80 Open Education Resource (OER) Tools for Publishing and Development Initiatives.
Published on Tuesday 24th of April, 2007.
Online Education Database (http://oedb.org)
Many Open Education Resources (OER) that have been introduced by governments, universities, and individuals within the past few years. OERs provide teaching and learning materials that are freely available and offered online for anyone to use. Whether you're an instructor, student, or self-learner, you have access to full courses, modules, syllabi, lectures, assignments, quizzes, activities, games, simulations, and tools to create these components.
While some OERs include OpenCourseWare (OCW) or other educational materials, they may also offer the means to alter those courses through editing, adding to those courses through publication, and the ability to shape the tools that share those resources. Additionally, they may maintain forums or other platforms where individuals can collaborate on building educational tools and documentation and the reach for those materials.
To that end, the list below — arranged in alphabetical order — includes 80 online resources that you can use to learn how to build or participate in a collaborative educational effort that focuses on publication and development of those materials. Although some choices focus solely on publication, development, or tools used to accomplish either effort, some provide multifaceted venues that offer communities a space to collaborate on one or all of these efforts. Collaborators can include institutions, colleges or universities, educators, students, or the general public.
This list is not all-inclusive, as resources that offer limited collaboration were excluded. Two examples include the University of North Carolina's Open Courseware Lab and the Maricopa Learning Exchange, as both facilities make their information public but collaboration is limited to educators within those colleges. Other sites, like LydiaLearn, were nonfunctional when this article was written, so information about their offerings was unavailable for this project. Finally, resources that focus solely on K-12 education were saved for another time and place. The resources below focus solely on higher education or encompass all levels of education.
1. AEShareNet — AEShareNet is a collaborative system to streamline the licensing of intellectual property so that Australian learning materials are developed, shared and adapted efficiently. There are two ways to connect people: firstly, using Instant Licences, which are freely available, when you attach a relevant Mark; or alternatively, through Mediated licences, which are transacted online through the AEShareNet Service.
14. Development Gateway Communities — This site offers learning content, tools, and implementation resources for educators, students and self-learners a wide range of subjects and course materials aggregated from leading schools and OER portals. The main objective of this Web site is to make available training and capacity-building resources developed by a variety of stakeholders worldwide in a myriad subject, including literacy, computers, business, environment, community development and much more. It aims at providing trainers and learners with the resources they need and a space where they can share and use material.
18. Educational Object Economy — EOE is an online community that explores issues in technology and learning, open and collaborative development, and sustainability. The site sustains a digital library, projects, and reports on outreach to developing countries and countries in transition, including Turkey (where the EOE site is now mirrored), Brazil,and the Republic of Kazakhstan.
20. eduCommons — eduCommons is an OpenCourseWare management system designed specifically to support OpenCourseWare projects like the MIT OCW and USU OCW.
23. ELGG — Elgg is an open source social networking platform developed for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) which encompasses weblogging, file storage, RSS aggregation, personal profiles, FOAF functionality and more. Curverider Ltd, the company behind Elgg, are looking for developers who are proficient in PHP and command a detailed knowledge of the platform. Their workload is increasing and they require some coding help.
27. Filamentality — Filamentality is a fill-in-the-blank tool that guides you through picking a topic, searching the Internet, gathering good Internet links, and turning them into online learning activities. In the end, you'll create a web-based activity you can share with others even if you don't know anything about HTML or serving web pages. Take advantage of AT&T's workshops and videoconferencing capabilities that enhance educational collaboration. AT&T also maintains the Blue Web'n library where you can search for 2064 Internet sites categorized by subject, grade level, and format.
28. Free Curricula Center — The Center helps its participants work together to create textbooks, instructor guides, and other materials for the subjects in which they have expertise. They do this by providing online tools to help educators collaborate successfully and by proving a space on the Internet where students can have free, easy access to their finished products. They also serve as a link to the resources of others, and mirror their material when permitted.
46. LogiCampus — LogiCampus allows a college, university, or school district to run existing classes or online learning classes via the web as well as provide the foundation for an institution to create additional integrated applications. LogiCampus provides the standard tools for faculty to create their online courses, process assignments, make tests and stay in contact with students.
49. Math Forum — Drexel University offers a wealth of problems and puzzles; online mentoring; research; team problem solving; collaborations; and professional development.
52. Museum Learning Collaborative — The objective of the Museum Learning Collaborative is "to generate a research agenda — and in time, a body of research — sufficiently broad and powerful to guide the study of learning in informal contexts." The context pulls researchers and museums together to progress beyond a collection of studies of the particular factors that are important in individual places (e.g., visitor studies or evaluations of exhibits or galleries) toward a cumulative body of knowledge dealing with learning in the museum setting.
59. OpenCourse.org — OpenCourse.org hosts virtual communities that develop, evaluate, and use open, non-proprietary learning objects in their discipline. Collaboration among teachers, researchers and students is welcome with the common purpose of developing open, reusable learning assets (e.g. animations, simulations, models, case studies, etc.). Anyone with an interest in education, collaboration and sharing can join in.
62. The Open University — The Open University (OU) is the United Kingdom's only university dedicated to distance learning. Through academic research, pedagogic innovation and collaborative partnership, the OU seeks to be a world leader in the design, content and delivery of supported open and distance learning. The latter development process is conducted through the OU's LabSpace, described as "the experimental zone for OpenLearn." LabSpace is designed as a community-led site, primarily for educators, providing a range of online tools to foster the concept of sharing and re-use of materials.
63. OSSLET — The Open Source Sharable Applet Collection allows students and others to utilize modules called "osslets" to bring the power of the open source movement from software development to curriculum development. The curriculum materials accompanying each osslet are written in generally available formats – for example, Microsoft Word – and users are encouraged to modify them. Each osslet also includes at least one interactive component that uses either Macromedia Shockwave or Macromedia Flash.
66. Research Channel — In cooperation with the University of Washington, ResearchChannel is developing a laboratory as a testbed to facilitate collaborative investigations into cutting-edge technologies. Having dedicated engineering spaces and high-performance network facilities including 10Gigabit Ethernet allows ResearchChannel to more effectively carry out its work of developing, testing and demonstrating media streaming and networking innovations. Recent projects include multipoint low-latency high-definition videoconferencing and live, high-definition video from the seafloor.