Open Education Practice (OEP) and Open Education Resources (OER)
Open Education Practice and Resources are an interesting area of discussion. On one hand the technology improvement should allow for a greater flexibility in education online. In an ideal case, knowledge should be accessible and shared freely to all. On the other hand we face declining number of students entering tertiary institutions which are funded based on bums on seats in class. It is no surprise that the fast paced change in the education can instil uncertainty in staff to not to want to openly share knowledge. After all, our knowledge is what lets us earn our bread and butter.
However, the opportunity here is how we can utilised OER to make ourselves even more valuable both in our discipline and to our institution. By offering a smart balance of both OER and contact time may improve our teaching practice and let us tap into teaching new groups of learners.
OER to cater for wider learning opportunities
In the recent years, the scope for the content of teaching has vastly broadend to cater for the needs and expectations of students, industry partners and shift in the disciplines. See fig 1.
Fig 1: Requirements and expectations from students, discipline and industries.
As Jelley (2013) suggests,OERs can be useful part of inquiry based learning for motivated students. However,I believe that some of the barriers to lsoley earning online OER are issues such as
- not knowing whether the sources are useful, reliable or relavant at a glance.
- self-motivation or not having deadline to work towards
- lack of personalised information and feedback
In the current online landscape where we are bombarded with too much information, and it is increasing becoming the educators role to direct learners to the most suitable information and learning tools. Therefore, giving some suggestions for various OERs for specific learning objectives and outcomes as a part of a course would be helpful.
OER for industry partners and their individual development.
If designed well ,OER could become a powerful tool for those in the industry to refresh their knowledge and skills. For example, some design studios show interest in relatively new area of design thinking such as, “Design Service Thinking” and “Design Methods for Innovation”, however, have little time to explore the ideas, let alone apply to their business practice.
OER may be used as a part of short a workshop catered for businesses in the following ways:
- Provide OER in the form of short video or infographics to introduce industry relevant topics.
- Organise a short (eg.one day) workshop introducing the topics further and discuss how the topics may be applied to enhance the business
- Provide suggestions of OER for each business that are relevant, reliable, useful and personalised to the specific business or industry.
The educators of these industry courses would need to becomes familiar with OERs and at the same time, contribute and participate in the database. Helping encourage a critical mass of contents and participant would be a key to well connected and peer reviewed OER as indicated by Jelley (2003). Another useful suggestion by Jelley (2013) to encourage active participation and reduce technological barrier to OER would be for the institution to support by providing user friendly software platforms to make the OER available.
Jelley, R. (2013) “Open Education Practice : A User Guide for ORganisations/ OER literature review.”http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Open_Education_Practices:_A_User_Guide_for_Organisations/OER_Literature_Review#cite_note-PawlowskiBick-4 Retrieved 18 April 2013