In the Library with the Lead Pipe has published “A Critical Take on OER Practices: Interrogating Commercialization, Colonialism, and Content” by Sarah Crissinger (Davidson College). Crissinger’s article critiques Open Educational Resources (OER) using an Open Access lens, and suggests how information professionals can engage with OER in a more thoughtful way. Opening her article, Crissinger writes:
I found that all of the discussions I had engaged in about openness—including Joseph’s presentation—were about shared goals or shared politics. The shared risks were often left unaddressed. I started to consider how openness, when disconnected from its political underpinnings, could become as exploitative as the traditional system it had replaced. I began to reflect on the ways in which I had used, or experienced others’ use of, openness as a solution for poverty or development—often in a way that was disconnected from an understanding of systemic inequality.
Crissinger closes the article with “tangible suggestions for how librarians and other LIS professionals can construct more thoughtful OER practices,” such as: using realistic language, interrogating whose knowledge matters globally, doing outreach beyond the learning object, moving beyond cost, using open pedagogy, and teaching critical openness and labor.
This post was produced through a cooperation between Kristen Mapes, Heather Martin, A. Miller, Allison Ringness, and Martin Spenger (Editors-at-large for the week), Caitlin Christian-Lamb (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Caro Pinto, Roxanne Shirazi, and Patrick Williams (dh+lib Review Editors).