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OER as Educational Philosophy


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  • This is an ongoing debate.
  • Transcript

    • 1. OER as Educational Philosophy
      Rob Farrow18/10/11
      The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    • 2. Context
      OLnet / Evidence Hub
      The OER Turn (Thomas, 2011)
      visible and invisible use (use often not recorded/illegal… Impact)
      the importance of licensing (nb. metrics)
      the role of the university (institutional reform/publicity)
      WSIS OER Debate
    • 3. WSIS OER Debate 12th-24th October
    • 4. Educational Philosophy
      Normative theory of education
      Pedagogy, curriculum & learning theory
      Implicit/explicit metaphysical, epistemological & axiological assumptions
      Succinctly: what education should be like / how education should be persued
    • 5. Educational Philosophies
      Perrenialism (Plato, 1911)
      Behaviourism (Watson, 1913)
      Progressivism/Pragmatism (Dewey, 1916)
      Social Development Theory (Vygotsky, 1934)
      Essentialism (Bagley, 1934)
      Existentialism (Neill, 1960)
      Constructivism (Piaget, 1967)
    • 6. Educational Philosophy
      Basic normative premises about what is good or right
      Basic factual premises about humanity and the world
      From 1. & 2., recommendations about the dispositions education should foster
      Further factual premises about such things as the psychology of learning and methods of teaching
      Further conclusions about such things as methods used
      Frankena, Raybeck & Burbules (2002)
    • 7. Questions
      Does the use of OER imply a particular standpoint in educational philosophy?
      Which values are implied by the OER approach?
      What might follow from adopting a pro-OER model of education?
    • 8.
    • 9.
    • 10. 12 Key Challenges
      Who and how to create new appropriate Assessment/Evaluation models and practices for OER?
      What are the costs and benefits of using OER in teaching?
      What can be done to improve OER Sustainability?
      How can we improve the value and impact of OER Research?
      What Technologies & Infrastructure are needed/in place to help the OER movement?
      What Institutional Policies are needed/in place to promote OER?
    • 11. 12 Key Challenges
      What are the best ways to Promote and Advocate educational methods which use OERs?
      How do we create the right culture of teaching and learning to improve OER Adoption?
      What evidence is there of Use (and Re-Use) of OER?
      What are the issues surrounding Copyright and Licensing, and how can they be overcome?
      How do we ensure OER is of high Quality?
      How can we improve Access to OER?
    • 12. Advocacy Claims:
      • Unobstructed licenses expand student access to high-quality, up-to-date, engaging, and customized content more quickly, cost-effectively, and efficiently than today.
      • Unobstructed licenses unlock educational resources that are developed using taxpayer dollars so they can be shared, customized, and improved, yielding a far greater return on investment to the public.
      • Open educational resources with unobstructed licenses are the path forward to ensure every student has access to high-quality, engaging, personalized, and up-to-date content.
      • Ultimately, open educational resources with unobstructed licenses can help transform our schools by producing better equipped teachers, better prepared students, and better education outcomes
    • 13. Context: Summary
      OER movement remains fragmented and not well documented
      Lack of clear evidence about the best use of OER
      Diverse contexts of application
      Uncertainty about the future
      There is no single approach to OER, and any philosophical description needs to account for this
    • 14. OER - Definitions
      OER is a term that was first adopted at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries
    • 15. OER - Definitions
      “OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”
      (Atkins, Seely Brown & Hammond, 2007:4)
    • 16. OER - Definitions
      “Open educational resource, (n). Any artifact that is either (1) licensed under an open copyright license or (2) in the public domain.”
      (Wiley, 2011b)
      (1) locates OER within the taxonomy of ‘things-that-can-be-copyrighted’
      Ideas, concepts, methods, people, places, events can never be OER
      (2) suggests that publicity alone can be enough to make an educational resource open
    • 17. OER - Definitions
      • The (Platonic) form of an ‘ideal’ OER (Wiley):
      ACCESS: immediately and freely accessible by every person in the world
      2. LICENSING: grant the user the legal permissions necessary to engage in each and every possible usage of the resource with no restrictions whatsoever
      3. EFFICACY : effectively support the educational goals of the user
      • Access “is in the eye of the beholder”
      • 18. Efficacy depends on use
      • 19. These can nonetheless function as regulative ideals (Kant, 1929)
      • 20. Licensing remains the most tangible/least contentious form of description
    • OERs - Summary
      OER still typically defined in terms of copyright & licensing
      The convention (derived from funding bodies) is to consider resources open when produced under a creative commons license
      OERs need not be digital (though typically are)
      The ‘openness’ of OER is contextual
      But what kind of values does the movement espouse?
    • 21. Ethics/Values
      OER makes education more affordable to ‘developing’ countries (Heller et al., 2007; IJsselmuidenet al., 2009)
      OER & Human Rights/Public Health (Geith & Vignare, 2008)
      Communities of Practice: sharing resources & expertise (Lee et al., 2008)
      Continuity with academic tradition (Joyce, 2006)
    • 22. Bildung
      Roots in the Enlightenment
      More comprehensive than ‘education’
      Unifying selfhood and identity within broader society
      Less about acquiring specific skills/outcomes; more about developing a wide range of abilities
      Kritik: challenging the (political) status quo
      Markus Deimann
      (OLnet Fellow )
    • 23. OER/Bildung: Tropes
      Critical Pedagogy
    • 24. “The priority… is not to establish the case for free and open, but to find the right place for existing institutions and more importantly to help develop the right skills to help humanity progress.”
