Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, October 27, 2008

On keeping OA and OER content under the same roof

Lorna Campbell, Exclude teaching and learning materials from the open access repositories debate. Discuss., Lorna’s JISC CETIS blog, October 27, 2008.

... Andy Powell put forward the suggestion that teaching and learning materials should no longer be included in the same discussions as open access scholarly works as the issues relating to their use and management are just so different.

As one of the small quota of “teaching and learning” type folk on [the JISC Repositories and Preservation Advisory Group] I was inclined to cautiously agree with Andy. Many of us who have an interest in the management of teaching and learning materials have been frustrated for some time that repository discussions, debates and developments often focus too much on scholarly communications and research papers while neglecting other resource types such as teaching and learning materials and data sets. ... There has in the past been a tendency to assume that Institutional Repositories set up to accommodate scholarly works could also provide a home for teaching and learning materials in their spare time. ...

So what’s the answer? I’d suggest that we need to begin by asking a lot more questions before we can start coming up with answers. Questions such as:

What [do] teachers actually do with their materials? Where do they currently store them? How do they manage them? How do they use them? Are there things teachers can’t do now that they would like to? How do learners interact with teaching materials? Are there personnal [sic], domain and institutional perspectives to consider? And how do they relate to each other?

We need a discussion that is focused squarely on the requirements and objectives of teachers and learners not one that is an addendum to the, admittedly worthy, open access debate. ...