What can academic libraries do to improve OER support?

For the month of May 2020, Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Sir Alex Ferguson Library are curating the Open Scotland blog. The topics GCU are presenting provide an insight into the work they do in supporting open practice, open education, and open educational resources.

In our fourth and final post, Senior Library Administrator Seth Thompson returns to present a summary of the findings of his MSc Information and Library Studies dissertation. Seth completed his postgraduate research at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in 2018. His work used a case study methodology to investigate academic library support of OER in Scotland.

Introduction and background

I began working in the library at GCU in January 2015. From a very early stage in my library career I became interested in the idea of open education and open educational resources (OER). I think this was probably because as I began working at GCU I was seeing and hearing about the library’s new edShare@GCU repository and the progress of the GCU OER policy project. As I attended the internal presentations and training sessions about these projects, I realised I had a genuine interest in open practice, the creation of resources that could facilitate future remixing and repurposing, and how these presented opportunities to further knowledge in a time-efficient and cost effective way. I completed my MSc in Information and Library Studies as a distance learner at RGU in 2018. Throughout my studies, openness, resource accessibility, licensing and OERs continued to be of great interest to me. In my final semester at RGU I decided that I could make Higher Education (HE) academic library support of OER in Scotland the topic of my dissertation.

The first step on my dissertation journey was to identify Scottish HE academic libraries that supported OER. I wanted to know if there were other academic libraries that supported OER outside of GCU, how they did this, and what made them want to support an open agenda. To this end, I conducted an environmental scan of all Scottish HE academic library webpages to find which university libraries actively mentioned support for OER. Purposive selection identified three potential cases, with each case providing detailed OER service webpages. I discovered two possible library cases: the Sir Alex Ferguson Library at GCU, and the University of Glasgow library (UoG). I also discovered that the University of Edinburgh (UoE) provided a specific OER support service, Open.Ed.

Stated briefly, the three institutions provide the following support:

The Sir Alex Ferguson Library provides practical support of the GCU OER policy, user support of edShare@GCU, and assistance to staff in resource creation, copyright, intellectual property rights, and licensing enquiries. Further information about our OER services can be found in my previous Open Scotland blog post, on our library website, and edShare@GCU webpages.

UoG provide the ‘EdShare at Glasgow’ repository and copyright, licensing, OER use and creation guidance and training.

Open.Ed support UoE’s OER vision and provide staff and students with advice, guidance and digital skills workshops on OER use and creation, copyright and open licensing, and engagement with open education.

After discussing with my supervisor, I decided that an exploratory multiple case study would be a suitable methodology to use. I used two data collection tools, semi-structured interviews (eight in total across cases) with librarians and staff responsible for OER support, and a thematic case document analysis. My interview questions and document analysis aimed to examine how the cases support OER, why cases wished to support OER, and identify any potential factors affecting each cases’ ability to support OER. At this point it is worth keeping in mind that due to the scale of the project and the use of a case study approach, the results of my research are not generalisable. Though the research may be of interest to libraries and librarians looking to develop strategies and services to support open practices.

Summary of my findings

Five broad themes were identified across cases:

  • Academic libraries and HEI department OER support
  • Institutional approaches to OER
  • Educators and OER
  • Approaches to OER service delivery
  • Copyright and licensing

Academic libraries and/or department OER support

There was strong consensus across cases that academic libraries and/or departments within HEIs should support OER. In line with good open practice, all cases highlighted a desire for co-creation in service delivery. Collaboration is identified as an enabling factor to library OER projects (Bueno-de-la-Fuente et al. 2012; Smith and Lee 2017), with OER seen as a catalyst for improved collaboration (McGill et al. 2013).

Each case displayed strong affinity with open practice and stated their reasons to support OER as including:

  • Supporting digital education
  • Showcasing educator teaching materials
  • Developing educator digital and information literacy skills
  • Supporting student learning through diversifying curriculums and cost reduction
  • To develop educator copyright and licensing knowledge to enhance teaching resources and protect institution copyright integrity

However, cases also highlighted tensions with educators and departments within OER projects and initiatives. This is concurrent with tension identified by McGill et al. (2015) when attempting to collectively develop OER.

Institutional approaches to OER

Each case identified differing levels of institutional support. Institutional OER approaches may incorporate funding, policy, senior and local management support and social culture, with each of these elements potentially impacting factors upon service success. Within HEIs institutional budgets may be key to OER funding and success (Mulder 2013; Barrett et al. 2009). Institutional conditions such as those found at Open.Ed, which included central funding, non-coercive policy, senior and departmental support, and high availability of educator and student support mechanisms, may assist in presenting an environment which is seen to motivate educator agency and OER decisions. Soft or flexible OER policies may gently encourage educator OER use (Nikoi and Armellini 2012; UNESCO 2011). Though policy may not singularly ensure sustainable OER practice (Cox and Trotter 2016), it may assist in clarifying issues of copyright, licensing and IP ownership (Gadd and Weedon 2017). Building an institutional OER culture may benefit from both student and staff involvement, as demonstrated at Open.Ed. Perceived conflicts between institutional support of research and institutional support of OER were suggested by participants at GCU and UoG. This is concurrent with Cox (2013). There is a lack of research discussing motivators to produce OER in relation to excellence frameworks such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF) or Teaching excellence Framework (TEF). A lack of external motivators, such as professional incentives or recognition for creating OER, may also be a barrier to OER services.

Educators and OER

Educators professional relationship with OER was identified as a major impacting factor upon case OER services. Identified issues included resource proprietary, fear of judgement and anxiety regarding resource quality. All case concerns are not dissimilar to issues previously identified (Cox 2013; Beggam 2010; Sefton 2010). The lack of OER awareness amongst educators at each case was comparable to de los Arcos et al. (2016). However, in drawing together Cox and Trotter (2016) and Anderson’s (2010) findings, presenting a collegiate institutional culture that values opportunities for educators to freely engage with OER and exhibit high levels of OER agency may assist in encouraging OER use. Interviewee responses at Open.Ed suggested that an open collegiate culture such as this may be present. GCU and UoG participants reflectively questioned whether their services offering addressed the pedagogical needs of educators. Educator use of OER services without the creation of OER in mind may present a gap in knowledge and literature, particularly in OER repository services. If the option to share materials as OER is present, why are educators not choosing to do so? This may present evidence concurrent with the findings of Cronin, who found that performing open practice is a complex, personal and contextual decision that is continually negotiated (2017). A key OER support consideration is that educator attitudes to sharing and borrowing may be deeply rooted in professional and individual feelings (Rolfe 2012).

