ZML Didaktik / Innovative Learning Scenarios

Inhibiting factors for Open Educational Resources

Posted on: September 15, 2012

Browsing the reading material for the oped12 MOOC I was seduced to read Mathias Hatakka’s article: „Build it and they will come? – Inhibiting factors for reuse of open content in developing countries“ – as OERs are neither reused nor created easily in my work context as well (University of Applied Sciences in Austria).

On p 4 Hatakka writes that Unesco defines OER as

“[…] technology-enabled, open provision of educational resources for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non commercial purposes […]” Wiley (2007),

which means that these resources used in education are widely accessibly and free to use and to adapt.

According to the literature review inhibiting factors are language, usefulness, access and technical problems, quality, intellectual property. I observe that  inhibiting factors to use OER in my context are language and usefulness, in producing them quality and intellectual property.

Language: A lot of OER are in English and not in German.

Usefulness / Awareness: With regard to usefulness Hatakka writes (p 9): It is a matter of being able to find material of a suitable level. Also for our teachers and for myself it is not easy to find the adequate material. Often it seems to be easier to produce the material by myself than to look for it in the web. In addition OER must be adapted for the context of my lessons. Furthermore Hatakka mentions that teachers need „trust“ to use Internet material (p 11).

Quality: University teachers are shy to make their learning material available in the web because they are not sure about the quality. Maybe in German speaking countries there is more pressure to create best quality before you share than in English speaking countries. (The same is valid for blogs, etc). Furthermore often the university owns the produced material.

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4 Antworten to "Inhibiting factors for Open Educational Resources"

It is interesting to read your post because I think the same issues are present in English-speaking HE institutions. Teaching is still seen as a rather personalised activity so that tutors are reluctant to share their work or experiences either because of concerns about quality or intellectual property (the same concerns were there about disabled students recording lectures many years ago). The issue of the ‚fit‘ between courses and materials produced elsewhere will also be significant in HE where courses are seen as intimately related to the lecturer rather than part of a national curriculum. Perhaps for these reasons school teachers have been more willing to embrace OERs just as they have been more willing to share lesson plans and teaching materials in the past.

Nice to read that it’s similar in your country 🙂

thx jupidu for reading some of the literature also for me 🙂
By reading your review I think about the notion of universal education (somewhere in the #oped12 material I run across this word) – I do not think that open education ultimately leads to universal education. And what I would like to add – maybe to the factor usefulness/awareness – is culture as an important criteria for usefulness. OER, I think, have to meet cultural expectations and cultural conceptions of intended participants. It is the same as always: the bait has to be tasty for the fish, not the fisherman.
I am with you when you say that existing OERs almost always are in English and they fit the so called dominant culture, which one day could turn out to be a disadvantage.

Gudrun, with regard to Open Education is not Universal Education – not for everybody, but for some of the guys and girls who finished Stanford’s artificial Intelligence online course one year ago it is!

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