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African Virtual University collaborative methods of developing Open Education Resources

The availability of quality and contextualized academic content is one of the major barriers to accessing quality education in Africa.

In 2005, the African Virtual University (AVU) through a collaborative approach involving 12 African Universities started addressing this issue by developing academic material for enhancing science teacher education and accelerating integration of ICTs in education.

A total of 12 African universities, 146 authors and peer reviewers from 10 countries in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone countries were fully involved in the exercise funded by the African Development Bank and partially by the United Nations Development Program-Somalia.

A total of 219 modules were produced, 73 modules in each of the 3 languages as follows: 46 in Mathematics and Sciences; 4 in ICT Basic Skills; 19 in Teacher Education professional courses; and 4 in integration of ICTs in Education.

The modules were released as Open Education Resources under the Creative Commons license in order to make the material freely available. Consequently, the AVU@OER portal was launched in January 2011, making AVU the leading African institution in producing and using OERs.

The portal hosts 219 text books available in English, French, and Portuguese which has contributed to increase the number of Africans that use, contextualize, share and disseminate existing as well as future academic content developed by the AVU. The portal also hosts 91 videos available.

Through the portal, the AVU is enabling academics all around the African continent and beyond to share, distribute and disseminate their resources globally and contribute towards Africa's economic development through education. Institutions and individuals can access the materials, use, modify and post them back to enrich the portal.

The AVU OERs portal attracted more than 1,000,000 users from 193 countries between January 2011 and June 2012 which means that through AVU, Africa is contributing to global knowledge and is therefore not only a consumer of content from the 'north'.

The resources are also available on Scribd http://www.scribd.com/AfricanVirtualUni, making them accessible to a wider global network of scholars who use scribd as a useful resource for research and education.

 

About AVU

African Virtual University (AVU) is a Pan African Intergovernmental Organization whose aim is to significantly increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of Information and Communication Technologies.

Founded in 1997, AVU has graduated 43,000 students across Africa and established the largest network of Open Distance and eLearning institutions in over 30 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. AVU works across borders and languages in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa.

Fourteen African Governments - Kenya, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, and South Sudan have signed a Charter establishing the AVU as an Intergovernmental Organization.

More About AVU: http://www.avu.org/About-AVU/introduction.html

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