Great ideas, no followup

As suggested by the course facilitator, I had a look at some of the e-learning projects that the OU is associated within the OER movement. Unfortunately the majority seem to be dying a slow death by lack of funding and uptake, as the seem not to have been updated for a few years. xDelia, Cloudworks, Coherere and Compendium all must have felt like a good idea at the time, but it looks like their websites are now all gathering dust. This reflects the fickle world of open educational resources: it’s not enough to rent some domain space and plonk some content in there. You have to have both the funds, the manpower and the motivation to keep these up to date and relevant. So many excellent e-learning content, devised with good intentions and a lot of money, is now languishing in abandoned directories on web servers, but even making them available for free doesn’t make them more attractive (or easy to find). That’s why the RCGP invests in regular update cycles of their courses and their content management systems: there is no point in having a few gigabytes of learning lying around, gathering dust. It needs to be curated, edited and updated regularly, otherwise it will end like one of the previously mentioned projects.

Sad really.

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