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 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.