In the world of education, there has been a growing buzz about the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) and how it can transform education around the world. Since being coined at a UNESCO Conference in 2002, OER has been the subject of increased attention globally, with many donor-funded projects (most often, led by universities) providing space to experiment with different models of openness and research the educational effect that these might have. More recently, governments and inter-governmental organizations around the world have begun to examine the educational potential of OER and open licensing more closely.
Two studies conducted in 2012 provided clear evidence of this growing interest. First, a survey on OER Policies conducted by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) collected several examples of government policies on OER and open licensing. More importantly, though, research on the business case for OER provided clear evidence of growth in OER activities extending beyond the realm of funded projects, with governments particularly showing an interest in the economic potential of using open textbooks to reduce the cost of procuring materials for schooling.
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