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Open educational resources - new directions for technology-enhanced distance learning in the third millennium

By Andreia Santos, Patrick McAndrew and Steve Godwin


Open Educational Resources (OERs) are an innovation giving new opportunities for learning and distance education. OERs are typically provided as courses but also include smaller units of learning and their components of audio, text or image files made available on the internet free of charge; usually under a Creative Commons License (Creative Commons, 2007). This license takes the approach of 'some rights reserved' for the materials replacing the 'all rights reserved' attitude of standard copyright (Lessig, 2004). Distance education based in OERs removes limits and offers the possibility of widening participation in education. This can include hard-to-reach groups which have little or no access to education or, for example small businesses and individuals who feel they could benefit from professional development and access to current knowledge about a topic of interest. The release of OERs can be a 'public good' for educational inclusion purposes, but they also could mark the first steps towards a revolution on the way people learn. So far, access to knowledge as taught at university level has been restricted to academic institutions. These institutions not only 'create the knowledge' but also have regulated the ways in which it can be accessed. A pattern is in place of establishing course registration procedures, charging fees, conferring grants, assessing performance and awarding degrees, These mechanisms form part of a traditional system of education that can be found all over the world

Year: 2008
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Provided by: Open Research Online

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