The information here is aimed at anyone in MMU who is interested in using Open Educational Resources with their students and in finding out a bit more about Open Education.

What are Open Educational Resources

OER are creations shared via digital channels, on websites, special repositories and social media platforms by individuals, groups or institutions for wider use. The term has been coined by UNESCO. OERs can be specific learning and teaching materials but also whole units or courses.

UNESCO’s (2002, online) definition of OER: "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work"

While Caswell et al. (2008, 2) define Open Educational Resources (OER) as a "movement (that) is a technology-empowered effort to create and share educational content on a global level."

The video below by David Blake explains what Open Education is and why it matters:


What about Open Educational Practice?

Beyond making materials available as OER, increasingly facilitated open courses and events are offered, especially since 2008 and the raise of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). In this case we talk about Open Educational Practice (OEP) but often OEP is included in the OER term. But not all are available under a Creative Commons licence and while many of these have open registration, the materials used are often locked away in a password protected area and learners have often only access to these while enrolled on the course. There is today a lot of criticism about MOOCs, especially linked to the pedagogic models used and the interpretation of open. However, we need to recognise their value for lifewide and lifelong learning and the potential they have to create learning opportunities were there were none or limited before. Engaging the less or not engaged in learning remains a challenge.

The video below by Ope Bukola is an animation explaining how OER can be used to create a global community of teachers and learners:

There is a lot of experimentation happening currently around the world in the area of OEP and other types of open. Connected and collaborative courses are offered by open educators globally, often as grassroots development with or without seed funding. Weller (2011) introduced the terms little and big OER to distinguish between institutional and individual approaches to the OER including OEP. Open education comes in different shapes and sizes and there is value in collaborative experimentation and research linked open education so that we develop models that are more sustainable and of value for a wider learner body.

OERs are made available in different digital formats, text, audio, video, image etc. for the wider community under a Creative Commons licence.these enable re-use, re-purposing and often modification, depending on the licensing agreement without contacting its creators. Attribution needs to be added when using OER to acknowledge its creators as well as respect the licensing agreement.

The animated video below, by Sridhar Raju, shows the many benefits of sharing content:





CPD Opportunities

Suggested CPD activities:

Engage with the resources about and reflect on what you have discovered and learnt.

Develop your ideas around by considering actions you can take to enhance your practice.

Consider using a portfolio to capture your reflections and share with others.

flex You might want to consider engaging with these activities and gaining CPD experience or academic credits with the FLEX scheme »

MMU Strategy and Policy

Manchester Met Education Strategy and Learning and Teaching Principles

Principle 1: "We will provide an excellent learning environment and outstanding student experience"

Principle 2:
"MMU provides an innovative, flexible, sustainable, enterprising and internationalised curriculum."