Investigating perceived barriers to the use of open educational resources in higher education in Tanzania
How to Cite
The past few years have seen increasingly rapid development and use of open educational resources (OER) in higher education institutions (HEIs) in developing countries. These resources are believed to be able to widen access, reduce the costs, and improve the quality of education. However, there exist several challenges that hinder the adoption and use of these resources. The majority of challenges mentioned in the literature do not have empirically grounded evidence and they assume Sub-Saharan countries face similar challenges. Nonetheless, despite commonalities that exist amongst these countries, there also exists considerable diversity, and they face different challenges. Accordingly, this study investigated the perceived barriers to the use of OER in 11 HEIs in Tanzania. The empirical data was generated through semi-structured interviews with a random sample of 92 instructors as well as a review of important documents. Findings revealed that lack of access to computers and the Internet, low Internet bandwidth, absence of policies, and lack of skills to create and/or use OER are the main barriers to the use of OER in HEIs in Tanzania. Contrary to findings elsewhere in Africa, the study revealed that lack of trust in others’ resources, lack of interest in creating and/or using OER, and lack of time to find suitable materials were not considered to be barriers. These findings provide a new understanding of the barriers to the use of OER in HEIs and should therefore assist those who are involved in OER implementation to find mitigating strategies that will maximize their usage.
- Andrad, A., Ehlers, U.-D., Caine, A., Carneiro, R., Conole, G., Kairamo, A.-K., … Holmberg, C. (2011). Beyond OER: Shifting focus to open educational practices. Retrieved from http://www.oerasia.org/OERResources/8.pdf
- Bateman, P. (2008). Revisiting the challenges for higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa : The role of the open educational resources movement OER Africa (pp. 1–66). Nairobi, Kenya.
- Bossu, C., Bull, D., & Brown, M. (2012). Opening up down under : The role of open educational resources in promoting social inclusion in Australia. Distance Education, 33(2), 151–164.
- Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Butcher, N. (2010). OER dossier : Open educational resources and higher education. South Africa. Retrieved from http://www.col.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/OER_Open_Educational_Resources_and_Higher_Education.pdf
- Butcher, N. (2011). A basic guide to open educational resources (OER) (pp. 1–134). COL: Vancouver & Paris. Retrieved from http://www.col.org/resources/publications/Pages/detail.aspx?PID=357
- Caswell, T., Henson, S., Jensen, M., & Wiley, D. (2008). Open educational resources: Enabling universal education. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9(1). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/469/1001
- Freitas, D. (2012). Fostering social inclusion through open educational resources (OER). Distance Education, 33(2), 131–134.
- Hatakka, M. (2009). Build it and they will come?–Inhibiting factors for reuse of open content in developing countries. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 37(5), 1–16.
- Hodgkinson-Williams, C. (2010). Benefits and challenges of OER for higher education institutions. Retrieved from http://www.col.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/OER_BenefitsChallenges_presentation.pdf
- Hoosen, S. (2012). Survey on governments’ open educational resources (OER) policies (pp. 1–40). Retrieved from http://www.col.org/resources/publications/Pages/detail.aspx?PID=408
- Hylén, J. (2006). Open educational resources : Opportunities and challenges. In Open Education. Retrieved from http://library.oum.edu.my/oumlib/sites/default/files/file_attachments/odl-resources/386010/oer-opportunities.pdf
- Keats, D. (2003). Collaborative development of open content: A process model to unlock the potential for African universities. First Monday, 8(2). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/rt/printerFriendly/1031/952
- Kokutsi, F. (2011). AFRICA: Expand university access, World Bank urges. University World News, Africa Edition Issue 198. Retrieved from http://www.universityworldnews.com
- Larson, R. C., & Murray, M. E. (2008). Open educational resources for blended learning In high schools: Overcoming impediments In developing countries. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 12(1), 2–19.
- Lesko, I. (2013). The use and production of OER & OCW in teaching in South African higher education institutions. Open Praxis, 5(2), 103–121.
- Lindow, M. (2011). Weaving success: Voices of change in African higher education (p. 239). NewYork, NY 10022: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data.
- Lwoga, E. (2012). Making learning and Web 2.0 technologies work for higher learning institutions in Africa. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 29(2), 90–107. doi:10.1108/10650741211212359
- MIT. (2006). 2005 program evaluation findings report (pp. 1–138).
- MIT. (2013). Site statistics. Retrieved April 08, 2013, from http://ocw.mit.edu/about/site-statistics/
- Mtebe, J. S., & Raisamo, R. (2014). Challenges and instructors’ intention to adopt and use open educational resources in higher education in Tanzania. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15(1), 250–271.
- Munguatosha, G. M., Muyinda, P. B., & Lubega, J. T. (2011). A social networked learning adoption model for higher education institutions in developing countries. On the Horizon, 19(4), 307–320. doi:10.1108/10748121111179439
- Ngimwaa, P., & Wilsona, T. (2012). An empirical investigation of the emergent issues around OER adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa. Learning, Media and Technology, 37(4), 398–413. doi:10.1080/17439884.2012.685076
- Ngugi, C. N. (2011). OER in Africa’s higher education institutions. Distance Education, 32(2), 277–287. doi:10.1080/01587919.2011.584853
- OECD. (2007). Giving knowledge for free: The emergence of open educational resources. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/35/7/38654317.pdf
- Percy, T., & Belle, J. Van. (2012). Exploring the barriers and enablers to the use of open educational resources by university academics in Africa. In Open source systems: Long-term sustainability (pp. 112–128). Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-33442-9_8
- Richards, G. (2013). Tracking the usage of our OER to improve their quality and impact. African Health OER Network Newsletter, 4(7). Retrieved from http://www.oerafrica.org/FTPFolder/Website Materials/Health/Newsletters/2013/August-2013-edition.html#7
- Samzugi, A. S., & Mwinyimbegu, C. M. (2013). Accessibility of open educational resources for distance education learners: The case of The Open University of Tanzania. Huria Journal of OUT, 14(76-88).
- Tedre, M., Ngumbuke, F., & Kemppainen, J. (2010). Infrastructure, human capacity, and high hopes : A decade of development of e-Learning in a Tanzanian HEI. Redefining the Digital Divide in Higher Education, 7(1).
- Unwin, T., Kleessen, B., Hollow, D., Williams, J., Oloo, L. M., Alwala, J., … Muianga, X. (2010). Digital learning management systems in Africa: Myths and realities. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(1), 5–23. doi:10.1080/02680510903482033
- URT. (2012). Primary Education Development Programme Phase III ( 2012-2016 ). Retrieved from http://www.ed-dpg.or.tz/pdf/PE/Primary Education Development Plan-PEDP I_2000-06.pdf
- Wilson-Strydom, M. (2009). The potential of open educational resources OER Africa (pp. 1–32). Retrieved from http://www.oerafrica.org/understandingoer/UnderstandingOER/ResourceDetails/tabid/1424/mctl/Details/id/36389/Default.aspx
- Wright, C. R., & Reju, S. A. (2012). Developing and deploying OERs in sub-Saharan Africa : Building on the present potential of OERs in sub-Saharan Africa. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(2). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1185/2161
- Yuan, L., Mac, S., & Kraan, W. (2008). Open educational resources – opportunities and challenges for higher education (pp. 1–34). Retrieved from http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/images/0/0b/OER_Briefing_Paper.pdf