Posts Tagged ‘learning design’

OERs save time for learning designers

17 August 2009

This morning I spoke at the National Association of Distance Education and Open Learning in South Africa (NADEOSA) annual conference. In my presentation, I looked at the landscape for open and distance learning in the 21st century, with a particular focus on the issues for developing countries in terms of resources, connectivity, etc. (As if to drive home the point, the Skype connection between Leicester and Pretoria kept dropping!)

One of the ‘threads’ in the tapestry I described was Open Educational Resources, which I believe can enable educators to produce high quality teaching materials both cost-effectively and within reasonable time frames. The audience picked up on this point in the Q&A session:  the importance of critically reviewing OERs before using them was noted, and some concern was expressed about the time involved in finding suitable OERs and modifying them for the context in which you teach.

Tony Mays from SAIDE/UNISA then made a great point: he described two studies that had been carried out in different parts of Africa. These studies found that, whereas designing learning materials from scratch took an average of 100 hours per notional learning hour, sourcing and modifying OERs took only 40-60 hours. Still time-consuming, but a significant saving.

Does anyone know of other studies to this effect?

Gabi Witthaus