OER Quality Standards

Oct 16, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If we agree that the only measure of quality of an open educational resource (OER) is "Degree to which the OER facilitates student learning" the David Wiley's table makes sense. Otherwise, we might want to reconsider. For example, an OER might facilitate learning - but of information that is known to be false (or worse: propaganda). That is not "better". Moreover, the degree to which it is true, measured via a standard of precision, is also important. The relevance of the truth also matters. That is why such criteria as 'author qualifications' are used to evaluate OERs. Though I would agree, Wiley's straw man example - "an OER written by a top author that is 700 pages long and chock full or gorgeous artwork, simulations, and video?" - would certainly be a bad one. I have nothing against quality. But I don't think it is simply defined via a single metric.

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