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Giving Knowledge for Free

The Emergence of Open Educational Resources

By Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD

Learning resources are often considered key intellectual property in a competitive higher education world. However, more and more institutions and individuals are sharing their digital learning resources over the Internet, openly and for free, as open educational resources (OER). This study, building on previous OECD work on e-learning, asks why this is happening, who is involved, and what the most important implications of this development are. The report offers a comprehensive overview of the rapidly changing phenomenon of open educational resources and the challenges it poses for higher education. It examines reasons for individuals and institutions to share resources for free and looks at copyright issues, sustainability, and business models, as well as policy implications. Giving Knowledge for Free will be of particular interest to those involved in e-learning or strategic decisionmaking within higher education, to researchers, and to students of new technologies.

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