n South African Journal of Higher Education - Assessing the potential of OERs for ODL

Volume 27, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article provides a critical assessment of the potential of open educational resources (OERs) for open distance learning (ODL). After providing a definition of OERs it discusses the nature of OERs and explores the growth of the OER community. It also examines the different meanings that 'open' has when dealing with OERs and ODL before exploring the opportunities and possibilities that OERs afford. The article examines whether OERs can assist in the higher education (HE) crisis in terms of available places and whether they can also contribute to sustainable global economic growth. It also draws attention to the dark side of OER adoption, such as information imperialism and the danger that developing nations may only be consumers rather than producers of OERs. It concludes by highlighting the potential of OERs in ODL and draws attention to the need for specific educational practices and actions to facilitate the use of OERs in ODL.

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