Quality Assurance for OER

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Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.

(image:comment.gif: Please add your input for expanding any of the above, or add a new category to this list. If you wish to include your name and email, then I’m pleased to attribute your input. With many thanks
Paul Kawachi - Email: kawachi@open-ed.net


Quality Assurance for OER

What aspects should be considered?

Dear Colleagues, I am trying to formulate a quality assurance framework for OER authors, and you are invited to offer critique and suggest ideas to improve this. You may have suggestions for component sentences to be included into a category, or suggest a new category. For instance UNESCO (2002, p.1) and Wiley & Green (2012, p.81) expand on the cost aspect to suggest Creative Commons licences should be used where the OER is not fully in the public domain and instead some restrictions apply.

Can we discuss these ideas summarised below ?


The following categories are so far accumulated:

(a) Discoverability (metadata tags, author tags, end-user social tags, languages)

(b) Searchability (text and non-text cues)

(c) Accessibility (cost, localised to end-user culture and context)

(d) Portability (take-away, downloadable, printable, re-storable)

(e) Instructional Design (overview, study guide, learning objective)

(f) Content (local, expert quality, level, interactivity, student-created, co-created)

(g) Inclusive (voice, gender, ethnicities, minorities, disabilities, face validities)

(h) Learning Assessment (built-in self-assessment, external accreditation)

(i) Technical (adaptability, media choice, transmissibility, stability)

(j) Artistic (theme music, white space, media aesthetics)

(k) Usability (fit-for-purpose, reliable, clear, concise, coherent)

(l) Learning Support (learning pathways, navigation aids)

(m) Other (dated, up-to-date, brand, interesting, fun, offline study guide)

(n)External support (online and offline groups, tutoring, counselling)

(o) Social responsibility

Media choice for OER is important for social equality or maybe equity here. Gary Boyd (1989, p.227) writing in that seminal text Mindweave pointed out that the early medium used by the Open University mismatched to the communicative style of a large proportion of the intended students. Television was passive one-way media, while many of the working students at the time habitually used body gestures in their daily lives. As a result from successfully completing the OU television-delivered course, “they are likely to become estranged from their native culture rather than being enabled to help its evolution". Thus the transformative intent of OER reaching minorities and the poor may be undermined by the media choice.

Boyd, G.M. (1989). The life-worlds of computer-mediated distance education. In R. Mason & A. Kaye (Eds.), Mindweave : Communication, computers and distance education, (pp. 225-227). Oxford : Pergamon Press.

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