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WOCMES18 OpenMed

Readiness to adopt Open Educational Resources in the MENA region: the OpenMed case

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WOCMES18 OpenMed

  1. 1. www.openMedproject.eu Readiness to adopt Open Educational Resources in the MENA region: the OpenMed case Isidro Maya-Jariego, Ahmed Almakari, Khalid Berrada, Daniel Burgos, Romina Cachia, Fabio Nascimbeni, Cristina Stefanelli, Anita Tabacco, Daniel Villar-Onrubia, Katherine Wimpenny.
  2. 2. MEMBERS OF THE CONSORTIUM www.OpenMedproject.eu OVERALL GOAL To raise awareness and facilitate the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) in the South-Mediterranean countries, with a particular focus on higher education in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine. OPENING UP EDUCATION IN SOUTH-MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES
  3. 3. OpenMed: key actions for opening up education in the MENA region www.OpenMedproject.eu Twitter @openmedpro Action Description Impact Review of OEP in the MENA region Needs assessment and detection of "best practices" of open education.  Propose positive behaviour models.  Detect key actors in the region.  Adapt intervention strategies to the characteristics of local contexts. OER national strategy forums Institutional meetings, with representatives of education and OEP pioneers in each country (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine).  Promote awareness about open education in each country.  Start collaborative networks between universities and other actors.  Facilitate the institutional recognition of open education.  Participatory development of the project and the actions to promote OER adoption. OE capacity building course Design and implementation of a course for trainers.  Develop capacities to create and / or adopt OER.  Develop educational materials on open education adapted to the local cultural context.  Create educational products through individual and group projects.
  4. 4. www.openMedproject.eu Learning Circles Map created with https://umap.openstreetmap.fr
  5. 5. www.openMedproject.eu Goals • Reflect on the factors that influence readiness to adopt open educational practices, in the context of the OpenMed project. • To explore the opportunities offered by open education, responding to the needs of higher education institutions. • To describe barriers and difficulties in the implementation of Open Educational Practices in the Middle East and North Africa region. • To examine the mediating role of internationalization and cultural distance in the process of adopting open educational practices.
  6. 6. www.openMedproject.eu Methods • In-depth interviews to 7 experts on Open Education in the Middle East: Egypt (2), Jordan (2), Lebanon (1), Palestine (2). • Focus group with 8 participants: Egypt (2), Jordan (3), Morocco (2), Palestine (1). • Data set with transcripts of interviews and focus groups are available in Zenodo: • Cachia, Romina, & Maya-Jariego, Isidro. (2018). Opening education in the MENA region: In-depth interviews and Focus Group data with experts in open education in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine. [Data set]. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1283114
  7. 7. www.openMedproject.eu Findings
  8. 8. www.openMedproject.eu Opportunities offered by open education, • Access to quality educational content from the international academic community. • Increase the visibility of research and teaching. • Internationalize the university. • Promote socio-cultural change. … responding to the needs of the education system. • Technical equipment and infrastructure. • Massification, dispersion in the territory, mobility problems.
  9. 9. www.openMedproject.eu Opportunities and needs • Students all over the world, they look forward to having an opportunity to pursue part of their post-graduate study abroad. To be competitive, to be a global graduate, they have to start using OER very early, to have this experience with others and to see how other students are doing in other universities. [E7, Egypt] • We now have an online repository that all researchers need to put their scholar work on it and we put all the university production, like thesis. The university is encouraging all scholars and faculties member to put everything on the repository. [E5, Palestine] • It is also worth mentioning that we are using the equipment that were partially purchased on the OpenMed project. OpenMed dedicated some budget for each university to purchase equipment, everything that you need to support the eLearning centre at our university and to present these devices to the teachers and them on how to use them. [E2, Jordan]
  10. 10. www.openMedproject.eu Barriers and difficulties in the implementation of OEP… • Low awareness. • Perception that online courses are of lower quality. • Institutional restrictions and norms. • Use and economic relevance of textbooks. • Scarcity of resources in Arabic Language. … and during the implementation of the OpenMed project. • Lack of time versus incentives. • The usual processes of decline in motivation in online courses. • Prevalence of local vs. international interaction. • East versus Western Arabs. • S-M countries versus Europe.
  11. 11. www.openMedproject.eu Barriers and difficulties • Apart from technical issues and time, one of the main barriers is the personal opinion about this. Two of the adopters who took the course… They are not convinced about OER at all. They studied it, they read about it, but they are not convinced that it is a feasible model. [E2, Jordan] • I see that the students are taking these international courses and participate in all kind of seminars, webinars. But still, to get their official degree in Egypt or outside, they need to physically travel. Online degree is not accepted in Egypt, especially for Masters and PhD. [E3, Egypt] • In Jordan, the ministry of higher education allows for each course to be taken as a blended model with 25% of it to be online. [E2, Jordan] • In Lebanon, and in other places, a major problem is that besides paying the tuition fees, because our university is private, they have to buy the traditional textbooks for each course. We are talking minimum about 200 – 300$ per semester. Imagine replacing those text books with OER. [E4, Lebanon] • If you talk about OER, a lot of work has to be done for localization because we do not have a lot of resources in the Arabic language. [E4, Lebanon]
