Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources

OECD Publishing 2007-06-06
147 pages PDF 2,7 Mb

Learning resources are often considered key intellectual property in a competitive higher education world. However, more and more institutions and individuals are sharing their digital learning resources over the Internet, openly and for free, as Open Educational Resources (OER). This study, building on previous OECD work on e-learning, asks why this is happening, who is involved and what the most important implications of this development are. The report offers a comprehensive overview of the rapidly changing phenomenon of Open Educational Resources and the challenges it poses for higher education. It examines reasons for individuals and institutions to share resources for free, and looks at copyright issues, sustainability and business models as well as policy implications. It will be of particular interest to those involved in e-learning or strategic decision making within higher education, to researchers and to students of new technologies. Table of Contents Chapter 1. Setting the Scene -Challenges for Higher Education -Earlier Writings on OER -Methodology Chapter 2. Open Educational Resources - Conceptual Issues -Defining Open Educational Resources -Openness -Educational -Resources -Conclusions Chapter 3. Who is Involved? Mapping the Open Educational Resources Movement -Use, Users, and Producers of Open Educational Resources -Conclusions Chapter 4. Why People Are Sharing: Incentives, Benefits, and Barriers -Drivers and Barriers -Arguments for Government Involvement in Open Educational Resources -Reasons for Institutional Involvement -Motives for Individuals -Conclusions Chapter 5. Copyright and Open Licenses -Copyright and Open Content -Barriers -Policy Recommendations Chapter 6. Sustainability Issues for Open Educational Resources Initiatives -Organising Open Educational Resources Initiatives -Costs and Revenue Models -Policy Issues Regarding the Sustainability of Open Educational Resources Projects Summing Up Issues Relating to Sustaining Open Educational Resourxces Projects Chapter 7. How to Improve Access to and Usefulness of Open Educational Resources -Validation of Quality of Open Educational Resources -Translation and Localisation of Content -Web Access for Disabled People -Technical Issues Related to Accessibility Chapter 8. Conclusions, Policy Implications, and Recommendations Glossary Annex A. Questionnaire on the Use and Production of Open Educational Resources Annex B. Examples of Policy Grids References

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