OER: Critical Conversations

Open Educational Resources (OER) represent a recent educational trend, and one that is still evolving. Let’s take a look at some of the critical conversations surrounding OER. 
Are OER the wave of the future? Some question their rising prominence, and compare them to a previously robust educational trend, Massive Open Onine Courses (MOOCs).

Inside Higher Ed asks various educational experts across the country whether the recent NY state funding of CUNY and SUNY OER is a “turning point” within the field. Their responses are interestingly various, ranging from questions about how the money will be spent (“Will it be used to seed the creation of an OER enterprise? Will it be offered to individual authors in the form of grants?”), to re-framing OER as less of a goal in itself, but as one component of a widespread move to address educational equity.

Others have noted the quick expansion of OER, noting the #GoOpen campaign promoted by the Obama administration, and the unknown impact on the publishing industry, particularly in regards to textbooks. And David Wiley, known for his work identifying the “five R’s” of open content sharing, has written on his blog about the misconception that OER represents a form of socialism.
Whether you’re new to the idea of OER or have developed courses of your own, it’s good to keep an ear open to these conversations. The open education movement continues to develop, shaping the ways we think more broadly about concepts of sharing, authorship, and global interaction.

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