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Guidelines for open educational resources (OER) in higher education

Open educational resources (OER) are materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified, and shared. These Guidelines outline key issues and make suggestions for integrating OER into higher education.

Their purpose is to encourage decision makers in governments and institutions to invest in the systematic production, adaptation and use of OER and to bring them into the mainstream of higher education in order to improve the quality of curricula and teaching and to reduce costs.

Given the potential of OER to improve higher education systems, UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) have developed these Guidelines, after broad consultations with stakeholders in all regions of the world, to support governments, higher education institutions/providers, academic staff, student bodies and quality assurance/accreditation and recognition bodies. A UNESCOCOL companion document, A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER) (2011; 2015), provides more detailed information about all aspects of OER.



  • Collation: 27 p.
  • ISBN: 978-1-894975-42-1 (Eng); 978-9-232000-50-7 (Fre); 978-9-233000-19-3 (Spa); 978-9-237000-04-5 (Por); 978-5-905385-13-1 (Rus)
  • Publication year:  2011; 2015
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