We seem to be at the stage with the OER collections project which is both exciting and frustrating – the excitement comes from a sense of almost unlimited possibilities when all options are still open, the frustration comes pretty much from the same source. After all, amidst all this abundance, how are we supposed to pin down an approach towards the research methods collections? A cursory overview of resources brought to us courtesy of Twitter seems to echo these sentiments – for instance, Daniel Rehak’s “Digital Content Manifesto” proclaims that:
We live in a fragmented world with an abundance of learning content(…) We suspect that for any learning activity, somewhere relevant digital content already exists (…) We need to enable a learning layer on Web 2.0.
Apparently, a good place to start would be with academic libraries as according to a recent report by University of Michigan (thank you Twitter once again!), university libraries are well positioned to run or support OER production and publication operations. The authors argue that many university libraries already have the necessary technical and policy infrastructure in place that would provide economies of scale both for nascent and mature OER projects. Nevertheless, UK universities involved in the OER programme still need to catch up with their own institutional libraries, as Tony Hirst comments on his blog – a brief glimpse at the library website at the University of Leicester reveals a noticeable absence of any mention of OERs despite the university’s substantial involvement in the OER programme through the OTTER (Open, transferable & technology-enabled educational resources) project.
Meanwhile, the search for the social sciences research methods collection continues…