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Connexions ranks highest in third-party ranking of OER repositories

2010-02-16

Norm Friesen has written a short article at learningspaces.org discussing "open source materials that may be of significant strategic value to schools, universities and to other organizations with educational mandates, such as museums and archives".

After an explanation of different license types and their restrictions, he concludes that there are few repositories with the two characteristics that make them optimal for use by educational institutions: a non-restrictive license, and quality assurance (through peer reviews, or other methods).

Here at Connexions, we are committed to using the CC-by license, which is as non-restrictive a license as possible while still recognizing and attributing work to the author. In the past year we have also rolled out several ways to vet content:

  1. Individual users can rate modules on a 5-star scale.
  2. When browsing or searching content, you have the option to sort by Popularity, which is based on the number of page hits a module receives. This lets you quickly find content that is viewed often.
  3. Most powerfully, users and organizations can create Lenses to highlight useful material. Organizations can create Endorsement lenses (peer-reviewed content, vouched for by the organization) or Affiliate lenses (content associated with the organization in some way, but not necessarily peer-reviewed). All other lenses are Member Lists, which allow you to pull together content that you deem to be of value; content of good quality, content all in the same subject, or simply content that you like. Finally, lenses also allow users to provide their own tags and commentary for all content within the lens.

With these qualities, it is no surprise that Norm Friesen ranked Connexions at the top of all the OER repositories he looked at, with a ranking of 14 out of a possible 15 points. The criteria he used were licensing flexibility, quality, stability, and fitness for purpose.