OER1028 Oral Presentation ppt

OER Adaptation and Reuse across cultural contexts in Sub Saharan Africa: Lessons from the TESSA consortium.

Freda Wolfenden, The Open University, UK. Alison Buckler, The Open University, UK & Fred Keraro, Egerton University, Kenya

Conference Theme: Open Educational Content

Abstract: Much is written of the potential of Open Educational Resources (OERs) to contribute to improvements in the quality of and access to education, particularly in environments such as Sub Saharan Africa. But some of the greatest challenges to more wide-spread use of OERs lie in the processes of adaptation and re-use. Such activities require skills, time and resources and as yet little has been reported on how best to support user communities to harness and integrate OERs for their own local systems and cultures. This paper describes an empirically based approach to understanding and representing the OER localisation processes as it occurred across the TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa) consortium - 13 African teacher education institutions and 5 international organizations. Between 2006 -8 the consortium collaboratively designed and produced a bank of OERs to guide teachers’ classroom practices in school-based teacher education in 9 Sub-Saharan African countries. At the heart of the TESSA OER bank are 75 core study units developed in a structured template. Each centres around clearly defined strategies for teachers to think about and experiment with in their classrooms. Each unit was then adapted and versioned to the nine country contexts by colleagues from participating TESSA institutions in those countries including translation to Arabic, English, French, and Kiswahili. The authors draws on a range of studies including analysis of the TESSA template, semi-structured interviews with colleagues who participated in the localisation process at three TESSA consortium institutions (in Ghana, Kenya and Sudan) and an evaluation of the localised materials resulting from this process to suggest ways in which other institutions and projects might learn from the TESSA experience. The paper attempts to make explicit the kinds of knowledge, skills and support employed in the localisation process, the problems encountered and the role of the structured template in supporting this process. It concludes with suggestions for guidance and possible tool development to support other users in adapting OERs for their own context whilst maintaining the quality of the OERs and working towards self-sustaining communities of users.

Keywords: Teacher Education; Sub Saharan Africa; OER Adaptation

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