Feasibility study for a project for Global Open Library (GOL) for higher education

The idea is to make access to quality assured licenced OERs for curricula / grades in Higher Education available across countries, across languages and across cultures.

The starting point would be the unique French collection/s of OER for higher education (about 38.000 peer reviewed resources). By making these available and connect to collaborative initiatives, e.g. in North America, in Africa, one could aim for facilitating an interactive, growing and sustaining virtual library of quality resources.

To test the idea, a feasibility study is undertaken.  Based on the conclusions from the feasibility study, one will consider a pilot-project followed by a project scaling up based on the findings in the pilot.  An initiative will be positioned within the framework of sustainable development goal 4, Education 2030.

The suggested framework for a pilot project could be an action within the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, ref. http://www.teachersforefa.unesco.org/v2/index.php/en/ .  The target group selected could be teachers and teachers’ trainers. Topics selected could be educational material for teachers training, including training in the use (what is already existing) and when missing, the creation of OER, and in public health.  Partners in Africa are suggested to be committed universities, African Virtual University, www.avu.org  and UNISA, www.unisa.org 

A candidate action in an early stage, “Outstanding Teaching in Africa” is in dialogue between ICDE and the above mentioned partners. 

Other frameworks for a pilot could also be considered, including target groups, topics and approach.

The initiative is taken by International Council for Open and Distance Education, ICDE in partnership with Universités Numériques Thématiques, UNT, France. The two partners have agreed to co-fund the feasibility study. A consultant has beeb engaged to conduct the feasibility study, governed by a small steering group and with input from a reference group of partners: 

The purpose of the feasibility study is to:

  • Consider if the idea and a project is feasible.
  • Consider if and how the idea can be tested in a pilot project.
  • Deliver a report and outline what a pilot project could be.

Targets for the feasibility study are to:

  • Map similar and / or initiatives related to quality OER for higher education.
  • Tap into the experience from similar initiatives for global solutions, e.g. the (The Alliance for) a Global Book Fund.
  • Consider how to open up collections/repositories of relevant OERs.
  • Consider significant challenges that have to be met, e.g. adaptation to context, language and culture.
  • Consider the idea towards selected suggestions for conceptual model.
  • Make the first reflection on sustaining the idea.
  • Survey the interest and availability of possible partners, in particular for the pilot project.
  • Consider on which areas, fields and context that can give the easiest success (low hanging fruits).
  • Consider focus, content, resources cost and funding (donors) for a pilot.
  • Consider the definition of OER and what it is meant by OER in the project.
  • Consider how to facilitate interaction between the learner, the teacher, the educational institution and the OER’s in order to benefit from the resources, and to respond to the users’ needs.

The report is foreseen to be delivered about March 2017.

When the deliverables from the feasibility study are received, the next steps will be considered, including building a stronger partnership with support from OER-stakeholders and governments. 

 Image: ©opensource.com via Flickr