3.5 Curating OER

The notion of the teacher or facilitator as curator is helpful when working with open and online resources (Siemens, 2007) and reflects the possibility of education moving away from the ‘transmission’ of knowledge from teacher to learner, to a more constructivist approach [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] which acknowledges the value of education created by the learner. Earlier in this section of the course we focused on one aspect of the curation process: choosing OER and what factors are important to you when selecting resources.

When using OER it is important to consider how you will integrate material into the learning process, particularly if you are blending together material that has been used in different situations (e.g. online or face-to-face). You will need a clear structure with guidance on outcomes, sequencing and, (where appropriate), you might want to consider including opportunities to collaborate with fellow learners. For example, providing your learners with a set of URLs to useful resources, however relevant and interesting, will not necessarily give sufficient context or information on why the learner should read further. You might want to consider introducing peer support (again, where appropriate), and study groups might be one option for bringing people together to discuss course materials.

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Figure 3.10 ‘Content curation’ (Welenia Studios, CC-BY 2.0), based on an article by Rohit Bhargava, http://www.rohitbhargava.com/ 2011/ 03/ the-5-models-of-content-curation.html

Even if your learners are confident and have advanced digital literacy skills, without the OER being integrated into a broader framework or by providing support to navigate materials, it might be difficult to follow and engage with the content as a whole. Ensuring that any open resources you choose to utilise are smoothly mixed together is an important element of good open educational practice. In addition, you might want to encourage students to create OER as part of their studies (see Section 2.5) or work with students to rewrite course material or textbooks. As Natalie Lafferty of Dundee University noted in an interview published in February 2016, if you plan to incorporate learning activities that involve students in creating digital assets, it’s important to ensure that there is appropriate advice, information and support to get started. The next section of the course will take a closer look at curation as ‘remix.’

Activity 3D

Take a few minutes to review your reflective log. In light of what you’ve learnt so far in the course, consider if you want to develop the ideas you’ve noted for developing your practice any further. If so, add your new ideas and thoughts, as appropriate.

Now try the Section 3 quiz to consolidate your knowledge and understanding from this section. Completing the quizzes is part of gaining the statement of participation and/or the digital badge, as explained in the Course and badge information.

3.4 Attributing a resource

3.6 If you want to know more ...