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Wikiwijs: An unexpected journey and the lessons learned towards OER

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The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has funded a five years program to encourage the use, creation and sharing of Open Educational Resources (OER) by teachers from various types of education. This program is known as Wikiwijs. Ultimo 2013, the program has come to an end. As some of the assumptions at the start of Wikiwijs proved to work out in unexpected ways the lessons learned could fuel the next steps in developing Wikiwijs. Besides, other national initiatives on opening up education1 may also benefit from the lessons learned reported here. The main conclusion from five years Wikiwijs was that to accomplish mainstreaming OER, the Wikiwijs program should go along with other interventions that are more oriented toward prescriptive policies and regulations. In particular: the Dutch government should be more directive in persuading executive boards and teachers on schools to adopt OER as an important part of educational reform and the acquisition of 21st century skills.
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... This is largely attributed to the inability of both teachers and learners to access key learning resources such as electronic textbooks (e-textbooks) and other online materials, including reliable internet connectivity (Atenas et al., 2014). Teachers and learners also contend with skills' gap and technical barriers for use and access to OERs, limited reward and time for development of OERs contents, inequitable access to bandwidth and connectivity, and unclear/restrictive institutional policies (Atenas et al., 2014;Schuwer et al., 2014). These circumstances explain why Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted a policy to make scholarly work and materials freely available online for students', teachers' and the public's access (Schuwer et al., 2014). ...
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