After 3. Lou McGill (2013) notes that the definition of OEP “implies a narrow view of educational practice which centres on the production of content. A broader definition would encompass all activities that open up access to educational opportunity, in a context where freely available online content and services (whether 'open', 'educational' or not) are taken as the norm” Available from: https://oersynth.pbworks.com/w/page/52789192/OPEN-EDUCATIONAL-PRACTICE
Introduce 4. OERs can be said to a subset of the wider commitment to Open Education, a commitment articulated by the Cape Town Open Education Declaration in 2008.
Introduce 1. “Since 2002 UNESCO has been promoting the initiative for free educational resources (OER) on the Internet, which are critically important for ensuring wide access to quality higher education and life-long learning in developing countries and full participation of universities in these countries in the rapidly developing world of higher education system (Forum on Open Courseware for Developing Countries, UNESCO, Paris, 1-3 July, 2002)”.
After 1. UNESCO go on to state that since 2002: “consensus within the relevant community has been achieved on the approaches to be used in producing virtual repositories of learning materials. Dozens of large-scale repositories have been complied, updated and used” although it must be noted that repositories have met with varying degrees of acceptance, support and ultimately success or failure; as we shall see in relation to Ireland’s now defunct NDLR
After 2. “The importance of OER for the world education community has been stressed in the Communiqué of the World Conference on Higher Education: The New Dynamics of Higher Education and Research for Societal Change and Development as "ODL approaches and ICTs present opportunities to widen access to quality education, particularly when Open Educational Resources are readily shared by many countries and higher education institutions" (UNESCO, Paris, 5-8 July 2009)”.
Introduce Slide. “The 2012 World Open Educational Resources Congress was held on June 20-22, 2012 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. Organized in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Congress aimed to influence educational policies worldwide and to encourage governments to support the development and use of open educational resources.
The Congress brought together ministers of Education or Human Resource Development and senior policy makers who agreed on a 2012 Paris OER Declaration calling on governments to support the development and use of OER and setting targets for a 2015 World Conference”.
After List. There is neither the time nor space to analyse all ten elements of the declaration, however, they are important and certainly worth highlighting; setting out as they do both the aspirations and the pragmatic suggestions necessary for OER to flourish. Thus, they also provide a useful benchmark against governments and institutions can be assessed in terms of their real commitment to creating a supportive environment where OER provision can flourish.
White & Manton “distinguish between the visible reuse and production of licensed OER that bear the name of the institution, and the invisible reuse by staff and students of digital learning resources in and around the curriculum. The majority of reuse takes place in contexts that are not publicly visible. Much of that reuse is possibly illegal, but the risk is considered acceptable” (NFTL).
Of particular note and a great resource for anybody interested in the area of open resources is the National Forum’s Focused Research Project published last year which provides a highly informative [self-proclaimed limitations acknowledged] national analysis of provision and policies surrounding OER in the Irish HE sector; the findings of which provide much of the content for this section of the presentation. Whilst its focus is on the HE sector we believe that many of the issues highlighted are relevant across the education spectrum.
“A mistake was made, it was stated, foisting the learning management systems on academics. There is a need for a considered approach. The example of the NDLR was given. There was a very political agenda associated with that service at the beginning: the idea was that sharing would reduce the time that teachers spend creating these very time-consuming resources and thus result in cost savings. But, it was said, the NDLR project failed because the cultural and institutional environments were not conducive or supportive. All it would take is for the Higher Education Authority and the National Forum to create a system of recognition and build it into institutional compacts and reporting structures, etc. Ultimately, there is no quick or cheap solution. Other countries have made big investments in this area over many years” (Risquez et al. 2015 p. 97). “The point was made that towards the end of the NDLR experience there was a move away the idea of repositories because they were seen to stifle the education process. People did not care where resources were stored – it could be anywhere on the web” (p.101). “Not knowing whether there would be funding from year to year was a major issue for the NDLR. It was pointed out that proper resourcing is essential for sustainability. Lack of certainty made it impossible to take a longer term view and, it was stated, people would not get involved again if they were unable to get an undertaking of ongoing support.