Approaches to service delivery

Open.Ed, GCU and UoG concurred in identifying a need to develop educator OER awareness and knowledge to encourage use (Smith and Lee 2017; de los Arcos et al. 2016; Cox 2013; Murphy 2013). However, cases presented contrasting approaches to services. GCU and UoG focused on repository services. Open.Ed focused on skills training. Both GCU and UoG highlight a lack of staff time and resource as a factor impacting upon abilities to deliver training and advocacy services. Time is acknowledged as a barrier to librarian OER support (Smith and Lee 2017; Okamoto 2013). Open.Ed’s focus toward developing digital skills identifies with research that suggests developing technical skills may encourage OER use (Anderson 2010) and counteract potential for digital skills gaps (Jisc n.d.). Open.Ed expressed different feelings towards institutional OER repositories than library service cases GCU and UoG, with Open.Ed being more inclined to resources being shared on broader social platforms such as YouTube, Flickr etc. as they felt that this may be more accessible. There would appear to be benefits to sharing using institutional repositories (Atenas and Havemann 2014) and sharing online on social platforms (Rolfe 2016). However, institutional repository sustainability may be dependent on funding and institutional approaches to openness. Therefore, budgets may be key (Mulder 2013). As stated, GCU Interviewees reflectively considered if OER services have fulfilled educators’ pedagogical requirements, and if future services could have greater focus toward educators’ needs. This would appear to agree with Ferguson’s statement that for academic libraries to continue to take part in OER conversations, such as those regarding creation, storage, preservation and versioning, they must adapt to the needs of departments, staff and students (2017).

Copyright and licensing

GCU, Open.Ed and UoG all identified a lack of educator copyright and open licensing knowledge, thus concurring with previous open practice research (de los Arcos et al. 2016). Services provided by all cases attempt to increase copyright competency. Findings identified that cases experiencing copyright predominantly in three of the framed contexts described by Morrison and Secker: as a problem, a recognised entity, and as an opportunity (2017). However, all cases presented evidence to suggest their experiences of educator copyright interactions provided opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding. In concurrence with Kleemeyer et al. (2010), Borchard and Magnussen (2017), and Smith and Lee (2017), evidence presented may suggest that librarians and OER support staff interviewed possess copyright and licensing skills that could be an enabler in OER support. Furthermore, copyright discussions with educators at Open.Ed are considered to have facilitated conversations around accessibility, diversity, inclusion, approaches to diversifying curriculums, and student collaborations. Good copyright and licensing practice are required from the start of OER creation processes to mitigate against retrospect resource checking and ‘copyright debt’ and can increase ways materials can be used in the future.

What can libraries do to improve OER support?

The following section provides a summary of my recommendations for each of the themes that were identified across cases.

Academic libraries and HEI department OER support

As mentioned, there was strong consensus that academic libraries and/or departments within HEIs should support OER. Libraries looking to support OER should look to create OER themselves. This was identified at each case and may set an example to educators. Each case sought collaboration to improve their service delivery. Collaboration can enable OER projects, whilst OER is a catalyst for collaboration, therefore libraries may wish to utilise OER within co-creative projects in attempts to improve projects and enhance collaborations. A multitude of reasons for supporting OER are presented by cases. If libraries are considering supporting OER, it may be beneficial to state agreed missions, objectives, and goals to focus service scope as this may guard against tensions such as those identified by McGill et al. (2015).

Institutional approaches to OER

Libraries may wish to consider lobbying senior executives to deliver an OER support statement. This may include policy development or OER inclusion in support frameworks. Policy documents are available as OER (for example GCU, Open.Ed and University of Leeds) which can be adapted to suite needs. However, it may not be advisable to solely rely on policy as a driver for OER. Libraries should consider their institutional culture and if OER philosophies reflect their institutional mission and vision. Libraries may wish to consider encouraging educators to think about open practice, as supportive collegiate culture may foster an environment within which educators feel free to exhibit high levels of OER agency (Cox and Trotter 2016). Student engagement with OER may also enable the transformative potential of OER (UNESCO 2011). Engaging with the student voice may provide service development opportunities as evidenced at Open.Ed. Acknowledging OER created by educators through social websites may represent an opportunity to address barriers such as a lack of recognition (Jhangiani et al. 2016; Cox 2013; Alevizou 2012). Libraries could consider utilising networks within academic departments to highlight UNESCO (2011) recommendations to position OER within professional development objectives, as this may also address professional incentive barriers (Alevizou 2012).

Educators and OER

Natural sharing instincts may be complex (Cronin 2017; Rolfe 2012) and potentially not easily modified (Anderson 2010). However, moral standing may be influenced by cultural surroundings (Anderson 20120). Therefore, it is recommended libraries looking to support OER create environments that value open practice and social responsibility which may boost educator attitudes to sharing. Solutions proposed by GCU and Open.Ed to educate staff in CC licenses, whilst reinforcing that OER are adaptable resources, are recommended to address loss of control and fear of resource quality judgement. As previously stated, libraries should consider utilising academic department networks to highlight UNESCO (2011) recommendations of OER within professional development objectives. This may also present career enhancing opportunities as identified by Rolfe (2012) and Browne et al. (2010), which may encourage OER use. Further research is recommended to investigate if OER services meet the pedagogical needs of educators, and examine why educators may engage with OER services, particularly repositories, yet not release materials as OER.

Approaches to OER service delivery

If libraries are looking to support OER, developing services that advocate OER benefits (Weller et al. 2015; McGill et al. 2013) and enhance educator knowledge, understanding and digital skills relating to OER and associated concepts such as copyright and CC licensing may be key to success. Academic libraries should also consider both institutional repositories and online social platform hosting. However, consultation with educators to establish OER related needs is critical to ensuring service developments reflect institutional and educator pedagogical needs.

