National Strategies for OER and MOOCs From 2010 to 2020: Canada, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, UK, and USA

National Strategies for OER and MOOCs From 2010 to 2020: Canada, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, UK, and USA

Nilgün Özdamar Keskin (Anadolu University, Turkey), Apostolos Koutropoulos (University of Massachusetts – Boston, USA), Inge de Waard (The Open University, UK), David Metcalf (University of Central Florida, USA), Michael Gallagher (University of Edinburgh, UK), Yayoi Anzai (Kyushu University, Japan) and Köksal Buyuk (Anadolu University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2645-2.ch008


A global agenda (Education 2030 Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action) published in September 2015 by UNESCO provides a roadmap for the next 15 years for education planners and practitioners. The main goal of the agenda is recognized as “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. The Member States develop policies and programs for the provision of quality for open and distance education with sustainable financial and legal framework and use of technology, including the Internet, open educational resources, massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other modalities to improve access in order to reach this goal by 2030. Institutions have realized the full potential of OER and MOOCs and started to develop their own policies with regard to teaching, learning and research resources in the public domain. In this regard, the purpose of this study is to examine national strategies on OER and MOOCs in the leading countries such as USA, UK, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey.
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Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself

- John Dewey

Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives have been developing and spreading rapidly since the early 2000s. These initiatives have been adopted by many well-known international institutions and organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Sun Microsystems. OER is a member of the digital openness family. Its constituent parts are Open Source Movement (for software), Open Access (for scientific output) and Open Content (for creative works) and also this family has expanded in other areas such as Open Data, Open Science, Open Innovation, Open Practices and Open Policies (Mulder, 2015). In 2001, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced its Open CourseWare (OCW) initiative by making its courses for free on the Internet, under an open license. A year later, a workshop on open courseware in developing countries was organized by UNESCO first used the term “Open Educational Resources” within its “Education for All” ambition (Wikieducator, 2017). The international definition of OER, recognized by UNESCO in 2002 in the final report of the Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries, is defined as:

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a charitable organization which supports the idea of open education by granting hundreds of millions of dollars to improve education by expanding the reach of openly available educational resources, has defined OER as:

… teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under and intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. In this strategy, we also use the following terms to mean OER: open materials, open licensed materials, open instructional materials, open resources and open content. Open textbooks are a specific type of OER (Hewlett Foundation, December 2015, p.2)

OERs are freely available for 5R activities (Wiley, 2015): Retain- the right to make, own, and control copies of the work; Reuse- the right to use the work in a wide range of ways; Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify or alter the work itself; Remix – the right to combine the original or revised work with other open works to create something new; Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original work, your revisions or your remixes with others. For example, when you download a video from sources such as Khan Academy, Udemy, or OpenLearn, you have permission to use those materials under a Creative Commons license without any payment needed or the need to obtain additional permissions from copyright holders.

The 2012 World OER Congress held at UNESCO in Paris was especially focused on OER and encouraged institutions and organizations to produce open-licensed educational materials with public funds. After that, OER expanded its awareness and became more prevalent all around the world. For example, MIT Open Course Ware now has almost a million visits each month. According to Mulder (2015), these open education movements are driven by values like equity, inclusion, diversity, quality, and efficiency because of their philosophy of supporting openness.

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