Access2OER:3 SuperOER

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The original OERWIKI seems to be offline (December 2012). The Access2OER discussion pages are preserved here for reference! The final report in pdf is available here: Access2OER_Report,

The report:
Introduction to the report
Part 1 - Issues
What is access?
Issues and classification
Part 2 - Solutions
Solutions criteria
Stories and solutions
Case studies
Part 3 - Proposals
Conclusion and next steps
Additional sections:
Stories 1
Stories 2
Stories 3
Case studies v1
Access initiatives v1
OER Training proposal
Open Educational Resource Centres
OER exchange infrastructure
OER exchange infrastructure diagrams
Additional materials
Access2OER:Additional Considerations
Wiki only
Some technical notes
Discussion Log and Quotes:
Discussion Week 1
Comments on SuperOER
Overview of week 1 activities
Discussion Week 2
Discussion related to solutions put forward
Snippets from the general discussion
Overview of week 2 activities
Discussion Week 3
general discussion
OER training discussion
resource centre discussion
oer exchange discussion
stories discussion
All discussion on one page.
Additional pages
For authors:




3. What is a super (accessible) OER?

Having discussed various barriers to access in the first week, participants were asked to considered the idea of the "super-accessible" OER and to describe its qualities. What does the "ultimate" OER look like in terms of accessibility? The ideas put forward did not have to be realistic. Discussion participants were invited to ask "What if?" and put foward ambitious ideas. The superOER idea was a helpful lead into the more structured discussion of solutions presented in the second part of this report.

As a first summary, it was suggested that a superOER would be something that:

Quote image
  • is easily downloadable
  • I can use offline
  • is truly platform independant
  • I can use on all the available mobile devices
  • is relevant
  • can be easily modified.

The super-accessible OER is incentivised:

Quote image Poverty has been raised as an important issue, so my super-accessible OER has a financial incentive: Every time you access it, you get $1.

The super-accessible OER is movable:

Quote image It's a resource that I can move between a blog, a wiki, a static web-page at the click of a button. For example, someone published a short course on public health management as a set of pages in a Mediawiki. I import it into my Wordpress blog and add pages to it, then re-publish it into my university's learning management system. Finally, I burn it onto a CD so that I can send it to some of our distance education students, who lack access to the Internet. All of this, just by clicking export and import.

Building on that, the super-accessible OER is portable, transferable and customisable:

Quote image ...particularly the issues of portability (downloadable, offline use), transferability (easy import/export), and customizability within a standards-based framework.

The super-accessible OER is printable:

Quote image ...easy to move to print media and produce a well formatted printout as well.

The super-accessible OER is fast:

Quote image With a poor connection at school and no (or very few) computers, not even the most devoted and engaged teacher pay the minutes in a lan house to wait until the screen unfreezes or spend hours to convert files from one platform to another.

The super-accessible OER is bandwidth aware:

Quote image When accessing or downloading the super-accessible OER, it knows what bandwidth is available, and transforms itself according to available bandwidth.


Quote image The ideal OER would also help users and institutions download appropriate resources and manage bandwidth and caching.

The super-accessible OER is easy to find:

Quote image Accessibility means also finding the resource. Having it both categorized (taxonomy) and tagged (folksonomy) and being able to retrieve them through search from interconnected platforms (instead of visiting each one or having just one) would be a bonus.

The super-accessible OER is machine readable:

Quote image The super-accessible OER is not just discoverable and sharable by humans, but is also automatically discoverable and sharable ("discoverable by machines"). In other words, the super-accessible OER announces itself (in a "machine-readable" way) and makes itself available to OER platforms and portals, enabling discovery, collaborative filtering, recommendations.

If it is machine-readable the super-accessible OER can be cached and mirrored automatically. It is fast, discoverable, and can be easily filed within local collections of resources:

Quote image Accessibility for me means, not wasting time, and for that, I would love some good search engine for OERs, specially scientific ones, that understands formulas and text and allows me to search for ideas that are being taught and developed and are related to what i am learning or investigating, maybe by semantic web technologies. Utopian accessibility would also come with one user interface for all objects available, everything downloadable with one click, and everything automatically classified in my hard drive once downloaded.


Quote image I was thinking that one thing that would be really nice is if all OER platforms and OERs could talk to each other and interact through tags and categories/plugins. Wordpress users for instance have access to all posts and have suggestions on what to read that might relate to the subject. If one could invent some sort of OER plugin or widget that any of us could install on OS platforms (+ blogs and wikis) and activate it with a special tag every time we create material and decide to make it OER, then this resource would stay with us and also be automatically sent to more centralized platforms.

The super-accessible OER can transform itself into appropriate formats:

Quote image The ideal OER platform would allow the contributor to submit media in as few formats as possible and would then automate the transcoding into a variety of forms for various users.

The super-accessible OER is easy to adapt:

Quote image ...create and produce rather than be told about. It's not the static OER per se (result/artifact) but the process of looking for it, adapting it, remixing with other materials and creating a new one that counts and "developing" countries should be developing and not just using developed materials.


Quote image Frozen structures format our way of thinking/seeing thing, limiting creativity and innovation.

and again

Quote image People learn by seeing what others are doing and adapting this to their taste/cultural characteristics and needs (stereotyping: tropical countries favour colours, while Northern countries favour a minimalist and cool design).

The super-accessible OER has clear terms of use:

Quote image If the metadata of the OER provides the terms and conditions of the license of use (legal terms) will be a plus for the final user.


Quote image Does not automatically assume existing Intellectual Property concepts are viable for this distribution, because this distribution will provide fair remuneration for the creators of work on the OER space. CC license support for each object, LOM and Dublin Core metadata, print view, "send to wiki" capability, WCAG and XHTML compliance, and IMS/.zip file import/export, ..., new IMS Common Cartridge and Wordpress import/export functionality, ... publishing to static HTML ... mobile device support ...

The super-accessible OER is accessible to those with disabilities:

Quote image We need to remember what are needs of disabled people. WAI set of guidelines version 2.0 recently proposed: definitely is important to understand accessibility issues.

The super-accessible OER is easy to use:

Quote image Fluid/clean design and navigation on platforms were mentioned as well so people do not spend too much time, overwhelmed by the amount of text or sidetracked by links that do not lead them to their objective.

The super-accessible OER is also easy to learn from:

Quote image ...the OER should be responsive to the learner's needs and preferences. This means that characteristics such as the following would transform to match the learner's individual needs:
  • the presentation (e.g., large print, high contrast, small screen version, low bandwidth version, etc.)
  • the organization and navigation structure (e.g., serial presentation, hierarchical, list of links, etc.)
  • augmentative material and tools (grammar checker, captioning, description, background material, language supports)
  • localization
  • method of control (without mouse or pointer, large buttons and input fields)
  • learning approach (external vs. internal rewards, etc.)

This has been implemented in a number of learning object repositories and is supported by the ISO 24751 "AccessForAll" standard (e.g., Part of this is dependent on a collection of equivalent content (best created by pooling resources from many sources with informative metadata), authoring tools that support the creation of transformable OERs and learning management systems that match the needs of the learner with the best available OER or OER configuration.

Finally, a participant proposed that the superOER should have the following characteristic:

Quote image [The super-OER is recognised by] United Nations [...] as a part of the method for transmitting knowledge.

and linked to this:

Quote image The super-OER complies with Convention for Human Rights.