UNESCO IITE calls for proposals to develop, coordinate and conduct research, and prepare publication on educational potential of Open Educational Resources

UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) invites interested parties to submit proposals to develop, coordinate and conduct research, and prepare publication on educational potential of Open Educational Resources.

Outline of the project

With adoption of the Ljubljana OER Action Plan at the Second World OER Congress in 2017 and subsequent drafting of an OER Recommendation for possible approval at the 2019 UNESCO General Conference, the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) has now achieved global recognition and, at least in principle, mainstream acceptance.

As UNESCO moves towards adoption of an OER Recommendation, it is essential that research be undertaken to begin probing critically questions:

  • Are growing policy commitments to OER accompanied by financial commitments to invest in content creation or is open licensing driving down the perceived economic value of investing in creating high quality educational content? Are these investments consistent between the developed and the developing world?
  • Is the emergence of OER fostering diversity and inclusion across and within countries or is it facilitating new forms of cultural imperialism? What roles is OER playing in supporting (or impeding) emergence of educational materials in different languages (and especially in languages that are under-represented online)?
  • How strong is the connection in policies supportive of OER to clearly defined pedagogical improvements? Is the emergence of OER driving educational innovation or simply entrenching traditional educational practices?
  • What research is being undertaken alongside OER policy implementation to measure the real educational impact and cost-effectiveness of openly licensing educational materials? Where impact and cost-effectiveness gains have been identified, are these consistent across countries or is open licensing contributing to a greater digital divide?

UNESCO IITE intends to undertake research on the above issues. A methodology will include developing a series of country ‘case studies’ (2-3 countries per UNESCO region) and conducting analysis of the data from those country ‘case studies’ to detect discernible trends and findings that present some initial answers to the questions and to look for patterns and differences across regions.

As a result of the research, an English-language publication comprising a synthesis report and a series of country ‘case studies’ should be produced.

The timeframes of the project will be 1st July, 2018 – 15th December, 2018. The Contractor shall perform the following tasks:

  • Prepare invitation to contribute to publication and template outlining scope of ‘case studies’ based on research questions.
  • Identify potential authors and circulate invitation to contribute ‘case studies’.
  • Conduct desktop research to supplement country ‘case studies’.
  • Receive first draft of country ‘case studies’.
  • Review ‘case studies’ and provide feedback to authors.
  • Receive final ‘case studies’ from authors.
  • Prepare draft synthesis report, drawing from country ‘case studies’ and desktop research.
  • Finalize and edit ‘case studies’.
  • Finalize synthesis report and append ‘case studies’.

Proposal submitted to UNESCO IITE shall include:

  1. Succinct letter describing organization’s capacities.
  2. A description of the design of proposed research, plan of work and estimated costs.

All documents should be submitted by email: e.pushkareva@unesco.org by 25 June, 2018.