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Are Open Educational Resources the future of e-learning?


PDF icon AreOpenEducationalResourcesthefutureofelearning (PDF file, 154k)

KN13101
15 June 2010
15 June 2010 by Kasia Kozinska
Increased interest in more open approaches to learning, in particular Open Educational Resources is reflected in the programmes of international organisations, national initiatives and the actions of individual institutions. However, while some see OER as an indicator of the future of learning, others are much more sceptical and doubt their long-term success. This paper considers the vision of OER as part of future learning solutions in the society driven by technology and knowledge. Supported by an examination of specific national contexts and linked to research from relevant initiatives arguments in favour of using OER are outlined. These include their value in both developing and developed countries, and flexible ways of use in structured courses and in informal, learner-driven environments. This is balanced by highlighting concerns that relate mainly to current issues of certification, quality and intellectual property rights, but also potential problems such as the lack of instructor-learner interaction and the dominance of OER initiatives from English-speaking universities. The paper concludes that OER have an immense potential as long as the elements that contribute to their success are identified and harnessed, and barriers effectively dealt with.
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