This issue of JIME publishes a collection of papers from Latin America detailing OER initiatives. In April 2017 representatives from 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in São Paulo to discuss the recommendations that would be put forward to the 2nd World OER Congress in relation to mainstreaming OER to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal on Quality Education. During the discussions that preceded these recommendations, it was noted that countries in Latin America are still in the early stages of adopting OER. This delayed uptake was firstly attributed to the lack of visibility of existing open education initiatives in the region. This Special Collection is an attempt to redress this issue.
In this issue three papers are collected together. In ‘Exploring Open Educational Practices for more flexible learning at an Australian and a Brazilian university’, Carina Bossu and Marineli Meier detail some key developments in Open Educational Practices (OEP) in higher education in Australia and in Brazil focusing on two individual universities; the University of Tasmania, in Australia, and the Federal University of Parana, in Brazil. Although the contexts are quite different, both universities are engaged in attempts to recognise the potential of OEP to meet some of their government agendas. The paper by Diego Barreiro and colleagues provides an account of the OpenFING project in Uruguay, which is a digital video library of standard lectures or master classes. This can be seen as an intersection between the OER world and many of the lectures capture debates that are currently being conducted in universities worldwide. The paper by Alexandra Okada and Tony Okada Sherborne takes a global perspective by analysing the results of the ENGAGE project which provides an overview of the Student Support area of the EMPOWER project, focusing on the Brazilian participants. This project seeks to establish an integrated model that combines OER, MOOC, Communities of Practice (CoP) and Open Schooling to promote open education and foster inquiry skills.
These papers cover emerging OER and OEP practice in three countries, illustrating diverse practices, and a range of needs that OER can address in a Latin-American context. It is our hope that by bringing a focus on this work we can encourage more research publications in the open education field that are not solely based on the experience in the Global North. The JIME team would like to thank Tel Amiel, Beatriz de los Arcos, Ismar Frango and Virginia Rodés for acting as editors for this special issue.
Also in this issue are three book reviews: Thinking Collaboratively: Learning in a Community of Inquiry by D. Randy Garrison, MOOCs and Their Afterlives by Elizabeth Losh, and Online Education: Practical, Theory-Based Advice for the Instructor by Mona Engvig.