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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-05-24

education open access

Health OER Africa

Yesterday I attended the morning of a workshop around a Health OER Network for Africa that’s currently in development. It’s a project that’s sponsored by the South African Institute of Distance Education (SAIDE) and includes participants from all over the continent. The objectives of the workshop were to share lessons from the first phase of implementation, introduce new institutions to the project, identify future partnerships and discuss the principles upon which the network should be based.

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend one morning of a three day workshop, but based on what I saw, I’m excited at the prospect of what this project could bring to health education in Africa. After a few presentations, we broke into groups to discuss how to operationalise the network, looking at the following questions (taken from the programme):

  • What principles should underpind the Health OER Network? What should be non-negotiable?
  • How will the network connect to broader issues of curriculum planning, adult learning and assessment theory?
  • What activities should the network not engage in? Why?
  • What policy implications will participation in the network have for institutions / faculties (drawing on experiences of participating institutions)?
  • What should the conditions for participation in the network be, if any?

I enjoyed the discussion and regret not being able to participate in the rest of the workshop. I’m hoping that this idea of open content and open educational resources grows within our institutions of higher learning. Unfortunately, there’s still a focus on protecting intellectual property using extreme copyright and many academics have a hard time imagining that there is academic integrity and value in opening up intellectual property.