Please note: This blog post is a course related assessment for the Master of Arts in Learning and Technology program at Royal Roads University.
When reviewing the unit 1 readings, I was pleased to see Teaching in a digital age by Tony Bates listed. I previously secured a hardcopy edition of Tony’s book at the 2017 World Conference on Online Learning and looked forward to the opportunity to read the book again, after a year of additional studies in the fields of learning and technology.
With a new found interest in Open Educational Resources (OER), the first chapter I decided to re-read was Chapter 10: Trends in open education. OER are educational materials that are openly accessible for the public to use and have the advantages of typically being free and available in digital formats (eCampusOntario, n.d). While I have discussed the benefits of OER several times over the past six months, I decided to focus on Bates work on disadvantages to Open Educational Resources for this blog post. The limitations have been broken down into categories of accessibility, quality, and financial rewards.
From an accessibility standpoint, not all OER are available to embed within a Learning Management System (Bates, 2016). With content stored within an external resource, faculty members could lose access to the material and would need to find new suitable content for their course.
Bates (2016) discussed a common trend of poor quality in OER creation. Several resources are text-based, with minimal interactivity or graphical elements. Many open textbooks suffer from the same limitations and do not include the supplementary materials that faculty often leverage, such as pre-built assessments (Bates, 2016). Without these supplied resources, faculty are required to curate or create the resources.
While some funding is available for the creation of OER through government-funded entities such as BCcampus (2018) and eCampusOntario (n.d.), several OER are developed with no financial reward for contributors or reviewers (Bates, 2016). The lack of financial investment into OER development has resulted in poor quality in the written content, design and removed industry experts from performing systematic reviews before the OER are made available to the public.
Based on Bates findings, do you believe that the negative aspects of OER can be overcome? For those that teach or develop curriculum, would you consider implementing OER into your practices?
Bates, T. (2016). Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. British Columbia: SFU Document Solutions.
BCcampus. (2018, November 09). Open Textbooks. Retrieved January 19, 2019, from https://bccampus.ca/projects/open-textbooks/
eCampusOntario. (n.d.). Open Educational Resources. Retrieved January 19, 2019, from https://www.ecampusontario.ca/open-education-resources/