Improved ? Learning

Dear Folks,

There seem to be popular calls for OER to not only deliver good quality of learning, but also improved quality. This is much like the definition of ‘open’ by Ross Paul (1993, p.116) who defined it as meaning more open than before or more open than alternatives. When we talk about quality OER, do we want to imply better quality than alternatives ?

Certainly Quality Improvement implies better than before

However, we could live with OER producing learning equivalent to that achieved without using OER eg by a teacher with a textbook. Indeed we could argue that OER producing weaker quality is acceptable. If the novelty and fun can improve uptake by those out-of-education or with school-phobia, then the achieved quality of learning can be ‘better than before‘. We cannot use a single set of quality guidelines over all contexts. Learning by its very nature is an individual highly-localised achievement, and quality must have context-based definitions for each local context.

That said, a full set of quality criteria will best cater to everyone – and each person can decide what works best in his or her own situation.

with all best wishes


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