The Story of Open EducationResources (OERs)Jessie Chuangwww.classroom-aid.comLicense : CC BY-SAGraphic credit : Barbara Dieu
DefinitionsOpen Educational Resources (OER) : any educationalresources (including curriculum maps, course materials,textbooks, videos, applications, podcasts, and any othermaterials for use in teaching and learning) that are openlyavailable for use by educators and students, without anaccompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees.Open learning /Open education : Open learning is anapproach to education that seeks to remove allunnecessary barriers to learning, while aiming to providestudents with a reasonable chance of success. Althoughuse of OER can support open learning, the two are not thesame. Facilitating ‘open education’ or ‘open learning’ needsa bigger scope and effort on our society and educationsystem.
DefinitionsOpen CourseWare (OCW) : a free and open digitalpublication of educational materials.These materials areorganized as courses, and often include course planningmaterials and evaluation tools as well as thematic content.OCW is a subset of OER.Open access publishing : typically referring to researchpublications released under an open licence. FromWikipedia, open access usually refers to:• access to material (mainly scholarly publications) via theInternet, the material is free for all to read, and to use;• open access journal, journals that give open access to allor a sizable part of their articles.
Learning ObjectIn 1994 Wayne Hodgins coined the term “learning object”- One role of learning objects in the history of OER is itspopularization of the idea that digital materials can bedesigned and produced in such a manner as to be reusedeasily in a variety of pedagogical situations.The learning object movement spawned several standardsefforts aimed at detailing metadata, content exchange, andother standards necessary for users to find and reusedigital educational content (ARIADNE, IMS, IEEE LTSC /LOM, SCORM, &c.). -- from David Wiley
Open Content (David Wiley)In 1998 David Wiley coined the term “open content” - theprinciples of the open source / free software movementscan be applied to content, and the creation of the firstwidely adopted open license for content (the OpenPublication License).With the expansion of the Internet and World Wide Web(WWW), the open content concept enabled community-driven improvement of open source software code tobe applied to educational content.
Creative CommonsIn 2001 Larry Lessig and others founded the CreativeCommons and released a flexible set of licenses that wereboth a vast improvement on the Open Publication License’sconfusing license structure and significantly stronger legaldocuments.Creative Commons is clear in credibility and much easierto use. Now Creative Commons has affiliate teams in 72nations.
William and Flora HewlettFoundationThe William and Flora Hewlett Foundation are commonlyrecognized as the original ‘champion’ of the ‘OERmovement’, back in 2002, they began to support MITOpenCourseWare initiative, Carnegie Mellon University’sOpen Learning Initiative, African Virtual University, CreativeCommons and more. To date (oct. 2010), its EducationProgram has invested more than $110 million in OER,which itself has blossomed into a worldwide movement.
UNESCO ForumIn 2002 UNESCO held a Forum comprised of some of themany people who “wish[ed] to develop together a universaleducational resource available for the whole of humanity.”The term “open educational resource” was defined:Open Educational Resources are defined as “technology-enabled, open provision of educational resources forconsultation, use and adaptation by a community of usersfor non-commercial purposes.”OERs include learning objects such as lecture material,references and readings, simulations, experiments anddemonstrations, as well as syllabi, curricula and teachersguides.
MIT OpenCourseWareIn 2001 MIT announced its OpenCourseWare initiative topublish nearly every university course for free public accessfor noncommercial use. Lending the MIT brand to themovement, its commitment played a key role in OER history.
Connexions Project, Rice Univ.Connexions is an environment for collaborativelydeveloping, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarlycontent on the Web. Its Content Commons now containseducational materials for a wide audience, from children tocollegestudents to professionals, organized in small modulesacross growing topic areas that are easily connected tolarger courses.Connexions feels more like an ecosystem than a librarywith rich cross links that can compose new learning objectsfrom old ones. It is thus a start toward an infrastructurethat enables one to remix and compose new objectsfrom old ones. It has been especially effective in exploringmodularity and granularity.
eduCommons, Utah State Univ.USU has developed eduCommons, it is a contentmanagement system designed specifically to supportOpenCourseWare projects with workflow that guides usersin publishing materials in an openly accessible format. Thisincludes uploading materials into a repository, dealing withcopyright, re-assembling materials into courses, providingquality assurance, and publishing materials.
