The development and use of OER helps us place ourselves in wider contexts for education: regional and national contexts, domain contexts, cross-sector contexts, international contexts...the list goes on. It connects our local practices to others' practices and promotes continuous improvement of practices through externalisation, critique and refinement.
I'd personally like to see more concrete links between what our Education students do in terms of instructional design and development and authentic instructional problems in a range of contexts. Ideally, I'd like to see our students developing OERs to address real, existing needs not only in their local practice contexts, but in wider practice communities.
What does this mean?
I teach instructional design for e-learning, online teaching and advanced e-learning practice. I can imagine problem-driven learning situations where the students work to (a) plan (b) design (c) development (d) critique and (e) refine OERs for particular practice contexts either in NZ or elsewhere. Ideally this might involve collaboration not only amongst a cohort of learners, but amongst a community of practitioners (from novices to experts) who continually work on a body of OERs...There are a variety of relationships/organisational structures which might take place, but the bottom line for the students in a richer, more engaging, more authentic learning experience which produces practical, functional resources whilst cultivating a pool of more skilled practitioners.