Students able to identify features of OER

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Openness | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

The HEA/NUS Study Students‟ views on learning methods and Open Educational Resources in higher education found that students showed good awareness of the features of OER:

Most of the students surveyed (82% of traditional learners and 83% of non-traditionallearners) were able to identify at least some of the characteristic features of OERs; the principles of “openness” and “accessibility” featured most strongly. Conceptualisations of OERs that focus group participants offered included: accessibility, equality, sharing, choice, inspiration, freedom and change.

However, licensing did not feature strongly as a feature of OER.  The report continues:

A small number of students were aware of creative commons licences, usually in relation to Wikipedia or Flickr:

It is what the Wikipedia model is based on. It‟s the idea that you are free to edit, change or use the information, but if you have to change it then you have to make it your own, and it has to go back into the creative commons. (Participant 48, 20: 25–30)

Others mentioned intellectual property (IP) and copyright law. One student mentioned a difference between commercial and non-commercial use of images and another spoke about the need to seek permission from the copyright holder in some cases. A few others were aware of some differences between using resources for academic and commercial purposes.

Many students seemed to believe that OER was an agreement to share resources between institutions and were only available to registered students.  Reuse and repurposing of resources was another aspect of OERs which did not feature strongly, but was mentioned by a small number of participants.

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