Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning resources that reside in the public domain, or that have been released under an open license that permits their access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions, and at no-cost (UNESCO, 2015). Despite being identified as a key competency in the European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) (Redecker 2017), knowledge of how to source and use OER is low among staff who teach in Higher Education (Risquez and McAvinia, 2020), and indeed globally (Spilovoy, Seaman, and Ralph, 2020), although the current pandemic context is contributing to growing interest (McKenzie, 2020).
As an area that transcends institutional boundaries, promotion of, and support for OER can be seen as falling into what Whitchurch (2012) has described as Higher Education’s ‘Third space’. This paper describes a collaboration between Third Space professionals working in Maynooth University Library and the Office of the Dean of Teaching and Learning, aimed at providing a starting point and hub for the conversation on OER adoption in our institution. Our local experiences heretofore mirror those described in the literature, with a general lack of awareness of OER among teaching staff, as well as a lack of clarity around what is allowable in terms of reuse. In response to this, we have developed an online guide to the benefits and challenges associated with finding, using and sharing OERs in Teaching, Learning and Assessment. Our presentation will discuss the collaborative process involved in developing the resource and will discuss lessons learned from collaborating in the Third Space.