Home > Health OER > OER

Open Educational Resources

The faculty continue to publish information from courses and programmes as Open Educational Resources (OER) which are published to the OpenUCT repository. In an attempt to encourage the publication, use and re-use of OER the E-Learning Division in the Department of Health Sciences Education will assist any faculty staff in, 

  • Converting existing material and publish them as OER, including selecting the appropriate licence (Creative Commons), adding that licence to your material (such as images, videos, Presentations etcetera)
  • Finding replacements for copyright material embedded in your course content and/or negotiate for permission to use it, hosting it on Vula and/or publishing it to OpenUCT and OERAfrica.

We also offer these services for new material you would like to create. Should you be in the process of finding new or alternative content for your course(s), you are welcome to approach us for assistance to find such content or source repositories thereof.

What is OER?

OER stands for Open Educational Resources (OER), learning materials that are freely available for use, remixing and redistribution, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or license fees - as would be the case should you use proprietary (copyright) material.

OER in Africa

Open educational resources (OER) are gaining ascendancy in education, particularly in higher education. Logic suggests that the potential benefits of OER are likely to be greatest in resource-poor contexts such as Africa. However, little is known about the feasibility and sustainability of their use in African institutions. In the Health OER Inter-Institutional Project, OER Africa and the University of Michigan collaborated with medical schools in Ghana and South Africa to help develop OER and tools for facilitating the integration of these into the existing curricula. The article draws upon data from the various evaluations of this project as a basis for generating understandings on initiating and sustaining OER in African contexts.
Download the PDF.



Growing an Institutional Health OER Initiative: A Case Study of the University of Cape Town

This case study is the result of semi-structured interviews and email engagement with teaching and support staff involved in OER activities in the Faculty of Health Sciences and the OpenUCT Directory. The contributors, listed at the end of this study, gave their consent for the author to use their names and direct quotations, and their words are included here verbatim. The case study describes the FHS experience with OER, locating it within the UCT OER context and highlighting strategic priorities, perceived benefits, achievements, challenges, production processes, lessons learned, future plans, and advice for others interested in creating their own institutional OER initiatives.

To read the report, click here.

Intellectual Property policy and OER

Creators of Open Educational Resources (OER) are to take note of and act in accordance with the newly-updated Intellectual Property (IP) policy of the University of Cape Town. The updated version now specifically addresses issues relating to the creation of OER resources and the licensing processes to be followed. The policy also now expressly states the support for publication of materials under Creative Commons licenses.

In term of the updates, an Intellectual Property (IP) Advisory Committee is to be established to manage the processes relating to IP for UCT. Section 9 of the policy relates to creators of OER resources. It states that software development projects involving Open Source Licensing (OER) should, from the outset, submit the intended type of license agreement for review to the Research Contracts and Intellectual Property Services (RCIP) office for review in terms of compliance to South Africa’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Act and guidelines.

Notable aspects of the updated policy also include IP related to the creation and licensing of films as a teaching learning medium/tool. Others are (Section 8.2):

  • UCT automatically assigns to the author(s) the copyright, unless UCT has assigned ownership to a third party in terms of a research contract, in:
  • Scholarly and literary publications Paintings, sculptures, drawings, graphics and photographs produced as an art form
  • Recordings of musical performances and musical compositions
  • Course materials, with the provision that UCT retains a perpetual, royalty-free, nonexclusive licence to use, copy and adapt such materials within UCT for the purposes of teaching and or research

For more information, find the full policy document at: the UCT Main Site or visit the RCIPS website

For more information, or to arrange a consultation regarding OER, contact:

Gregory Doyle
E-Learning Manager; Department of Health Sciences Education, Health Sciences Faculty
Education Development Unit
Room 2.14 Anatomy Building
University of Cape Town
Tel: 021 406 6507