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Title: Open educational resources utilisation among learners at Makerere University : a mixed methods study
Author: Siminyu, S. N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 5338
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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Considering the challenges facing higher education world over, sponsors of the premier Open Educational Resources expected developing nations in Sub-Saharan Africa to benefit from the social, financial, legal, and technological freedoms proffered by this innovation. However, this expectation has not materialised, thus raising the following questions: What drives and/or hinders Open Educational Resources utilisation by learners at Makerere University (in Uganda)? And how does Legitimate Peripheral Practice enable learners to move (or fail to move) from the periphery and towards the core of the Community of Open Educational Resources Practice? I employed Situated Learning theoretical lenses to assess the interaction between the learner and environmental, organisational and personal factors influencing Open Educational Resources adoption. Data was collected through a survey and interviews. While the survey data were analysed to derive simple descriptive statistics indicating the extent of Open Educational Resources use by learners, the interview data were analysed thematically to explain the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of learner behaviour towards Open Educational Resources. The study established that personal agency exercised through Communities of Open Educational Resources Practice enabled learners to take advantage of the contextual enablers and circumvent barriers to adoption. Extrinsic motivators for engagement included assessment requirements, project requirements, and out-of-class interests. Others were: learner awareness of, involvement with, and frequent use of Open Educational Resources, engagement in Communities of Practice, teachers’ influence, and social capital. Within the Communities of Practice, students learned to handle the deficient Information and Communication Technology infrastructure and equipment, lack of requisite skills, lack of clarity on copyright issues, and defective institutional policies and practices. Those who failed to engage with Communities of Open Educational Resources Practice fared poorly. The study recommends the flagging of Open Educational Practices in the strategic and operational plans of Makerere and letting it guide future investment decisions; reviewing relevant policies to cater for open licensing; creating a conducive environment for emergence of Communities of Open Educational Resources Practice; encouraging regular learner utilisation of local and global Open Educational Resources; and making Open Educational Resources a regular feature of learner orientation, staff induction and Continuous Professional Development programmes. The study proposes deepening the Open Educational Resources research agenda by making the assessment of Open Educational Practices at Makerere an ongoing concern.
Supervisor: Watts, M. ; Strivens, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral