Jul 282010

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Friday saw UKOER10: UK perspectives on open educational resources. If you are interested in open access in higher education, the Open CourseWare (OCW) movement or open educational resources (OER) head straight to the OER infoKit, launched at the event, which provides an overview of the management, learning and teaching, technical and legal issues involved.

The event reported on a nationally funded OER programme, with 29 projects supported across three stands (institutional, subject based and individual). A second phase of the programme will look at impact and business models.

One of the key issues is convincing academics of the benefits of open access. UKCLE’s Simshare OER project team has put together a useful set of slides:

Back in 2006 I undertook some research into the landscape for sharing resources in law for UKCLE, as part of an earlier project. It would be interesting to update this research, but revisiting the themes which emerged I’m wondering how much has changed:

  1. The resusability paradox – resources need context to be effective, but reusability is best without context.
  2. If we build it will they come – building and sustaining a user community is not trivial, and the community ‘home’ must have a baseline of content at the start.
  3. What type of service – repository vs metadata repository, quantity vs quality, what to reuse…
  4. Technical and copyright issues – how to deal with technical churn, metadata options, copyright and IPR.
  5. The legal education information environment – what will succeed best, given law school culture/s and the nature of the law information environment.

In a slightly different context, but still looking at sharing, the SHEEN Sharing project took a refreshing approach to many of these dilemmas – in Flying under the radar: lessons learned from a fun-fauxpository project the project consultant describes how they just cracked on with it!

I’d be very interested to hear about OER or other ‘sharing’ projects underway in Denmark – leave a comment below or get in touch.

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