The movement grewDistance education, emerging technologies, virtualuniversities, online education are all contributing factors inthe development of the OER movement (D’Antoni, 2009).Scholars at more than 250 colleges and universities, amajority of them outside the United States, have joinedforces or participated in the OER movement in somemanner. In most cases, though, their participation hasoccurred primarily from the bottom up.At the same time, hundreds, perhaps thousands ofprofessors, instructors and teachers have already beenindividually investing in the goal of greater access byrapidly integrating OER into their pedagogy.
Web 2.0 TechnologyWeb 2.0 technologies have significantly enhanced OERprogress. Dohn (2009) summarizes how :● “collaboration and/or distributed authorship;● Active, open-access, “bottom-up” participation andinteractive multi-way communication;● Continuous production, reproduction, and transformationof material in use and reuse across contexts;● Openness of content, distributed ownership;● Lack of finality, “awareness-in-practice” of the “open-endedness” of the activity;● Taking place on the WWW, or to a large extent utilizingWeb mediated resources and activities”.
The U.S. 2010 National EducationalTechnology Plan :Open Educational Resources (OER) are an importantelement of an infrastructure for learning....The Department of Education has a role in stimulatingthe development and use of OER in ways that addresspressing education issues. The federal government hasproposed to invest $50 million per year for the next 10years in creating an Online Skills Lab to develop exemplarynext-generation instructional tools and resources forcommunity colleges and workforce developmentprograms...The OER movement begun in higher education shouldbe more fully adopted throughout our K-16 publiceducation system... Open textbooks could significantlyreduce the cost of education...
New federal education fund makesavailable $2 billion to create OERresources in community collegesTimothy Vollmer, January 20th, 2011The Department of Labor and the Department of Educationtoday announced a new education fund that will grant $2billion to create OER materials for career training programsin community colleges. The Trade Adjustment AssistanceCommunity College and Career Training Grant Program(TAACCCT) will invest $2 billion over the next four yearsinto grants that will “provide community colleges and othereligible institutions of higher education with funds to expandand improve their ability to deliver education and careertraining programs.” ( full program announcement (PDF) )
Utah Moves to Open Textbooks(Jan.25, 2012 News release from Utah State Office of Education)The Utah State of Office of Education (USOE) todayannounced it will develop and support open textbooks inthe key curriculum areas of secondary language arts,science, and mathematics.Utah’s open textbooks are a great use of technology,” saidState Superintendent of Public Instruction Larry K.Shumway. “Texts get into classrooms quickly and can beupdated as needed rather than on a publishing schedule –something that’s particularly important in science. The opentextbook also adds to Utah’s reputation as the most cost-efficient school system in the country. This is a fantasticway to get the latest textbooks into the hands of Utah’snearly 600,000 public school students.”
California passes groundbreaking opentextbook legislationTimothy Vollmer, September 27th, 2012In California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills(SB 1052 and SB 1053) that will provide for the creation offree, openly licensed digital textbooks for the 50 mostpopular lower-division college courses offered by Californiacolleges.A crucial component of the California legislation is that thetextbooks developed will be made available under theCreative Commons Attribution license (CC BY)
British Columbia Government LendsSupport to Open TextbooksThe government of British Columbia has announced itssupport for the creation of open textbooks for the 40 mostpopular first- and second-year courses in the province’spublic post-secondary system. The texts will be availablefor free online, or at a low cost for printed versions. The firsttexts could be in use at B.C. institutions as early as 2013.BCcampus, a publicly funded collaborative informationtechnology organization serving the higher-educationsystem, will coordinate to implement the open textbookproject through an open request for proposals.
