The UNESCO Chair on Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Learning at the Jozef Stefan Institute and University of Nova Gorica have launched a tuition-free international online mentoring programme with the title Open Education for a Better World, to unlock the potential of open education in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The programme is at the forefront of combining OER and SDGs and helping create a more personal approach towards building OER that can inform, educate and present value in new ways.

The programme is an attempt towards implementing the 2017 Ljubljana OER Action Plan and is a focused action to mainstream open-licensed resources to build Knowledge Societies and achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 4 on “quality and lifelong education.”

The Mentoring Programme “Open Education for a Better World” (OE4BW) is a half year-long programme for students from all backgrounds, regions and continents with the potential and desire to employ Open Educational Resources to solve large scale and relevant problems important in relation to today’s global landscape.

The programme with over 40 mentors takes place over half a calendar year, starting from January, through to July 2018.  All mentoring sessions and events take place online and comprise of one final end-of-year, that is designed to help students finalise their work. OE4BW mentees will be expected to attend the final event.

The Mentoring Programme involves successful applicants that have been paired with experts who act as their mentors for the half calendar year.

The Mentoring Programme currently supports 14 students ensuring they settle in quickly and are able to achieve their potential and is specifically designed for each of the problems they are trying to solve under the supervision of 40 mentors.

This year’s students and mentors are coming from around all the world; Brazil, China, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, India, Nigeria, Malaysia, Malawi, Mauritius, Netherlands, Peru, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Canada, Fiji, India, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, USA and Uzbekistan.

The student’s projects being mentored are applicative ideas that use Open Educational Resources as an end result to respond to real-life specific educational challenges. The goal of the programme is to design and implement an OER that will unlock potentials and bring benefits to many at no cost for participants. The OERs will be available in different languages.

The second cohort of students will be enrolled in October 2019 for mentorships taking place from January to July 2019. We expect even more applicants and mentors from all around the world to work on their OER projects and we encourage more educators with the grit to change the World for the better to apply, and develop their free, open and multilingual OERs.

The programme is being designed and developed by Mitja Jermol, UNESCO Chairholder at JSI and Head of Centre for Knowledge Transfer in Information Technologies and Tanja Urbancic, the Dean of the School of Engineering and Management at the University of Nova Gorica where she is a researcher and full professor in the field of computer science.

There are currently 14 projects that are part of the first batch of the Programme, which students and mentors are actively finalising:

 

  1. Control of Diabetic Retinopathy
  2. Why infrastructure matters?
  3. Computer Automation
  4. Realizing traditional built heritage for sustainability
  5. Learning Design for Post-Secondary Courses using SDGs and OER
  6. Creating dynamic online courses
  7. Open Education Resources (OER) for Statistic and Probability in Pacific
  8. Archive in Fine Arts and Literature
  9. Professional Development through Collaborative Learning and Open Education Practices for Language Education
  10. Use of OER in Teaching and Learning
  11. Virtualização: Atividades Culturais Como Complemento Da Educação
  12. Booklets for midwifery students in Low and Medium Resources Countries
  13. Catalyzing Change: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in a Global Perspective
  14. Mliteracy