Toward a Critical Approach for OER: A Case Study in Removing the ‘Big Five’ from OER Creation

Authors : Kris Joseph, Julia Guy, Michael B McNally

This paper examines the role of proprietary software in the production of open educational resources (OER). Using a single case study, the paper explores the implications of removing proprietary software from an OER project, with the aim of examining how complicated such a process is and whether removing such software meaningfully advances a critical approach to OER.

The analysis reveals that software from the Big Five technology companies (Apple, Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft) are deeply embedded in OER production and distribution, and that complete elimination of software or services from these companies is not feasible.

The paper concludes by positing that simply rejecting Big Five technology introduces too many challenges to be justified on a pragmatic basis; however, it encourages OER creators to remain critical in their use of technology and continue to try to advance a critical approach to OER.

URL : Toward a Critical Approach for OER: A Case Study in Removing the ‘Big Five’ from OER Creation

Alternative location :

Open enough? Eight factors to consider when transitioning from closed to open resources and courses: A conceptual framework

Authors : Michael B. McNally, Erik G. Christiansen

Transitioning from closed courses and educational resources to open educational resources (OER) and open courseware (OCW) requires considerations of many factors beyond simply the use of an open licence.

This paper examines the pedagogical choices and trade-offs involved in creating OER and OCW. Eight factors are identified that influence openness (open licensing, accessibility and usability standards, language, cultural considerations, support costs, digital distribution, and file formats).

These factors are examined under closed, mixed and most open scenarios to relatively compare the amount of effort, willingness, skill and knowledge required.

The paper concludes by suggesting that maximizing openness is not practical and argues that open educators should strive for ‘open enough’ rather than maximal openness.