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The guidelines describe the whole process for designing and implementing OER policy in seven chapters, each representing a clear phase in the whole process. The chapters introduce the purpose of the phase and provide background information and references with practical examples for illustration. At the end of each chapter, specific tasks are set for the policy-maker, which will help with formulating of the final OER policy. The guidelines start with an introduction to the potential of OER and then ask the policy-maker to determine the vision of the OER policy she or he has in mind. This policy needs a framework, which determines on what level of the education system the policy will be set (scale) and which sector of the education system the policy will cover (focus). This sets out the first part of the theory of change – i.e., it determines what change is envisaged through the policy.

A gap analysis is then necessary to provide a realistic picture of the challenges and the opportunities that the current educational system, its infrastructure, its key members and the overall policy context present for the new OER policy. This can be used as a backdrop for designing the masterplan, which takes the building blocks present in a standard OER policy and specifies them for the specific policy context. These building blocks indicate what is going to be changed. An implementation plan adopts a strategy for how to realise the masterplan effectively and to ensure that all key stakeholders are involved. This phase includes setting up an evidence base and monitoring framework so that the policy can be adjusted during the implementation phase. Finally, the policy developed needs to be launched, so streamlining and checks against the reality of the context should be carried out. This is where the policy-makers have to focus on the outreach of the policy. In this phase, a policy needs to be officially endorsed by someone in an authoritative position – for example, the cabinet, education minister or president of a country – and by educational leaders, to ensure that it can have an impact on the education system. Moreover, it is important to ensure that the policy has been understood by those it is hoping to influence – i.e., the actors and institutions using OER to make teaching and learning better. Finally, a policy should be ambitious and aim to reach the mainstream in the future. Therefore, a review of implementation and its impacts should lead to a discussion of what shape the next-generation policy should take and how the scope and scale of this policy can be extended.

The key readers of this publication are those directly involved in policy design. The aims of these guidelines are to help these people to:

  • Understand essential subject-matter knowledge on OER through a learning-by-doing process
  • Develop a set of procedural knowledge on OER policy planning, working through key steps necessary for designing a comprehensive OER policy
  • Reinforce the contextual knowledge needed to leverage OER in achieving SDG 4 through assessing the policy context and needs for OER, planning institutionalised programmes and drawing up a contextualised masterplan
  • Ensure the commitment to policy adoption and implementation through integrating stakeholder engagement into the policy-planning process and determining adequate policy endorsement and implementation strategies
  • Enhance the quality of policy implementation by planning a mechanism for monitoring and evaluation, and working towards an evidence based policy-planning and updating cycle.

 

What's New

We hope that you are doing well and staying safe as South Africa and many other Sub-Saharan African countries adapt to closure of schools and other educational institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As people practise social distancing and implement new routines at home, OER Africa would like to reiterate its support for African educators and students to harness the power of open content.

We hope that you are doing well and staying safe as South Africa and many other Sub-Saharan African countries adapt to closure of schools and other educational institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As people practise social distancing and implement new routines at home, OER Africa would like to reiterate its support for African educators and students to harness the power of open content. Open content provides a unique opportunity to take advantage of digital learning and to make educational materials accessible.

Open educational resources (OER) include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, videos, assessments, software, tools, materials, and techniques used to support access to information. OER Africa’s website:https://oerafrica.org provides information on understanding OER, how to access OER, links to OER repositories in Africa, and actual OER that can be used by academics, teachers, and learners.

In the coming weeks, OER Africa will publish bi-weekly communications on OER and their relevance within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Take care.

Warm Regards,

The OER Africa Team

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected 363 million learners worldwide (UNESCO, 2020). The Commonwealth of Learning's (COL’s) experience shows that open, distance and online learning, if done well, can have the same outcomes as campus education without requiring teachers and learners to be in the same place at the same time. COL has compiled a selection of resources and tools as a first response to this crisis.

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an inter-governmental organisation headquartered in Burnaby, Canada, is committed to promoting learning for sustainable development. It does this through the use of distance learning and online learning technologies. For more than 30 years, COL has used innovative approaches to open the doors of learning not just for formal education but non-formal and informal learning that is accessible, affordable and available to the last person in the queue.

With an increasing number of states, provinces and even whole countries closing institutions of learning as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 363 million learners worldwide are being impacted (UNESCO, 2020). How can we ensure that valuable time is not lost and our learners at all levels continue to learn wherever they are?

Many countries are planning to offer online learning as an alternative. COL’s experience shows that open, distance and online learning, if done well, can have the same outcomes as campus education without requiring teachers and learners to be in the same place at the same time. However, we recognise that not all schools, colleges and universities are currently well-prepared to fully utilise these approaches, and COL stands ready to share its expertise and resources to enable stakeholders to keep the doors of learning open for all.

In this time of crisis, a suitable response requires a renewed commitment to sharing and re-using open educational resources (OER); exploring novel ways to enable interaction between learners and other learners, learners and teachers, learners and content using online platforms; and to use appropriate technologies so that no one is left behind.

Some guidelines to consider include:

  1. Institutions should take emergency policy decisions to adopt alternative ways of teaching, including online learning.
  2. Ensure that learning is delivered using ICT tools such as radio, TV, mobile devices so that no learner is disadvantaged.
  3. Identify and use existing OER to provide quality learning.
  4. Develop and implement strategies for synchronous/asynchronous approaches.
  5. Encourage teachers to use free resources such as MoodleCloud to conduct online classes.

COL has compiled a selection of resources and tools as a first response to this crisis. The resources can be accessed below.

The eLearning Africa Report 2019 is a leading source of news, information, and analysis about ICT, EdTech, digital technology, learning and development.

The Report looks at the state of education, training, development and technology at this moment of unparalleled change.

The eLearning Africa Report 2019 is a leading source of news, information, and analysis about ICT, EdTech, digital technology, learning and development.

As African leaders seek to make a reality of the African Union's vision of a ‘transformed continent’ by 2063, setting their sights on the creation of the largest single market in the world and, as businesses assess the implications of a ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ the eLearning Africa Report looks at the state of education, training, development and technology at this moment of unparalleled change.