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Skills for Work and Life

Thematic Areas: Inclusion and Youth | Digital Transformation | Private Sector Engagement | SDGs and Greening TVET
Our Key Programmes & Projects: BILT: Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET | Building TVET resilience | TVET Leadership Programme | WYSD: World Youth Skills Day
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Open Educational Resources in TVET

"Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others."

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 include textbooks to curricula, syllabi, presentations and other course materials such as lecture notes, assignments, tests, audio, video and animations.

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 1st 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 was 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 ...

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OER services and platforms

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.

Our OER in TVET resources list provides access to openly licensed content for TVET. This growing collection lists more than 40 resources, services and platforms offering open TVET content. Please review it and help us expand it.

OER in TVET Resources

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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On a separate page we have collated a list of websites offering Public Domain images. These pictures can be freely used in educational projects.



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