OER Fund(ed): Bringing culture and community to online language learning

Research Excellence | Strategy 9: Knowledge Exchange
Theme: Innovation
The UBC Himalaya Program’s open access courses are available at

The UBC Himalaya Program has launched its newest Open Educational Resources (OER) courses on the Nepali and Tibetan language, titled ‘Introduction to the Nepali Language’ and ‘Introduction to the Tibetan Language’. Instructors Binod Shrestha and Sonam Chusang have designed the introductory courses with assistance from the OER Fund in form of a Rapid Innovation Grant, which meant they could be made accessible for academic communities well beyond the UBC Vancouver campus. The Nepali and Tibetan languages are two of the most under resourced languages of the world, despite their cultural significance. The creation of these courses will facilitate learners within and beyond UBC to get to know about the Nepali and Tibetan languages and cultures.

Dr. Mark Turin, Associate Professor and Advisor & Strategist at the Himalaya Program explains, “Our summer 2020 courses included learning a Nepali song and dance and discussing Buddhist philosophy with the Tibetan monks of Tsengdok monastery here in Vancouver, all in an unprecedented online format. The digital resources created for the 2020 summer courses, including recorded classes, have provided the foundation for the Nepali and Tibetan OERs that we have developed.”

Read the full story at the OER Fund website.

The Rapid Innovation Grant is a example of UBC’s goal to communicating knowledge so that it is more accessible to a range of communities, from citizens to decision-makers (Strategy 9: Knowledge Exchange).