Activity 8: An OER course

Timing: 8 hours


Imagine you are constructing a course in digital skills for an identified group of learners (e.g. undergraduates, new employees, teachers, mature learners, military personnel, etc.). It is a short, online course aimed at providing these learners with a set of resources for developing ‘digital skills’. It runs for five weeks, with a different subject each week, accounting for about six hours study per week.

  • Devise a broad outline of the topics to be covered every week. Don’t deliberate too much on this; it should be a coherent set of topics but you don’t actually have to deliver it.
  • Now see how much of your desired content could be accommodated by using OER repositories. Search the following repositories and make a quick evaluation for each week of your course of the type of content that is available.
  • You can use the following template for your evaluation. In the final column judge whether the resources are good, medium or bad in terms of suiting your needs.
WeekTopicResourcesSuitability (G/M/B)
  • Write a blog post, using your evaluation as the basis. Reflect upon whether the use of OER caused you to change what you wanted to teach, and what time saving (if any) would be gained by using OER.
  • Compare your evaluation with that of other students and comment in the forum on any differences.

A note on accessibility of OER repositories

Repositories often contain material from a wide variety of authors, and repositories take different approaches to ensuring the accessibility of these resources. Some make accessibility a requirement, while others offer guidelines. The accessibility of resources drawn from a wide range of authors is another factor in the use of OER that you should consider.

John Richardson has drawn together the accessibility policies of each of the repositories listed above in Accessibility of Open Educational Resources.

Last modified: Tuesday, 12 March 2013, 6:14 PM