The knowledge and network society of the twenty-first century is driven by the power of the Internet and digital tools. One of its manifestations is a new approach to the production of teaching and learning materials, enabled by participatory media called Open Educational Resources (OER).
OER success has been reported by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA and the Open University in the UK, among others. It is unclear, however, how valuable OERs are in learning and teaching.
This article presents findings on the perceived value of Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher Education and their potential for widening learners’ access to higher education as a direct response to the UK government’s agenda of social inclusion. Evidence was obtained from interviews and an online survey of students,academics, and senior managers.
The article concludes that for OER to have an impact on higher education in terms of learner benefit and social inclusion, institutions need to address the following issues:
- The purpose of Open Educational Resources
- Drivers for production of Open Educational Resources
- Processes involved in Open Educational Resource production that guarantees quality
- Policies that promote the open sharing of Open Educational Resources