The decisions we make on the nature of OER infrastructure and associated services must also carefully consider that many in our institutions are still unfamiliar with sharing openly and need to be able to work in a space they trust and feel is secure, but at the same time supporting their transition to open.
With the changing provision in centralised OER services in the UK over the past 12 months, the community has been left to consider where we need to place our OERs now. There are a number examples of institutions and communities who have created their own digital spaces for sharing OERs (for example Open.ed, Open Learn, Humbox) however for the vast majority in the UK HEI community there is no clear provision, direction or recommendation of how to proceed.
In the presentation I will propose how this incredibly complex space can be serviced by a scalable ecosystem of open content ‘hubs’ and argue the strengths of this model vs a single centralised solution alone, making comparison to the growth of open access systems and services. Rather than add to the existing collection of walled-in institutional systems these hubs can act as a focal point for community engagement in a space that users can trust. This will include references to examples of the open source EdShare OER sharing platform, and how this scalable model has been working to date with existing members of the UK HEI community including Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Southampton, Humbox and more.