Copyright and licensing

From case findings, facilitating copyright and licensing understanding amongst educators may be an ongoing task which requires continual support. Librarians may require training to support educators’ OER needs relating to copyright and licensing. Copyright and licensing service offerings should aim to empower staff with knowledge to guard against possible future ‘copyright debt’ and retrospective OER copyright and license checking.

In closing, and how to contact us

Under the guidance of my dissertation supervisor, an article version of my research which focuses on the two library cases is available from both the RGU and GCU research repositories. I also presented a poster about the case study findings of my dissertation at OER19 under the theme ‘Back to basics – Asking difficult questions about Open Education’.

If you would like to get in touch about anything mentioned in my blog or any our previous posts this month, please feel free to contact us edshare@gcu.ac.uk or me personally on Twitter. Finally, and on behalf of the Sir Alex Ferguson Library, I would like to say thank you to Open Scotland and the Open Scotland blog team for providing us with the opportunity to guest curate the blog during May 2020. It has been a really enjoyable experience for everyone involved at GCU, and during the current Covid-19 crisis has provided a welcome and fulfilling opportunity for creative output.

Seth Thompson

@sthom_23

References

ALEVIZOU, P., 2012. Open to interpretation? productive frameworks for understanding audience engagement with OER. In: Cambridge 2012: Innovation and Impact – Openly Collaborating to Enhance Education, a Joint Meeting of OER12 and OpenCourseWare Consortium Global 2012. Cambridge, 16-18 April 2012. [online]. Available at: http://oro.open.ac.uk/33452/ [Accessed 17 December 2017].

ATHENAS, J. and HAVEMANN, L., 2014. Questions of quality in repositories of open educational resources: a literature review. Research in Learning Technology, 22(1), 20889.

ANDERSON, M.H., 2010. To share or not to share: is that the question? EDUCAUSE Review, 45(4), pp. 40-49.

BARRETT, B., GROVER, V., JANOWSKI T., VAN LAVIERENA, H., OJOA, A. and SCHMIDTA, P., 2009. Challenges in the adoption and use of OpenCourseWare: Experience of the United Nations University. Open Learning, 24(1), pp. 31-38.

BEGGAN, A., 2010. Opening Up: staff attitudes to open learning. [PowerPoint presentation]. OCW Consortium Global, Hanoi, Vietnam. Available from: https://www.slideshare.net/AndyBeggan/opening-up-staff-attitudes-to-open-learning [Accessed 16 September 2018].

BORCHARD, L. and MAGNUSON, L., 2017. Library leadership in open educational resource adoption and affordable learning initiatives. Urban Library Journal, 23(1), Article 1.

BUENO-DE-LA-FUENTE G., ROBERTSON, R.J. and BOON, S., 2012. The roles of libraries and information professionals in Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives: survey report. JISC Cetis.

COX, G., 2013. Researching resistance to open education resource contribution: an activity theory approach. E-Learning and Digital Media, 10(2), pp. 148-159.

COX, G. and TROTTER, H., 2016. Institutional culture and OER policy: how structure, culture, and agency mediate OER policy potential in South African universities. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(5), pp. 147-164.

CRONIN, C., 2017. Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(5), pp. 15-34.

DE LOS ARCOS, B., CANNELL, P. and MCILLWHAN, R., 2016. Awareness of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practice (OEP) in Scottish higher education institutions: survey results: interim report. Edinburgh: Opening Educational Practices in Scotland.

FERGUSON, C.L., 2017. Open educational resources and institutional repositories. Serials Review, 43(1), pp. 34-38.

GADD, G. and WEEDON, R., 2017. Copyright ownership of e-learning and teaching materials: policy approaches taken by UK universities. Education and Information Technologies, 22(6), pp. 3231-3250.

JHANGIANI, R., PITT, R., HENDRICKS, C., KEY, J., and LALONDE, C., 2016. Exploring faculty use of open educational resources at British Columbia post-secondary institutions. BCcampus research report. [online]. Victoria, BC: BCcampus. Available from: https://bccampus.ca/files/2016/01/BCFacultyUseOfOER_final.pdf [Accessed 6 January 2017].

KLEEMEYER, P., KLEINMAN, M. and HANSS, T. 2010. Reaching the heart of the university: libraries and the future of OER. In: Open ED 2010 Proceedings. Barcelona, 2-4 November 2010, UOC, OU, BYU, pp. 241-250.

MCGILL, L., FALCONER, I., DEMPSTER, J.A., LITTLEJOHN, A. and BEETHAM, H., 2013. Journeys to open educational practice:  UKOER/SCORE review final report. [online]. JISC. Available from: https://oersynth.pbworks.com/w/page/60338879/HEFCE-OER-Review-Final-Report [Accessed 5 January 2017].

MORRISON, C.M and SECKER, J., 2017. Understanding librarians’ experiences of copyright: findings from a phenomenographic study of UK information professionals. Library Management, 38(6/7), pp. 354-368.

MULDER, F., 2013. The LOGIC of national policies and strategies for open educational resources. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14(2), pp. 97-105.

MURPHY, A., 2013. Open educational practices in higher education: institutional adoption and challenges. Distance Education, 34(2), pp. 201-217.

NIKOI, S. and ARMELLINI, A., 2012. The OER mix in higher education: purpose, process, product, and policy. Distance Education, 33(2), pp. 37-41.

OKAMOTO, K., 2013. Making higher education more affordable, one course reading at a time: academic libraries as key advocates for open access textbooks and educational resources. Public Services Quarterly, 9(4), pp. 267-283.

ROLFE, V., 2012. Open educational resources: staff attitudes and awareness. Research in Learning Technology, 20(1), 14395.

ROLFE, V., 2016. Web strategies for the curation and discovery of open educational resources. Open Praxis, 8(4), pp. 297-312.

SEFTON, P., 2010. My Fave Two Reasons not to Release OpenCourseware. [online]. 12 August 2010. Available from: http://ptsefton.com/2010/08/12/my-fave-two-reasons-not-to-release-opencourseware.htm [Accessed 16 September 2018].

SMITH, B. and LEE, L., 2017. Librarians and OER: cultivating a community of practice to be more effective advocates. Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning, 11(1-2), pp.106-122.

