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13 July 2010 / erikduval

OER@TLT

It’s been rather long in the making, but I’m very proud to announce that the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies has just published Vol.3, No.2. Proud, because this issues includes a special section on Open Educational Resources that my Good Friend David Wiley and I have co-edited.

As we wrote in the Guest Editorial:

This special issue includes reports of research work in the new spaces of technical possibility created by open educational resources.

We also list some opportunities for research on technical challenges around OER :

  • Detection of reuse: Using, for instance, plagiarism detection technologies, it is possible to identify reused instances of fragments of educational re- sources. This is important information in many ways. First of all, as researchers, it enables us to investigate what kind of resources are more reused than others, how these resources are reused, etc. On a more pragmatic level, information about reuse of resources can help to rank more relevant candidate resources higher, either in search results or in a more proactive setting as recommendations.
  • Distribution aspects: As we are nearing a critical mass of open educational resources, it will be possible to analyze whether there is a Long Tail effect in terms of topics covered, authors and institutions contributing, downloads, reuse, etc. [4]. This “Web science” perspective on open educational resources can help to understand their longer term evolution and sustainability.
  • Context based recommendation: The abundance of learning material that the OER movement is unlock- ing leads to a paradox of choice where the multitude of options may actually make it more difficult for teachers or learners to select the most relevant material at the appropriate time. Recommendation techniques can help suggest resources based on information about the context of the user, including time, location, interest, goal, background knowledge, mood, etc.

I would really love to see more research addressing these issues. And maybe you want to suggest additional research topics?

Anyway, I really hope you like the articles as much as we did: comments more than welcome!

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