Danni McCarthy, the coordinator of Deakin’s Inclusive Education Community of Practice (CoP), interviews Angie Williamson, Open Education Program Coordinator, about the recent panel and hackathon events exploring the power of Open of Educational Resources (OERs) for inclusivity.
In the panel discussion, you suggested OERs have different meanings and importance for people dependent on their reason for developing them. So, what is the power of OERs for you?
This is a big question. For me, it would be the access of OERs. If we use open resources, especially as a textbook, we provide equity amongst the students because they all have access to the same resources at the same time. Some students don’t have to wait for their pay to buy a textbook or to access a library copy. The power of OERs means everyone has the same opportunities.
What do you hope for Deakin and its emerging practices and developments with Open Education Resources?
We have made a good start at Deakin and learned a lot this year. At the hackathon, we considered aspects of open education that align with our innovative environment. Ideas such as ease of use, peer review and challenging traditional assessment formats resonated most with those who attended. This year we have been dipping our toes in the water to work out the best path forward and I think this is moving us towards a bigger conversation.
Creating OERs is a great idea but from a practical perspective, is the time it takes to produce OERs one of the biggest challenges?
It’s true. It takes time to create resources. However, getting started doesn’t have to be a major task. Start small – use or adapt a chapter of an open text or work with colleagues to create a resource. Including OER searching in the process for reviewing your unit content is another easy way to start.
So, if people are interested in getting started with OERs, how would you like them to proceed?
A good place to start is the Open Education Resources (OERs) and DRM-free resources library guide at Deakin. This has lots of great information on searching for and using OERs. You can also contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your Liaison Librarian.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me about OERs. I also wanted to say that Dr Eseta Tualaulelei, who presented at the CoP session, has done some great work in this space.
Yes, she really was inspirational and gave a tangible way for us to learn about (and get started) with OERs. I encourage everyone to have a look at the recording of the panel discussion The power of Open Education Resources for inclusive education or you can have a look at Eseta’s work Gems and nuggets Subtitle: Multicultural education for young children and Hidden treasures.