Open Educational Resources: Opportunities and challenges for higher education

Li Yuan
Sheila MacNeill
Willem G. Kraan


This briefing paper provides the background to the current development of and future trends around OER aimed at adding to our understanding, stimulating ongoing debate among the JISC community and developing a research agenda. The briefing is structured in three sections: discussion on the conceptual and contextual issues of Open Educational Resources, a review of current OER initiatives, their scale, approaches, main issues and challenges, discussion on trends emerging in Open Educational Resources, with respect to future research and activities.


Open Educational Resources, OER


Yuan and colleagues provide background to the current OER movement as well as predicted future trends. This report is consist of three sections.
(1) Concept and Context : The term open educational resources was first used at UNESCO conference in 2000. Since then, it has been promoted in the context of providing free access to education globally.
(2) OER initiative in HE : OECD (2007) reports that there are 3000 open access courses from more than 300 universities worldwide. MIT OpenCourseWare, OpenLearn Initiative (UK universities), USU OCW (Utah State University) are some of the well-known programs, and reviewed in this paper.
(3) OER--calls for research : increasing demand for various forms of education have led policy discussion and institutional development in many countries. Policy discussion (e.g financial support, intellectual property, staff development), socio-cultural pedagogical concerns as well as technical concerns are reviewed.

APA Citation

Yuan, L., MacNeill, S., & Kraan, W. G. (2008). Open Educational Resources-Opportunities and challenges for higher education.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Technology-enhanced, Online
Publication Type Report
In Publication University of Bolton
Type of Research Theoretical
Research Design Not applicable
Intervention/Areas of Study Administration, management, and leadership, including accreditation, financial models, and legal, Faculty and professional development and/or training, Open education resources
Level of Analysis Institutional-level, Cross-institutional
Specific Populations Examined Graduates, Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Unknown
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest 2-year institution, 4-year Institution, Associates-granting, Bachelors-granting, Doctorate-granting, For-profit, Not-for-profit, Private, Public
Specific Course or Program Characteristics Arts and humanities, Formal sciences, Natural sciences, Social sciences, Professions, STEM, MOOCs
Outcome Variables of Interest Institutional effectiveness, Instructional effectiveness, Learning effectiveness, Program effectiveness
Student Sample Size
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