The next few chapters provide a dip and sip opportunity to learn more about open educational resources and open practices. I have tried to design it for both a quick skim and to facilitate deeper exploration as you come back with more questions.
Open educational resources (OER) are considered research, teaching and learning resources which have been intentionally created and licensed for others to use, and in many cases modify, at no additional cost. The practice of sharing with others isn’t new, but our ability to share things online has given rise to some processes and products, such as Creative Commons licenses, which make the sharing easier to see.
OER and open practices are a field of study in and of themselves. Scholars in educational technology, learning science, creativity, instructional design, economics, philosophy and computer science study them to explore how humans interact, learn and create together. Researchers across many fields are investigating, in particular, how using OER and open practices rather than requiring students to purchase commercial textbooks impacts college and university experiences and learning outcomes. Emerging research is articulating how OER and open practices support lifelong learning.
One of the clear findings across the board will sound familiar–we learn, create, and work together better when we feel like we are seen and heard. I (Kathy) think that OER and open practices have a lot to do with relationships that we build with each other. It takes some time, and some work, but it matters. Thank you for sharing yours.