The Botswana Experience in Developing the OERs
Botswana together with six other countries are taking part in the development of OERs for secondary level education through the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation /COL Partnership Project. A total of twelve officers are involved in the project (6 BOCODOL Staff members, 3 Curriculum Development Officers and 3 Secondary school teachers). // Botswana wants to share her experiences and in so doing, highlight what worked and what did not. Using non BOCODOL staff most of whom were being exposed to writing for distance learning for the first time, impacted on the project. Timely and regular access to computers as well as the workload also had an effect. That notwithstanding, the assumption is that the participants have gained valuable skills and knowledge. And if so, the major concern would be at the end of the Project, then what? // As a developing institution and country, we are happy with the opportunities that OERs presents to us. The OERs are making knowledge available to us as educators at a faster and more accessible manner than before. We are also aware of some of the concerns that affect this relatively new way of sharing. Some of the major concerns have to do with sustainability as opposed to the seemingly ongoing consumption. // The questions that this paper seeks to explore therefore are:
• what skills and knowledge those that were involved have gained • how these skills and knowledge can be developed further in order to sustain growth in this new area. • What other uses can these be put to? • What are the quality imperatives associated with the development of OERs • to identify pre-requisites of a thriving OERs environment in terms of resources • what is the extent to which BOCODOL is amenable to thrive in this environment // The paper concludes by making a recommendation to the College to integrate technology to scale up its school equivalency programmes through the development of OERs.