Commonwealth of Learning

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The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental agency of the Commonwealth of Nations headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 1987 at a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and established in 1988, COL’s mandate is to promote and develop the use of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies throughout the Commonwealth’s 53 member states, particularly among the Commonwealth’s developing nations.

COL’s goal is to improve universal access to educational and training opportunities in accordance with the Commonwealth priorities of peace, democracy, equality, good governance and the needs of the Commonwealth’s small states. COL’s activities are also guided by the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) declarations.

The Commonwealth of Learning is an educational arm of the Commonwealth of Nations. Obviously it specializes in English language content, but it provides MANY useful links, hence why it has been given its own page on this wiki.

Links from the Commonwealth of Learning


The COL Learning Object Respository (LOR) is an online database of learning content that provides software to Commonweath countries free of charge. Institutions or governments can establish a shared repository by accessing free open source software from COL's LOR

The COL Knowledge Finder is the place to find documents on open and distance learning. This is the optimum technological tool for "mining" and refining the entire resource base of open and distance learning information repositories available through the Internet

COL's Information Resource Centre online catalogue, which contains a collection of resources from publishers and information providers throughout the world

Commonwealth Electronic Network for Schools and Education (CENSE), an initiative of the Commonwealth of Learning, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Comnet-IT to facilitate contact between national learning grids, schools and institutions throughout the Commonwealth. The CENSE web site hosts Commonwealth information, provides support to teachers, learners, education administrators, and promotes the awareness and practice of local cultures.

Global Distance Education Network (GDENet)/Commonwealth Open Learning Interactive Network for Knowledge Sharing (COLINKS). COL is the lead agency in developing a World Bank-funded Global Distance Education Network ("knowledge guide"/research documentation service), which is also the first step in the development of a Commonwealth Open Learning Interactive Network for Knowledge Sharing.

Gender training resources database, developed in collaboration with UNDP, UNIFEM, UNICEF and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

"Sharing our Services", is a self-serve, web-based database that aims to connect experienced educators, retired or otherwise, with distance education organisations/institutions that could benefit from their advice, training or professional input. The programme is designed to match those distance education professionals willing to offer their services at a nominal, or preferably no-fee, basis on short-term assignments with institutions/organisations in developing Commonwealth countries that would be interested in securing their services.

COL is also major content supplier for the recently launched Development Gateway - a new interactive Internet portal for information and knowledge sharing on sustainable development and poverty reduction. COL is contributing information on educational developments in the field of e-learning.

World Bank's Development Forum
a public venue for online discussions on development issues sponsored by the World Bank and its partners on behalf of the entire development community. Its focal point is a series of new and ongoing moderated electronic discussions on key issues and challenges facing the development community and the world's poor, with a particular emphasis on learning from the experience of those who face these challenges in their daily lives.
The Global Distance Education Network
(GDENet) is a knowledge guide to distance education designed to help distance education practitioners who are interested in using distance education for human development. The Network consists of six Internet sites located around the world.

Education and Development Resources

See Also