WOU has joined up with the University of Cape Town and the International Development Research Centre (Canada) to develop a course on Research Methodology by integrating Open Educational Resources (OER).
This undertaking, which is part of the larger project called Research on OER for Development (ROER4D), will investigate the processes involved and different ways of reusing and integrating OER multimedia resources in course development.
Two module development workshops have already been held to complete the five modules of the course. The first was in Kochi, India from 8-12 November 2014, and the second at the WOU main campus from 21-25 January 2015. The workshops aimed to integrate OERs in the development of the course modules and document the module writers’ experiences.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic-OCL) Prof Mohandas Menon and Professor of Education, Prof Phalachandra Bhandigadi, formed the core research project team that worked with the module writers in India and in WOU. The module writers in India were Prof Rama Mathew, Prof Sudersan Panigrahi, Prof Vasant Bhat, Dr Sitansu Jena and Dr Vineetha Thomas.
Meanwhile at the second workshop, Prof Menon and Prof Phalachandra along with School of Foundation & Liberal Studies Deputy Dean/Senior Lecturer Jasmine Emmanuel teamed up with module writers, Assoc Prof Dr Lim Peck Choo from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam and freelance consultant Dr Kuldip Kaur.
Each member of the project team interacted individually with each module writer as and when required during the workshop to understand the various issues involved in the process of OER integration in module development, the challenges involved and how these challenges were addressed by the writers.
The five modules that were developed are:
*Module 1: Introduction to Educational Research;
*Module 2: Methods and Procedures of Educational Research;
*Module 3: Data Sources and Collection;
*Module 4: Analysis and interpretation of Quantitative Data; and
*Module 5: Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data.
The inauguration of the second workshop in WOU was attended by Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, and Deans Prof N V Narasimham and Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei. Prof Ho remarked that WOU has always been at the forefront of OER and that it offers cost-effectiveness in course development, stressing, ”We need to explore the many facets of OER, research-wise.”
The OER-integrated course on ‘Research Methodology in Education’ will be available with CC BY SA licence, enabling users to contextualise and reuse the course materials. WOU will examine the possibility of using this course to replace the existing course under its MEd programme.
The module development workshops were supported by a grant which WOU received from IDRC for the ROER4D sub-project titled “A Study on the Processes of OER Integration for Course Development’.