Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Activity 7- OER - To share or not to share...

I must say I found this really interesting. I had a very 'surface' idea of waht OER was all about. Of course I found out more on the wiki link that Brownwyn referred to and on Wikipedia. The main ideas that stood out for me is sharing, collaboration and accessibility. I enjoyed reading Fiona's post and her comments about 'midwifery junction', it also showed me the delicate balance of having an 'open methodology' but having to restrict it to midwives in order to manage risk (unwanted media attention). In defining OER - it definitely is a philosophy that I can see would be challenging for some and I can't help but compare this with my work I do at University (whereby no academic files are networked and only you have accesss to your own files via your own computer) compared to here at OP where  there seems to be more opportunities to collaborate.

In terms of what strategies I could use, I haven't put anything online before to openly share and at first I was unsure about 'ownership'- which I know is not part of the philosophy of OER. After reading 'Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations' it was great to learn about how the development of OP's IP and Maori IP came to be developed and how OER is central to this thinking in the policies. Although I haven't put anything online before- I have mentioned before in other posts that I'm part of a group of educators here in Dunedin and we swap lectures- but we also swap resources too. We especially do this when running workshops but I'm not sure how 'open' this is, as it's a group that we've known each other a long time and we haven't been asked to extend this invitation.

I posed the question 'To share or not to share'- as I wanted to note that although in principal I believe that open education resources and philosophies are important for teaching and learning, I think it's also important that I fully understsnd the implications involved about sharing resources- especially when they have been developed by a group of people or could effect others in some way.

The quote below from 'Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations' highlighted to me the complexity involved when talking about knowledge, guardianship, and ownership across cultures;

To ensure the values of New Zealand’s Maori are protected, and to accommodate a different concept of ownership, a Maori IP Policy was developed in consultation with the local Maori Ngai Tahu law office. Broadly speaking, the Polytechnic’s role in this area is one of guardianship of Maori IP and knowledge. The concept of guardianship has also been extended to students’ IP.

In thinking about this and with some of the resources I have helped to develop, I would have to dedicate some hard thinking and discussion if they are mine to share?


  1. Yes that is the question Gina - whose resources are they and can they be shared? An important question to be asked in light of cultural restrictions, and a tricky one to answer when people collaborate together. I guess the ground rules have to be set from the beginning.

    However to do that people need to understand the options, and as you say open education practices can be a new concept for teachers when they have traditionally kept their teaching materials to themselves. Initiatives like WikiEducator where OER is the norm are important, and what is wonderful is that this type of approach can spread opportunities for education worldwide.

    You may be interested in the outcomes of the World Open Educational Resources Congress - Wednesday 20 – Friday 22 June, 2012.

  2. Thanks Bronwyn, I had a look at the above link - looks pretty amazing! I think it would be a great opportunity to look at some of our community resources with the intent to develop OER - with this explicit intent that you could then sort out some of the ethics invovled rather then trying to use existing material...?
    Thanks Gina