Visual mapping approaches for considering the strategic rationale for the implementation of OER in higher education institutions

Open educational resources (OER) have become a significant part of the general discourse around higher education and a number of institutions and governments have implemented initiatives to develop and use OER on the basis that they will help transform educational practice within and between higher educational institutions (HEIs). Nevertheless there has also been considerable comment and concern by many involved in higher education that OER are not sustainable financially and unlikely to be truly transformative of policy and practices in higher education. This paper reviews the existing published evidence and argues that all institutions need to properly consider whether and how OER fit in to their strategic plans and that this can usefully be done through the help of visual methods. Visual methods such as paper or computer based mapping techniques enable users to capture as much information as possible through a mediated conversation around the holistic representation of their collective views. This need for undertaking strategic reviews is mainly illustrated through the work of the EADTU led Multilingual Open Resources for Independent Learning (MORIL) project where workshop participants from HEIs used Kurt Lewin’s Force Field Framework to examine both intra institutional and inter institutional factors that were driving or restraining them in the implementation of OER. A major outcome of this work is that OER are another valued factor in the evolution of higher education policy and practice and that progress will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
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EADTU Annual Conference Strategies and Business Models for Lifelong Learning
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URL EADTU Zermatt 2010.pdf#page=241