Author: Bernard Nkuyubwatsi
The marketing of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Courseware gives the impression that it has the potential to contribute to quality open learning and opening up higher education globally. It is from this perspective that the potential contribution of Open Educational Resources (OER) units in the MIT Open Courseware to opening up higher education in Rwanda was investigated. Ten OER units were sampled as objects of the study.
I took the role of an archive analyst, giving full attention to any item that constituted each unit. Results indicate that only one unit had enough openly licensed resources to enable its potential adaptation for use in opening up higher education.
In other units, only metadata (course information, the syllabus, course calendar, and the list of required and suggested readings), assignments and/or quizzes/exams were openly licensed. Most (if not all) of the required and suggested readings, which are the core learning materials learners need to engage with for quality learning, had to be purchased, mostly from the Amazon website.
On the basis of these findings, I argue that the MIT Open Courseware served the marketing agenda (probably for the purpose of acquiring funding), rather than the open access agenda.
The study may benefit funding organisations, educators and institutions that are interested in supporting or engaging in the production, adaptation and use of OER with an agenda to contribute to opening up higher education.
URL : Revisiting the Reusability and Openness of Resources in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Courseware
DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/jime.447
Author : Bernard Nkuyubwatsi
Academics’ engagement in Open Educational Practices (OEPs) is critical for opening up higher education. It is in this perspective that the willingness to engage in such practices among academics in Rwandan public higher education was investigated with an agenda to trigger responsive actions.
Via convenience/availability and volunteer sampling, 170 academics were invited to participate in the study and 85 of them completed and returned an email self-completion questionnaire. The results revealed that the majority of participants were willing to contribute to Open Educational Resources (OER) by publishing their work under an open licence.
Participants were also willing to engage in diverse OEPs including 1) finding OER and evaluating their quality, 2) participating in and evaluating open courses, 3) aggregating OER, 4) adapting OER and open courses, and 5) assessing accomplishment from open learning based on OER and open courses for credit.
National and institutional policies were found to be the potentially most important enablers of academics’ engagement in those practices. In the light of the findings, the researcher argues that the inclusion of more learners in the higher education system would make academics more impactful than simply the citation of their work, a stance that was reflected in subsequent responsive actions.
This study may benefit institutions and policy makers who are interested in opening up higher education, especially the University of Rwanda that is expected to contribute significantly to the transformation of the country into a middle-income, knowledge-based society.
URL : Willingness to Engage in Open Educational Practices among Academics in Rwandan Public Higher Education and Responsive Actions
Alternative location : http://www.jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/223
Author : Bernard Nkuyubwatsi
Recent reports on xMOOCs indicated that underprivileged learners in need for higher education have minimally been reached by these courses. While the open access agenda is needed to reach such learners, most MOOCs were developed from societies that shifted toward the lifelong learning agenda.
In this paper, xMOOCs are positioned in both the open access and the lifelong learning agendas in a developing country context. Findings from ten xMOOCs are presented and discussed. The findings suggested that two of the ten xMOOCs may contribute directly to the open access agenda and two xMOOCs may contribute indirectly to the same agenda.
Nine xMOOCs were found to have the potential to contribute to the lifelong learning agenda. These findings may inform policies and practices that underpin opening up higher education and open education in general.
URL : Positioning extension Massive Open Online Courses (xMOOCs) within the open access and the lifelong learning agendas in a developing setting
Alternative location : http://www.jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/126