Research required before identifying suitable OER to adopt for future training and learning needs.
Can relate to many different apects:
- Physical accessibility - there are clearly problems in accessing certain sites via Apple devices or devices that no longer use ‘flash’.
- The ease of access for people with additional needs, some OER sites will be better prepared for differing physical needs than others.
- The academic pre-requisites for joining the courses and the level that the course is pitched. Will courses be within Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development or will learners find them too easy or too difficult?
- The amount of thought invested in the Pedagogy and Learning Design, do they meet this organisation’s needs and reflect the organisation’s values and ethics?
- How motivating is the courseware, what are the attrition rates for this type of learning event. What quality assessments are conducted to ensure continuous improvement.
- Who are the authors and the supporting institution for the courses, are they acknowledged experts in their field and known for delivering high-end quality materials.
- What are their standards for delivery?
- How viable is the OER provider, does it have a strong pedigree or is it a fragile ‘fly by night’ organisation?
- What back up and support does the provider offer - both technical and academic?
- What ‘scaffold’ will be in place to support the learner whilst undertaking the learning
If the resources are free to access, hidden costs might include:
- Amount of time the course requires for completion
- Amount of time expected to be spent online and offline completing intersessional tasks
- Additional time spent on forums, teleconferencing etc.