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Digital Pedagogy - A Guide for Librarians, Faculty, and Students

This guide is meant to inform the user about Digital Pedagogy. It includes information on educational theory, a collection of case studies, and resources relevant to the study of digital pedagogy.

OERs - Benefits

Significance and Benefits of OER


According to West and Jensen, OER is a philosophy and pedagogical shift – a movement that works to improve  educational learning materials that aren’t restricted by copyright. They have the potential to:

  • Save students money on materials

  • Increasing student achievement, inspiring passion and building better connections between students and the materials they use

  • Provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse knowledge.

  • If the world’s knowledge is to be considered a public good then the more materials are shared, the more the world is bettered


The ALA White Paper and Environmental Scan and Assessment of OERs MOOCs and the Library, states that the benefits of OERs include

  • Use without the need of copyright clearance

  • The pedagogical benefit of the ability to revise and remix content and make it available in a mashed or alternative format, which allows for subject configuration and accessibility

  • Possible enhancement of institutional reputation, with the potential to attract endowment

OERs - Challenges

Challenges of OER


Along with their numerous benefits, OERs also have several challenges associated with them. Educause’s educational sheet, 7 Things you Should Know about OERs, points out the following:


  • The  quality of the content of OERs can be uneven

  • Some ineffective at presenting material properly

  • Value tends to decrease without periodic updating

  • May need to be adapted for use by specific departments

  • Design may not be accessible


In addition to this, the ALA White Paper indicated two main categories of challenges that must be considered when it comes to OER. These are:


a.       Effectiveness

The White Paper defines effectiveness of OERs as the ability to provide quality educational materials that effectively convey knowledge to their users. They should be:

  • Useful across borders, cultures, and regions

  • Created by experts so that content is credible

  • Follow instructional design and pedagogical principles that ensure that learning objects include well laid out topics, are interactive, and use appropriate technology to facilitate learning, and

  • Adhere to agreed upon technological standards (standard formats, discoverability, modularity and granularity, interoperability)


b.      Sustainability

Additionally, the paper outlines that sustainable development of OERs is complex and requires addressing institutional, professional, and student awareness, policy preparedness, supporting creators and users to allow for creation and adaptation of effective resources, making OER visible, and finding means of funding longterm development. In terms of sustainability, OERs should:


  • Meet their goals of perpetuating the production and sharing

  • Sustain the use and reuse of OERs by users