YouTube as a Repository: The Creative Practice of Students as Producers of Open Educational Resources

Helen Keegan, Frances Bell, European Journal of Open, Distance, e-learning, Dec 22, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have discussed in the past the efficacy of student production of open educational resources (OERs), especially when contrasted against the high overhead required to sustain and support professionally or academically produced OERs. This paper looks at student-produced YouTube videos and "the practice of learners as active agents, producing open media resources using the devices in their pockets: their mobile phones." It would have been preferable to see the authors draw from a wider range of experiences than the 50 or students they were able to work with over two years, but as an exercise in solving practical problems in an educational context the paper does provide some useful insight. I would not have employed Kleiman's framework (constraint, process, product, transformation, fulfillment) to frame the discussion of creativity (and indeed its employment has all the appearances of being a requirement of the academic form of journal-writing, having little to nothing to do with the actual investigation being reported). As is common (to my observation) in this sort of work, the authors find that "tensions exist between the need for scaffolding and frameworks and the removal of constraints that temper creativity and authenticity." But as expected, "the production of open media resources that have a dual function as OERs has clear benefits in terms of knowledge sharing and community participation."
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