Reading the limitations of open education resources (OERs) from Section 10.2.4 of Bates book on “Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for teaching and learning”, I could immediately relate to how often I have found “some” of the open education resources to be like “coal”, as Bates puts it: “sitting there waiting to be loaded”, cut-off from contextual and development components that are essential for effective learning. As I discussed in my group meetings, I do Google search for new course content when I prepare new material for my students. I can not just directly re-use the content I find as I am cut-off from the context and also the flow of content delivery, thus it does take careful reading and refining of the resources I find on Internet. So I am pretty confident of one thing: always ask multiple questions when re-using OERs: how does it fit in “my” course? How does the content fit in the overall flow of students’ learning? Have I prepared the students enough to expose to such open content? How do I meet the course learning objectives when re-using OERs? Only when I have thought of questions like these, I can be confident of my find on Internet. Did someone say: “creativity is making marvellous out of discarded”?

Turning coal to gold – How can the open education resources (OERs) be turned into gold?