Evaluating the current status of OpenCourseWare in Turkish Tertiary Education: Benefits, barriers and incentives

Kursun, Engin; Wilson, Tina; McAndrew, Patrick and Cagiltay, Kursat (2010). Evaluating the current status of OpenCourseWare in Turkish Tertiary Education: Benefits, barriers and incentives. In: Open Educational Resources 2010 (OER10), 22-24 Mar 2010, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

URL: http://www.ucel.ac.uk/oer10/abstracts/1050.html


Advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide real opportunities for improving access, transfer and sharing of knowledge and information. One outcome from ICT is the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, which expanded during the last decade. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative played an important role in instigating the OER movement around the world (Atkins et al, 2007; Scatler, 2009). The impact of this movement has been seen in Turkish Tertiary Institutions with the establishment of the Turkish Academy of Science (TAS). In October 2006, a Turkish OCW Consortium was formed with twenty-four member universities in the leadership of TAS (Yazici et al., 2008). The number in the consortium has since increased to forty-eight. Initiating an OCW project at an institution requires careful planning of resources and vision (Henson, 2005). OCW also involves a systemic approach to minimize unexpected problems and gain maximum benefit. Without doubt, instructors in Turkey are the key players at this early stage of the movement and it is important to understand their perceptions and tendencies in relation to publishing their course materials. This study aims to inform decision makers and other key stakeholders to facilitate strategic change in terms of OCW in Turkey. To accomplish this aim an online survey was developed to ascertain the faculty members’ perspective of potential benefits, barriers and incentives of the OCW movement. Surveys were sent to the consortium’s forty-eight Turkish Higher Education Institutions. This paper addresses the following main research questions from the Turkish faculty members perspective:

What benefits do faculty members accrue from publishing course materials freely on the Internet?
What barriers do faculty members face when they want to publish course materials freely on the Internet?
What incentives would enable faculty members to publish course materials freely on the Internet?
Preliminary findings indicate that instructors have a positive reaction to sharing their courses freely on the Internet. However, instructors want their materials to remain unchanged when they are reused. They have particular problems with copyright issues and they are not sure whether they will gain support from their own institution.

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