Factors shaping lecturers’ adoption of OER at three South African universities
The research presented here focuses on understanding the obstacles, opportunities and practices associated with Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption at three South African universities. It addresses the question: Why do South African lecturers adopt – or not adopt – OER? In trying to answer this, the authors also attempt to identify which factors shape lecturers’ OER adoption decisions, and how lecturers’ institutional cultures influence their OER use and creation choices.
This study employed a qualitative research approach through in-depth personal interviews with 18 respondents at three different universities which together broadly represent the characteristics of South Africa’s university sector. Unique analytical tools – the OER adoption pyramid and OER adoption readiness tables – were developed to help with analysing and synthesising the data.
Findings indicate that whether and how OER adoption takes place at an institution is shaped by a layered sequence of factors – infrastructural access, legal permission, conceptual awareness, technical capacity, material availability, and individual or institutional volition – which are further influenced by prevailing cultural and social variables. This study has value and application for researchers and institutions pursuing an OER agenda, policy-makers seeking tools to assess OER readiness in institutional contexts, and funding agencies aiming to boost institutional OER engagement.
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Cox, G. & Trotter, H. (2016) Institutional Culture and OER Policy: How Structure, Culture, and Agency Mediate OER Policy Potential in South African Universities. International Review of Research on Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL), 17(5). Retrieved from: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2523
Cox, G. (2016) The OER quality debate: explaining academics’ attitudes about quality. Presentation at Open Education Global 2016. 12-14 April 2016: Krakow, Poland. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/oeconsortium/the-oer-quality-debate-explaining-academics-attitudes-about-quality-62107741
Cox, G. and Trotter, H. (2015). Ready of Not? OER workshops at 3 South African universities. Presentation at OEC Global Conference 2015, Banff, Canada, April 2015.
Cox, G. and Trotter, H. (2016) UCT, Fort Hare or UNISA: Which university is OER ready? Presentation at the University of Cape Town Teaching and Learning Conference 2015 (Cape Town: 30 March 2016). Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/ROER4D/uct-fort-hare-or-unisa-which-university-is-oer-ready
Trotter, H. (2015). Harmonising Research between South and North: Results from ROER4D’s Question Harmonisation Experiment (ROER4D). Presentation at Open Education Global 2016. 22-24 April 2015: Banff, Canada. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/oeconsortium/harmonising-research-between-south-and-north-results-from-roer4ds-question-harmonisation-experiment-roer4d
Trotter, H. & Cox, G. (2016) The OER Adoption Pyramid. Presentation at Open Education Global 2016. 12-14 April 2016: Krakow, Poland. Retrieved from http://open.uct.ac.za/handle/11427/18936
Cox, G. (2015). Copyright & Creative Commons: With Regards to Open Educational Resources. Presentation at the University of South Africa, 18 March 2015.
Cox, G. (2015). Openness in Higher Education: Open Educational Resources. Presentation at the University of South Africa, 17 March 2015. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/ROER4D/openness-in-higher-education
Trotter, H. (2015). How and where to find Open Educational Resources. Presentation at the University of South Africa, 18 March 2015. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/ROER4D/how-and-where-to-find-open-educational-resoures-oer