ROER4D – Open Education for a Multicultural World: A report from the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development in the Global South

author: Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams, Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town
published: June 23, 2014,   recorded: April 2014,   views: 1996


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Open Educational Resources (OER) challenge the current storylines that steer higher education and publishers’ business models by providing students with access to alternative learning resources other than the traditional textbook or lecturer-generated teaching materials. To what extent students take up the opportunity to search for and find OER that are sufficiently authoritative and current to be considered worthwhile and suitably relevant to their context to be considered useful, is yet to be established in the Global South. Likewise it is also not fully understood to what degree lecturers take the time to explore the Internet to locate existing teaching materials to compare these to their own materials, to legally reuse, revise, remix and redistribute educational resources, and/or to contribute their original materials for others to reuse in specified ways. In fact it is not yet known to what extent students and lecturers are even aware of OER and how they are different from any other materials available on the Internet, let alone how they may practically access these materials in geographically remote or connectivity poor environments in countries in the Global South. Least of all, we have insufficient evidence about the actual impact of OER in the Global South on informal and formal students’ satisfaction or performance or lecturers’ pedagogical practices even though these benefits are widely touted.

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