Tagged: W7A4

Week 7 – Activity 4: Identifying priorities for research

Timing: 3–4 hours

Imagine you are advising a funding organisation that wishes to promote activity and research in the area of open education.

  • Set out the three main priorities they should address, explaining each one and providing a justification for your list. Share this in the discussion forum and compare with priorities of others.

In this activity you are just expected to start thinking about these issues, and to use your own experience and intuition; you are not expected to research them in depth. You will build on this work during next week, and also for the assignment (TMA02).

After sharing your list of priorities and examining (and hopefully commenting upon) those of two or three others, consider the following questions, which will give you some ideas as we move into the second week of the block:

  1. Was there consensus about what were the key priorities?
  2. Do you feel some issues would be more easily solved than others?
  3. What would be effective ways to address some of the priorities listed?


1. Indexing/Search engines: 

Explanation: Currently there are numerous search engines/indexes of OER materials. A new solution to categorising and locating said resources would be beneficial not only to the OER community, but also in the expansion and marketing of OER as useful and easy materials to adopt into the mainstream.

Justification: The difficulty of finding quality resources, including the abilities to remix them and be aware of their licensing.

2. Quality:

Explanation: The development of materials on par or exceeding that of the for-profit sector. This should take into account changing trends in technology, such as standardised format, sharing abilities, and licensing. A method of standardisation/certification could be developed.

Justification: Along with the difficulty in finding OER materials to fit your needs, the quality of said resources can vary widely due to a lack of profit motivation and checks/balances.

3. Funding:

Explanation: Organisations are using various funding models, but often donations or alternative support, such as from a university are needed. An alternative funding model, potentially through advertising or very light subscription services delivered from the learner’s institutional side could provide solutions.

Justification: This will increase the motivation for the adoption of OER, and the financial security for firms wishing to invest/develop OER. If OER are seen to be profitable, even if not financially in any way (personal development), this could help spur further OER popularity in the formal sector.