Landing : Athabascau University

OER are essential for 21st Century learning

Open Educational Resources (OER) constitute an essential resource for 21st century learning with the potential to facilitate the expansion of mobile learning worldwide.  The technological and legal flexibility of OER is a must  for supporting the growth of mobile learning. Open standards support the deployment of learning objects as OER on a wide variety of different mobile devices. Mobile learning becomes problematic when format shifting and other uses of the content are not permitted. OER free teachers and learners from concerns about how, when, where and how long the content, video, audio or application can be used. Authorization to adapt, assemble, distribute, mash, re-mix, and republish becomes possible. So I don’t see the impementation of an AU OER strategy as merely a good thing to do. I would argue that the effective use of new digital technologies cannot be accomplished without open unrestricted access to resources, with the ability to use them on whatever mobile tools and applications that students and instructors become available.


  • Eric von Stackelberg September 11, 2011 - 11:34pm

    While I believe early adoption of open policies are in organizations and individuals best interests I am curious as to how OER would be funded in a sustainable manner. Can you recommend links, or primers for a layperson?

  • Rory McGreal September 12, 2011 - 11:46am


    This is a perennial question that has an obvious answer. The proprietary textbook and course materials world that we live in now is the one that is not sustainable. In fact the question needs to be turned on its head. The present sysemt is not sustainable. We, and our students, cannot afford to continue paying exorbitant fees for texts that change at the publisher's whim. OER are FREE. As the supply increases and the quality improves we will be able to replace proprietary content with OER, thus reducing cost and increasing our sustainability. Institutions and students already pay heavily for content. A small portion of these dollars can be re-directed to support OER deployment.

    all the best.


  • Eric von Stackelberg September 12, 2011 - 2:52pm

    I agree wholeheartedly that the present system does not scale and there are other channels now available other than publishers that can and should be used. What I was trying to understanding is how the costs of creation and delivery are accommodated and whether eliminating publishing costs are the only savings or if there are structural changes in what constitutes the Intellectual Property supply chain. In consideration of this, does the creation of OER's actually form a useful viable marketplace within a university?