OER1105 Oral Presentation pptx

Friday 13 May 10.00 Cockcroft Theatre

OER Hero! The birth, maintenance, exploitation and death of a pre-OER learning community

David Kernohan, JISC

Conference Theme: Collaboration and communities

Abstract: The OER movement has often sought to draw parallels between an idealized OER lifecycle around production, release, reuse, and rerelease by referring to other areas of practice, such as academic research. These have largely been unsuccessful as the metaphor does not accurately map – and other metaphors (eg educator as DJ), often tell us more about ourselves than about practice. Metaphors are important in education, and OER has yet to find a metaphor that works. In this presentation I hope to propose such a metaphor via an examination of the online sharing of guitar tablature (especially around a site called OLGA and the rec.music.makers.guitar.tablature mailing list on usenet). This, as well as being an interesting story about community collaboration around a set of learning resources, is a surprisingly accurate metaphor for the OER project. There are close parallels to struggles with IP and educational use - tablatures were (and are) scholarly works and were issued under a simple license permitting scholarly and educational use only. And issues of ownership and curation have come to the fore as the forced closure of OLGA by music publishers has led to many similar sites drawing on the same source materials. Fundamentally, guitar tabulature sharing offers genuine large-scale evidence of an analog to the classic OER lifecycle, involving discovery, use, development and republishing. Many experienced commentators (for example David Wiley, http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/900) have recently begun to question the possibility of this kind of OER reuse. OLGA and the community that existed around it suggests that such use is not without precedent, and that the issues around OER are not insurmountable. Participants of this session would take away an appreciation of the need for metaphors as a part of the means of changing practice, and would have a greater understanding of the OER community and project via the analysis of a close historical parallel.

Keywords: Community; lifecycle; metaphor; history; online.


Downes, Steven Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources (IJKLO vol 3, 2007) http://ijello.org/Volume3/IJKLOv3p029-044Downes.pdf

Schmoller, Seb et al Sharing eLearning Content (JISC, 2007)

Beetham, Helen; Littlejohn, Allison; McGill, Lou; et al UKOER Synthesis and Evaluation Project Final Report (JISC, 2010)

Sfarad, Anne On two Metaphors for Learning and the danger of choosing just one (Educational Researcher vol 27 number 2, 1998)

rec.music.makers.guitar.tablature (archived at http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.makers.guitar.tablature/topics )

http://www.olga.net/ (and discussions in various places online around the closure of OLGA)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLGA - This Wikipedia resource will be updated as part of the preparation for this presentation.