Quick update: I thought I’d kick off my new “State of OER” research by compiling a list of all the available OER repositories -- a sensible place to start. I thought about just compiling everything in a long list-like blog post at first, and then, as one is wont to do when projects seem big and call for collaboration, I started a Google Doc, where I started jotting down the names, the URLs and a brief description.
But it quickly became apparent that that’s an insufficient way to track these sorts of things – and I’d go even farther to say that it’s probably part of the problem that OERs face right now in gaining more widespread adoption:
So there’s openly licensed content available on the Internet. So what? How do I find it? How do I know it’s useful? (And more accurately in this case: so how do I create a directory that are actually useful to teachers and learners?)
(I should note here that WikiEducator does have a good list of “exemplary” OER resources.)
But more than just a list of what’s “out there,” I have other questions:
What level and what topics do these OER address? Who created them? Are the resources rated? If so, by whom? Teachers? Students? How are these resources funded? (Namely will the resources disappear? There are a lot of dead links on that WikiEducator wiki.) What format are the resources in? How often are they used? And by whom?
(OER Commons does a pretty good job of addressing a lot of these questions about the types of resources (topics, licenses, formats and so on), and potentially the Learning Registry could give us good data about usage.)
Tomorrow’s post: some stats gleaned from these sites on what topics are available, how are they licensed, and what format are they in. Coming soon: a look at how educators and organizations are using OER (if so, how, and if not, why not).
Disclosure: This research is being funded Portland-based, educational Drupal dev shop FunnyMonkey