Open Educational Resources (OER) is the revolutionary movement which has surprised and transformed education system around the world.
Though this movement started way back but gained momentum when MIT in 2001 decided to put their learning material online for the rest of the world to use. This Term was coined by UNSCO in 2002 and gave definition for OER:
“Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution.”
OER proved to be a solution for addressing major challenges of Higher education like, high cost, huge infrastructure, quality of teachers, huge teacher’s deficit etc. especially in developing countries.
There are numerous reasons to assert for adopting OER in Higher Education in India. Over the last decade or so, globally so much has advanced in this area but somehow India is lacking behind due to lack of proper vision of using OER .Govt. of India has started many initiatives toward its adoption like:
National Science Digital Library(NSDL) ,NPTEL,National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT),VASAT of ICRISAT,ekalavya and many more…..Due to lack of awareness amongst educational institutes all these initiatives have not yet grabbed attention and are still in their zero state.
In country like India which has highest no. of university age student in the world, only 10% is getting formal higher education. There is a huge gap between demand for and supply of higher education. To bridge this gap; OER has great potential not only in providing access to education for all but also to provide them quality education. A student sitting in tier 3 city doesn’t have access to best education. Indian education system suffers a huge deficit of good teachers. Even top institutes like IITs, IIMs , NITs do not have sufficient number of teachers. In such situation, OER can serve asa solution to overcome the challenges of access, quality and cost in providing or participating in higher education. With OER student sitting at any part of country can learn from the best content and from the best teachers of the world.
Adoption of OER by learning institutions is changing the landscape of education everywhere and hence provides a strategic opportunity to dramatically improve both the access and the quality of education worldwide. Classroom is not limited to just four walls but becoming part of global network of people, ideas and creativity using popular social media tools and sites. With the help of ICT, education can reach out to the remote areas where there is no infrastructure and other resources, what is required are only internet connection with a compatible device.
OER when used with ICT empowers a student and faculty to learn in an efficient way. There are many advantages of using OER like:
- Better Learning Outcomes
- Excellent opportunity to learn from high quality top notch material
- Students motivation who can review the course material at their own pace and time
- Faculty development and recognition
- The school cannot retain its competitive edge without it.
OER adoption and accompanying learning and teaching processes promote rich set of interactions among teachers, students and the learning community at large. The Teachers play the role of mentors and facilitators, guiding students in class through practical applications of the material. Students take a direct responsibility for their learning. This is a dramatic shift and requires different way of thinking, and behaving: giving up command and control of the class room on the part of the teachers and a positive engagement on the part of the students. The new learned skills will serve students well in their chosen careers and help them compete effectively in the global workplace.
Teaching a class effectively in the new environment, influencing and motivating students, sharing information freely are not skills that all teachers’possess naturally or can be left to learn on their own: they require special teacher training programs. For this, EdTechReview and Progia team have been actively involved in doing workshops on Open Educational Resources (OER) at various educational institutes, where they provide hands-on practice to a faculty to use it in their classroom effectively and effortlessly. We have also created a free course on “OER for learning and Teaching”. To taourse and know more about Progia , Click HERE.