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Advisory Group Meeting Fairview Hotel, Nairobi 21 & 22nd May, 2009

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This presentation to the Advisory Group discusses key problems experienced in higher education in Africa. It further highlights how OER's can assist in alleviating some of the problems as well as OER Africa's proposed activities in this regard.

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Advisory Group Meeting Fairview Hotel, Nairobi 21 & 22nd May, 2009

  1. 1. OER AfricaInto the Future Advisory Group Meeting Fairview Hotel, Nairobi 21 & 22nd May, 2009
  2. 2. Problem / Theory of Action African higher education institutions seriously structurally under-funded for the core function they are expected to discharge. Therefore, corresponding paucity of institutional and individual capacity to teach in many domains of higher education. Existing faculty overtaxed in time and ability to teach, reducing time available for ongoing program and materials development.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 2
  3. 3. Problem / Theory of Action (2) Many higher education programs on the continent have inadequate funds to run programmes and meet the educational needs of enrolled students as well as cover the costs of faculty time required both to design and run quality learning experiences. Too few learning resources for learners and lecturers in African universities, and many of those available are too expensive to be purchased by universities or students.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 3
  4. 4. Problem / Theory of Action (3) Much existing content available to and within African universities based on weak and largely outmoded educational design principles. Limited ICT infrastructure to gain access to up- to-date information available on the Internet and participate in inter-institutional, geographically dispersed collaborative activities.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 4
  5. 5. Key AssumptionsOER holds potential:2. To increase availability of high quality, relevant and need-targeted learning materials;3. To reduce the cost of accessing educational materials;4. To allow adaptation of materials and possibly contribute to enabling learners to be active participants in educational processes;5. To achieve collaborative partnership of people working in communities of practice, preferably across/within institutions;21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 5
  6. 6. Key Assumptions (cont’d)1. To build capacity in African higher education institutions by providing educators with access, at low or no cost, to the tools and content required to produce high quality educational materials.• To be successful and sustainable, development of OER cannot be a sideline activity within a university.• OER Africa seeks to facilitate the design of OER that can work immediately and add educational value within the current ICT infrastructure constraints of any participating institutions.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 6
  7. 7. Why do we exist? OER Africa believes that OER can positively support development and capacity of higher education systems and institutions across Africa. OER Africa is concerned that – if the concept and practice of OER evolves predominantly outside and for Africa – we will not be able to liberate its potential.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 7
  8. 8. Why Open EducationalResources?Concept:Concept Educational resources for use by educators and learners, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees. New licensing frameworks remove copying / adaptation restrictions. OER hold potential for reducing the cost of accessing educational materials.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 8
  9. 9. Dispelling Some Myths Content = education Good content will overcome institutional capacity constraints OER should be a process of voluntarism OER will make education cheaper in the short- term Openness automatically equates with quality OER is about e-learning21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 9
  10. 10. ACTIVITY PLAN21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 10
  11. 11. Proposed Contribution (1) To work systematically with partners to enhance institutional capacity in higher education to design, develop, and deliver quality higher education programs and materials; To advocate the merits of collaboratively creating and sharing intellectual capital in higher education as a mechanism to improve quality and enhance long-term cost-effectiveness; To help higher education institutions to establish supportive policy frameworks that support openness in the development, adaptation, and use of educational resources, and convert this into sustainable business models;21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 11
  12. 12. Proposed Contribution (2) To establish an online platform that facilitates African collaboration in OER development and sharing, while inter-connecting this platform with the many OER communities emerging globally; To facilitate the re-development and reinvention of African higher education program curricula and course materials of exceptional quality and direct contextual relevance, producing world class graduates.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 12
  13. 13. OER Africa Activities (1)Structured Institutional Engagement: Initial OER Sensitization & Exploration; Policy Reviews to support development supportive institutional environment; Materials Audits; Proof of Concept Pilots; Regular & ongoing communication / relationship- building. building21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 13
  14. 14. OER Africa Activities (2) Expansion of collaborative networks via OER domain-focused approach Application of similar strategies to other key domain areas, e.g. Agriculture, Engineering, Teacher Education and the Arts & Humanities as the need / opportunity arises.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 14
  15. 15. OER Africa’s Activities (3)Ongoing research into OER concepts andpractice in Africa:Aggregating Research Resources.Coordinating OER Africa Research activities:  Financially and educationally sustainable models for development, adaptation and use of OER in African higher education institutions;  Online discussions leading to research papers on key topics (e.g. remuneration), and;  Research into possible differences in the uptake and effect of OER in different subject domain areas.21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 15
  16. 16. OER Africa’s Activities (4)Management and growth of the OER Africawebsite at www.oerafrica.orgMeta-data federated with global OER repositories,thereby creating greater visibility for African-createdOER.Statistics managed???21/05/2009 Advisory Group Meeting, Nairobi 16
  17. 17. Thank youCatherine Ngugi Neil ButcherProject Director OER Strategistcatherine.ngugi@gmail.com neilshel@icon.co.za

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