Learner Perspective

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Image courtesy of Jurvetson

Learners can derive their own unique benefits from using OER and promote their use through the following types of activities (within the constraints of applicable licenses):

  • Sharing lecture notes (and audio recordings), exam texts, and model answers with other students (on public web-sites) can create useful knowledge repositories that support study efforts.
  • Encouraging educators to use OER readings where good alternatives to proprietary textbooks and articles exist; and using Google Scholar[1] to identify open versions of closed materials.
  • Writing summaries of academic articles that are read during course work, and sharing them with peers on public websites to enable access to some of the knowledge that would otherwise only be available through closed journals and publications.
  • Using social bookmarking (see Self-publishing in Share OER) and ranking tools to evaluate usefulness of resources; building social recommendation networks that make finding good resources easier.
  • Reviewing published OER can help potential students determine which institution offers courses that best fit their interests. Once enrolled, looking through course descriptions helps them choose the courses they want to take.
  • Not just educators, but students are benefiting from opening up their own work to an international audience for feedback and comment. Having a public blog or participating in online discussion forums is one way to showcase their work. In a more formal academic environment, publishing in open access journals ensures maximum visibility.

There have been several projects in which students have made their OER available. See Publishing Student Works in Share OER for more information.

Example student projects:


  1. http://scholar.google.com
  2. http://www.openwaterproject.org
  3. http://www.opencontent.org/wiki/index.php?title=Using_Blogs_and_Wikis_in_Education
  4. http://interviewingbasics.org/


Schmidt, P. (2007, November). "7.3.1 Learner perspective." UNESCO OER Toolkit Draft. WikiEducator. Retrieved March 21, 2008, from http://www.wikieducator.org/UNESCO_OER_Toolkit_Draft#Learner_perspective