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Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that one can freely use and reuse, without charge.
There is an enormous wealth of learning and training materials available online. Digital technologies and the internet allow for easy sharing of such resources. The example of Wikipedia shows the power of collaborative editing to jointly create open knowledge resources. However, most educational materials are still published under restrictive traditional copyright which does not allow for legal sharing and re-editing. The idea of open licensing aims to turn the copyright restriction around: Instead of always having to ask the copyright holder for permission, an open license explicitly specifies under what circumstances and conditions a work can be used and reused - it thus encourages the sharing of resources. Ultimately, it leads to OER-enabled pedagogy. In TVET the potential of OER and Open Educational Practices is not yet realized. Access to high-quality TVET can be improved considerably if high-quality content would be available under open licenses. OER can take many different forms: They range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, course materials or lecture notes, assignments, tests, audio, video and animation.
The term Open Educational Resources was first coined in 2002. Subsequent conferences recognized that OER can play a key role towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and above all Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education. The first World OER Congress in 2012 called on governments to ensure that public spending results in the creation of public educational materials:
Governments/competent authorities can create substantial benefits for their citizens by ensuring that educational materials developed with public funds be made available under open licenses (with any restrictions they deem necessary) in order to maximize the impact of the investment (2012 Paris OER Declaration).
At UNESCO’s General Conference in November 2019 Member States adopted a Recommendation on Open Educational Resources. This new standard setting instrument has five objectives: (i) Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER; (ii) Developing supportive policy; (iii) Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; (iv) Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and (v) Facilitating international cooperation.
A study commissioned by UNESCO-UNEVOC in 2018 OER for skills development found that the OER concept is still widely unknown among TVET stakeholders - while at the same time it is regarded as highly promising in terms of improving access to high-quality TVET. Our brochure aims to help understand and utilize OER. It gives an introduction to Open Educational Resources, the history of the concept, and its current and potential use with a particular view to TVET. The publication includes a brief summary of a study UNEVOC commissioned in 2017 which looked at the potential of OER to improve access to quality TVET, and which was implemented by Robert Schuwer, OER Chair for OER, Fontys University, Netherlands, and his colleague Ben Janssen.
Handbook: Open Educational Resources for skills development
Digital technology is gaining in importance - not only in life and work, but also in education and training. The availability of quality educational materials to prepare learners for work and life is a key factor to ensure an inclusive and equitable ...
There is an enormous amount of educational and training-related content available online. We have compiled a commented list of OER platforms and services providing openly licensed content for TVET.
The First OER World Congress, organized by UNESCO in full partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) adopted the 2012 Paris OER Declaration which calls on governments worldwide to openly license publicly funded educational materials for public use.
The 2nd World OER Congress, entitled “OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: from Commitment to Action” was co-organized by UNESCO and the Government of Slovenia. It reflected the pivotal role OER can play toward achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and above all Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education.
At this Congress, the Ljubljana Action Plan for Mainstreaming OER in support of SDG 4 was adopted.
This momentum for promoting OER culminated with the UNESCO Recommendation on OER, which was adopted unanimously by the UNESCO General Conference in 2019. As of today, the Recommendation is the only existing international standard-setting instrument on OER.
List of platforms and services providing Open Educational Resources for TVET
The platforms and services listed here provide access to openly licensed content for TVET. The collection is by no means an exhaustive list. Most of the services and platforms listed are not restricted to TVET, but we have tried to limit our selectio ...
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