Access and Inclusion Through Open Education Resources in Botswana

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Modesto, Stanslaus T
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Open University Malaysia (OUM)
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This Paper investigates the implementation of Open Education Resources (OER) in education as a much-talked-about problem that is not much in evidence in practice among institutions in developing countries. Inspiration for this paper was drawn from the initiative by the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC), a Commonwealth organization that, among other objectives, gives guidance about OER. The Paper shares initiatives by the Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) by answering these questions: i. How has the institution gone about the uptake of OER in the Botswana education context? ii. What challenges have been faced in the educational initiative? iii. What impact has the initiative of offering OER programmes had? // To answer the research questions, documents on enrolment over the past four years were analysed, and these yielded quantitative data, showing statistics of enrolment by gender and the demand for the programmes. The sequential explanatory design was used, starting with quantitative data on enrolment statistics, followed by qualitative data derived from interviews of key stakeholders, namely, students, lecturers, and government officials. Some of the findings were that there is a high demand for the new programmes, with more females than males enrolled, and that the College was unable to meet demand due to under-funding. This led to a number of conclusions and observations including lessons learnt. These included researched evidence on how BOCODOL leverages on OER under guidance of the VUSSC, as well as showing that despite constraints, the effort yields positive results. This is a recommendation that comparable institutions in the small states of the Commonwealth could emulate. // Paper ID 34
Open Educational Resources (OER), Access, Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC)