I. Traina1, L. Ferrari1, A.F. Camilleri2

1University of Bologna (ITALY)
2European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning (BELGIUM)
This paper refers to the Open Educational Resources (OERs) as materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone. In this paper the objective is to answer the following question: how to develop a culture of sharing amongst teaching community in Higher Education?
In order to answer to the above issue and promote the mutual and cultural exchange of OER, this article presents three main activities :

1) Elaboration of a Quality criteria to assess OER
a) Compatibility with the standard, according with Ehlers and Pawlowski, “…standards are often misunderstood, especially in the education community. However, the intention of standardization is not, as often assumed, to reduce and unify the didactic or technological options, but to standardize their description. The goal is to attain a greater transparency for all users of learning technologies and a greater interoperability and improve reusability ”.
b) Flexibility and expandability of the formative module and learning materials also from a technical point of view. A lack of these criteria could prevent the adoption of a modular approach in the learning pathway.
c) Customization and attention to the inclusive dimension (e.g. the possibility to customize and personalize the technical aspect in order to guarantee their use also for the people with special needs).
d) Autonomy of the users during the interaction with the multimedia resources (availability of content in different language, technical and didactic support)
e) Comprehensibility of the graphic interface
f) Comprehensibility of learning contents (clearness of the language, etc.)
g) Motivation, engagement and attractiveness of the OER modules and learning resources
h) Interaction between users and learning materials, users and teacher and peers

2) Definition of possible Learning models for developing OER
OER 1) Designed as “informative” resources where the formative goal is based on information/reproduction since it is meant to provide the student with learning units which have to be reproduced in a precise way. It can deal with basic or complex alphabets, specific notions, competence or professional skills .
OER 2) Designed to enhance the “meta-cognitive” dimension of the learning where are promoted and stimulated approaches based on problem and solution. It means a knowledge construction modality which uses specific research methodologies compatible with the specific subject contents, encouraging the use of direct investigation tools which allow knowledge conceptualization, generalization and portability.
OER 3) Designed to improve the “constructive” dimensions of learning, where the formative category of the personalization represents an added value to empower the individual diversity. At the centre of the learning path is the student’s active role in the construction of her/his own knowledge. This role can be spelled out when the learning path stresses the learning process rather than its product and when the student’s personal experience, her/his research activity and reflection are constantly emphasized.

3) Development of an OER repository
In the framework of the project the Consortium is involved in establishment of a European OER Clearinghouse (repository) for accessing content in a single portal to enable the creation of an economic model for the commercialisation of OER-related services by High Educational Institutions.