The Work of Implementing OERs in Curriculum Design

Curating, adapting, adopting, and testing open educational resources (OERs) in curriculum design is a truck-load of work. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. It’s also a risky, experimental proposition with outside-the-box theories and practices, challenging issues, launches, breakdowns, successes, and failures publicly documented every day. Many in the world have no idea what OERs are, or how they might play a role increasing access and quality in public education. Some, however, are taking a chance on OERs, getting messy, making mistakes, learning, and improving processes to make good use of these gems in curriculum design. They are my heroines and heroes.

What educator or administrator, possessed of common sense, and a need to retain paid employment, would want to become involved such a risky venture? What is to be gained promoting a solution to a problem that many do not even know they have? While I cannot sugarcoat the uphill work of adapting, adopting, developing, and promoting OERs, I can say this, only the very best, brightest, and courageous educators, administrators, and policy-makers are exploring this path at this time. There are interesting initiatives moving forward in open public policy that will have intended and unintended effects on education and information access. Explorers will be better-informed to manage those effects. While I cannot promise it, the potential gain that may be achieved through effective use of OERs is evidence-based, pervasive, persistent, sustainable, exceptional quality public education for all. I want to be a part of that, even if it fails spectacularly (or even if I do).

I have been advised (more than once), that I will attract more like-minded partners to the exploration of OERs if I simply point to their benefits, help develop models, partner with interested partners to do the work, and demonstrate the possible paths of curriculum design. So that’s what I’m going to do. If you’re a like-minded partner in this journey, an educator, learner, instructional designer, librarian, IT professional, administrator, or cross-pollinator, I’d love to connect with you. You can find me on social media, by name, that’s Jenni (with an i) Hayman. I would love to learn more about your work, and promote what you are doing in open education, or any other branch of openness.



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