Four observations on how OER initiatives are modelled

Allison Littlejohn, Apr 05, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Here, first, are the observations, as stated by Allison Littlejohn:

  • European OER initiatives are based (largely) on the traditional view of instructor using OER as content for teaching

  • Most European OER initiatives rely on government or institutional funding

  • OER is often viewed as content curated by ‘experts’

  • Significant groups of people are not being considered as key users of OER

From what I've seen of MOOCs in North America, exactly the same four comments could be made. So what's wrong with that picture. In short, it's unsustainable. Eventually the funding runs out, experts are too busy to curate all the resources, and the unrepresented groups turn elsewhere for resources. That's why I recommended community supported OERs to the OECD in 2006, and recommend community-based MOOCs today. Not that anyone listens.

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