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Understanding OER

Need to know more about Open Educational Resources (OER)? There is currently a lot of buzz about OER. Educators are often compelled by the argument for using existing OER and releasing their own materials with an open licence, and consequently, the number of OER being shared has increased exponentially. In May 2017, Creative Commons estimated that there were 1,1 billion open resources. But, what exactly are OER and do they live up to the hype?


In the following topics, we will explain the concept and help you understand OER. These OER topics have been divided into two tracks designed to support different orientations. The tracks provide a suggested route through the topics but you can work through both tracks.

Aimed at people who will be interacting with OER directly, such as course and materials developers, teachers and lecturers, who are essentially OER end users. These topics aim to provide skills to find, evaluate, adapt and distribute OER.

Aimed at people who are interested in OER as a movement and are wanting to investigate how best to encourage the growth of local, national and regional communities of practice. These would include policy makers, education support staff and researchers. Topics here focus on changing patterns of use, identifying exemplary OER initiatives, developments in open licensing, and adoption rates for African academics and institutions.