As part of Al Quds Open University's efforts to promote and enrich Arabic open educational resources on the Internet; QOU is currently developing a smart course on (OER-Open Educational Recourses) titled "Smart application on open educational resources (its concept, usages and best practices)”, implementing an agreement signed between the University and UNESCO (Cairo Regional Office) in cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Education
In a press release, issued by the Information Department, Al-Quds Open University commented, "The signing came after the University, as a main party in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, submitted a proposal directed to all Arabic speakers all around the world.
The press release stated that the project mainly aims to raise awareness of Open Educational Resources and their importance in terms of production, reuse and redistribution according to high quality standards, to improve the quality of education and its outputs.
This project is considered one of the most successful projects on the level of the Arab region, which came after UNESCO, last June, announced a call for proposal to support the development of the Open Educational Resource (OER)sector in the Arab region.
The Project Manager of Al Quds Open University, DR. Eng. Islam Amr, commented that the aim of the project is to increase awareness of Open Educational Resources and to enhance the main skills to use these resources. This comes under the guidance of the University Presidency represented by Prof. Younis Amr, President of the University, and within the vision of the University to promote the open educational system and ensure the needed resources.
Dr. Eng. Amr explained that the project is implemented within the framework of the cooperation agreement between the Continuing Education and Community Service Center of Al Quds Open University and the Queen Rania Al Abdullah Center for Education and Information Technology of the Jordanian Ministry of Education and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for four months.
Dr. Eng. Amr added that, within this course, we shall assist academics and teachers from Arab countries to acquire and enhance the skills and knowledge they need to benefit from the rich capacity of open electronic content. They will learn how to integrate Open Educational Resources into their courses and lessons; reuse of electronic content; and how and where to publish OER? How to establish sustainable communities to exchange initiatives, ideas and experiences? TOT workshops will also be held in Palestine and Jordan.
The project consists of five phases: first, identifying the needs by decision makers, academics and teachers in Jordan and Palestine, the second phase is creating educational content, which is carried out in cooperation between experts from the University and international experts based on the results of need assessment. The Open Learning Center will implement the third and fourth phases through the educational design of the course and developing it into smart application. Two workshops will be held in Jordan and Palestine for the TOT, and the beneficiaries of these workshops will evaluate the course.
Dr. Eng. Amr clarified that the project aims at enhancing the culture and practices of open educational resources in the Arab countries, assessing and increasing the understanding of OER in the Arab countries, especially in Jordan and Palestine, increasing the possibilities of improving the quality of education and learning outcomes, and establishing regional groups for open educational practices with coordination bodies in Palestine and Jordan . Furthermore, examine the constraints on the development and reuse of OER in Palestine and Jordan, and finally to disseminate experiences related to the development and adoption of OER.
It is also worth mentioning that the project's outputs will be the development of a smart application directed to all Arab learners, and the training of 40 participants from Palestine and Jordan (academics, teachers and decision-makers). Later on, these participants will be qualified to conduct training courses in their workplaces to spread the gained skills to their colleagues and students.
The project outcome will also produce a series of short videos on OER that will be published online and broadcasted on Al Quds Educational Channel.