Fostering Open Educational practices in cross-cultural contexts

Mwanza-Simwami, Daisy; McAndrew, Patrick and Madiba, Matete (2008). Fostering Open Educational practices in cross-cultural contexts. In: IST-Africa 2008 Conference, 7-9 May 2008, Windhoek, Namibia.



The open content movement is breaking down traditional barriers to learning and resource sharing by promoting free access to Open Educational Resources (OERs) such as digital educational content and technological tools for teaching and learning. OERs have the potential to enable learners to champion their own learning by providing free access to educational content and tools that enable them to create, use and share knowledge. However, the design and uptake of OERs is often hampered by limited understanding of issues relating to the context in which learners access and use OERs. This paper discusses some of the approaches taken to foster open educational practices in learner use of OERs offered by The Open University’s open content initiative, OpenLearn. Drawing on these experiences, we then consider future ideas about supporting open educational practices in cross-cultural contexts, and, in collaboration with Tshwane University of Technology, examine potential impact of OERs in Africa.

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