The relevance of open educational resources (OER) has been propelled by the ever noticeable presence of information and communication technology (ICT) initiatives in the higher education landscape, which simplify the search for inputs on a particular subject. It is now possible to get multiple inputs from various universities on the same subject, through an OER . The Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) organised a two-day symposium last week to draw an action plan to further the cause of OER. The action plan stressed the need to leverage existing ICT facilities as well as other untapped options for OER. The plan categorically stated that content repositories will be developed in as many subjects as possible and that content translation will be organised systematically. Enhancing the scope of community radios, creation of common access to OER through free softwares like Skype and creation of metadata formed the other points of the action plan.
While sharing thoughts at the symposium, Ashok C Kolaskar, former vice-chancellor, Pune University, reported that the full potential of open and distance learning (ODL) and open education (OE) in India has not been harnessed due to the lack of appropriate coursewares. He reiterated the need to develop a mechanism to create and make accessible standard quality, usable and appropriate coursewares for ODL and OE in forms of repositories. The symposium, among other things, emphasised the need to educate people about the educational scope and benefits of IT in general. It also resolved to develop community level partnership in relation to issues like general education, computer literacy and documentation of environmental and ecological stock.