Open Ed contribution 3: it’s not all bad news

This is number three in a series.  Some of the things I may not get a chance to share at OpenEd 2009.

These are some of the roadblocks put forward as real or perceived issues by teachers who expressed a keeness to share and to collaborate or work together on resources – or at least being open to the idea.

The main issue was finding the stuff that they really wanted when they wanted it.  Several repositories were mentioned.

There were at least two issues in this respect.

Personalisation.

With some resources there is a perception that style issues, idiosyncrasies and personal preferences of the writer mean they can’t easily be used by other teachers.  “The effort to fix this is often too great”

“Style can get embedded and is hard to alter”

Context

Similarly with context: there was a perception that many resources were just too context dependent.

One example: grammar exercises became quite differently expressed if they were part of an ESOL course, journalism course or an essay writing support package. You’d expect that.  But there was a feeling that some resources were developed in such a way that meant they were still too context dependent.  Worksheets with several questions unusable (maybe with a curriculum difference, or a grammar point not yet taught) in PDF format could not be edited.

“Tagging has helped – (But we are not there yet)”

Even so, there were some teachers quite positive towards the idea.  It just had not quite worked itself into a solution for them yet.

Others however felt that there was some good progress in their area.  It is here that I am particularly interested: what factors tend towards success?  What can be done to promote this?  I think there are three aspects to this that I can point to in the data.

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