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The presentation explores the role of Open Access (in licensing and publishing) and Open Educational Resources (OERs) within Distance Education, focusing on the context of the University of London International Programmes. We report on an investigation, where data were gathered via an online survey from librarians (including information specialists) and Programmes directors, in relation to existing practices around Open Access and the use of Open Educational Resources.
We will report on the case study data and the focus group/workshop that took place two months after the dissemination of the initial online survey. Our investigation resulted into some clear recommendations both for practitioners and for students in this area.
There seems to be a current debate in HE about reaching a global audience and on-going initiatives; these affects staff that are directly or indirectly linked to learning and teaching. They also seem to affect increasingly both in the context of global education on and off campus and Open and Distance L earning (ODL) students. Other current initiatives are helping to create awareness of Open Access issues, e.g. Multiple Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become a driver for many higher education institutions.
Our findings indicate that:
1) We need to recognise, support and reward Open Access initiatives and systems.
2) There are some non-obvious linkages between digital repositories, standards, and quality on which librarians, IT departments, course leaders and researchers need to work closely together.
3) We need to build awareness of students, and make resources available as open access, e.g. data sets for ODL students to work on.
4) We need to author open licensed ODL materials with references to open licensed research.
Based on our data, ‘searchability’ and ‘discoverability’ of OERs seemed to be an overall issue. Another dominant trait of responses was that practitioners were commonly not familiar with OERs and Open Access initiatives; therefore there should be a strong academic development aspect of any engagement activity.
Overall, there seems to be a (not thoroughly explored until now) synergy between Open access and OERs, as both have to address issues of ease of access, quality and visibility in order to become accepted in higher education.
D’Antoni, S. (2007). Open educational resources: The way forward. Deliberations of an international community of interest. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP. [online] Available at: http://oerwiki.iiep-unesco.org/images/4/46/OER_Way_Forward.pdf
Gray, E. Chattapadhyay, S. Wiens, K. Scott, A. (2013) Is Open Access only for rich countries? Policy recommendations from a series of global Open Access Dialogues undertaken in late 2012 and early 2013, [online] Available at: http://www.ids.ac.uk/files/dmfile/Is_OpenAccess_only_for_rich_countries.pdf
Hatzipanagos, S. (2013). The quest for “useful, specific and practical OERs”: but do they support learning? OER2013, Nottingham, UK.
|Affiliation||King’s College London|
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