UNESCO OER Way Forward @ eLearning Africa 2008
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UNESCO OER Way Forward @ eLearning Africa 2008



"A Way Forward for Open Educational Resources: deliberations of an international community." Presentation given by Catriona Savage (UNESCO) at the MERLOT Africa Network's First Pan-African Forum on ...

"A Way Forward for Open Educational Resources: deliberations of an international community." Presentation given by Catriona Savage (UNESCO) at the MERLOT Africa Network's First Pan-African Forum on OER and OA, eLearning Africa, Accra, Ghana on 28 May 2008.



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UNESCO OER Way Forward @ eLearning Africa 2008 UNESCO OER Way Forward @ eLearning Africa 2008 Presentation Transcript

  • MAN First Pan-African Forum on OER 28 May 2008 Accra, Ghana A Way Forward for Open Educational Resources Deliberations of an international community Catriona Savage UNESCO
  • Structure of the session
    • OER: an overview and some examples
    • UNESCO: its mission and action on OER
    • An international community: the UNESCO IIEP initiative
    • The community speaks: the Way Forward
    • Conclusion: next steps
  • OER: a definition
    • Web-based materials offered freely and openly for use and reuse in teaching, learning and research
    • (UNESCO, 2002)
    • Only open if they are released under an open licence
    • Includes any tool, material or technique used to support access to knowledge
  • OER: milestones in the movement
    • 1998: “open content” and the Open Publication License
    • 2001: founding of Creative Commons
    • 2001: MIT announces OpenCourseWare
  • The Cape Town Declaration
    • “…a statement of principle, a statement of strategy and a statement of commitment … meant to spark dialogue, to inspire action and to help the open education movement grow.”
    • (Cape Town Open Education Declaration, 2008)
    • What approaches have providers taken to making content freely and openly available?
  • MIT OpenCourseWare
    • Institutional, faculty response to challenge of online education
    • 2002: launched 50-course pilot
    • 2008: almost all course materials available for over 2,000 subjects
    • An adventure! (Charles Vest)
  • Rice University Connexions
    • Individual response to limitations of traditional textbooks
    • The vision: “textbooks adapted to many learning styles and translated into myriad languages… textbooks that are continually updated and corrected by a legion of contributors” (Rich Baraniuk)
    • The result: an environment for developing, sharing and publishing academic content on the web
  • University of the Western Cape Free Courseware Project
    • Promoting use of OER by UWC students and staff
    • Creating and publishing free and open educational resources
    • Raising awareness about free and open access to knowledge in wider community
  • University of Cape Town
    • OpeningScholarship – research into potential impact of OER and Open Access
    • Health OER – partnership with University of Michigan and University of Ghana to create OER for medicine and health sciences
  • African Virtual University OER Architecture
    • Aims to promote collaborative partnerships among African institutions for the four elements of the OER ‘evolutionary process’:
      • Creation
      • Organization
      • Dissemination
      • Utilization
    • What action is UNESCO taking?
  • UNESCO: five strategic objectives
    • Capacity builder in Member States
    • Laboratory of ideas
    • Catalyst for international cooperation
    • Clearinghouse
    • Standard setter
  • OER: the need for awareness raising
    • Potential of OER to contribute to:
      • Education for All
      • Building knowledge societies – especially ‘knowledge-sharing societies’
    • But…
    • No awareness of availability  resources not utilized and potential of OER not realized
  • A donor vision: the Hewlett change strategy
    • Aim: to equalize access to knowledge through:
      • Sponsoring high quality content
      • Understanding and stimulating use
      • Removing barriers
  • Aims of the IIEP OER initiative
    • International dialogue and information exchange
    • Linking people who might not otherwise meet
    • Creating an international OER community
  • Steps in the creation of a community
    • Forum 1: an introduction to OER
    • Short discussions on key topics
      • OER research agenda
      • A ‘Do-It-Yourself/Do-It-Together’ resource for developing capacity
      • FOSS for OER
    • Forum 2: OECD study on OER
    • Resources made available on website and wiki
    • After two years of intense reflection and discussion, what did the community have to say about the priorities for advancing the OER movement?
  • What are the characteristics of the community?
    • 600+ members
    • 98 countries
    • 67 developing countries
  • Who are the African community members?
    • 27 countries
    • 100+ members
    • 60% from Southern and Eastern Africa
    • Over 50% from 3 countries – South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya
  • Community members… organizations represented
    • Over 50% from higher education institutions
    • Over 20% from international organizations and NGOs
    • Africa mirrors overall community breakdown
  • Community members… positions held
    • Almost 40% hold high-level positions
    • Almost 20% are teaching professionals
    • In Africa teachers largest group, then decision-makers
  • What are the issues?
    • Advancing the movement
    • Awareness raising
    • Communities and networking
    • Research
    • Enabling creation and re-use
    • Policies
    • Standards
    • Technology tools
    • Quality assurance
    • Capacity development
    • Enabling learning with OER
    • Learning support services
    • Assessment of learning
    • Removing barriers to OER
    • Accessibility
    • Copyright and licensing
    • Financing
    • Sustainability
  • What are the priorities?
  • What are the priorities for Africa?
  • Which stakeholders should take action?
    • Higher education institutions
    • International organizations
    • National government
    • Academics
    • A key stakeholder role…
    • …be an OER champion!
  • The Way Forward: 6 priorities
    • Advancing the movement
    • Awareness raising at all levels
    • Community building and network development
    • Enabling creation and re-use
    • Developing capacity through a DIY/DIT resource
    • Quality assurance – develop guidelines
    • Removing barriers
    • Sustainability models to ensure viability of initiatives
    • Copyright and licensing
  • What is the way forward for UNESCO?
    • Create network of nodes for local awareness raising and development
    • Continue community as international forum for discussion
    • Focus on awareness raising through international reach of UNESCO and the community itself
  • Join the community
    • Email
    • [email_address]
    • Consult the resources
    • Wiki
    • http://oerwiki.iiep-unesco.org