UNESCO, 2011. Guidelines for Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher Education. Paris: UNESCO and Commonwealth of Learning.

WELLER, M., DE LOS ARCOS, B., FARROW, R., PITT, B. and MCANDREW, P., 2015. The impact of OER on teaching and learning practice. Open Praxis, 7(4), pp. 351-361.

YIN, R.K., 2018. Case study research and applications: design and methods. 6th ed. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Supporting open practice at the Sir Alex Ferguson Library, Glasgow Caledonian University

For the month of May 2020, Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Sir Alex Ferguson Library are curating the Open Scotland blog. The topics GCU are presenting provide an insight into the work they do in supporting open practice, open education, and open educational resources.

In this first post, Senior Library Administrator Seth Thompson of the library’s Collections and Discovery team provides a brief and recent history of how GCU came to support open education, with an overview of some of the areas in which the library provides this support.

The Sir Alex Ferguson Library is situated in the heart of GCU’s Glasgow campus. GCU is committed to the social mission to promote the common good. A major aim of this is to widen access to higher education for individuals regardless of their backgrounds, and to leverage the institution’s intellectual and social capital for the benefit of GCU and wider communities served both in Scotland and internationally.

In line with supporting GCU and wider communities, and as part of our commitment to the common good, the library aims to provide welcoming, friendly, helpful, accessible and open physical and digital environments for our students, staff and members of the public to use. As well as the services we offer to GCU students and staff, we have an ‘open door’ policy, meaning anyone can use our physical library space as a study area. We also offer a free community membership, meaning members of the public can gain borrowing rights to library resources. Additionally, our webpages highlight and promote openly accessible databases, journal sites, textbooks, and resources that may be of interest to our students, staff, community members and wider publics. Our open educational practices also include support for GCU’s open access policy and open access repository.

In 2016 the library implemented edShare@GCU. edShare is GCU’s learning and teaching resource repository. As part of our library strategy, we encourage the GCU community to submit educational resources to edShare as Open Educational Resources (OERs) for use, repurposing, and development worldwide. edShare is designed around the key themes of storing, sharing and preserving educational resources. The repository accepts permanent resources created by GCU staff and also provides a point of contact for resource creation, copyright, intellectual property rights, and licensing enquiries, advice and training. Our second blog post of the month will be an in-depth piece about the edShare development project, how the repository is used by staff, students and the wider public, the challenges associated with its use, and what is next for edShare@GCU.

To support the submission of educational resources as OER, and in conjunction with the development of the edShare@GCU repository, the library also led on the creation of GCU’s OER Policy. Our policy provides support and clear guidance to GCU staff wishing to create OER. The policy is based on the University of Leeds’s guidance on the use and publication of OER. The University of Leeds policy is licensed under a Creative Commons license, which facilitated our reuse and modification of the original work. Our policy, the original Leeds policy, and an additional policy from the University of Greenwich, have then gone on to be reused and adapted by the University of Edinburgh in the development of their own OER policy. Some might say this is a fine example of open practice and OER in action!

A driving force behind the development of GCU’s OER policy was our colleague Marion Kelt. Marion is sadly no longer with us and is greatly missed by all at GCU. Marion was a strong advocate for open education and well known within open education communities in Scotland and beyond. I know she would have been very pleased and enthusiastic in her support of our guest curation of the Open Scotland blog. If you would like to learn more about the trials and tribulations of creating an OER policy, Marion has written pieces on this for both the Open Educational Practices in Scotland project (OEPS) and WONKHE. Marion’s work has been instrumental in developing our library’s approaches to open education and the services we provide.

Image of Marion Kelt at OER18 in Bristol

Marion at OER18 in Bristol, by @sthom_23

Marion was also a key figure in the development of the subject of what will be our third blog post of the month, the GCU UK Copyright Advisor. The GCU UK Copyright Advisor is an online tool developed to assist with frequently asked copyright queries. It provides basic UK copyright guidance on seven types of resources: audio files, book chapters, computer code, images, journal articles, maps and video files. The Copyright Advisor is openly available for anyone to use, and the code is openly licensed so any person or organisation can adapt and modify the resource to suit their needs. We are always interested to hear from anyone who might like to use the Copyright Advisor for their own project, so if this is you please feel free to contact us at edshare@gcu.ac.uk. Our third blog will provide greater insight into the steps involved in the Copyright Advisor’s creation, the challenges we encountered during development, it’s many versions and iterations, the reception it has received, and what is next for the GCU UK Copyright Advisor.

Our fourth and final blog will look at wider academic library support of OER in Scotland. I looked into this topic in 2018 as the focus of my dissertation for an MSc Information and Library Studies from Robert Gordon University. I also presented a poster about the case study findings of my dissertation at OER19 under the theme ‘Back to basics – Asking difficult questions about Open Education’. In this post we will look at the institutions who participated in my case studies and discuss some of their motivations for adopting support for OER, whose interests they felt were served by their approaches, and who they felt they were actually open for. I will also present some participant reflections on their approaches to open practices and the services they provide that support the open agenda, and how they feel they might be able to develop and enhance their service offerings moving forward.

I hope this introductory blog has given you a flavour of what we have planned for the month ahead. If you would like to contact the Sir Alex Ferguson Library regarding any of our planned blog topics, or anything open education related, please feel free to contact at edShare@gcu.ac.uk. You can also keep up to date with the more general ‘goings on’ from the library on Twitter @SAFLibraryGCU, via Instagram, or on Facebook.

Seth Thompson

@sthom_23

Openness, Precarity and Equity

As part of Open Education Week, the ALT Open Education SIG and Femedtech facilitated an asynchronous event Open Policy – Who cares?  The organisers invited provocations from members of the open education community in the form of Flipgrid videos and writings on femedtech.net. This Open Scotland contribution was written by Lorna M. Campbell. 


