Activity 7

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:

  1. Provide OER in the form of short video or infographics to introduce industry relevant topics.
  2. Organise a short ( day) workshop introducing the topics further and discuss how the topics may be applied to enhance the business
  3. 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.”   Retrieved 18 April 2013


2 thoughts on “Activity 7

  1. A great idea Machiko for incorporating OER and bringing in income at the same time. Presumably the businesses would pay for the service, that is the workshop, even though the resources were provided freely? Perhaps the workshop participants could contribute to building the resource, and join the learning community that develops from the workshop. Often this can lead to projects later on.

    Another way to think of OER is in the potential for marketing specific courses and products. The more material that a lecturer, for example at Otago Polytechnic, the greater the profile of that lecturer in the global arena and also the organisation he or she represents.
    Say you developed your workshop using an open platform, such as a wiki, you could invite collaboration from others in the field and from those who intend to join the workshop. Open education practices rely on sharing and collaboration and this is enhanced through the use of social networked tools, which is a great way to extend your professional networks and enrich the learning environment for your students.

    It would be great if you could also think about how open education resources and practices could be used for sustainable educational practices. For example, how could the creation and sharing of these open resources contribute to not only richer materials for learning but also a reduction in workload? How could students contribute to this?

  2. The other thing I about when I looked at your diagram showing personalised learning, is that, this approach would eliminate the need for stock standard resources wouldn’t it? If each student had different goals for learning and constructed that learning, part of this could be that they create resources that are shared by peers. That way lecturers don’t have to create everything and can act as guides to assist students to ascertain
    “…whether the sources are useful, reliable or relevant…”, help them set goals and monitor their learning (self-regulate) and have more time to give “personalised information and feedback”.
    Would you agree?

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