OERScout: Widening Access to OER through Faceted Search
In recent years, the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement has achieved considerable success within the academic community with respect to advocacy of the concept. As a result, many organisations such as the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), UNESCO and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in partnership with academic institutions, have produced large volumes of OER. However, due to the disconnected nature and the constant expansion of volume, many repositories hosting these resources are less frequented or completely ignored by OER users. i.e. only the more popular OER repositories such as Connexions and WikiEducator are frequent stops in the search for academically useful resources. This limitation, in turn, reduces the access to high quality resources hidden away in isolated repositories hosted by lesser known sources. Furthermore, the time and labour required to trawl these repositories with a view of identifying the most suitable OER is tantamount to creating ones’ own material from scratch. As a solution to these issues, this paper discusses how the OERScout search engine uses a “faceted search” approach to locate the most desirable OER from sources spread throughout the globe. It also highlights how focused searching can greatly improve access to OER readily useable in teaching and learning. // Paper ID: 60
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