Open Educational Resources and Open Content for Higher Education
In this roundtable the author analyzes the specific issues raised in the forum on Open Educational Resources held in late 2005. The starting point is that UNESCO was created with the mission of fostering a culture of peace, and education is important for UNESCO because well educated citizens will contribute to promoting a culture of peace. In this context it is possible to understand the importance of Open Educational Resources, a term defined by a UNESCO meeting as referring to web-based materials that are offered freely and openly for reuse in teaching, learning, and research. UNESCO's interest in open content began formally with a meeting in 2002, and the main interest is not necessarily to promote Open Educational Resources, but to provide information about the concept and to develop capacity if individuals or institutions wish to adopt it. The content of Open Educational Resources must be appropriate, and that raises the issues of culture and language if you are considering content from another institution. The learner can access material and contents from the best universities in the world, and the academics will promote internal cooperation in quality control, due to the fact that everyone can see everyone else's materials.