Login

Open Education Resources Under Attack

While some in the academic world applaud government funding that will produce more open education resources (OER), others favor changes that could limit what those grants are used for. Education Insider looks at why it's important for OER development to continue regardless of any opposition.

View popular schools

By Jessica Lyons

financial

Funding Given Can Be Funding Taken Away

Just recently in September 2011, online education journal Inside Higher Ed reported that new government grants awarded to community colleges would help educators there develop OER materials. However, the joy of getting those grants (which total $500 million) might be short-lived. This month the publication reported that the 2012 budget proposed by the House of Representatives would restrict grant recipients to only using the funds for creating materials determined by the U.S. labor secretary to be sufficiently dissimilar from those that aren't already in the works or for sale.

Concerns Over Government Financing

Unfortunately not everyone was in favor of this grant program to begin with - publishers of educational material have long worried that OER will cut into their profits. As Inside Higher Ed explained, these publishers stand against what they see as the government helping to create competition; they feel that OER, being free, has a distinct advantage over their commercial products. Opponents also feel that grants shouldn't be used to develop programs like those that already exist.

'We have the government competing with the private sector and trying to create materials from scratch at a time when we desperately need to be educating students with materials that have been proven to work and systems that have been proven to work,' Association of American Publishers' executive director for higher education Bruce Hildebrand told the publication.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Why OER is Needed

In reality, those who don't want OER to receive government funding could actually be the reason these materials are needed in the first place. After all, aren't high prices for educational materials the reason so many people consider OER a necessity? And aren't the publishers opposed to government funding the ones who've been somewhat responsible for constantly rising costs? Maybe if publishers had kept their prices more reasonable a large push for open educational resources wouldn't be so important now.

But the reality is that each year it gets a little harder for schools, educators and students to afford all of the materials they need. OER has become the solution to that problem. Educators all over the globe are now a part of the movement, sharing their materials so learners everywhere can reap the benefits. In the end, OER simply makes obtaining an education more affordable.

The Importance of Government Funding

Creating OER takes time and money, but it's certainly a worthy investment, especially since it could be developed at one school but used at countless others. That's a lot of bang for your buck. But that development money has to come from somewhere, and government funding can make a big difference in educators being able to create more OER, which will surely be a vital part of the education field's future. Hopefully lawmakers realize this before making their final budget and won't limit the resources educators can develop.

What exactly is the impact that OER is having on learning? Find out what Roy Schroeder, founding director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service, has to say about it.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSN to DNP
    • MSN to DNP in Nurse Practitioner
    • MSN to DNP in Executive Nurse Leader
    • RN to MSN
    • RN to MSN Bridge
    • MSN in Nursing Leadership
    • RN to MSN in Nursing Leadership
    • RN to MSN Bridge in Nursing Leadership
    • MSN in Nurse Educator
    • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
    • Master of Arts in Economics
    • Master of Public Administration and Policy
    • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management
    • Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization - Online
    • Flexible MBA - Interdisciplinary Business - Campus
    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Government Analytics
    • Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Applied Research for Communication
    • MS in Food Safety Regulation
    • Certificate in Science Writing
    • Certificate in Science, Technology, and International Security Studies
    • Post-Master Acute Care Pediatric Certificate - Online

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance
    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
    • Certificate: Post Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Ph.D. in Literacy
    • Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Literacy: Special Education
    • Ph.D. in Literacy: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
    • Ph.D in Literacy: Literacy
    • Master of Business Administration in Interdisciplinary Business
    • Master of Business Administration in Taxation
    • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Master of Science in Taxation
    • Master of Science in Library and Information Science
    • Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Academic Librarianship

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MBA Finance Concentration
    • MBA General Management Concentration
    • MBA Health Care Management Concentration
    • MBA Human Resources Management Concentration
    • MBA Leadership and Organizational Health Concentration
    • MBA Marketing and Advertising Concentration
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
    • RN-BSN Degree

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Dual Master of Jurisprudence in Corporate and Business Law / Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration - Business Process Innovation
    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
    • Hybrid Dual Master of Social Work/Master of Education, Human Sexuality Studies
    • Master of Social Work
    • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?