An empirical investigation of the emergent issues around OER adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa

Ngimwa, Pauline and Wilson, Tina (2012). An empirical investigation of the emergent issues around OER adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa. Learning, Media and Technology, 37(4) pp. 398–413.



In the past few years, Africa has joined the rest of the world as an active participant in the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement with a number of home-grown and externally driven initiatives. These have the potential to make an immense contribution to teaching and learning in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, certain barriers prevent full participation. This paper reports on qualitative research that sought to investigate SSA's readiness to adopt OERs. This study involves three case studies based in higher education institutions involved in OER projects and located in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. Contrary to the popular belief, findings indicate that low technological levels in Africa do not necessarily impede the adoption of such educational technologies; the real challenges facing the readiness to adopt OERs appear to be related to socio-economic, cultural, institutional and national issues. This paper argues for a complete mind shift in how people perceive OERs. It also proposes raising awareness of OERs at all levels, involving institutions and government, versioning OERs for the African context and conducting more research on OER adoption.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 33522
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1743-9892
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Not SetNot SetWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Extra Information
  • A special issue of Learning, Media and Technology Journal ‘Enhancing Learning and Teaching in Technology-Poor Contexts’.
  • Keywords
  • open educational resources; OER in Africa; challenges of adopting OER
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2012 Taylor & Francis
  • Related URLs
  • Depositing User
  • Tina Wilson