I have been doing some thinking about the OER landscape and how it is developing globally. For my research I have identified five main strategies for OER sharing online which have emerged.
Institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute (MIT) of Technology and the University of Michigan have set up their own institutional repository for curating and sharing educational media as OER. The materials are typically hosted and shared in a single system. MIT uses EduCommons and Michigan uses Drupal. We are also seeing that institutional repositories are moving from closed to open. This can be labelled the institutional repository approach to curation.
Institutional remixing platforms
Other institutions have gone for a more broad approach to curation, allowing edits and contributions from authors around the world. Rice University’s Connexions project allows anyone to create or remix existing content on their site. Likewise the Open University’s Labspace allows users to create content on request and allows modifications of existing web content. Connexions and Labspace can be labelled as institutional remixing platforms allowing anyone to revise the content through the web browser.
Many universities still do not have a place to share their open resources online. For that reason institutions like California State University offer places to share educational materials including the ability to upload the actual content. The Merlot project provides anyone in the world a hosting option for their OER, thus providing a global repository.
Institutional referatory model
The referatory model for curation only houses the metadata about resources regardless of where they are hosted. At UCT, the OpenContent directory directs people to links on the internet or UCT server where resources are hosted, but does not host the actual resources. The referatory curates a collection of web resources providing links to the content online
Global referatory model
OER Commons employs a similar model albeit on a more global scale, as their site refers to locations from a number of institutions all over the internet where OER’s are hosted.