Technology in OER: New Infrastructure and Business Adoption

ENCORE+ is envisioning a new infrastructure for open educational resources (OERs) in which technology plays an essential role. To support this goal, possible technological scenarios have been analysed by means of a literature review, interaction and discussion with identified stakeholders, and the evaluation of cutting-edge technologies available in the consortia. This work was conducted with the aim of supporting the creation of an OER infrastructure which improves the interconnectivity of the existing tools and services.

The new infrastructure needs to fulfill certain recurrent requirements, such as interoperability, quality, ease of access, a user-friendly interface, and searchability. It also recognises the potential of the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the field of OER.

Two possible scenarios fitting the described parameters have been proposed. One focuses on minimal invasive embedding, while the other is an ‘umbrella approach’, but… what does this all mean?

Minimal invasive embedding

Minimal invasive embedding refers to the possibility of embedding a widget in the user interface. This widget can communicate with the central OER index and make meaningful educational recommendations about other OERs that do not need to be hosted in the current repository. This would result in improved discoverability.

Umbrella approach

The Umbrella approach brings together all OER repositories under one umbrella. This means that the existing OERs are centrally indexed and presented to users through a single user interface. This centralized platform allows users to search for and discover OER. It also provides metadata and other services enabling users to use, create, and share OERs, as well as make notes and annotations.

Now that you have an overview of the approach to the proposed scenarios, you can access the full report for technical details explained and exemplified.

How can technology contribute to business stakeholders’ adoption of OERs?

It has been observed that great efforts have been made to offer OERs dedicated value propositions, but these efforts have been mostly concentrated in the public educational sector.

So, what happens with business and private stakeholders? The ENCORE+ project has proposed an AI-based technological solution that could encourage business use and adoption of OERs. This proposal was outlined in the first ENCORE+ Technology Position Paper (available here).

The ENCORE+ network aims to find out whether this solution would relevantly impact strategical business approaches for sustainability by:

  • Investigating the appropriateness and possible alignments of existing business models proposed for OER sustainability with different stakeholders;
  • Evaluating the activities promoting and hindering the use of OERs;
  • Thinking about revenue models using emerging technologies for sustained open education.

Business representatives with strategical managing roles at their organisations will be interviewed for this purpose. The results of these interview will be published shortly, so make sure you follow the project and subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

Want to learn even more about technology in OER? The ENCORE+ Network is hosting an event on the topic of technology in OER on Thursday 10 November. If you’re interested in finding out more, register your place and join us on 10 November. Sign up here.

Technology in OER: New Infrastructure and Business Adoption
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