Using OER to support inclusive education

Faaida James is a Senior Special Education Instructor in the Student Support Services Division in the Ministry of Education in Trinidad and Tobago. Her work involves surveying and identifying at-risk and /or special needs students within a cluster of primary and secondary schools and having these learners referred to the Student Services Support Division for further assessments and the necessary interventions.

Ms James recently completed the course Using Open Educational Resources: An Introduction. This short course was developed by COL to prepare teachers, teacher educators and other education leaders to use OER for components of online learning, as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Ms James welcomed the wide range of technologies used in the course delivery, which made assimilating the information easier.  “Most appreciated were the downloadable resources and links to additional resources as they offer the opportunity for ongoing engagement with the topics; this can be used as refreshers,” she noted.

She further observes, “During these COVID-19 times, I have been able to avoid using copyright materials and instead use or remix OER for my learners all of whom have different needs … I am constantly engaged in creating or adapting curriculum resources for my special needs learners … [and] I now understand how to use acceptable OER. My job specification includes offering advice to parents, teachers, and principals.”

Ms James now plans to share the newly acquired knowledge with these individuals, so that more people understand how to best engage in online teaching.