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Reflexive task 2: Craig

Page history last edited by Anna Gruszczynska 9 years, 2 months ago



Has your understanding of OER’s changed, and if yes, how? Has your understanding of the concept of “openness” changed?

In my opinion, both concepts, and areas are related: so, to address the first area of Open Education Resources (OER’s), I now have a more detailed understanding of them as educational resources; how they are to be constructed, and how they are to be made available, (or example, through Jorum). The overriding principle behind OER’s, is that they are not necessarily expected to ‘constitute’ formal curricular materials. In this sense, they are open and readily accessible to both students and academic staff (indeed – the general public), to assist them in their studies, teaching and possibly even research. Any academic submitting their resource(s) as an OER does so on the understanding that they will be made available to be used in various academic (and academically ‘creative’ ways), and this includes the practice of ‘repurposing’. This is where the notion of openness (regarding the use and application of OER materials) comes in to play. As part of the Creative Commons (CC) licensing framework – which is the licensing mechanism used as part of most of the OER sources, such as Jorum and Welcome for example – this frames the context within which it is acceptable to repurpose any work or materials available as an OER.

The CC licensing framework defines the openness of the materials; even the lowest (or free-est) level of the CC licence requires that the original author/creator of the work be acknowledged and cited as part of any repurposed format of the work. Therefore, even though the OER is ultimately a ‘free’ and freely available educational resource – via the Internet – this does not mean that the original material can be (or should be) repurposed in such a way that it loses connection with the original author. As such, I think the most appropriate definition of openness within the OER framework is that many educational resources become available in an easily (freely) accessible format – thus liberating them the bureaucratic constraints of formal educational environments and institutions. Therefore, the closed and constraining borders of institutional education dissipate and fragment within the OER context.

To restate and clarify then – the OER environment does not necessarily mean that educational materials cease to belong to a identifiable source/creator/author; as such, licensing restrictions in relation to the repurposing of any OER material does apply. Finally, and linking in to this – due to the licensing expectations associated with OER’s and CC framework – any images, clips, and/or text used as part of an OER must also be free from any additional copyright restrictions. This therefore excludes the use of clips from YouTube and Google Images – as often they are distributed without permission or appropriate recognition.          



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