UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) have recently published a set of guidelines for the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education. This important document outlines in a concise format the key issues, and provides advice on the integration of OER .
The UNESCO/ COL Guidelines on Open Educational Resources in Higher Education were launched at the UNESCO General Conference in Paris, France earlier this month, together with the UNESCO OER Platform.
The open nature of OERs provides UNESCO Member States with a strategic opportunity to ensure greater access to quality learning and teaching resources at all levels of education. This publication aims to encourage decision makers in governments and institutions to invest in the adaptation and use of OER, to ultimately improve the quality of curricula and teaching and to reduce costs.
These guidelines indicate how the potential of OER can be harnessed to support teaching and learning by higher education stakeholders including governments, higher education institutions, teaching staff, students and student bodies, and accreditation authorities.
The motivation for this publication came from the 2009 World Conference on Higher Education. This conference noted that open and distance learning, and specifically OERs, present opportunities to widen access to quality education.