» UNESCO develops indicators to monitor national adoption and impact of Open Educational Resources
05.12.2016 - Education Sector

UNESCO develops indicators to monitor national adoption and impact of Open Educational Resources

An Experts Meeting was organized by UNESCO from 15 to 16 November 2016 at its Paris Headquarters to develop a set of key Open Education Resources (OER) indicators for national adoption and impact.

Formally adopted at the 2012 World Open Educational Resources Congress, the 2012 Paris OER Declaration marks a historic moment in the growing movement for Open Educational Resources and calls on governments worldwide to openly license publicly funded educational materials for public use. It was the first step for the development of policies supporting OER—and the guiding framework for this Experts Meeting.

Although the OER programme has moved quickly to a level of competency shared across all stakeholders, there are very few ways to measure and evaluate its adoption and effectiveness towards global education goals, only assumptions on its potential and successes. What is currently lacking is developing indicators to be adopted by different organizations and governments to track worldwide adoption and impact of OER.

As a follow-up to the 2012 Paris OER Declaration, UNESCO is conducting activities to define OER indicators for national adoption and impact. As one of the first activities, the Experts Meeting convened a group of 10 international OER researchers and practitioners to:

  • Discuss how to measure OER national adoption and impact.
  • Explore available research methodologies related to this project
  • Propose a preliminary set of OER indicators

Participants included leading experts from UNESCO Institute of Information Technologies in Education (IITE), UNESCO Regional Centre for Studies on the Development of the Information Society (CETIC.br), UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), Institute for Education and Socio-Economic Research and Consulting, Open University of UK (OU), and an Emeritus UNESCO Chair.OER experts discussed the rationale for developing OER indicators for national adoption and impact. Participants also shared insights and recommendations on clarifying fundamental concepts of OER as well as guidelines to design indicators and promote their use. They addressed the critical and persistent issue of data collection; a feasible process of data collection is crucial for the success of the project.

“[The Experts Meeting] was a creative, effective, inspiring and efficient way forward in a search for a balanced, workable and recognizable set of OER indicators,” said Fred Mulder, Emeritus UNESCO Chair.

Experts presented a preliminary framework for developing OER key indicators, which provides a clear roadmap for future activities. The critical inputs and outputs will contribute to the creation of a final report on defining OER indicators and pave the way for UNESCO to continue its commitment in promoting OER usage worldwide.

“We have embarked on a really important and significant task and I am sure our collective wisdom will lead to a good result and set up a milestone for the future study on OER indicators,” said Sanjaya Mishra of the Commonwealth of Learning.

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