In 2018, the Open University commissioned Gabi to carry out an audit of free learning resources available online, to identify what could be useful to refugee learners and the organisations that support them in the UK, and any gaps in provision. This became known as RefER – the Refugees’ open educational resources project.
Gabi led a team of researchers, including Alastair Creelman and Brenda Padilla, as well as Giles Mohan and Heidi McCafferty of the OU’s Research Network in International Development and Inclusive Innovation and myself.
A workshop took place in Glasgow with organisations involved in supporting refugees and asylum seekers to discuss the preliminary findings of the project and to feed into the recommendations. The workshop identified the many barriers to access encountered by refugee learners, not least language, but also looked at creative learning solutions. This included the ‘Co-Co Mooc’ – an online course in how to co-create and curate resources with refugees and asylum seekers.
You can read the report of the project below. It recommends including refugees and asylum seekers in planning and developing learning resources and solutions, recognition of the skills of staff, volunteers and learners, and using the OpenLearn Create platform to curate learning pathways and collections of open educational resources – mapped against UK education frameworks. The free platform also provides the tools for co-creating OER with learners and communities in different languages.
The team also produced an interactive document with links to all the resources identified during the project – over 500 resources in total. The resources are in two sections – those seen as being most relevant for refugees and asylum seekers, and those aimed at practitioners working with them. You can search under headings such as ESOL, basic maths, citizenship, welfare and digital literacy. For organisations, there are headings such as voluntary sector, inclusion and migration policy.
Please feel free to add any resources you use to the document and share it with learners and organisations who may find it useful. We’ve done a lot of searching so you don’t have to!