The Commonwealth of Learning is an intergovernmental organization that encourages the development and use of open and distance education, including Open Educational Resources (OER). Together with UNESCO, the group will organize and host regional consultations with governments, educational institutions, and civil societies to examine the challenges of mainstreaming OER and lay the groundwork for the 2nd World OER Congress, to be held in the fall of 2017. This work supports the Education Program’s goals of encouraging governments and international institutions to strengthen policies that support OER, and creating and distributing openly licensed materials in the developing world.
About the Grantee
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Grants to this Grantee
for general operating support
Commonwealth of Learning helps governments, institutions, and organizations expand the scale, efficiency, and quality of learning by using appropriate open, distance, and technology-based approaches. The group focuses on quality learning that leads to secure livelihoods and economic opportunities, greater harmony among all members of society as global citizens, and protection of the environment. The organization advances open education as part of its core strategic priorities, including building capacity for education systems to implement OER, supporting a field that is responsive to diverse educators and learners, and promoting equitable access to lifelong learning. (Substrategy: Field Building)
for international OER capacity building
The international endorsement of the Paris Declaration on OER at the UNESCO World OER Congress in July marked a major milestone for the field. Not only did the Declaration raise international awareness about current OER initiatives worldwide, but it also endorsed the principle that publicly-funded educational projects should carry an open license. This project proposes to continue this momentum by supporting OER capacity-building workshops for tertiary education institutions in Trinidad, Tobago, and Kenya. Evidence gathered from these projects will be consolidated and shared with education policymakers in East Africa, West Africa, and the Caribbean through regional workshops. This work is complementary to the UNESCO OER project, also proposed on this docket.
for deepening the commitment of governments to the open licensing of educational materials
Open Educational Resources has become a global movement over the past ten years. However, knowledge of OER and their potential is still sparse among leaders and policy makers in governments and institutions. Until these bodies adopt policies and practices to encourage open access to educational materials, OER will remain outside the institutional mainstream. In partnership with UNESCO, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has begun to spread awareness of the value of open content beyond the ‘OER Community’ over the past two years. This grant would support a multilateral effort to secure commitments from governments in all regions of the world to the principle of open access to educational materials produced with public funds. This phase of the project would support planning and convening activities in 2011, as a prologue to the UNESCO World OER Conference in June 2012.