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Open Educational Resources and Quality

October 27th, 2006 by Graham Attwell

I am still at the OECD meeting on Open Educational Resources.

There is a recurring discourse on quality. How do we ‘measure’ or represent quality. Many of the initiatives presented here are from higher education. Higher Education has a tradition of peer review and projects such as the Merlot repository are working to extend the peer review process to Open Resources.

In vocational education this would be a non starter. We do not have the resources, infrastructure or traditions and cultures for such a process to work. But even in Higher Education I am unsure such a process really can work. Who chooses the ‘expert’ reviewers? On what basis? What are the criteria for review?

More fundamentally the quality of materials depends to a considerable extent on the context of use. What is of high quality for me may not be for another user. Surely we need to find some way of representing users in any quality mechanism. That could be as simple as star rating systems. However, I think we need a more sophisticated mechanism which can capture the context of use as well as a quality rating – and ways of displaying such distributed metadata.

In other words – we need to build / adapt social social software for developing, sharing and re-purposing open educational resources. If you are interested in this work, please get in touch.

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