Quality education is basic for the development of Africa. Goal 4 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” as well as the second Goal of the first Pillar, AU 2063 Agenda – “well educated citizens and skills revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation” highlight this. Building up the intellectual capital of Africa through quality education even as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) births in the continent has become very critical. Consequently, teachers and students at all levels need relevant, quality, up-to-date, easily accessible and affordable or no-cost information resources in order to achieve this. Lifelong learners, especially those not engaged in formal education and those engaged in distance learning also need access to affordable and quality information resources in order to understand current best practices and developments in their fields of interest. With the ongoing penetration of Internet penetration in Africa, Open Educational Resources (OER) have become a viable option to provide these information resources to African students and teachers and lifelong learners.
African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) is deeply committed to the development of knowledgeable, skilled, and passionate African librarians that can form the information superstructure for the 4IR on the continent. Therefore, the Association believes that it is quite critical to build up the capacity of African librarians in the area of OER. This has great potentials of driving quality education that can birth innovations for the transformation of African communities.
AfLIA has decided to run a series of webinars on tertiary-level OER. The Association believes that training academic librarians in OER has become necessary for quality university education, distance learning and lifelong learners in Africa. The webinars would be under the auspices of OER Africa through Neil Butcher & Associates who has graciously agreed to collaborate with AfLIA in this great quest.
The webinars aim to “assist academic librarians to develop an understanding of OER, Open Access, and Open licensing, and how openly licensed resources can be used in higher education institutions and their libraries. Following the webinars, librarians should be able to find different types of open content, particularly OER and open access resources, and also recognize opportunities for sharing existing resources with other institutions and faculties within their institutions. Librarians should also be able to identify rights and permissions contained in Creative Commons (CC) licences, understand OER models, and be able to assist institutions in implementing open models. In addition, librarians will be capacitated to curate, design, and develop suitable taxonomies for accessing and tagging OER materials. Equally important, these webinars will make it possible for librarians to develop the skills to help users to identify and use openly licensed resources”.
OER Webinar 1.0
Topic: – An Introduction to OER
Date & Time: Wednesday April 3rd 2019, 11am GMT
There are an estimated 1.1 billion open resources. But what exactly are OERs and do they live up to the hype? What does this mean for librarians who want to help users find content and curate it? Do librarians know how to search for and identity useful open resources? What is open knowledge?
This introductory webinar will explain the concepts of OER. Participants will be guided through a search strategy for open content, which they can adopt and use to train students and faculty members. Participants will also learn to decipher Creative Commons rights and permissions.
OER Webinar 2.0
Topic: Introduction to Open Access publishing
Date & Time: Wednesday April 17th 2019, 11am GMT
Open access content is openly licensed research available online at no cost, allowing users to read and build on the work of others. Open access publishing has implications for university libraries and what it means for the role of librarians. This webinar will help librarians understand open access concepts and distinguish between open access and proprietary research. Librarians will be able to consider the implications of open access publishing on the quality of research and discover how to quality assure open access research.
OER Webinar 3.0
Topic: Implications of openly licensed resources for librarians
Date & Time: Thursday May 2nd 2019, 11am GMT
In the first two webinars, librarians learned how to find and assess openly licensed resources. In this 3rd webinar, librarians will learn how to integrate what they have learned about openly licenses resources into their work. With access to all these openly licensed resources, librarians will need to establish processes for managing this content and to find ways of supporting academics and students to access and use high-quality research and resources.
A list of resources and further information will be available at the end of each webinar, to enable thorough engagement with the webinar content.
You would not want to miss any training in the series! Bring this to the attention of your colleagues in the library and in professional circles you belong to. Registration for each of the webinars will open ten (10) days before the event. It is free! Let’s upgrade the quality of education in Africa and increase the growth of intellectual capital that will drive the 4IR in our continent.
Dr. Nkem Osuigwe Director, Human Capacity Development and Training, AfLIA with Kirsty von Gogh, Project Manager, Neil Butcher & Associates (on behalf of OER Africa)