Reflection on Policy Circle 2 event: OER – what does it mean? What does it involve? and who is it for?
Maeve O’ Regan
On the 4th of May 2022, the ENCORE+ project team held an online circle event, to discuss OER policies and to present case examples of OER in practice with participants interested in the topic of Open Educational Resources (OER). A position paper was circulated in advance of the circle event as a stimulus for discussion, consideration and debate at the event.
ENCORE+ is a European network of partners involved in sharing knowledge, raising awareness and encouraging organisations in different sectors in Europe to consider the role of OER in promoting a culture of open and inclusive education and enhancing access to training and educational resources for a diverse body of learners.
The event on the 25th of January 2022 included presentations and discussions from members of the ENCORE+ project team, namely researchers from DCU (Dublin City University) Ireland and the Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR) which is a wholly online private university based in Spain with a presence in the USA and South America.
So, what does OER mean and what does it involve? The conclusion from this discussion was that OER meant many things and had different interpretations, associated activities, services, products and funding models, including MOOCs, online repositories, Open Access journals and technological solutions for developing educational materials. However, a commonly agreed understanding of OER was that the production, development and dissemination of high-quality educational resources, publicly available online supported the UNESCO (2019) goals of enhancing access to education for all. Issues of sustainability were discussed, including the importance of clear policies to encourage fair usage and sharing of resources, for example via different (Creative Commons) Licensing and the role of communities in sharing expertise and OER practices.
In particular the discussion focused on business models and value propositions for OER and institutional strategies for OER. UNIR presented a case study about their experiences introducing an institutional policy for Open Education, which forms part of our upcoming report Strategic support for OER value proposition.
So, if you would like to get involved , would like to share your experiences, or are interested in learning more about OER we would love to hear from you.
A copy of the slides used to facilitate the workshop can be found clicking the button below: