Figure 26: Folksemantic Search Facility
Likewise, DiscoverEd (http://discovered.creativecommons.org/search) is an experimental project from Creative Commons, particularly interested in improving search and discovery capabilities for OER. It is a prototype that aims to explore how structured data may be used to enhance the search experience, and provides a scalable search and discovery for educational resources on the web. It works like a search engine where users type keywords to find information. The result set reveals metadata for a resource, including subject information and the licence. The results come from other repositories such as OER Commons, Connexions and the Open Courseware Consortium (OCWC). Interested parties are allowed to incorporate DiscoverEd on their own sites.
The above is just a small sample of emerging OER initiatives in the higher education space. They illustrate that there is a burgeoning interest in OER, as well as a fast-emerging web infrastructure to support further growth, sharing and discovery of OER online. Institutional participants include mainstream, highly respected higher education institutions from around the world.
While several of the initiatives outlined above were initiated with donor funding, there is growing evidence that their activities are being integrated into mainstream institutional budgets and that diversification of income streams is taking place rapidly. Most importantly, the above snapshot of examples demonstrates clearly that OER can no longer be considered a peripheral 'movement' – it is something with which all higher education planners and policy makers need to engage.