The impact of the integration of OER in teacher education programmes at the Open University of Sri Lanka

Shironica Karunanayaka
The Open University of Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Som Naidu
Monash University

Australia


During 201314, the Faculty of Education at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), with financial support from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), has been engaged in the integration of open educational resources (OER) into its teacher education programmes. This work, which comprises the redesign of five selected courses, has involved a series of workshops (with experts from outside the Faculty) on capacity-building among course teams.

The key research question in evaluating the impact of this work on staff has been: how and to what exten has this professional development programme on the integration of OER in the course design and development processs assisted and empowered educators in relation to their work on education and training in the Sri Lankan education system. In this paper, we examine preliminary data which we have gathered on building the capacity of staff. Interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used as the core methodological construct to answer this question. This comprised gathering data using a range of tools, including concept mapping with constant comparisons accompanied by individual narratives, self-reflections and focus group interviews.

The data gathered revealed that this pilot project on the redesign of courses integrated with OER resulted in raising awareness of the potential of OER among academic staff, building their capacity and capability on how to identify, evaluate, adapt and integrate OER into existing programmes; and it also led to the adoption of a culture of using OER in education and training more generally. We believe that this will in turn have a cascading effect on the development of other courses in the teacher education programmes with OER integration, resulting in the enhancement of their quality.