James Levin, Nicholas Burbules & Bertram Bruce write in E-Learning, 2(1):
Abstract Within the existing system of education, student work rarely has any value beyond the particular course that it is created for. The work is graded and then usually discarded. The authors describe in this article a way that student work can be systematically made available for use by others beyond the immediate learning context within which it is created. They provide a case study in which this mechanism worked. They describe the benefits and costs of doing this, along with the broader implications this systematic publication of exemplary student work might have for the changing relationship between learning and doing, between education and the rest of society. This publication mechanism, called OPEER (open publishing of exemplary educational resources), can enable education to have an additional major positive impact on the rest of society, creating and maintaining quality assured resources at a minimal additional cost.
I have taken a few steps along this path in courses where students have produced materials for teachers or written papers that have later been published. I’ve thought about pushing it further and this paper may renew my enthusiasm for treating education as a genuinely productive activity.