Open Educational Resources

June 25, 2009

Those who know me know that I am a huge fan of sharing and collaboration. It was a key part of my role at the Western Colleges Consortium and I have contined to promote sharing of practice and resources.

Back in 2002, MIT launched their OpenCourseWare, and I on this blog reported in December 2007 about Yale’s entry into this field.

Yesterday, JISC officially launched the Open Educational Resources programme.

Open Educational Resources (OER), funded by HEFCE and run by the Academy and JISC, aims to make a wide range of learning resources created by academics freely available, easily discovered and routinely re-used by both educators and learners.

OER could include full courses, course materials, complete modules, notes, videos, assessments, tests, simulations, worked examples, software, and any other tools or materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge. These resources will be released under an intellectual property license that permits open use and adaptation.

As well as providing a wealth of resources which can be used (and much of the material can be used in FE as well as HE courses) it also sends a message to universities and college that it is okay to share and good to share. It should have a positive impact on your reputation and enhance and enrich the learning experience of your learners.

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Open Yale Courses

December 14, 2007

Yale University (in the US) are going to allow anyone in the world to access their most popular undergraduate courses for free.

Yale University is making some of its most popular undergraduate courses freely available to anyone in the world with access to the Internet.

The project, called “Open Yale Courses,” presents unique access to the full content of a selection of college-level courses and makes them available in various formats, including downloadable and streaming video, audio only and searchable transcripts of each lecture. Syllabi, reading assignments, problem sets and other materials accompany the courses.

The production of the courses for the Internet was made possible by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The seven courses in the sciences, arts and humanities—which were recorded live as they were presented in the classroom to Yale students—will be augmented with approximately 30 additional Yale courses over the next several years.

This means that institutions across the world will be able to see and view how Yale deliver their undergraduate programme, and unlike much of the others who have been doing this already, they are using a lot more video and audio content.

Obviously you need to attend Yale to get accreditation, but this kind of move from someone like Yale demonstrates again the importance of the institution and the teacher over the content in education.

Some lecturers are very protective about the content they use in their teaching and are unwilling to share, this kind of programme that Yale are undertaking, shows once more that it is the teaching and the support an institution provides is so much more important than the content.

And the more we share content, the more we can save time and ensure that our students (online or offline) achieve on their courses.

So here in the UK we have the Open University sharing some of their content, I wonder when we will see more Universities and more FE Colleges sharing their content? It’s not as though we don’t have a way of doing this, we do have JORUM.

Old Book

So here’s hoping Yale and others will continue to release more content for learning and e-learning online.

Photo source.