Opportunities and Risks of the Use of Open Education Resources in Environmental Disciplines at University Level in the Czech Republic: A Criteria for Assessing Quality

Keywords: Open education resources, higher education, environmental disciplines, interdisciplinarity, quality assessment


The expansion of open educational resources (OER) in documents and practice at various levels is related to, among other things, the options these resources offer for the study, sharing, and possibly joint creation of information materials. This has important implications for the knowledge economy, but also the ways of its production and reproduction in education. The article introduces the concept of OER from a legislative perspective (copyright issues), its role in global commitments to sustainable development and particularly in relation to the teaching/learning methods and approaches in the process of their current transformation; the innovative potential of OER for the multidisciplinary field of environment and sustainable development is highlighted. A brief overview of the types of OER which are available in the Czech Republic for the study of environmental and sustainability fields is provided, and qualitative methods of analysis are used to develop a set of criteria through which the quality of the resource can be easily assessed. Different types of OER are evaluated according to these criteria and the overall character of the information environment available to university students is discussed. This brief overview is concluded by underlining significant opportunities of OER particularly in the environment and sustainability oriented disciplines owing to the multidisciplinary nature of these fields. These opportunities, however, are not fully exploited especially because the quality of these resources available on the internet is difficult to assess. Another issue is also the possibility that students themselves are not skilled in distinguishing the quality of resources, and perhaps the reluctance of university teachers to encourage and support students in applying consistent ethical standards in their use of materials in their studies.

Author Biographies

Jana Dlouhá

RNDr. Jana Dlouhá, Ph.D.

Envigogika chief editor

* I am an expert in environmental education and e-learning, my research position in the Charles University Environment Center includes coordination of national and international research and networking projects. * I have been teaching Czech and foreign students in the international study e-learning programs since 2007. * List of more than 100 publication includes articles in journals and book chapters. * I am founder and editor in chief of the peer reviewed journal Envigogika (since 2006). * I am also a member of the UNESCO Teacher Education for Sustainability WG and I was involved in the activities of the UN ECE Working Group on ESD Indicators. * On the national level I have been involved in the Working Group for the National Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development of the Czech National Environmental Council and the Expert group on ESD for the Czech Government (Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Education). * Since 2003 I am co-editor of the national environmental encyclopaedia Enviwiki (educational toolkit and Open Education Resource) * I have been working in the Charles University Environment Center since its establishment in 1992. Before I have worked in the Federal Ministry of Environment CSFR (Department of International Relations) where I helped to organize the First Ministerial Conference, within the "Environment for Europe" process which was held in 1991 at Dobris Castle.

Eduard Petiška
Charles University Environment Center
Jiří Dlouhý
Charles University Environment Center
Dana Kapitulčinová
Charles University Environment Center


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05. 12. 2015
How to Cite
Dlouhá, J., Petiška, E., Dlouhý, J., & Kapitulčinová, D. (2015). Opportunities and Risks of the Use of Open Education Resources in Environmental Disciplines at University Level in the Czech Republic: A Criteria for Assessing Quality. Envigogika, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.14712/18023061.503
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