Draft National Higher Education OER Policy
List of Abbreviations
CC Creative Commons
COL Commonwealth of Learning
CVC Committee of Vice Chancellors
FCT Federal Capital Territory
FGN Federal Government of Nigeria
FME Federal Ministry of Education
ICT Information and Communication Technology
IT Information Technology
JAMB Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board
NBTE National Board for Technical Education
NCE National Council of Education
NgREN Nigerian Research and Education Network
NIALS Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
NITDA National Information Technology Development Agency
NOUN National Open University of Nigeria
NTI National Teachers’ Institute
NUC National Universities Commission
ODL Open and Distance Learning
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OER Open Educational Resources
RENs Research and Education Network
SC Standing Committee
SDG Sustainable Development Goals
TESSA Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
TETFund Tertiary Education Trust Fund
UNESCO United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation
YCT Yaba College of Technology
1.0 Scope of the Policy
1.1: This policy provides guidelines for the creation and use of open educational resources (hereinafter referred as OER) to increase access to and support quality teaching, leaning and research in the Nigerian higher education system. In doing so, the policy seeks to strengthen commitment to OER by higher education institutions and all concerned stakeholders. For the purposes of this policy, higher education institutions shall include universities, polytechnics, monotechnics, innovation centres and research institutes as well as other institutions recognised under this category by the National Policy on Education.
1.2: The policy shall be applied to all publicly-funded higher education teaching and learning materials developed by higher education institutions in Nigeria, as well as to various ministries and other agencies. Educational/research institutions and autonomous bodies developing teaching and learning materials using public funds will be guided by this policy and shall undertake appropriate steps to adopt OER. Also, any private university, institution or organisation which develops any educational resource using public funds, donor-provided funds or their own funds shall be encouraged to apply the policy. However, in all cases, the release of works under an open licence will follow the Nigerian Copyright Act, CAP C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
2.0 Goals of the Policy
The goals of this policy shall be to:
2.1: provide a comprehensive framework for the use of OER to enhance access to and create qualitative educational resources that support quality teaching and learning in Nigerian higher education;
2.2: Strengthen commitment to OER by all concerned stakeholders in higher education I n Nigeria;
2.3: improve access to quality learning content developed with public funds by releasing them under a suitable open licence;
2.4: reduce barriers to education, including access, cost, language and format;
2.5: trigger free access to educational materials that can be reused and repurposed in different formats;
2.6: stimulate a healthy academic culture of knowledge sharing;
2.7: ensure equity in access to knowledge, thus expanding outreach to disadvantaged and marginalised communities; and
2.8: democratise inclusive education for learners with varying abilities.
Pursuant to the above goals
i. Higher education regulatory agencies and all higher education institutions in Nigeria shall be committed to the philosophy of OER in raising awareness, building capacity and fostering positive attitudes in educators, learners and researchers regarding the development and use of OER, with a view to enhancing quality and equity in education.
ii. Being educational resources that are freely and openly available, OER shall be used by educators and learners in the production of teaching and learning materials to meet institutional and national curriculum requirements.
iii. The government shall be committed to investing in the development of materials and curriculum design on a regular basis and to encouraging the creation of high-quality, openly licensed learning resources to improve the quality of teaching, learning and research.
iv. Educators, learners, researchers and institutions shall be encouraged to pool and share resources in order to develop OER.
v. Regulatory agencies shall encourage institutions to contextualise the processes for the development of materials in different ways to reward collaborative activity and encourage the production of new materials.
vi. The existing enabling environments for ICT — including infrastructure, Internet connectivity and emerging technologies such as mobile technology — shall be fully contextualised to facilitate access to and redistribution of openly licensed teaching, learning and research resources.
3.0 Teaching and Learning
3.1: Teachers, learners and researchers shall be encouraged to harness the potentials of OER to improve learning outcomes.
3.2: The availability of OER shall require teachers to adopt new methods of teaching and learning to facilitate more interactive learning processes.
3.3: Academic staff shall be encouraged to integrate OER and contextualise these for teaching, learning and research as appropriate. This will facilitate the updating of curricula with the most recent developments in a given field.
3.4: Students shall be oriented towards the appropriate use of OER and guided to explore additional resources beyond their curriculum to develop self-directed learning abilities. Students shall be encouraged to become content producers rather than solely content consumers.
4.0 Capacity Building
4.1: Awareness-raising, capacity-building and networking/sharing activities of all stakeholders shall be encouraged, to develop the full range of competencies required for the effective use of OER. These activities shall aim to foster a shared vision for open educational practices, which shall be aligned with the government’s educational vision and mission.
4.2: Training programmes on copyright and OER shall be supported through appropriate schemes, and institutions shall be encouraged to conduct such programmes on a regular basis.
4.3: Institutions shall be encouraged to adopt copyright policies and OER policies to clarify the rights and responsibilities of academics and researchers to use, develop and share educational materials with open licences.
