Over the past one and half decade, Open Education Resources (OER) emerged from a meeting organized by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the principal aim of enhancing the use of wide range of educational resources, ensuring fairness and above all fostering the sharing, use and reuse of these resources. Since higher education institutions are knowledge creators and producers, this initiative has gained enough attention in universities around the globe. In Ghana, OER was implemented in two universities in 2009, where there have been various dimensions concerning how OER was interpreted and used. This research therefore sought to examine the perceptions of academic staff about OER and the use of OER in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana.
The study adopted mix-method design, in which questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. A sample size of 110 respondents out of 200 was drawn from the Department of Computer Science and College of Health Science of KNUST and the Faculty of Education of UCC using both the simple random sampling and purposive sampling technique. The questionnaire was used to solicit for respondents’ current pedagogical beliefs and teaching practices around open educational practices. . Four important participants (two from each university) who took part in OER implementations were interviewed to explore the experiences of the respondents about OERs which included some of the challenges of OER in Ghana.
The findings of this study suggest that the dominant perceptions of academic staff with respect to OER in the two Ghanaian Universities were geared towards the cost and quality of these resources as well as their influence their methods of teaching. With regards to the extent to which academic perception influence usage of OER, the findings of the study reveals that despite the less usage with regards to creation and sharing the most dominant emphasis on the use of OER was reuse and remix since academic staff needs to re-contextualize the content of the OER.
The study suggests that there is a need for adequate education about the Creative Common License which govern the creation and the sharing of these resources. Finally, it is suggested that adequate technological devices should be available to academic staff to ensure the smooth searching, creation, sharing and various use of these educational materials.
Keywords: Open Educational Resources, Perceptions, Use, Academic Staff
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