Open educational resources improves digital skills, cut costs

Education Specialist Dr Sanjaya Mishra during a public lecture at FNU. Picture: SUPPLIED

OPEN Educational Resources (OER) improves digital skills, it reduces the costs of buying text books, enhances access to information and improves the quality of life.

Expert in E-Learning Dr Sanjaya Mishra from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) said this at a public lecture at the Fiji National University (FNU) Nasinu Campus yesterday where he spoke on the topic ‘Open Educational Resources in the South Pacific’.

Dr Mishra believes higher education institutions should now adapt to Open Educational Resources (OER) to contribute to the development of open knowledge.

Dr Mishra who has more than 25 years of experience in design, development and management of open and distance learning programs described Open Educational Resources as “teaching, learning and research materials in any medium that resides in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use in some instances”.

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

“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 textbooks 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.”

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