Sandhya Gunness, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Conference Theme: Innovation
Summary: Open educational practices at the University of Mauritius
Abstract: Barriers to using OERs include lack of awareness about OERs and intellectual property rights, academic resistance and lack of motivation to adopt technologies in their teaching owing to increasingly heavier teaching and administrative workloads and availability of just-in-time and just-in–context alternatives through search engines. A pre-workshop questionnaire was devised in parallel with an online reflection forum to evaluate to what extent academics at the University of Mauritius are aware of OER sources, how they are using Open access material, to what extent they integrate technology in the classroom and how this transforms their teaching practices. Results show that academics access OER courseware, but could do with more training programs. In terms of teaching transformation, academics are willing to “step down” and acknowledge students with more “power” and responsibility for learning but also allowing them to evaluate their learning. This move towards learner-centeredness can be achieved with the right support - professional development programmes in educational technology and encouraging policies at the University of Mauritius.