This blog is reblogged from the post of Open Learning Network, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales. I had compiled their two posts Why remix an Open Educational Resource? and What are the barriers to reusing/remixing OERs? in this blog because I found it very useful and helpful for myself.
Why remix an OER:
The list is in no particular order, and by its very nature isn’t an extensive exploration of the reasons to remix an OER.
1) Save yourself time and work by mixing in OERs with your own material to make something richer.
2) Adapt the material to make it more accessible for people with different disabilities.
3) Insert some cultural specific references to make a concept easier to understand.
4) Translate it into another language.
5) Correct any errors or inaccuracies.
6) Keep the OER up to date by adding the latest discoveries or theories.
7) Insert more media or links to other resources.
8) Chop the OER up into smaller chunks that might be easier to learn from, or could be reused elsewhere.
9) Adapt it for a different audience.
10) Use the OER as the basis for a face to face lesson.
11) Change the target educational level.
12) Add input and participation from the people who are going to be using your remixed OER.
13) Use the OER for a wider purpose by adding in other information.
14) Changing the format of the OER to make it work in different computer-based learning environments.
15) To improve understanding of what an OER is by thinking about reasons to remix it.
16) Insert a different point of view to that originally given in the material.
17) Adapt it for different teaching situations.
18) A way to experiment with new skills you have gained (could be technical skills, media skills etc).
19) To improve it.
20) Because you can!
What are the barriers:
1) Internationalization, OERs may be available but in a different language;
2) Cognitive overload: it is difficult to separate the ‘content’ from the ‘context’ in an OER, thus it is difficult to decontextualize an OER and re-contextualize it to a different learning context/purpose;
3) Cognitive overload: in terms of trying to elicit the implicit design of an OER and then needing to create a new design;
4) Cognitive overload due to lack of good examples/ best practice: “remixing” an OER is a difficult concept to grasp, especially as examples of remixing might be difficult to find or something you wouldn’t tend to stumble across;
5) Digital divide: lack of access to digital network implies no access to digital resources;
6) Digital divide: lack of digital literacy;
7) Lack of teacher’s preparation and training in how to reuse OERs;
8) Distance from mainstream teaching and learning practices and policy;
9) Curriculum alignment: OER may not fit specific curriculum, and vice-versa curriculums may not be designed around an OER reuse/remix culture;
10) Plagiarism: to which extent reusing and remixing an OER can be perceived as a form of plagiarism?;
11) Lack of technical support for teachers; institutionalized support i.e. a dedicated educational technologist team is considered important for promoting re-use within different educational institutions/contexts (relates to digital and socio-economic divides)
12) Copyright issues and different copyright jurisdictions: this is mostly about publishing original OERs, but it also relates to the ways in which an OER is ‘translated’ to different contexts/locations. It also hinders what other items, media objects can be added that are more relevant to a national culture / pedagogical context;
13) Lack of confidence: many teachers/tutors feel reluctant to reuse and publish their reused materials. One possible reason for that is that they feel that they tamper with something that was designed/published for a specific purpose/context; this relates to the conceptual overload mentioned at point 2);
14) Lack of confidence: many teachers/tutors feel reluctant to “mess up” with someone else “good” design;
15) Lack of explicit learning design supporting the representation of resources and dialogue around their use in a particular context; if context/purpose and targetted audience alongside learning outcomes are not very explicit this makes more difficult to repurpose in a different context;
16) Lack of policy embeddedness and accepted institutional practices: OER use and re-use in mainstream educational institutions need’s be legitimized by accepted national policies on education;
17) Issues of quality/legitimacy: some OERs are not considered worthy of using/remixing. Some advocates insist on putting ratings / quality and context indicators. That will enable tracking of use and perhaps stimulate re-use;
18) Lack of time: too much effort to put in reusing makes easier and faster to do it yourself from scratch;
19) Lack of tools to help deconstruct and reconstruct;
20) Lack of motivation – why should I, what’s in it for me?