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Juliette Culver

It's interesting that report refers to new courses rather than existing ones, where you might actually expect the teachers to look to see what options are out there. I can see three big barriers - awareness (are teachers sent copies of the materials in the same way that they get inundated with textbooks from traditional textbook publishers?), possible quality of the material, and also the time taken to evaluate new materials (e.g. if you are fairly young lecturer you might just be tempted to use the textbook you yourself used as it takes less time than becoming familiar with something new).


It's not just a case of resources being relevant and available, they must also be usable and useful. And, although they may be free or cheap, they must be well designed.

I've seen free offerings before where the content has been let down by bad design. Textbooks are great as textbooks but they don't really lend themselves to online use. Online expectations are much higher.

Students will create a momentum by word of mouth (or whatever the equivalent social media term is) if they find a resource useful. If this momentum isn't there yet then the usefulness has to be questioned just as much as any lack of marketing.

Design and user experience, along with relevance and availability, are key to winning any battle.

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