Quality is not necessarily a function of copyright status.
- There are terrific commercial textbooks and there are terrific OER. There are also terrible commercial textbooks and terrible OER.
- Subject matter experts experts must vet the quality of whatever resources they choose to adopt, and cannot abdicate this responsibility to publishing houses.
- The 2005 Nature experiment
- They directly compared the accuracy of Wikipedia articles with the accuracy of traditionally reviewed, licensed, and published articles in Encyclopedia Britannica.
- There was no significant difference in factual errors between Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica.
- Beyond issues of accuracy, when publishers, their press releases, and the media who reprint them say “quality” with regard to textbooks and OER, they actually mean “presentation and graphic design” – is the layout beautiful, are the images high resolution, are the headings used and formatted consistently, is the book printed in full color?
- But this is not what we should mean when we talk about quality. There can be one and only one measure of the quality of educational resources, no matter how they are licensed: How much do students learn when using the materials?
- There are two ways of thinking about this definition of quality.
- One is to realize that no matter how beautiful and internally consistent their presentation may be, educational materials are low quality if students who are assigned to use them learn little or nothing.
- The other way to think about it is this: no matter how ugly or inconsistent they appear to be, educational materials are high quality if students who are assigned to use them learn what the instructor intended them learn.
Above content taken from David Wiley’s blog about vetting and quality