I’ve worked in the domain of open education for over ten years now and I passionately believe that publicly funded educational resources should be freely and openly available to the public.  In fact this is one of the founding principles of the Scottish Open Education Declaration.  When we talk about open policy the focus tends to be on “open” and “free”, however I think what is critical here is “funding”, because as we all know, open does not mean free. If we want to support the creation of open knowledge and publicly funded open education resources, then the education sector has to be supported by adequate funding and, perhaps more importantly, by equitable working conditions.  And this is where problems start to arise; at a time when casualisation is endemic in the UK higher education sector, too many colleagues are employed on exploitative precarious contracts.  This is why we are currently in a period of sustained industrial action that is protesting universities’ failure to make significant improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.  If you are a teaching assistant employed on a fixed hourly rate that doesn’t even begin to cover the preparation time for creating your teaching resources and lecturing materials, it’s hard to make the case, ethically and morally, that you should release your resources under open license, because you’re effectively giving your labour away for free, and very few marginalised workers have the privilege to be able to do that. So while I still believe that we do need more policy around open education, and that we have an ethical responsibility to make publicly funded educational resources available to all, we also need equitable working conditions that will enable us all to contribute to the shared knowledge commons.

Developing a Framework for Open Educational Practices at the University of the Highlands and Islands

Public Domain Image, Pixabay

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) is a tertiary, geographically and digitally distributed university that comprises thirteen Academic Partners including FE and HE focused colleges, and specialist research institutes. Within the Highlands and Islands region, the university covers a geographic area that is approximately the size of Belgium and provides local access to Higher Education in geographically dispersed rural locales, and well as within the urban centres in the region. Due to our geographically dispersed nature we have a comprehensive and robust technology infrastructure supporting our learning, teaching and administrative functions.

Sharing and collaboration across the university is essential in the above context and this is achieved in many ways using a variety of technologies, some more ‘open’ than others. The UHI Toolkit, a lightweight repository using a restricted Dublin Core architecture is used for sharing learning and teaching materials internally; the streaming service is used for sharing lectures, webinar recordings and videos publicly (see here for an excellent keynote on open educational practice).

Open educational practice at the University of the Highlands and Islands is not new and indeed there has been activity in some areas in previous years with a well-established open access policy and institutional open access repository (PURE). In addition we are an active member of the OERu, were involved in Open Education Practices Scotland (OEPS) and colleagues are actively involved in the open Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice (JPAAP) as editors, reviewers and contributors . Other initiatives in the university such as the Jisc funded eTextbook Institutional Publishing Service (eTIPS) project, whilst focused on producing low-cost etextbooks, have provided us with processes and knowledge that are adaptable and will enable us to develop our open practice going forward.

Developing the framework

To focus, consolidate and enhance our open educational practice we are currently putting together a ‘Framework for the development of open educational practices’. The framework will provide a 3-year route map for increased activity in 6 areas:

  • Open textbooks
  • Open educational resources
  • Open pedagogic practices
  • Open learning opportunities
  • Open scholarship
  • Open educational research

Year 1 is now underway, kicked off on the 20th November with the ‘Open all ours’ event, a series of workshops and presentations including an excellent keynote by Lorna M. Campbell from the University of Edinburgh OER service. The focus of year 1 is on benchmarking, building relationships, raising awareness and undertaking the preparatory work for year 2. In Year 2 we will be implementing new systems and policies, running pilot projects and increasing the engagement with open practices across the 6 areas identified. Year 3 will evaluate the impact of years 1 and 2 and build on the initiatives and practices already established.

Pulling together the framework has been a learning experience, not least understanding the impact of all the relevant declarations, government policies and institutional strategies. Most readers will be familiar with UNESCO and the 2017 Ljubljana OER action plan and subsequent OER recommendation, perhaps less of you will be aware of the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) College and University Sector ICT Strategy 2019 – 2021 and fewer again of the University of the Highlands  and Islands Learning and Teaching Enhancement Strategy (LTES). Each of these in their own way influence and support open educational practices across the university.

The university’s LTES has 12 values, one of which is ‘harnessing open education approaches’ with the aim of:

“Developing online and other open education practices and approaches to support and enhance learning and teaching, to use, create and share open educational resources, and to widen access to education including within our local communities.”

Reflecting on feedback from the first draft of the framework it is evident that the view from inside the institution differs in some ways from the external perspective. A simple example is the use of the word ‘delivery’ when talking about education. Until it was pointed out I hadn’t really considered the connotation, that of one-way traffic. Other areas where there were differences was in the breadth of coverage of open education and what definition to use, who should be engaged across the university (don’t forget the student body), the importance of collaboration and co-creation, whether we should have an institutional repository, quality assurance processes and the importance of staff skills to the overall success. Suffice to say it was worthwhile having internal and external reviewers as this has given a breadth and depth that may otherwise have been missing.

The framework has now been approved for distribution as a consultation document by the university Quality Assurance and Enhancement Committee and Academic Council and will be made available to the wider university body at the university learning and teaching conference on the 22/23 January 2020. Once fully accepted by the university we will of course publish it as an open resource under a Creative Commons license.

Author information:  Scott Connor is the Educational Development Leader (Flexible and Open Learning) at the University of the Highlands and Islands Learning and Teaching Academy.

Action Lab on Open Education Policy Making: Open Scotland Update

This short update on open education developments in Scotland was recorded as part of the Action Lab on Open Education Policy Making led by Fabio Nascimbeni, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, and Alek Tarkowski, Centrum Cyfrowe, at the OE Global Conference in Milan in November 2019.

Other resources shared during the Action Lab include:

  1. European Commission Report on Open Education Policies in all EU member states (2017) https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/policy-approaches-open-education-case-studies-28-eu-member-states-openedu-policies
  2. OE Policy Forum report (2019)  https://oerpolicy.eu/oe-policy-forum/
  3. Policy Registry of the OER World Map https://oerworldmap.org/resource/?filter.about.%40type=Policy&size=20
  4. Survey on Open Education in European Libraries of Higher Education by SPARC Europe  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8X3DFYW

UNESCO OER Recommendation Approved

Earlier this week at the CI Sector Commission of the General Conference, UNESCO Member States voted to adopt the UNESCO OER Recommendation.  The Recommendation is  a key mechanism towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education.  SDG4 aims to improve quality of life and access to inclusive education to help equip people with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems. One of SDG4’s key targets is to:

ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development

Building on the 2017 Ljubljana OER Action Plan, and the 2012 Paris OER Declaration, the new UNESCO OER Recommendation has five objectives:

  1. Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER.
  2. Developing supportive policy.
  3. Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER.
  4. Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER.
  5. Facilitating international cooperation.

