D4.2S Policy advice for schools

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Report file> File:POERUP D4.2S Schools v1.0.pdf

Specifications

Type of outcome/product/results: Paper (public) Delivery date: September 2013

Nature: Report

Language versions: English

Target languages: Summaries for each sector in English, Hungarian, French, and Dutch


Policy-makers including regional, national and European decision-makers are the main target group for this Deliverable. We will provide these with valid, in-depth information on policy support of OER for the schools, the university and the college/other sectors. This will be based on the inventory, country reports (including mini-reports), the case studies and any existing reports on policy recommendations. (This last category is rather sparse but by late this year there may be more reports available.)

The policy advice will provide them with an in-depth understanding as to the importance of, amongst other factors, the policy context. In particular, an analysis of past policy-relevant successes (and any failures we can discover) will make a significant contribution towards better decision-making by this target group.


Outcomes

Executive Summary & Policy Recommendations

POERUP is part funded by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme. The overall aim of POERUP is to provide information which will support the development of effective policies to promote the uptake of OER, especially across the EU, in all main educational sectors.

Findings

  1. There are relatively few national OER policies explicitly targeting the schools sector
  2. OERs have been an important component of two of the Commission’s most significant policy initiatives with regards to education (specifically including K-12) Opening Up Education and Rethinking Education
  3. There appears to be some confusion surrounding the (Commission’s) message concerning the availability (or otherwise) of K-12 OER
  4. OER have the potential to be a valuable element in policy responses to austerity
  5. OER have the potential to improve the learner experience in the school sector
  6. Inequities of the ICT in education infrastructure across European Union will severely hinder schools’ ability to exploit the potential of OER
  7. It appears that there are “millions” of European OERs which are potentially appropriate for K-12 education
  8. A significant proportion emanate from the “cultural sector” (museums, galleries, archives, national broadcasters)
  9. Across the research there is a broad based consensus regarding the most commonly perceived, and reported, Barriers and Disincentives to using OER.

OER Policy Recommendations

Based on our understanding of current OER policies and initiatives, we make the following recommendations for policy:

Communication and awareness raising

1. The Commission should clarify its position with regards to the abundance, or scarcity, of appropriate resources currently available and should communicate clearly this message.
2. The Commission should continue to promote to educational users (leaders, practitioners, students and guardians) the availability and accessibility of open resources created through its cultural sector programmes. The Commission should encourage and support Member States to promote these resources within the context of their sovereign educational aims and objectives.
3. The Commission should encourage Member States to do likewise for their domestic cultural sector programmes, to make these available across the European Union and ensure that future programmes do not have unintended legal impairments to cross-border sharing.
4. Member States should promote (within the context of their sovereign educational aims and objectives) to educational users (leaders, practitioners, students and guardians) the availability and accessibility of open resources created through their respective cultural sector programmes.
5. The Commission should encourage Member States to promote the benefits of making resources available to schools (especially publicly funded schools and federations of schools) under an appropriate open license.
6. Member States should promote to schools (especially publicly funded schools and federations of schools) the benefits of making resources available under an appropriate open license.

Funding

7. Member States should ensure that budgets for digital educational resources are flexible enough to support the development (and maintenance) of openly licensed materials.

Copyright and licensing

8. The Commission should ensure that any public outputs from its programmes are made available as open resources under an appropriate license. (e.g. a Creative Commons open license - see http://creativecommons.org/licenses).
9. Member States should ensure that any public outputs from their respective national research and teaching development programmes are made available as open resources under an appropriate license. (e.g. a Creative Commons open license- see http://creativecommons.org/licenses ).

Quality and accessibility

10. The Commission should ensure that access and accessibility are central tenets of all its OER programmes and initiatives.
11. The Commission should seek to exploit its considerable investment in Repositories to help inform greater understanding of the success/fail factors behind OER Repositories and OER – particularly the influence of the various approaches to quality assurance.
12. Member States must require (within reasonable expectation) OER to meet (disability) accessibility standards and ensure that accessibility is a central tenet of all OER programmes and initiatives.
13. Where Member States have Quality Assurance or materials approval processes they should ensure that OER are allowed to be included on approved instructional materials lists.
14. Member States should consider establishing and funding an OER evaluation and adoption panel. This panel should include lead teachers, content experts and accessibility experts.
15. Member States could consider establishing a specialist OER function/post to undertake an in-country cost-benefit analysis to assess the potential savings (or otherwise) which might be achieved through implementing an OER strategy.

Continuing professional development

16. Member States should establish (and adequately fund) a professional development programme to help teachers and administrators understand the benefits and uses of OER and open licensing.

Infrastructure

17. The Commission should continue its focus on improving the ICT in education infrastructure in members states (and levelling out disparities of access) so that they are able to exploit potential pedagogical and financial advantages of OER.
18. Member States should continue their focus on improving the ICT in education infrastructure (and levelling out disparities of access) so that they are able to exploit potential pedagogical and financial advantages of OER.
19. Where Member States (or institutions) are providing digital devices they should ensure that all considerations have been taken to maximise the effectiveness (economically and pedagogically) of devices, support and strategy with regards to OER.

Further research

20. The Commission should develop its understanding of how new modes of learning (including online, distance, OER and MOOCs) impact on quality assurance and recognition.
21. The Commission should fund research into the verifiable benefits and disadvantages of OER, with greater efforts to integrate such analyses with its ongoing research on distance learning, on-campus online learning, and pedagogy; and recommend the same to Member States.
22. Future K-12 OER research should explicitly embrace Repositories, Federations, Portals and Tools and should consider off-campus learning (both institutional – virtual schools – and self-directed or home-tutor led).

Executive Summaries in other languages

See:

Reports for other sectors

See also:

For the actual report see File:POERUP D4.2S Schools v1.0.pdf


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