For this project we are explicitly creating OER, and possibly, in a constructivist approach this means we take certain steps and author our materials in a certain way. However, this is still based around a production model of author to consumer, even if a consumer in remixing becomes a new author. Innately, there will always be a consumer, but the roles offered by the traditional OER model as production and consumption – it is rare that poacher producers become consumer gamekeepers – there remain distinct roles in the system; akin to the lion and the donkey. How many OER sites have “share this content with a wealthy company!” buttons, but then don’t have “edit”, or “share your version”. The cathedral and the bazaar is the oft mentioned OS model, but even the bazaar has a distinct trading model – perhaps it is a more barter based currency? Or kibbutz?
Does this limitation in the publishing model remove a benefit from OER – that peer working (perhaps akin to crowdsourcing) improves material you share, for which you also gain? Perhaps also, in altering the production model to a more distributed approach (one with less role distinction) we can work towards common, required goals of communities, and not a centralised, institutionalised approach? So this is just crowdsourcing? Probably, but ever seen crowdsourcing and it not be a wiki? And what of the fact data changes? What of the fact some pieces, such as a World War One Blog on Arras and Wikipedia are tied to the date of creation – and we need to accept that content would be worth revisiting. So a repository can handle versioning, but can it handle viewing changes – so for this wikipedia data sets, the changes in data across the sets are as important data set as the data sets themselves. It would seem foolish to leave this content static; and static content seems to be against a lot of what is open about OER. Shouldn’t we move towards a concept of OER being continually published in that we aim to use frameworks which allow for others to contribute as equals, rather than just consumers?
Our @Arras95 campaign will look into how we can best crowd source some data, but we’ve also set up a github account for the project so we are conducting a series of experiments in this area – we’ll try to keep you up to date and it’d be great if you could contribute.