Open Educational Resources (OERs) are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use and, under some licenses, to re-mix, improve and redistribute. The term Open Educational Resources (OERs) was first adopted at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware (OCW) for Higher Education in developing countries. Since then, several organizations have ventured into this previously uncharted domain, starting with the MIT Open Courseware Initiative, which has given rise to several spin-offs. From Universia, an OCW Consortium of over 700 Latin American Universities, to China’s Open Resource Education (CORE) and Japan’s OCW Alliance and the AVU Pilot of OCW Materials at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, the expansion of OERs is a reality that necessitates further exploration through research and networks.
The AVU OER Architecture
The AVU configured a conceptual framework and architecture – the AVU OER Architecture – through which the creation, organization, dissemination and utilization of OERs is expected to lead to the development of a dynamic, rational and comprehensive strategy for collaborative partnerships for African higher education and training institutions. The AVU OER strategy recognizes the importance of collaborative partnerships in advocating and raising awareness for OERs in the African Higher Education Sector. By involving African institutions in the OER evolutionary process, the AVU intends to address the issues pertaining to epistemological, ideological, cultural and social relevance as well as reduce technological challenges; while enabling the institutions to participate actively so that they drive and own the process in terms of form content, structure and orientation.
The new [email protected] Repository
In line with the AVU Business Plan 2009-2014, the AVU hired a consultant to coordinate the development of a new OER Repository. [email protected] will serve as a platform to publish the 73 modules of ICT Integration in Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Education, ICT Basic Skills and B.Ed. professional courses that were developed and released as OERs through the AfDB- and UNDP-funded Teacher Education Program. The AVU OER Repository will also serve as a platform for tertiary-level African educators to make their educational resources available to others, discuss and comment on them, and collaborate in developing them further. It will host all of AVU’s open education resources in areas such as Business Studies, Computer Sciences, Agriculture and Environment studies.The new AVU OER Repository, [email protected], is funded by the African Development Bank.