I am presently attending the Hewlett Foundation’s OER 2011: The Impact of Open on Teaching and Learning meeting to explore current topics in OER. It is a fascinating experience, and one which sheds an even brighter light on the importance of OER for education and learning.
According to Hewlett’s own definition:
“Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others.
Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” (See source)
University of the People is no stranger to OER, as UoPeople is part of the OER movement. We take Open Educational Resources and incorporate them into our curriculum learning modules. Additionally, the textbooks our students use are OER as well. The most important thing about OER is it enables the best quality knowledge material to travel free of charge to the most remote and underserved places in the world. In essence, UoPeople would not be able to provide affordable higher education without this movement.
It is clear that OER is what the world is heading towards. In the future, OER’s integration will most probably become mainstream within education at all levels, from K-12, secondary, tertiary, and even masters and Phd programs. We are in a very exciting development period within education; one in which UoPeople is proud to be a leader in and a model for OER’s integration into higher education.
What are your thoughts on Open Educational Resources?