LIDA103 Solving real-world problems with OER

Stimulus resource


  1. Scan the list of sustainable development goals
  2. Think of an idea for a learning project that could be incorporated into an OERu course where learners work on real-world problems releasing their outputs as OER.
  3. Share your project idea by posting on this “Solving real world problems forum”.
  4. “Favourite” or “like” good ideas posted in the forum.
  5. Join the discussion by posting replies and suggestions for refining project ideas.

The OERu international partnership will endeavour to integrate outstanding ideas into future courses (with attribution).


With respect to education, I can see two ways college language learners can work on a sustainable development in education. In the first, they would establish a linguistic exchange of English for the other country’s language so that both learners gain linguistic proficiency and greater cultural understanding of one another.
The second would be for the US student to recast major lessons for partners in developing countries who do not have ready access to postsecondary education. Again a win-win: the US student consolidates and strengthens learning by teaching and the partner gains access to knowledge that might otherwise be inaccessible.
Access to technology is the critical factor, however, for the partner.


Zero hunger: Ways to redistribute wasted food from supermarkets and restaurants. (CF)


@finneryc - Good idea. I can see that the development and sharing of OER resources to assist communities to launch and manage feeding initiatives could be an amazing project.

TV1 News in New Zealand recently featured a community restaurant initiative run by volunteers using rescued food. Patrons can pay what the feel or can afford to help cover some of the costs.

Wonder if there are other international examples?

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Earlier this year my daughter did an exercise on this at school ( she is year 8). They had to pick one of the sustainable development goals and suggest a way they could implement something in their community that would have an impact on the goal. I thought this was a great idea at the time and can see if the ideas from exercises like these were released into the community to be able added to and/or refined. The next step from there is implementing the ideas as well.

My idea would be for Goal 12: sustainable development. I would like to see a campaign where recycling knowledge is ingrained. In Christchurch we have 3 bins - rubbish, green waste and recycling. And where I work they have the same bins at regular intervals as well but the sad thing is they are not used properly which negates the good that is being done.



Wow! I’m impressed to hear that your daughter’s school has incorporated the SDGs into the curriculum.

When you think of it - OER is a sustainable and renewable resource :wink: We encourage reuse!

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To integrate sustainable development actions, during my teaching activity I had the opportunity to work with my students on the design of projects to help people with disabilities through technology. The students had many ideas, sometimes strange or somewhat impractical but often very relevant. At the end of the course, these ideas remained in the state of formation, now in a cardboard box.
Following an open approach, it would be interesting to develop a platform integrating the entire design process with resource persons, designers, manufacturers,… to set up collective, open and improvable projects. In this way, the work of students (whose ideas can sometimes surprise) is valued and also integrates a notion of learning with the values of exchange and collaborative work.
Similarly, two interesting projects: and


Yes, in open education we are seeing a growing interest in the concept of ‘Open Pedagogy’ which can be defined as:

An access-oriented commitment to learner-driven education and a process for designing architectures and using tools for learning that enable students to shape the public knowledge commons of which they are a part.

A related concept, OER-enabled pedagogy, refers to the set of teaching and learning practices only possible in the context of the 5R permissions which are characteristic of OER. For example engaging learners as creators of information rather than consumers by avoiding “disposable” assignments. Open pedagogy has the potential to enhance the future sustainability of OER while improving the quality of learning.

With regards to “open pedagogy” I can recommend a visit to the Open Pedagogy Notebook where educators are sharing ideas for implementing open pedagogy in their teaching.

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From a 30,000 foot perspective, building an awareness and knowledge of the science, geography, current actions, and ways to get involved in climate change would be a great OER challenge. We’ve seen what one young woman and one large interconnected world can do - imagine engaging learning in the same way?

I think your 30,000 foot perspective is critical in addressing our global climate crisis. Ironically, there is no form of educational delivery more sustainable than “OER” :-).

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Promote lifelong learning opportunities for all - Ways/approaches to evaluate programs/projects that promote lifelong learning opportunities.


Peace, justice and strong institutions

Equity and access can be obtained by the learners when they have given equal chances to learn.If they are not provided education,the equity can be achieved.

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Using the Great Pacific Garbage patch as a resource to build community objects or spaces…
A collaborative and open effort that could lead to extract as much as possible plastic in the ocean and /or stop incinerating plastic waste.
For example, building Recyclebots and transforming (on public sites, not by recycling companies) all plastic trash into plastic pallets that can then be used to 3D print tiny houses for homeless people, 3D printed public toilets and showers, public benches and bus stop shelters and I am sure we can find other useful ways to turn these pallets into public objects used for the community.

Get schools involved to show kids how to build recyclebots and how to 3D print objects they need everyday.
Get associations to show and train homeless people to transform plastic waste into objects they can sell to earn an income…
An open wiki or a webiste that show all the efforts made worldwide - and a dashboard that summarise the visualisation of these efforts…


Hi @Ben,

That is impressive. Do you know if there are any open training courses for teachers to get started? Could be a cool project for OERu collaborators to tackle. I would love to see us promote these kinds of training and learning opportunities - all OER of course!

Hi @mackiwg,
Yes, there is a Wikiversity course for teachers to get started with 3D Printing :wink:
but I do not think there is a course for building the Recyclebot although there is open content for how to build it here :
and more infos

This could be an awsome project to build an open course for DYO Recyclebot

Agreed - this would be an awesome project! I see the prescribed text for the Wikiversity course is prioprietary :-(.

Hi Everyone,

It was a bit hard to choose… In a perfect world, if we all work together we would achieve all the goals. If only…

Still, looking at the current context: coronavirus crisis - causes and consequences, I am choosing: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been hearing about issues that have always been present and unresolved but somehow the coronavirus made it more obvious. For example, food shortage (been a world issue for a while). It was all over the news. Panicked shoppers overbuy causing shops to not have enough stocks.

Some people thinking differently went for self-sustainablity: growing their own food (that is if they find seeds or seedlings to buy). So we have heard about “food shortage”, in “Australia” is that even possible? It turns out, yes. But we are talking about food shortage as in no stock for people to buy from the shop shelves. So it is different from food shortage where there is nothing to eat.

To circumvent this, the supermarkets hire more people to fill up the shelves and implement limitations on the numbers of items people can buy and even the amount of time people can spend in the shops… A lot of people were unhappy with the situation.

This made me think. There are a lot of things that we learn via experience - either our own or from others. I, myself, have learnt a lot from video tutorials on YouTube, which to me is also a great place where people can find OER. Most often, in the comments sections, other Internet citizens also share their experience and knowledge - that also be/contain great OER.

It terms of solving real-world problems project, I would like to see a section in people’s CV/Resume or even passport (they can get stamps or badges) where people can show examples of times they managed to solve or contribute actively in solving a real problem in their town, city, country…etc and if they have not got any they could share their future goals or projects.


I like this concept of showing and sharing contributions to community. Speaking personally, I have always wanted to see a “community service learning” course in the OERu collection - but we haven’t had many offers in this space but who knows, perhaps COVID19 will help us to rethink what’s important in education?

Thanks for sharing.

Quality education particularly emphasizing reading comprehension among learners. It is not enough that learners are literate. Their literacy should be functional so that 5Rs of OER is done meaningfully.