Early stage impact study of localised OER in Afghanistan 2016, ROER4D Sub-project 10.4

The Darakht-e Danesh Library (DDL) is a young digital repository of Open Educational Resources (OER). Intended for use by school teachers in Afghanistan, it was developed on the premise that increased access to a growing collection of OER will improve teachers’ subject matter knowledge as well as their teaching practice. This impact study sought to determine whether the OER accessed via the DDL would enable teachers’ better use of supplementary educational content in their teaching practice; and, whether this content would positively impact the educators’ subject knowledge and pedagogical practice. The study utilised a mixed methods approach in order to examine the behaviour and practices of a group of 51 secondary school teachers in the rural province of Parwan in Afghanistan.

The study found that when the library was used, the OER in the DDL positively impacted teachers’ knowledge and helped them in lesson preparation; however, many teachers stuck to using only the traditional textbook to prepare their lesson plans even after exposure to the DDL. Teachers also found the OER helpful in creating assessment activities for their students, but there was no observed improvement in teacher understanding or use of formative or summative assessments. There was limited understanding among the teachers of the exact meaning of “open”, with most viewing OER as learning materials obtained from the internet, libraries, or simply from outside of their school; teachers made little reference to licensing or to the accessibility characteristics of OER. Thus, while teachers who used OER appeared to benefit from these resources, the concept was new to them, representing a disruption to the familiar way of preparing and delivering lessons. For further diffusion of OER as an innovation in teachers’ learning and practice, concerted actions will be required, focused on building the collection of OER available in Afghan languages, explicit support in how to integrate OER into teaching, and on ensuring accessibility in the context of limited internet access in rural areas and a teacher population with widely varying levels of proficiency in using digital technology.
This study asked the following research questions:

1. To what extent did teachers in this study access and use OER in the DDL?
2. Did access and use of OER in the DDL enhance teachers’ subject area content knowledge?
3. Did access and use of DDL resources enhance teacher instructional practices?
4. To what extent did teachers’ understanding of OER and its value change?

In order to address these research questions, the researchers utilised the following data collection processes: server log data, lesson plan analyses, teacher interviews, classroom observation, and pre- and post-intervention surveys. This dataset represents the micro-data captured in the pre- and post-intervention lesson plan analyses and surveys, and the classroom observation sessions. Surveys were administered in English and Pashto, and all resulting micro-data was translated into English

This dataset makes a unique contribution to establishing empirical evidence about the potential of OER to improve Afghan teachers’ subject matter knowledge as well as their teaching practice. It will be of use to researchers and practitioners working in the areas of OER, Open Education, and Open Educational Practices. It will also be of interest to Open Education researchers, advocates, and policy-makers operating in the Afghan context.

This dataset was originally published on DataFirst.