Integration of Open Educational Resources into Electronic Resources to Facilitate Teaching and Learning. A Case of Selected University Libraries in Kenya
Mwangi, Jane Wanja
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Though the OER movement has been in existence for over a decade now, less has been said on their integration in the academic Libraries. Academic libraries may hold institutional content such as syllabi and past exam papers but Inclusion of lecture notes, presentations, and assessment materials has not been a common practice in the university libraries. It was noted that even if the materials are found in electronic formats these contents remains closed in virtual learning environments and are controlled by the lecturers or the departments providing the course. Their integration with library resources and search facilities including the online public access catalogue (OPAC) is generally insufficient. This project presents a study on the Integration of OER to facilitate teaching and learning in Kenya. To realize this the study sought to examine the available OER integration strategies in the selected academic libraries, assess the type of OER’s integrated in the academic libraries, establish the OER policy that govern the integration of OER, establish the adopted licensing mechanisms in the integration of OER’s and finally to explore the challenges faced by academic libraries in the integration of OER. An emphasis was placed on two public and two private academic libraries that is Kenyatta University library, Multimedia University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa and Africa Nazarene University. The four universities presented a representation of academic universities in Kenya and it formed a baseline for a an OER study in Kenya and three of the university have embraced Open Distance and ELearning (ODEL).The study’s respondent included the university librarians and the library staff. The study used a population of 89 respondents. The research used census method of determining the sample size and thereby took the 89 to be the sample size. Data was collected using questionnaires, Interviews and secondary sources. Data from the respondents was presented using table, graphs and charts. The researcher noted that most of the academic libraries in Kenya have only integrated the E-books and E-Journals as the only OER’s. Two of the university libraries have partnered with external OER providers and have integrated external OER’s. True to the statement of the problem most of the Educational materials are locked into the ODEL platforms and not to the libraries. Only one university has formulated an OER’s policy though it’s not functional, the others use open access collection development and others uses the ICT policies in the integration of OER. Most of the Universities use creative commons licenses in the sharing of the OER’s. Some recommendations were made which includes; development of OER policies, having OER awareness campaigns, collaborating with national, regional and international organizations that provides OER and finally to solicit for funds for the sustainability of the OER initiatives. Further research was recommended on the role of faculty members in the integration of OER in the institution of higher learning.