“Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation“. (cited from UNESCO)
There are many advantages of Open education resources in third world countries. Most students cannot afford the textbooks prescribed by facilitators and open resources provide an alternative means of acquiring texts. This benefit both student and facilitator. It avoids facilitators using dated information during presentations. Other benefits include the quality of materials, flexibility of access, enhanced opportunities of self-learning anywhere and skills development in various areas. This is so relevant in the context of South Africa in which too many students are not educated due to escalating costs of face to face education and expensive textbooks.
Within the bounds of Creative Commons licensing there are 5 key points to consider when using OERs as depicted in the image that follows:
It is very encouraging to find in the literature that there are many initiatives in the African continent in the higher education sector e.g. UNISA, South African Institute for Distance Education, Molteno’s Vula Bula Project etc. These organisations are committed to the process of transformation of education and training. They make it possible for more students to have meaningful access to knowledge, skills and learning through open and distance learning.
A significant problem in my context impacting on the access to OERs is the lack of having computers and the cost of data is much higher than most other countries, which remains a challenge. Nevertheless open education resources would definitely reduce the cost of educational materials and therefore make education more accessible to all.
Open Educational Resources. https://rmit.libguides.com/c.php?g=405195&p=2821114
OER Africa. https://www.oerafrica.org/oer-initiatives-africa
Understanding the Impact of OER: Achievements and Challenges https://www.oerafrica.org/system/files/13390/understandingtheimpactofoer2019-=