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Using open and distance learning to support the Sustainable Development Goals

What is Open Learning?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for anyone to use. OERs support access to knowledge and are core to The Open University’s (OU) social mission.  The OU is a world leader in the development of OERs which can include materials aimed at teachers and students, materials available to print and digital resources, such as video and audio content.

The Open University publishes its international development OER projects under Creative Commons licences. Creative Commons is an organisation providing ready-made licensing agreements that are less restrictive than the "all rights reserved" terms of standard international copyright. Depending on the specific version of the licence (there are six in total) users can: remix, edit, extract and build upon the resources for both commercial and non-commercial activities usually as long as they credit The Open University for the original content.

Our international development OER projects include:

  • TESS-India (Teacher Education through School-based Support in India) is working with the Indian Government to help India reach its target of free, compulsory and quality education for all children by 2017.
  • TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa) brings together teachers and teacher educators from across Africa. It offers a range of materials (Open Educational Resources) in four languages to support school based teacher education and training.
  • HEAT (Health Education and Training Programme) is a radical programme launched in early 2011, designed to reach and help train frontline healthcare workers across sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The OU has worked with Save the Children to develop their training resources focused on Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning, and Advocacy and Campaigning. These OERs can be used by other organisations to supplement their own staff training.