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UP Open University (UPOU) Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS) held a Webinar entitled “OER in UPOU” on 09 May 2017 as the second in the Open Educational Resources (OER) Series in support of UPOU’s flagship program “Innovation in Teaching and Learning” (Innovate) under the UPOU Strategic Plan 20116-2019.

Dr. Sheila Bonito, OASIS Director and Ms. Carmelita Orias, OASIS University Researcher, presented part of the results of a study conducted under the International Development Research Center (IDRC) entitled “Impact of OER on Cost and Quality of Course Materials in Post Graduate Distance Education Courses in the UPOU.”

Dr. Bonito introduced what Open Educational Resources (OER) are, saying that OER was first introduced in 2000 in a conference hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is defined as “digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research.” She mentioned that UPOU started raising awareness on the use of OER in 2011. In 2012, UPOU shifted to developing resource-based course modules from textbook-like modules. That same year, UPOU drafted its own policy and strategies on the use of OER. In 2014, this OER Impact Study under the IDRC Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) was launched, aimed to look into the cost and quality of course materials development.

Ms. Orias discussed the extent of use of OER in UPOU. Their study looked into the number, types and sources of OERs used, as well as the licenses, manner of usage and the learning activities involved in the use of OER. The study involved sampling 535 modules in 48 courses representing the education, health and development studies disciplines offered by UPOU in AY 2015-2016. The study found that 87% of these modules use OERs, with majority of the OERs coming from the Internet, but still employing print materials like books, book chapter and journal articles. Copyrighted materials have the highest usage in all three disciplines, and most of the learning activities that were designed for the resources were “reading/viewing/answering study questions.” The study also found that 12 of the 48 courses use copyright materials in the course materials, 14 of the 48 courses use mostly OERs and materials without copyright licenses, and 22 of the 48 use a combination of public domain and copyrighted materials. The next steps recommended as a result of this study is the possible provision of OER repositories to UPOU course authors, increase awareness of creative commons license and encourage the use and sharing of OER among UPOU faculty members and students.

This webinar was preceded by the Webinar on Open Educational Practices in 27 March 2017, done in celebration of the open education week by Hon. Patricia Arinto, UP Faculty Regent and Former Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Education. Videos of the webinars are available at networks.upou.edu.ph. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)