Listicle about open content


7 movements to lead to Open Content


1. MIT OpenCourseWare

A new era for teaching and learning started on April 4, 2001, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s President announced that they would make most of their materials freely available on the internet. This is the so called ‘MIT OpenCourseWare Program’, an initiative within the Open Educational Resources movement.

2. Open Educational Resources movement

The Open Educational Resources movement intends to provide open access to high quality digital educational materials. The open provision of educational resources is enabled by technologies. In addition to accessing educational materials of various types, we are permitted to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute them (known as 4Rs).
Open Content is governed by Creative Commons.

3. OER definition

“Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation. “


4. The diversity of Open Content

OER can be structured and provided in different formats:

  • Open educational resources
  • Open textbooks
  • Open courseware.

OER are produced by institutions (institutional production model), often converting ‘traditional’ course content, and by individuals (commons-based peer production model), e.g. Wikipedia.
The diversity of Open Educational Resources

5. MOOCs

Higher education institutions are increasingly making their coursework freely available on the Web. The first open campus course was launched in 2008, called ‘Connectivism and Connective Knowledge/2008’ (CCK8), created by S. Downes and G. Siemens. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) became popular soon, as many universities are creating them, massive numbers of students are joining them.

MOOCs are self-contained university-level courses. They do not always lead to formal qualifications. There are no entry requirements, and the courses often are free. They are aimed at a large scale of users (students).

6. The advantages and disadvantages of OER

Advantages of OER

Disadvantages of OER

  • Access is free.
  • OER can make learning more personalised.
  • OER improve digital skills.
  • OER engage students in co-creation.
  • OER can lower cost of education.
  • OER are often current.
  • The use of OER encourages pedagogical innovation.
  • It is not easy to find them in spite of metadata, links etc.
  • Many people think that these freely available materials cannot be instructionally effective.
  • Technical requirements vary, some OER require the use of special software.
  • We need to adapt OER before we use them (language, cultural, or readiness requirements).
  • Learner’s motivation is very important.
  • The quality might vary.

The advantages and disadvantages of Open Educational Resources from the viewpoint of the Student

7. Check-list to using Open Contents

Either you are going to use an OER as a teacher or a student, check the following properties of OER to make sure they are going to be useful for you:

  • The material is up-to-date.
  • The resource is closely related to your coursework, to your needs.
  • The author is a knowledgeable person.
  • The resource is factual and on the point.
  • The material has been developed for educational purposes.

Useful links:


Last modified: Friday, 11 May 2018, 3:48 PM