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7.2: Challenges with Open Education

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    Open education, while offering many benefits, also raises some concerns.

    Key Challenges

    Quality Control

    • Lack of Standardization: Open educational resources (OER) may vary widely in quality and accuracy since they are created by different individuals or organizations without a standardized review process.
    • Outdated Content: OER may not always be updated regularly, leading to the dissemination of outdated information.


    • Funding: The sustainability of open education initiatives can be a concern due to the lack of a clear funding model. Without sustainable funding, projects may struggle to maintain resources and support.
    • Long-term Maintenance: Ensuring the long-term maintenance and updating of OER can be challenging without a dedicated team or organization overseeing the content.


    • Digital Divide: Not all learners have equal access to technology or the internet, which can create barriers to accessing open educational resources for some individuals or communities.


    • Search Expertise: Many college faculty are not experienced with searching for open education resources. This can make it difficult to locate suitable resources.
    • Lack of Centralization: OERs are located across many different websites, making them more difficult to find.

    Instructional Concerns

    • Lack of Resources: Many courses use textbooks that include videos, case studies, online homework, and other types of tools that enrich the classroom but are not easily replicated by OERs.

    While open education has the potential to democratize access to education and resources, addressing these concerns is crucial to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability in the long run.1

    How Do We Solve for This?

    Colleges and scholars are doing many things to simplify the use of OERs:

    • Creating central repositories for finding and accessing OERs.
    • Developing more robust training in using and licensing OERs.
    • Providing grants and other financial incentives to develop OERs.
    • Hiring librarians and other staff specialized in Open Education.


    1. Kortemeyer, Gerd. (2013, February 26). Ten years later: Why open educational resources have not noticeably affected higher education, and why we should care. Educause. in new window)

    This page titled 7.2: Challenges with Open Education is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Daniel Wilson.

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