Open Educational Resources have stemmed from the ‘Open’ philosophy. The philosophy includes free sharing, duplication prevention, access to stakeholders, avoiding restrictive practices (copyright) along with the promotion of economic efficiencies. Any teaching and learning material that is available on the internet and is accessible, without any fee, to anyone is known as Open Educational Resources. OER include a plethora of resources from around the world namely complete courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom assignments, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and more.
The Open philosophy and model has resulted in the creation and development of an umbrella of resources such as Open source (relating to business and technology), Open source software, Open source hardware, Open standards, Open access (research), Open design, Open knowledge, Open data, Open content, Open Courseware, Open educational resources and Open educational practice.
Thanks to the Open Movement, learning is literally just one click away. And the emergence of Open Educational Resources or resources that are licensed to be used and re-used in a broader as well as specific educational context, has made education extensively accessible and instantly available. These movements and philosophies have a key role in the growth of an education niche and promoting educational technology, research, learning, and teaching.
First introduced at the UNESCO conference, the term Open Educational Resources (OER) referred to providing free access to quality educational resources at the global level. According to OECD, 2007, OER refers to ‘digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students, and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning, and research’.
It is widely expected and believed that sharing and openness bring benefits to stakeholders in the educational community. However, at the other pole, the barriers to the sharing process include traditional cultures, practices, managerial approaches along with broader legal complexities. (refs: CD LOR, TRUST DR, Sharing e-learning content, Good Intentions report).
The process of learning and teaching plays a central role in the upliftment of the country as a global powerhouse. Along with informational content, it is helpful to identify learning resources by their granularity levels. A learning activity should be embedded with information content through digital assets (image, video or audio clip), information objects, learning objects, learning activities and/or learning design.
Within the past few years, OER related projects and programmes, from large institution-based or institution-supported initiatives to numerous small-scale activities, have witnessed a boom in the education sector. We, at ScooNews, listed 10 innovative and resourceful Open Education Resources.
UNESCO OER CONGRESS
On Friday 22 June 2012, the UNESCO World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress released the 2012 Paris OER Declaration which called on governments to openly license publicly funded educational materials.
UNESCO member states unanimously approved the declaration, which highlights the importance of open educational resources and gives recommendations to governments and institutions around the globe.
National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER)
The National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER). NROER is developed by CIET, NCERT. It was launched during the National Conference on ICT (Information and Communication Technology) for School Education. NROER was launched on 13 August 2013 in New Delhi in collaboration with the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Metastudio, the platform hosting the repository is an initiative of Knowledge Labs, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai. NROER hosts a large number of educational resources in many subjects and in different Indian languages for Primary, Secondary and Senior Secondary classes. Resources are available in different formats like Video, Image, Audio, Document and Interactive. Apart from this, all NCERT books are available in Flipbook format. NROER is a collaborative platform, intended to reach the un-reached and institutions like SCERT, SIERT, SIE, Vigyan Prasar, CCERT, Gujarat Institute of Educational Technology (GIET), SIET and other stakeholders have a share in the educational content.
To improve the quality of higher education in India, IIT Madras came up with an initiative called NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning) in the year 1999. As per this initiative, all the IITs, along with the IISc Bangalore would come up with a series of video lecture-based courses across all the streams of engineering. This initiative has gained wide popularity in India and the lectures are being used by several engineering students from across India.
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organisation created in 2005 by Salman Khan with the goal of creating a set of online tools that help educate students. The organisation produces short lessons in the form of YouTube videos. Its website also includes supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators.
It is led by The Open University and Save The Children India, funded by UK Aid. It is a multilingual teacher professional development programme that aims at supporting India’s national education policy through the use of freely available and adaptable OER. A collaboration between the educational experts and policymakers of India and UK, the OER focuses on the enhancement of pedagogic practices parallel to Language, Literary, Science, Mathematics, and English. It aims at supporting learner-centers, inclusive, participatory, engaging and effective classroom pedagogy to influence the progress and achievements of students through quality schooling.
The CK-12 Foundation is a California-based non-profit organisation whose stated mission is to reduce the cost of and increase access to, K-12 education in the United States and worldwide. CK-12 provides free and fully customisable K-12 open educational resources aligned to state curriculum standards and tailored to meet student and teacher needs. The foundation's tools are used by 38,000 schools in the US, and additional international schools.
CK-12 was established in 2007 by Neeru Khosla and Murugan Pal to support K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. The organisation first generated and distributed educational content via a web-based platform called the "FlexBook." CK-12 has updated its FlexBook platform and has begun to focus on concept-based, multi-modality learning. CK-12 is being funded by the Amar Foundation and by Vinod and Neeru Khosla.
Teachers have millions of free online multimedia resources and quiz questions at their fingertips, often making it difficult and time-consuming to create a learning experience geared expressly for their students. Gooru is a free personalised learning solution that helps teachers to find, remix, and share collections of web resources on any K-12 topic.
Gooru organises all online learning content. It connects a community of educators and learners. It supports many different instructional uses and types of learners to improve all students’ learning outcomes. Its online quiz environment gives students instant feedback on their progress and provides teachers with assessment results and learning resource suggestions.
ISKME – Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education
An independent and education nonprofit platform, it aims at improving the practice of continuous learning, collaboration, and change in the education sector. Established in 2002, ISKME conducts social science research, develops research-based innovations, and facilitates innovation that improves knowledge sharing in education. ISKME supports innovative teaching and learning practices throughout the globe and is well known for its pioneering open education initiatives. ISKME also assists policymakers, foundations, and educational institutions in designing, assessing, and bringing continuous improvement to education policies, programs, and practice. As such, ISKME helps schools, colleges, universities, and the organisations that support them expand their capacity to collect and share information and create open knowledge-driven environments focused on learning and success.
It is a free community that provides OER for K-12, which are contributed by members of the Curriki community including educators, parents, and other partners from over 193 countries. All the material is peer-reviewed to maintain the quality. It helps in cost savings to teachers, since the teachers can use Curriki OER, instead of using supplemental materials.
Connexions – Openstax CNX
A global repository of educational content for learners from all walks of life, it includes K-12 and higher education in nearly every discipline, including math, science, psychology, sociology, history etc. Connexions’ repository consists of more than 17,000 learning objects or modules and over 1000 collections (textbooks, journal articles etc.). These resources can be remixed and edited for reuse and can be easily downloaded free of cost on any mobile device. The platform is provided and maintained by Rice University.
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