An updated version of the UNESCO proposal for a recommendation for Open Educational Resources (OER), is now available. This version is based on the views of UNESCO member countries, so even from my own country Sweden, which was sent to UNESCO in January 2019. I have been involved myself as an OER expert, but also as an expert on behalf of the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee
The proposal will now be discussed at an intergovernmental expert meeting at the end of May. Thereafter, a decision to adopt a recommendation will be taken by UNESCO's general conference in November 2019. Will be of interest to follow the necessary strategies and further implementation in Sweden, but of course eve worldwide.
Conclusions in four points
- Further to 39 C/Resolution 44, and 201 EX/Decision 9, a Recommendation has been identified as the best-suited form of standard-setting instrument in this area. It has been recognized that in comparison to a Convention, a Recommendation is more flexible and will become operational more rapidly. Despite being a statement of principles, it has the potential to raise the profile of OER collaboration to a higher political level in all Member States of UNESCO. This can play an important role in stimulating the realization of the potential of OER for accessing knowledge freely, providing quality content at no cost, helping to foster equitable and inclusive teaching and learning and supporting curriculum development at all levels.
- Recognizing that the Ljubljana OER Action Plan is the outcome of a lengthy process of international collaboration and consensus building, the main themes of the Recommendation are drawn as a starting point from this document. Therefore, the draft Recommendation addresses five objectives: (i) Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER; (ii) Developing supportive policy; (iii) Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; (iv) Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and (v) Facilitating international cooperation.
- A Recommendation on OER could potentially play a strong role in supporting strategic cooperation between the Member States in OER development, to minimize unnecessary duplication in OER development investments and to develop a global pool of culturally diverse, locally relevant, gender-responsive, accessible, educational materials in multiple languages.
- Based on the present study, it is clear that a Recommendation on OER would provide a dynamic and effective solution for supporting an international collaboration in this area which is of utmost importance at a time when the usage, creation, and availability of OER has become an essential building block for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.