Considering what has been happening in libraries – book budgets frozen, the cancelling of subscriptions for electronic journals (the ‘ultimate educational resource’) – it is difficult to see how long-term support of OER might be funded. There’s no national support for repositories in Ireland. There is no national research information system. RIAN has to be supported from the beleaguered library cell budgets and is run on a shoestring” (p. 102).
The three year JISC/HE Academy UKOER Programme investigated OER release and use in a range of educational contexts and subject disciplines. It considered technical, pedagogical, cultural, economic and legal aspects across a number of sectors, including public, private and 3rd sector organisations. “In scoping the OER Programme it became apparent that the biggest technical challenges would be in the way that content was made available on the web. Whilst it sounds obvious how an OER creator can just "put it online", there are many choices to be made if release is to contribute to a healthy ecosystem of open content” (Thomas et al. p.11).
In JISC’s guide to OER’s they argue that many of the difficulties regarding the development, use and re-use of OER’s is less to do with technological issues and more to do with issues ranging from employee workloads and recognition of work; legal and licensing implications; staff resource allocation and institutional management. The guide highlights a whole range of issues for Teachers, Management and Communities of Practice; the three issues highlighted here are intended to provide a small flavour of the various barriers and potential enablers. What these barriers do raise is fact that simply appealing to teacher’s commitment to sharing is unlikely to produce a sustainable model of OER development.
OERs - Open for Business or Closing or Down Sale?
PA PER 1: O PEN EDUCATIONAL
( O ERS) - O PEN FO R
B USINESS O R CLO SING
DOWN S A LE?
D R . T O M F A R R E L L Y & D R . E A M O N C O S T E L L O
WHAT ARE OER?T E R M S ; C O N T E X T & M O D E L S
1. Open Educational Resource (OER) “[t]he open provision of educational resources, enabled
by information and communication technologies, for consultation, use and adaptation by a
community of users for non-commercial purposes” UNESCO Forum on Open Courseware
in 2002 (UNESCO, 2002:24),
2. “A learning object is a digital resource that can be reused to mediate learning. An open
educational resource is a learning object that can be freely used, reused, adapted, and
shared” Wiley (2008:346).
3. Open Education Practice - The International Council for Open and Distance Education
defines open educational practices, quite simply, as 'practices which support the
production, use and reuse of high quality open educational resources (OER)'.
4. Cape Town Open Education Declaration: “open education movement combines the
established tradition of sharing good ideas with fellow educators and the collaborative,
interactive culture of the Internet. It is built on the belief that everyone should have the
freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without
INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT - UNESCO
1. Forum on Open Courseware for Developing
Countries (UNESCO, Paris, 1-3 July, 2002)
2. World Conference on Higher Education: The
New Dynamics of Higher Education and
Research for Societal Change and
Development (UNESCO, Paris, 5-8 July 2009):
– "ODL approaches and ICTs present opportunities
to widen access to quality education, particularly
when Open Educational Resources are readily
shared by many countries and higher education
INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT – UNESCO II
• World Open Educational Resources Congress (UNESCO Paris 2012) in
conjunction with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
2012 Paris OER Declaration:
a) Foster awareness and use of OER
b) Facilitate enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies
c) Reinforce the development of strategies and policies on OER
d) Promote the understanding and use of open licensing frameworks
e) Support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality learning materials
f) Foster strategic alliances for OER
g) Encourage the development and adaptation of OER in a variety of languages and cultural
h) Encourage research on OER
i) Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing of OER
j) Encourage the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds
MARTIN WELLER’S LI TTLE
& BI G OER
The Iceberg of Reuse, (White & Manton, 2011
LITTLE OER – small scale
development and use;
most not visible
BIG OER – The visible side of
OERs; institutional support
and visibility – MOOCs best
THREE MODELS OF SUSTAINABILITY (WILEY 2007:5)
• The MIT model – OER are created and released by a
dedicated, centralised, paid project team.
• The USU (Utah State University) model – OER are
created by a hybrid of a centralised team and
• The Rice model – This is a decentralised model based
around a community of contributors.
