Ruminations on Research on Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER) are “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. ”MIT’s OpenCourseWare and the Khan Academy materials are well-known examples. OER have different properties from proprietary materials because they are legally free, and, depending on the license selected by the creator, may be copied, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed. While we understand their properties, we have only a beginning understanding of how OER are used and whether the properties add value for users when compared to similar proprietary materials. This paper explores nine areas of research on OER from policy to development to its relative effectiveness and whether it stimulates innovation. Although existing research is considered, greater attention is given to the possibilities for new research in these areas.