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UNESCO/ICDE Chair Rory McGreal


The UNESCO/ICDE Chair in OER brings together the significant commitment and action of Athabasca University in support of open education, and the large international community of interest originally sponsored by Athabasca University, the province of Alberta, UNESCO, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Commonwealth of Learning.

The UNESCO/ICDE Chair in OER continues to focus on supporting OER initiatives institutionally, nationally and internationally particularly in developing countries supporting primarily Strategic Development Goal 4: Education for All.

The Chair focuses on the following activities:

  • Maintaining the OER Knowledge Cloud, a repository of more than 2500 scholarly articles and reports on OER.
  • Serving as Editor of International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL), a scholarly journal that publishes articles related to OER and open practices.
  • Maintain the Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research (CIDER) which disseminates research internationally through monthly seminars.
  • Supporting the OER universitas (OERu) global consortium of institutions using OER to support informal learning paths to formal accreditation.
  • Maintaining the international OER community of Chairs and enabling an international OER Network. The objective is to build the capacity of institutions, particularly those in the developing countries to assemble, create, adapt, modify, localize and reuse OER, and to conduct research into the benefits and problems associated with introducing and deploying OER in institutions.
  • Continuing to collaborate with the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN), essentially moving from a community of interest to develop a community of practice, recognizing the priority areas (SDGs) identified by UNESCO - Africa and youth, as well as the need for gender equity.
  • Outputs and outcomes include sustaining the international OER Community; building the international OER Graduate Network; mapping OER initiatives worldwide; maintaining a significant online presence; and promoting IRRODL as a journal that includes OER research for information sharing and dissemination.

» Read more about the Athabasca University OER Chair

» UNESCO Canada Chair description


3 Minute UNESCO Canada Video