Agree that defining OER narrowly will help the category be more focused. And agree that WE has (and probably will always have) lots of OERs in progress. I wonder if we should create a separate "OER development in progress" template with the WIP template used in all other situations. This would help us identify OERs in progress.
It'd be great to have a way to identify finished/published OERs in a category listing, e.g., bolded or including an icon to indicate ready for use. Somewhat relatedly, I'd love to see the Quality assurance framework implemented to provide a mechanism for identifying completed resources.
So, thinking about what high level categories should be under "Educational content":
- OER projects
- Featured works -- see the Featured works portal; not all of the kinds of featured works would be educational content
I think something is an OER if its creator says so. But it should be designated as an OER only when the creator is "releasing" it for use/reuse/remix by others.
Perhaps there can be another family of designations (maybe a subset or OER) for resources that have "passed" various level of quality assurance review - assessed by creator, peer or third party, certified WE reviewer?
All content on Wikieducator is legally licensed as OER in the sense that the license permits reuse and remix by others. Every edit in WikiEducator the use agrees to licensing content under the standard CC-By-SA license or CC-BY where specfied. So technically all content in Wikieducator is "OER" from a legal perspective.
However, an author may want to say -- "Please don't edit this material because I'm using it in a class" -- but this does not restrict anyone from making a copy (forking) and remixing for their own purposes.
I'm not sure that we can say that OER is only OER once it has passed various QA processes -- it would be better to thing about:
- Unreviewed OER and
- Peer reviewed OER.
Thinking about categories -- I'm not sure that the category OER is a useful category for education materials in WikiEducator -- because all content in wiki educator is legally licensed as OER. Perhaps the type of resource would be better, for example learning activity, online course, handout, open text book etc.
There may be very specific OER pages like the OER Foundation stuff or content covering the topic of OER -- so I think a narrower category focus would be more useful.
I think you are right, Wayne, that we shouldn't use the term OER to mean learning resources. But it seems too fine-grained to be listing specific types of resources in the highest category. I think the list could be quite long. Maybe in the educational content grouping, we want a category labeled "types of learning resources", along with categories for subjects, levels, and any other criteria that could be used to create broad groups of learning resources.