A European Commission call for Visionary Papers on the future of “Open Education” and the use of OER
The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) --part of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission- in a study for Directorate General Education and Culture -- is now calling upon experts and practitioners to come up with visionary papers and imaginative scenarios on how Open Education in 2030 in Europe might look with a major focus on Open Educational Resources and Practices.
Open Educational Resources (OER) and Practices (OEP) have recently become hot topics, not only for educational researchers, but also for policy makers in Europe and abroad. There is a general agreement that openness has the potential to widen access to education and to improve, amongst others, cost-efficiency and quality of teaching and learning. In its recent Communication on Rethinking Education, the European Commission announced a new initiative on "Opening-up Education" to be launched mid-2013.
To this end, the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)--part of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission- in a study for Directorate General Education and Culture--is now calling upon experts and practitioners to come up with visionary papers and imaginative scenarios on how Open Education in 2030 in Europe might look with a major focus on Open Educational Resources and Practices, in each of the following education sectors:
This publication, available for free through the Commonwealth of Learning, helps frame the potential of Open Educational Resources (OER) in the context of current challenges during a time of economic austerity. The authors evaluate the economics of OER, and argue for greater reliance on resource-based learning as a way to provide wider access to quality education.
The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement was initially made possible largely through funding from donors. As time wears on, the sustainability of OER has been called into question, an issue that this essay, by Neil Butcher and Sarah Hoosen, addresses. Is there a business case to be made for OER? Can investment in OER be profitable? The authors examine a variety of settings, and compare different types of investment in education (i.e. textbooks) to conclude that resource-based learning can cut costs and expand equal access to high quality education.
The Community Café: creating and sharing open educational resources with community-based language teachers
This article was originally published by Kate Borthwick and Alison Dickens on the online Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, volume 9, issue 1.
The Community Café: creating and sharing open educational resources with community-based language teachers ran from 2010 – 2011 and was a collaboration between Southampton City Council and two universities in the UK. The project’s aim was to create, publish online and share a collection of open access digital resources for community-based language teachers in the Southampton area.
The project addressed a particular problem: the scarcity of up-to-date, online resources for community languages. These languages are often learnt in informal situations, and teachers are often reliant on creating their own materials but have limited access to training. Engaging with open practice offers this group the potential benefits of improving their access to resources, enhancing digital literacy and practice, and gaining insights into alternative pedagogical approaches through using existing online repositories.
Open Educational Resources: An Asian Perspective collects ten representative country reports and case studies on OER in Asia. Countries included are: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Despite the fact that higher education in Asia has expanded massively during the past two decades, Asian countries are still facing two important challenges that threaten to hinder this progress.
On one hand, equal access to education, and on the other hand, ensuring high standards of quality remain even as resources spread far and wide.
Digital resources could be a way of palliating potential problems stemming from these challenges. Open Educational Resources (OER) can only serve as a tool in reaching education goals if they are free of licensing hindrances, and through greater understanding of OER, skills to employ them effectively, and policies that undergird their establishment in Asian higher education.
The book features a mix of quantitative studies with qualitative analyses from 25 different authors, which represent a diversity and richness of contexts and approaches that make this publication an important advocacy tool for promoting the use of OER.
This article was originally published by Ulrich Tiedau on the Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, volumen 9, issue 1.
This article investigates how Open Educational Resources (OER) and Practices (OEP) can support a ‘strategically important and vulnerable subject’ (SIVS) in the UK, in this case a less-widely taught modern foreign language, namely Dutch Studies. It details the experiences of VirtualDutch, an inter-institutional subject community involving all four Dutch departments or sections of Schools of Modern Languages in the UK, that aims to create and share Open Educational Resources and to develop and engage in web-supported forms of inter-institutional collaboration in teaching and learning. After an overview of the VirtualDutch experiences, in particular those in the pilot project in phase 1 of the Joint Information System Committee’s Open Educational Resources Programme (2009/10), the importance of forming communities of both practice and learning around OER for language teaching is highlighted, something particularly, but not exclusively, relevant for less-widely taught subjects like Dutch.
Performing Languages: an example of integrating open practices in staff development for language teachers
This article was originally published on the Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, volume 9, issue 1.
In 2009 the Department of Languages at The Open University, UK, developed LORO (http://loro.open.ac.uk), a repository of Open Educational Resources for language teaching and learning aimed at language teaching professionals. Initially populated with over 300 hours of teaching resources for French, Spanish, German, Italian, Welsh, Chinese and English for Academic Purposes, LORO’s initial function was to provide an efficient and open way of accessing and sharing resources. Additionally, the integration of LORO into language teachers’ workflows is part of the department’s strategy for teachers’ professional development and a key enabler for increased transparency, collaboration, skills development, and pedagogical reflection and discussion, leading ultimately to the enhancement of the quality of teaching and learning.
The OERTEST Project: Creating Political Conditions for Effective Exchange of OER in Higher Education
This article was originally published by Luca Ferrari and Ivan Traina on the Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, volume 9, issue 1.
This paper refers to the OERTest project and Open Educational Resources (OER) as support education materials that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone. In this paper we will try to answer the following question: how can the political conditions be created to foster an effective exchange of OERs between Higher Education institutions? The article presents several policy recommendations (intended as lessons learnt from the project) to ensure an effective recognition and exchange of OER between Higher Education Institutions.