research fellow

A Student’s Understanding of OER

Hello family and friends!

As an exercise for the conference that I am currently attending, I am writing about something that I had never heard about before this week. I am going to be sharing why I think Open Educational Resources are important.

Again, I do not totally understand the complex thing that is OER, so this is my attempt to explain its importance.

This is my take on the 5R’s of OER

Responsibility

As a student who often cringes when I hit “place order” on my expensive bundles on textbooks, I think those who create textbooks need to be more responsible with their knowledge. I guess what I’m trying to say is the age-old cliche, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Meaning, those textbooks companies looking to take my money because they know that I need that textbook so that I could take that class and complete my degree- oof- could be nicer. I believe that OER may make a professors life more complicated, it would make mine A LOT easier.

Resources

I think a benefit of OER would be that professors (who often keep students’ financials in mind) would not need to limit the textbooks that they base their courses on. Again, I am not a professor. But what I’ve heard this week is that selecting textbooks is difficult for professors because they want to ease the pain of hitting that rather expensive “place order” button. There would be SO many more options for textbooks options, and that would greatly benefit my education.

Re-Telling

One thing that I did not realize was all the different licenses that come with OER. One of the more interesting licenses is the “Share-Alike”. I won’t explain this perfectly, but I think that the adding of information is a wonderful thing. If I publish something, I think that I would like it when someone added something of value to my work.

Reliable

Another thing about our current textbook situation is that textbooks are often not made with global usage in mind. Again, a brand new thing that I learned. But textbooks we use here in America may not be useful in South Africa. I think that OER would help keep information stable and reliable globally.

Realize

One thing I learned so far is that we need to realize the importance of OER. It has many great benefits from what I’ve gathered so far- and I would love to see it be more commonly used throughout higher education!

Thanks for reading! And I hope that my understanding of OER is on the right track!

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