More than 1.6 billion learners around the world resources are experiencing different forms of disruption to their learning because of COVID-19. School closings, in order to stop spreading of this virus provide the foundation for the introduction of online learning platforms.
Many governments in sub-Saharan African countries and other parts of the globe, adopted methods of distance learning to enable the education system to continue throughout the outbreak.
Distance learning methods employ a variety of techniques to distribute educational content. These comprise YouTube, Zoom, Google Classroom, Teams, Internet educational websites, radio, television tablets, computers and smartphones.
Open Education Resources
Distance learning also depends heavily on open education resources. These are research and education materials in any format available in the public domain which are accessible for free. They are made accessible to encourage the accessibility and use of high-quality educational materials without geographic barriers. Users are also able to share this material without restriction.
We wanted to learn more about the effect the use of open education resources has on research efficiency for higher-education institutions. Our paper reviewed research and concluded the open educational resources boost the research efficiency of universities of higher learning.
These resources, for instance, provided free access to a variety of research and education tools for students. However, we also identified the systemic flaws that are a major issue for the widespread acceptance of open educational resources, especially in the developing countries.
The biggest challenges are technical, economic as well as social, legal and infrastructural requirements to make open educational resources accessible.
Benefits And Restrictions Resources
Platforms for open education resources increase accessibility to education. They let users use, access, modify and redistribute the resources across networks to provide greater coverage. In the end, these tools and platforms can transform education at a level never previously seen.
There are numerous examples, and we have listed a few in our article. One of these are African Virtual University. It has 10 physical centers located in 5 African countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Senegal. Another is Commonwealth of Learning. It’s a platform that’s been established in higher education institutions that are located in Malawi, Tanzania and Nigeria.
Open resources permit academics to provide constructive criticism, enrich the body of knowledge or develop a concept or idea. The availability of these resources can create ideas, materials and techniques that have more users and applications.
Help Connect Scholars
These resources can help connect scholars who are working on similar topics or in diverse geographical areas. They also provide a platform to facilitate cooperation in publications and research.
The effectiveness of an institution may be determined by the research output of its institution. The quantity of research papers written by students and academics will determine the capacity of a school to impart and develop new knowledge. Educational resources that are open to the public have helped increase research efficiency by removing the obstacles to research that are cost-related.
Alongside research, the materials offer benefits to students. The materials used by world class universities are now accessible to students in the developing world.
Open resources also have the possibility of allowing individuals to actively participate in determining their own education.
Study Identified The Advantages
Our study identified the advantages of educational resources that are open to the public as:
- Promoting the use of innovative methods of learning
- Controlling the cost of education,
- periodic improvement of the education materials’s quality.
- more widespread distribution of top quality educational materials and
- providing opportunities for learning.
While open educational resources offer many advantages however, they do have negatives. They are varied and differ between and within different countries.
- Issues of sustainability: creators do not receive a payment for the content they share online, which means they be unable to sustain working on this project.
- Quality issues: users may be able to upload content which hasn’t been vetted for accuracy.
- Human interaction and feedback are missing between teachers and students.
- Copyright and intellectual property concerns Every online resource need to be checked to make sure that they do not violate copyright laws.
There are also issues related to infrastructure, technical capabilities and the cost. Certain educators might be hesitant to give away intellectual property or to utilize resources created by other people. Many may be unaware of copyright concerns and the restricting licences that prevent changes to materials. The fact that the majority of resources are available in English is an additional drawback.
Why Are Open Education Resources Important?
Our research showed that the open education resources have had a positive effect on the demand for education as well as on the need for qualifications and expertise needed to get jobs. The educational resources they provide have changed the learning and research landscape.
To make sure that open educational resources, there is a need for infrastructure investment. The removal of legal restrictions could also assist. Adoption is also contingent on a shift in attitude by all the stakeholders involve in the field of education.
Open education resources are vital in the COVID-19 crisis. They can also help to improve the prospects for education after COVID-19. They will also play a key role to realizing the sustainable development objective of a high-quality education system in sub-Saharan African countries.