The OER movement is widely acknowledged for its drive to provide high-quality educational resources to teachers and learners everywhere, free of charge, for adaptation and reuse in a variety of contexts (Hilton et al., 2010). Whilst the early focus of the OER movement was on the creation of, and provision of access to, open digital content (Kumar, 2009), current interest have moved to also consider ways in which OER can be incorporated in both teaching and learning with the aim to support OEP.
Early indications are that the practice of integrating OERs into an established teaching environment is often not as easy or intuitive as one may expect. The challenge seems to be the creation of an OEP where learners are not only regarded as users of open educational resources, but where they are actively encouraged to construct their own open shareable content.
In an OEP, the learning experience seems to shift from a teacher-centered, content-based approach, to one where the learning activities and resources are deliberately designed to create a learner-oriented educational environment. (Conole & Ehlers, 2010). This type of environment prioritises the learning process, rather than products and outcomes. However, as mentioned earlier, the products of an OEP are often shareable open content that learners have constructed by, and for, themselves.
Seamour Papert’s (1991) notion that people learn effectively through making or constructing things provides a solid learning theory in which OEP can be grounded. This paper, therefore, explores the organic synergy between constructionism and OEP, and reports on how these two concepts were successfully introduced in a particular postgraduate module.
- Conole, G.C. and Ehlers, U.D. 2010: Open Educational Practices: Unleashing the power of OER. Paper presented at an UNESCO Workshop on OER in Namibia 2010. Windhoek.
- Hilton, J., Wiley, D, Stein, J. & Johnson, A. 2010. The four ‘R’s of openness and ALMS analysis: frameworks for open educational resources. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 24, pp. 37-44.
- Kumar, M.V., 2009. Open educational resources in India’s national development. Open Learning, 24(1), pp. 77-84.
- Papert, S. and Harel, I., 1991. Situating constructionism. Constructionism, 36, pp. 1-11.