27. 'Why reinvent the wheel, when there’s great stuff out there?'
Researchers from the OUCS have authored a report on the impact of Open Educational Resources (OER). Findings highlight the need to support learners and academic staff alike in the referencing and the reuse of online resources.
Open educational resources (OER) are materials which educators make available online to learners and also to other educators, to share, re-use and remix. The report claims that their use in teaching offers new and better ways to engage with learning anytime anywhere and raising the richness of a course.
The report forms part of a significant body of work by OUCS in the field of OER. Liz Masterman, the lead researcher on the project, says: "In recent years universities in the UK have released substantial collections of OER, including Oxford’s own acclaimed series of recordings, Open Spires. It's very important, therefore, to find out how OER are being used. Academics clearly appreciate high-quality, easily discoverable, resources to enrich their students’ learning. As one lecturer told us, 'Why reinvent the wheel, when there’s great stuff out there?'
The study has also produced an alternative report for those embedding OER in their teaching entitled The value of reuse of open educational resources and a supporting video presentation by the report’s authors David White and Marion Manton (Technology- Assisted Lifelong Learning, University of Oxford). The report advises staff to help develop students’ digital literacy skills especially in the area of critical analysis of resources – for example by making them aware of citation standards that exist for online videos and podcasts.