Saide’s OER Africa Initiative has been working with the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) assisting them in institutionalizing Open Educational Resources (OER) at the university, including supporting the review and updating of various OER related institutional policies. OUT joined the global movement celebrating Open Education Week by hosting an Open Educational Resources workshop at the Distance Education Association of Tanzania's National Conference where they took the opportunity to launch their OER Policy.
The OER policy was developed in collaboration with Commonwealth of Learning (www.col.org) and the OER Africa (www.oerafrica.org). This policy will now be used by the academic community at OUT to guide them through their OER development, management, and usage processes. The default licence that OUT has embraced for all OER teaching and learning material is CC BY-NC while for selected research and official publication it is CC BY ND. The OER policy can be accessed in the OUT website.
The OER institutional repository that was also launched will serve as a gate way to information resources for the global academic community because it contains open access resources that are freely available with little restrictions. Authors and the general public who will use this repository will greatly benefit from the increased dissemination of the work.
Towards the end of the workshop an OER nework chapter was proposed which envisions to facilitate collaboration among higher education institutions that were present from Tanzania and abroad on various OER initiatives such as policy development, capacity building, content development and many more other OER related initiatives. All the participants received an OER package that included an intensive 2 hours short course on understanding OER that was developed by the Commonwealth of Learning with the objective of spreading the OER fire at their home institutions.
The event was attended by 49 participants and the guest of Honour who was the District Commissioner for Mpwapwa, Mr Jabir Shekimwen, commended and congratulated OUT and its collaborating partners for developing and launching OER policy and the repository as well as taking bold steps towards promoting OER in Tanzania. He also challenged the OER team at OUT to work towards translating the launched OER policy into Swahili, the local language.