As I reviewed the open educational resources this week (many of which are fantastic) I couldn’t help but think about the big “but.”
What is that big but? For me the big “but” or the big disclaimer is that we have access to open resources but will employers and/or universities recognize time spent studying these courses? If the answer to that question is no, then do open educational resources really offer a more competitive advantage to those who may not be advantaged enough to pay for a university education?
In adult education, researchers talk a lot about offering credit for lived experiences. Adults have a vast knowledge base for their work experiences and lived experiences that younger adults may not have. To me, the credit for lived experiences and credit for OE courses is a similar discussion. The student has acquired knowledge (albeit in a non-traditional way) but they still deserve to have that knowledge recognized. Going forward there are many implications for higher education (HE) to adapt to OE trends and policymakers will need to embrace these changes and create appropriate guidelines around credit for OE courses. If not, then I believe that the HE institutions will have a difficult time remaining competitive.
Moving to the review of an OE platform, I looked at OpenLearn with OpenUniversity.
I had no trouble navigating this webpage. I was able to discover the large library of topics. I like that they had “Skills for Work” and “Skills for study. These are some of the skills for work topics that were available:
I was drawn to the work resources because they could be fantastic for PD opportunities (to save money) and they would also be great for those who are searching for jobs and trying to grow their professional skills.
In terms of learning based on your interests, there is a vast library of topics to explore. Furthermore, there are various mediums to explore the content in. For example, you can watch videos, listen to audio, tv. etc. See the full list to the right:
I took a look at the French content when I was exploring the personal interest learning section and I was quite impressed. I can definately see myself using these resources in the future. I really like that each subject has clearly defined learning objectives, reviews and an overview of the course content.
Overall, I consider this to be a fantastic resource. Having OE available is advantageous to HE as educators can tap into free online resources to augment learning opportunities, save money on resources and offer supplementary material. Furthermore, as mentioned in my previous post about intergenerational learning, I think this content would be excellent and easy to use for people of any generation. In addition, it could provide valuable and free PD opportunities for any organization looking to provide learning opportunities that don’t come with a huge price tag attached to them.
Has anyone ever received credit for an OE program?
Has anyone ever taken an OE course for PD?
Does anyone use an OE platform for personal interest exploration or personal learning?