Inception as a projectCurrent funding and roles:a Saide initiative that advocates for the use of OER processes, Faculty support in devt of materials & design of relevant curricula employing OERfacilitates development of institutional policy frameworks supportive of using OER and ICT as tools to promote improved educational content and delivery across the continent.
Educational resources freely available for use by educators and learners, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees. OER is not synonymous with online learning or e-learning;Within an African context, anticipated that many resources produced – while shareable in a digital format (both online and via offline formats such as CD-ROM) – will be printable.
Open License Frameworks,Creative Commons, Attribution. Arguments: educational resources generated by government funding (state funded unis) should be freely available to the tax-payer. ethos of education is to learn from and build upon work that already exists – open licenses facilitates their use by other students, (CPD, LLL) other faculty who might benefit from seeing how others have taught before them.IMAGES:Open Education sign… http://ctlt.ubc.ca/programs/communities-of-practice/open-education/ ; Come in.. http://learningcatalyst.org/welcome/?p=79 ; MOOC… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course ; Guidelines… http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guidelines_for_Open_Educational_Resources_%28OER%29_in_Higher_Education.pdf ; The Open Classroom… http://beyondthescores.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/the-open-classroom/ ; Creative Commons… http://www.scribemedia.org/2009/01/23/commons-commons-whats-non-commercial-anyway/
SO WHAT?Of significant impact on the quality and quantity of higher education accessible in Africa today, as across the rest of the globe, is the notion of whofunds it – and accordingly – who is positioned to influence what is taught and how it is taught. (Yesterday, Sir John & Stamenka alluded to the numbers of eligible cohort that are simply not in HE in Africa; other presenters alluded to the first decrease in enrolment globally, ever) Many presenters have alluded to dire impact of current economic crisis on HE in Europe, North America, South America and AsiaIn Africa, the crisis in higher education precedes this current global crisis
(See images anti-clockwise)In Africa, shrinking government support, growing student numbers, and thinly, thinly stretched faculty, mean that higher education institutions on the continent are overwhelmingly, and structurally, under-resourced for the key roles which they are expected to perform. Genesis of Crisis: Formal higher education as a colonial project – politics of exclusionPost-independence euphoria = Hey Day for African HE (60s & 70s); HE - tool of economic independence and national developmentadequate pay for lecturers, provision for visiting lecturer exchange programs, research grants, well-oiled university presses, happy, well-fed intellectually curious students who became father of current US president (quid pro quo) & Nobel Laureate WangariMaathai & SAPS in 80s & 90s: meant to curb govt meddling in free market, instead,appear to have exacerbated “numerous market failures such as a severe shortage of technical skills and entrepreneurship and low levels of investment.”* and had a deleterious effect on HE in Africa: e.g. In 2003, 5,880 UK work permits were approved for health and medical personnel from South Africa, 2,825 from Zimbabwe, 1,510 from Nigeria and 850 from Ghana. Nearly a third of the doctors practising in the UK in 2005 were trained overseas. Today: African govt policies are pushing BOTH increased access and improved quality – often, with less direct funding*(Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation, Economic Report on Africa 2013, , United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2013, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, http://www.uneca.org/publications/economic-report-africa-2013, Accessed 2nd September 2013)
Meek and Leahy (UNESCO 2012) Report on The Impact of Economic Crisis on Higher EducationConcluded that when crisis commenced in 2008, most governments opted to invest in HEJudging from presentations yesterday, no longer the case in 20132010 OECD report showed increasing student mobility and an increased preference to study in emerging countries (some went home)In Africa, about 50% of mobile students in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) remain in the region by studying in another country in the region; the other 50% travel abroad (Varghese (UNESCO 2010) suggests pos. of relaxed visa rules, e.g. in US) V. Lynn Meek and Mary Leahy, The Impact of Economic Crisis on Higher Education, UNESCO Bangkog, Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau 2012, ISBN 978-92-9223-400-3 (Electronic version) accessed September 5th 2013http://www.whycos.org/cms/sites/default/files/images/projects/SADC_map.gif
N. V. Varghese, UNESCO 2010Key Factors that initially supported HE During the Crisis1. Recognition that Education is part of the solution, not part of the problem2. Market-friendly SAPS shifted burden of HE from govts to householdsCushioned the stormInvested in private education3. Growth of the Middle ClassCommitted to their children's’ HETHIS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE SO, SEE ABOVE
A response from Africa – Use OER to fill the gapsAmeliorate outmoded teaching practices (the dreaded lecture / the dreadful yellow notes)Improve content quality and accessibility of content v costly textlyKCN – happy nurses
