06 SES 08 JS, Reflecting OER Policies, Conceptualizations, and Practices
Joint Symposium NW 06 and NW 12
15 years after the coinage of the term ‘Open Educational Resources’ (OER) at the transnational UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries in Paris (UNESCO 2002), the topic has been established in various educational contexts. At the time, the topic of OER was strongly connected and restricted to developing countries – and is still recognized as a main innovator for social and economic development in this context (UNESCO 2015). More recently, it has been aligned to key educational challenges of societies at large. In this context, OER are seen as a tool for innovation in teaching and learning (Orr et al. 2015), requiring a deep involvement of different practices. By referring to the conference’s theme, the symposium reflects on the topic of OER, its policies, conceptualizations, and practices. The symposium includes different perspectives, i.e. from different European countries such as Germany, Austria and Scotland but also from multiple analytical perspectives such as a conceptual analysis, a detailed case study or a national infrastructure approach joining researchers and expertise from the two EERA networks 6 and 12.
One contribution addresses recent developments in Germany where a nationwide OER information office for networking and information is being established. Another contribution examines procedures in implementing OER into education strategies and depicts blind spots in the anchoring of the OER idea, considering why some significant aspects, especially for specific actors, remain underexposed and disregarded.
An example of OER from Scotland focuses on the use for health education. A pilot of parent podcasts was evaluated and parents from rural areas were more likely to access the resources. The podcasts have now been made generally available via the regional health service website and pregnant mothers are texted links to the resources.
The last contribution aims at a sketch of viable and promising strategies for the future of Open Learning and education as critical mediation between individual and cultural memory in the context of archiving.
The symposium aims to shed light on the topic of OER by reflecting its policies, conceptualizations and practices. Thereby, it focuses on the various perspectives of different groups involved in educational processes, their needs as well as practical constraints related to their field of activity. A main challenge which underlines all contributions is a European perspective on OER, which needs to be discussed in detail at the symposium.
Miao, F., Mishra, S., & McGreal, R. (2016). Open educational resources: policy, costs, transformation. UNESCO Publishing. Orr, D., M. Rimini, & D. Van Damme (2015): Open Educational Resources: A Catalyst for Innovation, Educational Research and Innovation, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264247543-en UNESCO (2002). Forum on the impact of Open Courseware for higher education in developing countries: Final report. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001285/128515e.pdf UNESCO (2015). Incheon Declaration: Education 2030. https://en.unesco.org/world-education-forum-2015/incheon-declaration
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