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Academic Calls for Embracing of Open Educational Resources

These were sentiments of an expert in E-Learning, San­jaya Mishra from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
13 Mar 2019 10:00
Academic Calls for Embracing of Open Educational Resources
Education Specialist Sanjaya Mishra during a public lecture at the Fiji National University.

Higher education institutions should now adapt to Open Educational Resources (OER) to contribute to the development of open knowledge.

These were sentiments of an expert in E-Learning, San­jaya Mishra from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).

Mr Mishra has more than 25 years of experience in de­sign, development and management of open and distance learning programmes.

He held a public lecture at the Fiji National University (FNU) Nasinu Campus on Monday, where he spoke on the topic “Open Educational Resources in the South Pacific”.

Mr Mishra said: “OER improves digital skills, it reduces the costs of buying textbooks, enhances access to infor­mation and improves the quality of life.”

He said OER has been adapted by many developed and developing countries globally.

“Pacific countries such as Fiji, Australia and New Zea­land support the OER. These countries also have a na­tional policy on OER. Tonga, at the same time has also developed a draft policy in this area,” said Mr Mishra.

“In many countries, parents are not able to send their children to higher education institutions even though they have a single child. This is because of increased costs. This, I mean the rising cost of textbooks. In some coun­tries, importing text books further increases the cost.”

“So the solution to all these problems is to encourage the open licensing of educational materials and encourage the development and adaptation of OER,” he said.

Two major Open Educational Resources platforms are Wikieducator and OpenLearn.

The E-Learning specialist also called on governments to support open educational resources in educational insti­tutions.

FNU recently opened a $500,000 “Learning Commons” a digital library providing more interactive, collaborative and inclusive learning environment for students at its Ko­ronivia Campus.

 

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