A new area I was exposed to in college this week was that of the OERs or Open Educational Resources. Part of our assignment for another module on the MATCEL (Master of Arts in Technical Communication and E-Learning) course is to design an OER. I find their existence a fascinating one and one that holds true to the academic principles of providing free and accessible information that helped to established the world wide web as we know it.
What’s an OER? Well, I would define it as a free educational resource that can be accessed anywhere and can be adapted by future users. Some of the key features of OERs (as defined by the Open University) are that they are findable, from a trustworthy source and are easy to modify. They must also be free. In today’s society, this opens up a world of learning to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. What I like about them is how accessible they are in this regard. OERs are not a new development, however, having been in existence since 1999.
One of my lecturers spoke about how an OER designed by archaeologists and featuring a video centred on a dig was then reanimated on an educational website for nurses to discuss the conditions which could give rise to carpel tunnel syndrome. How cool is that? I’m looking forward to learning more about this fascinating new world and getting the chance to create my own OER.