On 9 and 10 December 2015 the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) co-organized with the UNESCO a seminar on OER and MOOCs. The seminar aimed to provide opportunity for NOUN and UNESCO to introduce the concept and gains of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to delegates and invite all to join the OER/MOOCs movement for the common good of teaching and learning in Nigeria and Africa; present an overview of NOUN’s journey towards embracing OER and MOOCs, including experiences from its capacity training workshops and steps employed in the conversion of courses into OER and making these available to students through mobile technology and promote re-use by academics.Call for broadening OER
Prof. Vincent Ado Tenebe, the Vice Chancellor of NOUN encouraged other universities in Nigeria and Africa to join his ambitions on the road to enlarging access to knowledge and education, in turning universities curricula into OER. Since August 2015, all the modules of 40 existing NOUN-courses have become available as OER and by the end of 2017, 50% of the curriculum of NOUN will be shared for re-use and adaptation. He noted that from now on, all new and revised NOUN-courses are to be published as OER immediately, thus broadening the initiative in NOUN and involving all active course-authors, instructional designers and graphic designers. Course designers are to actively pursue the inclusion of other quality OER in their courses.
Dedicated unit on creating OER and MOOCs
In October 2015 the dedicated OER unit that has been active for a year was officially inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor further buttressing NOUN readiness to embrace OER. Staff were advised to include checks for proper re-use and referencing and the application of the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence, restructure and format for delivery for self-print (PDF) and mobile devices (ePub) in reworking of existing courses into OER. Academics of NOUN were invited to re-use the course-materials for their own teaching using the editable ODT-files. In addition to these activities, the unit is also in the process of designing the first MOOCs of NOUN. Consistent with its proposed OER policy, the MOOCs will be made available as OER in itself, sharing not only the student’s learning resources, but also the timetables, checklists and teaching notes used by the academics, enabling other academics to run and adapt the MOOCs. The 5-week MOOCs with podcasts, chat-sessions and reflection-assignments with peer-students are to start in January 2016. These MOOCs are aimed at secondary school graduates that are unable to gain university admission yearly, statistics shows that every year, 1.4 million students take the mandatory Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Exam (JAMB), only about 400 thousand gain placement in the Nigerian Universities. The subjects are the History and Philosophy of Science, Study Skills, and Information Literacy. By the end of 2017 a total of 20 MOOCs are to be developed on the most pressing learning needs in Nigeria.
The generosity of sharing and giving
The Vice Chancellor proposed to his colleagues not only to embrace OER but to continue developing MOOCs together on especially the broadly taught subjects in all Nigerian universities. MOOCs are very well suited to broaden access to Higher Education. Alternative modes of education, like the open and online education can be promoted with ‘acts of generosity of sharing and giving’ rooted in the African culture by university leaders and academics.
Check out the repository yourself
The OER and MOOC repository of NOUN can be accessed at: http://oer.nou.edu.ng You will find the course-modules published as OER and (on their launch) the MOOCs as well. You can contact the OER-team through Dr Jane-frances O. Agbu,
Head NOUN-OER Project, email@example.com .
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