We’re delighted to announce the fourth of our GO-GN member research specials. Find out more about what GO-GN’ers are researching and connect with others across the network! Everyone is very welcome to this special session on Thursday 14 October 2021 from 14.00-16.00BST (UK time). You can join the call via Zoom.
Our all star line-up is as follows:
- 14.00-14.25BST Kate Huth (Griffith University). Unpacking the Teacher-in-a-box
- 14.25-14.50BST Evelyn Ogboo Apronti Tetteh (University of South Africa). Investigating the use of OERs by academic libraries in Ghana to support teaching, learning and research.
- 14.50-15.00BST Comfort break
- 15.00-15.25BST Emily Helton @MsHeltonReads (West Virginia University). Ready OER Not: Professional Development on open education for K-12 educators
- 15.25-15.50BST Leo Havemann @leohavemann (The Open University UK). Desperately seeking policy: exploring open education landscapes, maps and territories
Find out more about the speakers and read their abstracts below.
Kate Huth (Griffith University) Unpacking the Teacher-in-a-box
As a continuation of research working with Teacher-in-a-box this next step focuses on expanding the usability of an offline repository of Open Educational Resources. The first study showed that after a lack of search function and insufficient connection to curriculum, the main reason for not using the Teacher-in-a-box, or under use of the Teacher-in-a-box, was that the end users felt that their own digital skills were not at a level where they could make the best use of the materials.
The core case study of this research is based around a digital literacy and pedagogy training program designed to work offline in developing nations. The aim is to find what form of training is most accessible and most effective in engaging teachers as learners while reducing the digital divide.
To that end the study is being run in conjunction with a single roll out of 40 devices in one country. These offline repositories are currently being recompiled for that country and adding in the base line curriculum and search function created in the first study.
Evelyn Ogboo Apronti Tetteh (University of South Africa). Investigating the use of OERs by academic libraries in Ghana to support teaching, learning and research.
Abstract: Although open educational resources (OERs) have been harnessed in higher educational institutions for reasons such as: to improve the methods of teaching, reduce cost of education provision, and advance access to quality education; the full potential of OERs has not been exhaustively explored, especially on the part of academic libraries in Ghana. This challenge is given credence by online or remote facilitators and learners in Ghana, who have often complained that academic libraries in Ghana lack adequate and suitable teaching and learning resources to aid their learning experience. The above experience coupled with the fact that most of the available textbooks lack local or cultural context affects the usefulness of the few available library resources.
Prempeh (2016:100-125) reports that, while distance education in Ghana is characterised by text materials, video/audio of pre-recorded lecture sessions and face-to-face deliveries; advanced media and associated technologies which support synchronous interaction have not been fully explored for the benefit of enhancing distance education delivery in Ghana. In addition to this is the emerging phenomenon of unavailability of teaching and learning materials among academic libraries which is due to increasing cost of course materials. The phenomenon reveals the inadequate harnessing of OERs among academic libraries in developing countries, including Ghana. In view of this situation, this study seeks to explore the inclusion of OERs into the collections of academic libraries to support teaching and learning in higher education institutions in Ghana.
To accomplish this task, both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from professional academic librarians, lecturers and students from four publicly-funded universities, using unstructured questionnaires and interview guide. Atlas-ti and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, Version 27) will be used to analyse the qualitative and quantitative data sets respectively. Results will be presented with graphs and tables, and findings published in scholarly peer reviewed journals and open platforms.
Emily Helton @MsHeltonReads (West Virginia University). Ready OER Not: Professional Development on open education for K-12 educators
Abstract: Much of the growth in OER has occurred at the higher education level in response to rising textbook costs; however, K-12 education should not be left out of OER initiatives. From teachers spending their own funds on material of questionable quality from sites like TeachersPayTeachers, to the K-12 textbook landscape dominated by large markets like California and Texas, there are many reasons to welcome K-12 OER. In this talk, I will share my experiences developing and leading a professional development course for K-12 educators in West Virginia. Our group covered the basics of locating OER, CC licensing, Open Education Practices, and theoretical frameworks that allow for not just the use of OER, but the leveraging of it to support students in writhing themselves into the curriculum.
Leo Havemann @leohavemann (The Open University, UK) Desperately seeking policy: exploring open education landscapes, maps and territories
Abstract: This research project is investigating the rumoured existence of open education policy in higher education institutions. The initial phase has involved searching out policies to build up maps and landscapes – collecting, curating and reviewing in order to build up a big picture of the current state of policy, in support of finding and creating pathways towards desired policy destinations. But the policy map is not the territory of practice, the real world of the lived experience of learning, teaching, creation and collaboration inside and outside of educational organisations. This territory is also a research field, within which the limits or remit of OE remain an open question. The next phase of the research is calling upon staff across the spectrum of roles working in higher education for their perspectives on the relevance, role and focus of policy in this space. There is also a need to discover more about ‘informal’, unwritten forms of policy, and consider the impact of the pandemic.