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Collaborative Development of Open Educational Resources for Open and Distance Learning

With the emergence of Open Educational Resources (OER) through the use of open licences the OU and other institutions has now been able to experiment with new ways of collaborating on the development of educational resources that are not so dependent on tight legal contracts because each partner is effectively granting rights to the others to use the educational resources they supply through the open licensing (Lane 2011; Van Dorp and Lane 2011). This set of case studies examines the many different collaborative models used for developing and using educational resources and explains how open licensing is making it easier to share the effort involved in developing educational resources between institutions as well as how it may enable new institutions to be able to start up open and distance learning programmes more easily and at less initial cost.

Thus it looks at three initiatives involving people from the OU (namely TESSA LECH-e openED2.0) and contrasts these with the Peer-2-Peer University and the OER University as exemplars of how OER may change some of the fundamental features of open and distance learning in a Web 2.0 world. It concludes that while there may be multiple reasons and models for collaborating on the development of educational resources the very openness provided by the open licensing aligns both with general academic values and practice but also with well-established principles of open innovation in businesses.

This case study was part of the HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources case study: pedagogical development from OER practice project.