Supporting data - MEd in ICTS

2019-10-22T13:11:58Z (GMT) by Thomas King
Higher education faces considerable pressure to innovate in its scope, reach, and modes of delivery, while simultaneously facing a restrictive funding environment. Open Educational Resources (OER) potentially offer a means to address these issues by leveraging the redistributive capacities of the internet and the flexibility of open alternatives to copyright to provide reusable educational materials to a wide audience.

However, the development of OER requires copyright management skills and time that lecturers may not be able to supply. Postgraduate student assistants, trained in copyright clearance and open licensing, can provide additional support to encourage lecturers to share their materials as OER.

This study sought to discern how students could best be employed in order to support OER production in resource-constrained institutions, by analysing a recent OER project conducted at the University of Cape Town. Rogers’ (2003) Diffusion of Innovation framework, complemented by Okada et al’s (2012) OER Reuse framework, was used to investigate how students acquire and adapt teaching materials into OER. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with student adaptors and lecturers, complemented by an artefact analysis of the completed OER.

The study found that the students in this study were best placed to provide additional capacity and intellectual property management skills to lecturers already engaged in sharing OER, but are less able to act as ambassadors for Open Education. This suggests that students might best be employed as capacitating agents in future OER development projects.

Included alongside the thesis document are several supplementary documents, including:
1. Appendix B - the qualitative data, in the form of interview transcripts, that underpinned the analysis
2. Appendix C - the consent forms that were signed by student adaptors and lecturers that informed them of the intent to share the data openly