Advocates of Open Educational Resources (OER) often promote their perceived benefits, such as increasing access to educational materials; improving scalability and circulation of resources; and providing opportunities to adapt resources to suit learners’ needs and contexts. However, the past five years alone have seen significant shifts in education systems. Transformative forces such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, leaps in technology development, and global economic reconfiguration mean that now more than ever, education systems need to remain dynamic and responsive.
Key to this responsiveness is ensuring that there is ongoing research on the actual benefits of using OER, so that we can gain a comprehensive, measured understanding of its implementation, benefits, challenges, and lessons. Such research can provide insight on how to most effectively implement the goals of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.
NBA has been a long-standing core project partner for Saide’s OER Africa initiative. This work has centred around how to effectively harness the concept of OER, with a particular focus on the African continent. The OER Africa team recently coordinated a project with members of the Network of Open Orgs, a coalition of organizations that meets regularly on implementing and supporting the UNESCO OER Recommendation. The project involved a collaborative effort among several members of the Network to develop a set of seven research summaries that explore the success of OER. The summaries were then analysed to extract key findings, which were presented in a short report.
The Network aims to make such analyses an ongoing activity to remain abreast of OER implementation around the world. Ultimately, this will assist in realising the goals of the OER Recommendation.
Access the case studies and summary report here.