For me, the greatest promise of OER lies in its ability to give access to education in arenas where it would otherwise be unthinkable. My first ideas would be to research:
The effectiveness of OER to support or deliver learning 14-18.
- Can access to education for literate, motivated students in developing countries be extended by OERs to support learning communities.
Finding and describing (match.com for OER)
- how can OERs be described and what tools can be developed to link them to learning objectives and prior knowledge? Can routes through OERs be defined to deliver longer term objectives?
Overcoming technical barriers
- If the delivery method for most OERs is by the internet, then technical barriers will exist relating to reliability of internet connection, availability of devices, and support for sideloading approaches. Is there a need to develop OERs with a minimum specification/bandwidth? How can these be defined? How do we define an entry level device? How can these be funded?
Then more broadly:
Models for accreditation:
- how can completion of OER sourced courses be accredited? how can employers be convinced that open education can be equivalent?
- Some of OpenLearn comes from a commitment to develop OER elements alongside standard (for fee courses). Does this FairTrade model work? Should it be part of the Widening Participation agenda for HEIs in the UK?
We’ve been asked in this activity to put forward areas for research into OERs based on (shock horror) intuition & told explicitly not to undertake any research! Be interesting to see if any of these come up in the module and fellow MOOCers blogs. That’s my next place to look.
PS: Xpert Attribution used to put CC bits on the FlickR photo… open practices have to start somewhere