  12. 12. www.openMedproject.eu Internationalization… • Incoming students from Arab and African countries. • Outgoing students to Europe and USA. • Influence of French and English academic models, among others. • Western versus East Arabic dialects. • Teaching in English and international milieu. … and readiness to adopt. • A greater degree of internationalization predisposes positively towards innovation and the adoption of OEP.
  13. 13. www.openMedproject.eu Internationalization • Most of the incoming students come from Africa or Arab countries. Some of them, non-Arabic speaking from Africa. This is one of the issues we need to deal with. Most of the people hired as Teaching Assistant travel outside Egypt to get their PhDs and come back to the university. Mainly to Europe or US. [E3, Egypt] • I felt the barriers between the eastern Arabs and western Arabs, that’s what we call each other. Jordanians and Europeans cope really easily. I don’t know if it’s the mindset, or the type of didactical thinking. We have a lot of commonalities, especially in the region around the Mediterranean Sea. There are some barriers that I was surprised to experience by our Arabian colleagues. [E2, Jordan] • I learnt a lot from visiting a university in United Kingdom, specifically in research. It was a wonderful experience for me. Some of my colleagues had never left Palestine. It was an opportunity for them to travel, not only for pleasure but also for culture orientation. [E5, Palestine] • At my university, we use the English language (…). In other countries, may be people will have much harder time to find the resources, localize and translate to the Arabic language. We do not have these issues at my university, because it is a Lebanese University adopting the American system. [E4, Lebanon]
  14. 14. www.openMedproject.eu Collectivism and power distance. • Face-to-face meetings are relevant for harmony in groups. • Open style of communication. • Expressive, cheerful, friendly, with personal contact and frequent interruptions. • Hierarchy and bureaucratic structure in universities. Cultural distance in reuse of open contents. • Cultural adaptation strategies facilitate the appropriation of open practices in contexts of diversity and diversity of contexts.
  15. 15. www.openMedproject.eu Collectivism and power distance • Every now and then, we meet face-to-face, that does not mean that there is always resources and funding to do that. Therefore, it is good to have continuous webinars, google hangout, which we did by the way. But some of them were based on demand. (…) Most of the important decisions we took were when we had the face-to-face meetings. [E2, Jordan] • We are four professors and three administrations and two are from outside the university. (...) We saw that administration with knowledge of ICT could help in creating OER in the future. [E3, Egypt] • In my role as a facilitator, I try to facilitate and guide my learning circle, keeping in mind that they are grown-up students. I cannot treat them as students and that is one of the cultural things that I have to highlight. Some of them are technicians, doctors and professors, and even with a higher rank than me. I treat them as partners. [E2, Jordan]
  16. 16. www.openMedproject.eu Conclusions
  17. 17. www.openMedproject.eu Organizational cultures and national cultures. • The localization and dissemination of content involves a process of translation and cultural adjustment. • The movement to promote open education constitutes a subculture that poses a challenge to traditional academic culture. Factors in readiness to adoption. • Openness to organizational change (at the institutional level). • Personal competences: flexibility, diversity awareness, persistence and motivation for change (at the individual level).
  18. 18. www.openMedproject.eu Individualistic national culture, with low power distance Collectivistic national culture, with high power distance Open Education subculture Traditional academic subculture
  19. 19. www.openMedproject.eu Table 1. Factors in readiness to adoption. Factors Description  Infrastructure and technical equipment  It is a pre-requisite for OEP adoption  Massification and geographical dispersion  OEP address institutional needs  Teaching in English and academic international exchange programs  Internationalization facilitates OEP adoption  Previous international experience, international background  Face-to-face meetings  Facilitators of cultural adaptation and institutional change Open communication style  Openness to institutional change  Open education as new subculture
  20. 20. www.openMedproject.eu OPENING UP EDUCATION IN SOUTH-MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License To cite this paper: Isidro Maya Jariego, Ahmed Almakari, Khalid Berrada, Daniel Burgos, Romina Cachia, Fabio Nascimbeni, Cristina Stefanelli, Anita Tabacco, Daniel Villar-Onrubia, Katherine Wimpenny. Readiness to adopt Open Educational Resources in the MENA region: the OpenMed case. World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES). Fundación Tres Culturas. Sevilla (Spain), 16-22 July 2018.
  21. 21. www.openMedproject.eu www.OpenMedproject.eu #openmed OPENING UP EDUCATION IN SOUTH-MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES Join us!
  22. 22. Thank you Readiness to adopt Open Educational Resources in the MENA region: the OpenMed case.

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