23 August 2023
Growing a community of practice around digital and computational research in humanities and social sciences
South African Higher Education and knowledge production sector partners (including libraries), need to provide greater access to appropriate teaching and learning materials, if all students are to succeed. At present, access to affordable, appropriate teaching and learning resources, that can be freely and legally shared, is limited. Many South African university students cannot afford to purchase textbooks. There are many elements that contribute towards this situation. The acronym CASEEFULL highlights eight of these elements.
Those who wish to address transformation and social justice in South African through curriculum transformation, cannot do so within the current landscape. Dominant commercial interest’s and an ongoing tendency to outsource this responsibility to the market. Means that capacity isn’t developed internally among academics. HEI’s cannot make any substantial changes, despite many individual initiatives and efforts.
Open Educational Resources (OER) offers a new paradigm. They offer to license “digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research” (OECD, 2007). Open Licenses offering benefits, such as lower student costs, pedagogical flexibility and the opportunity for teacher’s to enhance their reputations. If embraced, they OERs also offer a route to develop digital expertise. This process of transitioning from closed commercial publishing, to open resources is not simple, and requires many decisions to be made. .
Expertise with digital education is possible, if carefully designed and implemented, The challenge of building internal expertise to develop these resources is large, Academics and students have to become confident and accomplished users of digital learning platforms, copyright and publishing. So that teachers and students can co-create and share a highly interactive learning experience. CASEFULL offers a considered way to take this forward.
Derek Moore is an independent ed techie and critical instructional designer. Comfy with #OER, #OEP & #CC.