The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement has been successfully prompting the idea that knowledge is a public good (Camilleri, Daniel Ehlers, & Pawlowski, 2014), with its wide benefits in the area of higher education for governments, institutions, educators and learners (Hodgkinson-Wiliams, 2010; Hylén, 2007). However, on the social perspective, benefits are still to be realised through open educational practice (OEP). Therefore, this paper suggests that the OER potential benefits can be achieved through building communities of practice (Fulantelli, Taibi, Gentile, & Allegra, 2012; Wenger, 2006) inside higher educational institutions that embrace OER and OEP as a part of teaching strategies, however there is a need to show evidences of the claimed benefits.
Engaging students and their teachers in building OER is a promising approach to achieve the social benefits through tapping into the cognitive surplus (Shirky, 2010) of student-generated content, which is an area that has rarely been explored (Bull, 2008). This paper will discuss a new OER development model that taps into the cognitive surplus inside classrooms, through engaging students and their teachers in generating the learning resources that can be shared openly through OER. The model is a part of a PhD research, and the paper will explore the integration of the model in undergraduate courses in the school of computing, engineering and mathematics at one Australian university. While making this model as a part of a teaching course, social benefits can be realised for a collaborative community of students and teachers, and for the outer world to benefit from the learning resources.
In addition, the paper will report on part of the findings of this study, including the impact of the model on students’ learning performance and the quality of student-generated learning resources (SGLR). Finally, the social-educational value of this model can be obtained through its main goals, which are sustaining the OER movement in higher educational institutions and improving learning performance for students.
Bull, G. (2008). Capitalizing on the cognitive surplus. Learning and leading with technology, 10-11.
Camilleri, Anthony F, Daniel Ehlers, Ulf, & Pawlowski, Jan. (2014). State of the art review of quality issues related to open educational resources (OER) JRC Scietific and Policy Reports.
Fulantelli, Giovanni, Taibi, Davide, Gentile, Manuel, & Allegra, Mario. (2012). Fostering OER Communities of Practice with Teachers. Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources, 51.
Hodgkinson-Wiliams, Cheryl (2010). Benefits and Challenges of OER for Higher Education Institutions: Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town.
Hylén, J. (2007). Giving knowledge for free: The emergence of open educational resources: OECD.
Shirky, Clay. (2010). Cognitive surplus : creativity and generosity in a connected age. New York: Penguin Press.
Wenger, Etienee. (2006). Communities of Practice: a brief introduction. from www.ewenger.com/theory/index.htm