Creative Commons Arab World Hangout on Open Education Week

March 9-13 is Open Education Week (also referenced on social networks under the hashtag ‪#‎OpenEducationWk‬). Riyadh Al-Balushi, contributor to both Creative Commons Arab World and Open MENA, hosted a Google Hangout discussing open education and open educational resources (OER) in the Arab World.

The two speakers on the session were Dr Fawzi Baroud, the Assistant Vice President for Information Technology at Notre Dame University Louaize in Lebanon and Naeema Zarif, the Regional Coordinator for the Arab World at Creative Commons.

The recording of the Arabic language Hangout can be seen below:

The talk discussed what open education means for the Arab World and the opportunities in creates in providing free, high-quality resources for academic institutions and students. Furthermore, we addressed the concept of open education highlighting that Open Education is not just a set of tools and resources, but can also constitute a set of wide-reaching policies for governments as well as academic institutions.

One of the highlights of the session was learning from Dr Fawzi about the OER initiative that NDU Louaize is currently working on. This initiative involves creating a pilot English language course that uses open educational resources that will run side by side along a traditional English language course to test the efficiency and viability of open education at the university.

We learnt from Naeema about some of the OER projects in the Arab world such as UNESCO’s project with Bahrain and Oman to develop national level open education policies as well as the work of the QScience (a project of the Qatar Foundation) in publishing open access academic research.

During the Hangout, we also mentioned the need to create Arabic open educational materials, and discussed the incentives for universities and teachers to open up their teaching materials. Last but not least, we highlighted the need to attend university even if all the materials are available free of charge on the internet.

Read about the previous Creative Commons Hangout on Open Data here.

Posted on: March 14, 2015, by :