OERs at the EDEN conference in Gdansk

A number of BDRA colleagues went to the 2009 EDEN conference in Gdansk, Poland, between 10 and 13 June. I attended a workshop on OERs led by Grainne Conole and her OU colleagues. The workshop used the OLnet initiative to illustrate methods, tools, challenges and technologies relevant to designing and evaluating OERs. This blog post aims to share the key points that are relevant to OTTER. There are useful references at the end.

The workflow used by the OLnet project is very similar to OTTER’s.

Their output, however, is a set of ‘open educational courses’, i.e. high quality resources integrated and interlinked in such a way that they can be both very useful but very hard to ‘dismantle’, repurpose and reuse as individual chunks.

Lane (2006) suggests 3 models for OERs: integrity, essence and remix. It is under remix that learning design comes firmly in.

There’s still very little evidence of OER reuse.

It’s worth asking ourselves: what do some OERs lack that makes them unusable?


Lane, A. (2006). From Pillar to Post: Exploring the issues involved in re-purposing distance learning materials for use as open educational resources. Retrieved June 17, 2009 from: http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/document.cfm?docid=9724

Wilson, T. (2008). New Ways of Mediating Learning: Investigating the implications of adopting open educational resources for tertiary education at an institution in the United Kingdom as compared to one in South Africa. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol 9, No 1. Retrieved June 17, 2009 from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/viewArticle/485/998

Alejandro Armellini
17 June 2009


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