The Recommendation acknowledges that:

the implementation of open licensing to educational materials Introduces significant   Opportunities for more cost-effective establishment, access, reuse, re-purpose, adaptation, redistribution, curation, and quality assurance of those materials, including, but not limited to, translation to different learning and cultural contexts, the development of gender -sensitive materials, and the  creation of alternative and accessible formats of materials for learners with special educational needs.

UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Communication and Information, also announced the launch of a Dynamic Coalition for the implementation of the new OER Recommendation in order to promote and reinforce international cooperation.

The full text of the UNESCO OER Recommendation is available here: Draft Recommendation on Open Educational Resources and a press release can be read here: UNESCO Recommendation on OER.

College & University Sector ICT Strategy commits to OER

The Open Scotland blog has been quiet for the last eighteen months but there have been some significant developments in open education in Scotland in the intervening period, most notable of which is the Scottish Funding Council’s College and University Sector ICT Strategy 2019 – 2021, which commits to the aims of the UNESCO OER Action Plan and the Scottish Open Education Declaration.

The Strategy was developed by the Further and Higher Education ICT Oversight Board, co-chaired by Gavin McLachlan, Chief Information Officer and Librarian to the University of Edinburgh and Dr Ken Thomson Principal and Chief Executive, with input from Jisc, UCSS-ISSC and others.

While recognising that colleges and universities have diverse academic profiles, local contexts and campus infrastructures, the strategy focuses on activities and services, including infrastructure, collections, advisory and production services, that may benefit from being organised at a national level.

The strategy covers:

  1. Skills,
  2. Economic Development and Innovation,
  3. Digital Public Services,
  4. Data,
  5. Information Security,
  6. Infrastructure
  7. Digital Participation and Inclusion

In section 7. Digital Participation and Inclusion the strategy states that:

In line with the UNESCO OER Action Plan, we will promote the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Badging initiatives to support both formal and informal learning that is equitable, inclusive, open and participatory. We are committed to the aims of the Digital Participation charter and the Scottish Open Education Declaration.

The strategy’s aims and objectives for Digital Participation and Inclusion are:

  • make Information Services open and accessible, ensuring they are represented and visible to students and staff at forums and that IS staff are actively engaged in institutional life to better understand users’ needs and requirements;
  • support the use of open licences for all educational resources created with public funding;
  • promote common ICT core skills and online learning (over and above core educational requirements) to develop personal digital skills, embedding relevant elements from the EU and Jisc frameworks to promote the development of learner and staff skills, and
  • involve students in the design and development of student-facing digital platforms, ensuring they meet usability and accessibility requirements, and address the 5 Digital Rights.

Although the strategy stresses that participation in any sectoral or national service is on a voluntary basis, this cross sector commitment to the aims of the UNESCO OER Action Plan and the endorsement of open licenses for educational resources created with public funding represent a significant development for open education in Scotland.

In order to build on the platform provided by the strategy and to highlight the sector wide benefits of engaging with OER and Open Education we are planning to reactivate the Open Scotland initiative in the coming months, so please check the blog for further updates.  If you would like to get in involved with the Open Scotland initiative, or to contribute news items or case studies about OER and open education to this blog, please contact lorna.m.campbell@icloud.com or joewilson@joewilsons.net

Response to World OER Congress Action Plan

The following comments were drafted by Joe Wilson and Lorna M. Campbell and submitted in response to the World OER Congress Action Plan on behalf of Open Scotland and the University of Edinburgh.   The draft Action Plan, Outcome and Recommendations is available in English and French here http://www.oercongress.org/woerc-actionplan/

1. Capacity of users to access, re-use and share OER

Awareness and skills to use OER:

a) Key educational stakeholders (teachers, teacher trainers, educational policy makers and librarians) should be provided with capacity building to raise awareness on how OER can enhance teaching and learning.

b) Systematic and continuous capacity building (in-service and pre-service) on how to find, modify, create and share OER should be an integral part of teacher training programmes. This would include capacity building on digital literacy to identify, share and use OER. The support of governments, educational institutions and teacher associations for this is important.

UNESCO / COL should consider codifying baseline standards for capacity building; e.g. understanding copyright, how to use open licences, describing content for resource discovery.

Sharing OER:

c) Legal frameworks of educational institutions should support the development and use of OER by teachers.

Add “and professional bodies” here.

f) A 360° continually updating function should be introduced that allow OER creators to inform users on updates as well as users to suggest updates and modifications of OER.

This seems unrealistic.

g) Institutions and/or teachers should aim to use OER-based teaching materials as an integral rather than as a peripheral element of curriculum.

This is an important point.

Finding OER:

h) Indexing of OER resources (including in national OER repositories) should be further developed to support the identification of existing OER.

i) OER repositories should have clear action plans with performance indicators to encourage goals such as accessibility, interoperability with other repositories, usage and sustainability.

j) Effective meta-analysis and data mining practices should be encouraged for OER retrieval.

There is too much reliance here on dedicated OER repositories. OER repositories are just one way to manage and disseminate content. Web platforms, local repositories, and content aggregators also have an important role to play. Don’t let a single technology approach drive policy and strategy. Better encoding of machine readable licences will help to improve resource discovery. Look at the work of Schema.org and LRMI. Work with search engines to optimize OER discovery.

A good example of a lightweight approach to OER aggregation is the Solvonauts open source OER search engine http://solvonauts.org/

2. Language & Cultural issues

OER made available in diverse languages and adapted to the related cultural context where it is used is vital for uptake in local contexts. Furthermore, for OER to be used by educational systems, issues related to the sharing and accepting of knowledge from different sources need to be addressed.

b) Harness technologies that overcome the language barrier such as online translation systems.

Look at the MediWiki Content Translation tool https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation Engage students in content translation, this can be a valuable learning experience and also involves them in the creation of OER.

