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RMIT fosters open educational resources

Released at: 19:28, 08/11/2017

RMIT fosters open educational resources


RMIT Vietnam's Library team showcased the university's use of open educational resources at a recent conference.

At the recent CODE Education Conference: Transforming Space in Higher Education, presenters from RMIT Vietnam’s Library showcased the university’s use of open educational resources (OERs) - educational materials in the public domain that anyone can legally and freely use and share.

The conference was held at both RMIT Vietnam locations, with more than 75 guests attending the October 23 event in Hanoi and more than 200 at Saigon South campus. The impressive turnout demonstrates the impact its Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) is having in the region.

Ms. Clare O’Dwyer, RMIT Vietnam’s Head of Library Services and Student Academic Success, said the university is an enthusiastic supporter of open educational resources.

“OERs offer a great opportunity for educational institutions around the world to work together and elevate the quality of teaching,” she said. “RMIT Vietnam is developing a number of OER projects, and we’re delighted to contribute to the building the OER community in Vietnam.”

One of those projects is RMIT Vietnam Library’s Open Educational Resources Guide.

Funded by CODE, the Guide provides open-license and high-quality learning and teaching materials from prestigious universities around the world, with the aim of supporting learning, teaching, and research activities at RMIT and other universities in Vietnam.

RMIT Vietnam’s Digital Services Librarian, Mr. Do Van Chau, said the Guide contains a collection of diverse resources.

“The resources vary from textbooks, course syllabi, lecture notes and readings to conference papers, journal articles, and reports and theses,” Mr. Chau told the conference.

The platform is closely linked to and shares relevant content with the RMIT Vietnam Learning Lab and RMIT Research Repository - two other OER projects at the university.

The CODE-supported RMIT Vietnam Learning Lab provides access to a wide range of online resources to help improve skills in general academic study, writing, math, statistics, physics, and chemistry.

The RMIT Research Repository, meanwhile, provides public users with free, searchable full-text access to research publications authored by RMIT University staff and students all over the world. The Repository currently holds 44,359 records.

Besides building a collection of resources, adoption and usage are also important components of successful OER practice. In his presentation, delivered alongside Nguyen Tran Minh Chau, RMIT Vietnam Liaison Librarian, Mr. Chau emphasized the importance of promoting OER usage in the greater community.

“To encourage the use of OER in learning and teaching, RMIT Vietnam has provided consultation on planning and development of OER collections with other universities in Vietnam,” Mr. Chau said of RMIT Vietnam’s plans to team up with other universities to develop the OER community in the country.

As a result, the OER platform model has been successfully adopted by many universities, including Dong A University, Hoa Sen University, and Ba Ria Vung Tau University. RMIT Vietnam’s OER collections are currently embedded as trusted resources in these schools’ OER platforms.

For even greater impact, the university plans to collaborate with the Vietnamese Library Association of Southern Academic Libraries (VILASAL) and the Vietnam Northern Academic Library Association (NALA) to form a group of OER experts. The group’s mission is to consult with and help major libraries in Vietnam to develop OER as well as share OER best practices to build communities of practice in Vietnam.

The project is endorsed by the RMIT Melbourne Library team, which remains committed to sharing resources and expertise with the OER Group in Vietnam.

This was the second annual education conference for CODE, which RMIT Vietnam founded in 2016 with the aim of cultivating, showcasing, and promoting digital best practice throughout the region.

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