The UNESCO Chair in OER programme (and the Comonwealth of Learning partners) are focused on strengthening networking, building capacity and promoting research related to the international Open Educational Resources movement. It will be supported by the strong commitment of the four UNESCO Chairholders in OER: ? Fred Mulder, Open University of the Netherlands; ? Wayne Mackintosh, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand; ? Tel Amiel, UNICAMP, Brazil; and ? Rory McGreal, Athabasca University, Canada).
They are committed to opening access to education and knowledge, and will build from the ongoing interaction and work of the OER Community. This international group resulted from a Hewlett sponsored project at UNESCO to raise awareness of Open Educational Resources worldwide, and a UNESCO Chair, with its function as a think tank and a bridge builder, is the ideal base from which to ensure the sustainability of international interaction on the topic while maintaining a link to UNESCO and its priorities. Broadly, the Chairs in OER promote action at the institutional, national and international levels, and they ensure information sharing within the network and among the international OER community institutions.
The initial international focus is to build on the OER Community and complement it with the formation of an international OER Network,. Importantly, this action will engage the entire network of UNESCO Chairs. Outputs this past year include forming an international OER Graduate Network; maintaining, building the OER Knowledge Cloud, pblishing with COL, an edited book of scholarly research on OER, and planning and adapting the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) as a scholarly journal focusing more on OER for information sharing and dissemination.
The common Plan of Action has been updated and extended on its main lines of action. In this session we will report on the running activities:
1 The Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) has successfully started its operation. Currently there are 13 PhD candidates, around 30 experts for supervision, and 15 institutional partners. GO-GN is being funded partly by the Dutch Ministry of Education; other funding sources, including scholarship opportunities, are anticipated.
2 The OER Knowledge Cloud is continuously loaded with relevant new (and existing) publications (scientific and for a broader audience) and reports on OER. It is accessible to anyone and meanwhile is a rich source for all workers in the OER field. 3 The global OER mapping initiative (from Susan D?Antoni) got into an online discussion in November 2012, the primary objective being to explore whether the OER community could collaborate to build a world map of projects.
4 The OERuniversity is steadily developing with more partners endorsing the OERu concept and plan, including some funding support. The OERu pilot courses which are under development incorporate a number of MOOC-like features.
Apart from these focus areas there is involvement of at least one UNESCO Chair in OER (and sometimes more) with international organizations such as COL, OECD, EU, ICDE, OCWC, EADTU, ACDE, AAOU, and others.