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FRI: Keynote - Be prepared to resist: Critically evaluating the impact of openness in the developing world. (Dr Leigh-Anne Perryman)

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Dr Simon Ball
30 November 2018

Openness in education is increasingly presented as one of the ways in which we can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, studies conducted by projects such as ROER4D and the OER Hub do suggest that open educational resources and practices have great potential for increasing social and educational equity in the Global South. However, openness is not a universal panacea. Barriers to realizing the potential of openness in the developing world include infrastructure challenges, a lack of locally relevant resources (especially in mother tongue languages), the release of resources in inappropriate formats, and the hazards of encouraging open online participation without also offering guidance about how to keep safe online. In this presentation I argue that the open education community should be prepared to resist uncritical promotion of openness in the developing world and instead that we should adopt collaborative approaches to implementing openness that help ensure initiatives are useful, effective and meet local needs.

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Munir Moosa Sadruddin
2:00am 25 January 2019


In Pakistan, OER is a very new concept, but it has lots of future prospects as it can reduce financial and social barriers. People are not much familiar with OER in Pakistan. Those who are familiar with this term are untrained to use it effectively.  Language is the biggest barrier. When I was planning to compile OER on mental health I could not find a single document in our regional and national languages. The second barrier is the socio-cultural context. Unless we filter OER and adapt it in our context, it may not be accepted by people. I agree we need collaborative approaches to implementing openness!

My personal experience suggests one must take an ethnographic approach to understand the local contexts to reap productive outcomes.

I look forward to your presentation.


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