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Establishing OER practice in India: The University of Madras

TitleEstablishing OER practice in India: The University of Madras
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHarishankar, B. V.
EditorsDhanarajan, G., & Porter D.
PublisherCommonwealth of Learning
Series TitlePerspectives on open and distance learning: Open Educational Resources: An Asian perspective
Date Published01/2013
Secondary PublisherOER Asia
Place PublishedVancouver, BC
Publication Languageen
Keywordscollaborative mechanisms, collaborative teaching–learning, OER creation process, open technology tools, reuse potential

Open educational resources (OER) are a nascent phenomenon in India, enabled by the growth of information and communication technologies and open source technologies. OER herald a context wherein knowledge and education are free in terms of content, teaching–learning practices and technology. OER also demand that there be freedom to access, use, modify and reuse. However, institutional policies, individual mindsets, copyright issues and restrictions of proprietary software hinder the actualisation of this collaborative ideal. At present, there are no clear exemplars of OER in India and no benchmarks either.

The International Development Research Centre-funded PANdora sub-project, entitled, “Evaluation of the Effectiveness of RLO-Based OER in Enhancing Soft Skills of Students” and carried out at the University of Madras, is an attempt to design and create OER, assess them for their reuse potential and evaluate the impact on individuals(teachers and learners) and participating institutions. The underlying belief is that in India, OER cannot succeed only as a social responsibility but must offer frames for collaborative teaching–learning, and provide viable models and mechanisms for reuse. The present study records the different steps in the OER process, from conception to evaluation and reuse, which involve:
• Assessing the readiness of individuals and institutions to embrace OER.
• Devising collaborative mechanisms.
• Matching technologies and pedagogies by creating templates.
• Designing content that has the potential for the four Rs.


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