OER1142 Oral Presentation pptx

Wednesday 11 May 13.30 Cockcroft Theatre

Developing patterns in technical approaches for Open Educational Resources

R. John Robertson, University of Strathclyde
Phil Barker, Heriot Watt University
Lorna Campbell, University of Strathclyde
Li Yuan, University of Bolton

Conference Theme: OER strategy and sustainability

Abstract: Weller (2009) sets out a number of discernable models of OER initiatives - these primarily being 'Big OER' and 'Little OER' which characterize big grant-funded institutional branded OER initiatives and uncoordinated low-cost sharing of OER by individual academics. However, he also considers there to be the possibility of a middle ground (and others have argued, in response to his original typology, that much of the JISC and HE Academy work in this area, is an example of such middle ground. The strategic effectiveness or long term sustainability of big, little, or middle OER is as yet unproven.
Drawing on our work supporting the two phases of the JISC / HE Academy Open Educational Resources programme (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/oer) and our knowledge of the global OER community our presentation (and paper) will summarise the technical choices made by OER projects in phase 2 of the programme, note any differences in technical approach which have emerged between the two phases, and consider what can currently be known about the effectiveness and sustainability of UKOER's technical choices in the context of the technical choices made by big and little OER initiatives globally.
By analyzing the above summary, the authors will seek to investigate Weller's Big, Middle, and Little spectrum from a technical perspective. Although technical approaches are a minor part of Weller's analysis, this presentation affords an opportunity to investigate if the spectrum applies to technical choices and indeed if, from a technical point of view, UKOER does represent a middle ground which is able to balance impact and sustainability.
Such a summary, discussion, and analysis of big and little OER also presents the opportunity to reflect on the tensions we noted and developed in our presentation last year, "Resource description, discovery and metadata for Open Educational Resources" - in particular the implications of: rich vs thin metadata,  rss-based dissemination vs oai-pmh-based dissemination, and specialist vs generic standards.

Keywords: metadata; resource description; repositories; ukoer; oer


Robertson, R. J., Campbell, L. M., Barker, P., Yuan, L. and MacNeill, S., (2010), One Standard to rule them all?: Descriptive Choices for Open Education, OCWC Global 2010, Hanoi, 5th-7th May 2010.

Robertson, R. J., Barker, P. and Campbell, L (2010) Resource description, discovery, and metadata for Open Educational Resources Open Educational Resources 2010, Cambridge, 22nd-24th March 2010.

Martin Weller (2009) Big OER and Little OER Available at: http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2009/12/the-politics-of-oer.html