Why OER? - What did you expect to find here?

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Something about meeting the needs/demand where there is a shortage of teachers/lecturers, to save time and streamline the learning curve for trainee teachers and lecturers in preparing for their students, to enable learners to explore the resources in their own learning endeavours, to enable access to leading edge and up-to-date learning resources which may be customised, ..., but perhaps these "reasons" are covered elsewhere?

Ktucker (talk)07:57, 4 June 2008

Some additional reasons are covered in "Advantages/Disadvantages." However, some of the reasons you touch on are not stated in that section, so I've added a paragraph on this page to cover it. Feel free to add or rephrase.

Sgurell (talk)03:32, 5 June 2008

I may come back to this later - but my feeling on first reading this page was "Why OER?" is not about copyright - though copyright (as currently framed) is a significant barrier. The copyright issue should be dealt with elsewhere. You are on the right track with the value proposition paragraph just added.

Remind us to revisit these reasons later (others cross my mind from time 
to time which are alluded to elsewhere - e.g. social construction and
pedagogical innovation).
Ktucker (talk)20:26, 5 June 2008

I have a "To Do" list and I've marked down that we should have a discussion in the future more about other reasons for OER.

Sgurell (talk)17:20, 6 June 2008

Kim, Seth

I've done a bit of reworking on this page taking into account the thoughts and suggestions listed here.

I've shifted the value proposition stuff up as the motivation for OERs, and reworked the copyright stuff a little.

Have also inserted subheadings to improve readability. Hope this helps.

Mackiwg (talk)07:57, 8 June 2008

Looks good Wayne My only concern is the footnote on public domain. Currently all footnotes are under the heading "Links." If we start adding information beyond links, then all of the headings should change.

Sgurell (talk)19:28, 8 June 2008

Yes, it does help :-). The first paragraph is great - a broader "change the world" aim and invitation to join the community :-).

The four "R"s section is in the right place here, ..., though personally, I find the "R"s a little "forced" for mnemonic value - viz. "Use", "Adapt", "Mix" and "Share".

At risk of being too minimalist, here is a possible rewording of the first paragraph incorporating the essence of 4 Rs:

The aim of OER is to improve education
by sharing knowledge and learning resources. 
By joining this international community of educators
you can save time, cut costs and 
contribute to improving the quality of learning around the world.
With OER you are free to use, adapt, 
mix and share the resources, and 
become part of this growing community. 

The value proposition is well placed.

I still think the Copyright and Fair Use sections should be moved to a section dedicated to licensing, and referred to from here. More on that later.

Ktucker (talk)01:40, 11 June 2008

Hi Kim --

The minimalist para is a winner --- copied this over immediately!

The Copyright and Fair Use sections are a challenge. I can see why Seth has touched on this under the WHy OER subsection. I think Copyy right does need to be touched in the intro chapter and covered in detail later.

Perhaps the fix is to include the "Copyright paradox" as a new subsection in this chapter so that it becomes a separate navigation section in the chapter?

Mackiwg (talk)02:48, 11 June 2008

I like the opening paragraph as well.

The four "R's" are Wiley's contribution, and I am checking with him to see how strongly he feels about it.

Sgurell (talk)08:13, 11 June 2008

I think David's four "Rs" will be useful to many folk. People learn in different ways and some folk like mnemonics.

I think we have both based covered because we use the more traditional terms in the opening para and give others a "gestalt" on which to hang their thinking.

Mackiwg (talk)08:38, 11 June 2008

David agrees and would like to keep it as part of the handbook.

Sgurell (talk)09:14, 11 June 2008

Could we do it as an insert? - See OER_Handbook_Why_OER_(straw_dog).

Ktucker (talk)10:42, 12 June 2008

Hey Kim

Working late!

mmmm -- the insert is going to cause problems for our pdf output :-(, Until we upgrade to the new version of the extension which does a better job of parsing tables in relation to images etc -- I think we should keep this as a subsection.

Mackiwg (talk)10:47, 12 June 2008

Ok. Maybe we could work a trick with a table ... another day ...

With OER you are free to ... The four "R"s of OER.

I added a few comments on this straw dog to indicate where I am going with it.

The Copyright Paradox disappeared :-) ... My feeling is that we should not portray copyright as an enabler. The paradox becomes "freedom to restrict the freedom of others" which is not desirable. Will get back to this soon.

Ktucker (talk)11:04, 12 June 2008

Nope -- hasn't disappeared --

I shifted this into a new subsection to separate the Why OER from the licensing issue.

The enabler debate and the "freedom to restrict the freedom of others" is a complex debate as we all know too well :-)

The classic example is copyleft where we use copyright to enshrine the freedoms of a resource. In this regard copyright is an enabler. The counter argument is that attribution or share alike restrictions are limitations of individual freedom. I think the complexity of this debate is not suited for this level of handbook.

The freedom culture uses copyright -- not by choice but as a smart hack to protect freedoms. Copyright and the meaning of freedom is one of the most talked about issues in WE. 72% of new account holders in WE are "formal" educators -- hence I think that a cursory introduction to copyright and fair usage early in the piece is well suited to the target audience.

I do agree that copyright is not the motivation for OER -- hence dealing with this as a separate subsection. Sadly, copyright is a reality and consequence of the industrialisation of society and educators need to contend with this reality. WE have the absurd situation where some academics are trying to protect and lock down their IP arguing that student notes are derivative works and outside of the classroom these cannot be published and shared.

None of us want to live in this kind of world.

Good discussions -- certainly a topic for a follow up handbook.

Cheers W

Mackiwg (talk)11:15, 12 June 2008

Pasted straw dog into the page ... PDF comes out ok (table is not 70% width but better than previous attempt). Images are smaller (not sure if that violates a style rule?)

Reworded some of the value proposition.

Ktucker (talk)08:22, 13 June 2008

Hey Kim,

From my days of learning design for distance education, there is a fine balance between:

  • Content design
  • Linguistic design
  • Visual design

I think we need to try and keep these things in balance. Sometimes we need to tweak a little extra text to get the balance with the visuals right. Part of the shifting around I did last Saturday was to get the balance right with the visual elements and the text. In my view reducing the images to 200px is not the right balance and doesn't do justice to Sunshine's work. We haven't specified a style guidline for images ==> but the grid needs to be consistent thoughout the handbook. We can't have images of 200px on one page and then 400 pix on the next page.

The use of pedagocial templates also enhances the professionalism of the output in accordance with accepted practice in design for aysnchronous materials.

I think this page will be a good test case for sorting out layout guidelines.

Cheers Wayne

Mackiwg (talk)09:37, 13 June 2008

I've added the issue to the tracker and noted that Wayne has proposed layout styles on the style guide page. I'm glad Wayne is bringing up this issue because it is important. I agree with his proposal.

Sgurell (talk)10:22, 13 June 2008

Just a few things:

Have we decided definitively that we want to rename "Links" to "Notes." I don't have a problem with that, but it is something that everyone needs to be aware because it affects every page.

Sgurell (talk)10:40, 13 June 2008