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Wednesday, October 17 • 11:20am - 12:05pm
What lies beneath? Diving into the pre-history of OER

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Drawing on an exhaustive examination of the history of sharing academic materials digitally, primarily in the UK but also worldwide, we will be examining the policy and business assumptions behind a number of interventions. The "Open Education" movement has tended to define itself as a new movement, but we aim to demonstrate that it builds on a number of areas of earlier work, and that trends within Open Education are clearly identifiable as the remnants of the assumptions built in to previous ideas around sharing.

"OER" is characterised by the emphasis on open licences (Creative Commons) and web2.0 technologies. Whereas previous phases had a focus on learning management systems and repositories, OER approaches use a wider range of platforms. In addition, the increased emphasis on understanding use and usage of educational content has shone a spotlight on our assumptions. As the OER community begins to address those issues, tensions between various embedded traditions of sharing are felt.

Building on the work of Masterman and Wild (2011) and the informally published ideas of Leslie (2008 onwards) amongst others, we will argue that “sharing” is already a fundamental part of academic practice, and that various initiatives have exposed various aspects of this to greater scrutiny. Conversely, there are other parts of sharing practice that are “invisible”, either because it occurs privately or because it involves the breach of copyright and intellectual property laws.

In conclusion we argue for a historically nuanced approach to open education, and suggest a plurality of approaches to sharing.

Masterman and Wild (2011), “OER impact study, research report”

Leslie (2008), “Planning to Share versus Just Sharing”

Wednesday October 17, 2012 11:20am - 12:05pm PDT

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