- Published on 03 September 2013
- Written by Saomya Saxena
- Hits: 800
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India has launched a National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER ). The development of it has been a combined effort of the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, the Central Institute of Educational Technology, National Council of Educational Research and Training and Metastudio, which is the platform that hosts the Repository.
NROER is a solution developed to address the challenges faced by the education sector of our country. It intends to reach the unreached, include the excluded and prioritizes to extend education to all. It is a collaborative platform involving everyone who is interested in education. It offers resources for all school subjects and grades in multiple languages. It brings together all the digital resources for a school system such as educational videos, audio, images, documents and interactive modules and also allows you to contribute your own resources.
The Repository is based on the concept of Semantic Maps. It organizes its collections into the ever growing semantic maps of concepts. The map itself is a learning resource for teachers, through which they can critically assess the curriculum and aids them in the construction of their own unique learning themes for their classrooms. The digital resources are all mapped to subjects, which currently are divided into 5 categories namely, Math, Science, Social Science, Languages and Art Education. Each subject has a list of concepts. This enables access to a library from where teachers can access audio, videos, learning objects, images, question banks, activities/presentations and more related to the concepts. They can also upload resources which are subject to review by experts. In addition to this, NROER allows teachers to download, share, comment and rate media resources.
Objectives of NROER are:
- To store, preserve and provide access to a variety of digital resources to students and teachers.
- To enable the participation of the community in the development and sharing of digital resources.
- To enhance the quality of the education system of the country.
- To facilitate teachers to create and share contextual teaching and learning resources.
- To celebrate innovations in resource creation.
Features of NROER are:
- Open access to anyone who wants to access the resources.
- Resources are available for free.
- Resources are share-able.
- Resources are available in the form of discrete chunks in contrast to those available as bulk and make it difficult for a person to segregate information from them.
- Eliminates the need of research from several places, since all resources on any particular subject or topic you desire are present in one place and are comprehensive.
- Resources sometimes may need to be contextualized, by wraparound materials that support them.
- Resources can be added to the NROER pool, subject to proper licensing.
This initiative is also a significant step towards inclusive education. Opening access to all requires a debate on the issue of ownership, copyright, licensing and a balancing of reach with legitimate commercial interests. This is particularly important for public institutions and public funded projects. NROER frees itself of these boundations since it carries the CC BY-SA license which allows it to legally reuse, revise, remix and redistribute content. To contribute to the repository, one must ensure that they are hosting the resources under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA) and that the documents uploaded are encoded using non-proprietary, open standards.
Also, to ensure the smooth functioning and to properly avail the services of the Repository, one needs to take support of various ICT (Information and Communications Technology) tools, which enhance the utility and add value to it.
Hence, the NROER is a comprehensive digital repository for open Educational Resources (OER ), which in addition to providing opportunities for users to access and create educational resources also allows them to enroll in various online courses and participate in online contests.
I hope this will open doors to new ways of interactive learning for the students and teachers and will revolutionize the entire education system of our country. We are most willing to address any doubts you have related to the context and invite you to share with us any additional knowledge you may possess on the same. The Comment Box awaits you.