Open Educational Resources and Practices at the University of the South Pacific: Status Report and Future Directions
Open educational resources (OER), which are cost-free, openly licensed educational materials available in a variety of languages and formats, have in recent years accumulated abundant evidence of disruptive potential to surmount barriers to learning. This is certainly good news to the world of education, especially higher education, which has experienced steady growth in its cost to students. Evidence also shows, however, a low uptake of this concept in higher education. A key reason for this is a lack of awareness, understanding, and acceptance of OER and their related practices amongst faculty. If one intent of a higher educational institution, such as is that of the University of the South Pacific (USP), is to provide greater affordability for students through OER, ushering faculty towards OER is thus paramount, for they are the ones who normally choose and assign educational resources. As an initial step toward moving the USP closer to its aspirations, a survey study was undertaken aiming to describe the current status of OER uptake and open educational practices (OEP) by faculty, with the purpose of gathering information for planning future activities in this area. This paper reports results from the survey examining USP faculty: teaching practices, OER awareness, OER use, participation in OEP staff development, awareness of student OER use, barriers to OER adoption, and impact of OER use. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible future directions for OER initiative at the University. // Paper ID 122
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