Activity 11: big OER and little OER are friends

We are asked to write on the benefits and drawbacks of big and little OER approaches.
In the issue The openness-creativity cycle in education Martin Weller classify and defines big and little OERs as:

Big OERs are institutionally generated ones that arise from projects such asOpen Courseware and OpenLearn. These are usually of high quality, contain explicit teaching aims, are presented in a uniform style and form part of a time-limited, focused project with portal and associated research and data.
Little OERs are individually produced, low cost resources. They are produced by anyone, not just educators, may not have explicit educational aims, have low production quality and are shared through a range of third party sites and services.

I have setup my text as a discussion between ‘humanized versions’ of big and little OER. Imagine littleOER is an image, a presentation or a piece of text and it has been mixed with part of bigOER, so they meet and start talking.


littleOER: Hi bigOER, nice to host me, tell me how did you get here?

bigOER: Its a long story, i have been created by the staff at OpenLearn for the online course H817 Open Education. After a long period of planing, design, reviewing and testing i was put online on March 16, 2013. And you?

littleOER: Oh that was quite different, my creator put me together within a couple of hours and then posted me on his blog. After a short time, i got lots of visitors from around the world. Apparently those visitors and my third-party friends twitter and google+ are talking about me. What about you big OER?

bigOER: I am not so widespread like you. I know most of my visitors well, they return often to my place and browse, download and write comments. Sometimes I have new visitors coming around. You know, i am made for educational purpose, this means i have been carefully produced with quality, pedagogy and sustainability in mind. My function here is to assist  teacher and make learning happen. What can you tell me about your  educational purpose?

littleOER: Well, i am not explicitly created for educational purpose. But teachers can use me within an educational setting as part of a reading or activity, informal learner can use me to find quickly information they need to complete a task. Furthermore, visitors can make copies of me, so i can travel around the world. Sometimes i live on another server, sometimes i am mixed with other interesting OER and put back on the Internet. That’s the way i have met you here.

bigOER: Yes we wouldn’t be friends if you could travel around. This is my place and i like it, because my creators care about me, they review, refine and change me. So this makes me future-proof and ready for the next challenge, this way i can have a long life.

littleOER: My creator does not care about me any more, but he let me take around.
Honestly, i don’t know how many copies and shares of me exists.

and the talk could go on …
feel free to add your comments.

Weller, M. (2012) ‘The openness–creativity cycle in education’, Special issue on Open Educational Resources, JIME, Spring 2012 [online]. Available at jime/ article/ view/ 2012-02

Weller, M. (2011b) ‘Public engagement as collateral damage’ in The Digital Scholar, London, Bloomsbury Academic. Also available online at view/ DigitalScholar_9781849666275/ chapter-ba-9781849666275-chapter-007.xml



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