A good example of this approach is the University of Edinburgh’s Translation Studies MSc which includes a Wikipedia translation assignment http://thinking.is.ed.ac.uk/wir/2017/01/05/wikipedia-assignment-translation-studies-msc/

3. Ensuring inclusive and equitable access to quality OER

OER needs to be accessible to all learners, including those who have disabilities, those that are economically disadvantaged and within a framework that ensures gender equity. Electricity and connectivity remain challenges in many parts of the world. For this reason, it is important that it is possible to find/use/modify and share OER using diverse ICT environments, including on mobile devices, or even to the extent possible, off-line Furthermore, in order for OER to be used with confidence by the educational community mechanisms to ensure confidence of the quality of resources should be in place.

g) Ensure systems for peer-review quality control of OER

We need to rethink what peer review actually means in the context of open educational resources – feedback from learners and teachers is may be more useful than more traditional peer review mechanisms. Don’t presume that peer review is the only way to measure quality.

4. Changing Business Models

Globally, the traditional business model for commercial textbook publishing has come under economic pressure to evolve because of the technological development and the digitization of content. The changes experienced by the publishing industry are affecting its market paradigms and business models (Rodrigues, Chimenti, Nogueira, Hupsel, & Repsold, 2014). There is a need to identify innovative solutions and develop new business models, so that the interests of the OER community and educational publishers are addressed.

Business models should focus purely on reforming traditional models of textbook production. Business models should incorporate drivers to encourage teachers and learners to engage with open education, e.g. professional recognition for creating and reusing OER. This needs to be embedded in teaching standards.

d) Charging for hard copies of OER materials, use of paid advertisements, and other means for income generation to sustain OER-based education.

It’s important to educate teachers and learners about the non-exclusive nature of open licences. Also, open licences should not be seen as a barrier to working with innovative technology providers.

5. Development of supportive policy environments

Mainstreaming of OER requires the creation, adoption, and implementation of policies supportive of effective OER practices. In this regard, funding flows are more likely to follow from policy directives, and policies can be applied for both bottom-up and top-down approaches.

b) Policies that support awareness raising on the benefits of OER; funding for evidence based research; incentives for following good practices; and the fostering of supportive strategies and practices to support the use of OER by the educational community.

Evidence based research is critical for supporting the adoption of OER policies. However research into the benefits of OER shouldn’t focus purely on cost savings. Research also needs to focus on benefits to learners and teachers, improved quality of learning content, and improved learning experience.

i) Policies which recognize OER’s contribution to knowledge creation, similar to the publication and sharing of research, provide institutions with strong incentives for the adoption of OER.

The focus needs to remain on OER policies but it is important to relate OER policies to Open Access & open data policies.

Examples of OER Policy development:

1. Scottish Open Education Declaration http://declaration.openscot.net/ is an open community declaration based on the UNESCO OER Declaration which broadens the scope of the guidelines to encompass all aspects of open education, rather than OER specifically. The Declaration is hosted on an installation of Comment Press and all those with an interest in open education are encouraged to contribute. The Declaration is managed by the Open Scotland initiative.

2. University if Edinburgh OER Policy http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/openeducationalresourcespolicy.pdf This policy is based on a policy originally developed by the University of Leeds as part of the UK OER Programme. This policy was subsequently adapted by the University of Greenwich and Glasgow Caledonian University before being adopted by the University of Edinburgh, so the policy itself has become a reusable OER.

New Recommendation

Ensure open education, OER and open licensing is embedded in all teachers training and professional development programmes to ensure that all teachers develop the digital skills to create and use open educational resources, engage with open education and develop their own open education practice. Examples of good practice

Example of OER Good Practice

1. 23 Things http://www.23things.ed.ac.uk/ 

23 Things for Digital Knowledge is an award winning (LILAC Credo Digital Literacy Award 2017), open online self-paced course run by the University of Edinburgh.

The course, developed by Charlie Farley of Educational Development and Engagement, is designed to encourage digital literacy and to be of use to a broad audience within and beyond the institution. The aim of the course is to expose learners to a range of digital tools for personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student, or professional. Learners spend a little time each week, building up and expanding their digital skills and are encouraged to share their experiences with others.

The judges of the Credo Digital Award for Information Literacy described the course as “a superb resource which builds digital literacy through a well-designed combination of information, discovery and social interaction. It is very flexible in how it can be used, with bitesize chunks of learning, and accreditation through badging for those who wish to work through the whole course. It therefore appeals to a wide range of learners.”

All course content and materials, unless otherwise stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY) and the University actively encourages others to take and adapt the course. The course has already been used by many individuals and organisations outwith the University of Edinburgh and it has recently been adapted for use by the Scottish Social Services Council as 23 digital capabilities to support practice and learning in social services.

2. LGBT Healthcare 101 http://open.ed.ac.uk/lgbt-healthcare-101/

Digital story interviews with LGBT+ volunteers, ‘LGBT+ Healthcare 101’ presentation, and a secondary school resource, created by and for University of Edinburgh medicine students. The resources were created as part of a project to address a lack of awareness and knowledge of LGBT+ health, and of the sensitivities needed to treat LGBT patients as valuable skills for qualifying doctors.

Resources for the LGBT+ Healthcare 101 course, created by Calum Hunter, Matthew Twomey, Derrick NG, Navina Senthilkumar and Eleanor Dow. Released under a CC BY licence.

3. Open Scotland https://openscot.net/

Open Scotland is a cross sector initiative supported by the Association for Learning Technology’s  Scotland Special Interest Group.  The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness of all aspects of open education and explore the potential of open policy and practice to benefit all sectors of Scottish education.  Scotland has a distinctive and highly regarded tradition of education, however policies to support and embed open education are in their infancy and, to date, there have been no open funding calls to support open education across the sector.

Despite the absence of top down strategic drivers, a considerable number of open education initiatives have emerged across the Scottish education sector including MOOCs, OER repositories, OER guidelines for staff and students, and adoption of Open Badges. Building on these developments, and experiences gained from supporting open education programmes elsewhere in the UK, Open Scotland aims to encourage the sharing of open educational resources, embed open educational practice and lobby for policies that support open education at the national level.

Inspired by the UNESCO Paris OER Declaration, Open Scotland has also launched the Scottish Open Education Declaration, which builds on the principals of the UNESCO declaration, but expands its scope to encompass all aspects of open education practice.  The Scottish Open Education Declaration, http://declaration.openscot.net/ is an open community draft, which all those with a commitment to open education are encouraged to contribute to.