KCN Malawi Challenge: a need to ameliorate outmoded teaching methods and improve quality, by moving away from a traditional program to the introduction of a problem based learning curriculum. opportunity to explore how, if at all, an institutional investment in OER might serve to restructure the formal curriculum and create new learning opportunities. Recognised: student nurses need to be able to practice and perfect what they were being taught, and be prepared for the real world of ward rounds, which may bear limited resemblance to their text-books or lecture-notes.College developed curriculum framework for new e-learning Certificate in Midwifery - struggled to find useful and relevant content to put into it. Meaningful participation in OER demands rigorous standards of discernment – the same rigorous standards that faculty have been expected to employ when selecting copyrighted print-based materials for teaching and learning. OER Africa workshops: explain OER concept & train participants in how to source quality resources, relevant to their needs, and free of any copyright encumbrances. Then worked with the nursing faculty to incorporate these quality and cost-effective resources into a coherent programWorkshops: faculty engagement with principles of basic pedagogy (faculty hired as SME)IMAGES:http://immplancwp.wikispaces.com/file/view/PBL_chart.gif/81899211/PBL_chart.gifhttp://jmausz.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/elearning_image1.jpg
High connectivity costs + frequent power outages + insufficient technology infrastructure = challenge to access to the Interneteach student now receives their training materials on a CD-ROM. At their various stations across the country they can peruse these materials in their own time and refer back to them as often as they need to. The College subsequently developed a DVD to include both video and audio lecture material on common competencies and procedures and encourage the students to go through the content in their own time and at their own pace. When the students return to campus for their face-to-face training, rather than using this important time to sit through lectures (remember yesterday’s e.g. of student brain activity…) - widely known to be inefficient mode of content delivery, the students instead have meetings or tutorials with their lecturers for clarification and discussion. This is an example of the use of OER to deliver up to date, comprehensive core content and provide students with flexible, personalised learning pathsFor faculty: use of OER processes provided tools to enable regular updating of the curriculum and new focus of academic face-time on student support rather than on lectures.
Practicing Skills: (Student-Content interaction) - used to mean mostly drill and practice of standard techniques, but now use of resource based learning (and electronic tools) can provide a richer experience ....UCT Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof. Derek Hellenberg:bi-lingual Clinical Skills DVD (Eng-IsiXhosa /Eng-Afrikaans) – to support students in taking medical histories / prescribing courses of action / medication to patients in marginalised communities, whilst protecting their privacy (patient-doctor confidentiality). Such a resource did not previously exist, i.e. – a clinical skills DVD in two of the major languages of the Cape. licensed under an open license: other Health Facultiesin Cape region could use & not create their own from scratch. They could also adapt it to suit the particular needs of their own students. Once the UCT students had access to the resource:used it and subsequently proposed its enhancement by the introduction of a grammatical framework.Incorporated into the resource – a good example of students contributing to their own learning – and that of others.
Process through which this resource was developed, used and improved upon is demonstrative of what Tony Wagner (2008) refers to as the ‘seven survival skills’ required by students to equip them to participate in and contribute to 21st century life, work, and citizenship. In this instance, OER enabled students to demonstrate and hopefully internalise the need to work collaboratively, to communicate clearly, respectfully & effectively with each other, their professor & potential patients, to adapt to changing circumstances (classroom v reality) and to take the kind of initiative that is expected of doctors in the field - V passive learners waiting for their profs to show them the wayIMAGES:http://cdn.slidesharecdn.com/ss_thumbnails/elacc21stcenturyskills-100124115736-phpapp02-thumbnail-4.jpg?1264355898
Yesterday, one presenter noted that economic crises are cyclic: in Africa, we may appear to have been relatively unscathed by the current crisis; however, given our current economic growth rates, this is unlikely to be our future. (SSA: 6.1% projected for 2014. Cote d’Ivoire (cacao) &Mozambique (oil& gas) pr 8% in 2014; Africa's economies are growing; it's democracies out-number its dictatorships; the narratives of poverty, ignorance and despair that bog down any news article or report about Africa not useful;Reality: wherever we live in this world, we may face a terror attack; we all feel the impact of global warming on our weather patterns and see it on the shrinking ice caps on our mountains (re Mt Kenya); most people everywhere worry about being able to educate their children - and if they will be safe and find work; many people everywhere think our governments could do better with our taxes - and educationalists worldwide wonder just how disruptive moocs might actually be in a truly connected world.
