Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Misconceptions and Challenges with Open Educaiton Resources

Dave Towey,
University of Nottingham
Greetings from Yogyakarta, at the IEEE TALE 2019 engineering education conference, where Dave Towey, University of Nottingham is speaking on  "OER: Six Perspectives on Global Misconceptions and Challenges". He identified the issue of costly US textbooks as one of the sources of interest, but also misunderstandings, with Open Educaiton Resources.
"Abstract—Open Educational Resources (OERs) are freely accessible materials for teaching, learning, and research that have been made available such that they can be freely used, modified, and shared. Prompted by the potential positive impact that OERs can have, a growing community of OER enthusiasts
has been advocating for their adoption in higher education, and elsewhere. The growing demand for computer science education and training (especially in areas related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data) has led to speculation as to how OERs may be best leveraged to support such teaching and learning. The recent occasion of an international OER workshop at the 2019 IEEE Conference on Computers, Software and Applications (COMPSAC) allowed for six OER enthusiasts, all with extensive OER experience, to reflect on the status of OER adoption and understanding. These reflections, addressing misconceptions and challenges, form the basis for this paper."

The six misconceptions are (this is my interpretation, not the author's words):
  1. MOOCs are open
  2. If its on the Internet, it's open
  3. If its open it's free
  4. Lazy educators use open stuff
  5. OER reduces cost
  6. OER is low quality

At question time I suggested one way to promote OER is to apply the techniques provided in the start-up entrepreneurial centers at universities. OER done as an ad-hoc cottage industry will not be able to compete with for-profit professional publishing output. So I suggest applying the entrepreneurial approach used to set up new industries. This would look at how to produce a product which appeals to educators, how to obtain funding to grown the business. This is does not necessarily require a for-profit corporation, it could be a not-for-profit organization.

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