WELLER (2014: 79) :
“Current costs allocated
to purchasing textbooks
for colleges can be
instead diverted to
creating textbooks which
are open and free to
L E A N I N G R E S O U R C E S A N D
O P E N A C C E S S I N H E
I N S T I T U T I O N S I N I R E L A N D
Project Lead: Angelica Risquez (UL)
Researcher: Ann Coughlan
DIT: Claire McAvinia, Yvonne
Desmond & Pauline Rooney
RCSI: Catherine Bruen
MIC: Ann O’Keeffe & Deirdre Ryan
NUIG: Sharon Flynn
UL: Fiona Farr & Ann Marcus Quinn
Q 1 - HOW ARE OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES CURRENTLY BEING USED
AND SHARED IN IRISH HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AND WHAT CAN
WE LEARN FROM SUCH EXPERIENCES?
• Awareness of OERs and knowledge about use quite low: 15%
Not Aware to 14% Aware and Knowledge how to use
• Regular use by participants: Primary Content 8% and
Supplementary Content 21%
• Never or Rare Use: Primary 64% and 41%
• Where Find: Search Engines (149); YouTube (102); Sharing with
• Citation: Don't deal with issue/unsure 32%
• Share? Yes 65% No 35%
Q 1 - HOW ARE OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES CURRENTLY BEING USED
AND SHARED IN IRISH HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AND WHAT CAN
WE LEARN FROM SUCH EXPERIENCES? II
• Collegiality & facilitating
• Philosophical Conviction;
• To develop subject
• Use to others or to institution;
• Copyright issues/intellectual
property rights/protection of
• Material perceived to be
irrelevant or context specific;
• Policies of
property of institution
REPOSITORIES BUILT DURING RIAN
PROJECT (2007 -2010)
UK’S OER PROGRAMME (2009-2012)
• Not all OER are widely or globally accessible in a
pedagogical or technical sense:
– Pedagogical and Operability Considerations
• Citation protocols – Is Creative Commons enough or
• Tracking – how and why?
• Institutional and National polices
• Sustainability the primary issue
OVERCOMING BARRIERS AND FINDING ENABLERS (JISC 2014)
Stakeholder Barrier Enabler Possible Benefits
Time is a significant issue
particularly when re-purposing
Institutional support and
acknowledgment of time
needed to re-purpose
Technical support and
guidance from central teams
and checks re
legality of content
Skills/competencies – a whole
range of new skills may be
needed (technical and
Training and/or extra
support from central teams
and experience for
Management Institution wide approach – HE
institutions may not have culture
or mechanisms to support
institution wide dialogue which
is needed for OER initiatives
Develop new partnerships
Create mechanisms for cross
SHOULD YOU SHARE?
• Enhancement of
• Public Good
• Recognition – What
• Lack of quality control
– mass education on
• Lack of wider
Atkins, D. E., Brown, J. S., & Hammond, A. L. (2007). A Review of the Open Educational
Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and new Opportunities. Menlo
Park, CA: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Higher Education Authority (2009) Open and Flexible Learning
HEA Position Paper, November 2009. HEA; Dublin. Available from:
JISC (2014) OER’s -Overcoming barriers and finding enablers. Available from:
McAvinia, C., & Maguire, T. (2011). Evaluating the National Digital Learning Repository
(NDLR): New models of communities of practice. AISHE-J: The All Ireland Journal of
Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 3 (1). Available from
National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (2015)
Learning Resources and Open Access in Higher Education Institutions in Ireland,
Focused Research Report No. 1, 2015. NFTL: Dublin. Available from:
Weller, M. (2014.) The battle for open: how openness won and why it doesn’t feel like
victory. Ubiquity Press, London.
White, D. & Manton, M. (2011) Open Educational Resources: The value of reuse in higher
education. JISC-funded OER Impact Study, University of Oxford. Available from:
UNESCO (2009) 2012 Paris OER Declaration. World Open Educational Resources (OER)
Congress UNESCO, Paris, June 20-22, 2012. Available from: