Open Educational Resources

A Catalyst for Innovation

image of Open Educational Resources

Education is the key to economic, social and environmental progress, and governments around the world are looking to improve their education systems. The future of education in the 21st century is not simply about reaching more people, but about improving the quality and diversity of educational opportunities. How to best organise and support teaching and learning requires imagination, creativity and innovation.

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials that make use of tools such as open licensing to permit their free reuse, continuous improvement and repurposing by others for educational purposes. The OER community has grown considerably over the past 10 years and the impact of OER on educational systems has become a pervasive element of educational policy

This report aims to highlight state of the art developments and practices in OER, but also to demonstrate how OER can be a tool for innovation in teaching and learning.



Open educational resources (OER) in educational policy and practice

This chapter introduces OER in the context of educational policy and practice. In the first section it compares and contrasts OER to other commonly discussed innovations in education: learning objects, digital learning materials, open data, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and open education. It then goes on to explain how OER provide a special type of innovation potential capable of supporting new forms of teaching and learning. In contrast to other analyses of OER, this report takes the view that OER should be considered in the context of key challenges for educational systems today. Six key educational challenges are therefore identified and the possible contribution of OER to solving them briefly sketched.


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