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Wednesday, October 20 • 10:00am - 10:25am
OER, Self-Directed Learning and Assessment: Educators' Beliefs, Practices and Priorities in Africa

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The internet, web 2.0 meet-read-write-produce affordances and increasing use of smart technologies have exponentially multiplied opportunities for open education practices, self-directed learning (SDL) and democratic assessment practices. Whether these opportunities are realized in classrooms across Africa is another story. This study sought to understand educators’ beliefs, perceptions and practices regarding open education resources (OER), SDL and assessment. As part of a larger study, we worked with experts in the field and used the delphi-technique to develop a shared understanding of OER in Africa. Following this we surveyed educators from across Africa regarding their beliefs, practices and perceptions of OER in their contexts, SDL and assessment. In this smaller section of the study, our aim was to develop a rich description of the open practices of edcuators participating in the study, and the priorities they placed on the skills and competencies students need to become self-directed learners, such as identifying learning goals and requirements for their studies, and how to assess their learning towards achieving this. In many education contexts, assessments tend to drive teaching and learning goals. Hence, it was important to also review participating teachers’ current assessment practices in order to imagine how this could be done differently. Survey data was analysed using both quantitative and qualitative instruments. Findings indicate that educators broadly support the goals of OER, SDL and more democratic, open assessment practices. Open practices are not widely adopted yet, and assessments tend to focus on summative tasks rather than formative feedback-driven activities. The areas teachers prioritise for teaching and assessment suggest that much work is still needed to develop students’ skills and competencies as self-directed learners. Findings from this study may inform the development of innovative and strategic priorities to support systemic transformation towards open education across Africa.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Evaluate their own beliefs, perceptions and practices regarding open education resources and open practices, assessment and self-directed learning.

avatar for Isabel Tarling

Isabel Tarling

Director, Limina
Isabel Tarling is an ICT Integration specialist, holds a PhD in Education Technologies and Teacher Professional Development from UCT, and is director of Limina Education Services. The Education Association of South Africa (EASA) recently awarded Tarling the Emerging Researcher medal... Read More →
avatar for Sandhya Gunness

Sandhya Gunness

Senior Lecturer - Open and Online Learning, University of Mauritius
Elearning. Collaborative networks, digital literacies, learning  design

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Wednesday October 20, 2021 10:00am - 10:25am EDT
Room C