Can OER be uploaded to a Learning Management System (LMS)?


As John Rindele pointed out in his presentation at the 2011 Open Education Conference, “…a key factor in OER uptake is the ability of resources to be easily accessed, combined with other course materials, and presented in an appropriate context for learning.”

Although LMSs such as Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn or Sakai usually operate within a “closed course” paradigm, with institutionally-sanctioned user accounts required to access these materials, educators are free to upload OER to an LMS.

If, for example, the OER is an interactive learning object with SCORM packaging, the educator would have to first download and then upload the OER to the LMS for it to work, so that the user and assessment data can be captured.

However, in other cases, educators may choose to provide a hyperlink (URL) to the OER instead of uploading it to the LMS. This is a practical solution when dealing with large file sizes (e.g., videos) or when there is a desire to have access to the most updated version (e.g., an open textbook).

One challenge this approach is that the URL may be changed by the OER author or, worse, that the OER content is no longer made available. In such cases, the hyperlink(s) to the OER will be broken and learners will no longer be able to access the content. To avoid such situations, it would make it easier for the educator to upload the OER to the LMS (or at least to download and archive the OER), so they are sure that the students are assured of access during the semester or learning process.

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