Access2OER:Additional Considerations

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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:




1 Closing Comments

To close the discussion, we invited final closing comments you would like to make on the discussion as a whole and where you think it should go next.

1.1 "OER", Focus and Vision

I suspect that at times it might help to be more specific in some of our discussions than always discussing "OER" which covers so much (software, content, practices, learning designs, courses, images, video clips, resources shared with various licenses, etc.).

At times I am reminded of something Richard Stallman said about "intellectual property" (a term I avoid):

"—a term that also includes patents, trademarks, and other more obscure areas of law. These laws have so little in common, and differ so much, that it is ill-advised to generalize about them. It is best to talk specifically about “copyright,” or about “patents,” or about “trademarks.”.

I have expanded on this here in the "Say Libre" essay which also expresses a vision which seems to be shared by most people in this community:

"Knowledge for all, freedom to learn, towards collective wisdom
Enabling communities to empower themselves with knowledge. (source).

So far, the OER community has mostly been concerned with "opening" (formal) educational resources protected by copyright, and this discussion was focused on "access" to those OER. The meaning of "access" has been extended to include production and co-development.

Perhaps the way forward is to focus on liberating knowledge and the producers/consumers to participate in its co-development and sharing towards the higher goals such as the MDGs, EFA, ... and global sustainability (see sustainable development).

In this way, we would be orientating and prioritising our activities towards a global vision explicitly inviting participation across divides

Collective wisdom for a sustainable world - K 06:03, 4 March 2009 (CET)

1.2 Collaboration Bulletin Board

Would it make sense for this UNESCO OER community to identify groups of participants with common interests to collaborate on developing learning resources for specific purposes, or for other reasons? For example:

  1. Peer-producing sections of manuals/guides/courses/modules etc. for

each proposal.

  1. Other areas of common interest (e.g. aspects of health, vocational

training, community owned wireless information networks, multi-media production, research, ...)

Would it be useful to have a wiki page for people to post requests for collaboration?

Something like this: Collaborators_Sought - K 06:24, 4 March 2009 (CET)

1.2.1 Anil Prasad

It is a great idea. I hope the community will accept your suggestion.

1.2.2 Andreas Meiszner

Thanks for the Wikiversity link. Scanning the page you linked to I saw the box “This learning project needs more co-learners. Please join!”, which brought me to the second mail you sent

“Would it make sense for this UNESCO OER community to identify groups of participants with common interests to collaborate on developing learning resources for specific purposes, or for other reasons?”


“[2] would anyone be willing to contribute to a curriculum on social entrepreneurship?”

Regarding “purpose and reason” one option might be to look for currently running courses dealing with social entrepreneurship and approach those to join in this Wikiversity project. A requirement would be that those running courses would have or adapt a project based learning approach so that the students of those courses could add the outcomes of their “learning projects” to the wiki. With the results of those learning projects you than could start drawing up a curriculum and see what’s still missing. Albeit certainly obvious I just thought mentioning this as an option.

1.2.3 Tom Abeles

Your proposal makes infinitely more sense than compiling information to distribute in "workshops" whether brick or click.

2 Parking Lot

Use this area to lists issues which you feel should be discussed in more depth later.

2.1 Some comments from Moyomola Bolarin

In my view, the term "education" is a wide subject area that happens across all human endeavor. In my teachers' training college days, we use to argue that an unborn child is an educator to the mother who is carrying her first pregnancy. And, though, my grandmother is unable to read or write does not mean she is uneducated because literacy and education are two different things. Education is not a function of schooling. You can have educated illiterate as well as there are uneducated literates depending on a given issue. So determining the size of open education resources may not be that easy to estimate.

And for the type of OER, again it depends on the producer and target audience. OER can be produced, structured or unstructured materials, to meet the needs of people going through formal, informal and non-formal teaching/learning processes. And it could be in text format or audio or video or picture series or combination of any or all.

The distribution of OER is as wide as the World Wide Web itself. And because many have no tag, they are difficult to find. This is where OER communities will have to look into more innovative methods of bringing such into the open and reference it on OER sites and portals such as wikieducator and the likes by active participation of learners. For example, I have found a lot of instructional videos on YouTube that children in our international school use a lot. And many more are available in slideshare besides the OER on individual and corporate organizations websites.

One initiative I am starting with our school children here is to encourage the student to create a collaborative reference page on local intranet where student can write a short description and links to whatever material that any student found very useful for enhancing classroom lessons, assignment and homeworks.

Again in my view, OCW tends toward structured contents while OER is a combination of structured and unstructured. But these are debatable.

2.2 Equality

In terms of further discussion, I notice the title of the EFA Global Monitoring Report is "Overcoming inequality" which for me raises the question (again) of what exactly are our goals? When will we know if we have achieved them? If achieving "equality" is among them, what does this mean? K 10:51, 9 March 2009 (CET)

3 Douglas Tedford

Doug Tedford's Comments:

3.1 Final closing comments you would like to make on the discussion as a whole and where you think it should go next.

  • Good overviews of IT options to promote OER, however the technical conversations were all coming from westerners/
  • Important to read and respond to interests and concerns expressed by the non-western participants
  • Surprisingly, I posted seven times asking for specific help on a proposal currently underway, and I got only one offer of assistance. This teaches me either we aren't reading each others' posts, or we aren't genuinely interested in using discussion for progress

3.2 Commenting on contentious issues which this community needs to consider, or alternative ways of looking at things.

  • My own approach is I would prefer concise, even bulleted commentary (some have written good stuff but unreadable) too long
  • Keep comments to maximum half a page
  • Very upset to read use of semi-crude language in some posts -- Host please note and privately contact anyone using this vernacular

3.3 Contributions to the "Parking Lot": issues which you feel should be discussed in more depth later.

I respect use of technical jargon, but can't respond to it... my role is fomenting more effective classwork and promoting engagement and don't think I am alone in the need to understand IT from the point of view of a user who may be encountering computers and Internet for first time, just as our proposed target group and as many of the administrators including volunteers such as self. Also, let's be respectful toward each other in sharing and learning from each- Many administrators who participate may have power to affect lives of perhaps entire nations and they can help us and vice versa.

4 Boniface

I have learnt a great deal from the current OER discussion. Thanks for your valuable contributions, links etc. I will be pleased if my name is included in the next mailing list.