Turning the Ship
OER AS CHANGE AGENTS IN TRANSFORMING
CONSERVATIVE EDUCATION ENVIRONMENTS
OER Africa (Mandate)
2008-2015 Formed with funding from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
– It is an initiative of the South African Institute for Distance Education
Mandate: To create an environment where African academics both use
existing OER and release there own teaching resources under a common
Focus: Ministerial and institutional IPR policy creation that provides ‘space’
for OER in traditionally restrictive environments.
Focus: Advocacy and professional development for staff and students within
higher education institutions
My OER Projects
Initiative Type of Engagement
1 Univ. Pretoria, Faculty of
Veterinary Science (SA)
Faculty level adoption of OER to determine model for institutional roll out:
Includes policy, advocacy, capacity building and repository development.
2 UNISA (SA) Institutional adoption: Includes policy, advocacy, capacity building, course
development both PD and MOOC style.
3 UNESCO ICT CFT (Kenya
MOE Teacher professional development course development using a
blended learning model. OER used to create online content and activities
for 14 weeks in English and Arabic
4 Maths OER Textbook
OER collected and stacked against curriculum statements to form adaptable
5 St Peters College (SA) Students repurpose OER to develop the curriculum for Grade 9 History
(WWII and Cold War) – Use LMS to structure content and add interactivity
OER Value Statement
Benefits of OER and Open Education (OCW, OA, OD, OS)
-Increased access to quality resources and courses
- For everyone
- Any time
- At little cost
- Supports contextualisation
- Supports customisation (suit individual needs)
Who has the most to benefit from open
• affected by lack of resources
• affected by limited study options
• receiving below par quality education
• not able to go to ‘school’
• not able to afford ‘school’
Others who benefit include educators,
institutions and ministries…
• Exposure and affirmation (Marketing)
• Speedy development of new materials
• Cost effective in developing or updating
courses and programmes.
So why is it hard to turn the ship?
We are turning … but
Policy penetration slow (OER Map: African Countries that mention OER – Kenya, Ghana and SA)
Institutional adoption patchy (mainly institutions from Developed Countries)
Funders, therefore, focus on western agendas such as Open Textbooks further alienating
adoption beyond the West.
Dearth of African sources – We just don’t have enough shared regional resources, reliant on the
materials released by advanced nation institutions.
Teachers oblivious or disinterested (OER on eLA agenda for years yet penetration small)
So why is it hard to turn the ship?
1. Character of the Current Education Sector
2. Teacher and student expectations
3. Character of those who would benefit the most
Existing education sectors (From ministry, district officials, Head masters and educators but
including parents) so regimented that they stifle individual creativity and innovation (especially
at basic and secondary levels). -> Trapped in a deteriorating cycle?
Teachers require new ICT skills as well as becoming proficient at adapting resources. Resist
change because they are too busy.
Students currently don’t want to work ‘harder’, enjoy being passive and resist being active users
Teachers and students don’t want copies, nor equal education, they want the brand (Not MITx
but the real campus experience.) -> exodus of students to study overseas. -> Local HE
institutions attempt to emulate rather than innovate despite not being viable without increased
The destitute and most needy will be the last to hear and use open education because of low
access to technology the internet and resources to study.
OER as Change Agents
When facilitated OER can demonstrate good practice:
◦ St Peters Project (Students build learning resources to support curriculum)
Teachers as Facilitators
◦ St Peters Project & Antigua Maths Textbook (Teachers don’t teach but facilitate learning)
Cost effectiveness in developing learning interventions
◦ Kenyan ICTCFT Course development and pilot
◦ Antigua Maths Textbook project
Quick time to development
◦ Omani ICTCFT Course development process (English – Arabic with customisation)
OER Africa Website: www.oerafrica.org
Andrew Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org