      McAndrew (2009)
    • 25. Open Educational Practices?
      “Open Educational Practices (OEP) are defined as practices which support the production, use and reuse of high quality open educational resources (OER) through institutional policies, which promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning path. OEP address the whole OER governance community: policy makers, managers and administrators of organizations, educational professionals and learners.” ICDE
      It makes little sense to talk about OER rather than (or independently of) OEP – yet that is how the debate has typically been framed
    • 26. “Open Educational Practices (OEP) are the set of activities and support around the creation, use and repurposing of Open Educational Resources. It also includes the contextual settings within which these practices occur.”
      Conole (2011)
    • 27. Institutional Implications
      The copyright status of an educational resource remains abstract… but the adoption of OEPs implies changes throughout the entire educational system
      Publishing (authorship & review)
      Curriculum Design / IP
      Opening up educational institutions and making knowledge public
      Implications for expectations made of staff
      NB. Weller (2011)
      The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    • 28. Institutional Implications
      “The philosophy of the COSL team is that all resources emitted by eduCommons should be covered by an educational” Creative Commons license...
      This philosophy suggests that two different digital course resource systems would emerge within a university: one built entirely of creative commons material, and another built within the IP environment of the institution’s digital library/repository allowing access to copyright material only to authenticated members of community.”
      (Atkins, Seely Brown & Hammond, 2007:12)
      The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    • 29. Institutional Implications
      OER University #oeru
      free learning to all students worldwide using OER learning materials
      courses and programs based solely on OER and open textbooks
      pathways to gain credible qualifications from recognised education institutions
      pathways for OER learners to earn formal academic credit
      administrative: nota formal teaching institution and does not confer degrees or qualifications
      OAR (Open Assessment Resources)
      existing assessments neither reusable, revisable, remixable, or redistributable
      Wiley estimates that 1.5 billion OARs are needed
      The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    • 30. Conclusions
      Discourse about OERs has reached a point of maturity and needs to be (at least) supplemented with explicit focus on OEPs
      Focus on OEPs weakens the link between OERs and learning objects
      OEPs are potentially much further-reaching and more radical than OERs
      While OERs themselves are not aligned with a specific educational philosophy, there are distinct values associated with the OER movement
      The Enlightenment concept of education as Bildung may help to flesh out a distinctive educational philosophy pertaining to OERs/OEPs
      The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    • 31. References
      Atkins, Daniel E., John Seely Brown & Allen L. Hammond (2007). A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities. Menlo Park, CA: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
      Bagley, William C. (1934) Education and Emergent Man: A Theory of Education With Particular Application to Public Education in the United States. New York: Nelson.
      Conole, G. (2011) Defining Open Educational Practices [online]. Available from (Accessed 17th October 2011)
      Dewey, J. (1916) Democracy and Education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: The Free Press
      Frankena, William K., Raybeck, Nathan & Burbules, Nicholas (2002). "Philosophy of Education". In Guthrie, James W. (ed). Encyclopedia of Education, 2nd edition. New York, NY: Macmilla
      Geith C. & Vignare K. (2008) Access to Education with Online Learning and Open Educational Resources: Can they Close the Gap? Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. 0212:1, 105-126
      Hansen , K. H. (2008). Rewriting Bildung for Postmodernity. Curriculum Inquiry 38.1
      eller, R., Chongsuvivatwong, V., Hailegeorgios, S., Dada, J., Torun, P., Madhok, R., Sanders, J. (2007) Capacity-building for public health. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 85 (12) (Accessed 17th October 2011)
      Hylén, J. (2006). Open educational resources: Opportunities and challenges. OECD-CERI. Available from (accessed Jan 2010)
      ICDE (undated). Definition of Open Educational Practices [online]. (Accessed 17th October 2011)
      IJsselmuiden, C., Nchinda, T., Duale, S., Tumwesigye, N., Serwadda, D. (2007) Mapping Africa's advanced public health education capacity: the AfriHealth project. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 85(12):14-922.
    • 32. References
      Joyce, A. (2006) OECD study of OER; forum report. International Institute for Educational Planning. Available from
      Lee, M., Albright, S., O’Leary, L., GeronimoTerkla, D, Wilson, N. (2008) Expanding the reach of health sciences education and empowering others: the OpenCourseWare initiative at Tufts University. Medical teacher. Vol. 30, No. 2, Pages 159-163.
      OLnet. What are the Key Challenges facing Open Education?. OLnet Evidence Hub (Accessed 17th October 2011)
      Piaget, J. (1967). Logique et Connaissance scientifique, Encyclopédie de la Pléiade.
      Plato (1911) Phaedo. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
      Kant, I. (1929) [1781] Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Norman Kemp Smith. London: Macmillan.
      Thomas, A. The OER Turn [online]. Available from (Accessed 17th October 2011)
      Watson, J. B. (1913) ‘Psychology As the Behaviorist Views It’. Psychological Review 20, 1913, 158–177. Available from
      Weller, M. (2011). The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice. Bloomsbury Academic.
      Wiley, D. (2011a) OER, Toothbrushes and Value [online]. Available from (Accessed 17th October 2011)
      Wiley, D. (2011b) On OER – Beyond Definitions [online]. Available from (Accessed 17th October 2011)
    • 33. of Educational TechnologyThe Open UniversityWalton HallMilton KeynesMK7 6AA