Building Open Educational Resources from the Ground Up: South Africa's Free High School Science Texts

Journal of Interactive Media in Education
May 1st, 2008
Publication Author: 
Lisa Petrides, Cynthia Jimes
Resource Type: 
Journal Publications

The relatively new field of open educational resources (OER) is just now receiving more widespread attention and study. As such, there have been few opportunities thus far to share knowledge across program, organizational and national boundaries. This article presents a case study of the development of the South African project Free High School Science Texts (FHSST). Based on observations of project activities, a survey and interviews with project participants, and analyses of project documents and web-based content, the study sheds light on the challenges and successes of creating OER content within a process built from the ground up. On the whole, the case study revealed that project sustainability is an iterative, evolutionary process that works best when able to adapt to a continuously changing environment and shifting community needs. Ultimately this involves instilling practices within the organization or project that imitate the very characteristics of the resources that OER projects serve to create and support.

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