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OER-Integrated Teaching and Learning in a Post-War Northern Sri Lanka


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Sasikala Kugamoorthy, M. Rajini, Shironica Karunanayaka, Som Naidu
The Open University of Sri Lanka

Published in: Education
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OER-Integrated Teaching and Learning in a Post-War Northern Sri Lanka

  2. 2. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY • ROER4D Project - Faculty of Education, Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) (2015/2016) • Aim - To engage student teachers of Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme to integrate OER in their teaching-learning process and study it’s impact. • Implementation – 09 centres of OUSL representing 09 Provinces of Sri Lanka • Present study – Jaffna Regional Centre - Northern Province • Explored the experiences of a group of student teachers in the process of the adoption of OER in their teaching and learning activities. • Reflections of a group of people who were affected by twenty six years’ civil war and have lost the fruitful experiences of new technologies and modern approaches during their school education, but who very recently got the exposure and an opportunity to use, create share and integrate OER in their teaching and learning processes.
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION • Education as an Agent of Social Change… • Social change comprise modifications in the systems/sub-systems in structure, functioning or process during a period of time. • Education can initiate social changes by bringing about changes in patterns of thinking and social behaviors of individuals. • The concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) provides opportunities for teachers to adopt more open and innovative approaches in the teaching-learning process that can make such changes happen.
  4. 4. CONTEXT  Northern Sri Lanka  Capital of Northern Province : Jaffna Peninsula.  Severely affected by 26 years of civil war.  Slowly but steadily moving forward with the hope of regaining its past glory.  Emerging from its sufferings towards development using Education as a key tool.  Enacting social changes through Education.
  5. 5. FOCUS OF THE STUDY • Agency of OER-integrated teaching and learning in bringing about social change in a post-traumatic social setting in Sri Lanka.
  6. 6. RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. How the adoption of OER has affected changing teacher perceptions on sharing knowledge? 2. To what extent the OER-integrated teaching-learning process has affected changing teachers’ professional behaviours? 3. What is the role of OER-integrated teaching and learning as an agent for social change among teachers in a post-war context?
  7. 7. METHODOLOGY o Research Design: Case study o Participants: 38 student teachers of the PGDE programme at Jaffna Regional Centre of OUSL o Data Collection: oQuestionnaire Surveys oInterviews oClassroom Observations oSelf-Reflections o Data Analysis - Mainly qualitative techniques using coding and categorizing
  8. 8. PARTICIPANTS   Aspect Categories Number Percentage 1 Gender Male 24 63% Female 14 37% 2 Age 20-40 Years 38 100% 41-50 years - - 3 Subject taught Science 13 34% Maths 13 34% ICT 8 21% Social Sciences 2 05% Health Sc 1 03% Aesthetic 1 03% 4 School location Urban 12 32% Rural 24 68%
  9. 9. FINDINGS • Teacher Perceptions at Initial Stage Statements Yes No N % N % I have heard of OER before 01 03 37 97 I have used OER before 0 0 38 100 I shared teaching learning materials developed by me with others 33 87 05 13 I shared them openly available to anyone who requests 11 29 27 71 I used teaching learning materials developed by someone else 38 100 0 0 I used resources from the internet 28 74 10 26
  10. 10. Changes in Teachers’ Perceptions Categories Codes Supportive Quotes Pre-Intervention Post Intervention Perceptions OER ...completely didn't know about OER… more clear idea about integrating OER… Copyrights …used resources without any consideration about their copyrights or licenses… …got to know about the CC licenses, 4Rs and the advantages of the OER…
  11. 11. Changes in Teachers’ Thinking Patterns Awareness on OER Perceptions Awareness and concern about Copyrights/Licenses
  12. 12. Changes in Teachers’ Professional Behaviors Categories Codes Supportive Quotes   Pre-Intervention Post Intervention Professional Behaviors Sharing We shared teaching aids…but only with our colleagues…. Now we realize…shared OERs with colleagues and any other teachers …. Innovation Because of the language problem we felt its difficult to use web based resources in our teaching… I integrated several OER available in English and I realized the importance of mother tongue and designed an OER page on 'tamil.wikipedia'…. Creativity …difficult to find the proper subject materials… had to spend more time… ..realized the benefits of OER … published a handbook on OER which is a good resource for relevant OER links…
  13. 13. Changes in Teachers’ Professional Behaviors
  14. 14. Changes in Teachers’ Social Behaviors Codes Supportive Quotes   Pre-Intervention Post Intervention Social behaviors Forwardness ….teaching in remote area schools ….resettlement is still in progress after the war…. struggled and faced many challenging situations… …we are the pioneers ….came forward as resource persons to conduct OER awareness workshops at schools…. Interaction ...fear to interact and to express our ideas…. …..came forward and shared the knowledge through seminars with our colleagues…. Personality …some barriers demotivated us at many instances…. …. OER enhanced our thinking capabilities and contributed to the development of our personalities as well…. Leadership ….no opportunities to take leadership roles…felt demotivated…. …..I lead and organized the workshop and conducted it in a successful manner….
  15. 15. Changes in Teachers’ Social Behaviors (contd..) Categories Codes Supportive Quotes Social behaviors   Pre-Intervention Post Intervention Team spirit …teach in remote areas… work alone…no opportunities to work as a team… …successfully conducted an awareness raising programme as a team…… Sharing …due to language issues… shy to share… ….. found and shared OER in English and Tamil…shared ideas… Facing challenges …… faced many challenging situations…computer labs and internet facilities at schools, technical issues… …great interest in OERs…motivated us to overcome these barriers with great enthusiasm…
  16. 16. Changes in Teachers’ Social Behaviors
  17. 17. DISCUSSION At the Initial Stages… •Student teachers seemed to be low-motivated and not-confident •Reluctant to break their barriers •Not ready to come out of the cocoon of fear formed around them by war •Not ready to open-up themselves to the technically advanced world Through engagement in the OER Project… •Student teachers became innovative participants in the project (Received the “Best Centre” Award..!) •Opened-up their minds to progress with modern educational advancements •Their professional and social thinking patterns, behaviours and practices have changed positively
  18. 18. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS • OER-integrated teaching-learning has served as a significant agent of social change, in opening up teachers’ minds to progress with the technological advancements and innovative teaching-learning approaches, and changing their professional as well as social thinking and behaviors in a positive manner, in a post-traumatic social setting in Sri Lanka.
  19. 19. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS •This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, through the Wawasan Open University of Penang, Malaysia, as part of the research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) programme. •Active participation of all student teachers in JRC of OUSL and the support extended by all the research team members are much appreciated.