Open Educational Resources in Lithuania - State-of–the-Art, Challenges and Prospects for Development

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Full title

Open Educational Resources in Lithuania - State-of–the-Art, Challenges and Prospects for Development

Page length: 69 pages.

Date: 2011


Authors

Airina Volungeviciene


Abstract

Lithuania’s initiatives aimed at the promotion of the use of ICT in education are mainly oriented towards supporting educational institutions in ensuring conditions for LLL implementation and focussing all necessary efforts towards the establishment of knowledge and information society. Current European and global priorities in ICT development are related to the establishment of infrastructure adequate to the needs of virtual user communities. The first state-funded projects and programs aimed at the development of infrastructure in Lithuania, along with Phare 2000 projects, were successfully implemented already in the early 21st century.

The term of OER was agreed upon in 2002 during the UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries. Researchers and educational institution practitioners are confident about the benefits of the use and complete integration of OER in education (institutional infrastructure, learning curriculum and organization). International researcher groups and institutional managers claim that there are “three imperatives for finding effective new ways to expand access to quality education opportunities […]: more citizens with high level skills, […] using technology and distance education to reach more learners in a more cost-effective manner, and […] extend education to many more people, in a model appropriate to the twenty-first century” (Gourly, 2004, cited by D’Antoni, 2009, p.19). They agree on the fact that infrastructure development is simply too costly, takes too much time, and is not feasible in the 21st century.

In Lithuania, very high emphasis is still put on physical infrastructure in distance learning development and implementation. Under financial crisis educational institutions face difficulties when the Government reduces funding for centralized support of distance learning and teaching activities. Educational institutions have to find new contextual solutions by themselves. At present Lithuanian academic institutions have to tackle the following challenges: market economy conditions make them compete with one another, while decreased funding for ICT resources reduces motivation for curriculum modernization. The concept of OER is not yet fully realized and integrated into the educational context. Academic communities in Lithuania are just on the threshold of joining and contributing to international online communities.

Instead of waiting for financial help to be provided by national bodies, or for favourable conditions to be created by technology service providers in Lithuania, educational institutions should introduce 12 Open Educational Resources in Lithuania OER conception in their strategies, daily practices and start benefitting from them, solving various management, academic, financial and marketing problems.

To achieve the objectives of the study on OER in Lithuania, the following tasks had to be fulfilled:

  1. to overview basic principles, political, strategic, regulatory, inancial and other issues related to ICT policy in education with a focus on OER development in Lithuania;
  2. to describe current state of advancement of OER in Lithuania, including main technologies, resources, OER repositories, distribution of OER, intellectual property rights and quality assurance issues, as well as success stories;
  3. to identify factors which prevent a wider introduction of OER into educational practices, to foresee potentials and steps to be undertaken in educational policy to raise accessibility and quality of education through the use of OER (including competence development, international partnership, and OER development and expanding).

All statistical data used in this study was obtained from previously published surveys which are cited or used in this document with the consent of survey organizers


Source

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002144/214493e.pdf



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