Postgraduate students as OER capacitators

Thomas King

University of Cape Town

Open Educational Resources (OER) have the potential to address some of the accessibility, quality and sustainability, issues facing higher education today by allowing educators to share their high-quality teaching materials publicly with others as well as allowing students to enhance their private study by accessing materials from around the world.

However, developing OER requires an additional investment of time that already-burdened lecturers may not easily able to provide. Converting teaching materials into OER requires a pedagogical element (reworking the content for a distributed, multi-cultural audience), an intellectual property element (performing copyright clearance and licensing the final product) and a technical element (strategic use of common or open formats; reducing file size for easier use in low-connectivity environments; metadata). Postgraduate students, already involved in some elements of teaching, provide a potential resource that can be harnessed to enhance the quality of both teaching materials and OER by performing some of these quality-enhancing processes according to their proficiency and the needs of the OER-contributing lecturer.

This presentation draws on projects conducted at the University of Cape Town which incorporated students as OER adapters and producers. It seeks to explore the ways in which postgraduate students can contribute to the adaptation of existing teaching and learning materials into high-quality OER through involvement in the pedagogical, intellectual property management and technical aspects of OER adaptation.


Postgraduate students as OER capacitators from Open Education Consortium