Quality of OER
What does the openness of OERs necessarily have to do with quality? Are there quality considerations for OERs other than there would be for closed curricula? If so why, and what are they? --SteveFoerster 14:05, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Dear Steve, Hi, thank you for these two questions. You raise a fundamental concern. Fitness-for-purpose and every characterisation of OER depends upon what it is and supposed to be or do. It is intended to be ‘open’ (and also intended to be ‘educational’). Since it is intended to be open, then we need to understand what we mean by ‘open’ hence the need for the definition of openness with respect to how it is used in the term ‘open educational resource’. Originally ‘open’ was used in a definition of OER to cover the characteristics of ‘open to reuse’ and this was instrumental through attaching Creative Commons licences for expanding sharing and reuse around the world. Now we are looking at inclusivity and accessibility, and how definition of ‘open’ as used in ‘open access’ can influence the development of OER - particularly in assuring quality. As for your closed curricula, these may have quality characteristics worthwhile considering here - for example when we are developing OER we also need to apply these within a lesson or pathway. They need to fitted into a pedagogically sound teaching/learning approach. So QA for courses and for curricula are also of interest. cheers paul
Hmm. "Open" simply means free to redistribute, adapt, and reuse, and it would be a mistake to try to redefine it after the fact, even with desirable elements such as you describe. A term in such widespread usage shouldn't be a moving target, and there shouldn't be the risk that resources that were once considered OERs suddenly no longer are. I realise there's no Grand Politburo that decides things officially when it comes to the term, so we are each free to use the term as we see fit, but in doing so there's quite a bit of confusion that may result. --SteveFoerster 13:11, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Quality of OER is important to help learners know that what they are spending time on is worth it. It is still open, the guideline will help users to assess that one OER is useful, and the other is better than the one at hand. OER will never be closed due to guidelines to improve the quality and help contributors to understand what makes better OER.