Some Myths about Open Educational Resources


Open educational resources (OER) are playing a growing role in teaching and learning.

A 2014 US study shows the majority of faculty members in colleges and universities use such resources to supplement their teaching – videos from You Tube or iTunes University, materials from a massive open online course (MOOC), OERu and OER Commons, a science simulation they found online – and some even teach from OER courses, such as those from MIT or the United Kingdom Open University. OERs are now part of the fabric of the higher education system and will grow over the next several years.

But what is the other side of the OER story? Are there some myths and legends that need to be exposed. Following a dialogue with practitioners, we identified five myths and legends.

Just because it comes from a leading institution, it doesn’t mean the OER is good
Look through the materials free to use from iTunes University from highly regarded institutions such as Oxford, Princeton, Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford, Yale. You may be surprised at the quality. Some are outstanding, but others are videos of lectures by professors who, though knowledgeable, have not adapted to the reality of video or to the fact these will be seen by people not present in their classroom. They are, to be blunt, dull and boring. Not a moment of instructional design time went in to their production. Sage on stage (with and without PowerPoint) does not make for good OER unless it has been designed for OER.

To find out what the other four myths are, visit the Contact North website