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OER: The quality vs credibility vs access vs pedagogy vs legitimacy vs money debate (Dave White)

The conversation around Open Educational Resources (OERs) , Copyright, Intellectual Property, fair use, and Creative Commons licensing is still rumbling along. The outcomes seems to be reasonably inevitable to me, with those organisations that distribute, for example music, using a system that is rooted in an now outmoded business model are looking at rather a sticky end - evolve or die as the saying goes.

A while ago Vasi Doncheva shared via Twitter (@playnice_nz) "a thought provoking post with useful links and discussion about how OERs affect pedagogy". The post, entitled Open Educational Resources and Pedagogy (by Jenny Mackness) features a summary of Dave White’s presentation, as well as a link to the audio from his session.

 

Jenny highlights the fact that:

when thinking about OERs we cannot neglect ‘contact’. It is not all about ‘content’. So how do OERs ‘drive pedagogy back into what it’s meant to be’? (quoting Dave from the presentation). For me they do this in a number of ways:
  • Now that we have more clarity around what we are allowed to do with OERs (through Creative Commons Licences), we can remix, repurpose and feed-forward OERs (to quote Stephen Downes). We can be more creative.
  • Perhaps OERs also enable us to challenge the ‘status quo’ – in the sense that ‘credible, quality’ content might no longer always be in peer reviewed journals, articles and academic sites, but might instead be on ‘John or Jane Doe’s blog’ or deep below the water line (iceberg metaphor).
  • They do tend to force more critical thinking and the framing of critically relevant questions, e.g. what is a credible, quality resource? How do we recognize it?  And this in turn raises the whole question of whether learners have the skills to navigate the web to find the quality resources.
  • And from the teacher’s perspective, as Dave pointed out, we will have to come up with assessment tasks that don’t allow the student to simply find the answer through an easy access easy to find OER. This has always been a challenge for teachers, but even more so now."

 

Would be good to hear your thoughts on the points that Dave and Jenny make.

Image: Slide 6 from Dave White’s presentation, sourced from here

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