In this paper the authors aim to quantify the benefits in efficiency of reusing online resources to develop learning objects over developing a new learning object de novo. Reusing existing online resources only the authors developed an online project. The time it took to develop was measured and compared to how long it would have taken to develop from scratch.
The method of reusing resource was approximately three times faster though the authors highlight the point that they did not have to seek permission to use their resources and that may not be the case for other developers hoping to use pre-existing resources.
Most of the time was taken up searching for suitable resources and gaining permission to use those resources. Modifying the resources in some way accounted for 31% of the time and 97% of the resources they used needed modification. Authors also note that they were working with skilled multimedia specialists and that many educators may not have access to that skill set.
This was a very practical paper dealing directly with the assumptions that are made about benefits OER will bring.
The authors were more than novice elearning practitioners with access to the technology and skill sets required to search for and augment resources as needed. This can not be said of many even in the field of elearning. The project did show that with the correct skills, technology and training the reuse of OER may bring significant efficiencies to elearning practitioners.
Elliott, K. &. (2008). Quantifying the reuse of learning objects. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology , 24 (2), 137-142.