http://jellyfishcoolman.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/african-submarine-fibre-optic-cables.jpgConnectivity costs are coming down (see latest map); power stability is exercising governments across the continent (SA nuclear; Kenya bio thermal etc) - this makes both OER and ICT real tools, real possibilities for improving the quality of t & l and using a blended approach – (F2F+DE=Reinvention) - to reach the hundreds and thousands of students in Africa that desire a HE, and simply cannot be catered to under the current funding models and available physical infrastructureAfrica cannot afford to be complacent about being unscathed this time: Yet we are all are Running to Stand Still:
Where investment in OER processes save time and money, e.g. by providing students who cannot afford prohibitively expensive copy-righted medical texts with resources created or adapted for their use, by their own faculty, educators can increase access to knowledge and content, without driving up the costs. Using this approach can encourage faculty to go beyond ensuring that their students have mastered their content, to encouraging them to be curious, to opt work with others (above and below them) to actively seek solutions; to be critical of what and how they are taught. OER processes can encourage alternative methods of assessment that go beyond mere recall to testing real learning, application and performance in a world that looks and acts very different from the classroom. Creating spaces for students to actively contribute to their own learning (e.g. Prof. Haller, UCT) is one way of delivering student-centred learning.
WILSON AIWUYOR / SANDRA APPIAH – Face to Face, April 12th 2011Africa has only 15% of global population but possesses 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land. The continent holds 20% of the world’s known natural resources. Africa’s area can accommodate China, India, US, Western Europe, and Argentina, whose combined 3.6 billion population is more than half the world population...By 2040, (Africa’s labour force) is projected to reach 1.1 billion, overtaking China’s and India’s. If Africa can provide its young people with the education and skills they need, this large workforce could account for a significant share of both global consumption and production.Focus: good governance & responsible leadership... enormous benefits to be accrued [through massive investment] … in education, health care, infrastructure development, youth development and women empowerment. http://face2faceafrica.com/article/calculated-optimism-africa-s-booming-youth-population-and-demographic-dividends
http://www.zimbio.com/Wangari+Maathai/articles/zb2JBAZSqNU/Wangari+Maathai+life+picturesPolicy regimes at institutional, national and global levels should encourage the rethinking of HE practices – and encourage the use of tools like OER and ICT that used appropriately, can contribute to better learning and better teaching - both in times of plenty and in times of economic strife.Govts can Support the sustainable development and sharing of quality learning materials. e.g. support for national initiatives to develop local content and regional/global efforts to develop OER repositories and fostering mechanisms to promote quality in OER.There is no single strategy that will work for every context, but a coordinated approach would likely yield the best results. (See UNESCO Guidelines)Only then might we realise:Vision for African HE: Vibrant, sustainable African higher education institutions that play a critical role in building and sustaining African societies and economies, by producing the continent’s future intellectual leaders through free and open development and sharing of common intellectual capital
Higher Education in crisis - Role of OER, GUIDE Conference 2013
Higher Education in a time of Economic
OER as an equaliser?
GUIDE Association 6th International Conference,
Megaron Athens, Greece
3 – 4 October 2013
OER Africa is:
An innovative initiative of Saide
Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya
Established to play a leading role
in driving the development and
use of OER in Africa.
Funded by the William & Flora
Hewlett Foundation, the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation, and
a variety of projects and
partnerships across Africa.
What are OER?
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type
of educational materials that are in the public
domain or introduced with an open license.
The nature of these open materials means that
anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and
OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi,
lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio,
video and animation.
HE Quality & Quantity
• African universities are dealing with significant
pressure to increase access to HE programmes
• Most institutions are having to increase
enrolments despite structural under-funding to
discharge their core functions effectively
• Most programmes (including many at
postgraduate level) rely heavily on lecturing as
a primary mode of transmission of content
GFC: Global Response re HE?
Possible government responses:
• Cut back / re-prioritise
• Maintain status quo
Running to Stand Still…
3 Key Factors in Support of HE in Crisis:
1. Govts should maintain status quo (in real
terms) or increase allocation
2. Institutions must restructure and revitalise HE
3. Individuals & households must invest, lest the
short-term unemployed become the long-term
African faculty providing
socially relevant and
training materials and
experiences for their
Use / Possible use of OER in African HEIs
Openly share learning objects, modules, courses,
programs, OA research or other relevant OER
across institutions and thus:
realise economies of scale
encourage joint development of curriculum and
provide faculty and students with a similar standard
(high quality) of educational content
encourage student-centred learning
Use / Possible use of OER in African HEIs
Openly share skills-based relevant OER across
institutions and thus:
Encourage the development of 21st century skills
amongst students in-school and potential out-ofschool students / life-long learners to new
Ways of thinking: Creativity, critical thinking, problem-
solving, decision-making and learning
Ways of working: Communication and collaboration
Tools for working: Information and communications
technology (ICT) and information literacy
Skills for living in the world: Citizenship, life and career, and
personal and social responsibility
African Nobel Laureates
Madiba with Wangari Maathai
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
OER Africa Project Director