4.4 Individuals developing quality OER shall be appropriately acknowledged and institutions shall be encouraged to institute their own mechanisms to reward and acknowledge champions supporting OER integration into teaching and learning.
4.5 A national scheme shall be initiated for contributors to OER to be acknowledged and rewarded for collaborating and sharing in the creation of new OER, as well as adapting existing OER.
5.0 OER Material Development
5.1: As educational resources that are freely and openly available, OER shall be used by academics, students and researchers in the production of teaching, learning and research materials as per the institutional and national curriculum requirements.
5.2: Regulatory agencies shall provide support to institutions (individually or collectively) to produce and share high-quality educational resources to update and upgrade curricula and teaching materials.
5.3: OER produced by faculty members shall be seen as intellectual products that count towards professional advancement. The appointment letters of faculty members shall indicate the production and integration of OER in their teaching as one of the core activities of academic staff, to encourage the use of OER.
5.4: Efforts shall be made to contextualise and customise the creation of OER in order to promote local content .
6.0 Quality Assurance
6.1: All OER shall be subjected to appropriate quality assurance processes before being released to the public.
6.2: Available guidelines for assuring the quality of OER shall be appropriately contextualised, and a mechanism for review and approval (including peer review and user ratings) of OER shall be developed.
6.3: The quality review of OER shall include content quality, pedagogical quality and media/presentation quality.
6.4: Regulatory agencies shall encourage and acknowledge the appropriate adaptation of OER in its criteria for programme accreditation.
6.5: Every institution that creates, adopts, adapts, re-uses, re-purposes OER shall be encouraged and supported to create an internal quality assurance mechanism to review and approve OER before releasing them into repositories.
7.0 Infrastructure and Connectivity
7.1: A national repository of publicly funded higher education OER shall be maintained by the National Universities Commission.
7.2: The requisite environment for ICT, including infrastructure, Internet connectivity and emerging technologies such as mobile technology, shall be fully integrated to facilitate access to and redistribution of openly licensed teaching, learning and research resources.
7.3: Broadband access in higher education institutions shall be strengthened.
7.4: Educational institutions shall be encouraged to set up their own repositories of OER using open-source software and technologies.
7.5: All OER shall be released in open, non-proprietary formats.
7.6: In the event that a proprietary software/format is used, the source file in its final version along with the relevant application program interfaces shall be made available to facilitate reuse.
7.7: Appropriate care shall be taken to develop OER for learners with disabilities.
7.8: Guidelines for the development of digital content and repositories with World Wide Web Consortium compliance shall be established.
8.0 Implementation Strategy
8.1: A standing committee at each regulatory agency shall be tasked with the responsibility of guiding the implementation of the OER policy in each of the different clusters of higher education institutions.
8.2: The standing committee shall include eminent educationists, Heads of Institutions, media experts, legal experts and other stakeholders. The committee shall develop norms, specifications, guidelines, evaluation criteria, monitoring and evaluation strategies etc. to guide the implementation of the OER policy.
8.3: The regulatory agencies shall make appropriate budgetary provision to support the promotion of OER as indicated in the policy.
8.4: The standing committee may meet as and when needed. However, it should meet at least once a year to review progress.
8.5: Each regulatory agency shall be the nodal agency for undertaking capacity building and research on OER in its cluster of higher education Institutions.
8.6: The OER policy shall be reviewed at regular intervals (with the first review occurring after five years of implementation).
9.0 Institutional Arrangements
9.1: All higher education institutions shall be encouraged to develop their own institutional OER policy aligned with the national OER policy.
9.2: All institutions shall create institutional repositories to share teaching, learning and research materials on the Web.
9.3: In addition to encouraging Faculty members to develop complete textbooks and courses using multiple media, institutions shall facilitate the reuse, revision and remixing of existing openly licensed materials in their teaching.
9.4: Institutions shall be encouraged to develop contextualized and customized materials reflecting the peculiarities of their localities.
10.0 Intellectual Property Rights and Licences
10.1: All teaching, learning and research materials developed with public funds shall be released with an appropriate open licence and made available online to the public in editable digital formats.
10.2: Teaching, research and learning resources shall be openly licensed when the copyright of the work is held by publicly funded institutions
10.3: Teaching, learning and research resources shall be openly licensed when created by a grantee or contractor receiving public funds.
10.4: The preferred open licences are the most current versions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY), Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) and Creative Commons-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) licences.
10.5: Institutions shall reserve the right to license their copyrighted work using the most current version of the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives (CC BY-ND) or Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licences under the following conditions:
i. Where any derivative would affect the reputation of the agency or the integrity and authenticity of the work (CC BY-ND is suggested).
ii. Where the derivative or otherwise commercial circulation of the work would adversely affect the agency’s operation and economic viability.
10.6: Exceptions: The OER policy shall not apply to any work if releasing the work under an open licence would:
i. be contrary to legislation, court order or specific government policy;
ii. constitute a breach of contract or lead to disclosure of a trade secret; and/or
iii. prevent the patenting of an invention.