Challenges of Adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) in Kenyan Secondary Schools: The Case of Open Resources for English Language Teaching (ORELT)

Authors : Daniel Ochieng Orwenjo, Fridah Kanana Erastus

Kenya, like many African countries, has faced enormous challenges in the production of and access to quality relevant teaching and learning materials and resources in her primary and secondary school classrooms.

This has been occasioned by a plethora of factors which include, but are not limited to a lack of finances, tradition, competence, and experience to develop such resources. Such a situation has persisted despite the existence and availability of many Open Educational Resources (OERs) that have been developed by many education stakeholders at enormous costs.

Such freely available resources could potentially improve the quality of existing resources or help to develop new courses. Yet, their uptake and reuse in secondary and primary schools in Kenya continues to be very low. This paper reports the findings of a study in which Open Resources for English Language Teaching (ORELT) developed by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada, were piloted in sampled fifty (50) Kenyan secondary schools.

The study applied the Model 1 – Distance and Dependence (Zhao et al 2002) model to investigate the challenges that hinder instructors to adopt and use ORELT materials. The study reported that poor infrastructure, negative attitudes, lack of ICT competencies, and other skill gaps among teachers and lack of administrative support are some of the implementation challenges that have continued to dog the implementation, adoption and use of OERs in Kenyan schools.

The findings of the present study will go a long way in providing useful insights to the developers of OERs and Kenyan education stakeholders in devising strategies of maximum utilisation of OERs in the Kenyan school system.

URL : Challenges of Adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) in Kenyan Secondary Schools: The Case of Open Resources for English Language Teaching (ORELT)

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Information access needs of satellite ca…

Information access needs of satellite campuses in Kenya – Can OER close the gap? The Case of Moi University Nairobi Campus :

« This case study was aimed at obtaining the experiences of faculty and students of Moi University, Nairobi Campus in accessing information resources for teaching, learning and research. The study examined background information regarding knowledge societies and the role of higher education in society. This was done with a view to exploring the potential of Open Educational Resources in enhancing access to teaching, learning and research information resources at the campus. The literature review focused on the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) and provided a critical examination of access to knowledge and learning materials in higher education. Evidently, little empirical studies have been conducted in Africa concerning OER. The Communities of Practice theory was adopted to inform the study with regard to learning experiences and their realization in communities. Online questionnaires and interviews were the principle data collection instruments. These were administered upon faculty, students and the librarian of Moi University, Nairobi campus. Furthermore, data was also gathered through interviews with OER experts from North America, Europe, and Africa. These experts provided vital information on the potential of OER in enhancing access to teaching, learning and research information resources to institutions such as the case for this study. The findings of the study revealed that the concept of OER was not clearly understood by the respondents and interviewees from the case institution. Respondents confused the concept of OER with other concepts like e-learning. Nevertheless, they signaled appreciation for access to open resources. In addition, it was evident that the faculty and students of this institution had insufficient access to resources. The library was not sufficiently stocked with information materials and facilities to cater for the growing population of the campus. The study recommends the adoption of more open educational practices through the creation of electronic institutional repositories that are open and searchable. Furthermore, the study suggests greater collaboration and sharing of resources and teaching practices among faculty within the campus and beyond. To achieve this, both faculty and students require information literacy skills. Finally, the study recommends that the librarians and information professionals be more proactive in identifying and bringing awareness to clients about available and relevant open resources. »