OnLine Educational Resources

Scott Leslie may be on the right track with another 1/4-baked idea – OER “virtual reference librarian” at EdTechPost, but I suspect that it may be less with the idea itself than with the doubt he expresses as follows:

<<Is “discoverability” even actually the problem with resources getting reused, or is it possible that the whole model is so flawed, so disconnected from how educators construct course materials, that it wouldn’t make any difference..?>>

Commenter Mike Caulfield followed up on this with

<<the really interesting thing is how many people said they wanted that, and how few people contact us for help>>

Some educators want a complete package provided by a publisher while others want to develop their own way of engaging students with the material.

In the space between those two extremes it would seem that there was ample room for a style of preparation which involved searching for and combining the best of what is available, and many of us think that is where we belong – but when push comes to shove we bifurcate and either go with a complete package or “roll our own” completely.

As variously a creator, organizer, and user of OERs I think I may have gained some insight into why this is the case.

Perhaps those of us who can’t live with the flaws we see in a ready-made publisher’s package also tend to judge OERs more harshly, and/or the work involved in selecting and incorporating the best OERs (even after “discovery”) is not sufficiently less than that of actually developing our own “perfect” alternatives..

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