Open Educational Resources: January 19 - February 8, 2009

Week 3 - Making OER Less Instructor-Centric

Week 3 - Making OER Less Instructor-Centric

by Scott Leslie -
Number of replies: 1
This issue is related to the other I just posted about OER's being 'content-centric' but is perhaps more subtle.

Many existing OER projects are re-publishing instructor materials that were developed for explicitly instructor-led and -paced classes, yet one of the primary uses cases for OER is by independant learners in self-directed study.

To what extent do you see this as a problem? Are there ways in which instructor-led materials can be repurposed to work better for self-directed learners, or is itself simply carrying on a 'banking' model of education?


In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Week 3 - Making OER Less Instructor-Centric

by Tannis Morgan -


I found this tough to answer, because self-directed learners tend to need different things, and are engaged in self-directed study for different reasons--while it might be a learning preference for some, for others it's a necessity for a variety of access issues. Not to forget that some learners might be very self-directed in some areas (eg. language learning) but require instructor-lead hand holding for others (eg. math).

I'm currently using OERs to learn statistics (a personal project over here http://oerproject.wordpress.com) and the most useful OER I've found is one I'd classify as "instructor-lead". It's a resource that's part of the open textbook project, and while it's appropriate for self-directed learners the most useful part for me has been the talking-head instructor videos explaining the content of each chapter of the book. However, it certainly goes beyond the repackaged course outline/reading list/set of powerpoints content that are clearly of limited use to self-directed learners.