NOUN OER MOOCs Workshop held at Abuja Nigeria

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The first major activity on Open Educational Resources which was undertaken by the African  Council for Distance Education (ACDE) was propelled by the high level Executive meeting  which was sponsored by the UNESCO on the 8th September, 2014 at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The meeting was a real eye opener which was attended by more than thirty Vice Chancellors and deputy Vice Chancellors from ACDE member institutions. The meeting was able to take the participants through the knowledge of the essentials of the OER/ MOOCs.It was also able to encourage participants to implement same by undertaking what is involved to develop course materials to the standard of OER/MOOCs  and abide by the rules governing such an exercise. Interestingly, many ODL institutions signified the intention of putting this into operation after consultation in their various domain.

The National Open University of Nigeria and the Open University of Tanzania have been able to come out boldly by following the steps that would enable them introduce OER/MOOCS in their institutions. While the National Open University of Nigeria engaged UNESCO personnel and experts, the Open University of Tanzania decided to work with the South Africa Institute  for Distance Education (SAIDE). It is very encouraging to sate that the National Open University of Nigeria with great determination decided to create a unit for the OER headed by Dr. Jane frances Agbu. It also went further to organize sensitization workshop and then capacity building meetings which were all supported by UNESCO experts.

The  National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) OER/MOOCs workshop held on 9-11 December, 2015 was a step among other activities it has undertaken in the introduction of OER/MOOCS in the University. The  workshop activities combined with its output clearly brought to  the fore what is involved in the introduction and adoption of the Open Educational Resources/Mass Online Open Courses. The Workshop was well attended by  academics and administrators from many Universities. It was also facilitated by experts like Abel Caine, Prof. Fred Mulder, Alex Gakuru, Fred de Vries,  Lou Forward and  J.C. Mallet. The ACDE Executive Director also participated in all the workshop activities.Dr Jane frances Agbu did a good job to co-ordite the workshop activities. At the workshop, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Ado Tenebe launched the NOUN Portal on Open Educational Resources - an online repository of the first 40 exiting NOUN courses which were re-released with the Creative Commons open licenses. It was the 1st West African University OER Portal. The courses which are on OER, are based on a master template based on open-source (XML) templates with metadata, machine readable code, and open-source fonts. All the course materials  are also available in 3 open-source file formats as follows:

  1. PDF for portability and print-format
  2. ODT – Open Document Text for editing of the courses
  3. ePUb – for automatic scaling/reading on mobile devices (the most common computing device on the African continent

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Tenebe also declared that  by the end of 2017, NOUN will  have 50% of its complete course catalogue of approximately 800 courses to be fully open-licensed OERs and at same time, developed 20 MOOCs based on the most pressing learning needs in Nigeria

If successful, NOUN will become the leading worldwide university in sharing OERs, in its efforts to significantly enhance access to high-quality tertiary education for Nigeria and globally.

The activities of NOUN on OER/MOOCs shall eventually contribute to solving problem of admission into Universities (Conventional Universities)  while many  applicants who could not secure admission to the conventional university can easily be admitted to NOUN,  other group of applicants can also occupy themselves with study of MOOCs  pending the admission season. Through this approach, NOUN shall be promoting access to quality education through Open and Distance Learning, ACDE member institutions should therefore try not to lag behind in the introduction of OER/ MOOCs

With the generosity of the NOUN  to make all it course materials that have complied with the OER/MOOCs standard available, all ACDE members are encouraged to link up with the National Open University of Nigeria so as to be able to enjoy this facility at no cost.

Mr Abel Caine explaining the meaning of Open Educational Resources to the participants at the  NOUN OER/MOOCs Workshop in Abuja Nigeria on 9-11 December, 2015

Mon, 2015-12-14 01:00