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OERs: Open Educational Resources

Pros and Cons

There are many reasons for using OERs in learning and teaching.

For teaching staff, OERs can supplement and add value to existing curriculum resources as well as enhancing and creating awareness of their own teaching and learning profile. They can also benefit from collaborating in a community of practice on a local or international level (COP).

For students, using OERs can expose students to a wider range of digital learning opportunities in the form of open texts, open images, open courseware, and self-assessment tools. According to JISC, learners can benefit from:

  • enhanced quality and flexibility of resources combined with terms of reducing textbook purchases reduced costs in terms of reducing textbook purchases
  • seeing/applying knowledge in a wider context than their course may otherwise allow (international dimension)
  • support for learner-centered, self-directed, peer-to-peer and social/informal learning approaches.

OERs provide:

  • Learning resources with cost-saving, quality and flexibility of access
  • Enhanced opportunities for self-learning at home
  • Skills development: digital literacy skills for searching, reusing, recreating, disseminating, branding, networking,...OERs to learning community.

However it is helpful to be realistic in terms of the time input required to develop or create OERs. There may be sustainability issues around how frequently technology needs to be updated as well as UDL  and accessibility considerations for users.  Students may need assistance in using or finding OERs. There may be languge or cultural barriers and there may also be copyright or IP concerns. 

Find more information about OER see the JISC website

OERs explained

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0