From proprietary to personalized higher education – how OER takes universities outside the comfort zone
Present trends in the mainstream adoption of educational technology coupled to the increased acceptance and adoption of openness in terms of sharing resources and open access force higher education into a radical rethink of its structures and educational strategies. This article examines the current shift in focus from the simple production and sharing of open educational resources (OER) towards wider concepts such as open educational practices (OEP) and cultures (OEC). OER involves mostly educators whereas OEP and OEC demand the commitment of management, administrators and politicians.
This openness is already spawning alternative types of peer-based collaborative learning both inside and outside the formal education system. In particular the increased awareness of the importance of informal learning has raised a clear need for some kind of certification model and the current open badges initiative lead by Mozilla and several US authorities is examined and discussed. In 2011 the OER university partnership announced an innovative approach to combining formal and informal learning by planning to offer credible credentials for students who have acquired the necessary skills through their own learning paths. The road to future higher education may not be entirely behind the campus walls.
Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society – English Version