Developing and deploying OERs in sub-Saharan Africa: Building on the present

  • Clayton R Wright Co-Regional Editor for Africa
  • Sunday Reju Nambia
Keywords: open education resources

Abstract

Open educational resources (OERs) have the potential to reduce costs, improve quality, and increase access to educational opportunities. OER development and deployment is one path that could contribute to achieving education for all. This article builds on existing information and communication technology (ICT) implementation plans in Africa and on the experiences of organizations and initiatives such as the African Virtual University (AVU), OER Africa, the South African Institute of Distance Education (SAIDE), and the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) Project, to present one view of the benefits, challenges, and steps that could be taken to realize the potential of OERs in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, the article focuses on the factors necessary for creating and sustaining a vision for OER development and deployment; developing and distributing resources with an open license; improving technology infrastructure and reducing the cost of Internet access; establishing communities of educational collaborators; sustaining involvement in the OER initiative; producing resources in interoperable and open formats; establishing and maintaining the quality of OERs; providing local context to address national and regional needs and conditions; informing the public about OERs; and taking the initiative to build on the knowledge, skills, and experiences of others. In order to assist educators and decision makers, links to a variety of resources are provided.

Author Biographies

Clayton R Wright, Co-Regional Editor for Africa
Clayton R. Wright, PhD has extensive experience with the development and execution of strategic plans related to educational technology, as well as with distance education, curriculum development, instructional design, and professional development in Canadian and international settings. He also has secondary and postsecondary teaching and administrative experience in Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta, Canada. For 21-years, he led an award-winning college team that supported the planning, development, and implementation of educational technology. As a consultant, workshop facilitator, and writer, Dr. Wright has been actively involved with a number of provincial, national, and international collaborative efforts aimed at advancing educational systems through the use of learning technologies and gained international experience with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Commonwealth of Learning, the Commonwealth Secretariat, United Nations Children's Fund, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Dr. Wright is committed to the improvement of social and economic conditions through education and has lectured, led workshops, facilitated Developing a Curriculum (DACUM) occupational profiles, and conducted educational evaluations in many countries, including Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, The Gambia, Hungary, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Switzerland, and Thailand.
Sunday Reju, Nambia

Published
2012-04-13
How to Cite
Wright, C. R., & Reju, S. (2012). Developing and deploying OERs in sub-Saharan Africa: Building on the present. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(2), 181-220. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v13i2.1185
Section
Field Notes