Evaluation of the UNESCO Recommendation Concerning Open Educational Resources

Abstract:  Open Educational Resources (OER) “are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others” (UNESCO). In November 2019, UNESCO adopted a resolution on OER that had five objectives:

1. Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER;

2. Developing supportive policy;

3. Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER;

4. Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and

5. Facilitating international cooperation.

Overall this policy represents well the state of the art in OER and would serve to further the aims and objectives of open online education. Having said that, the document suffers from numerous cases of ambiguous terminology, some of it in places where serious misunderstandings could arise. The purpose of this article is to review this resolution, highlighting areas of ambiguity or where further discussion is needed in the OER community.