The term Open Educational Resources (OER) encompasses learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others. A healthy volume of OER are increasingly made available, and can be accessible by many students. However, disabled students who typically depends on certain applications or devices that has accessibility features require the OER to have inclusivity design in order gain the same benefits. Unfortunately, educational contents that are free access are still limited in many disciplines and many was not designed for inclusivity.
The National Inclusive Open Educational Resources (iOER) Policy that was established by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) in 2021 was a response to the need for ensuring inclusive learning opportunities that benefit all learners, including those that are differently-abled, in Malaysia. This innovative policy is aligned with the implementation of the 2019 UNESCO Recommendation on OER adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference at its 40th session. Following on from such aspirations and national higher education policy, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) took steps in line for the implementation of Putra Inclusive Open Educational Resources (PutraOER) in UPM for the benefits of registered students and the society. Therefore, the principles of PutraOER is to support the creation, access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation, and redistribution of inclusive and equitable quality OER for all learners, irrespective of, inter alia, age, gender, physical ability, and socioeconomic status, as well as those in vulnerable situations. The initiative aims to put forth the expertise from UPM to benefit global learners while emphasizing inclusivity.
The PutraOER initiative is based on inclusivity principles to allow any student to benefit from the shared content, and has the following criteria:
a. Open to any learner categories
Free and unrestricted access to learning materials to all students, including students who have been marginalized in many educational settings: and students from low-income communities and minorities, students with less disabled (OKU), gifted students, students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and students in rural areas.
b. iOER creation and reuse based on Creative Commons
PutraOER provides an opportunity for all UPM students and staff to contribute to and participate in the creation, reuse, adaptation (curation and remixing) and redistribution of iOER materials by using Creative Commons licensing either CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, CC-BY-NC, or CC-BY-NC-SA attribution.
c. Any medium
Teaching, learning and research materials in any medium (digital or otherwise) that are published in the public domain or have been released under an open license that allows free and unrestricted access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others.
d. Any content
Can be in any form that is useful for teaching, learning and assessment, as well as for research purposes. The content could be accessed and processed by the learners, oftenly through certain tools according to the student’s accessibility level. More information on the types of OER materials are as follows: