Structure for the Seminar

3 weeks - January 19 - February 8, 2009

(idea - give out a copy of the "OER Handbook for Educators" for the best post each week?)

Week One - Finding & Using OER Resources

starter questions
  • What are OER's? What does it mean for something to be open?
  • Where do you currently go to find OE Resources?
    • group activity - build wiki page of classified collections
    • - likes/dislikes, pros & cons of each example. Maybe do a poll on what collection/example people like best? or top three examples?
  • What are some of the problems you face in finding OE Resources?
  • How much time do you spend looking for appropriate OERs? When you find them, where do you store them?
  • Have you ever modified someone else's work for your own use? If not, why not? If so, how did it work out? Were there things that made it easier?

Goals/Points to bring out
  • different kinds of open
  • issues with just using Google
  • issues with any of the OER collection approaches
  • help specific people in specific disciplines identify useful collections
  • constrained search; oer wiki search page,, build your own
  • social bookmarking, 'shared items' or blogs - developing a *networked* way of capturing what you find so others can benefit, and benefitting from what others have found
  • difference between linking and copying
  • Fair dealing - exerting our EXISTING rights

Week 2 - Creating OER

starter questions
  • Why create and share OER?
  • How do you currently author your course content? Would it be easy to share your course content now without a lot of additional work?
  • Why is creating your own course content in a way that is easily shareable and reusable a good thing to do for your own purposes?
  • What's stopping you, for instance, from developing your course content in wikieducator and linking to it (or importing it) from there into your LMS?
  • How to sustain OER efforts?

Goals/Points to bring out

Week 3 - Ways to Share; Other Issues with OER

starter questions
  • Where have you tried to share your OE Resource?
  • What's been your experience in trying to share an OER?
  • What's stopping you from sharing?
  • - Education is not just resources, and OER marginalizes the importance of good teachers; "At the moment, teaching skills are still essential and scarce resources. I won’t have a high comfort level with open education as anything more than a supplement around the edges of traditional channels for formal education until that issue is addressed head-on."
    • can we change our educational practices (not just the content) to become more open?
    • cf. MOOC (CCK08), Wiley's "Open Education" courses
  • similarly, OERs that result from an instructor-led course being 'published' are often not ideal for a prime use case screnario, student self-study? How to make such material more useful for individual learners? How to connet individual learners with each other?
  • Licensing - which license would you consider, and why?
    • if you chose an NC variant, would you be ok with someone who used your materials in a community activist course but charged a nominal fee (e.g. $25) for the entire course (not just your materials)
    • if you chose an NC variant, would you be ok with someone using it in a wikispaces wiki who had NOT paid to have the advertising turned off
    • if you chose a 'No Derivatives' version, why? Is it still truly 'Open'?
    • if you chose a Share-Alike version, why?
  • Internationalization/Localization - how to make OERs more useful to people of different languages and cultural situations?
  • Imagine your ideal future for OER - what would you like to do about it in the next 5 years? your institution? your country? internationally?

Goals/Points to bring out
  • Networks vs Institutions
  • reputation; in a world of infinite copyability, value lies in being copied, not in erecting barriers that create illusion of scarcity
  • bringing our learning and research practices together with our teaching; modeling expertise, out in the open
  • network effects, serendipity
  • licensing - are ANY of them actually the problem? Is it 'NC'? Is it 'SA'? Is it permitting derivative works?

An OER Reading List

Other Resources