OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Thursday, October 12 • 10:15am - 10:40am
Table 25 - Sharing Open Educational Resources in Ethiopia

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Ethiopia is one of the world's oldest and poorest countries. Yet the economy has been booming over the past decade, with annual economic growth around 10% in the past two years. With its goal to become a middle-income country, the Ethiopian government is investing heavily in higher education; from 20,000 students on two campuses in the late 1990s to more than 780,000 students on dozens of campuses today, higher education in Ethiopia is growing at a dizzying rate. With this growth, however, comes significant challenges, including accessing appropriate learning materials. The academic publishing industry in Ethiopia is small, and, with English the language of instruction in Ethiopian higher education, most textbooks are sourced from outside the country, from India, the UK, and the US, among other countries. However, due to a bureaucratic ordering process and prohibitive international shipping, academic libraries in Ethiopia routinely expect to wait two to three years for books to arrive. In this context, open educational resources seem an ideal solution. Yet, in Ethiopia as in many other less economically developed countries, infrastructure can be a significant barrier; in particular, internet bandwidth is limited and power outages common. The presenter spent the 2016-17 academic year in Ethiopia as a Fulbright Scholar, where she incorporated OER into her teaching, gave lectures to Ethiopian faculty on OER, and conducted research on the feasibility of OER in Ethiopian higher education. In her research, she asked this question: Are infrastructure limitations significant enough to off-set the potential usefulness of OER for higher education in East Africa? This presentation shares the results of that researchŠ—”including some surprising concerns of facultyŠ—”as well as the challenges and successes of implementing OER in Ethiopia, with implications for East Africa as well as developing countries around the world.

avatar for Joan Petit

Joan Petit

Communications & Outreach Librarian, Portland State University
I served as a Fulbright Scholar at Jimma University in Ethiopia during the 2016-17 academic year. My presentation focuses on my research there on the feasibility of open textbooks in Ethiopian higher education.

Thursday October 12, 2017 10:15am - 10:40am PDT
Royal Ballroom

Attendees (5)