Topics get old quickly, thank goodness for OERs

Before this class, I had never heard of Open Educational Resources (OER) as a term. I was familiar with free ESL materials like Randel’s Cyber Listening Lab or lessons on the BBC website, but had never considered them OER.  Overall the materials on the OER databases seemed to favor K-12 or college level ESL material, so for my work with graduate students the materials were a bit easy. However, I did find ample material focused on college writing that I could use.  For example this worksheet on paragraph organization has both clear descriptions of idea paragraphs but also graphic organizers to assist students.  When I am creating materials, this type of worksheet can take significant time, so it is great it is here as free resource. At least in my field this concept has been around and is viewed as highly valuable.  With so many educator’s abroad, publishers were attempting to get material out to English teacher as quickly as possible.  Of course, the majority of textbooks were really expensive, but even as early as 15 years ago ESL professionals has access to photocopial material (although mostly from British publishers. The trend for ESL materials to increase in cost continues and just like topics like science and math the information can quickly age and become boring for students.  I remember when these textbooks by Tapestry were cutting edge, they included CNN videos and hot topics in the news.  Now of course, despite the publisher’s efforts to address general topics, it is dated.   Regarding copyright, that has always been a factor in selecting materials and delivering content so I feel fairly comfortable with it.

13 thoughts on “Topics get old quickly, thank goodness for OERs

  1. While we have all seen content that is out of date, I would include some of the twitter links from this class, there is value in content which has survived the test of time. One concern I can see with OERs is that the newness of some topics, and instructors been time-pressed, will result in less-than-stellar quality content being reused. There really needs to be a strong sense of peer-review. Instructors, especially when under time pressure, might not be the most discriminating or even knowledgeable about every topic they are pulling from.

    Joseph Drasin

  2. I agree that a lot of the OERs seemed as if they targeted K-12 learners; however, I am interested in finding more resources for older audiences.

  3. I appreciate your skills and style in elaborating on the topic. It bound the reader for long. I have liked everything that I have read in the article so far. Nice content.
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