Positioning for use of OERs in online course development: Best Practice and Quality Assurance
Enhancement of quality in online learning is driven by key factors, among them course development strategies, course structure and technology integration. OERs provide an opportunity for improving the pace of course development and at the same time provide quality materials. Adaptation of narratives or technology mediation in content areas of interest, that are guided by curriculum development specialists and instructional designers can potentially work as a least cost strategy to reach a wide student group with diverse learning styles and needs. This paper argues that the extent to which quality standards are observed with OER use and adaptation depends on institutional policy, protocols, and staff development to ensure that course design and materials production reflect a consistent approach, there is use of appropriate resources for the course level and the learning activities are tied to the course objectives. How do OERs fit in? How difficult is it for OERs to be effectively incorporated in online course development, despite their original design for a different audience? Can quality be assured across diverse content areas? This critical analysis explores the course design and structure of two online courses in the areas of accounting and change management for educational leadership, offered to adult learners enrolled in two online undergraduate programmes. It examines the methodologies used for incorporation of OERs, the types of resources used and the learning activities that were developed to assess their effectiveness. // This paper attempts to demonstrate how different types of OERs can be creatively used to enhance the quality of online courses and provide a context for specific types of learning activities that assist adult learners with development and enhancement of their critical thinking skills and application of their learning to practice in Caribbean work environments. // Paper ID: 463
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