2012

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OER Adaptation and Reuse across cultural contexts in Sub Saharan Africa: Lessons from TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa)

Freda Wolfenden, Alison Sarah Hemmings Buckler, Fred Keraro

Abstract


Over a period of three years a number of International and African based institutions collaborated to design and create a set of Open Educational Resources (OERs) to support school based teacher education as part of the TESSA project. Writing of the materials drew on case studies, experiences and existing resources from across the region using a highly structured template. These TESSA OERs were then adapted to be appropriate for each user setting and practices. It is this process - supporting the user community to harness and integrate OERs for their own systems and cultures, which is the focus of this article. The authors draw on a range of data to make explicit the kinds of knowledge, skills and support employed in the adaptation process and in particular the role of the structured template in supporting this process, and the problems encountered. The article suggests that OERs will only fulfil their promise if more attention is accorded to issues of user access and skills as well as the form of the OERs, their purpose and underlying pedagogy. Finally the paper offers suggestions for guidance to support other users in adapting OERs for their own context whilst maintaining the quality of the OERs and working towards self-sustaining communities of users.


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