Open Educational Resources are growing in prevalence and importance, yet they not equally distributed worldwide and not as used and re-used as expected. With this in mind, the IAU investigated the reasons for these dichotomies and concluded that associating and working in collaboration with academic librarians, who play a central role in providing access to information resources and technology within their institutions, could be a solution to increasing OER creation, use and reuse in higher education globally.
The IAU Project
The IAU Project was developed by the IAU in 2013. It aims to train and support academic librarians – in priority in developing countries – to be able to identify and provide information on existing OER and inform faculty members and graduate students in the use, re-use and production of OER.
To validate the project for the Sub-Saharan African region, the IAU held a Workshop with librarians. This took place in Accra, Ghana in September 2013.
Open Educational Resources (OER)
OER refer to digitized as well as non-digitized teaching and learning materials either openly released or released in the public domain that can be used and reused by all, everywhere. The term was first introduced at a conference hosted by UNESCO in 2002. The UNESCO Paris OER Declaration was adopted in 2012.
Librarians and OER
An international survey of librarians found a clear need to promote the role that libraries and librarians can play in OER initiatives, highlighting the expertise and competencies which libraries and librarians can offer (The roles of libraries and information professionals in Open Education Resources (OER) initiatives: Survey Report G. Bieno-de-la-Fuente, R. J. Robertson and S. Boon, JISC CETIS, 2012).
IAU and OER
The Association has a Policy Statement on Universities and Information and Communication Technologies, adopted in 2004, which includes the promotion of Open Educational Resources as a strategy in stimulating exchange of expertise in ICTs.
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