The use of Open Educational Resources (OER) by a number of Latin American lecturers and their students is presented. The respondents were divided in four groups, one each in Cuba, Guatemala, Peru and Brazil. They all participated in a course given by the first author of this paper about the use of learning management systems in the year 2010-12. In that course only OER were used and the participants were strongly encouraged to utilize OER in their work. Two weeks into the course the participants responded to a questionnaire with a number of statements about the use and sharing of free material on the internet.
In this study the lecturers´ opinions about the use of OER at that time are compared with the use of OER by the lecturers and their students about one year after the course was finished.
In all four groups the answers to the first questionnaire showed that, even though the idea to utilize free course material in higher education was new to most of them, the lecturers were positive to the idea of utilizing OER and most of them were prepared to make material of their own available to others.
The results from the first and the second occasion are strongly correlated; the conclusion is that the attitude of the lecturers is of critical importance for the acceptance of OER. The results are consistent with the assumption that many lecturers can find plenty of useful free course material once they are made aware of OER and have methods to disseminate it to their students.
The authors adhere to the opinion that OER could increase the quality of education and contribute to the availability of education worldwide. In order to stimulate the production and dissemination of OER the authors recommend that institutions of education worldwide encourage lecturers to take part in the free sharing of material on the internet.
information and communication technology, e-learning, Open Educational Resources, higher learning institutions, developing countries