Some Questions on the Pedagogy of OERs

The discourse on the use Open Educational Resources(OERs) has become almost ubiquitous. While there is a good deal of enthusiasm about OERs to revolutionize education, and indeed a future for OERs, many questions linger in the minds of critics and promoters alike. Not least is the question of the importance of Pedagogy as a critical consideration when developing OERs

I am a total neophyte when it comes to the matter of OERs and Pedagogy but nevertheless a question that immediately comes to mind for me is one about expression – can OERs bring to bear a full expression of innovative pedadogical practices independent of their creators? This question is important i believe since OERs run the risk of being ‘just packaged content’.  I have seen artifacts in the name of OERs that appears to be nothing more (or less) than packaged “content”, with very little deliberate or obvious attempts at pedagogical innovation.

So where are we headed with OERs? Will pedagogical expressions emerge through the very process of producing  OERs – will pedagogy emerge naturally? Are we going to experience an explosion of new pedagogies as a result of deliberate practice, research and innovation OR will be a case of a bit of both? Is there a place for serious research on the Pedagogy of OERs? Should OERs undergo some sort of community/peer review process before they are accepted as ‘useful’?

Jenny Mackness provide an interesting perspective on Open Educational Resources and Pedagogy in response to a talk presented by Dave White for  FSLT12. The most interesting argument emanating from both discourses seem to be the significance of “contact” as pedagogy as opposed to content. A very popular example cited often is the MIT course content  available for free but not the “contact” by MIT Faculty.

So how do we integrate “contact” into our OERs? Is this actually possible? Video? Audio? Web 2.0 type OERs? Or just simply face-to-face? OERs i suspect will have to be innovative for widespread adoption.

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About lenandlar

Lenandlar Singh is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Guyana.
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