An interview with Joe Wilson from the European OER Regional Consultation

An interview about open education and OER with Open Scotland’s Joe Wilson, recorded at the UNESCO European Regional Consultation in Malta earlier this year.

The report from the European Consultation is available here:  Regional Consultation on Open Educational Resources OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: From Commitment to Action.  Papers from the other regional consultations are also available on the OER Regional Consultations website.

 

UNESCO European Regional Consultation on OER Report

A guest post from Joe Wilson, reporting on the UNESCO European Regional Consultation on OER in Malta.  

OER CosnultationsIt was a great privilege to be invited as one of 70 participants from 25 countries gathered in Malta  to contribute to the UNESCO European Regional Consultation on Open Educational Resources in Malta. This to shape the inputs for the 2nd World OER Congress to be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia 18th-20th September 2017.  I hope the remaining regional consultations  for the Middle East/North Africa, Africa , Americas and the Pacific Region are as productive as our gathering. The consultation events are ably supported by the Commonwealth of Learning and funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. You too can take part in the consultation by completing the survey here:  http://rcoer.col.org/surveys.html

The theme of the World OER Congress is OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education; From Commitment to Action. This to move the global education system on from the Paris Declaration of 2012 calling on all governments to make a commitment to OER. The aim to use OER policies and practice to meet the United Nations aims of achieving a set of sustainable development goals for Education by  2030.

We were tasked with :

1. Reviewing the progress of OER in Europe since the World OER Congress 2012
2. To identify strategies for maintaining OER
3. Agreeing  a set of action points to be presented at the next Congress in September

Our outputs providing strategies, examples and models for the creation of a sustainable open educational infrastructure and mainstreaming open educational resources will be fed into the Congress but will be published here as they are pulled together and there will be a collection of interviews from the consultation events published here.

I was invited as Co-Founder of Open Scotland and I carefully prepared our inputs with Lorna Campbell my co-conspirator and  Scottish colleagues from the Association of Learning Technology before setting off.

I’ll share the key parts of my report here and some reflections from the group I worked with who were tasked to  focus on the barriers to the creation, sharing, use and re-purposing of Open Educational Resources at a national level.

In terms of Scottish approaches,  the formation of Open Scotland and the creation of the Open Scotland Declaration has positioned Scottish Education as thought leaders in building both grass roots support for open educational practice and for encouraging policy shifts at national and institutional level and this is still garnering Scotland and Scottish education with global recognition.

The OEPS project has produced some open assets that could do much to drive open practice across Scotland https://oepscotland.org/resources/open-courses/ While the Open University’s broader offering for learners http://www.open.edu/openlearncreate/ offers them access to a rich set of online courses and allows providers the opportunity to build their own courses on the OU  platform.

There are some other green shoots around the UK. The continued healthy support across the community for conferences like #OER17 , the FELTAG coalition supporting  blended learning and the sharing of developments. Some set backs too,  it is hard as yet to see the new Jisc Content and App Store as a serviceable replacement for JORUM.

However, while Scottish Government investment has been made in the Open University led OEPS project and some large global institutions like Edinburgh University have taken up the challenge to embed both open educational resources and a broader set of open educational practices across their operations for the public good and some others notably Glasgow Caledonian University are forging ahead with policies that will support OER, momentum is slow.

Why is the case – these are my own thoughts on Scottish Landscape and updates the last review of Scottish activity from October 2016.

Some of the global arguments for the adoption of open educational practices and resources do not have the same traction in Scotland. Scottish Education is not a text book driven system in Universities, Colleges or Schools – so the economic case for the adoption of Open Textbooks or more open practice around the development and sharing of resources does not have the resonance it might have in other countries where national administration’s buy text books.

The levers in Scotland have to be around our life long learning system, our belief in education as a social good, open to all and around the social benefits of OER to all in the system.

Universities continue to conflate OER with lots of other policy initiatives and developments – We have a MOOC so we must be making and sharing OER ( rarely the case). We have an open research policy and we have policies and practices around open data. ( no realisation that OER is different). There are few formal staff development programmes around the creation, use and repurposing of OER and only a few policy levers to encourage their consideration.

Colleges – Recently regionalised and finding their feet have forgotten traditions of developing learning materials collaboratively and when they remember they tend to do this in closed communities as content clubs. If you do a dig into the public contracts Scotland you can see a growing trend over last six months for Colleges to buy large collections of commercial content. They are trying to make more courses available on line and playing catch up,  by buying in the learning content. The entry level and CPD standards for lecturing staff are due to be refreshed but the current standards are weak around developing skills around embedding digital practice and make no mention of OER.

Schools – No real recognition that sharing learning materials is a good thing and to a degree still struggling with the notion that teachers create  learning materials. In Scotland we have a superb platform in GLOW a Scottish Schools Intranet with excellent set of tools to support learning but it lacks a learning object repository it is hard to find materials inside GLOW and there is no coherent approach to adopting standard open licencing like Creative Commons. In terms of development there is the recently published Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy this encourages the development of digital skills in both initial teacher training and in teacher CPD for continued registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland but it tends to focus on the use and deployment of technology and makes no mention of content creation or open educational resources.

Third sector and libraries – perhaps most progress is being made here. Libraries and museums are digitising their resources and releasing these into the public domain with open licences. Trade unions and third sector organisations realise that a sharing economy is the most effective way to support their stakeholders. Good signs here that the methods and approaches of the wikimedia foundation are being adopted.

Government, while the government has usefully made a significant investment in the OEPS Project, which it references in any enquiry about the progress of OER in Scotland, it still appears to view activity in this area as peripheral in meeting sectorial objectives.

The broad view of the administration seems to be  that policy around open educational practices is not required as initiatives in this space are being driven out by Universities fulfilling their charitable and philanthropic traditions  and that there is a lack of an evidence base around the benefits to learners that justifies a policy intervention.

The growing evidence base from other countries and global initiatives is counter to this view. A healthy open educational resource driven system needs both top down and bottom up support. The papers from this consultation and from the World Congress should allow an informed reappraisal of this position.

UNESCO European Regional Consultation on OER, Malta, February 2017

A further report on the Consultation is available from UNESCO here: Ministers, experts urge inclusive access and quality education through open educational resources