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OPAL Rational and Background

Page history last edited by Plagemann 13 years, 8 months ago




OPAL Rational and Background



Although open educational resources (OER)...

...are high on the agenda of social and inclusion policies and supported by many stakeholders of the educational sphere, their use in HE and adult education (AE) has not yet reached the critical threshold which is posing an obstacle to a seamless provision of high quality learning resources and practices for citizens’ lifelong learning efforts. This has to do with the fact that the current focus in OER is mainly put on building more access to digital content. There is little consideration of whether this will support educational practices, promote quality and innovation in teaching and learning. The project OPAL therefore extends the focus beyond 'access' to 'innovative open educational practices' (OEP). OEP are defined as practices which support the (re)use and production of high quality OER through institutional policies, promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning path. OEP address the whole OER governance community: policy makers, managers/ administrators of organisations, educational professionals and learners. 


A critical factor for the success...

...of renewing educational practices through an innovative use of OER is therefore the aspect of quality. Due to their open and user-driven nature OERs demand for new and improved strategies, practices and tools for quality evaluation and development. However, the strategies to develop quality of learning experiences based on OER are moving away from expert based standard models to dynamic participatory community models which define quality from a perspective of stakeholders of the educational scenario and which focus on the educational experience. These models often have no longstanding tradition. Confidence and expertise for evaluating and developing the quality of OER in order to embed them in recognised programs is therefore often insufficient. Furthermore there is a need to develop a broad quality consensus in order to facilitate acceptance, excel OER usage and build trust for learning with OERs. While the project aims at promoting the open use and sharing of educational resources, it will develop a roadmap to advance the field through a shift from quality and innovation of OER and OER practices to quality and innovation through OER. 


It is understood that a shift towards OER...

...needs open and competency based educational practices and a framework of trust and acceptance which the project will provide through building a European environment for Quality in OER. It will support a shift in attitudes and organisational cultures of organisations in the field of higher education and lifelong learning to open up to OER practices and will improve the situation for OER use in higher education and lifelong learning. 


The project builds on...

... a philosophy of studying, defining and establishing a multiperspective and multistakeholder quality environment taking into account stakeholders’ different viewpoints. OER have a number of characteristics which in itself promote quality – the resources are used by different stakeholders in different contexts which together can work towards defining high quality resources – according to the philosophy: “what you give, you receive back improved”. The Open Educational Quality Initiative will provide recommendations to the whole life cycle of resources, from creating resources, over using, storing and retrieving them right through usage scenarios in educational experiences.



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