In these tough economic times, getting a great return on an investment can be difficult to achieve. However, increasing the impact of investments in open educational resources (OER) is pretty easy – simply adopt a policy that strongly encourages or requires education grantees to disseminate their resources under one of the Creative Commons licenses, ideally the most permissive CC license, CC BY. The fewer legal constraints on use there are, the greater the impact that is likely to be achieved.
This overarching recommendation comes from the new document entitled, Increase Funding Impact, part of the ccLearn Recommendations series. We are hoping that any organization that supports education will embrace the advantages of open education, thereby enhancing the access and reusability of educational resources for everyone who might benefit. But we are especially interested in having funders of OER encourage their grantees to produce resources that are freely adaptable, reusable, repurposable, and redistributable by anyone, which is easily achieved through the use of one of the Creative Commons licenses. We anticipate that the impact of OER will grow exponentially in the coming years, reaching into new communities and providing enormous educational opportunities all over the world – a truly great return for any investment.