There is an increased awareness about open educational resources (OER) and more relevant activities have been organised at all education levels. However, capacity to find and create OER is insufficient and lack of a policy environment for OER remains a barrier. These are some of the conclusions of COL’s report Open Educational Resources in the Commonwealth 2021. The report is the outcome of a study on the status of OER in the Commonwealth conducted in late 2021.
“Access to relevant, quality learning resources is critical to learning. However, there are significant challenges to providing access. While the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the challenges of access due to lack of digital connectivity, the demand for and use of OER increased significantly,” noted Professor Asha Kanwar, COL President and CEO, in the foreword to the new publication.
The new report is based on survey findings from responses received from 38 countries and aims to help Commonwealth Member States and their educational institutions implement the UNESCO recommendation on OER and develop strategies and action plans for mainstreaming OER.
Respondents in the survey indicated that the use of OER influenced teacher professional development (56.8%), improved the quality of teaching and learning (55.6%) and enhanced sharing practices (55.4%). OER supported student learning during Covid-19 lockdowns (52%). The results also show that there was an increase of over 50% in the use of OER during the pandemic.