Openness is generosity – expertise and expression of expertise can be given without being given away (David Wiley)
CC0 Public Domain, Pixabay, geralt
Open Educational resources (OER) are possible because the users are both producers and consumers. Besides the moral and practical obligation (to share if you want to use) teachers can also gain from sharing teaching material. On a webinar by Alastair Creelman it is discussed how peer-review is introduced in the field of education through the use of OER. By publishing teaching material openly one can receive feedback and reviews from all over the world. You contribute to the open educational resources at the same time as improving your own teaching by worldwide peer-review.
I think most academics by now are familiar with what publication in open access journals are. What OER and other forms of open resources on the web are, though, is not that common I believe, and it is certainly not a walk in the park to use these resources. It is much to learn about responsible sharing and using. One needs to know what one can use and not, in which ways, and how to use correct references when using open resources, and one have to learn and think about how own material can be used, maybe misused, by others before sharing, and find the right way of publishing and labeling it. Further, one should evaluate how this can actually be used as part of teaching and contribute to learning.
To me, the module two of the ONL course was truly informative. Not only did I learn about the world of open information, new tools for sharing information, and relevant ideas on how to use it in teaching, but also about the fundamental ideal of sharing on the net, which I found particularly intriguing. It is a collectivistic way of thinking about knowledge and resources and the sharing of it, which is an important reminder in our individualistic society. As Wiley underlines, it creates a win-win situation where you can give expertise without giving it away. It is an ethical obligation to share your knowledge as an academic. The open resources enables you do that in new ways, and distribute it worldwide, to be used for free, quite effortlessly when you have attained the main principles of it.