Thomas et al (2012) maintain that if OER practices are to be sustainable, they need to include good practice in the management of the OERs themselves. The new Horizon report on the technology outlook for higher education (2018), which identifies the proliferation of open educational resources (OER) as a key trend of the accelerating technology adoption in higher education, affirms that initial advances in the authoring platform or curation method of OERs are now overshadowed by campus-wide OER initiatives. In Ireland, the political drive proposed by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, as part of its enhancement and transformation agenda, specifically compelled to the role of management at campus-level of OERs. In its National Digital Roadmap (2015: 41) it recommended to consider institutional repositories of research for the curation and dissemination of OERs and other evidence of teaching as a way to ‘develop and implement open education principles and practices for Irish education that are aligned with EU policy and emerging international practice’ (Recommendation 3, Priority 5). The investigation presented here formed part of a wider study of existing understanding use, reuse and sharing of OERs in HE institutions in Ireland; with a particular focused on the perceived potential use of institutional research repositories to ingest, manage and discover OERs. The opportunities and potential barriers to the adoption of this approach were explored through a survey and focus groups with a sample of academics from a range of higher education institutions, who considered the proposal in the broader discussion of OERs for their practices (Risquez and McAvinia, 2018). Also, a focus group of institutional repository managers was convened to discuss the potential of the institutional repositories for OER curation, and we will particularly will focus the presentation on these results. Results indicated that this devolved approach to OER management would technically be possible and could potentially serve to enhance the parity of esteem of teaching in respect of research academic output, and indeed bridge the gap between both. However, a range of important challenges exist, and alternative solutions also emerged which are discussed in the context of the future of online repositories of OERs at national level. This approach to OER management represents a departure from the central repository model (as reflected by the remodelling of Jorum), so findings from this study are also of relevance to an international audience.
Educause (2018). Horizon report. Higher Education Edition. Available in https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2018/8/2018horizonreport.pdf
National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2015). Teaching and learning in Irish Higher Education: a roadmap for enhancement in a digital world, 2015-2017. Available in http://www.teachingandlearning.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Digital-Roadmap-web.pdf
Risquez, A. and McAvinia, C. (2018): ‘The VLE versus Open Education’. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3:2 (86-93)
Thomas, A., Campbell, L., Barker, P., and Hawksey, M. (eds.) (2012). Into the wild: technology for open educational resources. University of Bolton, UK. Kindle Edition.