Structured Access to Curated Open Educational Resources Aligned to National School Curricula: An Experiment in the Commonwealth Member States in the Pacific Region

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // We have been witnessing a global experiment in delivering emergency remote teaching using distance learning, internet, web and related technologies, since the World Health Organization announced its assessment that ‘Covid-19 can be characterized as a pandemic’ on 11 March 2020. // The shift to digital has made more teachers and institutions realise the importance of structured access to open educational resources (OER) – learning materials having open licenses. However, availability of OER in a structured way alone, though important, may not increase the use and re-use by teachers and learners. Research evidence suggests that OER use is maximized when they are contextualised for local needs. A survey conducted by COL and the OER Foundation in 2020 highlighted the need for curated OER aligned to national and institutional curricula. // Since much before this unprecedented situation, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has been promoting the use of open and distance learning (ODL) to help build more resilient education systems. With a view to helping teachers and learners in the Commonwealth member states in the Pacific region have access to curated OER collections aligned to their national curriculum, COL and PACFOLD with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand created a platform using EPrints – open-source software developed by the University of Southampton. The platform hosts nationally-defined OER collections with the flexibility of having choices of access points based on the local curriculum taxonomy. At the same time, by defining individual OERs in the collections using structured metadata schema, the national level collections ensure metadata level interoperability. // This paper presents the preliminary findings from a pragmatic attempt to support engagement with OER in the Commonwealth member states in the Pacific region. It also provides insight into the underpinning principles and architecture of the platform, the choices of access points associated with the OER collections, and the metadata schema used to define the collections. The authors of this paper discuss how teachers in the region can use or adapt the OER in the collections in their teaching, and share OER developed by them with all possible users as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by moving to remote, blended and/or online teaching. The authors also present the case of the Ministry of Education in Fiji which has started using the platform to organise a collection based on its national curriculum framework. // Paper ID 7674

Open Educational Resources (OER),Access,Curriculum,Curriculum Planning,Online Learning,Open and Distance Learning (ODL)
Fiji,Kiribati,Nauru,New Zealand,Papua New Guinea,Samoa,Solomon Islands,Tonga,Tuvalu,Vanuatu