OER: Insights into a multilingual landscape
Valentina Garoia (EUN) and Marit Bijlsma (Fryske Akademy / Mercator Research Centre) presented LangOER and its main activities during the Media & Learning Conference, 20-21 November 2014. The session “Media-Based Open Educational Resources” was moderated by Aikaterini Chariopolitou, EduTV, Greece. The audience was for a large part composed of teachers and the presentation gave insights from a practical point of view, on how to use OERs and what to know before starting using OERs.
Marit and Valentina provided an overview of benefits of OER for less used languages from a multilingual perspective, based on the knowledge and insights from the LangOER project. They showed best practice examples of language repositories e.g. LeMill, Loro and LRE. They also explained the open licensing component related to OER, and the importance of making this aspect explicit. Using Creative Common licensing allows the author to define rules on which he or she would like to share the creations with others. Furthermore, in order to develop an understanding of what items to look for on the web concerning less used languages, we looked at how to distinguish OER from other open access materials. We also explored which “search strategies” can be used by OER practitioners. The discussion after the presentation touched upon challenges to move the field forward: Is OER uptake a far- fetched idea or a current practice? How can sustainable OER uptake be ensured?
In the discussion session, several issues were raised by the audience:
- When it comes to using OER, it is rather difficult for private schools to make use of OER, as many OER as licensed for “noncommercial use”. However, since a private school charges tuition fees, these OER cannot be used.
- The concept of “OER” is quite novel to a large group of people. Next to that, it can be difficult to find the right material when searching on the web. Answer: Indeed, we aim to address this as well in our training sessions next year. What we further suggest is to have a look again at our 3 proposed search strategies or go to the following link: http://open4us.org/find-oer/
- It would be good if a repository would separate OERs that are not suitable for modification and adaption, from OERs which can be modified and adapted. Sometimes, you spend time searching for the right OER but then it appears that the source cannot be modified, which is rather time consuming.
- When an OER is a good quality OER? Answer: In the LangOER project, we refer to the 5 r’s by David Wiley:
- Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
- Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
- Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
- Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
- Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)