Open Educational Resources: What are they?
Open Educational Resources are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone and available under a license that allows users to use, remix, improve and redistribute.”
– NUI Galway LibGuides, Open Educational Resources
Online learning, including online language learning, is often based on Open Educational Resources or OERs. Understanding what OERs are and the mechanisms that stand behind them will enable you to become a more efficient online learner.
OERs are designed to engage students in interactive and collaborative tasks that stimulate their knowledge-building, learning, self-reflection and assessment. They also help them to become active participants in a unified community of learners. As online instructors, and therefore users of pre-existing OERs or creators of brand-new ones, you should activate and develop your digital skills so that you will be able to gain maximum benefit from these resources. In Lesson 2 we will focus on how you can enhance your digital skills and why they are so important in the whole online teaching process.
For a brief but exhaustive introduction to OERs, check out the NUI Galway Library Guides, OER – The Very Basics, which provide a useful insight into Open Educational Resources.
As part of their learning engagement, students can also be involved in the adaptation and creation of OERs. Check out these NUI Galway language students’ OERs which exemplify not only how technology can be used to create content, but also how learners can become part of the content creating process and protagonists of a student-centred approach.