This week’s Times Higher headline claims: ‘Many students will “defend to the death” the need for traditional campus-based lectures, and will only delve into the world of free online educational resources if instructed to by their teachers, a conference has heard.’ Which is fine.
‘Free online educational resources’ are not the same as OER though. So quotes like “Students are actually quite conservative in their use of open educational resources (OERs)” are meaningless and “A number of the students involved in our research expressed a view that people not registered as students should not have access to educational resources. They felt that making educational resources available to the public was unfair,” shows that clearly the point has been missed.
It is true that for most students, learners, or any other individuals involved in personal use or study, the openness of the resources is not particualrly relevant; for them it is just online, available, and free. The openness of OER only kicks in when their teachers do embed them and use them ‘as part of their course‘. Check the licence before you do that.
I look forward to reading the ‘findings from an NUS survey of 2,800 students, due to be published in June, assessing their attitude to online resources‘ because I’m interested in use of online resources. I am also interested in research being done into how colleagues re-use OER. We are doing more research on this topic at Oxford right now.
I will join students in defending “to the death” campus-based lectures. A great lecture is a unique and inspiring learning experience. It can be gold standard. In recognition of this, we will continue to fight to hunt down, capture and release as many examples of traditional Oxford campus-based lectures as free online open educational resources as we possibly can.
I hope other teachers will encourage their students to use them.
* I wasn’t there.