OER K-12 Bill Passes in U.S. WashingtonStateby Cable Green, March 1st, 2012HB 2337 “Regarding open educational resources in K-12education” passed the Senate (47 to 1) ...The bill directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction(OSPI) to support the 295 WA K-12 school districts inlearning about and adopting existing open educationalresources (OER) aligned with WA and common corecurricular standards.The bill also directs OSPI to “provide professionaldevelopment programs that offer support, guidance, andinstruction regarding the creation, use, and continuousimprovement of open courseware.”
Open High School of Utah -- nowMountain Heights AcademyOpen High School of Utah, a charter school that is taughtentirely online and only uses open education resources inits curriculum. So far, the pilot program has reached about6,000 students, but starting this Fall that number willexpand to as many as 75,000.In Utah, the schools are, for the most part, using opentextbooks from nonprofits like the CK12 Foundation. Otherstates have approved funding to launch their own RFPs,which technically anyone can bid on, including traditionaltextbook companies.
OER Initiatives in MaineMaine has been a leader in adopting Ed-Tech. In 2002,through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI),the state began providing laptops to all students in gr. 7-8in a 1-to-1 laptop program.... Recent years, Maine hasbeen engaged in some innovative projects around OER ….Enabling teachers to operate in a constant revision mode isa better way to structure the acquisition of teaching andlearning materials, rather than reviewing textbooks onlyonce every five or six years.Vision : There is no lecturing, and OERs integrate withclassroom instruction seamlessly. As most kids arenaturally inclined to find information online, teachers canguide students in using high quality, adaptable OER.
São Paulo Legislative Assembly PassesOER BillTimothy Vollmer, December 21st, 2012The State of São Paulo (Brazil) approved PL 989/2011,which establishes a policy whereby educational resourcesdeveloped or purchased with government funds must bemade freely available to the public under an open copyrightlicense.Congratulations to the State of São Paulo for passing thislaw. We’ve seen similar policies enacted in Poland,Canada, and the United States. PL 989/2011 will set apowerful positive precedent for other countries to follow.
Netherlands Wikiwijs programNetherlands Wikiwijs program was launched by theDutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science fiveyears ago. It’s intended to mainstream the use of openeducation resources (“OERs”) through an Internet-basedportal.The Wikiwijs program enables all teachers in theNetherlands education system (primary, secondary andhigher education) to search, find, create, develop,contribute and share all forms of learning materials.
AfricaTeacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) isan organization or universities and groups in Africaand around the world, including the Open Universityand the Commonwealth of Learning an organizationaims to encourage the development and sharing ofopen learning/distance education knowledge,resources and technologies.There are also groups in South Africa pushing forthe use of Open Textbooks in schools.
VietnamThe government of Vietnam is developing newcurriculum at 40 universities, and making use ofOER through the Vietnam Education Foundation, aprogram funded by the U.S. Government with themission of "strengthen[ing] the U.S.-Vietnambilateral relationship through educational exchangesin science and technology."
Who constitute OER stakeholders?Educators, formal and informal learners, institutions(academic and non-academic), organisations, educationalpolicy makers, funding bodies, educational repositories,governments, citizens and society within the national andinternational arena.The World Bank, the Organization for EconomicCooperation and Development(OECD), the InternationalAssociation of Nationals Academies of Science, theCommonwealth of Learning(COL), the European Union, theEuropean Organization of Open University ... aresupporters of this movement.
Now its your turn to continue the story...The new adoption of common core K-12 state standardsprovides an excellent opportunity to develop high-quality,openly licensed K-12 courseware that is aligned with thesestandards.
OER online PD course - UsingOER to create K-12 curriculum
Reference:"Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development"- David Wiley, Utah State University Center for Open andSustainable Learning"A Guide to Using Open Educational Resources (OERs) inMarketing Education: What are they? How do I developthem? And why should I bother?" University of Liverpool.http://research-archive.liv.ac.uk/Avatar Images are from animationsmade with Xtranormal