Open Education: Why #OER Needs to Be Our Business and Policy

A couple weeks ago, I attended the WCET hosted webinar on our campus – Open Education: The Business & Policy Case for #OER presented by the Director of global learning at Creative Commons,  Cable Green (@cgreen).

Wait – what the heck is OER?

I did take a few notes (a.k.a. Tweets) and thought I would share my thoughts from the session – and general thoughts for OER materials.

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{Irony: Not all of the OER Commons is CC licensed}

The real issue is about sharing and making a case for open policy on campus that fits a “business model” in higher education. This webinar addressed concerns and practices to implement open access policy that is good for business. Currently, many educational institutions do not value  or support “open” as an option. I am fortunate to work at a university that supports the open access movement and encourages sharing of scholarly research and publications. I have been thinking about my role as an open educator for a while, and what it means for my research, publications, editing, teaching, and learner engagement.

In reviewing the UNT institutional OER involvement, I know there is some progress for resources, but like many campuses, we have a way to go. It would be great to see more departments, faculty, and units participate in sharing resources and joining the #OER movement.  By swapping educational resources and encouraging remixing of ideas, we might be able to create more opportunities for collaboration  to enhance our learner experiences, including:

  • faculty mentoring
  • new ways instructional design development
  • program evaluation
  • cross-training of staff and faculty
  • student innovation/involvement
  • affordable learning materials e.g. http://opencourselibrary.org/
  • interdisciplinary learning commons
  • building capacity within your institution

If you’re at a publicly funded institution, your educational resources should be openly licensed – this just makes sense. Does your institution encourage and promote Open Access? Do you share Open Educational Resources at your school? Please share how you are #OER.

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