Peter Bateman’s OER talk

October 30, 2007

Peter Bateman’s circle on the OER components
Originally uploaded by openlearn2007

He is looking at the practical aspect about how higher education institutes can develop their own Open Educational Resources (OER).

His definition of OER: “Teaching learning and research resources that resides in the public domain or have been released under …” oohh … missed it.

In particular he is looking at OER in the TESSA project ( and he needs to make an analytical framework and then devise a strategy for perhaps implementing this. He are looking at categories and subcategories for creating an OER and also their property and their dimension (dimension possibly means what it is actually e.g. print, user-support level etc.). There are very few universities (<2) in Africa who actually author original OER as most of them reuse.

The categories he has mentioned so far is creation, organisation, dissemination (explaining dissemination via CDs counteract the whole interactivity of web 2.0 apps.), utilization (e.g. using existing OER, pedagogical methods, accreditation of materials, quality assurance mechanism – the users are not certain whether the materials coming from the internet are all good).

They want to stop looking at Africans as consumers of knowledge but rather as a participants i.e. participatory OER (this participatory thing is a real buzz word in this conference!). He has a nice big yellow circle on the board – too busy taking the picture to actually find out what it is about – but was very pretty looking.

“What components support effective participation in the OER movement?” – A question he is calling ‘The perfect storm’ with respect to the Africans getting on board with the OER.

The components for addressing this question:
1) Research – they won’t come on board unless research doesn’t back it up!
2) Pedagogy – devising cost effective open, distance and elearning – OdeL programs – he is also talking that the universities are also over-subscribe-
3)Technology support – problems with internet – talking about the current and planned fibre optic networks in Africa, although most of it seem to be on the eastern side
4) Sensitization – they don’t have the same autonomy as the universities in the western world and have to talk to the finance ministry
5) Collaboration – easy to use software for collaborating on the OER
6) Capacity Enhancement and training – train the people in a professional manner
7) Policy Framework – have to think about the intellectual property rights (IPR) issues. He explains there may be some conflict of being open in the higher education sector but whilst on the other hand the Africans are being encouraged to hold on to their intellectual property etc. in other things.

More pretty circles, moved to quickly to get a picture – but was saying that these components are not mutually exclusive … i.e. they would intersect. Question time!

Peter is saying that the only way (I think !?!) that people would get on board with the architecture etc., it must have good content although he sees it more as a chicken and egg situation.

Some guy is talking about similar problems he is finding on a project that he works on called OpenLearning Exchange ( which works in Africa and the Caribbean and he says in Haiti they disseminate information (or course materials) via mules!

Another person is talking about OpenDoor ( another project at the OU that is smaller but somewhat related to TESSA.

Peter is clarifying that we should not say the poorest university but rather the least resourced university – which I think it is a fair point …


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