Daily Archives: March 8, 2015

Buster: Reflections on OERs

I was aware of OERs mostly through searching the net for resources, but I had not yet so carefully defined their legal status. I also regularly check what courses are available for free that have audio components I can listen to while driving.

Christine Hayes’ course on Intro to the Old Testament available in Open Yale Courses contains both interesting video lectures as well as a syllabus which would be a very helpful starting point in developing an Old Testament course.

One of the primary uses that I see for OERs is to ensure that you are not continually “re-inventing the wheel.” Especially as a new professor, you can spend far too much time creating resources (syllabi, multimedia) from scratch, instead of modifying what is already available. It is also valuable simply as the curating of resources for students. Students know how to find things on the internet, but providing or encouraging the use of OER, encourages them to become more responsible consumers of line material.

I confess that I have been less concerned about copyright than I should be. I do not disseminate material that is copyrighted. So, for instance, if I use a video clip, I don’t include that on the powerpoint that I make available to students. But I far too often consider myself under “fair use” just because I am using the material in an education setting. I know that is too naïve, especially when so many classes are now being recorded. This makes OERs all the more valuable as they often indicate their licensing status and I can use them freely in educational settings.