content packages we associate with university academic credit, nor should they." He also laments the lack of sustainable business models for OER, and laments the lack of awareness and use of OER in higher education, despite its growth and strong advocacy. "Most of our global colleagues are not waiting in anticipation for the next best OER to enter cyberspace." VERY good read!