Home » MOOCs (massive open on-line courses) » #H817 Open Education » Activity 8 -OERs, not as simple as it looks

Activity 8 -OERs, not as simple as it looks

This week we were asked to devise an outline for a 5 week course. Once the outline was completed we had to look at a selection of OERs to see if any of the available resources could be used as course content. The purpose of the task was to see if a course could be created using existing OERs, and if the resources are already out there, how useful they are. We were asked to rate the resources (G) good, (M) medium and (B) bad.

I decided to design a course on using digital skills in the classroom aimed at secondary (high) school teachers, and here are the results of my evaluation.

1. Week 1 – Introduction to using Digital Skills in a Secondary School Classroom (G) (G) (G) (G)

2. Week 2 – iPads and apps, including Edmodo and Doddle, for learning and revision.

Integrating digital skills in the classroom by Liz Wilkins, (G) (G) (G) (G)

Lots of resources here (g)

3. Week 3 – Social media in the classroom (G)

4. Week 4 – Things to consider when using “digital skills” in the classroom (G) (G)

5. Week 5 – Applying your digital skills in the classroom – practical assignment

Not applicable as this is a practical assignment where teachers write a lesson plan for their subject area. The lesson plan must include at least one digital resource ie video or social media. The plan should include an outline of the learning outcome/s expected, any issues that might arise from using the specified resource and what can be done to overcome it.

Those taking the course may notice that I don’t seem to have used any of the sources given to us, Ariadne, Jorum, Merlot, MIT, OpenLearn and Rice Connections. I became frustrated quite quickly as I couldn’t find anything useful for my course.


I turned to TED to inspire me and came across this talk by Richard Baraniuk, the man behind Connexions which is one of the OERs we were offered as a repository. It was an interesting and inspired talk but didn’t match my experience. Perhaps I was too impatient or maybe the resources for my specific topic just weren’t there.

In the end I got so cross I just searched Google and found a wealth of useful information using the same search terms. So I am afraid I just continued using this method. I had to curb myself as there was so many resources out there.

I am not saying that the repositories we were offered are bad it’s just that in this instance they were not useful to me. Whilst searching them I found a wealth of information, just nothing relevant to My course. Perhaps because they are American and not specific to the UK. Or maybe my course outlines were too specific, or I used the wrong search terms. I will be interested to see what the experiences of other #H817 students are.

In terms of the main objective of this task, can a course be created using existing materials, the answer is yes. You may have to dig around and spend a bit of time researching but this is all part of the learning process so get stuck in!


  1. […] to the planned training. Maybe it would have been easier searching google for resources, as Nat has […]

  2. […] it would have been easier searching google for resources, as Nat has […]

  3. mymindbursts says:

    I enjoyed following this through and see you point about the resource in the depositories having given this a go – like online libraries, sometimes going straight to Google or Google Scholar does the job, Whenever I want an image I Google it and add ‘images’ in the search and whenever I want a word I Google it and add ‘definition’. It works. And if I’m not mistaken because my search is caches this kind of quest is gradually refined. In the past educators were concerned that students would just ‘Google it’, yet that is what I find myself doing. And why not? Repositories and libraries have no walls in a digital world. What matters is the quality of tagging and other metadata and if the search pulls up something relevant. Personally I think such searching is useful to draw up concept boards and to see what others have done … but then far better to create your own resources to a carefully refined and relevant creative brief.

    • Nat Nelson says:

      As you say, I don’t have a problem with “Googling” it, as I recently mentioned in a previous post about Google

      I think we all have our own way of searching for things, like life really, and this is a good thing. I love Google but also like asking people, face to face and on-line.

      Research is a skill and there are many ways to undertake it so we should embrace the methods.

  4. mymindbursts says:

    Reblogged this on My Mind Bursts and commented:
    Others may wish to follow where others have gone before – clicking through this selection is a wonderful introduction for the preprimed though not digital expert. How to turn a digital visitor into a digital resident? Here’s how.

  5. macampo says:

    Great class idea! Thanks for hint of using Google – It helped relieve my frustration with Activity 7 and OER Issues late last night…

  6. […] back at the initial “course” I designed in week 2 I realised that I had chosen a similar subject, social media/digital skills […]

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