WGBH's Teacher's Domain: Producing Open Materials and Engaging Users

by Cynthia Jimes; Lisa Petrides

Oct 1, 2008
Launched in 2002 by WGBH, the non-commercial public media service, located in Boston, Massachusetts, Teachers' Domain is an online repository of multimedia open educational resources for use in classrooms and for professional development. As part of its effort to increase the availability of freely accessible resources WGBH has developed content from public media archives into high quality, open educational resources for Teachers' Domain. Using a participatory case study methodology, this report examines WGBH and Teachers' Domain's successes and challenges in 1) converting proprietary content to open content 2) engaging users in content and 3) redesigning the Teacher's Domain site to accommodate new categories of use and tools for teachers and learners of all different backgrounds and activity levels. For OER projects more generally, ongoing research on user behaviors, experiences and perceptions can be a challenging and resource-intense process; however, by assessing and building data collection mechanisms and research questions into organizational practices, knowledge and learnings can be cultivated to inform how users are best supported, as well as to inform continuous improvement for the projects overall.
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