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Search and Discovery for OER

Nathan Yergler, February 16th, 2010

One of the issues that comes up repeatedly when talking about open educational resources (OER) is search and discovery. CC licenses provide the legal basis for sharing OER, but there’s a large technical component to sharing, as well. Publishers want to make sure their work is visible to users, and learners or educators need to be able to find resources relevant to the subject they’re interested in. Too often web scale search engines don’t do suffice: the amount of OER compared to the entire web is small, so the information you’re actually looking for is lost in the flood.

Last summer, CC, supported by Open Society Institute, organized a meeting of individuals working with OER repositories and tools to discuss the state of search and discovery for OER. There are many efforts under way looking at this issue, and the purpose of the meeting was to examine how these efforts can be made interoperable. For example, some countries are building national repositories, where the answer to the question is “put your OER in this big box”, while others — including Creative Commons, through our prototype DiscoverEd — are focusing on indexing a subset of the web, and trying to make results more relevant. We wanted to talk about how these different approaches can work together, so that consumers are able to find the resources they’re seeking, no matter where they’re located on the web.

What we discovered is that regardless of the approach being taken to solve the search issue, there are certain things that could be identified as best practices for publishers. We’ve pulled these together as an initial outcome from the meeting: Towards a Global Infrastructure For Sharing Learning Resources. As the title implies, this is the first step to building the interoperability needed to make OER discoverable. We’re going to be continuing examining these issues as part of the AgShare project, among others. If you want to keep up with that work as it develops, you can subscribe to the oer-discovery mailing list.

3 Responses to “Search and Discovery for OER”

  1. There are many kinds of Open Education Resources.
    Full semester courses
    One hour lectures
    And many in between .
    In Turkey we have 3.000.000 university students in 145 universities. Few are good most are so so .
    Plus there is another 1.000.000 outside of university at the university age whoare willing to go to university but who cannot get into university due to lack space at the universities.
    Therefore I am after full university courses of academicearth + Carnegie Mellon + Berkeley Webcasts + others I do not know.
    I recomment the Turkish Universities
    1.- Select any course you wish
    2.- Assign a professor as a facilitator.
    3.- Have the pofessor be familiar with the course
    4.- Have professor register all studets wishing to take that course
    5.- Have professor follow his studets from LMS.
    6.- Have professor give assignment, midterms and have him or his assistant grade them
    7.- Have him to give a final exam face to face.
    8.- Have him give a grade for the course have the university to give students credits and finally a degree.

    This way :
    1.- A Turkish Student gets a Finance course from Yale University Professor or get an Engineering course from MIT professor at home in Turkey he would never dream of it .
    2.- Yale does not lose anything, but Yale gets the appreciation of all Turkish people.
    3.- World gets one more good educated person for the world at Yale or MIT without any cost.
    4.- We save one person from the street who is wiling to go to university.

    USA must capitalise this. This is the greatest service can be done to the world. Turkey is the first. More will follow I am sure . This a solution to Higher Education in Turkey, in USA and in the world.
    Let us learn how to SHARE ONLINE .

  2. Another issue in OER is quality.

    As an old timer, I prefer brand name courses. Such as
    Harvard, Yale, MIT etc.

    But then there is another issue
    ” Can everyone in the world go to Harvard ? ”

    Sure no . So I am after some good reasonable OER as well. I expect from University of Chicago, more from University of Michigan, University of Illinois ( they are so good )

    I suggest the Turkish Universities to chareg $ 10-20 per course as just expenses. Academicearth and Carnegie mellon allows that as long as it is an expense related to education.

    I would appreciate to know more universities providing full one semester one quarter ONLINE courses free or at $ 10-20 at any subject .
    mgozaydin@hotmail.com from Turkey

  3. Muvaffak Gozaydin says:

    USA has served me for 8 years.
    I had been educated at Caltech, Stanford, worked for a wonderful company in Silicon Valley for 5 years, mostly financed by USA . I indebted to USA and all my wonderfull American people who helped me to get my education there.
    That education provided me wonderful 40 years executive life in Turkey. Now I am at the service of USA.
    I apprecited Mr. Obama from the start. Education is a science now . Education can be attained by technology at much less cost now and much better.
    We have to promote ONLINE education from cradle to grave.
    But please good onlines. Not commercial ones.
    My thanks go to President once more for his perception of education. First $ 500 million for online and now $ 50 for OER. I am sure more will follow.
    I am happy as much as my American friends.
    mgozaydin@hotmail.com from Turkey

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