12 Open Educational Resources: From Khan to MIT - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software
News
3/11/2013
11:36 AM
David F Carr
David F Carr
Slideshows
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

12 Open Educational Resources: From Khan to MIT

Higher education can now tap into an explosion of educational resources that are free to view, download and modify. That's disruptive to commercial textbooks, media and assessments.
Previous
1 of 15
Next


What's massive, open and online in higher education?

It's not just the MOOCs, those massive open online courses causing such an uproar by enrolling 100,000 or more in a single class and trying to show how higher education can scale to the masses. MOOCs are a novel education opportunity for students who might never set foot inside a university classroom, but they are descended from another open online phenomenon with the potential to help students both online and off. These are the open educational resources. OERs are textbooks, video lectures, assessments and new forms of gamified multimedia education experiences made available, for free, in something like the mode of open source software.

Usually, OERs are distributed under one of the Creative Commons licenses, allowing students and their instructors broad freedom to download, distribute and remix content as long as proper attribution is given. Terms can vary, however, so institutions need to be careful to avoid overstepping boundaries such as terms barring "commercial use."

While this slideshow focuses on the impact for higher education, OERs are also growing into a practical resource for K-12 due to the efforts of organizations like the CK-12 Foundation.

The OER movement has arguably existed ever since the first instructor posted course materials to the Web along with a note encouraging sharing and reuse of the content. (Perhaps there are also examples that date back to the mimeograph machine or earlier, but for simplicity we'll focus on the Web era). However, just as anyone can blog about an opinion but not everyone has an informed opinion, not every professor who creates OER materials creates quality OER materials.

What's starting to change now is the organization of libraries of OERs, along with systems of peer review and quality ranking, that are giving these materials greater academic credibility. At the same time, both nonprofit and commercial entities are pumping money into creating more polished editorial products and sophisticated software.

Just as open source software has created companies aimed at profiting from ancillary products or services, so too OER has attracted startups like Boundless, which is currently fighting a lawsuit by commercial textbook publishers who accuse it of cloning their work.

The invention of the term Online Educational Resources is generally credited to UNESCO's 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Hewlett foundation, which originated with the family of a Hewlett-Packard co-founder, has also invested in developing OER materials, as has the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

At this writing, a celebration of OERs is under way through Open Education Week, with a School of Open program to follow the week of March 17, 2013.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 15
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Patrick D
50%
50%
Patrick D,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/9/2015 | 9:52:04 AM
More free educational resources
Another great website that combines a lot of these resources and more is Dropkick.co.  This simplifies the process of searching for open educational resources by subject.
Tom LaSusa
50%
50%
Tom LaSusa,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2013 | 2:56:53 PM
re: 12 Open Educational Resources: From Khan to MIT
Hi Leo,

I know this isn't the first time you've posted a comment like this. I don't recall anyone on our staff committing to such a 'new year's resolution.' By all means if you remember seeing one our our team saying so, please point us in that direction.

Regards
Tom LaSusa
InformationWeek Community Manager.
Leo Regulus
50%
50%
Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/15/2013 | 3:24:40 PM
re: 12 Open Educational Resources: From Khan to MIT
Information Week only had one important New Year's Resolution this year. '"No Slide Show Articles with out a prominent 'View-as-one-page' link." How's that working out for you so far?
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll