Understanding OER

Ed Talks: Open Education Resources – James Glapa-Grossklag.

James Glapa-Grossklag visited RMIT from the College of the Canyons in Southern California to talk to us about the importance of Open Educational Resources (OERs). As the Dean of Educational Technology, he says that OERs can benefit all students and all learners.

OERs are openly licensed learning materials that can be repurposed, shared, copied and edited to allow easier sharing of information and “remove barriers to student success”, such as the main barrier of cost.

He says we can also use OERs to build a better connection to the resources for our students and make them more identifiable. “Often we find with commercial learning resources that they are produced by people who are not in our communities. If learning resources are openly licensed and thereby have permissions to re-edit it, we can contextualise those learning resources to better reflect our community.”

Research also suggests that using OERs leads to a better outcome for students. He says that, “There are a great number of studies now that demonstrate that when academics move from commercial products to OERs, the success rates of their students increase”. He also says, when the statistics are broken down that this is especially true for female learners and those from a lower socio-economic background.

“That’s really a vote of confidence in the value of OERs when we actually find a way to provide our students with the learning resources their learning increases.”

A visual explanation on the basics of Open Educational Resource. It’s CC-Licenced so you can share and remix.