The Continued Importance of Open Educational Resources (OER)




OER, Open Educational Resources, Open Educational Practices, distance learning, online learning


The longevity of educational delivery using Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Education Practices (OEP) highlights the ongoing importance of open resources. Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that are created and licensed as either in the public domain or as free, able to be shared, and able to be modified. During the massive uptake of online learning practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, the uptake of OER resources and practices showed only modest growth. Now that the pressure for delivering Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) is off, it’s time to look again at OER as a cost-effective and sustainable way to resource and deliver education practices. McGreal, Macintosh, and Lane continue the OER story from previous articles in this journal, looking specifically at OER-based online micro-courses supporting the UNESCO Strategic Development Goal 4: Education for All. The issue is rounded off with four articles highlighting other areas of flexible learning including learning support, learning satisfaction, learner retention, and learner experience.

Author Biographies

Simon Paul Atkinson, Sijen Education

Simon is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015). He has over 25 years of supporting institutions worldwide in their capacity building around new learning support and delivery forms. He is the current Head of Learning and Development at Independent Schools of New Zealand. Previous leadership roles have included those at Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (2018-2022), BPP University (2011-18), LSE (2010-11), Massey University’s College of Education (2008-2010), University of Hull (2003-2008) and the Institute for Educational Technology at the Open University (2001-2003). Simon holds a PhD in Adult Education in Museum Studies from Leicester University (2019).


Alison Fields, Infosolutions

Alison is an information scientist and Director of Research at InfoSolutions. She conducts research in health information, and contracts in the education sector. She is a fellow of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) and has a Doctorate in Education. Her research areas encompass elearning, online learner support, health information, library services, and continuing professional development. Alison is an executive member of FLANZ and joint Editor of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.

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