Opening up Down Under: the role of open educational resources in promoting social inclusion in Australia

Bossu, Carina; Bull, David and Brown, Mark (2012). Opening up Down Under: the role of open educational resources in promoting social inclusion in Australia. Distance Education, 33(2) pp. 151–164.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2012.692050

Abstract

This article discusses the role of open and distance learning to widen participation and promote social inclusion within Australian higher education, as well as the benefits that open educational resources (OER) could bring to that context. It also explores some of the most relevant social inclusion policies and related initiatives developed in Australia over the past two decades and their implications for OER. The article then reports the findings of an environmental scan of the use of OER across the higher education sector in Australia as part of a centrally funded research project. The research identifies a number of misconceptions within the higher education community about the nature of OER and reveals the lack of awareness regarding the potential of OER to close the gap between formal and informal education in Australia. Despite the strong evidence of the educational possibilities of OER, they are yet to play a significant role in promoting social inclusion Down Under.

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