Saide’s OER Africa Initiative has been working with Africa Nazarene University (ANU) in Kenya to explore how Open Educational Resources (OER) can help the university to manage expanded demand for non-traditional university provision. ANU has experienced rapid growth in numbers for evening, part-time, school-based and distance provision. For all of these audiences the provision of quality self-learning study materials is critical. Tony Mays reports on recent developments at Africa Nazarene University
However, like any other institution moving from contact-based to more flexible modes of provision, ANU has experienced challenges in staff capacity and skills (after all, there are still campus-based students to teach and academics are traditionally appointed on the basis of their qualifications and research outputs and not their content development and materials writing skills). Over a series of three OER-based workshops, OER Africa has therefore introduced our ANU colleagues to the potential of OER to support the necessary curriculum development and implementation.
Having engaged with reports on processes for finding, evaluating and, where necessary, adapting existing OER for context, ANU’s senior management recently adopted an OER policy (itself adapted from OER policy statements from Kwame Nkrumah National University of Science and Technology in Ghana, and from the University of the Western Cape and Saide in South Africa). The policy itself represents the first OER from ANU and opens the door for ANU not only to continue to integrate OER into its curriculum and materials development processes but also to begin sharing back some of its own original and adapted work as OER. Mrs Mary Ooko, the director for ANU’s Institute for Open and Distance Learning explains that there are sound practical, pedagogic and ethical reasons for ANU to move in this direction.
With a policy framework now in place, we look forward in due course to engaging with OER from ANU across a range of disciplines.