Book Review: Promoting Use and Contribution of Open Educational Resources

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Panda, Santosh
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

The current movement toward Open Educational Resources (OER) has a long historical precedence in the open education movements including that of the provision of equality of educational opportunity, recognising, though, that two individuals, not even twins, learn the same way. This later became a more contentious issue for the designers of OER as well as the planners with regard to, respectively: how best to serve the individual learning styles of learners, and what could be the cost-efficiency of alternative learning resources, including OERs. // The above unresolved issues notwithstanding, the promise of OER (and subsequently MOOCs as a part of OER and the OER movement), starting from UNESCO’s coinage of the term and MIT’s opening up of large numbers of courses for free, and subsequent initiatives by UKOU, IGNOU, COL, EdX, Corsera, Udacity, Khan Academy and many others, has generated considerable enthusiasm in policy makers as well as academic leaders and teachers. ‘Open sharing’ has been a foundational issue for large-scale use of OER; and it is as much personal as systemic. Therefore, it is imperative that these and a multitude of dimensions need to be rigorously examined through research for its effective / productive use of OER. The now-recognised debate on adoption and use of ICT through the “dominant diffusion model of the past, and the social shaping model of the recent times” may help us appreciate how best OER can be leveraged to derive the most utility. The end-user is the key to OER theory and practice.

Open Educational Resources (OER)
Journal of Learning for Development;vol. 4, no. 3