OER: Solution to Accessible Learning - NOUN VC

By Undiandeye Justina

The vice-chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof.Olufemi Peters, has identified Open Educational Resources (OER) as an integral part of open solutions to learning which has facilitated access to proper learning materials for both teaching and learning at reduced cost.

Peters stated this in his opening remarks at a workshop with the theme,  _Open Education Resources and Repository Content Development_

The workshop collaboratively organised  by NOUN’s Open and Educational Resources (OER), Regional Training and Research Institute for Distance and Open Learning (RETRIDOL)   and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) was declared open on the 1st and would continue till 17th December 2021 at the university's headquarters in Jabi, Abuja.

‘’This will help  both the students and teachers as the students will understand more, while the teachers will struggle less especially as research findings have proven that  those who use OER perform better than those who do not," he said.

The vice-chancellor elaborated that the resources have been of immense support to students, not just in our local universities but also from within and without the country.

Peters, who was represented by the deputy vice-chancellor (Administration), Prof. Isaac Butswat, stated that OER played a role in the implementation of academic policies, and in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (in the case of NOUN), played a facilitating role in the evolvement of national policy on OERs, making Nigeria one of the only two African countries to have an OER policy.

He observed the "the collaboration with COL was of immense value to the university," adding, ‘’I was enthusiastic about the  success of the workshop and pleased that it was for the upliftment of the profile of the university," he stated.


L-R: Prof. Isaac Butswat (DVC Admin.) and Prof.Christine Ofulue (Director RETRIDOL) 

The center director, RETRIDOL, Prof Christine Ofulue, in her welcome address, said that the workshop was the first to be held since her assumption of office a few weeks ago, and that the workshop was pertinent to the operations of the centre.

She also stated that RETRIDOL served as the center for expertise not just in the university but in the West Africa sub region.

According to Ofulue, OER is a necessity. She observed that there is an acceleration in its usage, which has become even more apparent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She opined that the resources have the potential to reduce cost and increase the quality of teaching and learning.

Ofulue also mentioned that the major difference between OER and other learning materials is that the former has an open licence which allows for adaptation and reuse without any copyright issue.

Professor Ibrahim Salawu, director, Course Material Development Unit (CMDU), in his goodwill message said that the workshop came at a very appropriate time as it was the time all faculties were trying to improve on their contents and the university management is also trying to broaden its content delivery because accreditation exercises would soon be held.

Salawu thanked RETRIDOL, Directorate of Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) and the COL, for supporting the efforts of the university. He was positive that lecturers would benefit from the workshop.